politics, art... you know, the usual

Yesterday I saw a neon sign along 10th Avenue with some broken letters. The remainder read "SUPPORT OUR OOPS". I could only wonder how long it had been left in that state, and lament that we were driving by too fast to get a picture.

Kudos to the state of New Jersey whose activist judges have legislated from the bench in their war on people of faith and delcared that the state must create a legal status for homosexual couples that is equivalent to marriage. The state is not required label such a union "marriage" but it must be legally equivalent to heterosexual marriage. As proof that there's no pleasing some people, the chairman of Garden State Equality told the New York Times that "Those who would view today's ruling as a victory for same sex couples are dead wrong," and that "(h)alf-steps short of marriage — like New Jersey's domestic-partnership law and also civil union laws — don't work in the real world."

These are the hilarious vicissitudes of Federalism. A state can attempt to expand the freedom and liberty of its citizens while the Congress has taken steps to completely eliminate our so-called Republic by passing the Military Commissions Act of 2006. People, we now live in an overt tyranny which has done away with habeas corpus (the right to challenge your detention). The Executive now has the power to declare anyone, citizen or non, to be an "unlawful enemy combatant" and thereby strip them of all rights and confine them indefinitely to a secret prison. In that prison, nothing which will happen to them will be deemed torture, because as of now the President has the ability to decide what is and is not torture.

But it'll never happen to you, right? Well, according to a speech Sid Blumenthal delivered at the Center for American Progress on Oct. 23rd, Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's former chief of staff, believes there are approximately 35,000 people around the world secretly imprisoned by the United States and that only 5% of those prisoners "might" have something to do with terrorism. Obviously there's a lot of verification and fact checking required to support those statements, but I'm (unsurprisingly) inclined to believe them. Last month the AP reported there were at least 14,000 secret prisoners out there... so it's not terribly farfetched.

Finally, I had the pleasure of touring artist Alex Grey's gallery called the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. For only $5 one can wander around take in his (generally) enormous and incredibly detailed "visionary" paintings. I recommend taking a look.

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