Archive for the ‘impeachment’ Category

Something I got from a United Methodist listserv, even though I’m no longer a UM; the date of the originating post is after May 2: Methodist Ministers Launch PR Campaign To Stop Bush Library At SMU»
Earlier this month, at the United Methodist Church’s (UMC) Quadrennial General Conference, the UMC’s governing body, voted overwhelmingly — 844 to 20 — to refer a petition to its South Central Jurisdiction. The petition urges the rejection of President Bush’s presidential library which is set to be housed at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. The library has received significant criticism from SMU faculty, Methodist ministers and the public because of an attached institute —
independent of the university — that will sponsor programs designed to “promote the vision of the president” and “celebrate” Bush’s presidency. The South Central Jurisdiction, which owns the university property where the library is set to be built, will vote on the petition this July. In anticipation of the vote, some Methodist ministers have launched a public relations campaign to highlight the partisan nature of the library: [T]he opponents have hired a Maine public relations firm to design ads for Methodist publications and do other strategies, said the Rev. Andrew Weaver of Brooklyn, N.Y. He said the goal is informing people about the partisan think tank, which won’t be under SMU’s control and will promote the Bush administration’s policies — such as the war with Iraq and harsh interrogation techniques of military prisoners — that some Methodists feel conflict with church
teachings.

Which begs the question, where does one get to sign up?

Actually, though, it seems as though we can be out of Iraq in practically no time. Maliki wants a timetable, Bush seems to want a drawdown, so we can just declare victory and leave.

Meanwhile, Dennis Kucinich is trying to get Bush impeached. A quixotic, though understandable, effort, but all I really want is this:

ROG

There is this guy in Buffalo whose blog I read regularly. He does this quiz he got from somewhere every year. I’m trying it on, seeing if it fits.

Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

If I made any for 2007, I don’t remember. Usually, I try to avoid meetings and I failed at that, which made me verklempt at times.
For 2008, I’ll try to be more “in the moment” rather than “in my head”. Whatever that means.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

I think my friend and former co-worker Mary Beth had her daughter this year. Time sometimes is fuzzy.

Did anyone close to you die?
My wife’s Aunt Vera, who I liked. A couple people from church, John Scott and Elizabeth Naismith, the latter from the choir. But there were two people who died this year that I was once very close to, back in high school, but I hadn’t seen in over 15 years, John Kinsley and George Hasbrouck.

What countries did you visit?

Barely visited this one (USA).

What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?

More rest. An office with walls.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Don’t know. Posted every day in 2007. Can’t tell if that’s a good thing or not; I do know that it is fueled in no small part by the thought that if I were to stop for any appreciable time, I might not come back to it, and THAT would disappoint me greatly. Sometimes, I feel that just putting one foot in front of the other was a major achievement.

What was your biggest failure?

Not following through on a couple tasks.

What was the best thing you bought?

The thing that brought me most joy is a Billboard book of top pop albums.

Whose behavior merited celebration?

Bill Moyers, Dennis Kucinich, Keith Olbermann, David Kacyzinski, the New Jersey legislature for banning the death penalty, the New Hampshire legislature for allowing civil unions, the city of Charlotte, NC for starting light rail in the past couple months.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

W and Cheney; the wuss Democratic Congress, especially Nancy Pelosi, who took impeachment off the table, and Harry Reid, who decided that he wasn’t even going to call a vote unless he had 60 votes – hey, let the Republicans actually filibuster rather than yielding to the threat of one; the AMPTP a/k/a the TV moguls; anyone who, in believing that there’s no global warming, or that it’s naturally occurring, has decided that we can be as wasteful as ever – and a few cold days in a row is not proof that global warming is a myth; the Republican candidates for President, but especially Mitt Romney, who seems to be able to say just about anything to get elected – but lost in Iowa – ha!; the New York State legislature, inefficient as ever, and Governor Spitzer, who wasted precious political capital to no good end.

Where did most of your money go?

Mortgage, increased taxes, day care, gas and food. I’m convinced that food won’t be relatively cheap again for some time, if ever.

What did you get really excited about?

Other than my daughter’s development, not that much.

What song will always remind you of 2007?

“Old Dan Tucker” by Springsteen.

Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

Not happier.

Thinner or fatter?

Well, I lost some weight but gained most of it back. So thinner, but not much.

Richer or poorer?

I feel poorer. My wife does the budget, and things were definitely tighter. In addition to the other stuff that went up, the co-pays on my health insurance were bumped up. That extra $5 on each Rx or doctor’s visit added up.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Reading, seeing movies, getting massages, sleeping.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Well, I should have taken more days off from work for ME, not just family vacations, but Roger days.

How will you be spending Christmas?

Well, Christmas is past, but it was at our house for the first time since before we were married.

Did you fall in love in 2007?

There’s a Supremes song, “Keep falling in and out of love.” More with my wife and daughter and some people, less with some others.

How many one-night stands?

I KNEW there was something I forgot to do.

What was your favorite TV program?

Returning: The Office. New: Pushing Daisies.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

As I’ve said, quoting Lyle Lovett, “I love everybody. Especially you.”

What was the best book you read?

Undoubtedly, it was The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders’ Cure for Royalism by John Nichols.

What was your greatest musical discovery?

Greg Burgas threw some obscure Supremes song on a mixed CD; that hmay have been a couple years ago, but I’m still digging it. Tosy had a song done by Audra McDonald that I like. I’m loving my Lennon anthology.

What did you want and get?

A Hess truck – big wheels! World Almanac. Lennon, Starr, Springsteen, other music.

What did you want and not get?

A thriving federal and/or state government that responds to the people.

What were your favorite films of this year?

Requires a separate post, so I have time to figure out the paucity of films I actually saw in 2007.

What did you do on your birthday?

Took off from work, per usual.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?

Laissez-faire.

What kept you sane?

That assumes facts not in evidence. Assuming this is true: racquetball. Perhaps, the blog, and the people I know through it.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Jenna Fischer (born March 7), Judd Apatow.

What political issue stirred you the most?

Oh, it varied. Probably the death penalty, though global warming was up there.

Who did you miss?

Mr. Rogers.

Who was the best new person you met?

There’s a couple folks in my work building who make a dreadful place slightly less so.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007

There is no privacy. Sometimes bugging city hall DOES work. Collectively, the national Democrats are not as evil as the national Republicans, but they’re far more lame. Prayer works sometimes, so be careful what you ask for. A diet without ice cream is pointless. I am a tactile person (actually, I knew that last one already).

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year

In the clearing stands a boxer and a fighter by his trade,
And he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down,
Or cut him ’til he cried out in his anger and his shame,
“I am leaving, I am leaving.”
But the fighter still remains, still remains.

So there’s always next year. Wait, this IS “next year”.
***
Mark Evanier was looking for this article in the New York Times which I couldn’t find. Because it was in the Wall Street Journal. Any librarian will tell you that happens a lot: a request for info with just one piece of the puzzle off.

ROG

Politics, Race, Comics, Music, Sports, Weather – we do it all

U.S. Thanksgiving Day, we drove from Albany to Oneonta, and saw the temperature rise from 44 and fog to 52 to 68F in a little more than an hour. Then that afternoon, the temperature plummeted, where it’s been ever since.
***
I received this question, as did a number of other bloggers: “I’d be interested in your reaction to this: An effort underway to remove Pelosi as Speaker, and make way for impeachment. Details. What flaws do you see with this plan; and is there a way to block this?”

As I’ve made abundantly clear, I favor the impeachment of Bush and Cheney. But the idea of impeaching Pelosi for her “high crimes and misdemeanors” of NOT impeaching them in order to impeaching them seems a bit surreal. Actually, it reminds me of a maneuver of my former church whereby the associate pastor was removed in order to make way for removing the senior pastor, except that it took 10 years to actually remove the senior pastor.

Regardless, the impeachment of Nancy Pelosi is highly unlikely to happen. And even if it did, impeachment of Bush/Cheney won’t happen. The Democrats are too risk averse. And oddly, from everything I’ve read, impeachment might very well STRENGTHEN the Democrats as it did in 1974, and as it did for the Republicans in 1868.
***
The current TV Guide lists the current Presidential candidates’ favorite television programs. Will Fred Hembeck support Barack Obama, now that Obama’s come out in favor of SponngeBob Squarepants? And speaking of Fred, read Hembeck: Court Jester of Comics, an interview by Peter Sanderson in Publishers’ Weekly.
***
A couple things I learned from ADD, one directly, one indirectly:
Tom Spurgeon’s Holiday Shopping Guide and
an interview with David Michaelis, biographer of Charles Schulz. Oh, and Gordon says nice things about the book about the creator of the Peanuts comic strip.
***
I don’t really follow college football, and don’t like how the polls determine rankings; I’m more of an NFL fan. Still, I prefer the way cthe college game settles ties, with each team getting a chance or two (or three, in the case of Arkansas’ upset of LSU last week) to the randomness of the coin toss to determine who’ll get the ball first, and quite possibly, score and win.
***
Cracked.com shows video clips of 8 of The 9 Most Racist Disney Characters:
#9. The Merchant from Aladdin
#8. Sebastian from The Little Mermaid
#7. The Crows from Dumbo
#6. King Louie from The Jungle Book
#5. The Siamese Twin Gang from Chip n’ Dale Rescue Rangers
#4. Sunflower the Centaur from Fantasia
#3. The Indians from Peter Pan
#2. Uncle Remus from Song of the South
#1. Thursday from Mickey Mouse and the Boy Thursday (Book)
The Little Mermaid clip surprised me, but I see its validity on the list.
Even though I feel uncomfortable with Song of the South – I do remember it in re-release c. 1960, I think, the movement to get Song of the South released on video doesn’t bother me. Not to say that I’ll buy it.
***
Also from Cracked.com: Ridiculous Overseas Rip-Offs of American Films, including a hysterical “Thriller” from India, a cheesy “Star Wars” from Turkey, and this Beatles Indian riff featuring, of all people, Mark Cuban:

ROG

Every once in a while, a news story will irritate me so much that I feel the need to respond somehow. Such is the case in last week’s Metroland:

Doing the Lord’s Legal Work

Bloggers and journalists find themselves threatened with lawsuits after criticizing a video game

Evangelical Christian post-apocalyptic video game Left Behind: Eternal Forces, based on the book series of the same name, was introduced last year to a storm of controversy. Now, with an expansion on the horizon, the maker of the game, Left Behind Games Inc., apparently have launched a legal campaign to silence its critics.

The game has been condemned by both secular and Christian blogs and publications that have criticized that the game at best excuses and at worst encourages religious-based violence against gays, Jews, Muslims, and other non-Christians. Critics also have expressed disapproval of gender roles within the game, where women are limited to the professions of nurses or singers. Apparently, the game play wasn’t that great, either.

Beginning in early October, various blogs and Web sites that had posted negative reviews of the game, such as Talk to Action, Public Theologian, and the Daily Kos, received identical, nonspecific legal notices from an attorney representing Left Behind Games Inc. demanding that they take down their content regarding the game, which the company alleged was “false and misleading.”

Delmar resident Glenn Weiser, who owns and maintains celticguitarmusic.com, was among the recipients of the letter due to his article “Let God Sort ’em Out,” which he first wrote for the June 29, 2006, Metroland, and which he also hosted on his site.

Weiser was unable to comment on the case due to the fact that LBG hadn’t specified complaints. Weiser has contributed dozens of articles to Metroland and was recently quoted in The Village Voice.

Weiser removed the story from his Web site on the advice of his lawyer and has posted a statement denying “knowingly and maliciously posting anything false or misleading about the game or LBG.”

The article remains online in the Metroland archives.

Metroland has not yet been contacted by LBG or its legal representation, according to Stephen Leon, Metroland’s editor and publisher.

“It’s an attempt to squash free speech, but it’s a clumsy one,” said Leon. “It’s very nonspecific. That’s a meaningless, empty threat right now. If they ever confront me with anything more specific, I’ll deal with that. If I got that letter I would just chuckle and put it in a folder and put it in my file drawer.”

Metroland will not remove the article from its site even if receives a similar threat from LBG.

The threat has all the makings of a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation or SLAPP suit, a tactic that has been gaining popularity with corporations and other entities that is meant to halt discussion of issues through legal intimidation. Regardless of the threat’s validity, the tactic usually serves to warn others against further debate lest they face legal action themselves, according to the California Anti-SLAPP Project’s Web site.

Legal fees can total tens of thousands of dollars if a lawsuit progresses; a daunting amount for a private citizen or small business to scare up. To date, only smaller Web sites and blogs have received notices, while larger publications, such as PC Gamer and Metroland, remain unthreatened.

So far, the SLAPP suit seems to have backfired, as many of the blogs have decided to defy and deride the notice rather than comply with it.

—Jason Chura

It bugs me for a number of reasons. As a librarian who believes in free expression, I don’t like LBG’s bullying tactics. As a Christian, I don’t like LBG’s theology.

So, in protest, I decide to re-post Glenn Weiser’s article myself. Let me make it clear that I do this without Glenn Weiser’s knowledge or permission – I don’t believe I even know Glenn Weiser – and will take it down only if he or METROLAND request that I do so.
***
Impeachment TV.

ROG

O.K., I’m finally convinced. I listened to a lengthy (50+ minute) segment of Bill Moyers’ Journal from July 13, with “Constitutional scholar Bruce Fein, who wrote the first article of impeachment against President Bill Clinton, and THE NATION’s John Nichols, author of THE GENIUS OF IMPEACHMENT.” The conservative and the liberal were practically tripping over each other making the case for impeachment of both President Bush and Vice-President Cheney. But it wasn’t to be punitive; it was so that whoever is President on January 20, 2009 won’t feel they have the “monarchist” authority this administration has. They chastise both Congress (the current one as well as the ones since 2001) and the press for not playing their proper roles in the balance of power. The thing that was most helpful for me was their counterpoint to the argument that the country can’t afford another impeachment proceeding after the Clinton one; it appears that the country cannot afford not to.

Interestingly, I read about it first, not in the Huffington Post or even the knowledgeable Mark Evanier. Rather, I saw it first in Steve Gerber’s blog. Gerber is a comic book writer of some note, probably best known by the general public for Howard the Duck, and he wrote the second blog I ever read, after Fred Hembeck’s, and was the final inspiration for me starting my blog less than a month after he started his.

Not so incidentally, Steve’s been having some medical issues; I wish him well.
***
Jay Kinney unearths a 1952 T-Man comic that explains the Bush-Cheney policy in the Middle East. (Thanks, Dan.)
***
You know how there are people around you, and you don’t even know their names, then they’re gone. Someone on the floor in which I worked died last week. I didn’t recognize the name of Jane Neale, but when I saw the pictures, I said, “Oh, her!” She was always quite pleasant to me. My condolences to her family, friends and colleagues.
***
How racism hurts — literally. This was a story in the July 15, 2007 Boston Globe by Madeline Drexler that the Wall Street Journal found important enough to excerpt this week. Essentially, the premise is that dealing with discrimination makes one physically sick.
***
Evanier wanted to know whether it was worth saving an L.A.-based Felix the Cat. I say yes; it could become iconic, like Albany’s RCA dog, Nipper.
***
Bill Geist is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next year. I found that very funny because, back in January, he did a story for CBS Sunday Morning exploring what it would take to get on the Walk. He’ll be joining such pikers as actress Angela Bassett, Hemby’s friend Stan Lee[Dec. 28], and the late George Harrison.
***
Just How Long Does the Average Baseball Career Last?
***
I’m a movie star!
OK, I’m not.
***
Every month in which there is a staff birthday, our group has a little party, and this week, we had strawberry shortcake. This led to a conversation about a product called Dream Whip Whipped Topping Mix. Long before Cool Whip, or that stuff in the aerosol can, there was this powdery stuff to which you added milk and whipped. I hadn’t seen it in a while and wondered if it was still being made, and it is, at least in Canada. But what I don’t understand is why it’s available on Amazon (5.2-Ounce Boxes-Pack of 6), “Better Together” with the Pixar movie Cars (Widescreen Edition) DVD.
I also opined that, even as a kid, SpaghettiOs were vile, and this led to a discussion of people defending them. Maybe they’ve changed the formulas, but when I was (trying not to be) eating them, the sauce tasted like watery tomato soup.

ROG

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