Archive for July, 2012

Marriage equality supported by Democratic Party’s national platform

July 31, 2012

Over at The Hill, Daniel Strauss writes that the Democratic Party’s national platform will include support for same sex marriage and full equality of rights attendant on marriage.

My feeling is: It’s past time. Didn’t we already have this fight about consenting adults being able to marry who they love? It was called Loving v. Virginia. The decision in that case- that marriage is a basic civil right, intertwined with those of liberty and the pursuit of happiness- should  apply equally to this one, despite that fight being about racial difference and this one about sameness of sex.

Zombies win in a battle of brains.

July 30, 2012

Although they may be accused of unsportsmanlike behavior: after all, they picked the Westboro Baptist Church as their opponents.

And what did the Westboro Baptist Church do to deserve this ravenous, ravenous attack?
They were just minding their own business:
Protesting military funerals.

Michelle Obama is a fantastic First Lady!

July 29, 2012

LeBron James and Team USA hug Michelle Obama

The warmth here is wonderful to see and hear- note the commentators discussing our Team’s behavior abroad.
I love that our First Lady and our athletes – all representatives of the U.S.A. – are making a good impression.

Found at Political Wire.

When #MittHitsTheFan.

July 29, 2012

By now everyone has heard of the Olympic #Romneyshambles that ensued during the Republican-Would-Be-President’s visit. Fewer noticed his fundraiser behind closed doors on foreign soil attended by bankers from the Libor scandal.

But the events in London are only the beginning. Jerusalem is next:

Romney’s campaign had negotiated an agreement with the press which allowed the media to attend all Romney fundraisers in public venues. Romney’s campaign decided to ban the media from the Jerusalem fundraiser and then flip – flopped. Now the media is allowed during Romney’s remarks, but have to leave the room before the question and answer session with the donors.

What is Romney willing to say to rich foreign donors that he won’t say to the press?

And beyond that, what happens when he arrives in Poland?

Sokka Saturday

July 28, 2012

Emily is a much better nature photographer than I am.

The above is proof.


Colorblind : spoken word poetry

July 27, 2012

I found this through Emily’s tumblr.

A Cat is the Mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska

July 27, 2012

Mayor Stubbs- in office for 15 years- has the approval of his constituents, is expert at bringing in tourism, and isn’t messed with, even by the big dogs in the community. But I am reduced to a shallow observation which I would generally not make regarding a politician: He is a very handsome and poised individual.

Found through Political Wire.

In defense of Muslim Americans

July 27, 2012

A handful of Christian Republican Representatives have been calling for governmental persecution of Muslims, for no reasons beyond that A) Muslims aren’t Christians and B) it brings in donations and votes from a certain demographic of Christian Americans who think the end times are a good thing and will be triggered by righteous war by Christians on Muslims.

In response to this call, 42 “religious, secular, interfaith, advocacy, legal and community organizations” have sent a memo to those 5 Republican Representatives. It is very well written, and I recommend reading it, but I have 2 reservations:

The memo starts by listing the Representatives with the address “Honorable” before each. Even putting aside the fact that they are politicians, surely their positions as governmental leaders coupled with their divisive actions stretches such an address as “Honorable” past the point of credibility.

The memo goes on to address them as “Dear Rep.” before each name. Dear to who, other than (possibly) their mothers? My apologies, back to the point.

The United States was founded to be a secular country. This means that everyone has the right to worship or not as their conscience dictates without government interference whether that interference would be hostile or benevolent, desired or not. Ideally that means that nobody has their pocket picked to support another’s church, but at the barest minimum it means you don’t use the government as a club to intimidate those who believe differently than you do.

Muslim Americans have been going through an incredibly rough time in this country since shortly after 9-11, and it is entirely unfair. Do our political leaders suspect every Christian American to be moments away from engaging in shootings or bombings because of attacks on abortion clinics?

No, that would be as ridiculous as… suspecting all Muslims everywhere of being enemies of America. Or a strange cultural belief that equates Arab with Muslim despite there being plenty of Muslims who aren’t of Arab descent and plenty of Arabs who aren’t Muslim.

I can’t believe this even needs saying, but: Muslims are just individuals like any other individuals trying to make their way in the world. Yes, just like other religions, there are extremists:

But the United States does not have a problem within its population with extremists from minority religions. Due to the bill of rights guaranteeing freedom of religion, people of minority religions have tended to be much happier here than in other countries. What we have is a problem with political extremists produced from frightened majorities with feelings of threatened entitlement.

Found through Friendly Atheist.

Americans should be led, not driven by fear.

July 26, 2012

We have some serious issues in the United States:

We are embracing majority rule while turning our backs on individual rights.

We are complacent in the status quo and frightened of the other.

Our media and culture is trained to ignore the harm done by familiar institutions, while focusing on the harms of unfamiliar institutions.

We are told that immigrants will take our jobs – despite economics telling us immigration is a net good and emigration the net harm- and we are told that established multinational chains wouldn’t do anything to harm us because of the invisible hand of the market.

We are willing to give up our rights of privacy and freedom from bodily search for the sake of – not security – but the mere illusion of security.

We have public monies going to prop up a thousand intellectually bankrupt dogmas, and schools sacrificing scientific understanding in our children to the shrine of “teaching the controversy”: a controversy which only exists in culture, not in scientific fields.

We have the middle class and small businesses taking on a disproportionate share of taxes, while the ultra rich and mega corporations keep their money in tax havens and get the lion’s share of subsidies and services. And this is cheered on by those who cannot face the fact that they are more likely to get hit by lightening twice than to ever win that lottery which would still not make them of the 1%.

The American Dream still exists, but few can see it for fear.

GOP backs people killing “jobs” bill while opposing jobs

July 26, 2012

The GOP is proposing a number of bills to help their special interest groups make more money and calling these “Job” bills. These bills include environmental deregulation which would result in increased illness- and medical costs-  and death.

At the same time, the GOP opposes a bill which would eliminate tax breaks for outsourcers.

Links found through Political Irony.