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Showing posts from June, 2013

Gay marriage and religious rights

I mentioned the good news on gay marriage at the end of my last post. I didn't feel the need to comment more since it's so plainly right and pointing out how wrong those who oppose it are would be, at this point, redundant and exhausting. But Charles Pierce brought my attention to Ross Douthat's response to the Supreme Court ruling on DOMA and I couldn't resist:

Unless something dramatic changes in the drift of public opinion, the future of religious liberty on these issues is going to depend in part on the magnanimity of gay marriage supporters - the extent to which they are content with political, legal and cultural victories that leave the traditional view of marriage as a minority perspective with some modest purchase in civil society, versus the extent to which they decide to use every possible lever to make traditionalism as radioactive in the America of 2025 as white supremacism or anti-Semitism are today.
So because more and more people might see the anti-gay ma…

This week in racism

Race has been in the news a lot this week with the Supreme Court's ridiculous decision to rule parts of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional, the affirmative action case (especially Thomas' concurrence) and with Paula Deen saying racist stuff (I've always found her extremely annoying). Alyssa Rosenberg has a good post about Paula Deen and how people like her trying to change the narrative. Check that out here. Dustin Rowles over at Pajiba has a good post describing his experience being born in the south and dealing with racism. Before you check it out, beware the horrible picture of Deen. You've been warned. Dustin's experience felt similar to mine, which I posted in the comments over there which I'll put here as well:

I was born in Memphis and have lived here most my life. It's a clusterfuck of racial tension. Words like "nigger" are rarely said in public. And people have gotten very good at using code words and couching their arguments in what …

The Farm Bill clusterfuck

Because about half of this country seems to have always hated the poor, food stamps (or SNAP) funding has been a part of what is know as the farm bill for a while so that it would have an easier time passing than if it were left to be voted on by it's own merits. It's actually the biggest part of the farm bill, which also includes subsides for people like Rep. Stephen Fincher who can use those subsides for their corporate farms to get rich and run for congress where they lecture people on how Jesus really didn't care about the poor unless they put in a full 60 hour work week, or were a farmer like him.

This process by which we throw a few bones to poor people so they can afford to eat while giving wealthy farmers millions of dollars usually goes off without much of a hitch, because of course it does in our corporatocracy. But this year's vote in the House brought it down in spectacular fashion when the combination of some Republicans disliking the fact that the bill d…

Man of Steel review

I've never been a huge Superman fan. I respect the character. And while I also respect the original Superman movies for breaking new ground, I have major problems with them. Superman Returns wasn't bad. And Smallville had some decent stretches. But I was hoping that my lack of love for Superman was a problem with filmmakers just not getting it right rather than an inherent flaw. So I wasn't as excited for Man of Steel as I was for The Dark Knight Trilogy. But I was excited enough to go to a midnight screening.

My first impression of the movie was kind of...meh. It was pretty good, but not as good as most of the early reviews said it was. The first half of the movie worked well. I was emotionally invested in Clark and the story. But the second half kind of lost me. I didn't feel much tension within the many fight scenes. And I didn't care for what had to be a ton of civilian casualties as a result of the massively destructive fights. Visually everything was very go…

Kevin Drum on chutzpah

This is a fine example of chutzpah Kevin Drum alerts us to, from Senator Jeff Sessions on why he opposes immigration reform:

This increased GDP will be at the expense of poor and working-class Americans. The benefit will go to the business owners while the wages of U.S. workers—which should be growing—will instead decline
I want to print out that quote and throw it at Sessions every time he contradicts it. My arm would get tired pretty quickly because as Drum points out, Session and Republicans have never given a shit about the expense of the poor and working class. If they did the business owners and rich of this country wouldn't have been making the vast majority of economic gains at the expense of the rest of us for at least the past 30 years. I'm so sick of the elite white men of this country being assholes that soon I'll have to start giving myself pep talks in front of the mirror so I don't hate myself for being one of them, well, except for the elite part.

Why is the US involved in Syria?

It was reported recently that Syria has used chemical weapons on some people. And for some reason, killing some people with those weapons is completely different than killing many, many more people with other weapons to the Obama administration. Thus they decided they had to do something more than what they were doing, which is openly arming rebels against the Syrian gov't.

There are big questions as to who among those rebels we should arm, not to mention the more important question of whether it's a good idea in the first place (see Afghanistan for perhaps the best example as to that problem, more recently Libya). I've tweeted links to smart takes on those questions. I didn't blog about it because I don't think I can add much to them. So I'll leave you to comb my twitter feed if you're interested in the specifics as to why it's probably not a good idea to arm rebels or do much of anything to escalate our involvement in the situation. It sucks to have …