Texas CPS Gets Comeuppance From State Supreme Court

Today’s paots is a follow-up to State of Texas Had No Right To Seize Children in Raid on Polygamist Ranch Analysis and Commentary, my post of May 24, 2008, that discussed the situation involving the children of the members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia], a group that split with the mainstram Mormon church over the practtice of polygamy. The FLDS still practices informal polygamy, although most members have only one legal spouse to avoid criminal prosecution, since simultaneous multiple marriages are illegal in every state in the USA.

After the Texas Court of Appeals ruled that the seizure of all the children living at the FLDS compound in El Dorado, Texas, was illegal, the Texas Children Protection Services appealed that ruling to the Texas Supreme Court, which upheld the lower court ruling yesterday. According to the CPS, the children will be returned to their families within days. Whether all the children will be returned is still uncertain. Personally, I hope they all will be, since, although I have some very serious issues with the beliefs of the FLDS from a religious perspective, it is not the role of the government to tell parents how to rais their children. As long as these children are not in any imminent danger of physical, including sexual, abuse, and there has been absolutely no evidence of that, the state needs to mind their own business and leave these children alone.
Continue reading Texas CPS Gets Comeuppance From State Supreme Court


Profits Before Principles: US Foreign Policy

The prevention of the proliferation of nucleear weapons, especially in the Middle East, has been an important goal of US foreign policy for quite some time. This goal, as part of the rubric of “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD), was a major element of the Bush administrations justification for the invasion of Iraq. Currently, it is the core of the administration’s anti-Iran rhetoric (cf. Iran ‘withholds nuclear details’ . However, there is one country in the Middle East whose WMD and nuclear capabilities US foreign policy tends to ignore, as former President Jimmy Carter pointed out during a press conference the other day (cf. Israel ‘has 150 nuclear weapons’. That nation is, of course, Israel.

What I am going to say in this article may offend some people, but I feel they need to be made to put a number of things I have said into the proper context. I have no issue with the general moral principles behind American foreign policy; what I do object to is the selective manner in which those principles are applied. As I will explain below, we use one moral standard to condemn Iraq and Iran, but refuse to use that same moral standard to evaluate the actions of Israel, whose actions often are very similar to those of Iran and Iraq.
Continue reading Profits Before Principles: US Foreign Policy

Ubuntu: An Operating System ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’

Those of you who have been regular readers here know that I have little love for the Microsft Corporation or its products. I have always tried to use products and services that are free, not only in cost but in how they are licensed. Microsoft seems to think that their products are so good that no one, other than their in-house programmers should have access to the code or make any changes to improve that code.

Well, I beg to differ with that opinion. Realize that I am not a programmer or a computer geek by any stretch of the imagination. My main criteria for any computer product, whether software or hardware, is that it works easily and with a minimum of hassle. That, in my opinion, excludes Microsft products. They tend to be overly intrusive and suck resources like a starving kitten at it’s mother’s teats. The only good thing about Miscrosoft products, if you are using Windows as your operating system, is that they are easy to install and configure.
Continue reading Ubuntu: An Operating System ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’

State of Texas Had No Right To Seize Children in Raid on Polygamist Ranch Analysis and Commentary

SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) – Texas child-welfare authorities on Friday appealed a court ruling that rejected their right to seize more than 440 children from a polygamist sect, and they asked to keep the children in foster care while the case is reviewed.Authorities appeal court ruling in polygamist case

U have been following the case of the children of the members of the Mormon splinter group in Eldorado, Texas with some interest for the last couple of months. There are a number of religious, social and political ramifications implicit in how this situation is resolved.
Continue reading State of Texas Had No Right To Seize Children in Raid on Polygamist Ranch Analysis and Commentary

HRC Opens Mouth, Inserts Both Big Feet

Her remark about an assassination during a primary campaign drew a quick response from aides to Democratic presidential front-runner Barack Obama.

“Senator Clinton’s statement before the Argus Leader editorial board was unfortunate and has no place in this campaign,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton. Clinton apologies for Kennedy remark

I think this lady, and I use the word loosely, deserves a trip to the woodshed for her absolutely unconscionable remark She has shown herself to be quite tasteless and tactless on a number of occasions during the primary canpaign, but this is the lowest of the low.
Continue reading HRC Opens Mouth, Inserts Both Big Feet

The DNC’s Dilemma: A Matter Of Principles

Today I want to talk about the Democratic Presidential nomination contest between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. At this moment, Obama is only 64 votes shy of the 2026 needed to win – if the Florida and Michigan delegations are not included. The numbers would obviuosly change in Mrs.; Clinton’s favor if those two state delegations are seated as full voting members.

every since it became apparent that the handwriting on the wall was against her, Mrs. Clinton has taken the side of these two “renegade” states. She has even vowed to take their cause to the convention gloor in August, not out of any altruism, no matter her rhetoric. She is supporting them because it is in her best, pragmatically speaking, political interest. Technically she won both primaries, and technically those delegates belong to her.
Continue reading The DNC’s Dilemma: A Matter Of Principles

Senator Edward Kennedy: The People’s Warrior

I had originally planned to take the day off tiday; after all, it is my 60th brithday today, and a person deserves to rest when he reaches a milestone like that, right? But with the announcement yesterday of Senator Ted Kennedy’s grim diagnosis and then news today that he has been released from Massachusetts General Hospital, I felt I needed to make some comments about Senator Kennedy.

I’ve been a supporter and fan of the Kennedy family in politics since John Kennedy ran for President in 1960. I was in high school when he was assasinated. I did not campaign for Bobby Kennedy in the Democratic nominating campaign in 1968; instead, I worked on the Eugene McCarthy campaign. Had Bobby been the nominee in the general election, I would most definitely have supported him and campaigned for him. Unfortunately, Bobby was assasinated before the Democratic convention in Chicago that year. I have no doubt that Kennedy would have won the nomination and the general election had he not been killed.
Continue reading Senator Edward Kennedy: The People’s Warrior

Water Power: Energy From Burning Water

I was reading the online news this morning as I do most mornings looking for articles of interest to use for posts to this blog and I ran across Run Your Car On Water, a standard format Internet marketing page for a $50 guide on how to convert your car to use an allegedly new techology that uses water as fuel. I went, “Right, and I have a bridgee for you in Brooklyn.” As a former Internet marketer, I am extremely skeptical about any of these types of ads, especially if they follow the marketing-guru format as this one does.

But I am a scholar and so I decided to do some research. Guess what? It appears the technology is legit! Not sure about the product though, so caveat emptor on that one. But it might be worth $50 to check it our. I am going to do some more research before I commit though. If I do buy it, I’ll do an update and let you know what I think. If anyone has tried this or do so in the near future, let me know what you thought of it.
Continue reading Water Power: Energy From Burning Water

Profits Before Principles: Polar Bears Face Extinction

I cannot wait for the Inauguration next January! Anyone, even John NcCain, has to be better than George bush. I probably have criticized him more for his arrogance than anyone else I know of, but he still continues to amaze me with the level of that arrogance. Talk about a cold hearted sonofabitch!!

It seems that the only thing that matters to the Bush Administration is that his friends, and I suspect he and his family as well, make as much profit as possible in the short term, and the long term consquences for this planet and for future generations – our children and their children and their children – be damned.
Continue reading Profits Before Principles: Polar Bears Face Extinction

The Children of Abraham: A Political Sermon

The last topic in our discussion of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright controvery is Reverend Wright’s comment placing the blame for the September 11 bombing of the Wolrd Trade Center on the United States. I would make the target of that blame a bit more specific: the onus falls on the United States governemt and its Middle East policy – note the use of the singular because the US policy in the Middle East has been, if nothing else, consistent and extremely narrow in focus – since the 1950s. That policy started with good intentions and an honorable focus – the right of the state of Israel to exist – but it has become more than that: it has become an unsweving, uncritical support of Israel without consideration for the rest of the people of the Middle East. In other words, it has gone from a pro-Israel to an anti-Arab focus,

The only time we make any concessions to the Arabs, and/or force Israel to make some accommodations, is when we need more oil. That is what happened in the late 70s and early 80s during the OPEC – remember them – oil embargo. We need oil again – just look at the prices at the gas pump – and so President Vush is now in the Middle East trying to convince, probably more like bully, our “friends” there, like Saudi Arabia, to increase the flow of oil to the United States. But, I suspect, if the past few years are any indication, Bush will not mave much luck. The Arabs are not nearly as stupid as some American politicans might like them to be.
Continue reading The Children of Abraham: A Political Sermon