Thursday, September 28, 2006

Feingold On Habeas Corpus

Senator Feingold's statement against the Military Commissions Act can be found here and here.

Thanks Atrios for the heads up!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Requiem for a Friend

My family has been blessed with great dogs over my lifetime, and of these dogs Mars was the greatest. He was a black lab, and sadly he died yesterday at 13 years of age (like 91 in dog years).

He was an amazing dog. He was loving and affectionate, but could be fierce and protective when he wanted. While he was certainly an obedient dog by most measures, it was an obedience that I felt we, as his human caretakers, had earned from him; not an obedience born out of shaping him to our will (although there was an early tussle between him and my dad that erased any doubt in Mars' mind who was boss around the house). He was, in all of the truest and best ways, a friend.

Mars was the first dog I knew as an adult. He came to my parents and brother while I was in college. Although I didn't live with him on a daily basis until after law school, I felt an instant bond with him of mutual love and respect. He was always there when I needed him, and he always knew how to make me feel better.

Mars was a family dog, but there can be no denying that he was my brother's dog first, and my father's dog second. My brother was not yet in high school when we got him, and of course the two instantly fell for each other. They never tired of one another, and when my brother had the opportunity to get a place in Portland to be nearer his grad school, he opted not to, so he could be around for Mars, who was showing signs of his age.

My father was not at home when Mars first arrived, and as I mentioned earlier there was a bit of a challenge of the wills between them. But once that was sorted out to the mutual satisfaction of both of them (dad knowing he was the boss, and Mars knowing he let dad be the boss) they got along famously. My dad is a captain of an oil tanker and so he would be gone for long stretches of time, but then he would be home for long stretches as well. When he was home with Mars he would spend hours throwing tennis balls, sticks and even rocks (truthfully, Mars' preferred play thing) for the dog. Watching Mars run down something tossed for him was a truly beautiful sight, like watching poetry in motion, and dad could never get enough of it.

As for mom and me, Mars never discriminated in his affection or love. So while dad and my brother got most of the face-time with Mars, he had plenty of himself to share and was more than happy to give us what we wanted and needed.

While Mars was great to my family and our friends, in the dog world he would definitely have been a grumpy old man, even when he was young. For some reason, he did not like other dogs at all, and would not hesitate to let them know it regardless of how large or small. There were exceptions, most notably the two other dogs we had during his life (one died a year after we got Mars, and the other showed up on my parents' doorstep roughly a year after that). Then in his later years we (my parents) got a bona fide neighbor (a person who's house was closer than 100 yards from ours). He had a couple of small terriers and to my great surprise Mars seemed to get along with them. Now by "get along" I mean in an "I acknowledge your right to exist" sort of way. But woe betide any other random dog who saw fit to trespass upon (or within sight of) our property. At best such a hound would leave (quickly) with a severe tongue lashing.

In his younger years Mars himself was something of a wanderer. There were close to a half-dozen times we went to bed having shouted ourselves hoarse calling him, not knowing where he was, and fearing the worst. Somehow, each time he made his way back to us. A few times he wandered back as happy as a clam at high tide. A couple of times, though, he wore the cuts and bruises of some altercation we could only speculate about (coyotes were the #1 suspect). But we could tell that he gave as good as he got, all (we believe) in an attempt to keep us safe.

Truly he was a great dog, and he will be sorely missed.

Mars, we love you.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Why Senator Feingold Should Be President, Reason #47

Senators Feingold and Dorgan have come up with legislation that would encourage companies to increase their exports from America. (via Russ For President on 9/14). This would reduce our trade deficit, and stop the "race to the bottom" that job-killing free trade agreements have started.

This effort by Senator Feingold eviscerates the lie that NAFTA/CAFTA/FTAA supporters contstantly trot out, namely that opponents of such agreements are "protectionist." This proposal cannot honestly be called protectionist.

This also shows that the only people interested in solving the intractable problems we face are liberals. Or I should say, interested in solving these problems in ways that equitably apportion the benefits and risks amongst all Americans. Free traders are more than willing (gleeful in fact) to let the American working class bear all the costs of their policies, while consolidating the benefits in the hands of the corporate elite. At best they don't care about the havoc they wreak, at worst they deliberatly intend to cause this suffering and pain.

Don't get me wrong, I find this legislation to be a truly modest proposal. But it's the kind of issue that let's you ask the question: Which Side Are You On? If centrist Dems cannot be supportive of this idea (or ones similar to it) then they are hopelessly lost to the corporations who fund their campaigns (I'm not even going to allow myself the hope that Republicans could break free from their sycophantic ways on this issue).

Yet another reason why we need to promote Senator Feingold to the White House.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Local Love For Feingold

The good folks at Democracy for Vancouver give some love to Senator Feingold.

I'm glad to see that. I'm not surprised that the activist wing of the party both knows of and approves of Senator Feingold, but it's good to see them talking about his presidential campaign.

The list bushtool enumerates shows that Senator Feingold will not lose the nomination on the merits. His positions are in line with most Democratic voters on all those issues. The obstacles that the senator faces are completely superficial. They will be either non-issues or false issues. Some will have a seductive logic to them, while others will appeal to little more than bigotry. They wil ALL be irrelvant.

The bottom line is that Senator Feingold's record speaks for itself, and in this day and age of a decaying (yet still powerful) conservative movement, that is more than enough to win.