Category Archives: My (largely correct) political views

If people stopped throwing things away, this would lead to less anxiety for garbage collectors, who are only trying to do their job.

{Image: Clip from facebook. Post says, "Shaun King: Introducing a 25-part series on reducing police brutality. Solutions. Solutions. Solutions. Solutions. Solutions." A comment below the post, by "Robert McGrath," reads "how about people stop breaking the law. this might in turn lead to less anxiety for the police who are only trying to do their job. but then again its easier being the victim than it is admitting more could be done from the american people themselves..."

how about people stop breaking the law. this might in turn lead to less anxiety for the police who are only trying to do their job.

If people stopped breaking the law, there would be no job for the police to do.

It is their job to deal with law-breakers.  Preferably non-lethally.  The problem arises when they (demonstrably) deal with similarly-situated law-breakers breaking similar laws (CD/cigarette sales; traffic violations) or similarly-situated citizens not breaking any damn laws at all (driving with a legal concealed-carry permit; being a behavioral therapist trying to prevent harm to a client) based (demonstrably) on the color of their skin or their disability.

“They were breaking the law” is not an excuse for the unequal application of lethal or even non-lethal force by the police.  “Do your damn job,” is the appropriate response to this excuse.

I get that it is a hard and dangerous job, and I deeply respect the good people who have stepped up to do it.  But it is a job in which we as a society trust you and give you  — yes, give you; it’s not yours without the badge that we give you — the right to use force when appropriate.  If you’re not up for doing that fairly — regardless of how brave or heroic you may be — it is not the job for you.  Take your biases to a job where they are less likely to cause physical harm and death.

45 C.F.R. § 92.4; or yes, there is a difference between the parties.

For any Bernieite or other lefty grumbling that there’s really no difference between the parties, I hereby present section 92.4 of the implementing regulations of section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:

On the basis of sex includes, but is not limited to, discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom, childbirth or related medical conditions, sex stereotyping, and gender identity.

Sex stereotypes means stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity, including expectations of how individuals represent or communicate their gender to others, such as behavior, clothing, hairstyles, activities, voice, mannerisms, or body characteristics. These stereotypes can include the expectation that individuals will consistently identify with only one gender and that they will act in conformity with the gender-related expressions stereotypically associated with that gender. Sex stereotypes also include gendered expectations related to the appropriate roles of a certain sex.

Boom.  Now go forth and proudly vote for Democrats, up and down the ticket.  Because there is a difference.  A real difference.


School Policy Says It Can Kick Out Students With Gay Parents

Given the debate and confusion in our society about marriage and human sexuality it is vital that Trinity families agree with and support the school’s traditional, Christian understanding of those issues.  Therefore, when the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home is counter to the school’s understanding of a biblical lifestyle, including the practice or promotion of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) lifestyle or alternative gender identity, the school should have the right, in its sole discretion, to deny the admission of an applicant or discontinue enrollment of a current student.

Source: School Policy Says It Can Kick Out Students With Gay Parents | ThinkProgress

Waiting to hear how they’ll handle adultery, swearing, mouthing off to mom and dad, lying, and coveting thy neighbor’s fancy new electronic devices.

Who’s ‘They’? – The New York Times

From last Sunday’s NYT Magazine, called “Who’s They” online and “Multiple Choice” in the dead trees edition:

In December, the Post copy editor Bill Walsh called “they” “the only sensible solution to English’s lack of a gender-neutral third-person singular personal pronoun,” with “sensible” being the key word. The singular “they” gained favor with The Post’s standard-bearer partly because the presumptive “he” “hasn’t been palatable for decades,” but also because a generic “she” feels “patronizing” and “attempts at made-up pronouns” — like “xe,” “xim,” and “xir” — strike Walsh as “silly.”

But then, ten years ago, wouldn’t we have thought “text” as a verb or “blog” as any sort of word at all were silly?   How about “tweet”?   Or earlier, “fax”?  “Email”?

Xe, xim, and xir maybe new, unfamiliar, not-yet-widely-adopted, or (is it just me?) hard to pronounce, but they are not silly.



* Widely-adopted pronoun indicating (among others things) an arrogant, misguided fool.  Example: “Hey, asshole, take a sec to think about the fact that you sound like a cis-privileged old fart before you publish.”

Musing on the passing of Justice Scalia


These two sayings have been bouncing around in my head:  Thumper’s Mother* —  “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all;”  Alice Roosevelt Longworth — “If you can’t say something good about someone, come sit right here by me.”

Many people, possibly casting about for something nice to say, praise Scalia’s “fine legal mind” or words to that effect.  But that seems to me like eulogizing someone for having really good looking toes.  Or excellent hair.  Your brain is just another body part.   The fact that it worked quickly, or generated scathing bons mots, or was especially astute at plumbing the intentions of the long-dead committee who stapled together our Constitution, seems secondary or tertiary or hundred-ary to how you used your brain.  (Or your feet.  Or your . . . hair?)   On that score, it is very hard to find anything good to say.  Scalia’s jurisprudence insulted and excluded LGBT and Black Americans, closed the courthouse doors on non-corporate citizens, and sent hundreds of our fellow human beings to their death at the hands of our own states.  And often that fine mind of his refused to stop with a legal analysis of why our LGBT friends and family should not be able to marry or why universities should not be permitted to open their doors a bit wider for people whose great-grandparents WE HELD IN CHAINS.  So often, especially in dissent, he used that fine mind to craft scathing insults for those who disagreed with him.

He was a bully, and he used his powerful brain the way a bully uses his powerful fists.  We would not eulogize a bully for his awesome fists.

There is no universe in which Antonin Scalia could have been considered a good person.  Honestly, I would have trouble eulogizing a liberal judge who decided every case just the way I would, but insulted and demeaned his sibling judges, the litigants before him, and his fellow human beings.

Am I speaking ill of the dead?  Yes, I suppose I am.  But as one Tumblr philosopher noted, “we don’t speak ill of the dead in America unless they were unarmed and black.”  It’s time to make that practice more inclusive.

Update:  Don’t miss Lao Bao’s second comment below — and be thankful that he’s teaching our next generation!


* Oddly, I had remember this as Peter Rabbit’s mother, possibly because my father used Beatrix Potter as the source of a fair amount of conveyed wisdom.


Imagine for a moment . . .

. . . that CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) published a photo of Donald Trump with a scattering of bullets next to his head.  How about a Black Lives Matter tweet with photos of police and bullets?  Heads would explode.  Pundits would rant.  Investigations would be launched.  Conservatives would be outraged.

But this?  It’s apparently acceptable for a leading conservative cause to use this image:

Image: copy of tweet from NRA with showing photos of a black woman in a red-checked suit jacket and a white woman in a green turtle-neck and black suit jacket with four bullets arrayed next to the photos.  Text reads:  "sounding off on one of the most ridiculous anti-gun schemes introduced in some time.

Why isn’t this terrorism?  If terrorism is “the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims,” this certainly qualifies.  Violent intimidation in pursuit of political aims.  The only silver lining is that they are losing and this shows their desperation.

Texas Governor Orders Founding Fathers/Constitution Display Removed from State Capitol (but the Nativity Can Stay)

The governor of Texas removed an approved display involving the Statue of Liberty because . . . Texas has a budget surplus that it would like to redistribute to ACLU lawyers?

Source: Texas Governor Orders Atheist Display Removed from State Capitol (but the Nativity Can Stay)

BTW the headline originally read, “Texas Governor Orders Atheist Display Removed  . . .” but there’s nothing anti-God there, just pro-America and pro-Constitution.  Honestly, the full-support-for-civil-liberties-lawyers theory is the only one that really fits.