Saturday, April 2

Time for Positive Change

Today I had an oppurtunity to call in and speak on the Laura Flanders Show on Air America Radio (KTLK 1150 Los Angeles). My call reflected a sentiment I've had for some time that Liberals and Democrats need to stop whining.

I've been a Democrat my entire life, but have never been a devout Liberal. I agree with many things Liberals expouse, but to be fair I agree with many things Conservatives expouse too. For me, Ideaology for it's own sake is the greatest danger to rational thought, and the perfect correction to this danger is the intellectually honest recognition of truth and reality. I don't care if an idea comes from the left of the right, all I care is whether it's an good idea that effectively and comprehensive addresses and corrects a problem. I've been a computer programmer nearly all my adult life, and my experience as such guide this view - it doesn't matter what idealogy you apply to a (programming) problem, all that matters is whether you fix the problem or not. Often the same is true of real life problems as well. Solve the problem, ideology usually does little more than get in the way.

As a result, without being able to honestly claim to being either Liberal or Conservative, I claim the moniker of Radical Centrist, by which I mean that I think the best views and strategies for addressing America's problem lie somewhere between traditional Liberalism and Conservatism, while remaining radically different from both.

It's clear that Conservatives have a loud and well recognized voice in today's politics, as do Liberals via new outlets such as blogs and Air America, but what remains almost entirely unheard is the voice of the Centrist, those who I believe actually comprise a far greater percentage of the American populace than either the far left or the far right. Rather than being simply Republican and Liberals LITE as many would claim, I believe that Centrists can have a doctrine of their own, independent of either of the others while maintaning footing within each. Centrists are people who don't let their fealty to one particular party, in and of itself, determine their politics. They look at the facts, and make an independant determination based on the best of those fact and the most realitistic and rational factors.

Bill Clinton was a Radical Centrist. He called it the "Third Way" of politics, or being a New Democrat. More strident Liberals such as Michael Moore have called him "The best Republican President American ever had..." while hyper-conservatives considered him the son of the devil. He was neither. He was a problem solver, and right now America has a lot of problems to solve.

I admire Republican Senator John McCain for his courage on issues such as Campaign Finance Reform, but am disappointed that he has shown nothing but moral cowardice when it comes to addressing the many faults of George W. Bush in handling our National Security. Similarly, I think that many Democrats have in recent years and months shown themselves moral cowards of equal and even greater severity. Be all of this as it may, it's not the most pressing issue facing America. Right now the Republican party remains in the clutches of the most extreme right-wing fundemental facist elements of it's own party - and the Democrat remain in confusion, dispair and disarray. This has to change.

It's quite easy to sit back and endlessly catalogue the real and imagined faults of the Bush Administration. What's more difficult, and more vital - is determining a strategy for what to do about it. This is what I discussed, albiet briefly, with Laura on Live Radio today at 6:20 pm PST.

After the 2004 Election, Michael Moore talked of Democrats as being "Victims". Shell-shocked and stunned at the woe that had befallen them. This rhetoric is damaging and misguided. Democrats must realize that they are Survivors. They very nearly unseated an incumbent President on re-election in the midst of a War! This was no small feat, and far from slinking back in shame - they need to dry their tears and realize they almost sacked Olympus and burned Zeus at the stake. It's high time to ready the Seige Engine for the next assault, not wimper over your spilt milk.

The enemy has bested us so far, but the war is far from over and in order to surpass them we must meet the challenge they present head on. They are resourceful, resilitiant, imaginative and completely, utterly ruthless. They'll stop at literally nothing. It's easy to blame the outcome of the 2004 Election on the stupidity and gullability of the America public - ("those idiots voted against their own best interest") - but far more helpful to realize there is no doubt the far right have become master politicians who should not be underestimated on any front. It's time to step up and get our game on, from the grass roots to the tip-top of the DNC.

What I told Laura is this: Democrats (and for that matter disaffected moderate Republicans) need a new strategy for positive change. Enough bitching. If you want a chance back at the reigns of power you have to develop and deliver a clear and effective vision for what you would do with them once you had them in your hands. How would you address protecting life, the family or the environment, increasing the productivity and growth of American businesses, the prosperity of American workers, National Security, Law and Order and the promotion of strong values of morality?

All of this is what I plan to address in my own way in coming the coming days, hopefully I won't be alone - because it's vital that this discussion take place and an unified and clear vision of Democratic/Liberal/Centrist values be established before it's too late.

Update - Positive Posts:
Ending the Birth Tax
Blue Curtain Ads: True Campaign Reform
Immigration Reform
Sex Wars:
Episode I - Missed Education
Episode II - Abortion Distortion
Frank Vyan Walton

In the Name of Politics

March 30, 2005

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

In the Name of Politics

By JOHN C. DANFORTH

St. Louis — BY a series of recent initiatives, Republicans have transformed our party into the political arm of conservative Christians. The elements of this transformation have included advocacy of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, opposition to stem cell research involving both frozen embryos and human cells in petri dishes, and the extraordinary effort to keep Terri Schiavo hooked up to a feeding tube.

Standing alone, each of these initiatives has its advocates, within the Republican Party and beyond. But the distinct elements do not stand alone. Rather they are parts of a larger package, an agenda of positions common to conservative Christians and the dominant wing of the Republican Party.

Christian activists, eager to take credit for recent electoral successes, would not be likely to concede that Republican adoption of their political agenda is merely the natural convergence of conservative religious and political values. Correctly, they would see a causal relationship between the activism of the churches and the responsiveness of Republican politicians. In turn, pragmatic Republicans would agree that motivating Christian conservatives has contributed to their successes.

High-profile Republican efforts to prolong the life of Ms. Schiavo, including departures from Republican principles like approving Congressional involvement in private decisions and empowering a federal court to overrule a state court, can rightfully be interpreted as yielding to the pressure of religious power blocs.

In my state, Missouri, Republicans in the General Assembly have advanced legislation to criminalize even stem cell research in which the cells are artificially produced in petri dishes and will never be transplanted into the human uterus. They argue that such cells are human life that must be protected, by threat of criminal prosecution, from promising research on diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and juvenile diabetes.

It is not evident to many of us that cells in a petri dish are equivalent to identifiable people suffering from terrible diseases. I am and have always been pro-life. But the only explanation for legislators comparing cells in a petri dish to babies in the womb is the extension of religious doctrine into statutory law.

I do not fault religious people for political action. Since Moses confronted the pharaoh, faithful people have heard God's call to political involvement. Nor has political action been unique to conservative Christians. Religious liberals have been politically active in support of gay rights and against nuclear weapons and the death penalty. In America, everyone has the right to try to influence political issues, regardless of his religious motivations.

The problem is not with people or churches that are politically active. It is with a party that has gone so far in adopting a sectarian agenda that it has become the political extension of a religious movement.

When government becomes the means of carrying out a religious program, it raises obvious questions under the First Amendment. But even in the absence of constitutional issues, a political party should resist identification with a religious movement. While religions are free to advocate for their own sectarian causes, the work of government and those who engage in it is to hold together as one people a very diverse country. At its best, religion can be a uniting influence, but in practice, nothing is more divisive. For politicians to advance the cause of one religious group is often to oppose the cause of another.

Take stem cell research. Criminalizing the work of scientists doing such research would give strong support to one religious doctrine, and it would punish people who believe it is their religious duty to use science to heal the sick.

During the 18 years I served in the Senate, Republicans often disagreed with each other. But there was much that held us together. We believed in limited government, in keeping light the burden of taxation and regulation. We encouraged the private sector, so that a free economy might thrive. We believed that judges should interpret the law, not legislate. We were internationalists who supported an engaged foreign policy, a strong national defense and free trade. These were principles shared by virtually all Republicans.

But in recent times, we Republicans have allowed this shared agenda to become secondary to the agenda of Christian conservatives. As a senator, I worried every day about the size of the federal deficit. I did not spend a single minute worrying about the effect of gays on the institution of marriage. Today it seems to be the other way around.

The historic principles of the Republican Party offer America its best hope for a prosperous and secure future. Our current fixation on a religious agenda has turned us in the wrong direction. It is time for Republicans to rediscover our roots.

John C. Danforth, a former United States senator from Missouri, resigned in January as United States ambassador to the United Nations. He is an Episcopal minister.

Friday, April 1

Life vs Freedom

Yesterday, Terri Schiavo passed away. Part of me rejoices that her spirit has finally been released from the shell it was encased within and has rejoined the peace and serenity of eternity and God. Another part of me knows full well that the world she left behind is far different than what it was just two weeks before her final day. We have a battle ahead of us people. A battle between those who would give their all (and sometimes your all even without asking you) to preserve Life and those who would instead seek to preserve Freedom.

I personally stand with the latter group, those who feel as did Patrick (Give me Liberty or give me Death) Henry, failure to live free is not truly living at all. A lot has been said about the Schiavo case, perhaps too much - much more will continue to be said. Many future debates involving the fate of the innocent and their protection - "our [Goverments] major responsibility" according to Congressman Tom DeLay - are sure to continue.

I'm pretty sure I know how the Pro-Lifers will try to frame the debate. How they'll rail at Judicial "activism", and continue to misread the lessons of Marbury v Madison which instructed us that our Constitution establish three co-equal branches of government, rather than a Master-Congress/Executive and Slave-Judiciary. Those who stand as Pro-Freedom, have no small amount of work to do to avoid being painted as "immoral pornography spreading death-worshippers".

Many have faulted Congressional Liberals and Democrats for not "stepping up" to the plate - for not taking a stand. But I think their relative silence so far is a blessing. Even without any real persistent effort by the Dems, the Presidents effort to reform (or rather deform) Social Security is falling flat on it's face. Dead on arrival. Not even a single bill has reached or been crafted by Congress, as the President ignores the business of the people to endlessly schlep his non-starter of a plan around the country from one staged and loyalty-oathed protected "town hall" photo-op to another.

According to former Congresional Staffer and West Wing script writer Lawence O'Donnell there is "No Way" that a Social Security Partial Privitization Bill is going to get through the Senate Finance Committee without the support of Senator Olympia Snowe (R). The Finance Committee would have to approve any substantial changes to Social Security, and is current split 7 to 5 (Repubs to Dems). Without Snowe, who has already stated her abject opposition to the Presidents proposals, the vote count goes to 6 to 6 and the bill can not pass, and with all poll numbers on the subject heading toward the subtropics, that opposition isn't likely to wilt any time soon. Like I said, DOA. And the Dems have yet to fire a shot.

Similarly, the entire Schiavo fiasco has damaged the standing of the President and Congress as gross over-reachers, upsurping the seperation of powers to stick their collective busy-body noses into this sad and very personal family tragedy. Bush's approval rating numbers are now looking practically antarctic, even after the big bounce he recieved from the master stroke of delaying the Iraqi election - the Iraqi people had been begging for it for many months - until after the attack on Fallujah and just before the State of the Union. I have to commend his tremendous political savvy at turning his own flip-flop on the issue of Iraqi elections into a temporary political coup and fantastic set-piece of live theater (I know my middle-finger is still slighly purple around the edges, how 'bout yours?)

From all this - I see hope. The President and this Congress are IMO quite power-mad, and growing increasingly so each and every day. They have no sense of restraint, no sense of impropriety - only and overriding hubris which drives their moral entitlement into a murky realm where the ends justifies the means no matter how clearly immoral and intellectually dishonest that means may be. Just look at the record: They staged a phony excuse to get us into a war on Iraq, using Intelligence that was "Dead Wrong", and got away with it. They've run a mini-concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay - resulting in the in-custody deaths of nearly 150 "enemy combatants" and clearly inhumane treatment of hundreds of others, and got away with it. They Secretly planned an Energy policy that resulted in rolling black-outs all over California, a massive stock-market crash and rise of The Governator - and got away with it. Massive unneccesary tax cuts, primarily for those who already have plenty of liquid funds and are increasing exporting American jobs overseas, driving the dollar to an all-time low and national debt, trade and budget defecits through the ionesphere - and got away with it. From the debacle of the 2000 election until now they've gotten away with everything. Everything they've wanted, they have. Everything except this - both Social Security Reform and Terri Schiavo are dead. Indeed, the tide may have turned, if so, each of their next set of proposals may - hopefully - meet the same fate. DOA.

The next target in their sights is clear, radicalizing the Judiciary by excersizing the Senate's "Nuclear" option to jettison the 200 year-old tradition of the Filibuster, the last ditch protection by a minority against the tyranny of the majority. I have little doubt that the Republican Majority will not hesitate try to yet again to ramrod through the most extremist judges possible to the federal bench, while proclaiming that the Dems are simply annoying, whining obstructionists, conveniently ignoring their own illustrious history of obstruction during the Clinton years where nearly 60 of his judicial nominees were blocked from even coming to a vote, compared to the current Dems who have only objected to a dozen or so Bush nominees. (Can you believe the nerve of those Dem Bastards?)

The Repubs, as galvanized by their Radical Right puppet-masters and corporate financiers, clearly don't know when to quit while they're ahead, and will continue to push, and push, until they finally - hopefully - push themselves right out of the Congresional majority in 2006. Why should they stop? Their moral entitlement tells them to press on for the "moral good of the nation", and they will. So far the Dems haven't really needed to get vocal and active as the Repubs own hyper-zealousness has finally begun to become clear. But on the judicial issue, Dems will have to stand up, and stand firm. They may lose, they may win - but they need to get into this fight and do so swinging. From what I can tell from various statements by Congressional Minority Leaders Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, they are girding themselves to do exactly that. The stage is set. Soon we'll see.

As the oncoming battle begins, I pray that we recall what is truly at stake, and see clearly the competiting visions for America's future - as well as the world's - that they represent. On the one hand I see those who are driven by deeply held Judeo-Christian moral values which cause them to seek to protect all innocent life (or at least those lives they selectively choose to consider innocent and worthy of protection while forsaking others such as Baby Sun Hudson and the Iraqi people). Even with the obvious and frequent hypocrisy of their position, I think we have to assume that most people with this belief are sincere, if sometimes misguided and myopic. Life is indeed, very precious - on this we can all agree. But those who would oppose the Pro-Lifers also do so from a strong and deeply held moral conviction - that the natural state of each and every individual in this world is freedom. Although life is precious, even more precious than life itself - is the value of living free.

The law of the land in America is based on the U.S. Constitution, not the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, the Book of Mormon, or Watchtower. Although we should rightly value our various religious traditions deeply, they are not the law - and should never be so. Under the Constitution the government has limited powers, all those not granted to the Government belong to the states and most importantly the people. The Judiciary are the final arbiters of Constitutional understanding, the last bastion of protection for individual freedoms. Under the Constitution we are free, but clearly freedom is not an absolute. Freedom comes with responsibility, chief among those responsibilities is the civic duty to respect and preserve the freedom of each other, particularly when we don't necessarily agree with how those others may choose to exercise their freedoms - we must all individually and through government - still seek to protect them. As individuals and a nation, we must be willing to sacrifice all to preserve this - sometimes including life itself - or else our freedom is no more than an illusion, an allegory, a mirage.

In my view, no one person or government is free to restrict the freedom or control the actions of other people, even if they deem those actions to be "immoral" or even "against God" unless the actions of that person are themselves a greater danger to the liberty of all. Governments primary role within all this, is not just to "protect life" but to balance and protect all of these competiting freedoms, including both the freedom to live or to die. The struggle to maintain this balance I submit, will become the center of future battles for the shape of America, in the courts, within Congress and at the ballot box over abortion, contraception and reproductive health, the right of public religious expression, the right to a dignified peacful death, marriage equity, electronic privacy, national security, global terror and many other issues.

Life or Freedom?

On this question I stand with the late Mr. Henry and the apparent choice made by Mrs. Theresa Marie Schiavo. Which do you choose?

Vyan

Wednesday, March 30

Those Death-worshipping Lefties

In recent days many Conservative hosts on TV and Radio, (clearly following the latest RNC Talking Points) have begun to claim that Liberals love Death.

From the March 23 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: A question for those of you who are our friends on the left. Just answer it honestly to yourself: How many of you want Terri Schiavo to die simply because some Christian conservatives want her to live? How many of you have rejoiced when a death row inmate has been saved because of later investigation into DNA? Do you want Terri Schiavo to die because some Christian conservatives want her to live? Is that it?

From the March 24 edition of MSNBC's Scarborough Country:

SCARBOROUGH: Why is that the same activists who fight to save the whales, the spotted owls, and a snail darter, for God's sake, sit quietly by while the U.S. government helps kill Terri Schiavo? Why do we see the visceral reaction by leftist organizations to the attempts to save Terri Schiavo's life? Do these liberals really hate George Bush so much? And that's all you ever hear about, George Bush. You never hear about Terri Schiavo.

From Noonan's March 24 Wall Street Journal column:

I do not understand the emotionalism of the pull-the-tube people. What is driving their engagement? Is it because they are compassionate, and their hearts bleed at the thought that Mrs. Schiavo suffers? But throughout this case no one has testified that she is in persistent pain, as those with terminal cancer are.

[...]

Everyone who has written in defense of Mrs. Schiavo's right to live has received e-mail blasts full of attacks that appear to have been dictated by the unstable and typed by the unhinged. On Democratic Underground they crowed about having "kicked the sh-- out of the fascists." On Tuesday James Carville's face was swept with a sneer so convulsive you could see his gums as he damned the Republicans trying to help Mrs. Schiavo. It would have seemed demonic if he weren't a buffoon.

Why are they so committed to this woman's death?

They seem to have fallen half in love with death.

From the March 24 broadcast of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:

O'REILLY: Number one, there are a lot of Americans who simply want the woman to die. They just want her to die for a number of different reasons. There are some left-wing newspaper columnists, Maureen Dowd in The New York Times today, Richard Cohen, that despicable weasel down in The Washington Post. Oh, God! He is -- believe me. Anyway, they want her to die. And I'm sayin' to myself -- why? Why do you care whether she lives or dies?

From the March 25 edition of CNN's Inside Politics:

BAY BUCHANAN: This is an issue that -- the polls have been influenced by the press, and the press has suggested that there's two compelling principles here. But there is not. When the facts are out there, there's only one reason that they want this person to die, and that's because they've decided this woman is the property of her husband and he can do what he wants. He is not an honorable person, and that is quite clear if you look at the information. I ask you: where are the feminists? They are treating this woman like she is the property of her husband, that he can just go in and starve her to death because he doesn't like the quality of her life at this stage. ... This judge has basically told her husband, here, take a gun and shoot her. It's the same thing.

What these commentators don't understand - or maybe they do understand but simply want to obscure - is the fact that those who support the removal of the feeding-tube also stand with Terri. They stand with her wishes and desires, as have been shown in court and upheld many times, and even though they may not like those wishes or even agree with them - they respect them. For them, this is an issue of freedom and Liberty. The rights of a person to self-determine, to make choices about their own life and their own body.

Conservatives, particular those of the fundamentalist/facist bent don't seem to understand how to respect privacy or protect the sanctity personal freedom. They feel that they already know what is right, based on their own interpretation of God's Law, and wish simply to impose that interpretation on the rest of us. It's my opinion that they don't truly believe in freedom for all - they believe that those who God have blessed with financial success are more deserving that those God has cursed with trepidation and despair. Therefore they support the new bankruptcy bill which granted dozens of loopholes and escape hatches for the affluent, yet foreclosed the oppurtunity for those in dire straights for a second chance.

They've shown a complete disdain for truth and fact, simply to continue to support their own partisan idealogical agenda.

They don't believe in preserving life, only in controlling it. This is why they rail against abortion, yet oppose offering all positive choices which would make abortion unneccesary, such as ensuring the best information and access to contraception, comprehensive pre-natal care for all women regardless of income, pediactic care for all children, safe and affordable day-care services, reforms in our adoption services to make them more open and less traumatic, and expansion of foster-care support. This is why they claim to "protect marriage" by not allowing more people to get married, simply because they happen to be Gay - and they refuse to respect their right to that choice - yet now stand in lock-step in defiance of the so-called santity of marriage in the Schiavo case claiming that the will of the Parents is somehow more fundamental than the vows and commitment shared between husband and wife.

I feel that if of you claim to be Pro-Life, you also have to be Pro-Living! - whereas, living involves all the myriad of choices and freedoms that are supposed to be protected by our deepest moral convictions and codified in our Constitution, or else you stand to be accused of hypocrisy. Such as the Hypocrisy of Tom Delay:

From the March 27 Los Angeles Times article:

More than 16 years ago, far from the political passions that have defined the Schiavo controversy, the DeLay family endured its own wrenching end-of-life crisis. The man in a coma, kept alive by intravenous lines and oxygen equipment, was DeLay's father, Charles Ray DeLay.

Then, freshly reelected to a third term in the House, the 41-year-old DeLay waited, all but helpless, for the verdict of doctors.

Today, as House Majority Leader, DeLay has teamed with his Senate counterpart, Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), to champion political intervention in the Schiavo case. They pushed emergency legislation through Congress to shift the legal case from Florida state courts to the federal judiciary.

And DeLay is among the strongest advocates of keeping the woman, who doctors say has been in a persistent vegetative state for 15 years, connected to her feeding tube. DeLay has denounced Schiavo's husband, as well as judges, for committing what he calls "an act of barbarism" in removing the tube.

In 1988, however, there was no such fiery rhetoric as the congressman quietly joined the sad family consensus to let his father die.

"There was no point to even really talking about it," Maxine DeLay, the congressman's 81-year-old widowed mother, recalled in an interview last week. "There was no way [Charles] wanted to live like that. Tom knew -- we all knew -- his father wouldn't have wanted to live that way."

In addition to making the decision to end the life of his own father, Delay and his family also sued the bearing manufacturer claiming that shoddy workmanship was responsible for the accident that cause his fathers enventually fatal injuries. So it seems, that Delay want to be able make these types of decisions within his own family and to seek redress for incompetent and negligence by corporate agents when it affects his own family, but not when it affects families like the Schaivo's and Schindlers who have been using the money from a malpractice suit to help pay for Terri's $80,000/year care costs for the last decade.

I'm very glad that Jesse Jackson has stepped forward and begun to show those on the right how it's done, when it comes to being a true humanitarian. Although I disagree with Jesse, he has carried himself with grace and refrained from making inflammatory accusations toward those who don't agree with his position. Rather than take the bait offered by Sean Hannity, Jackson refused to denigrate the motives of Michael Schaivo. He's shown them respect. He has not attempted to use this sad situation as a method to put forth a political, partisan or idealogical agenda against our judiciary and the tenents of the Constitution as have those on the right. He has not called for Gov. Jeb Bush to "storm the gates" of the Terri's Hospice in defiance of a court order and the law. Instead he's chosen to work with the Florida Legislature to find a compromise bill that might give Terri at least some temporary relief.

I think ultimately that his efforts will fail, that even if Gov Bush does sign a new version of Terri's Law which can withstand Constitutional challenge - that it will be far too little, and far too late.

Vyan

Monday, March 28

Meanwhile in the (Real) News...

During the last week the news outside of 24 Hour Schiavo-vision has been quite interesting:

  • The Second Anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq was greated by protests all over the nation. Following the apparent "success" of the Iraqi elections, many people are beginning to feel that it's high time that Iraq begin to take care of itself as support for the Iraq War has now dropped below the levels of the Vietnam War during the height of anti-war protests in the late 60's. This week thousands of people marched and displayed their opposition to the Iraq war and support for a withdrawl of Coalition Troops as soon as possible. Demonstrations took place in Los Angeles, New York, Fayettville, as well as in front of many U.S. Embassies around the world.

  • Creditors have been using illegal means to collect debts from Active Duty Soldiers, repossesing and foreclusing on their homes while they are doing their duty and serving their country.

  • As a result of provisions in the "Leave No Child Behind" act, U.S. Military recruiters now have extrodinary access to our schools. They can walk the halls, into classrooms and be provided personal information about students by the school for cold-calling at home. Reports are that recruits as young a 17 years-old are being paid $5000 up front for joining the National Guard and signing up to be sent to the front lines. Due to recent failure to hit recruitment goals the Military has promised to "pull out all stops".

  • Following the killing of an Italian Secret Service Agent, by American Soldiers in the midst of a rescue mission for a kidnapped journalist - Italy has decided to withdraw it troops and support for the occupation of Iraq starting as soon as this September. The Coalition of the No-Longer-Willing continues to grow.

  • Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell finally testified under oath to his take on the events of the November election vigourously defending his roll to a set a very skeptical legislators.

  • W's claims to care deeply about "LIFE", but to date has said nothing in response to the shooting death of Nine people in Red Lake Minnesota. He's said nothing about responsible gun ownership, teens with weapons or the questionable practice of proscribing Prozac to suicidal youngsters.

  • This just in: Baseball players take Steriods and Barry Bonds is a great big crybaby - who didn't know?

  • Air America Radio, the upstart Liberal Talk Radio network celebrated it's first Anniversary this week, expanding it's reach to 51 stations nationwide.

  • Everyone may have forgotten but Michael Jackson is still on trial, however Robert Blake is not, having been aquited for the murder of his wife Bonnie Lee Blakely. Where is the OJ-like outrage?