For those into those sorts of things, AlterNet has released the ten most pervasive conspiracy theories and myths out there. They cover most of them, but there are a few I would have included that they didn't. Like...most religions. Just because a conspiracy theory is old doesn't mean it's any more true.
28 May 2009
27 May 2009
Hm. I have to admit that I'm of two minds on this:
Two prominent attorneys who argued on opposite sides of Bush vs. Gore, the legal battle over the 2000 presidential election, announced Tuesday that they will challenge Proposition 8 in federal court and seek to restore gay marriage until the case is decided.
Former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson and David Boies, who represented then-Vice President Al Gore in the contested election, have joined forces to tackle the same-sex marriage issue, which has deeply divided Californians and left 18,000 gay couples married last year in legal isolation.
In a project of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, Olson and Boies have united to represent two same-sex couples filing suit after being denied marriage licenses because of Proposition 8.
Their suit, to be filed in U.S. District Court in California, calls for an injunction against the proposition, allowing immediate reinstatement of marriage rights for same-sex couples.
On one hand, it goes without saying that an accurate interpretation of the US Constitution, as well as the California State Constitution, calls for equal protection for all citizens, and that anyone with a sane grasp of reality understands that sexual orientation should be included as a suspect class, and that denying marriage rights to gays is, simply put, unconstitutional. The California Supreme Court understood that before they decided to lay down and die in front of the bigot steamroller. So, if these lawyers are truly confident that they will win this, then great.
But this is federal court, which means it's very likely to end up at the US Supreme Court, and the Roberts court is still full of absolute buffoons, and it goes without saying that their names are Scalia, Alito, Roberts, and The Molestor. That's four worthless votes from four people whose minds will already be made up before they hear the first argument. So, I'm just not sure the US Supreme Court is grown up enough, yet, to handle something as crucial as civil rights.
As it happens, Freedom to Marry, in concert with other GLBT advocacy organizations, released a statement discouraging people from filing federal lawsuits, as they believe that the voting booth is the next best step in the fight for equality. I'm inclined to agree. At the moment, the 50 US states are so different from each other that, quite frankly, while Iowa may be ready to legalize same-sex marriage, Alabama is still butthurt over the fact that they can't arrest "sodomites" anymore. (Boo hoo, wingnuts.) There will be a time (long before Alabama is ready to legalize same-sex marriage) that the Supreme Court is the appropriate venue, and at that point, Alabamans (really, I hate to just pick out one state, but they're such a good example) will just have to suck it up and deal with the fact that gay people deserve equal rights in a free society. (And if they don't like it, you know, leave.) But at this point, there are enough parts of the country, both geographically and demographically, where public opinion is moving toward supporting equality at a rapid rate relative to, say, the racial civil rights struggles of the mid-20th century. I just have a sense that these attorneys could be pulling the federal court trigger just a little bit too soon.
We shall see, I suppose, but I'm just a bit uncomfortable with it.
But I just have to ask:
Formerly lovably large Arkansas governor and current failure Mike Huckabee has managed to be both campy and racist, mistakenly referring to Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor as...Maria.
Tbogg points out that Norm Coleman has released a statement which essentially says that when he gets back to the Senate (cute!), he's totally going to go after that Sonia Sotomayor lady (adorable!). Tbogg also points out that "when [Norm] grows up he's going to stay up all night and eat candy. Whenever. He. Wants."
Continuing with the light posting, but there is nothing so magically wonderfully funny as when wingnuts direct their cheeto-paws inward and fight amongst themselves.
26 May 2009
Yay: Obama nominating Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. From what I've read, I like her.
Boo: California Supreme Court for subjugating its authority to the petulant, uninformed will of bigots. That fight isn't over, though. California will have marriage equality. Why? Well, the opposition is dying out. Blunt, yes, but true.
Light posting for a few days (I know, I just started the blog again...), because my computer is misbehaving.
I said there would be music.
I'm a grammar dork. So is the rest of my family. My mother used to terrorize me whenever I used the word "sentence," because I pronounced it "sinnince," as so many do. These days, I speak in "senTences" and I will correct you if I hear you say otherwise. I told my mother the other day that she needs to stop moaning and groaning about how neither of her children learned any lessons from her, because my insane neurosis when it comes to speaking correctly didn't just appear. It came from her! I even use pronouns correctly. For example, did you know that the following exchange is intrinsically evil and stupid?
25 May 2009
Thank you, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for calling for equal benefits to be given to same-sex spouses of State employees. It may require repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (in which case, go on, do that), but she's on the right track.
I've heard from multiple parties that the film kind of blows, and I don't care, because I read the book, and it was sort of middling, so whatever.
I could write a whole post about it, but Ed at Gin and Tacos has already said it better than I could.
This is part of the reason that same-sex marriage is such a major league threat to conservatives. Same-sex weddings don’t have the person with power and the person whose status was elevated by being chosen. So you’re stuck with celebrating their love, and that’s going to have an influence on how straight weddings are understood.
The first is the most important: It is that marriage is concerned above all with female sexuality. The very existence of kinship depends on the protection of females from rape, degradation, and concubinage. This is why marriage between men and women has been necessary in virtually every society ever known. Marriage, whatever its particular manifestation in a particular culture or epoch, is essentially about who may and who may not have sexual access to a woman when she becomes an adult, and is also about how her adulthood--and sexual accessibility--is defined.
This most profound aspect of marriage--protecting and controlling the sexuality of the child-bearing sex--is its only true reason for being, and it has no equivalent in same-sex marriage.
...kinship modifies marriage by imposing a set of rules that determines not only whom one may marry (someone from the right clan or family, of the right age, with proper abilities, wealth, or an adjoining vineyard), but, more important, whom one may not marry. Incest prohibition and other kinship rules that dictate one's few permissible and many impermissible sweethearts are part of traditional marriage. Gay marriage is blissfully free of these constraints. There is no particular reason to ban sexual intercourse between brothers, a father and a son of consenting age, or mother and daughter.
Uhm, what? First of all, no one's arguing that parents and children should have romantic relationships...in fact, the center of the argument is that any two consenting adults should be able to enter into marriage. We, as a society, understand (or at least liberals do) that children are too young and immature to be considered "consenting," and so we protect them. But basically he's saying that in gay marriage, your parents can't force you to marry the boring guy with the big "vineyard," instead of the saucy red-headed girl next door, who has no big vineyard. Again, what? Also, he says that gay marriage is "blissfully free" of these constraints. It's a recurring theme in this article: hetero marriage, with all its constraints, really sucks, and why should gays get to have all the fun marriages?
Fourth, marriage defines the end of childhood, sets a boundary between generations within the same family and between families, and establishes the rules in any given society for crossing those boundaries. Marriage usually takes place at the beginning of adulthood; it changes the status of bride and groom from child in the birth family to adult in a new family. ... Even in modern romantic marriages, a groom becomes the hunting or business partner of his father-in-law and a member of his clubs; a bride becomes an ally of her mother-in-law in controlling her husband. There can, of course, be warm relations between families and their children's same-sex partners, but these come about because of liking, sympathy, and the inherent kindness of many people. A wedding between same-sex lovers does not create the fact (or even the feeling) of kinship between a man and his husband's family; a woman and her wife's kin. It will be nothing like the new kinship structure that a marriage imposes willy-nilly on two families who would otherwise loathe each other.
These four aspects of marriage are not rights, but obligations. They are marriage's "a priori" because marriage is a part of the kinship system, and kinship depends on the protection, organization, and often the exploitation of female sexuality vis-à-vis males.
Few men would ever bother to enter into a romantic heterosexual marriage--much less three, as I have done--were it not for the iron grip of necessity that falls upon us when we are unwise enough to fall in love with a woman other than our mom.
So if the failure of gay marriage will not affect gay people, who will it hurt? Only everybody else.
As kinship fails to be relevant to gays, it will become fashionable to discredit it for everyone. The irrelevance of marriage to gay people will create a series of perfectly reasonable, perfectly unanswerable questions: If gays can aim at marriage, yet do without it equally well, who are we to demand it of one another? Who are women to demand it of men? Who are parents to demand it of their children's lovers--or to prohibit their children from taking lovers until parents decide arbitrarily they are "mature" or "ready"?
Right. So basically, he reaches a conclusion similar to Amanda's at the top of this post: that the existence of marriage equality will, for some couples, filter into the mainstream, and we'll finally be able to start disposing of some of the antiquated, misogynistic and medieval aspects of chattel marriage that still exist in our culture, and start moving to a place where people truly get married because they want to marry each other, not to fulfill some sort of patriarchal societal expectation.
The difference is that people like Amanda and me see this as a good thing. Writers like Schulman see a more egalitarian future and tremble in fear that if the jig is up, and women start to really figure out that they don't need men to make their decisions for them, then where will that leave him?
I don't know, his fourth marriage?
How about some afternoon whine? In this piece, noted Christian Right leader Gary Bauer uses the occasion of the possibility of repeal for Don't Ask, Don't Tell, to suggest that "[i]f the Left had its way, President Obama would promptly rescind the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for gays in the military and apply it to govern the conduct of another demographic -- Christians."
Look, I came from the "Christian world," and I'm quite aware that there's a Jesus-ified version of every product imaginable (including, they would say, "music"), but, um, cross-shaped suckers? Really?
If you were needing to vomit for some reason, this ought to do the trick:
“This isn’t like your typical Nor’easter where a tree falls and your lights flicker,” said Michael Daly, founder of the buyers’ brokerage True North Realty Associates in North Haven, New York, and a Hamptons real estate blogger. “This is more like a Katrina,” he said, alluding to the historic 2005 Category 5 Hurricane. “It’s going to be a number of years before the market recovers.”
24 May 2009
New day, new city (for the moment), new blog.