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Cafeteria Constitutionalists
Author: BobR    Date: 08/18/2010 10:29:12

It's been said we are a nation of laws, not a nation of men. Our laws come from a framework put into place over 200 years ago: the founding document of our country known as the Constitution. It is a brilliantly written and conceived document in both it's simplicity, and the complex ideas it encases. Lately, it seems that we have a certain segment of the population that feels we've strayed too far from that original document, and are clamoring for a return to it. Like the checks and balances that are part of our political construct, there is a fair amount of yin and yang in the Constitution, But - based on their rhetoric - one has to wonder: do they love all of the Constitution, or are they only interested in certain parts?
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23 comments (Latest Comment: 08/18/2010 20:37:08 by Will in Chicago)

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 08/17/2010 10:31:10

Good Morning.

Today is our 2,708th day in Iraq and our 3,236th day in Afghanistan.

We'll start this morning as we always do; with the latest casualty figures from our ongoing wars, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 4415
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 4276
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3954
Since Handover (6/29/04): 556
Since Obama Inauguration (1/20/09): 187

Other Coalition Troops - Iraq : 318
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 1,227
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 775
Contractor Employee Deaths - Iraq: 1,457
Journalists - Iraq: 338
Academics Killed - Iraq: 437

We find this morning's cost of war passing through:

$ 1, 066, 639, 700, 000 .00

Does war have an "owner"? If it does, can that ownership be transferred? Iraq, in many ways, belongs to both Bushes. It was 20 years ago under the term of Bush the Elder, that Saddam invaded Kuwait and started this whole sorry state of affairs.

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41 comments (Latest Comment: 08/17/2010 19:15:46 by livingonli)

Are we a nation of cowards?
Author: Raine    Date: 08/16/2010 12:30:34

Suddenly and quietly the Cordoba House, the planned muslim community outreach center that is proposed to be built in a former Burlington coat factory has morphed from the "Ground Zero Mosque to the "9/11 Mosque" Don't think this shift in messaging is an accident. The former Half Term Governor herself, in a tizzy of somewhat bigoted tweets also mentioned this phrase this weekend. here is a sample:
Will Obama express US lingering pain& ask Muslims for tolerance by discouraging 9/11 mosque while he celebrates Islamic holy month tonight?
She is asking for the President to be tolerant of intolerance. The irony is painful. She's not alone.
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65 comments (Latest Comment: 08/16/2010 22:16:36 by trojanrabbit)

Losing the Message to.. [Buffering]....
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 08/15/2010 14:19:07

Good morning fellow internets users. What a great day to read up on the news, catch up on opinions via blogs and message boards, check in with our friends near and far on social networking sites, pay our bills with online banking and write that overdue email to Grandma.

Here's something that I'd probably never see squished into the nether pages of my New York Times, but found it while scrolling the Huffington Post. Seems that people really are born Gay! Who knew?

A prenatal pill for congenital adrenal hyperplasia to prevent ambiguous genitalia may reduce the chance that a female with the disorder will be gay. Critics call it engineering for sexual orientation.

Each year in the United States, perhaps a few dozen pregnant women learn they are carrying a fetus at risk for a rare disorder known as congenital adrenal hyperplasia. The condition causes an accumulation of male hormones and can, in females, lead to genitals so masculinized that it can be difficult at birth to determine the baby's gender.

A hormonal treatment to prevent ambiguous genitalia can now be offered to women who may be carrying such infants. It's not without health risks, but to its critics those are of small consequence compared with this notable side effect: The treatment might reduce the likelihood that a female with the condition will be homosexual. Further, it seems to increase the chances that she will have what are considered more feminine behavioral traits.
More at the link.
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5 comments (Latest Comment: 08/15/2010 23:48:51 by livingonli)

What is love?
Author: TriSec    Date: 08/14/2010 12:59:25

Love has a rather lengthy entry at dictionary.com. While I won't quote all of it, some of the more key definitions follow.

    a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.

    a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.

    sexual passion or desire.

    to have love or affection for: All her pupils love her.

    to have a profoundly tender, passionate affection for (another person).

    to have a strong liking for; take great pleasure in: to love music.

    to have love or affection for: All her pupils love her.

    to have a profoundly tender, passionate affection for (another person).

    to have a strong liking for; take great pleasure in: to love music.

Trying to explain what love is to someone, is another matter entirely. Why do I love my wife, or my child, or an inanimate hunk of aluminum and aero engines? I don't suppose I could really say with any clarity.

It's one of those mysteries of life, I suppose. By necessity, or design, perhaps nature has it hardwired among all living things that "opposites attract". But again, what makes an opposite? At a base level, there's the male/female divide. But love is much more than that. There's love that contrasts....love that complements...and sometimes love that defies all explanation.

Our friends on the right, and the ultra-religious always try to define love in terms of pro-creation. But I believe that to be more a product of society. The physical act is, in all honesty, rather a quick thing that can be done by just about any animal without having any attachment to their 'partner'. Most animals reproduce with little or no contact with each other after 'the act' is complete...although some do form lasting pair-bonds.

It's only man that has turned it into a ritualized, lifelong pairing that needs to be codified and recognized by an authority, whether it's the church, the state, or something else.

Love of any kind should be accepted, and celebrated for what it is. The determination of two people that they have some mutual affection and want to build that into a life together is a wonderful thing.

I think the best categorization is something a long-ago member of Air America Place once said. Their name has since eluded me, but the statement has not.

"I fell in love with a person, not their anatomy."

Of course we all know this happened yesterday.

We should all be happy that Ms. Miller may have found love, and that has given her the courage to be true to herself and the rest of the world.

It's the rest of the world that still needs to catch up.

4 comments (Latest Comment: 08/15/2010 01:30:17 by livingonli)

Author: BobR    Date: 08/13/2010 10:24:35

Today is Friday the 13th. For the superstitious, this day is considered one of the unluckiest of all. There are many theories that claim to explain the origins of the fear of the number 13 (Triskaidekaphobia), but there will never be any that can be called definitive (technically, fear of Friday the 13th specifically is called "Paraskavedekatriaphobia").
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64 comments (Latest Comment: 08/14/2010 00:42:45 by trojanrabbit)

A Note from the Unprofessional Left
Author: Raine    Date: 08/12/2010 13:10:45

I have spent the better part of this week contemplating the things that WH Robert Gibbs press secretary said in his interview with The Hill earlier this week.

And when I say contemplating, I truly mean it. I don't know if I completely disagree with what he said. An awful lot of people who consider themselves on the left are quite angry, and to a certain extent I don't blame them. That said, sometimes it is hard to hear things we don't like to hear.
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28 comments (Latest Comment: 08/13/2010 01:05:42 by livingonli)

RIP Ted Stevens
Author: BobR    Date: 08/11/2010 12:34:33

We heard the news yesterday that former Alaska senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) was killed in a plane crash in his home state. Like most career politicians, he was loved and hated and everything in between. Unlike some, however, his career had extremes in both directions.

Most people in America weren't really aware of Ted Stevens until he became infamous. First, was the Bridge To Nowhere, a project involving a bridge that would connect a small island to the mainland and eliminate the need for a ferry. It became the name and face of pork-barrel spending. It even became an issue in Sarah Palin's campaign (she was against it, but took the money anyway). One thing Ted Stevens was good at (and why he kept getting re-elected) was bringing federal money home to Alaska.
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19 comments (Latest Comment: 08/12/2010 03:22:38 by Raine)

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 08/10/2010 10:35:29

Good Morning.

Today is our 2,701st day in Iraq and our 3,217th day in Afghanistan.

We'll start this morning as we always do, with the latest casualty figures from our ongoing wars, courtesy of antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 4414
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 4275
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3953
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3555
Since Obama Inauguration (1/20/09): 186

Other Coalition Troops - Iraq: 318
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 1,220
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 770
Contractor Employee Deaths - Iraq: 1,457
Journalists - Iraq: 338
Academics Killed - Iraq: 437

We find this morning's cost of war passing through:

$ 1, 063, 350, 400, 000 .00

Perhaps you've been following the fire stories out of Russia with interest. Moscow has been shrouded in smoke for days....the wheat crop is failing due to the ongoing drought, and most dangerous of all, the forested areas around the Chernobyl nuclear accident site are under threat of burning, which may or may not release more radiation into the atmosphere.

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42 comments (Latest Comment: 08/11/2010 02:18:02 by Raine)

They are misleading you.
Author: Raine    Date: 08/09/2010 12:53:12

Yesterday, I had the chance to see a little of Representative Mike Pence on Meet the Press, with David Gregory. Thankfully, so did Think Progress. Both John Boehner and Mike Pence have shown that the GOP Have no idea how to cut the deficit. They also are complaining about things that they themselves have blocked.
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31 comments (Latest Comment: 08/10/2010 01:46:41 by TriSec)

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