Revolutions come into this world like bastard children, Mr. Dickinson – half improvised and half compromised.

Interesting run down of CNN’s right-wing spin miester Glenn Beck’s “experts” on climate science, Bios and research on Beck’s climate “experts”

Michaels and the fossil fuel industry
According to a January, 2007 report (pdf.) by the Union of Concerned Scientists called Smoke, Mirrors and Hot Air: how ExxonMobil uses big tobacco to manufacture uncertainty on climate science, Michaels is connected to no less than 11 think tanks and associations that have received money from oil-giant ExxonMobil to sow doubt about the realities of human-induced global warming. These include the George C Marshall Institute, the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the Heartland Institute.

Like their experts on everything else a look behind the curtain of right-wing knowledge reveals a circle jerk of hackery. The kool-aid drinkers are reassured that their hodgepodge of crack-pot notions about how the world works is the one true view, thus for Beck and his ilk mission accomplished.
One would think that having made such fine arguments against torture and the moral obligation the U.S. has to follow well established law in that regard that Andrew Sullivan could come up with a little better then this meager post on Hate Crimes, Hate Crimes and Double Standards

There are, I think, two coherent positions on hate crime laws. The first is opposition to the entire concept, its chilling effect on free speech, its undermining of the notion of equality under the law, and so on. That’s my position. I oppose all hate crimes laws, regardless of the categories of individuals they Postamsterdam purport to protect. The other coherent position is the view that hate crimes somehow impact the community more than just regular crimes and that the victims of such crimes therefore deserve some sort of extra protection under the law.

Not awful, but woefully uninformed. Hate Crimes legislation in no way punished speech – this is in fact a red herring being spread by the wing-nuttery. If a perpetrator is arrested for assult and battery only then are mitigating factors such as having a history of threatening behavior toward certain grioups does the hate Crime aspect then taken into account – so yes groups like God Hates Fags would still have the right to yell insults at funerals of gay people without fear of being arreted solely for hate speech.

..”It’s no surprise the religious right is so concerned about hate speech – for them, hate appears to be a cottage industry,” Solmonese added. “But they have nothing to fear. Even after the hate crimes legislation is passed, the religious right will continue to have the federally protected right to preach hatred from the pulpit and disseminate the videos of white supremacists.

If Andrew and those on the paranoid Right would look into individual cases when these fringe groups are prosecuted it is usually for disturbing the peace and trespassing. The big problem and few are consistent on this issue for obvious reason is that we already have laws that do in fact provide special legal status for certain groups – Rally in Albany seeks return of death penalty for cop killers – April 24, 2007

Just 11 days after a Utica police officer was shot and killed during a traffic stop, a group of upstate legislators, police chiefs and relatives of slain law-enforcement officers rallied at the Capitol Monday to urge legislators to reinstate the death penalty for cop killers.

The state’s capital- punishment law was effectively suspended in 2004 by New York’s highest court, which ruled parts of it unconstitutional. With two months to go in the legislative session, Republicans are pushing to revive one portion of the law: to allow for the execution of someone who kills a law-enforcement officer.

They got a boost from a Democrat, state Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito, D-Rome, Oneida County,

The courts stroke down the original law and while it was legally a good decision the reason that the issue will not go away is because there are political points for supporting unequal applications of the law and as the story notes both sides are willing to play the game. Well, that probably sounded too cynical – all sides on the police issue probably possess a mix of genuine concern about deterring violence against police along with political gamesmanship. Then we have special protections for children – AMBER Alert ,

AMBER Alert is a proven success and has helped rescue more than 324 children nationwide. More than 90 percent of those recoveries have occurred since AMBER Alert became a nationally coordinated effort in 2002.

And Megan’s Law

Megan’s Law is the term used to denote a number of state laws in the United States that require law enforcement authorities to identify what are generally called sex offenders to the public at large through various media, including in some cases the Internet.

Again special protection for a selected class of citizens. We can get on our high horse about Federalism and some storybook ideals about absolute equality of the law, but this is and will continue to be a law wonk’s issue fought on the field of rhetoric because it would be close to political suicide for a politician to come out and say that we need to clean house and make all laws absolutely equal – if we have a special death penalty circumstances for police then why not brick layers and nurses. If we have special alerts for children, then why not grandfathers. The idea of an ideologically pure set of laws against crimes of violence applied in a way that is blind to other factors such as gender, age, religion, job status, or sexual orientation is tantalizing and a goal worth working toward, but lets start the discussion from an honest starting line – there is not or has there ever been such purity in actual practice. This new legislation that has been worked out or crafted in such a way that Glenn Beck, James Dobson, and Ann Coulter can continue to be as hateful as they wish in their speech and still rake in millions from their gullible followers, ACLU Cheers House Passage of Hate Crimes Legislation

For the first time, the ACLU was able to announce its full support for hate crimes legislation. In the past, the organization has not been able to support hate crime bills because they were written in a way that threatened constitutionally protected speech. But the legislation introduced by Representative John Conyers (D-MI) shows that it is possible to protect targets of hate crimes without jeopardizing free speech or association rights.

“Prosecuting violent hate crimes is critically important. This bill will also protect due process and the Constitution, especially our First Amendment rights to speak freely and associate with whom we’d like,” said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “When a person inflicts violence based on hate, it is important that they be punished. But defendants must have a fair trial, and should not be judged based on what they say and the company they keep, unless specifically related to the crime. While we may disagree with some people’s speech, it must be protected or all of our speech is at risk. “

Why the Right hates the ACLU is a mystery, they defend the Right’s right to continue to be hate mongers, liars, and general misanthropes everyday.

Will Dick Cheney and right-wing Blogs like Betsy’s Page be sending an apology to House Speaker Pelosi, SP Alert: Dick Cheney Rips Condoleeza Rice For Talking With Syrians

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with the Syrian Foreign Minister today, incurring the wrath of the administration and conservative pundits. Leading the criticism was Vice President Dick Cheney.

In an interview with ABC News, Vice President Dick Cheney said Assad has “been isolated and cut off because of his bad behavior, and the unfortunate thing about the ‘Secretary of State’s meeting’ is it sort of breaks down that barrier.”

Conservative pundits and the White House itself further piled on the Secretary of State. The criticism was direct, clear and very personal.

White House spokesperson Dana Perino strongly criticized “Rice’s planned meeting” saying, “We think it is a really bad idea. People should take a stop back and think about the message it sends and the message it sends to our allies,” Perino said.

The Heritage Foundation is particularly upset at the incident.

“Rice’s meeting is likely to undermine the Bush administration’s foreign policy and help the Syrians go back to business as usual — much to the dismay of our Lebanese, Iraqi, and Israeli friends, all of whom want the United States to take a tougher stand against Syria,” Jim Phillips, a research fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Heritage Foundation, told Cybercast News Service .

Yes, we did change all the names in the quotes from Nancy Pelosi to Condolezza Rice to make a simple point.

It is right to talk with the Syrians.

A little troll over at HuffPO was either deliberately trying to start a flame war or is just plain missing some brain cells by suggesting that Israel didn’t like Pelosi talking to Syria ( not true , she stopped in Israel and was very warmly recieved). The troll also said that M’S Pelosi shouldn’t have gone because she has no power to negotiate treaties – well she didn’t go to negotiate a treaty – she was on a diplomatic and fact finding mission – which is actually part of her job – and while I don’t think it matters what the worse president in modern history approves of or not. Before her trip she told the State Department and Bush and they didn’t raise any objections until after she left – the Right is such a class act.

Dr. Benjamin Franklin: Revolutions come into this world like bastard children, Mr. Dickinson – half improvised and half compromised.

from the movie 1776 (1972)