links for 2009-12-12
Why you should not put money in those red buckets every year at Christmas, and should give to charities that don't discriminate against and victimize people instead.
Transcript discussed by Think Progress:
John Derbyshire, a British-American conservative author and columnist for the National Review, has written a new book titled We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism. The book contains a section called “The Case Against Female Suffrage.” Yesterday on his radio show, Alan Colmes asked Derbyshire to articulate his argument.
“What is the case against female suffrage?” Colmes asked. “The conservative case against it is that women lean hard to the left,” Derbyshire responded nonsensically. “They want someone to nurture, they want someone to help raise their kids, and if men aren’t inclined to do it — and in the present days, they’re not much — then they’d like the state to do it for them.”
Colmes then pressed Derbyshire on whether women should have the right to vote. “Ah…” Derbyshire sighed, attempting to dodge the question initially. “I’m not putting forward a political program here,” he said. But then Derbyshire slowly began to open up:
DERBYSHIRE: Among the hopes that I do not realistically nurse is the hope that female suffrage will be repealed. But I’ll say this – if it were to be, I wouldn’t lose a minute’s sleep.
COLMES: We’d be a better country if women didn’t vote?
DERBYSHIRE: Probably. Don’t you think so?
COLMES: No, I do not think so whatsoever.
DERBYSHIRE: Come on Alan. Come clean here [laughing].
COLMES: We would be a better country? John Derbyshire making the statement, we would be a better country if women did not vote.
DERBYSHIRE: Yeah, probably.
Derbyshire reasoned that we “got along like that for 130 years.” Colmes countered by asking if he also wants to bring back slavery. No, Derbyshire responded, “I’m in favor of freedom personally.” Colmes noted that freedom didn’t extend to women’s right to vote, however. Derbyshire said, “Well, they didn’t and we got along ok.”
You need more proof that the right wing is delusional?
Taking photographs and video while on public property is 100% legal and is a right protected by the first amendment. What you see the police officer doing in this video is illegal.
This past Wednesday, December 10th, was the 60th anniversary of the adoption of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
As reported in the Indy Star (and by bilerico.com, Advance Indiana and Taking Down Words):
Eli Lilly has joined several other large Indiana corporations (Cummins, Wellpoint, Dow AgroSciences) in opposing SJR-7, the Marriage Discrimination Amendment:
“As a result of this uncertainty (over what the amendment’s impact might be,)” Murphy wrote, “some employees may choose to leave Indiana to work in a state where these benefits are perceived not to be threatened. Given the great lengths Lilly takes to attract and retain top talent from around the world, we oppose any legislation that might impair our ability to offer competitive employee benefits or negatively impact our recruitment and retention.”
In addition, Murphy wrote, Lilly is concerned the amendment “sends an unwelcoming signal to current and future employees making Indiana appear intolerant.”
Bilerico notes that the legislation is still tabled in the House Committee, and although there are rumors about when it will reappear for further discussion and votes, it hasn’t yet been scheduled.
1. Why can’t they have gay people in the army? Personally, I think they are just afraid of a thousand guys with M16s going, “Who’d you call a faggot?” — Jon Stewart
2. The one bonus of not lifting the ban on gays in the military is that the next time the government mandates a draft we can all declare homosexuality instead of running off to Canada. –Lorne Bloch
3. When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one. –From the tombstone of a gay Vietnam veteran
4. The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love heterosexuals. It’s just that they need more supervision. –Lynn Lavner
5. My lesbianism is an act of Christian charity. All those women out there praying for a man, and I’m giving them my share. –Rita Mae Brown
6. Soldiers who are not afraid of guns, bombs, capture, torture or death say they are afraid of homosexuals. Clearly we should not be used as soldiers; we should be used as weapons. –Letter to the Editor, The Advocate
7. You don’t have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight. –Barry Goldwater
8. If homosexuality is a disease, let’s all call in queer to work: “Hello. Can’t work today, still queer.” –Robin Tyler
9. Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands? –Ernest Gaines
10. War. Rape. Murder. Poverty. Equal rights for gays. Guess which one the Southern Baptist Convention is protesting? –The Value of Families
11. I’d rather be black than gay because when you’re black you don’t have to tell your mother. –Charles Pierce, 1980
12. That word “lesbian” sounds like a disease. And straight men know because they’re sure that they’re the cure. –Denise McCanles
13. As a mother, I know that homosexuals cannot biologically reproduce children; therefore, they must recruit our children. –Anita Bryant, 1977
14. If gays are granted rights, next we’ll have to give rights to prostitutes and to people who sleep with St. Bernards and to nail biters. –Anita Bryant
15. The radical right is so homophobic that they’re blaming global warming on the AIDS quilt. –Dennis Miller
16. Jesse Helms and Newt Gingrich were shaking hands congratulating themselves on the introduction of an antigay bill in Congress. If it passes, they won’t be able to shake hands, because it will then be illegal for a prick to touch an asshole. –Judy Carter
17. My own belief is that there is hardly anyone whose sexual life, if it were broadcast, would not fill the world at large with surprise and horror. –W. Somerset Maugham
18. Drag is when a man wears everything a lesbian won’t. –Author Unknown
19. I am reminded of a colleague who reiterated, “all my Homosexual patients are quite sick” – to which I finally replied “so are all my heterosexual patients.” –Ernest van den Haag, psychotherapist
20. When it comes to exploring the sea of love, I prefer buoys. –Andrew G. Dehel
21. If male homosexuals are called “gay,” then female homosexuals should be called “ecstatic.” –Shelly Roberts
22. My mother took me to a psychiatrist when I was fifteen because she thought I was a latent homosexual. There was nothing latent about it. –Amanda Bearse
23. Some women can’t say the word Lesbian…even when their mouth is full of one. –Kate Clinton
24. No matter how far in or out of the closet you are, you still have a next step. –Author Unknown
25. It always seemed to me a bit pointless to disapprove of homosexuality. It’s like disapproving of rain. –Francis Maude
26. The only queer people are those who don’t love anybody. –Rita Mae Brown
27. ‘You could move.’ –Abigail Van Buren, “Dear Abby,” in response to a reader who complained that a gay couple was moving in across the street and wanted to know what he could do to improve the quality of the neighborhood
A letter written by the very wise Pam Spaulding on Pam’s House Blend (link has been deprecated) is a great help in sorting out the marriage equality issue for fair-minded people, so I’m reprinting it here in full…
Dear John Edwards,
I have read about some comments you made recently in New Hamphire about marriage equality for gay and lesbian Americans. The article quoted you as saying:
“Civil unions? Yes. Partnership benefits? Yes,” he said. “But it’s a jump for me to get to gay marriage. I haven’t yet got across that bridge.” … “I wish I knew the right answer,”
I hope that is an accurate quote of your words.
I would like to suggest that perhaps you have not yet considered the right question and that perhaps the right question would help you find the “right answer.”
First, a preliminary question. “Do all American citizens deserve equal treatment under the law?”
If your answer to the preliminary question is no, then there is no need to go on.
If your answer to the preliminary question is yes, then things get a little more complicated. Here we go.
Which of the three options mentioned in your quote offers genuine equal treatment, at least potentially, to all American citizens who wish to form some sort of legal contract of partnership?
Please keep in mind that the benefits and protections of marriage come from multiple levels of government. The most numerous and significant ones come from the federal level, 1,138 of them according to the latest summary by the GAO. This document, GAO report number GAO-04-353R entitled ‘Defense of Marriage Act: Update to Prior Report’, which was released on February 24, 2004 may be obtained from the United States General Accounting Office website. It is available at the following URL. https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-04-353R
Some of the benefits and protections, considerably fewer, come from the state level. Others come from the county and municipal levels as well as from the private sector.
As you know, the federal Defense of Marriage Act currently prohibits any same sex marriage from receiving the 1,138 benefits and protections of marriage. If my recollection is correct, you are on record as opposing DOMA. Unfortunately, however, I think the reason you give is not a fully correct reason. As I recall, your reason has something to do with states regulating marriage. That “reason,” which seems to be the Democratic Party line, is oversimplified and misleading. While it is true that each state regulates who can get married, none of the states provide the federal benefits and protections of marriage. They cannot do so. What I’m hearing from your recent comments is that even though you oppose DOMA, you are uncertain as to whether or not gay and lesbians Americans deserve full citizenship benefits.
For the sake of my question, however, lets just assume that DOMA does not exist or has been repealed.
Which of the options you note would provide equal treatment for all US citizens who wish to form some sort of legal contract of partnership?
Civil unions cannot give access to any of the benefits and protections of civil marriage. They require a separate set to be specified. If these civil unions are at a state level, they only apply within the single state that issues them. They are not portable and provide absolutely no protection to couples crossing a state line. More significantly, they cannot provide access to the most significant and numerous set of benefits and protections at the federal level. The first example that comes to mind is the fast-tracking of citizenship in international marriages. This is something completely outside the jurisdiction of the states.
Partnership benefits have exactly the same limitations as civil unions. The difference between civil union and partnership benefits is in name only.
A civil marriage contract is the only option capable of providing access to all the benefits and protections of civil marriage from all levels.
So then, if you truly believe that all American citizens should be given equal treatment under the law, hopefully the answer you have found to be elusive in the past is now within reach. I have taken you to the end of that bridge. Only you can take the final step required to complete crossing it.
Soulforce is urging gay people to write compassionate letters to Ted Haggard now that he’s being targeted for “spiritual restoration.”
In response to the news that Rev. Ted Haggard has been dismissed by New Life Church and resigned as President of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), Soulforce has urged the gay community to respond compassionately.
We acknowledge that many in our community feel legitimate anger toward Haggard and the NAE for their history of religion-based bigotry.
However, Haggard has now been referred to the same “spiritual restoration” therapy that has threatened the mental and spiritual wellbeing of so many gay men and lesbians.
Don’t let the voices of spiritual violence and intolerance be the only voices that he hears in this time of personal, familial, and professional crisis.
We urge you to write to Ted Haggard in a spirit of empathy and welcoming. Let him know that there are alternatives to ex-gay therapy, and that LGBT people can live loving, honest, and purposeful lives.
From an article on BBC News:
Air passengers ‘could be tagged’
Electronically tagging passengers at airports could help the fight against terrorism, scientists have said. The prototype technology is to be tested at an airport in Hungary, and could, if successful, become a reality “in two years”. The work is being carried out at a new research centre, based at University College London, set up to find technological solutions to crime. Other projects include scanners for explosives and dirty bomb radiation.
Dr Paul Brennan, an electrical engineer, is leading the tagging project, known as Optag. He said: “The basic idea is that airports could be fitted with a network of combined panoramic cameras and RFID (radio frequency ID) tag readers, which would monitor the movements of people around the various terminal buildings.” The plan, he said, would be for each passenger to be issued with a tag at check-in.
He said: “In our system, the location can be detected to an accuracy of 1m, and video and tag data could be merged to give a powerful surveillance capability.”
The project still needs to overcome some hurdles, such as finding a way of ensuring the tags cannot be switched between passengers or removed without notification. The issue of infringement of civil liberties will also be key.
No! You think so? Gee, what’s wrong with treating all of your passengers like criminals, and/or cattle? The fact that this can appear in a major news outlet without irony or links to George Orwell books is both scary and wrong.
Today, the Senate approved the president’s new Torture and Unlimited Detention bill, legalizing torture and permanent detention of “enemy combatants” as well as allowing a broad definition of who fits that description, granting the President sweeping new powers. The bill suspends habeas corpus, and allows the President to decide who is an “enemy combatant” and to detain them indefinitely without basic civil rights provided by the constitution.
Give that, and given this scary-ass passage from the end of the declassified NIE Report:
“Anti-U.S. and anti-globalization sentiment is on the rise and fueling other radical ideologies. This could prompt some leftist, nationalist, or separatist groups to adopt terrorist methods to attack US interests. The radicalization process is occurring more quickly, more widely, and more anonymously in the Internet age, raising the likelihood of surprise attacks by unknown groups whose members and supporters may be difficult to pinpoint… We judge that groups of all stripes will increasingly use the Internet to communicate, propagandize, recruit, train and obtain logistical and financial support.”
And given that some on the right have already labeled me a “Liberal extremist” — how long do you think it will be before I disappear to Guantanamo Bay, never to be seen again?
I better contact Amnesty International, and take some cookies to the Homeland Security Guys parked outside my house for weeks.