Sorry, Mr. Jefferson

Sorry, Mr. Jefferson, it is now a terrible idea to go to school in Virginia.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says Virginia’s colleges and universities cannot prohibit discrimination against gays because the General Assembly has not authorized them to do so.

In a letter Thursday to the presidents, rectors and boards of visitors of Virginia public colleges, Cuccinelli said: the law and public policy of Virginia “prohibit a college or university from including ‘sexual orientation’, ‘gender identity’, ‘gender expression’ or like classification, as a protected class within its non-discrimination policy, absent specific authorization from the General Assembly.“

Most places of higher education have the reasonable policy of not allowing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. It just isn’t relevant to the quality of work one can produce. And fortunately for much of the country, places of higher education do not include many in the general population who tend to be bigoted towards gays (i.e., old people who never needed to go to school to get decent jobs, the religious who are hostile toward secular education [such as facts], dumb people, etc). And some states even have laws banning discrimination based upon sexual orientation. In fact, despite my home state recently voting in favor of bigotry – and for no reason other than “ewwww!!!!” – there is a law on the books (after many tries) which bans sexual orientation discrimination in Maine. But this is New England, the place where fewer people tend to think their sexual orientation is superior to that of others.

Jon Blair, chief executive officer of Equality Virginia, criticized Cuccinelli’s opinion.

“Attorney General Cuccinelli clearly doesn’t understand that his radical actions are putting Virginia at risk of losing both top students and faculty, and discouraging prospective ones from coming here,“ he said.

That’s unfortunate for education in Virginia, but I hope it happens. Cuccinelli is another conservative out to ruin the liberty and rights of individuals for no good reason. Anyone considering school in Virginia should only do so once this issue is resolved in favor of equality.

Oh, and this.

In his first weeks as the state’s top lawyer, Cuccinelli has not tried to hide his conservative political philosophy.

He filed petitions seeking to block a decision by the Environmental Protection Agency that global warming poses a threat to people.

There’s some underlying horror that seems to cause certain people to go off the deep end, embrace crazy ideas, and reject all that is real.

Quality music

I often hate most music I hear. It sucks. Objectively. No, no. I know what you’re thinking, “But Michael, it’s art. There’s a high subjectivity to it all, isn’t there? And even if we can say something objectively, then whether someone likes something or not, it’s still ultimately opinion, no?” Nope. It sucks.

But that isn’t the case with all music. Every once in awhile something with quality will come along. That was the case last night in Portland (the original, not that copycat place) at The Apohadion. I saw four local bands/acts: Shai Erlichman, The Cups, Manners, and Theodore Treehouse. They were all fun. And that’s a term I think should mean more than it usually does. Take movies, for instance. The term is bandied about for crappy summer nothing movies (“The most fun you’ll have all year at the movies!”), but it should be reserved for something with quality. I recall one critic describing Catch Me If You Can as a fun movie, and that’s entirely accurate. It’s also a great movie. It had something to it that made it more than just another movie. That’s how I feel about good bands. If I’m going to call them fun, there needs to be something more, some depth. I would say that applies to everyone I saw last night.

Thought of the day

Apparently reaching 100,000 blog hits means an increase in spam that gets through the filter. Awesome.