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News: Paris Attack, Bus Driver Bigot, Brokeback Bee Gee

road.jpg A Minneapolis Metro Transit bus driver who requested to be allowed not to drive buses with gay-themed advertisements because of religious beliefs is having his wish granted, according to public transit officials. Union leaders accused Metro Transit of "condoning intolerance". The ad that brought up the objection was one taken out by Lavender Magazine emblazoned with the catchphrase "Unleash Your Inner Gay". So the bus driver instead unleashed his inner bigot.

Posjnroad.jpg Paris under attack by hungry Fembot.

road.jpg Gay Iranians offered asylum in The Netherlands. Gay rights group applauds: "Homosexual Iranian asylum seekers can now find a safe haven in the Netherlands from the persecution and inhuman treatment they face in Iran. A year ago, an Iranian asylum seeker with a death sentence hanging over his head was still sitting at Schiphol airport waiting to be deported."

road.jpg Bee Gee Barry Gibb and buddy release DVD featuring Brokeback Mountain parody.

road.jpg American Idol contestant RJ Helton comes out of the closet.

road.jpg Keith Olbermann calls out Bush on Military Commissions act: "And if you somehow think Habeas Corpus has not been suspended for American citizens but only for everybody else, ask yourself this: If you are pulled off the street tomorrow, and they call you an alien or an undocumented immigrant or an "unlawful enemy combatant" — exactly how are you going to convince them to give you a court hearing to prove you are not? Do you think this Attorney General is going to help you? This President now has his blank check. He lied to get it. He lied as he received it. Is there any reason to even hope, he has not lied about how he intends to use it, nor who he intends to use it against?"

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  1. A out gay, christian, hispanic hottie singer. That sounds like a first to me.

    Posted by: SimonL | Oct 19, 2006 4:42:05 PM


  2. RJ Helton, gay? His shelf life expired years ago so I doubt anyone's shocked or worse, interested.

    Posted by: gabe | Oct 19, 2006 4:49:00 PM


  3. October is National Coming Out Month indeed because TR Knight (Grey's Anatomy) also came out today.

    www.people.com

    Posted by: gabe | Oct 19, 2006 5:00:25 PM


  4. NEWS ALERT: Edward R. Murrow's spirit has possesed Keith Olberman. America shall be much better off for it.


    Goodnight and goodluck

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Oct 19, 2006 5:03:04 PM


  5. Fact-checking Olbermann again (this is becoming like a full time job...I should get health benefits or something), and it appears he is once again in error. The MCA provides for exactly the kind of court hearing he claims does not exist:

    "The jurisdiction of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on any claims with respect to an alien under this paragraph shall be limited to the consideration of whether the status determination ... was consistent with the standards and procedures specified by the Secretary of Defense for Combatant Status Review Tribunals ... and to the extent the Constitution and laws of the United States are applicable, whether the use of such standards and procedures to make the determination is consistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States." §1005(e)(2), 119 Stat. 2742.

    In other words, if the government makes a mistake in declaring you an "alien enemy combatant" or whatever, you have a right to this 1005 hearing...you show the judge your birth certificate...et voila! Hardly a "blank check."

    Come to think of it, aliens can use this 1005 hearing to challenge their status as enemy combatants...they win, they can then file for Habeus. In essense, a 1005 hearing IS a Habeus proceeding for aliens.

    This whole controversy: Tempest in a teapot methinks.

    Geez, you'd think a big corporation like MSNBC could afford to hire a $20 an hour paralegal to actually read the laws and explain them to Olbermann, before he goes on the air and embarrasses himself repeatedly.

    Posted by: Pompeius | Oct 19, 2006 5:11:41 PM


  6. Lavender Magazine should immediately retool its bus campaign to read: "This biggot-free bus brought to you by Lavender Magazine."

    Posted by: Patrick W. | Oct 19, 2006 5:13:09 PM


  7. Okay, Pompeius.

    You've been picked up by the CIA--not from an actual battlefield, of course, but from anywhere (inside or outside the U.S.)--and are being held in an undisclosed location, probably an overseas black site. No one knows what happened to you or where you are. You have simply disappeared.

    Despite your insistence that you be allowed to see a lawyer, neither your captors nor the occasional interrogators/torturers who seem to be officials of the U.S. government have seen fit to make that connection for you.

    How exactly do you get the subject of your detention on an appeals court docket?

    Posted by: 24play | Oct 19, 2006 5:35:52 PM


  8. 24PLAY:

    SHUT UP TERRORIST!

    Like that.

    Posted by: david | Oct 19, 2006 5:36:47 PM


  9. RJ Helton . . . what a blast from the past. I'm actually kind of shocked because I always just assumed he was out. I remember him on the Old Navy commercials. Tee hee.

    Posted by: gander | Oct 19, 2006 5:49:17 PM


  10. Now now, David, everyone is miraculously playing nice for a refreshing change, lets try to keep it that way...

    24PLAY, in your hypothetical, the answer is: nothing. I can do nothing in that scenario. Agreed?

    But lawbreaking government thugs, could, hypothetically, have physically done that to anyone w/o this new law we are talking about, right?

    So...what's your point exactly?

    Posted by: Pompeius | Oct 19, 2006 6:07:03 PM


  11. Pompeius,

    It was a most mild sarcasm. Meaning that as he was asking for his detention to get on the docket, the men in black would slap him around and call him that ageless catch-all: terrorist.

    The point is, now, that they won't be breaking the law, where in the past they would have - er - they were.

    Posted by: David | Oct 19, 2006 6:19:11 PM


  12. Olberman is not alone in this assessment. ACLU makes the same claim as do dozens of sites and news people. Just surf around and you'll see.

    We should be addressing what can we do to overturn this insanity.

    Posted by: dc-20008 | Oct 19, 2006 6:31:08 PM


  13. David,

    But, 24PLAY's hypothetical has the Feds breaking the new law by denying them that hearing in the law...the one Olbermann seems unaware of...see what I'm saying?

    Don't get me wrong, 24PLAY is absolutely right to be concerned about illegal government abuse of power. That's why I'm a card-carrying NRA member in fact...IMO, the 2nd Amendment is the BEST deterrance against 24PLAY's nightmare scenario.

    Yes, the 2nd Amendment: A MUCH better way to oppose government tyranny, than all this ranting against some irrelevant words on a piece of paper.

    Posted by: Pompeius | Oct 19, 2006 6:37:36 PM


  14. depends how many mens and guns are against you...

    Posted by: dc-20008 | Oct 19, 2006 6:45:44 PM


  15. Pompeius,

    Why don't you just let us all know what you WON'T rationalize for the sake of your party (uber alles!)? What is your limit? Then we can quit arguing.

    Obviously you have no grasp of legal concepts such as standard of review that a court would apply to administrative proceedings. Now add a state of emergency to the scenario. How about another Katrina? How about massive rioting? How fairly do you think this law would be applied by imperfect men and women?

    The fact is, if you support this law, if you support this assault on the rule of law, on the fabric of our democracy itself, you are a traitor to our country.

    Let me repeat that.

    If you support this law, the undoing of habeus corpus and the endowment of the President with superlegal authority, you are a traitor to this country. This law has *nothing* to do with protecting *anyone.* It's merely another push for the "unitary executive" Republican agenda, in short, an effort to elevate the executive above the other branches of government, to push us further toward authoritarianism.

    If you really need a "big daddy" to protect you that badly, MOVE SOMEWHERE ELSE, you pussy. Take your bogeyman complex elsewhere. Don't quote some statutory provision and then tell the rest of us that we should simply trust the most egregious, self-serving liars this country has ever seen to act fairly.

    Posted by: nuflux | Oct 19, 2006 6:55:38 PM


  16. So you're going to shoot - the - hypothetical - bad guys / MIB / CIA whatever - people - that decide homos are not worthy of citizenship and come to put us on the dark trains that run in the middle of the night? You are going to shoot all of them?

    I don't know if it's ranting. This is one venue of communication. I don't know that I think gun ownership and an avowal to kill really protects gays and lesbians from - from whatever.

    I'm already a second class citizen. When do I become persona non grata? And then when does the ACLU become someone who aids and comforts the enemy...and since I give them money - am I a terror supporter, etc.?

    Do you see how this goes?

    I respect the point of view that we need to be vigilant, but we also need to accept responsibility for our actions - our actions as a nation.

    This bizarre bloodlust, demonization, willingness to torture individuals who may or may not be "terrorists" - hold them forever - what if just one of them is innocent? Just one? Is this worth it?

    How many lives are worth it? The 3000 on 9.11? The half a million in Iraq since? What about the half a million before? Saddam killed 200K. We've killed a million (in Iraq and elsewhere) not directly, not with your gun per se, but by our actions, our hubris and our sanctimony.

    (but 9.11...but 9.11...)

    Our bodycount, and our willingness to dismiss it - or add to it - that is what I am afraid of.

    Posted by: david | Oct 19, 2006 7:03:45 PM


  17. Nuflux: You are making what is known as a "straw man argument." No where did I ever say I supported a law that suspended habeus corpus as you describe. Go back and read what I wrote if you do not beleive me. What I said was Olbermann got his facts wrong (again) and needs better fact checkers.

    You think the errors pointed out above are in error? Tell me in what way. And provide citations.

    David: I wont't have to shoot anybody (hopefully). DETERRANCE. Thats the key concept here to grasp. If I, along with all others out there who cherish freedom BAND TOGETHER - me, 24PLAY, you, NUFLUX, etc. - and get behind the greatest Bill of Right of them all - THE SECOND AMENDMENT - we can deter the nightmare scenario of 24PLAY from ever coming to pass. Laws won't protect us from the 24PLAY Hypothetical...the combined DETERRENT effect of ALL of us exercising out 2nd Amendment rights WILL protect us.

    Go to www.nra.org, sign up...and make a REAL difference!

    Posted by: Pompeius | Oct 19, 2006 7:25:09 PM


  18. >> Nuflux: You are making what is known as a "straw man argument." No where did I ever say I supported a law that suspended habeus corpus as you describe. > If I, along with all others out there who cherish freedom BAND TOGETHER - me, 24PLAY, you, NUFLUX, etc. - and get behind the greatest Bill of Right of them all - THE SECOND AMENDMENT - we can deter the nightmare scenario of 24PLAY from ever coming to pass.<<

    The threat of taking up arms against the government? Careful, you're starting to sound like an "unlawful enemy combatant." Why do you hate America, hmm?

    Posted by: nuflux | Oct 19, 2006 7:35:21 PM


  19. Pardon the truncated message. The brackets I used caused formatting problems.

    -- Nuflux: You are making what is known as a "straw man argument." No where did I ever say I supported a law that suspended habeus corpus as you describe. --

    What exactly do you think this law does? It allows the President to designate anyone an "unlawful enemy combatant" and be detained, indefinitely, without the ability to challenge his detainment, and without the ability to face his accusers in court. The provision you cited allows the Court of Appeals to consider such designation only insofar as they are inconsistent with "standards and procedures" set by the Secretary of Defense (!). A court would likely defer to such standards absent any challenge to the underlying statute itself.

    In short, you misread the statement. It isn't simply a matter of "showing your passport." Citizenship has nothing to do with it. And FYI, not all non-Americans are terrorists who deserve lifelong detainment in some third-world dungeon.

    So where is the strawman? Or are you simply trying to change the subject?

    Posted by: nuflux | Oct 19, 2006 7:40:32 PM


  20. Barry Gibb's Brokeback parody sounds HILARIOUS.

    :^|

    Posted by: JOE 2 | Oct 19, 2006 7:46:33 PM


  21. Nuflux,

    Well, no, citizenship has everything to do with this...it is EXTREMELY important distinction in fact...see the discussion in the earlier thread on this subject. I thought you had read this...my apologies.

    Go to the previous thread here on TR:

    http://www.towleroad.com/2006/10/with_stroke_of_.html

    ...and that should bring you up to where we are in the discussion. To sum it up quickly for you though...the habeus corpus provision of the new law only applies to aliens (ie, non-citizens).

    Posted by: Pompeius | Oct 19, 2006 7:57:00 PM


  22. Pompeius,

    While you are correct that the Act provides only for the suspension of habeas corpus as to aliens (section 7), the Act does not discriminate on the basis of citizenship with regard to the designation of "unlawful enemy combatant." That is, *any citizen* of the U.S. may be designated an unlawful enemy combatant under the Act and then detained and imprisoned indefinitely under Ex Parte Quirin, 317 U.S. 1 (1942). At that point, you would have to petition for a habeas writ, assuming that you were in any condition to do so and that your captors allowed it. Then, your petition could be denied, in which case you'd have to wait for appeal. You could be there for years, subject to God knows what kind of "interrogation methods." This is what Olbermann meant when he said, "do you trust this Attorney General to help you?"

    Other slippery provisions in the Act provide for crimes triable by commissions, without specifying whether or not such offenses apply only to non-citizens (although section 3 of the Act provides that military commissions will apply to "any alien unlawful alien combatant," it does not exclude other categories). Certain of the offenses defined are unbelievably broad in the amount of discretion they afford the accuser, including section 950v(b)(25) (providing "material support or resources" to terrorist organizations) and section 950v(b)(26) ("knowingly and intentionally" aiding "the enemy").

    Let's not forget that aliens who are permanent residents in the U.S. now have no habeas rights, and that the Act essentially immunizes government officials for past war crimes and explicitly sets aside the Geneva Conventions for treatment of detainees. Is that the kind of country that makes you proud?

    By the way, the statutory provision you originally cited was from the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, not the MCA.

    Posted by: nuflux | Oct 19, 2006 9:26:26 PM


  23. Speaking of Brokeback [though please never again in the same sentence with Barry Gibb--you'd think he could afford false teeth that fit]————the eBay auction of the [apparent] last of the Brokeback wardrobe ends Friday. I am amazed that clothes that Jake and Heath wore, including PANTS be still my heart, are going so relatively cheaply. A lot of stuff, including things from other cast members. Paging all fetishists!

    Posted by: Leland | Oct 19, 2006 9:27:21 PM


  24. By the way, the Court in Ex parte Quirin, on which the Bush Administration relied in its initial Military Order to try suspected terrorists in 2001, stated, "...the Articles [of the Constitution] also recognize the 'military commission' appointed by military command as an appropriate tribunal for the trial and punishment of offenses against the law of war not ordinarily tried by court martial." The Court continues: "Unlawful combatants are likewise subject to capture and detention, but in addition they are subject to trial and punishment by military tribunals for acts which render their belligerency unlawful."

    The plaintiffs in Quirin *sought* leave to file petitions of habeas corpus and were *denied* that leave by the Supreme Court on the basis of their status as unlawful combatants.

    There you have it--a legal roadmap to deprive a U.S. citizen of habeas rights under the MCA, with a little help from case law. And I think it's telling that Bush has relied upon this case so heavily in the past.

    Posted by: nuflux | Oct 19, 2006 9:46:58 PM


  25. Nuflux,

    Nicely reseached, argued and cited. My compliments.

    I can only add a couple niggly little points:

    1) The MCA refers to the DTA of 2005 for that 1005 hearing provision, which is why I cited it; and

    2) You know, if I were a reasonably competant citizen detainee defense lawyer, my line of argument would be that Congress intended the MCA to override Ex Parte Quirin, as to the whole citizen habeus question. Makes perfect sense, does it not...why else would they have wrote "an alien" in that sentence dealing with denial of habeus to enemy combatants?

    If the MCA helps override a terrible 1942 precendent...then it might actually improve matters, no? Now wouldn't that be ironic!

    In any case, we are a long way from the whole original Olbermann notion of Pres. Bush snapping his fingers, pointing at citizens, then having them legally sent off to prison to rot forever without trial.

    Posted by: Pompeius | Oct 19, 2006 10:49:41 PM


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