Thursday, June 28, 2007

Ron prognosticates: Kiss Roe v. Wade goodbye

Since I seem to be amassing a pretty respectable track record as a prophet I'll give it another go:

If anyone had any doubt that John Roberts's appointment to the Supreme Court is going to be yet another unmitigated disaster brought to you by the Bush administration, yesterday's decision overturning a 96-year-old precedent for no reason other than five Justices thought it was a good idea should put it to rest. It's not so much that the decision itself will be disastrous (though it is that as well) as that it shows conclusively that Roberts's testimony at his confirmation hearings that he respects precedent was false. Roberts is an utterly predictable reactionary idealogue with no respect for precedent, the law, or indeed anything other than neo-conservative doctrine: big business is good, the government can do no wrong, and the People are an annoyance to brought into line rather than the constituency that the government is supposed to serve. Acordingly, there can be no doubt that Roe v. Wade's days are numbered. I don't know exacly when Roe will fall, or what twisted "reasoning" (and I use scare quotes quite deliberately) will be used to overturn it, but fall it will. (I'll go out on a limb just a little bit and predict that it will be shortly after the next election.)

Not that it wasn't clear before, but this latest decision really puts the facts in stark relief: Bush & Co. care not a whit for anything the United State osensibly stand for: not for freedom, nor truth, nor justice, nor civil rights, nor the will of the People. They care for big business, for oil, for discipline, and for unfettered government power, and they will promote these "virtues" by any means necessary. They will lie, they will cheat, they will steal, and they will even burn the houses of people who oppose them. With a government like this, who needs Al Quada? Bush & Co. are the ultimate terrorist sleeper cell.

And they have nukes.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

First Amendment? What First Amendment?

I'm blogging from a ship in the North Sea. The fact that I can do this at all is a freakin' miracle, but unfortunately, the quality of the connection is poor, so this post is not going to have the links and cross-references that it should. (I'm crossing my fingers that I get it out at all.)

The Supreme Court dealt another body blow to the First Amendment yesterday, ruling cryptically that student speech is not protected by the First Amendment if it is too cryptic, or if it "might" be construed as advocating illegal drug use, or something like that. Frankly, the "BONG HiTS 4 JESUS" message makes more sense to me that the Court's decision. As near as I can tell, the legal principle that the Court is establishing is that the First Amendment doesn't protect any speech that any authority figure doesn't like, taking yet another giant step towards the day when we in the United States enjoy the kind of free speech they once had in the old Soviet Union.

What worries me most about this is that despite the fact that Bush, Cheney, Rove and their appointed cronies Alito and Roberts have so clearly gone rogue, that they so obviously and manifestly despise everything that America ostensibly stands for: Democracy, the Rule of Law, fairness, respect for human rights, government of the People by the People and for the People... despite all this, there is still no one marching in the streets (I know, I'm a fine one to talk, I can't even be bothered to be in the fucking country as it comes apart at the seams. But I feel bad about it. Does that count?) and Bush's approval rating is still north of 25%, an historic low to be sure, but it still means that there are tens of millions of people out there who think everything is just hunky-dory. To you 25% I say: are you insane? Have you lost your fucking minds? What does it take to get you to disapprove of this crew of incompetent megalomaniacal monsters? Ye gods, they could probably ship your own grandmother off to Gitmo and you'd probably just take their word for it that she was aiding and abetting Al Quaeda!

I haven't felt at this much of a loss for a long time. Does anyone know where I can order a "BONG HiTS 4 JESUS" T-shirt on line?

Monday, June 18, 2007

And the staggering irony award goes to...

... Mohammed Ijaz ul-Haq, Pakistani religious affairs minister, who in response to the news that Salmn Rushdie was being knighted, told the Pakistani parliament in Islamabad:

"The west is accusing Muslims of extremism and terrorism. If someone exploded a bomb on his body he would be right to do so unless the British government apologises and withdraws the 'sir' title."

Ye gods.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hello world redux

For those of you who may have been wondering why I seem to have fallen off the face of the earth, I can finally tell you. For the last year I have been working on a new startup company which just came out of stealth mode. It is Virgin Charter. Yes, I now work for Richard Branson. (No, I have not met him.)

Although you can't tell, there's actually a functioning beta site running behind the scenes that I have been working to bring up for the last few months (with a lot of help from a really great crew of software engineers). Getting ready for today's launch has been using up most of my mental energy, hence the relative blogging silence.

Things are still kind of intense for now, but I hope to be back in the blogging swing of things before too long.