Friday, September 22, 2006

Our Rogue Nation

The details of the understanding between on the military tribunal legislation are still being discussed, but I believe is that the McCain/Bush compromise will enshrine the status of the U. S. as a rogue nation into American law.

To date, the Bush administration has been conducting its torture exercises and rendition policy on an ad hoc basis outside American military codes and statutory law as well as international law. If the current proposals pass (and pass muster with the Supreme Court, the situation will change from the Bush administration being an outlaw government to the United States being an outlaw nation.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

George Allen One Ups Trent

A day after acknowledging his Jewish heritage, George Allen pledged to spend the rest of his life fighting discrimination of all kinds. Allen must have seen some really bad poll numbers yesterday. After all, when Trent Lott got in trouble over his Strom Thurmond comments, all he did was pledge support for affirmative action.

Of course, it would have been nice if Allen had admitted that the despised liberals had been right about racial, ethnic, and religious issues along and that he had been wrong. But that would be too much to expect from someone who can't be honest with himself let alone others.

Musharaff Bites the Hand

President Pervez Musharaff claimed today that the Bush administration had told him that the U. S. would bomb Pakistan "back to the stone age" if he didn't cooperate with us in the war on terror.

Of course, Musharaff's public announcement of that threat is tantamount to a declaration of independence from the Bush administration.

No doubt Musharaff sees the Bush administration as weak and wants to give them the back of his hand.

But he should have gotten in line with the rest of our former allies.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Family That Potters Together

If you don't know what a horcrux is, you should probably move on to the next blog.

Today, my wife called me from work at 10:30am to tell me that she'd figured out that Harry Potter was a horcrux and that he would have to kill himself in order to kill Voldemort.

That's because we're a Harry Potter family--multiple copies of all six books, tapes of all six books, all four movies, and access to Harry Potter web sites.

So, we talk a lot about what's going to happen in Book 7.

Here's our Family Ideas:

1. Harry Potter is going to die in Book 7. Voldemort has to die too. It may end up that Harry, Voldemort, and Snape all die.
2. Harry is going to find the four missing horcruxes by performing legilimency on Voldemort
3. RAB is Regulus Black, the brother of Sirius Black
4. Draco Malfoy has become a werewolf (adapted from one of my students).
5. There's going to be trouble in Voldemort's camp because of the destabilizing presence of Severus Snape and Draco Malfoy (if he lives very long).
6. Dumbledore was on to Snape. That's why he gave Snape the jinxed Defense Against the Dark Arts job.
7. Because Voldemort is a much more accomplished wizard than Harry, J. K. Rowling still has to provide mechanisms to even the odds.
Harry's assets:
Harry is mentally stronger than Voldemort (Book 4)
Harry has access to Voldemort's mind (Book 5).
Voldemort has Harry's blood in him (Book 4)
Wormtail is going to aid Harry (Book 3)
Dissension among the Death Eaters (my assumption)
Harry can now apparate (a major equalizer)
Harry has Hermione to figure out several of the major puzzles
Harry's friend Ron has one good idea per book

Mary eventually decided that Harry couldn't be a horcrux because of questions about why Harry wouldn't have been more attracted to the Dark Arts if he had part of Voldemort's soul. I'm not so sure. The idea that Harry would have to die himself in order to kill Voldemort would solve a lot of problems. I'm willing to give it more thought before I give up on it.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Further Notes on Family Values

It's also useful to note that family values rhetoric has also contributed to the movement for gay marriage. Just like everybody else in the United States, gay people have seen that the value of marriage and children has increased dramatically since the 1980's. Consequently, more gays and lesbians want to enjoy the benefits of marriage and give their love to children.

Unintentionally providing a positive impetus to the gay rights movement is one of the few real contributions that right-wing evangelical groups like Focus on the Family have made to American society.

Unfortunately, such pressure groups are so blinded by their focus on self-righteously promoting their bigotries, raising money, and piling up political influence that they can't see the millions of gay people who honestly want to live as married couples and parents.

However, it's worth mentioning that Jesus saw that kind of self-righteousness in the Pharisee movement of Ancient Judea and condemned the Pharisees in Matthew 23 by calling out again and again: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites" before giving details on their crimes.