Historical Argument

April 2, 2013

The argument before the SUpreme Court over the definition of marriage may be over (for this season, anyway), but the decision is still weeks or months away.

Which gives us time to pick apart the arguments made before the highest court in the land.

One of the main arguments in defense of California’s overturned Proposition 8 is that marriage has always been defined as between a man and a woman. For thousands of years it has been that way.

The coded message is, God said it was so, therefore it is so. But the founders of our nation wisely decided that our government would be of the people, for the people, and by the people… not by a Pope, not by any god, or by anyone claiming to speak for him. So that argument doesn’t hold any weight with the court, so the defenders of bigotry must resort to the coded language: so has it ever been, so shall it ever be.

(This despite the “reverence” with which those against gay marriage claim to have for the Founding Fathers. For that, they have to resort to claiming that the Constitution which the Founders wrote misquotes them!)

But here is the thing – for thousands of years, the definition of a government was a divinely ordained monarch. It may have been fine for our ancestors, but we figured out a better way. Which is why we have an internet to blog on, and a Supreme Court to argue in front of.

Divinely ordained monarchs, the tradition of thousands of years, overturned. A narrow definition of marriage, the tradition of thousands of years… well, for now we can only hope. Figuring out a better way to run things…. a tradition that will hopefully continue for a while!

Third Party

March 29, 2013

The problem with the Republican Party is… well, franky, the Republican Party.

In January, the Republican leadership and conservative strategists met in Charlotte NC to try and figure out what went wrong in their 2012 bid to take control of the Senate and the Presidency. They want to improve the image of the Republican Party, but promise to maintain their core conservative values.

The RNC just released their autopsy of their failed 2012 bid. The results are interesting, but indicate that the Republican Party is about to undergo some serious changes, which the report does not foresee. They are treating the symptoms, and missing the causes and the unintended consequences of trying to win elections with the new strategy.
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Stick A Fork In It

March 28, 2013

The Culture Wars are over!

For decades, since the first long-hired pot smoker joined a protest over the Viet Nam war, the Republican party has tried to gin up phony controversies (The War on Christmas!) and throw red meat to their base. The gays are coming! What about the babies?!?! People who don’t look like you are living in our country! The g’umment is coming to take your guns!
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RNC’s DOMA Dilemma

March 27, 2013

This must be driving them nuts.

The Republican National Committee recently came out with an analysis dissecting their performance in the last Presidential election. Among their conclusions, the Republican Party should be more accepting of gay marriage, work to create a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and generally stop attacking women and minorities.

Oh the schadenfreude!
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Why Your Life Sucks – The Rise of the Permanent Temp Economy (via NYT)

February 6, 2013

This was a great article, well worth the read, that explains one of the many facets of how the threats to your personal economic security have arisen from past practices. Here is one part of how job insecurity has been creeping up on us since 1947:

The Rise of the Permanent Temp Economy

Politicians across the political spectrum herald “job creation,” but frightfully few of them talk about what kinds of jobs are being created. Yet this clearly matters: According to the Census Bureau, one-third of adults who live in poverty are working but do not earn enough to support themselves and their families.

A quarter of jobs in America pay below the federal poverty line for a family of four ($23,050). Not only are many jobs low-wage, they are also temporary and insecure. Over the last three years, the temp industry added more jobs in the United States than any other… Read More

via New York Times: The Rise of the Permanent Temp Economy.

I know that, in my career field, there is a lot of “contracting” – employment where the “employers” are just middle men, pimps who sell the labor of others to their clients (the companies that used to employ people) and reap tremendous profits for doing, well, nothing really, beyond payroll (which they farm out to ADP anyway), and the actual “we’re sorry, but you are no longer employed” conversation.

You are just a commodity.

(Ironically, when I spell checked this post prior to publishing it, the proofreading suggested I use the word “use” in place of “employ”. Ya think?)

Bank On It

January 25, 2013

Really, they don’t need any controls.  They promise.

(A cartoon from last year that I had intended to post but for some reason it dropped off my radar.  Still relevant, though!)

(As usual, thanks to American Progress for the funny cartoons!  You can see their archive and sign up for the daily funny in your inbox here.)

Finn’s Wake: Our Abusive Relationship With Firearms (and Why Breaking Up is Hard to Do)

January 16, 2013

One of the best, most thoughtful pieces I have read on the subject.

Our Abusive Relationship With Firearms (and Why Breaking Up is Hard to Do)

I really didn’t want to write a blog post about this, especially after so long a meaningful absence, but after watching Austin-based conspiracy-ophile Alex Jones lose his marbles on National Television the other day, I realized that while we do seem to be having a discussion about gun control, it’s really more of a shouting match engendered by the lunatic fringe. Read More

via Finn’s Wake: Our Abusive Relationship With Firearms (and Why Breaking Up is Hard to Do).

This Just In: The Mayans Also Predicted…

December 22, 2012

…that Mitt Romney would win the 2012 election.

Well, the world is still here and Romney is gone.

Happy holidays everyone!

NRA Shoots Its Mouth Off

August 15, 2012

Yet another mass shooting, this time in Texas.

When reached by phone for comment, a spokesperson for the National Rifle Association said “This is why our organization continues to press for increased access to guns.  Like the other recent shootings, if the victims had been armed, they would have been able to stop the shooter.”

“You do know the first victim was a Constable, right?”



August 13, 2012

According to an earlier report, President Obama was thought to owe a huge tax bill due to what appeared to be the largest gift in history.

Documents filed by the Republican National Committee and the Mitt Romney Presidential Campaign appear to put that issue to rest.  According to the documents, the selection of Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) as Romney’s Vice Presidential running mate was actually paid for by the Democratic National Committee.

According to a DNC spokesperson, “This payment to the  RNC is not a political contribution in exchange for a political favor.  Instead this is the common practice of hiring outside consultants to help shape a campaign.  In the case of the DNC, we have been spending millions of dollars over the past six months trying to tie Mitt Romney to Paul Ryan’s budget proposals to end Medicare and turn it into a voucher program, but we hadn’t gotten the traction we were hoping for.  The RNC and its affiliated propaganda arms, Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, came up with a proposal to help us make that connection.  We thought it was brilliant, and gave them the green light to go ahead with the marketing campaign for us.”

The Federal Election Commission is looking into the ramifications of this move.  “Probably the biggest concern for us,” said one FEC official, ” is that any contribution to the Romney campaign that pays for an ad that mentions that Paul Ryan is Romney’s running mate may end up being considered an in-kind contribution to the Obama campaign.”

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