CNN had a panel on the War on Christmas (as the Daily Show put it, "Shit Got Weird Edition"). In response to two of the panelists who were discussing the great damage European (read "White") hegemony of Christianity has done in this world, the third panelist was stupid enough to say, "I'd hate Christmas morning in your house!"
Which got the response, "I'm Jewish, so..." what he didn't have to say to finish that sentence was, you've just proven my point.
Except that while he's A victim of the man set to die. He isn't one of the two victims who this man was sentenced to die for killing. Nor is he one of the 23 other people this man killed.
So I would politely invite Mr Flynt to shut the fuck up.
While I can certainly understand the ACLU's concern that the death penalty is poorly administered in our country, and taking any opportunity they can to weaken it, if they could not find any of the victims actually impacted by the crimes for which this many has been sentenced to die, they should have just done without a victim in their attack on the death penalty. This comes across as a self serving attention grab from a man noted among pornographers for his lack of social graces. And it is particularly galling to any of the relatives of those 25 dead people who might really want to see the perpetrator dead.
I realize that we as a society cannot simply bow to the desires of victims to mete out the harshest of punishments for any crime, but that's a blade that cuts both ways. We can no more grant ill considered mercy because a victim has forgiven than we can be more harsh than prudent because a victim has not.
This contains two streams of thought.
First, that the NFL, and its locker rooms in particular, are a special preserve that people on the outside just can't understand.
In a brief word, bullshit.
Yes, every workplace is a world unto itself with a set of morals and boundaries. Jocularity and fun are different depending on who and where you are. However, every workplace is still a part of our society and there are a set of loose restrictions beyond which no subset of our society strays without violation. By all accounts, what happened in the Dolphins organization went well beyond those boundaries.
But more worryingly is the attitude that professional football is a violent game and that the people who play it have to be reprehensible people in order to compete so what can you do?
There is a group of people in our society we charge with the most antisocial behavior possible, killing people. They're called our military. If anyone in the military had engaged in this kind of behavior their career would have ended, possibly with a court martial.
I propose a new rule for those who claim that the aims of their organization is more important than either the individual dignity of the participants or the honoring of social norms within their organization, if the US military can't do it, neither can you. This goes for sports teams, fraternities (and sororities, for that matter), police departments, law firms, churches, and all the other organizations in our society getting away with wildly antisocial behavior.
Reading that, I realized Orson Scott Card isn't actually a very good author and I was pretty turned off from everything associated with him. This happened in about 1988, so his later political lunacy has nothing to do with it.
His one good novel was spoiled by his next one and I have no interest in getting back into his world or work.
That by not going I am tacitly making a statement about my despite of the author and what he stands for is entirely unintentional good fortune.
I posted this as a comment on an FB link to an article about Rush Limbaugh losing his largest network. I was just so enamored of it I wanted it here for posterity.
The problem is there's plenty of windbags to take his place. He's become so compromised a voice of the right and at the same time the base and its squawking dogs have moved to the right of him that it isn't that the liberal left that finally did him in, rather he was consumed by the cannibals on his own side and will be replaced with someone, from our point of view, worse. This in no way lessens my delight in his demise.
The religious right has has had a lot more success lately with buycotts than they have with boycotts. Just look at JC Penny and Chic-fil-a for example. So now there are two more issues on the horizon that look like buycott opportunities: Enders Game and Russia.
I'm much more excited about the prospect of the former. Can you imagine the mind expanding effects on a whole generation of home schooled Steppford wives and husbands of being exposed to decent sci-fi? (And, yes, I'm assuming it'll be decent; we can only hope).
The latter has the possibility of being even funnier. Russian vodka is verboten in gay bars these days. I'm hoping to see the next Southern Baptist Convention stocked to the rafters with Stoli.
But for the moment, let's say that everyone who has signed that petition is a voting age Texan.
That means that 0.14% of voting eligible Texans want to secede from the Union. To put this in a certain perspective, 10,000 more people want the US to outlaw "offending prophets of major religions". But I'm very disappointed only 12,000 people wanted the White House beer recipe.
There is absolutely no excuse for this crap being taken seriously by anyone.
I've seen some of the more conservative voices I follow on various forms of social and other media crowing about this. Evidently they've learned nothing from the most recent election news cycle. The nation, and even the deeply red states, are steadily moving away from them.
The Republican Party is faced with a fundamental choice at this point; find a way to accommodate the views of the majority of Americans or cease to be an influence in the political arena.
'Cause taking your ball and going home hasn't been an acceptable answer since the ratification of the Constitution.
[Edited to add link to actual petition being discussed and to note the number's gone up to 30,000. However, they'd need 180,000 just to get to 1%, so not even all the billionaires in Texas are on board)
And just for my edification, when did Dockers become verboten? One of these gentlemen (using that term as loosely as Cowboys special teams slicked down with WD-40) was made physically ill by the sight of someone wearing pleated pants? What the hell's up with that?
Of course, that's not what I believe, but I can see even a reasonable person on the other side of the debate believing it. So this has to be aimed at those in the middle who have not yet formed an opinion on the subject, but I am forced to conclude that the only people in this country who don't have an opinion on the Koch brothers or any other of the myriad of issues that separate the parties and candidates are people who are either so disengaged that this kind of discussion cannot bring them into the political process or are too unintelligent to critically think about any of these issues.
I generally don't talk about her being stupid, because she's not.
However, on ABC's "This Week" today, she demonstrated that she can be.
Coulter dismissed the possibility of Condoleezza Rice as Mitt Romney's running mate on the basis of any woman being too much like Sarah Palin.
Let's face it, I'm no fan of Condoleezza Rice, but of all the negative things that can be said about her and her legacy, "similar to Sarah Palin" is about as from from the truth as is possible without being uttered by Paul Cameron (if you don't know, Google him).
I do not think a national ticket can any longer not include a woman or minority and be successful in the United States. I think Chris Christie or John Kyle, as Coulter suggests, would be an absolute disaster on a ticket for the Republicans.
Let's forget, for the moment, the politics of race and gender. Let's look at the electoral politics. Mitt Romney actually has three states as bases of support: Massachusetts, Michigan and Utah. He will win Utah and lose Massachusetts. Michigan was a 17 point win for Obama in 2008. It's considered a swing state this year, and a popular Republican governor certainly puts it in play. New Jersey, on the other hand, was a nearly 15 point win for Obama in 2008 and there hasn't been a popular governor from either party of New Jersey since Christine Todd Whitman (it was tempting to go with "in a hundred years" since that would have taken us bake to Woodrow Wilson). I don't see Christie bringing New Jersey into the fold. That makes him a waste of a pick. I don't see Christie bringing it along for the Republicans.
Kyle is from Arizona. I can't see that going blue this cycle, which makes him a waste too.
Rubio frankly makes the most sense. He brings a minority presence to the ticket and of the states that went for Obama in 2008, Florida is one of the most vulnerable. It certainly represents the most electoral votes.
Of course, Rick Santorum might or might not bring Pennsylvania with him. But he's not going to do much for the women and minority vote. I think Romney's more attractive in that arena.
But again, the electoral politics are of less consequence than the fact that America is no longer going to tolerate a couple of white middle aged guys at the top of our tickets.
However, I do think it's the responsibility of everyone who passes this info along to point out that Avenger Controllers has severed all ties with Ocean Marketing and Paul Christofolo. If I were a gamer, I'd buy an Avenger just for that. http://www.natesnetwork.com/Poor-
It kind of ignores the whole political process.
We have a representative democracy in this country. We choose people we think will represent our needs, interests and ideas to serve us in Congress. Members of the House each represent roughly the same number of people (yes, I know that's not entirely true, but it's true enough for this discussion). Members of the Senate represent entire states.
When this works well, there is a balance between working in the best interests of the entire country and working in the best interests of the individual states and Congressional districts.
In times of internal crisis, things tend to not work well. At one point in our history, it worked so poorly, the Union was dissolved.
Well, we're in the middle of the greatest internal crisis since the early 20th Century. It's possible when this is all over, it will be the greatest crisis since the lat 19th Century, and if it isn't controlled by then, it may be the greatest and last crisis this country faces.
Predictably, Congress isn't working at it's optimum.
And observers seem to forget it's their fault. Many of those who are most vocal about how damaged Congress is would never think of voting against their Representative or Senator. It's all those other guys elected by those idiots a district, a state over.
Until local Congressional approval ratings dip significantly, there will be no change in Washington.
Government is not business. Trying to impose a business paradigm on what is not a business only reveals a fundamental lack of understanding of both business and government.
At 7:55am my phone rings, waking me up. It's a number I don't recognize in McKinney so I decide it's no one I need to talk to at 7:55 on a Sunday morning.
The phone almost immediately rings again.
I answer and get, "Who's this?"
"Jonathan. Who's this?"
"Mumble, mumble, mumble.... I'm trying to find my phone."
"What number are you trying to call?"
"[a number that shares many of the same numbers as mine, but importantly where mine is '55', it's '33']"
"You're dialing [my number]."
And by 9:45am, I finally decided going back to sleep was not going to happen.
I think someone's going to get a 7:00am call next Sunday.
And no, while we traveled further down the road with each other, he did not hang up the phone.