Monday, July 16, 2007

Getting out of the heat

We are getting out of Arizona for a couple of weeks. Thought we’d kill two birds with one stone and take our daughter to her freshman college orientation up in Seattle and visit our son while we are there as well. Should be a nice 20-30 degrees (at least) cooler there than it is here in Arizona (today it was 110 degrees with blowing dust – yuck).

I can hardly wait. I’ve been missing both our sons something awful. So getting to see at least one of them is going to be such a treat. And it couldn’t be coming at a better time, the heat is really starting to make me cranky. Now all we have to do is figure out how to get to the Ukraine to see our other son --- and I’ll be one happy seething mom.

But anyway… posting will be a bit spotty these next two weeks. I am taking my notebook with me, but we are doing some side trips and I am unsure about internet access in some of those places.

Talk to you soon…


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Glad to hear your family will be fine, now stop attacking mine Senator

So I guess it’s time for the not-so-pure-as-the-driven-snow Senator Vitter to grovel and beg for forgiveness. Apparently he started the process by emailing his supporters the day after he admitted that his telephone number turned up in the phone records of an escort service run by the D.C. Madam:

Dear Friend,

I write with great sadness, as well as great affection and respect for you as a friend, about disclosures that are appearing today in the media.

I have addressed this matter very directly (referring to the statement given to reporters), and deeply apologize again for letting you and others down. I also write today to say three other things.

First, thank you again for all the love and support you’ve always offered Wendy and myself. It is one of the greatest gifts we’ve been blessed with.

Second, our family will be fine, though we certainly appreciate your continuing thoughts and prayers. Those are a great comfort to all of us.

And third, I will live every day always striving to fully honor that friendship and those prayers.


My reply (even though I'm hardly a supporter):

Well Senator, I am truly glad to hear your family will be fine. I hate to see innocent people hurt by sanctimonious hypocrite blowhards. And you know sir, I know firsthand how that feels since you are one of those sanctimonious hypocrite blowhards who has been hurting my family by targeting one of my children with your stupid Federal Marriage Amendment and Sanctity of Marriage grandstanding.

So now that we know that this was just a big ole opportunity to snow-job your base, and that you really didn’t mean any of that Protect Marriage nonsense, how about we make a deal? You step down off your soapbox, stop blaming gays for ruining marriage, and maybe both our families can heal from the wounds you've inflicted.

How does that sound? Do we have a deal?


Seething Mom


Family Values - GOP style


Show me, don’t tell me

There are certain things people say that immediately get my hackles up. For instance, when someone tells me to “trust them”, the same knee-jerk response comes spilling out of my mouth every time: “I never trust someone who has to tell me to trust them. Trust is earned”.

I suppose I’m being a bit rude, but no one gains my trust that easily. Call it bad manners or world-weary cynicism or a lesson learned from the school of hard knocks, but I’m making no apologies. And I feel so strongly about this that I made it one of the most important lessons I tried to teach my children as they were growing up: actions speak louder than words.

Well I’m sad to say my little “distrust” problem has gotten a lot worse these past 6 ½ years. I think I might have a severe case of reverse Dog-whistle politics:

Dog-whistle politics, also known as a code word, is a term used to describe a type of political campaigning or speechmaking using coded language, which appears to mean one thing to the general population but which has a different or more specific meaning for a targeted subgroup of the audience.

When I hear words or phrases like Family Values, Christian Values, Sanctity of Marriage, Morality, Virtues, blah, blah, blah, I actually recoil now. And I know for a fact that my reaction is not the desired reaction the person using those words is looking for. But use those words with me and all you get from me is the stink-eye and a whole lot of distrust with a healthy dose of disdain mixed in. In fact, say those words to me and you’ve lost me.

I guess that’s what 6 ½ years of using hate and homophobia masked as Christian Values to gain votes with the most hateful members of your base will do to the mother of a gay son.

But wait! Could a new TIME magazine poll be indicating that you don’t have to be the mother or father of a gay child to be as turned off by the mixing of faux sanctimony with politics as I am? Steve sure thinks so:

[T]he poll found that Americans have strong views about religion and politics in the era of George W. Bush. In May 2004, half (49%) of American voters said President Bush’s faith made him a strong leader while only 36% said it made him too closed-minded. Today, voters have reversed their opinion about the role of Bush’s faith: 50% now say it makes him too closed-minded and 34% say it makes him a strong leader. Similarly, while in 2004, only 27% said that Bush’s use of faith did more to divide the country rather than unite it, today, 43% feel that way.

And in fact Digby goes so far as to say she thinks that even though the author of this TIME magazine article:

…insists that the Democrats are going to have trouble winning unless they can appeal to religious voters when the poll she’s citing actually says that people are dramatically turning away from these explicitly religious appeals.

And you know what? This Seething Mom sure as hell hopes Digby is right. If people cannot see that when they vote for someone who pounds their fist in self-righteous piety and drones on about family values, sanctity of marriage, the evils of homosexuality, public lewdness, internet predators, ethics, morality, and all the other buzzwords so popular with the GOP these days, the only thing they are going to get is empty words and hypocrites like these: Vitter, Gingrich, Delay, Haggard, Allen, Foley, Cunningham … oh and the worst President ever --- George W. Bush.

My advice to Democratic presidential candidates, leave the God talk to the hypocrites, it isn’t working anymore. Show us your morals and ethics with your actions. And for heaven’s sake, stay the hell out of our private lives, unless of course you want us peepin into yours (but you might want to ask David Vitter how that's working out for him first).


Friday, July 13, 2007

McCain Unraveled by 'Gay Sweaters'?

I have written about John McCain in the past, but it is not a subject about which I enjoy writing. In fact, it is a subject that makes me quite sad. For me, writing about him is akin to composing the obituary of a recently deceased quirky relative you really liked but in a quirky strange sort of arms-length way, or helplessly watching a loved one fade away as the result of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

I used to admire John McCain. I would never have voted for him since he is way too conservative on the issues near and dear to my heart, but that didn’t stop me from admiring his service to his country, his principled stands, or his courage (back in the day) in taking on the Religious Right and calling them what they were: agents of intolerance:

Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left, or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right.

But sadly, most of what made me admire John McCain is gone. And I now feel I am watching an old friend die a painfully long and protracted death. And now I have to add another adjective to the list – embarrassing:

In the final days of his imploding candidacy, John McCain has taken a page out of Richard Nixon's play book, finding increasingly bizarre explanations for his political failures. Strangest of all: He reportedly feels his handlers forced him to wear "gay sweaters."

Gay Sweaters? What the hell does that mean John? Gay Sweaters? Are you for real?

Today, I am officially done. Anything that I might have admired about the man is GONE, replaced by embarrassment that he is even my Senator. Anything good I could have said about him is GONE, replaced by scorn for his complete abandonment of every principle that made people from both sides of the aisle admire him. He is beyond repair and he should do to his campaign what you’d do with a dying beloved pet in unbearable pain: put it down, bury it, mourn, and move on.

So Senator McCain, take this in the manner in which it is intended, as a piece of sincere advice from a concerned constituent whose heart is in the right place: QUIT.

It’s over Sir. It was not meant to be. Now you are even endangering your Senate seat by continuing this farce. Just look at this letter to the editor in yesterday’s paper:

After he loses race, let's retire no-show McCain

Jul. 12, 2007 12:00 AM

After Arizona Sen. John McCain inevitably loses his bid to become the Republican nominee for president, he will return to Arizona with his hat in his hand and with false humility to ask voters to once again elect him to represent our interests in Congress.

This is the same man who missed almost 50 consecutive votes in the Senate. He couldn't be bothered to vote on stem-cell research, Iraq war funding or the immigration bill. He was too busy trying (unsuccessfully, I might add) to raise money for his failing George Bush rubber-stamp campaign.

McCain deserves nothing from us but forced retirement. - Rick Acree,Phoenix

Please sir, don’t let it end this way. Go out with dignity. Quit now before you do any more damage to your once respectable image. Retire, enjoy your beautiful wife and family and take solace in the fact that you gave it your all.

And then hope that the people of Arizona only remember the good times.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

After Sicko --- What's next?

My husband and I went to see Sicko the other night. It was an unbelievably powerful movie. In fact I have to agree with the BlueCross V.P. who wrote in a (leaked) confidential memo that made its way to Michael Moore via an employee at Capital Blue Cross:

"You would have to be dead to be unaffected by Moore's movie," he writes. "Sicko" leaves audiences feeling "ashamed to be...a capitalist, and part of a 'me' society instead of a 'we' society."

This movie hits its mark. It’s a true “Bulls-eye”. Now with that said, I must make a confession. I was never a Michael Moore fan. I didn’t dislike him personally, but I always felt he did more harm than good to the cause about which he had set out to rectify. And I questioned whether he was really getting the result he had hoped for or scoring one for the Gipper (so to speak).

I realize now that much of that “damage” I was seeing was the result of the powerful “Slime and Demean” machine that the Right would set into motion with an amazingly perfected coordination each time Michael Moore would release a movie. And with a lot of shame, I must admit, it affected my opinion of Mr. Moore’s work.

But what makes this latest movie so very powerful, and so very very scary to the Right, is that it is a lot less political in the sense that it is about a subject that affects everyone equally, not just Democrats, not just Republicans, not just Independents, not just the poor and uninsured, but everyone. And this is what is scaring the Republicans right on down to their JC Penny 3-pack skivvies. Not even low-key, soft-spoken, sweet little Wolfie Blitzer and Dr. Sanje Gupta are going to be able to put any sizable chinks in this movie’s armor. This movie is resonating with people.

After Sicko ended and my husband and I were walking out of the theater, I said to him, “I think I am going to write Michael Moore and ask him to consider making his next documentary about gay rights and the gay-demonization going on in so many Churches and in the Republican Party right now.” My husband replied, “Do it”.

I cannot think of a subject more suited to Michael Moore’s style than this one. No sermonizing, no lecturing, no fudging the facts. Just walk in to a church or a Republican Political gathering with a hidden camera and film. What would be more powerful than catching the bigotry and horror on film?

Well, I guess Michael Moore agrees with me. Look what I just read this morning:

Controversial filmmaker Michael Moore has revealed that he might take on homophobia and the anti-gay movement in his next documentary.

“I think it’s a very ripe subject for someone like me to make a movie about,” he admitted, in an interview with The Advocate. “Simply because we are not there yet and it remains one of the last open wounds on our soul that we are not willing to fix yet.”

Now I know (from looking at comments and reactions) that there are many who are genuinely worried about Michael Moore doing more harm than good to this cause. I respect that. I used to be one of those people, but I don’t think any more harm can come to this cause than has already been inflicted by the Churches and the Republican Party.

Would I be saying this if I had not seen Sicko? Maybe not. So if you are one of those who fears more harm than good can come from Michael Moore’s entering the fray, please go see Sicko and see if that changes your mind. And do let me know. I am genuinely curious to see what others think.


I'm so tired of the party of white straight guys

A reader wrote into Andrew Sullivan today:

In saying merely that the GOP has shown a contempt for gay voters, you are being far too fair. The more accurate statement is that the GOP has built its base on a political ideology that demonizes gays. And also feminists. And scientists. And anyone who doesn't hold traditional Jewish or Christian views. That IS the culture war. When that old-fashioned God and gay hatred are used to define one side, that puts a lot of us on the other. And what are the rest of us to do, in our political efforts in a two-party system? Treat equally the party that demonizes us and the party that welcomes us?

Even if the latter party is a disorganized opposition party with historical obligations to a wide variety of special interest groups, even if one might prefer some of the specific planks of the first party, it's hard to overlook that demonization. That counts for a lot in politics. And should. Gays, scientists, and atheists have been told by the GOP that they ARE the enemy. In practical politics, a group's demonization by one of the two major political parties may look quite a bit like its "merger" with the other. It's important, nonetheless, to understand the root cause of that shift.

This is a letter that hits the nail on the head for me. I have never been a one issue voter, but even if there were things about the Republican platform with which I agreed, they would never ever get my vote. I feel about the Republican Party the way I feel about the Catholic Church, THEY DON’T WANT NO STINKIN GAYS OR GAY-LOVING DEMONS within their ranks. I get their message and I am taking it seriously: I am not welcome. But that is ok, I want no part of them either.

Try as I might, I cannot understand anyone with any self-respect being a “Gay Republican”, the term itself is as much an oxymoron to me as “Jumbo Shrimp”. I am not gay, but I cannot ever imagine calling myself a Catholic or a Republican again. Not with how these two institutions have defined themselves today. And though I am sure there are good people in both institutions (well I know many good Catholics and a few good Republicans too), the stench of the bigotry and the ignorance has become so prevalent within the leadership ranks of both that I cannot imagine even entering either one of their tiny little crowded tents again. There’s no room for me or anyone who doesn’t march to their tune.

Could that change? I guess there is always a possibility. But I doubt it will happen anytime soon. Both institutions have become so entrenched in this “us against them” dynamic that I don’t see any significant changes I could live with coming in my lifetime.

So I’m a proud Independent who will vote for gay-friendly Democrats in the next few elections. And all I can say to the Republicans is: enjoy your vacation in the wilderness white straight guys, you’ve earned it.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007



Dear Senator David Vitter

So much has come out these past few days about you that this Seething Mom is having a hard time digesting it all. Now normally, I would not give a hoot about your personal transgressions as I am firmly entrenched in the camp that feels government should stay the hell out of people’s private lives, and visa versa. But (and this is a big but) all of that went out the window the day you chose to grandstand on “moral issues” and the “sanctity of marriage” using the promise of permanently ripping rights away from one of my children.

The irony and the hypocrisy are just so rich and certainly not lost on those whose lives you tried to permanently impact with your sanctimonious idiocy. And unfortunately for you, I don’t think any of this is going away anytime soon. It’s just too fun to watch the high and mighty fall from their high and mighty perches. I guess you should have taken all those skeletons in your own closet into account before getting up on your pulpit to preach morality, wax poetically about sanctity of marriage, and demonize others. And even more unfortunately for you, people just don’t like hypocrites and frauds especially ones whose whole shtick is protecting everyone else’s marriage while destroying their own.

And speaking of irony, let me just throw your very own words back at you:

Some current polls may suggest that people are turned off by the whole Clinton mess and don't care -- because the stock market is good, the Clinton spin machine is even better or other reasons. But that doesn't answer the question of whether President Clinton should be impeached and removed from office because he is morally unfit to govern.

The writings of the Founding Fathers are very instructive on this issue. They are not cast in terms of political effectiveness at all but in terms of right and wrong -- moral fitness. Hamilton writes in the Federalists Papers:

(No. 65) that impeachable offenses are those that "proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust."


Maybe it’s time for you to put your money where your mouth is. If “sanctity of marriage” is, to paraphrase you, an issue more important than any other facing this country, then don’t you think your own transgressions have risen to the same impeachable levels you thought President Clinton’s offenses did?

Resign sir. Show us that not everything that comes out of your mouth is complete and total bullsh*t. And look at the bright side, you’ll be walking away without a job, but at least all your body parts will be intact.


Seething Mom

P.S. There are others who are better able to stand back and look at your situation much more objectively than I can and they have some thoughts and/or questions for you. Here are just a few.

From Mark:

  1. Hiring the services of a prostitute may or may not be a sin, and God may or may not have forgiven David Vitter. (Apparently he has a direct line to Heaven, but I don't.) But it's certainly a crime. It's bad for lawmakers to commit crimes.

  1. If Sen. Vitter thinks that hiring prostitutes shouldn't be a crime, does he plan to propose repealing the law? (Even under Home Rule, Congress has the power to change the laws in the District of Columbia.) If he thinks it should be a crime, does he plan to confess and plead guilty?

  1. The Bush Administration is so fervently opposed to prostitution that it opposes providing HIV-prevention services to workers in the sex trade, putting them, their customers, and their customers' spouses at risk of what remains an incurable disease. Does Sen. Vitter think he and his wife deserve to get AIDS from his interactions with prostitutes? If not, would he like to reconsider his support for that stupid and vicious policy?

From Ann:

[Senator] Vitter situates his misdeed in the realm of religion and private morality ("This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible"...), but Palfrey [the D.C. Madam] can't say God has forgiven her and walk free. In fact, Vitter's statement hurts Palfrey because it strongly implies that Palfrey was doing what she's accused of. Vitter's confession -- intended to move us to mercy -- links him to criminal activity, but only she is facing criminal punishment.

Shouldn't the expiation of Vitter's sins wait until he has introduced a bill that would create a federal right to engage in the business of prostitution? It's not a matter to be resolved within the realm of church and family as long as Palfrey is being prosecuted.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

This just in

According to Papa Ratzi, if you’re not a Catholic, you’re wasting your time because all other churches are either “defective” or not “true churches”.

Huh, that sure leaves the victims of pedophile priests, gays, lesbians, and anyone else pushed away by this “true” Church in a real lurch.

That’s a whole lotta souls being neglected. Oh well. I guess we’re on our own. {sigh}

Hat tip Mustang Bobby


Monday, July 09, 2007

Another Sanctimonious Republican Hypocrite Caught with his Pants Down

Well, well, well. Lookie what the D.C. Madam dragged in. Seems another high and mighty Republican hypocrite has been exposed as a family values fraud:

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., apologized Monday night for "a very serious sin in my past" after his telephone number appeared among those associated with an escort service operated by the so-called "D.C. Madam."

Yep, that’s right folks, that’d be the very same Senator who said this back in June of 2006 about the federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage:

“I don’t believe there’s any issue that’s more important than this one.”

Well Mr. Vitter, seems to me you should stop worrying about the harm my son would do to the institution of marriage should he be allowed to marry the person he loves. I don’t think he could devastate a marriage any more than a lying, cheating, adulterous, hypocrite who cheats on his wife and kids – do you?

My advice to you Mr. Vitter: Resign, go home, and work on your own damn marriage. And shut your mouth about protecting the institution of marriage and family values, you’ve lost all credibility on the subject, you fraud. And for God’s sake, shut the hell up about Christian values, I don’t think Jesus looked too kindly on adulterers.


Reactions from people whose opinions I care about are as follows.


Uh huh. Meanwhile, Mr. Can’t-Keep-It-In-His-Pants voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment to ban same-sex marriage (both times), because, ya know, two dudez he doesn’t even know getting hitched might undermine the sanctity of his fucking marriage—unlike frequenting a prostitute.

I imagine Senator Vitter might argue that his marriage is none of my business—and he’s right. Just like it’s none of his business if two women or two men want to get married, but he hasn’t extended the courtesy of MYOB to my gay brothers and sisters, so I shan’t extend it to him.

Paddy: Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source
hyp·o·crite /ˈhɪpəkrɪt/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[hip-uh-krit] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation

–noun 1. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs
2. a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, esp. one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.



Update #2


To be clear I don’t have that much problem with the kind of services that Palfrey offered – prosecutors say that the brokered high-end prostitution, Palfrey claims that her employees offered BDSM-style “sex play.” That said, being illegal nearly everywhere and certainly in DC, paying for sex should ding the credibility of anybody whose job it is to write laws. I think in general that it’s silly to criminalize prostitution, but as long as legislators see fit to ban it for the rest of us they have a certain responsibility to respect the ban themselves. Legal “sex play,” bondage etc., really doesn’t bother me at all.

But there’s the rub: far more than for Democrats, Republicans put themselves forward as moral avatars, righteous defenders of the sort of theocratic values that gets their evangelical base warm and flushed. If an equal number of Democrats and Republicans turned up on Palfrey’s list the GOP base would find itself in a far more punishing mood than the Democrats’. I have little doubt that GOP pols will predominate (there were more of them during Palfrey’s time, they had more power and in my experience people who wear their piety on their sleeve are usually overcompensating). But even if they don’t, the devil’s bargain that Republicans made with the evangelical community ensures that the pain will be mostly theirs.

Having no fondness for the GOP or the moral scolds in their base, that situation suits me just fine.


Isn't it sweet? The Republican hypocrite parade continues as Senator David Vitter (R-LA), a co-author of the Federal Marriage Amendment, wasn't protecting his own marital vows when he had some sex-for-hire from escort service Pamela Martin and Associates before he ran for the Senate.

Since his name turned up on the recently released phone records, he had to come clean, so to speak. You know the drill -- God and his wife have forgiven him and he's really, really sorry (that he was caught).

(Go read Pam’s full post. She bravely trudges deep into the swamp to get freeper reaction.)

And one more little tidbit from Pam’s post: back in 2000 a reporter asked Vitter’s wife, Wendy, if she would be as forgiving as Hillary Clinton if she were to learn her husband had been unfaithful.

Her response: "I'm a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary," Wendy Vitter told Newhouse News. "If he does something like that, I'm walking away with one thing, and it's not alimony, trust me."



Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Kentucky, you have my sincerest condolences

Hoowee, you gotta be some other kind of homophobe bigot to call for a special session of the legislature just so you can rip away insurance benefits from gay families, but that is exactly what Governor Ernie Fletcher of Kentucky is planning on doing. It takes some other kind of hate to do this, especially in light of the fact that there will be innocent children who will be impacted as well.

The mind reels:

Legislation to prohibit publicly funded universities and colleges from extending domestic partner benefits to families of faculty and staff was narrowly defeated last march in committee.

The bill was prepared after the University of Louisville decided in July to offer the benefits - making it the first publicly funded college in the state to do so. (story) The University of Kentucky later followed also offering health benefits to same-sex domestic partners.


State Sen. Ernesto Scorsone (D) the state's only openly gay legislator is accusing Fletcher of "trying to score political points by hurting people."

"It's clear what he's doing here on the call, and, quite frankly, it's sad we have a governor who is a doctor and he's trying to keep people from buying health insurance," Scorsone told the Herald-Leader newspaper.

Well all I can say to ole Ernie is: Let the Brain Drain Begin. No wonder Gay-friendly cities enjoy more economic prosperity than ass-backwards places like Ernie's neck of the woods:

Richard Florida, a professor from George Mason University and author of the book The Rise of the Creative Class argued that the more "gay-friendly" a city is, the more economically prosperous it will be.

In his March 2007 paper "There Goes the Neighborhood," Florida uses something he calls the "Bohemian-Gay Index" to demonstrate that "artistic, bohemian, and gay populations" have a "substantial effects on housing values across all permutations of the model and across all region sizes." He also found that more open and "gay-friendly" areas generally support higher income levels.


After realizing that the top 5 "gay-friendly" cities in the US -- San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Portland (Oregon), and Tampa -- are also prosperous centers of technological innovation, Florida decided to do a more thorough study. The results, he said, held up for other cities as well.

"Places that were open to gay and lesbian people were also the kind of places that could attract not only smart young people, but also Indian and Chinese immigrants who come here and start a lot of high tech companies," he said. "They were attracting people across the board, building up a talent base, and then innovating and starting these new enterprises."

Florida said he thinks it is the open mindedness of these cities that has allowed economically successful communities to emerge, rather than prior economic success attracting open minded people.

Well all I know is that when our 3 children were young, my husband’s employer gave him the choice of 3 cities to which we could transfer and move our family. One of those cities was in the South, but had the mildest weather of the three cities, so naturally, this little Arizona native opted for that city in the South.

My husband, in no uncertain terms, made it clear that he would never, ever raise his 3 children in the South. Never. End of discussion. We moved to Minnesota instead. And guess what? We had 12 of the most wonderful, albeit frigid, years of our lives. I long to live in a progressive city again.

It took me a while to “get” why my husband was so adamant on this point, but stories like the one above have hammered the point home with me. I cannot even imagine raising my children in such a homophobic, backward state like Kentucky and then finding out one of my own children was literally an enemy of the state.


Faith and the Fourth: Wave the flag for separation of church and state

One of my favorite guest bloggers over at The Carpetbagger Report, Morbo, has a great post up about Separation of Church and State and the unique way in which America deals with it. It is a great post and should be read in its entirety, but here is a snippet:

Our founders had lots of good ideas, of course — but few can be called truly American, since most of them were borrowed from other societies. The ancient Greeks had democracy. The Romans had republican government for a while. Habeas Corpus? It’s in the Magna Carta.

This is not to say that the United States did not refine or improve these concepts. We did. But our founders did not come up with them. They did devise the American church-state model from whole cloth. From the research I’ve done, it seems that no other nation or peoples set up religious freedom the way we did with a two-pronged guarantee of free exercise of religion and no establishment. I call it what it is: separation of church and state. And it works.

Prior to the creation of the United States, some countries experimented with toleration. They extended religious freedom, but usually within the framework of some type of established church or preferred faith. This was a step in the right direction but did not go far enough. It’s nice to be allowed to exist, to be tolerated, but real liberty finds no refuge on such a fragile platform.


Before our Constitution, the idea that government could survive without the prop of religion was unthinkable. After the Constitution and Bill of Rights were ratified, some ministers were sure the new nation would not survive. After all, its governing charter was secular and God was not even appealed to in a general way.

The descendents of these people are still with us today. Every time I hear Bill O’Reilly rail against “secular progressives” — the moron actually thinks “secular” is a dirty word! — or listen to some TV preacher rant about how we need to be a “Christian nation” I can only shake my head. They make the same mistake every theocrat in history has made: assuming it’s their expression of faith that will be embraced by the state. In a country with hundreds, if not thousands, of Christian sects, chances are one version will triumph over others. Better to put them all on equal footing.

Too many people do not appreciate the truly American character of church-state separation. They assail the principle. They constantly try to sneak a little religion back into the public schools, post religious codes at courthouses or tax people to support “faith-based” initiatives. Some people have never reconciled themselves to the system our founders pioneered that works so well. All we can do is pledge to keep fighting.

Oh Morbo honey, don’t you worry, on this battle I’m willing to take up arms and fight to the death. Just wave James Dobson’s picture in this momma’s face and there'll be no stopping me.


Thoughts for this 4th of July

To say that I have been disillusioned and depressed about the direction our country has been headed for the past 6 ½ years is an understatement of epic proportions. I just cannot shake this terrible feeling of doom and gloom and I am overwhelmed with worry about whether we can undo the grave damage this current administration has done to this great country. And with each new day and all the revelations that come with them, my pessimism has been growing exponentially.

Thankfully I had a much needed reality check yesterday when my husband and I got to talk with our oldest son by phone, something we don’t get to do very often now since he joined the Peace Corps in March of this year.

I have missed my oldest son terribly. He and I used to spend hours just talking about politics and the state of our world and I would revel in his youthful optimism and idealism. But I would also beam with pride because he was always the first one to take action and become involved in causes about which he felt passionately. In other words, he was both a dreamer and a “make-it-happen-er”.

So when he told us early in his college career that he thought he might like to join the Peace Corps when he graduated, I knew he probably would. I also knew he was introducing the idea early and gently so that his father and I had time to get comfortable with it.

Needless to say, the flavor of our conversations is quite different now that he is so far away and removed from American politics. We fill our precious phone minutes mostly with talk about his work with the Peace Corps and we don’t usually mention the stuff going on here unless he specifically asks. Well yesterday he specifically asked and all I could do was spill out the doom and gloom that has been eating away at my gut for so long. And with each thing I’d recount I found myself talking faster and faster, frantically trying to get it all in before our almost inevitable loss of phone connection.

He listened with his usual patience as my husband and I took turns listing everything that had been happening. And after we finished our long litany of horrors we heard this big sigh coming from thousands of miles away. And then our son gave us the biggest 4th of July gift he could: a reality check.

He said to us, you know if I were still in the United States I’d be just as frustrated and angry as you both sound, but I am not in the United States right now and I have had the chance to stand back and see that even with all that is wrong right now, it is still the greatest country in the world.

That simple statement was just what I needed to hear. It took my son to remind me that even with everything that is going on right now, we still have so much for which to be thankful. So with that in mind, I am taking the rest of today off from seething to celebrate what has made this country great and I am putting George W. Bush and his cabal on a back burner (although I wish it could be a jail cell instead).

And tomorrow, I will start seething again.

In the meantime, Happy 4th of July.


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Fun with SiteMeter

Ok, I just had a good belly laugh compliments of SiteMeter, the software I use to track the traffic in and out of my blog.

One of the pieces of information SiteMeter gives me is the “Referring URL” (if there is one) of each visitor to my blog. Someone googled: "I Loathe George W. Bush" and a post from my blog came up #3 in the search results. The title of that post: George Bush – Go to Hell!

Well Mark, I guess you are right. This momma is pretty damn angry! But I make no apologies for my anger. And guess what Mark? I don’t seem to be alone in “loathing” George W. Bush. I know of at least one other person in Saratoga Springs, who isn’t a big fan of this President either.


A Seething Mom can dream - can't she?

Picture swiped from Melissa



In his very own words, from his very own book, "A Charge To Keep”:

"I don't believe my role is to replace the verdict of a jury with my own," - George W. Bush on why he signed death warrants for 152 inmates as governor of Texas.

This is a man who has absolutely no conscience. Absolutely no morality. And absolutely no Christian values. And those that defend him at this point are just as despicable.

How many more nails in the coffin do we need before we can bury this shameful chapter of our history? The stench from the rot is unbearable.

Hat tip Andrew


Monday, July 02, 2007


It really is hilarious watching these rightwing nutcases defend their homophobia. What an embarrassment today’s Republican Party is. They deserve what they’ve got coming in 2008. I’m stocking up on popcorn as we speak.

But on a more serious note, I just don’t understand why any gay or lesbian would even want to serve a country that is so willing to discriminate against them and strip them of the basic rights that every other American enjoys, but alas, even my own son gave serious thought to joining the military ---- that is, until his father and I had a very long talk with him.