Personhood

Pence and fetal funerals, all sturm, no drang

“Thinking” about personhood.

personhood-explainedMother Jones: Pence Signed a Law Requiring Burial or Cremation for Aborted Fetuses

Pence, whom Donald Trump announced as his vice presidential running mate on Friday, signed the law that made Indiana the second state ever, after North Dakota, to pass a ban on abortions carried out for certain reasons. The law also imposed liability for wrongful death on doctors that perform an abortion motivated by one of the prohibited reasons. And, as Mother Jones reported in March, the law also required that health care facilities inter or cremate the remains of an aborted fetus, and prohibited fetal tissue donation.

It is true that Gov. Pence signed this law. Continue reading

Pew Research, February data, and Trump’s assault on separation of church and state

ZOMG, it must be a right-wing plot!

Maybe.

But Pew Research posted this data on the relationship between U.S. religious groups and their political leanings not so very long ago. Consider this when considering the ramifications of Trump’s promise to make speech free at the pulpit again. Continue reading

Commies and Hillary and Satan, oh my!

There’s truth, and there’s truth.

Re: Ben Carson connects Clinton to Satan in convention address @ Yahoo News

“Her senior thesis was about Saul Alinsky,” said Carson. “This was someone that she greatly admired and that affected all of her philosophies subsequently. Now interestingly enough, let me tell you something about Saul Alinsky: He wrote a book called “Rules for Radicals.” On the dedication page, it acknowledges Lucifer, ‘the original radical who gained his own kingdom.’” Continue reading

What’s a little martial law between friends?

Wait, isn’t that what they’re asking for?

Cleveland Police Calling for Open Carry Ban at RNC After Baton Rouge Shootings

This just gets touchier and more complex as the hours roll by. I feel like I’m watching a tennis match. I’m seriously gonna get a crick in my neck at this rate.

Martial law, simplified: when the government suspends ordinary law for the sake of keeping things orderly and peaceful during the kinds of extreme circumstances the government claims warrant their entirely reasonable reaction.

Look out. We’re gonna get martial law! Continue reading

Donald Trump

New Yorker starts analysis of Trump with, “honestly…”

What have we learned about that?

Well, actually, the headline is just a hair away from that, “Being honest about Trump.” I think it qualifies, though. So would WSJ in this piece, I think.

For all of my complaints about Glopnik’s article, I love his description of the center:

“While the habits of hatred get the better of the right, the habits of self-approval through the fiction of being above it all contaminate the center.”

One has to love this much naive honesty. The problem with their fiction is that they’ve believed their own PR just a bit too much. Continue reading

BLM

#WhichCorpsesMatter

That’s what I want to know

Here’s my big reason to care about the #BlackLivesMatter versus #AllLivesMatter jousting match. I’m not the sentimental sort. I don’t have a deeply personal interest in the deeply personal pain countless families are feeling, whether by race, or by innocence of victim, or even the families of the police. If I spent time on those feelings, it would just be sadness. My sadness and $5 will get you a cup of fancy coffee somewhere. My reason is abstract, because any particular dead person is a particular case of a general phenomenon, and might not adhere to any particular script very well.

I’m even cynical enough to consider the striking possibility that both sides are “wrong” depending on how one defines the sides and defines what they mean by wrong. Continue reading

Cui bono: how did Berrien County, Michigan hit the headlines?

Horse race reportage, part umpteen. Special Edition: Not Election Coverage

I first spotted this tragic news at BBC, when there wasn’t yet anything world newsworthy about it, even from their own coverage perspective. One might notice the author was in such a rush to post they didn’t even bother to finish writing it first. The telltale error of haste that reveals the race to the bottom should embarrass an author not yet qualified to have their own byline.

Rule 1 of race to the bottom reporting: Be sure to include factoids that do not advance the non-story even a little, and don’t bother to edit it when done. Continue reading

BLM

Why does Roger Ailes want to see Mississippi burn?

Or Rudy Giuliani or the rest of the crew at Fox News?

Photography by Jonathan Bachman

Let me set this straight very simply. Someone punches me in the face. Repeatedly. I manage to get up and punch them back.

Ghouliani would have us believe that I am the instigator in that case.

Seriously, it is THAT simple.

Do I agree entirely with BLM tactics, rhetoric, source of funding, etc., etc., about a bunch of things I’m just not wasting my precious life fact-checking? No. Continue reading

#blacklivesmatter versus #alllivesmatter

White man ISO white people to explain something to me

I have yet to take a strong stand on this whole #blacklivesmatter and #alllivesmatter and #bluelivesmatter and #enoughwiththehashtagsmatter issue, and I’m fairly certain it’s a privilege thing that I, as a cisgendered white hetero man in farm country, have this luxury. I can’t help that. Continue reading

Can we just repeal the Fourth Amendment?

We’re not really using it anyway

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

DUI checkpoints. Stop and frisk. Racial profiling. Total Information Awareness. CIA. NSA. AT&T. Surveillance state. Cheek swabs. No-knock warrants. Civil forfeiture. More civil forfeiture. Border searches, subpoenas instead of warrants, metadata, facial recognition, medical records. Expanded background checks. Continue reading

Sexual Transgressions #5

ArtsWeek: Bringing up the rear with anti-art (NSFW)

What the hell is this art thing, anyhow?

This goes out to every tween with a feeling and a pen or a brush or a stick and a bucket and a bad attitude. It goes out to anyone who has ever created something that wouldn’t be denied, however stillborn and misbegotten. It goes out to every Duchamp who would of a urinal a fountain declare. It goes out to every primitive, every crafter, every maker, and especially every faker. Because, once upon a time, a guy named Zod told me not to kneel. He taught me the hidden wisdom of the artist. Continue reading

CATEGORY: BusinessFinance

On labor and survival of the species

I’ve had a political reckoning, of sorts.

CATEGORY: BusinessFinanceAs much as I hate boxes and labels, I think I’ve finally figured out where my political inclinations actually lean. I’m labor, but we have no party that I’d currently be comfortable with.

Basically, I think the workers should benefit equally with capital, and I’ll work with my own loosey-goosey definitions so I don’t get bogged down by not speaking fluent socialist or capitalist, and trust that a better-read reader will get the gist of what I’m saying. I’m open to correction, but it’s the point, not how I say it that matters. Now, if my gist is wrong, I need to know that for sure. Otherwise, this is what I’m going with.

Without labor, nothing happens. Our labor has worth. Push that idea far enough so that labor takes predominance and one lands somewhere in socialism or communism or some such -ism. But I’m not so quick to condemn the management and financial classes as I believe my comrades on the far left are wont to do. Continue reading

Presumptive Secretary of Defense Ted Nugent

Trump is going to need a cabinet

And it is going to be GREAT

Presumptive Secretary of Defense Ted Nugent

Presumptive Secretary of Defense Ted Nugent

Okay, I’m a realist. I have to accept that there is a legitimate possibility that Trump will be president. In which case, the best thing we can hope is that he surrounds himself with a cabinet up to the task at hand. This will be a daunting task.

So now is the time to start thinking up his fantasy cabinet. Who are the very best people he should entrust to each of these critical roles? Continue reading

Moment of #Mansplanation

Actually…

I just had a chance to read this op/ed from last year’s NYT: What makes a woman? The subject is still timely, especially thanks to hijinks like those coming out of North Carolina’s statehouse. And I’ve riffed on it before, if with more vitriol. I was a meaner person back then. Now I can just rest on the laurels of my cis-gendered white male privilege, look at this modern debate and all those hoity-toity post-modern nonsensilists and be snide. It’s an important debate, exactly because it’s in the courts and involves human safety, but dammit people, bring your A-game.  Continue reading

Donald Trump

Not endorsing, just calling it: Trump in 2016

This is where consistency gets me

If I’m going to be really cynical about politics and assume that Big Business calls the shots, government jumps, I should run with it. Many of us already do, so why not? So government’s proper role and function in that case is two things: rubber stamp Big Business and look good while doing it. It’s all optics. Keep a good face on it.
And of course, the consolidated media is going to show what our corporate overlords want us to see…a sanitized version of everything, filled with artificial choices and a recurring theme of despair. There’s nothing to fix. There’s no way to fix it anyway, so why bother? Here, buy this.

Continue reading

CATEGORY: RaceGender

Racism: are we all having the same conversation?

No, and as with so many of our wedge issues, that’s a fundamental problem

Cracked posted a fine article that makes the case quite well.

From my humble position of privilege, I’ll suggest this much…a big part of the problem, one perpetuated by the way media frames complex issues in terms of ratings-building spectacle and sound bites, is semantics. Now, I’m sure it doesn’t feel like semantics if you’re a POC on the wrong end of a pissed-off cop’s bad day, or if you’re a cop dealing with a non-compliant POC, but a great many folks don’t know to distinguish racism from prejudice, or to observe the multifarious ways in which they are intertwined, and simply do not understand that the racism is an institutional thing…entire systems and ways of being and doing things that, while claiming to be colorblind, leave gaping holes in the justice one can expect if one has too much melanin.

Continue reading

If you have principles, that’s privilege

As I scan the headlines here and there, I encounter a new brand of fuckery…the claim that refusal to vote Hillary if Bernie doesn’t win the nomination is privilege. That’s some serious victim-blaming bullshit, that is. I hope it’s the kind of erroneous political fluff that doesn’t last long, but I’m not that hopeful because that’s exactly the kind of tackiness we’ve come to expect of politics.

What next, playing the race card when something isn’t about race?

Related: Pot. Kettle. Black: Hillary supporters accuse Bernie backers of privilege