Jul. 2nd, 2003

well, well.

Jul. 2nd, 2003 10:40 am
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from Liz Smith:

There's no question about the title of the new tome from the darling of the conservative right. Ann Coulter's new one bears the emphatic title "Treason." I will give this a look as I like to keep an open mind. But the last time I read a book by Ms. Coulter, I thought if I had substituted the word "conservative" for every time she wrote "liberal," I'd have a more realistic read.
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...12 of the 13 states with sodomy laws on the books were states that George W. Bush carried in the 2000 election, and the 13th -- Florida -- was the one that Scalia and company handed to him. The culture wars over legal equality for gays -- save on the question of gay marriage -- are pretty much settled within the Democratic Party. It's the Republicans who are split on the question of equal rights for gays.

And in this battle, Scalia has no shortage of allies -- the recent and current Republican congressional leadership first and foremost. From Dick Armey, who referred to gay Democratic Rep. Barney Frank as "Barney Fag," to Rick Santorum, who equated consensual gay sex to "man-on-dog" fornication, to Tom DeLay, who's declared that the United States is and ought to remain a "Christian nation," to Trent Lott, who pined for segregation, the recent and current leaders of the Republican Party in Congress have compiled an impressive record of industrial-strength prejudice.

So where's the outrage? Lott, to be sure, had to step down, but for the rest, it looks as if gay-bashing is not only accepted in the highest Republican circles but actually a prerequisite for leadership. Just this Sunday, Bill Frist took to the airwaves to tout a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Frist looked mighty uncomfortable in the part; his statements were almost incoherent, and he conveyed the sense that he was speaking less from personal passion than from partisan duty.

Of course, plenty of Republicans welcomed last week's decision (beginning, I suspect, with Vice President Cheney). Plenty of Republicans are appalled when the United States votes in international bodies with Saudi Arabia and a handful of fundamentalist states against women's rights, reproductive freedoms and contraception distribution programs. Plenty of Republicans sicken at the hatreds expressed by their legislative leaders. But plenty or not, try to find a national Republican who speaks out for equality of sexual orientation or condemns the expressions of bias.

It's way past time for a prominent Republican to give a Sister Souljah speech. In a period when the United States finds itself threatened by an international network of religious intolerants fuming at modernity and equality, you'd think some GOP notables might step up to condemn the like-minded intolerants in their own ranks -- indeed, atop them. Is there no decent Republican with the guts to note that his party could do better than be led by a rats' nest of bigots?

awwwwww.

Jul. 2nd, 2003 01:34 pm
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It made me sad when I heard that Robert McCloskey died.

I would have been sad even if he had only ever written Blueberries for Sal, which was one of my favorite books as a little kid. I bought it for HM before she was born. I also bought his best-known book, Make Way for Ducklings, and I think that's HM's favorite.



(the sculptor has a Lentil statue at her website too)

So it made me happy to see this:

They came strolling down the sidewalk of 15th Street NW, as purposeful as any commuters at rush hour yesterday morning -- a mother duck trailed by four ducklings.

The mother shook her tail bossily and slapped her webbed feet down the pavement. The young ones scurried after, wheeling their short legs three paces for every one of Mom's strides. Mom was brown with white tracings -- probably a mallard. Her babies were yellow-and-brown puffballs with black stripes extending from their black eyes as if they were wearing sunglasses.

Clearly on a mission, the solemn column of ducks did not look left, and did not look right, just like the serious people hurrying to work around them, all self-absorbed.

Until Mother and babies headed across L Street -- into a raging river of cars...

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