Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
More people want to let all the cuts expire (27%),
(a position held by zero Senators)
than want to extend the top tax cuts permanently (19%).
(a position held by the majority party in the Senate)
This is a fundamental breaking of our representational system.
Could it be related to Senators, themselves, falling into that top tax bracket? I'll keep waiting for the millionaire reporters and pundits to ask them that one . . . .
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Why are bribes wrong?
Monday, November 8, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
James Edwards is no official of a religious right organization — far from it. But the racist and anti-Semitic host of the Memphis-based radio show “The Political Cesspool” seemed to understand that last point better than most of the ruling’s more “mainstream” opponents. “You can thank Martin Luther King and his crusade to make it illegal to recognize important distinctions between human beings for this,” Edwards wrote on his blog yesterday. “Had the courts never thrown out laws against interracial marriage, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.”
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
I started reading this, thinking "Wow, you're really missing the point." Then it developed into "Um, wow, you're a terrifying person."
It's about Mad Men, so I've checked for major spoilers, and luckily, it's light on them. A certain coblogger is missing out.
He starts off soft with #10, but let's take a few highlights:
No.9 - Sleep with the boss's secretary
Sleeping with your secretary is one thing, but going after your boss’ secretary -- that’s something even the ballsiest guys wouldn’t do today. When Peggy shows up as Don’s new secretary, Pete blatantly hits on her. Even though he’s rebuffed and even though he’s on the eve of getting married, he still goes over to her place for a booty call. She knows he’s a weasel, but she sleeps with him again in his office. Today, you can’t even call her a secretary, let alone call her a "dirty slut" in the heat of passion.
I didn't want to quote the whole thing, but man, this is creepy. He apparently wants to be as creepy as possible while still being able to have sex, AND be as mean as possible during. Obviously, anyone who writes this piece is going to, you know, be the kind of guy who watches Schindler’s List and roots for the Germans. But this is pretty early to just announce that he wants to yell slurs at women for sleeping with him, and he’s only interested in the ones who would object – you can call people anything you want if they’re into it; you just get in trouble for pissing people off. Secondary point: you’re completely free to sleep with the boss’s secretary in 2010. It was the kind of thing that would get you in trouble in 1960 more than the present, because remarkably, we don’t think of secretaries as the sexual property of their bosses any more. This guy just failed to get with his boss’s secretary.
No.8 - Make sexist jokes
While only the most misogynist among us wants to hurt women with our comments, there would be something great about being able to openly make sexist jokes like Roger Sterling.
We don’t want to hurt women, we just want to say hurtful things to them while not noticing if it does any damage!
No.6 - Orchestrate huge pranks
They spend work hours planning and executing pranks, like filling Pete’s office with a Chinese laundry service: “Who put the Chinamen in my office?” When Don hears about the prank, he doesn’t worry about harassment or "hate crimes.”
Um, hey, the thing about the prank that’s funny isn’t that it’s racialized. He just wants to shout ethnic slurs, apparently.
No.5 - Be politically incorrect
People in today’s society are so ready to be offended. They go looking for it by over-reading into every thing that is said about race, religion and sex. It’s getting to the point no one can make a slightly offensive joke. Mad Men just say whatever they want. Roger asks Don: “Have we hired any Jews?” Draper replies: “Not on my watch!”
Umm, what the fuck? I don’t think I’m oversensitive when I think it’s offensive that someone wouldn’t hire Jews. They’re joking about the fact that they hate Jews. And it’s not offensive in the way that curse words are offensive. It’s offensive because it’s the kind of thing that really makes life suck for people. There were neighborhoods my dad and his parents couldn’t live in in 1960 New York. Definitely couldn’t go to the country clubs where big business deals were conducted. It’s not a question of sensitivity. It fucking sucked that firms like Sterling Cooper didn’t hire Jews in 1960.
I’m not going to bother to quote #4, but he gets the name of the firm wrong (he probably thinks that 30 Rock is a hilarious sendup of life at the BBC), and then comes off as objectively pro-rape. Not even objectively – subjectively pro-rape.
The rest seems to be whining about Facebook and responsibility. Yawn. But seriously, this guy is terrifying.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
The cost of war.
It's hard to offer commentary on such a powerful image. Everyone reacts differently to the costs of war. All of us are touched by it in different ways. Those reactions are naturally shaped by how we feel about a particular conflict. My reaction is one of anger toward our government; a desire to yell at Senators who seem oblivious to recognizing the costs of their actions. But, that's hardly helpful toward a discussion, so I offer the following list:
1965 - 1,863
1966 - 6,143
1967 - 11,153
1968 - 16,592
1969 - 11,616
1970 - 6,081
1971 - 2,357
1972 - 641
1973 - 168
Those are U.S. service member deaths in Vietnam during the era of the Vietnam War. At some point along that trajectory the relevant military leaders in the United States knew that South Vietnam was lost to the communists. We can be confident that this point of time was well before the 'fall' of Saigon in 1975. Such a point in time will come in our current wars. Not necessarily a point of 'loss' or 'victory', but a point when U.S. soldiers should be gone and aren't. A point when the tragedy of this picture happens without reason.
I am an expert in advocating on behalf of the devil, and I have entertained academic arguments for the value of wars lost. When I look at the picture I linked above, the very concept seems shameful. In 1973 heartbreak like that happened in the United States one hundred sixty eight times. To buy what? Dignity? Feeling like we didn't waste our time?
Currently we continue to fight two wars abroad. Two wars that are nebulous enough that I suspect neither will be won nor lost. I know that our soldiers kill and die abroad for our protection. There is little doubt that there are terrorists abroad who would like to kill Americans. Me and you. But, what risk is there of that, when weighed against the lives we know we are losing every day?
That woman's husband was willing to die for us, but where is our willingness to die for him? Where is our willingness to die for her?
When Robert McNamara said that Vietnam was a mistake he spoke not just of the futility of the military conflict, or the manner in which it was engaged. He said that we vastly over-estimated the threat. We were engaged in a global war on communism that had many fronts, but our fear caused us to over-estimate the threat of a communist Vietnam.
Today we are engaged in global war on terror on many fronts. Again, we have over-estimated a threat from a handful of geographic locations. The costs in those locations are astronomical.
It's a cowardly country that sends its heroes to their death so that we might feel the tiniest bit more secure in our world. And, I'm back to wanting to yell at Senators.
Here is McNamara telling us things we learned that we clearly didn't learn: