Indiana’s RFRA Really Is That Bad Lawmakers in Indiana have a real mess on there hands. Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act has resulted in a cacophony of protests, not just from radical groups, but from companies like Anthem, American Airlines, Wells Fargo, Eli Lilly Levi’s and Walmart. Indiana’s governor and state legislators have been … Continue reading Indiana’s RFRA Really Is That Bad
Author: Tom Joaquin
Limbaugh could be between a rock and a place with universal health care.
Rush Limbaugh said today that he will leave the country if the health care reform bill passes. He said he'd go to Costa Rica, but if he's principled, he'll have to go somewhere else: Costa Rica has universal health coverage. Rush could have some real problems finding a place to live in the style to … Continue reading Limbaugh could be between a rock and a place with universal health care.
A Fairly Clear Explanation Of Why People Like Sen. Tom Coburn Can Claim that America Has the Best Health Care in the World, Despite the Body of Evidence Against That Claim (In Which I Refer to Rush Limbaugh With Approval)
Opponents of health care reform claim that America has “the best health care in the world,” arguing that changing the present system threatens our nation’s primacy. This argument is so unfounded, so completely contradicted by reality as to raise my frustration and blood pressure to levels I hadn’t experienced since Alberto Gonzales last testified before … Continue reading A Fairly Clear Explanation Of Why People Like Sen. Tom Coburn Can Claim that America Has the Best Health Care in the World, Despite the Body of Evidence Against That Claim (In Which I Refer to Rush Limbaugh With Approval)
The Mostly Nice Nation and the Very Scary Person — A Cautionary Fairy Tale
Once upon a time there was a Nation. This Nation was very much like all nations: some people were rich and some were poor, some educated and some ignorant, some wise and some foolish. As with all Nations, most of the people were well intentioned. There came a time when the Nation's economy was very, … Continue reading The Mostly Nice Nation and the Very Scary Person — A Cautionary Fairy Tale
Proposed Post-Birth Abortion Ban Could Shut Down Iraq War
Democrats in the House of Representatives have proposed a bill that would legislatively create a twenty-year period of “Post-Birth Fetal Development,” during which abortion would be completely illegal. Rep. Roberta Goldwaithe, the bill’s primary sponsor, thinks this is an idea whose time has come. “Neurologists have established that the human brain isn’t completely developed through … Continue reading Proposed Post-Birth Abortion Ban Could Shut Down Iraq War
News from the Massachusetts State House — Marriage is Safe!
I'm proud that Massachusetts took the lead in recognizing the right to marry for same sex couples. The Massachusetts Supreme Court recognized that right on May 17, 2004. Despite dire predictions, the sky has stayed right where it is, and I’m not aware of any heterosexuals filing for divorce on the grounds that their … Continue reading News from the Massachusetts State House — Marriage is Safe!
AG Gonzales Outed as Hologram
A highly placed government software developer revealed today that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is actually a sophisticated hologram. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, joined the Gonzales project when the Attorney General was still in beta. Her team of programmers, many of whom had prior experience at various Hollywood special effects studios, are … Continue reading AG Gonzales Outed as Hologram
The Lie at the Heart of Gonzales v. Carhart
By now, most people are aware of the summary holding in Gonzales v. Carhart: for the first time since Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court left standing a law proscribing a particular abortion procedure without an exception to safeguard a woman’s health. Standing alone, this is a terrible result, but understanding how the decision was … Continue reading The Lie at the Heart of Gonzales v. Carhart
The Swiftian news
Dick Cheney’s jet, Air Force 2, was attacked by a suicide bomber, specifically a bird that threw itself into the right engine just before the jet's landing at O’Hare airstrip. No particular group of birds has claimed responsibility for the attack, though analysts believe the VP’s favorite prey -- farm-raised quail -- were involved. Cheney, unharmed but … Continue reading The Swiftian news
So long, Mr. Vonnegut
The title of this blog, The Free Lance” is the name H.L. Menken used for a column of his; my son Samuel is named for Sam Clemens; and, I saw Spalding Gray four times in the six years before he died. These are my bona fides for writing about the loss I feel on the … Continue reading So long, Mr. Vonnegut
Cheney’s Empty Argument On Iraq
Using meaningless language is a standard tool of politics, brought to high art by the present administration. Dick Cheney has added a new gloss on the old game, repeating an old argument about Iraq that has lost all meaning. Here's the way Cheney put it recent speech before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee 2007 … Continue reading Cheney’s Empty Argument On Iraq
Where’s a bit of irony when you need it?
Naomi Campbell, known for her terrible temper, recently spent one day of anger management following her conviction for throwing a phone at her housekeeper. She has recently been asked by Jamaica to be their national "patron for abused women." What possible meaning of the phrase "patron for" applies here?
A Veteran Blogs From Inside Walter Reed
The blog is called "This Veteran's Life" and is required reading for anyone interested in the Walter Reed Hospital debacle.
Speak out on General Pace’s disgraceful comments!
General Peter Pace, the Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced on Monday his personal opinion that simply being a gay or lesbian person is immoral, and that the military should therefore continue to refuse gays and lesbians the opportunity to serve in the military. Well, to be more precise, he supports the official … Continue reading Speak out on General Pace’s disgraceful comments!
Anna Nicole Smith is still successfully dead; VP Cheney still unsuccessfully alive
It appears that Anna Nicole Smith, like any great artist, is more popular dead than alive -- at least as measured by the continuing stream of stories about her in papers, magazines and news shows. The media's mock self-reflection involved reaches new levels. There are stories about her, then stories about the media's fascination with … Continue reading Anna Nicole Smith is still successfully dead; VP Cheney still unsuccessfully alive
Schlesinger v. Rove — a comparison of Presidential Special Assistants
Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., historian, author and special assistant to President John F. Kennedy died February 28, 2007. Presidential special assistants fill a unique role in an administration. Presidents choose individuals they believe have the experience, abilities and wisdom necessary to provide guidance during difficult times. A special assistant must share the presidents' values and his … Continue reading Schlesinger v. Rove — a comparison of Presidential Special Assistants
An historical description of PTSD
Playboy Magazine's site contains an excellent, recent article on the Bush administration's efforts to minimize the existence and human costs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) left untreated in troops returning from Iraq. Mental health problems tend to be easy to ignore. There are no physical scars, or missing limbs. The public prefers to believe troops … Continue reading An historical description of PTSD
Q: When is a vibrator more dangerous than a gun?
A Court of Federal Appeals held yesterday (Feb. 14), that an Alabama law prohibiting the sale of sex toys is constitutional. If only they'd treat the sale of guns the same way. Take a look at my discussion of the case at Sex in the Public Square, an excellent blog by a thoughtful academic and … Continue reading Q: When is a vibrator more dangerous than a gun?
Ed Henry, My Valentine
Ed, I know we haven't always seen eye to eye, but today you've won my heart. Today you had the nerve to ask Bush why the hell anyone should trust his accusations that Iranian weapons are being used against Americans in Iraq. Bush was clearly shocked that anyone would suggest his administration would fabricate evidence … Continue reading Ed Henry, My Valentine
A Short Primer on Select Enemies of the United States
Germany — An enemy of the US during the early 1940’s. At that time, Germany was led by Adolf Hitler, a very bad man. America and its allies (including the USSR, led at the time by Joseph Stalin) fought and defeated Hitler. USSR — An enemy of the US during Cold War, from the mid-1940’s … Continue reading A Short Primer on Select Enemies of the United States
This Just In
In case you haven't heard the really big news: Anna Nicole Smith died on February 8, 2007. Of course you probably have heard all about it. A quick Google news search of her name and the word "died" indicate over 3,000 hits at this time, 8 p.m. Eastern, Feb. 9. In other news, 33 Americans … Continue reading This Just In
Mum’s the Word
I recently had the opportunity to interview the Director of the Executive Non-Communications Office in Washington, D.C. It had been trying to contact ENCO for years, but they never returned my calls, so you can imagine my pleased surprise when I received the invitation. I arrived at the State Department HQ at the appointed time, … Continue reading Mum’s the Word
Bush takes a do-over
The upcoming escalation.... excuse me, "augmentation"... of 21,500 US troops in Iraq has been reduced to political football. Most of the press concentrates on the political battle, which begs the question -- is Bush right? Is there evidence that additional troops at this time will make some significant difference? Bush defined the strategy of the … Continue reading Bush takes a do-over
How do we know we’re done?
I've become confused about some pretty basic facts concerning the "War in Iraq". And I'm concerned I might not be the only one. Who are the parties to this war? Who is the enemy? Perhaps most importantly, to paraphrase Colin Powell, how do we know when we're done? I know that whatever we're doing in … Continue reading How do we know we’re done?