Recent News

I’ve been busy with life over the past week or two, so my posting has been more limited than usual. I hope to change that a bit as I adjust to juggling everything. Let me start with some recent news, not all of which will necessarily be quite that recent:

DOMA is dead. This isn’t a huge shock, but it was obviously the right move – not that all this bigotry was going to stand much longer in California anyway. And, coming as even less of a shock, my prediction about Political Figure Antonin Scalia was dead on. Specifically, I cited a dissent he wrote in Lawrence v Texas where he said that the majority’s decision to keep government out of our bedrooms was predicated on the principle that government would have to recognize homosexual relationships (at least in certain capacities, though Scalia wrote broadly and vaguely here). I also pointed out his supposed adherence to stare decisis, which essentially is the idea that past decisions of the Court must be factored into future decisions. Clearly there is a conflict in his DOMA dissent: He can’t claim that he is duty-bound by decision X then turn around and ignore that decision in a case where it is explicitly relevant – at least not if he wants anyone to believe he isn’t merely making a personal, political decision.

Wendy Davis of Texas is pretty awesome. She managed to filibuster a shitty abortion bill the old fashioned way by standing and talking for a dozen or so hours. Now we just need to make that be a requirement again on the federal level.

President Obama has said he isn’t personally involved in the hunt for Edward Snowden. There are a few points I have on this. First, Edward Snowden is a god damned hero. We should give that a man a parade immediately after we strip the NSA of nearly all its powers. Second, my opinion of the President has sunk significantly over these privacy issues. I still support his economic policies (which would be successful if we weren’t forced into running that 3/4 Republican-style economy because Congress is composed of children), but I can’t get behind the destruction of the Fourth Amendment. Third, Obama said he isn’t going to scramble any jets “to get a 29-year old hacker”. Hey. Fuck you, man. The only reason for mentioning Snowden’s age (he’s now 30, by the way) is to denigrate him, as if being young is somehow a fault. It isn’t. Moreover, he was fucking right to reveal everything he did. Double moreover, he wasn’t and isn’t a hacker. He was a guy with administrative privileges as granted to him illegally by some secret kangaroo, warrant-rubber-stamping court.

A 19 year old teenager is sitting behind bars for exercising his First Amendment rights. The teen, Justin Carter, was playing a video game when another player called him insane. He then replied, “‘Oh yeah, I’m real messed up in the head, I’m going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts.” He then said “lol” and “jk”. (The article explains what these mean. Whereas I feel you shouldn’t be on the Internet if you don’t know their meanings, I will not explain them.) This is pretty obvious bullshit. It was sarcasm which was absurd and dismissed immediately as a joke. In no way could a reasonable person believe that Carter was making a legitimate threat, yet now he sits in jail, charged with the vague ‘crime’ of making “terroristic” threats. I doubt this would have happened to a well-to-do person in his 40’s. But, hey, it’s easiest to ruin the lives of young people. Here’s a petition to change this horseshit. I hope district attorney Jennifer Tharp is disbarred for abusing her authority, the officers and investigators involved are fire, and everyone who has played a role in this clearly unconstitutional arrest is themselves arrested and jailed. That would be justice.

Advertisements

Recent news

The biggest story of the week needs no link. They killed one terrorist fuck and caught his terrorist fuck of a brother. The city of Boston, Boston Police, ATF, FBI, and all the law enforcement proved themselves to be extraordinary throughout this whole ordeal. I frequently say not to talk to the police and to never give up your rights, but this is one of those times where if the police wanted to search my person or property in their efforts to find such dangerous individuals, I don’t think I would have impeded them. (That said, I still really like, appreciate, and support things like this.)

A fertilizer plant in Texas exploded, destroying a portion of a small town and killing many. It has been found that the plant failed to report the excessive amount of flammable materials it had, as required by the government. It isn’t clear if that contributed to the blast, but it is clear that any argument that private industry will do the right thing without regulation is bunk – just imagine how many companies would have unsafe practices if they weren’t willing to break the law like this one apparently did.

David Ortiz, DH for the Boston Red Sox, told Fenway today that “This is our fucking city.” The FCC chairman Tweeted this in response: David Ortiz spoke from the heart at today’s Red Sox game. I stand with Big Papi and the people of Boston. The same lack of action should happen every time someone swears on television or pops out a nipple, but I’m glad our government’s censorship board has at least a little perspective.

Kansas has passed an anti-abortion law arbitrarily defining life as beginning at fertilization. I thought all these Republican-led legislatures were about the economy. I’m shocked – shocked! – that they’re really about ill-conceived/considered social policy.

Maine’s Governor, Paul LePage, has once again made an ass of himself. He has claimed that a wind turbine at one of the state’s university campuses has an electric motor that’s used when people visit. A spokesperson literally laughed out loud at the comment, shooting down the false accusation. And why did LePage say something so stupid? It isn’t that he’s against wind power; he actually once lamented an environmental agency that blocked a private company from installing turbines on a mountainside. He just doesn’t like that the project is government-based. Apparently there isn’t a single thing the government can do successfully in the small minds of so many Republicans.

The Boy Scouts have proposed allowing gay youth but not gay adults. There’s no way around saying it: This betrays not merely an ignorant mindset, but a truly stupid world perspective and understanding. It is not inherent or characteristic that gay adults seek to molest, rape, or in any other way harm children. You’re an awful person if you think otherwise.

Recent news

I’ve been busy over the past week, so some of this may not be quite so recent, but it’s all worth a mention:

A baby was effectively cured of HIV. I say “effectively” because this was done via some new treatment or pill or shot. The baby was given the usual cocktail, but it received doses far earlier than is generally considered safe. The result, though, is a happy one. I’ll be interested to know if it’s possible for the child to pass on any remnants of the virus that are virtually hidden within it when it becomes an adult.

There has been an outcry over a study linking decreased housework to greater waistlines among women. Basically, researchers made a simple correlation between women getting less exercise by virtue of moving from housework to white collar jobs. It was in no way sexist or suggesting a regress to the days of Laura Petrie. It was science. And it was a descriptive claim, not a normative one. All we should take from it is that a lot of people really need basic philosophy courses.

Political Figure Antonin Scalia called the right to vote a “racial entitlement”. I think Rachel Maddow said it best in a recent interview on The Daily Show when she called Scalia a troll. The guy wants nothing more than to get people riled up at his idiotic, legally incoherent views. The day he retires or dies will be one of the best days this country has ever seen.

Richard Dawkins will be on The Simpsons this Sunday. It’s unclear what his role will be, but the plot revolves around Ned Flanders, so hopefully there will be an interaction between the two of them.

A federal judge is taking a look at Michigan’s bigoted state constitutional amendment against marriage equality. If it turns out that the correct interpretation is made and such amendments at the state level are found to be a violation of the U.S. constitution, then the end of discrimination in marriage may be closer than I think anyone ever thought.

Recent News

Here’s all the news that’s fit to…blog.

~~~

The Boy Scouts of America is considering a vote to end its ban on gay scouts and leaders. They have actually decided to delay a vote, but it looks like it’s only a matter of time until the group moves to the right side of history (even if it doesn’t happen this year).

The ACLU is suing an Ohio school for displaying a picture of Jesus. I was going to start off my commentary with a prediction that one of the first arguments we’ll hear in favor of keeping the picture is that it has “historical significance”…except I found that as I read the article, that exact argument has already been made. It’s ridiculous. Adolf Hitler also has historical significance, so why not display his picture? Oh, you mean to tell that it would appear as though such a display endorses Nazi Germany? Weird how that works.

Chris Christie is fat. Okay, so this isn’t news, but it is news that he has taken to speaking about it more openly than in the past. In response, a doctor that was asked about him said that he was at risk for a heart attack, stroke, and early death. Christie then got upset, said the doctor had never examined him or seen his records (which is true) and that it was hackery to make such comments. Except he’s wrong. He is obese and as a result he is at greater risk for all those things. Indeed, all obese people are.

King Richard III’s remains were recently found beneath a parking lot. A meme has been making the rounds that says this king is the hide-and-seek champion from the mid-1400’s to today, but I have to wonder. What about that Jesus fella? Or do his appearances on toast break his streak?

One of the most popular Super Bowl ads was the Dodge Ram/farmers one. Playing to America’s undeserved respect for religion, Dodge advertised one of its trucks using a speech by Paul Harvey. Apparently God had time to make really versatile farmers, but he couldn’t be bothered to create, say, versatile farmland in sub-Saharan Africa. (By the way, this was the best ad.)

The Day of Prayer was held yesterday. President Obama was quoted as saying, “But I go back to the Oval Office and I start watching the cable news networks, and it’s like we didn’t pray.” You mean to tell me that praying and not praying give the exact same results? Crazy.

Recent news

Here’s a quick round-up of some recent news:

President Obama has been sworn into his second term. The ceremony was a small one done inside the White House in order to meet constitutional requirements that the inauguration take place on January 20th, but there will be the usual public spectacle tomorrow. I expect FOX Noise and other conservative mouth-pieces to compare the turnout between the President’s first inauguration and this one, attempting to make the argument that he has lost popularity and doesn’t enjoy any sort of mandate. It will be a shitty argument since 2nd inaugurations are traditionally filled with less pomp and circumstance.

So-called responsible gun owners keep shooting each other. This weekend has seen ‘Gun Appreciation Day’, an event apparently organized by some guy by the name of Larry Ward. The result has been at least 5 accidental shootings as linked above, but I’ve seen unconfirmed Facebook pictures floating around placing the number at 8. This isn’t any surprise considering how many accidental shootings occur in homes with a single gun.

Over 40 million private sector workers do not have paid sick leave. This is one of the many flaws that arise from the magical hand of the free market. We can’t expect the private sector to voluntarily offer paid sick time to employees; these businesses are looking at the short term. If they had a longer and wider view of the economy, they would recognize that their sick employees spread disease, resulting in greater loss to the economy through more people who call out. Moreover, if their sick employees do call out, that’s a loss to the employee. And as we all know but as conservatives ignore, the economy is majority-run by the consumer. We need people making and spending money.

Religious fighting continues in Mali. I find it interesting that a country with its own religious strife, Nigeria, is getting involved with one-door-over neighbor, but it isn’t overly surprising to see religion filling the gap left by corrupt governments, thus creating greater instability and less freedom. That’s sort of what religion has been doing for the past few thousand years.

Former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin has been charged with taking bribes. I only find this satisfying because of how disgusted I was when he said New Orleans needs to stay “a chocolate city”. It was blatantly racist horseshit.

The AFC Championship game takes place tonight. The Ravens are rolling into Foxborough at 6:30 tonight, hopefully to face another devastating loss. I don’t know, though. I fully expect a close game, so I won’t be shocked if my Patriots are golfing come Monday. I just hope they utilize their hurry-up offense way more than usual given the comments of a Raven linebacker.