Reproductive rights, the next president, and the Old Reliable

I used to spend my weekend mornings reading the newspaper. In fact, for about 20 years, I read the News and Observer nearly every day. Then back in January of 2006, at a time when the newspaper was more delusional than usual, I found this editorial about Supreme Court nominee Alito that quite nearly took my breath away:

But it's significant that unlike some earlier Supreme Court nominees, Alito interprets the Constitution as providing a right to privacy, which undergirds the Roe decision. On a different level, Alito proved himself a patient listener during tense moments in the hearings. That quality, along with the respect he has earned among colleagues on the bench, are reasons to hope he will continue to decide cases on the law and the facts, not on any agenda.

Having watched every minute of the Alito hearings, and finding absolutely no evidence that he believes there is a right to privacy in the Constitution, I used that opportunity to finally cancel my subscription to the paper once and for all.

As it turns out, I was right about the disastrous impact of George Bush's Supreme Court, which is now considered to be just another arm of the Republican Party, and I fear it's going to get worse before it gets better.

Open thread: You're fired edition

Bad news for five staff members at the Winston-Salem Journal. Just got this by email:

Journal to trim sections, staff to reduce costs

The Winston-Salem Journal will eliminate its daily business-news section, combine some Sunday sections and eliminate five positions to reduce costs, the Journal’s president and publisher said yesterday in a letter to employees.

The Journal no longer will publish a separate business-news section, except on Sundays. Instead, two pages will be added to the Local section during the week for business news and stocks of local interest. In addition, the Sunday Living and Arts sections will be combined into one section with a focus on arts coverage.

Miller said that the Journal will continue to invest in its Web site and online products, which he said are “growing at a solid pace.” Of the five positions eliminated, two were in the news department.

Looks like the beginning of a slow and painful death to me.

A Gathering of Chickenhawks

In addition to having their hands full fighting the US Navy's attempts to occupy their county, some people in Washington, NC, are also confronting a recurring infestation of Bushbot Chickenhawks who masquerade under the name "Gathering of Eagles."

A woman from Washington named Pat Siebert has requested a permit to protest the war on the waterfront there. Today she was expecting a turnout of four or five brave souls. To which the Gathering of Chickenhawks has responded with a full-court assault on the patriotism of those who dare to protest.

A man named Capt. Bailey, of Chocowinity, has apparently taken the protest as an opportunity to launch his personal vendetta by requesting his military buddies to come to Washington from all over the east coast and stand on the opposite side of the street. While they are standing there, they call the protesters names, give them finger, and basically do everything they can to antagonize the grannies. The grannies say nothing.

According to one of the anti-war protesters:

It is ironic that these brave men have taken it upon themselves to enhance their masculinity by picking on the grannies. The bikers travel from the western part of the state ... skipping the protests in Chapel Hill, etc. just to beat up on the weak. What these men say and do would sicken anyone with decency.

How Do You Spell Success?

My open feud with the News and Observer's editorial pages goes back a couple of years when the paper gave George Bush the benefit of the doubt regarding the his war in Iraq. The N&O wasn't exactly a cheerleader, and in his personal columns, Steve Ford often wondered about the long-term consequences of military action. But neither was the paper a strong and vocal critic of Bush's disastrous foreign policy.

Today's lead editorial is more of the same. The paper calls George Bush out on his stunning hypocrisy, but still holds on to the delusion of hope that something called "success" can emerge from the ashes of Iraq.

Smithfield enlists government to do its dirty work

It seems like every time the UFCW organizing drive at Smithfield gains traction, Immigration and Customs Enforcement goons magically show up to terrorize the company's immigrant workers:

Federal immigration officials conducted a raid Wednesday -- the second this year -- at Smithfield Foods' giant pork slaughterhouse in Bladen County.

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