Thursday, September 03, 2015

The face of hatred


Look closely.




This woman is NOT a hero.

She is NOT a selfless martyr going to jail to honor her faith.

She is NOT being persecuted for being a Christian.

She is NOT taking a moral stand against injustice.

She does NOT speak for any god.

She is a bigot.

She is a public employee, paid by taxpayer dollars, who is refusing to serve the very people who pay her salary.

She is violating the Constitution of the United States and the civil authority of the courts.

She is a grifter, who is looking towards a bright financial future of being crowd-sourced by other religious bigots. (Just ask the pizza parlor owners who made nearly a million dollars for refusing to serve gays.)

She is an agent of injustice, the face of hatred, ignorance personified.

I have no doubt that she believes she is a holy saint for defying a law she personally doesn't agree with and if she wasn't a county clerk, there wouldn't be an issue.

I have no doubt that conservatives will continue to rally behind her because she is in jail for hurting gays in her community. They like that kind of thing.

Isn't it funny how the "law and order" party so often support those who break the law like this woman and Cliven Bundy?

Kim Davis is in jail, not for her beliefs, but because hurting gays is more important to her than being a kind human being.

Because that's what fanatical religious belief does to you.

Kim Davis deserves to be in jail right now. I have no hope she'll learn from the experience and become a better person.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

It would have been great as a gay cheating site


Here's a very interesting footnote from the whole Ashley Madison hack debacle.

If you're going to run a website to hook up cheating men with cheating women, ideally you'd have a bunch of both. According to Ashley Madison management, there are approximately 37 million registered users, of which 5.5 million are women. That's a terrible ratio, but still 5.5 million women is a lot. It turns out, not so much.
Those millions of Ashley Madison men were paying to hook up with women who appeared to have created profiles and then simply disappeared. Were they cobbled together by bots and bored admins, or just user debris? Whatever the answer, the more I examined those 5.5 million female profiles, the more obvious it became that none of them had ever talked to men on the site, or even used the site at all after creating a profile. Actually, scratch that. As I’ll explain below, there’s a good chance that about 12,000 of the profiles out of millions belonged to actual, real women who were active users of Ashley Madison.
Check out the article by Annalee Newitz for the detective work involved in figuring this out.

The idea behind the Ashley Madison site is sad on many levels. The fact that, at its lying best, it had six males for every one female is a brutal comment on men. The fact that there may have only really been 12,000 women to 31 million men is pathetic on a whole new level.

The Deep Bench


Not to be outdone by The Donald, putative (but not really) Republican front-runner Jeb! Bush used the offensive term "Anchor Babies" last week when talking about immigration from Mexico.
“But if there’s abuse, if pregnant women are coming in to have babies just because they can do it, there ought to be greater enforcement. That’s the legitimate side of it. Greater enforcement, so that you don’t have these ‘anchor babies,’ as they’re described, coming into the country.”
The next day, Bush defended his words and suggested that he was referencing terminology used by others. “Do you have a better term?” he snapped at a reporter in Keene, N.H., adding: “You give me a better term and I’ll use it.”  Link
Jeb! rightly drew a lot of fire for using the offensive term, even after people pointed out that "baby" and "American citizen" were both better terms than the one he used.

But it's all good now. On Monday, Jeb! fixed it.
“What I was talking about was the specific case of fraud being committed, where there’s organized efforts, and frankly it’s more related to Asian people coming into our country having children in that organized effort, taking advantage of a noble concept, which is birthright citizenship,” he said.  Link
Nailed it! That's much better.



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

We're #1 (with racists)!!


To win a 21st century Presidential election in the United States, you have to do reasonably well with the Hispanic/Latino vote. Huge losses in that demographic were part of the reason Mitt Romney lost so badly.

So the Republican party has known since 2012 that they have a Latino problem and have actually looked into doing something about it. Needless to say, they suck at improving their image. And then Donald Trump became the front runner.

Yesterday, Trump ejected the most famous Latino newscaster in North America out of his press conference for having the temerity to ::gasp:: ask questions!
The lasting image will be that of Ramos -- who serves as Univision's lead anchor and is effectively one of the (if not the) most powerful newsmen on Spanish-language TV -- being hustled out of the room after trying to ask Trump a question. Ramos, whose nightly newscast has been known to post ratings that top those of all three major English-language network news programs, has a history of holding presidential candidates very close to fire on issues he believes to be of deep concern to Latinos, such as immigration. Link

Yeah, throwing out the Spanish-speaking Walter Cronkite will play well with the Latino population. So how's that going?




That's a -51 point spread between favorable and unfavorable views. Nice job, The Donald.

But that's okay, Trump is just misunderstood. He's not really catering to racists.
David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and self-described “racial realist,” says Donald Trump is the best Republican candidate for president because he “understands the real sentiment of America.” Link
Ouch. Not really an endorsement you want. But let's hear from some of the people at Trump's Alabama rally last week.
“Hopefully, he’s going to sit there and say, ‘When I become elected president, what we’re going to do is we’re going to make the border a vacation spot, it’s going to cost you $25 for a permit, and then you get $50 for every confirmed kill,’ ” said Jim Sherota, 53, who works for a landscaping company. “That’d be one nice thing.Link
Get it? It's funny because they want to shoot Mexicans!

But lest you worry about the future of America under President Trump, everything will be all right according to one of his supporters in a Republican focus group.
We know his goal is to make America great again,” a woman said. “It’s on his hat. And we see it every time it’s on TV. Everything that he’s doing, there’s no doubt why he’s doing it: it’s to make America great again.” Link
It's. On. His. Hat.


Well I guess it is! Election over then. Welcome, President Trump.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

So do you love babies or not?


According to Conservatives and nearly every single Republican Presidential
candidate . . .

This blastocyst has the full Constitutional rights of every American:




This baby, born in America to foreign parents, does not:




There are no "anchor babies". They're just babies. They're also American citizens according to the Constitution of the United States. You've heard of that, right?

I thought conservatives were supposed to love babies so much they're willing to make American women carry them and give birth against their will?


Friday, August 21, 2015

John Oliver is a treasure


Jon Stewart may no longer be hosting The Daily Show, but his legacy lives on in John Oliver's awesomeness.

Both of these videos are intelligent, hilarious, infuriating, and worth your time.







Jon Stewart and his progeny, Stephen Colbert, and John Oliver, have each, in his own way, performed vital public service in a time fraught with misinformation and ignorance.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Political Correctness


Conservatives often complain about "political correctness". If you watch Republican politicians in the news, you'll know that they say it often. I remember when it started in the 1980s, but it's become very popular lately.

For example,
Donald Trump drew cheers from the crowd in Cleveland with this assessment of the direction of the country:
“I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct.”
But just what does it mean? It's actually pretty simple.

Political correctness is what you blame when you want to say something stupid/offensive/nasty/racist/misogynistic/homophobic but don't want to be criticized for it. Or, what you blame when you are criticized for actually saying something stupid/offensive/nasty/racist/misogynistic/homophobic.

In other words, you want to use the N-word, but you know you'll be pilloried, so you blame "political correctness" for your having to muzzle yourself and not "speak the plain truth".

Here's the real plain truth. Anyone who uses the buzz term "political correctness" to excuse their own hatred is an asshole. And no, I'm not being politically correct when I say that.

I'm just being correct.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Batman Tragedy


Even sadder than being co-opted by Donald Trump, a real life local Batman was killed last night in a car accident.

The Route 29 Batman, whose roadside encounter with Montgomery County police three years ago made him a viral sensation around the world, has died. 
Lenny B. Robinson, the 51-year-old Maryland man who drove a custom-made Batmobile and dressed as the Caped Crusader to visit sick children in hospitals, was struck by a car on Interstate 70 on Sunday night near Hagerstown, Md., after the Batmobile broke down. He was coming home from a car show in West Virginia.

R.I.P. Caped Crusader.



Meanwhile, at the Iowa State Fair . . .


Sinister deeds are afoot!

“Mr. Trump,” he said, aiming the camera at his benefactor.
“Yes,” Trump said, pulling on the lapels of his jacket.
“Are you Batman?” the boy asked.
“I am Batman,” Trump said.











Rich guy needs to buy dictionary


This guy on the "catastrophe" that is Obamacare:


I think it's a mess. It's never been anything that I've ever seen like this. It is a total catastrophe . . . So it was the big lie that is becoming a total catastrophe for the country and really hurting people terribly.  Link
I’ll get rid of Obamacare, which is, by the way, a catastrophe.  Link

According to a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association:

  • The number of people insured increased, compared to pre-ACA trends, by 7.9% points.
  • The number of people who did not have a personal physician dropped by 3.5% points.
  • The number of people who had difficulties getting medications dropped by 2.4% points.
  • The number of people who who were unable to afford care dropped by 5.5% points.
  • The number of people who reported fair/poor health, dropped by 3.4% points.
  • The number of days with activities limited by health decreased by 1.7% points.
The number of uninsured people in America is at its lowest level since 1972.

Catastrophe?




Friday, August 14, 2015

You know you're a boardgamer when ...


We're in Indiana for the wedding of one of Carol's nephews. I brought two suits, one for the rehearsal dinner tonight and one for the wedding tomorrow.

When I put on my suit tonight, I found some folded papers in the breast pocket. It's been a long time since I've worn this suit so I didn't know what they were as I unfolded them. They were the printed rules for the game Puerto Rico. I have no idea why.

I have a problem.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

And so it begins


Tonight is the first debate of Republican Presidential candidates and, oh boy, I can't wait for the fireworks! I mean, these ten guys run the gamut from Climate Skeptic to Climate Denier. From "No gun-free zones" to "Free gun zones!" From Obama is a Kenyan socialist to Obama is a Kenyan communist.

Seriously, the only thing these guys disagree on is that one of them doesn't think Trump is an asshole.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

What's in it for the lawnmower?


Rep. Steve King, fighting with Rep. Louis Gohmert for the title of "America's Dumbest Congressman," is pretty excited that his dating prospects have increased. In regards to the Supreme Court decision making same sex marriage the law of the land, he recently said this:
“Their ruling really says anybody can marry anybody — and eventually it will be in any combination. I had a strong, Christian lawyer tell me yesterday that, under this decision that he has read, what it brings about is: It only requires one human being in this relationship — that you could marry your lawnmower with this decision. I think he’s right.” Link

Good for him! But I caution Rep. King (R-IA) to go slowly. First, just date a lawnmower. See if you have things in common. Explore whether the lawnmower would truly make you happy. No need to rush things, after all; the lawnmower has a five year warranty.

I would encourage Rep. King, however, to not be too coy. Physical compatibility is important in any relationship. After a date or two, he should definitely test the waters, lean in and give the lawnmower a big kiss.

Right on the spinning mower blades.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Republican Bullies and their enablers


Republican voters like bullies. They say they like "straight talk" and "common sense" but they vote for politicians who are aggressive, abusive, and nasty when dealing with a variety of constituencies that conservatives dislike. These constituencies include the poor, Democrats, women, minorities, the Obama administration, and immigrants. Basically, anyone who doesn't agree with conservative dogma.

Just look at their slate of Presidential candidates. Donald Trump is a huge bully, immune to facts, and recently called Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists, then attacked anyone who called him on it. Scott Walker has gone after unions, public schools, women and universities in Wisconsin in as assholish a manner possible. Ted Cruz shut down the government last year when he didn't get what he wants.

Then there's the uber-bully, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who loves to act the stereotypical New Jersey bully as if he's watched too many episodes of The Sopranos. Just to remind you, here's a fun incident that hurt the economy and will probably cost billions of dollars more to fix once the adults finally get around to fixing it. It involves Christie's rejection of upgrading the ancient, failing railroad tunnel infrastructure between New Jersey and New York.
As governor, he didn't just kill the tunnels so that he could divert the money to other New Jersey projects, thus sparing him from having to raise New Jersey's among-the-lowest-in-the-nation gas tax, he did so as part of the organized Republican effort to sabotage America's economic stimulus program and blunt the employment effects of those projects. Which, for a nation trying to recover from an economic collapse so severe that it was dubbed the Great Recession, was just about the most bastardly thing a sitting elected official could do, but there you have it.
And Christie didn't just kill the project and mock the notion of economic stimulus or shovel ready infrastructure improvements, he openly mocked the idea that one of the most highly trafficked transportation corridors in America would be important at all. Why on earth would anyone want to go to New York? Why would anyone from New York ever want to go to New Jersey? Why won't the rest of America's travelers just go around our little state and leave us alone? The two key roles of government, according to even the most anti-government conservatives, are roads and wars, but when the economic collapse happened and a president from the opposing party needed to goose the nation's employment right quick in order to avoid a true depression, even the roads part became a Republican symbol of things government had no business doing.  Link
Of course, these bullies wouldn't be Presidential candidates if they didn't have support among the party's base. Which just shows that Republicans like to talk about freedom, but really want to be lead by an aggressive, hostile tyrant. And they view that as totally worth it, so long as the tyrant smacks down all those pesky liberals, women, poor people, immigrants, blacks, gays, and other people who actually yearn for freedom.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Cosmos Redux: Report


On Saturday, Ben and I finished watching Cosmos; me for the second time, him for the first. I offered to pay him $100 if he watched the whole mini-series and over a couple of weeks we watched all 13 episodes.

To my surprise, he seemed to enjoy parts of it, and spoke up when he knew something that was being presented. For example, he has a pretty good grasp of evolution and biology. He seemed mostly bored with the episodes about non-planetary astronomy. The episode, The Seven Sisters, was the only one he didn't make it all the way through without dozing off.

I don't know if he'll retain any of it, but I was happy to expose him to the idea of scientists throughout history, theorizing, experimenting, and very slowly adding to our knowledge. I found the series very inspirational and I hope he did too. And I enjoyed just being with him, watching it.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Jeb! Bush wants to kill a healthy patient - Medicare


Recently, I heard one of my relatives express the Republican talking point that Medicare is going bankrupt. This idea has, of course, been embraced by all the Republican candidates for President, including Jeb! Bush.
"A lot of people recognize that we need to make sure we fulfill the commitment to people that have already received the benefits, that are receiving the benefits. But that we need to figure out a way to phase out this program for others and move to a new system that allows them to have something—because they’re not going to have anything."  Link
Remember that. Jeb! Bush wants to "phase out" Medicare. As in kill it over time.

So how's Medicare actually doing?
The Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund will have sufficient funds to cover its obligations until 2030, the same year that was projected last year, and 13 years later than was projected in the last report issued prior to passage of the Affordable Care Act. The projected portion of scheduled benefits that can be financed with dedicated revenues is 86 percent in 2030, declines slowly to 79 percent in 2039, and then gradually increases to 84 percent in 2089.  Link
In other words, it's doing great for the next 13 years, and doing slightly less than great for years after that, giving us plenty of time to get rid of all the Republicans in Congress and fix it with some increased revenue.

And the reason Medicare is doing well? Obamacare.

Thanks, Obama.

Mike Huckabee is NOT a serious person


Trying desperately not to be outdone in the "what stupid thing can I say that will turn the attention on me" contest currently being won by Republican frontrunner Donald Trump -- yes, Donald Trump is the leader in Republican polls at the moment, that's how crazy the Republicans have gotten -- Mike Huckabee vomited up this pearl of wisdom about the war-averting Iran deal.
“This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven," Huckabee said in an interview with Breitbart News.
Yes, he made a holocaust reference. So classy.

And the whole idea of "trust" is backed up by lots of inspections of Iran's facilities and sanctions that can be reimposed very quickly should they violate the agreement. But Huckabee, like 100% of the other Republican candidates, would rather go to war with Iran.

When you vote Republican, whether it's for President, Senator or Congressperson, you're voting for more war.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Ant-Man


We saw Ant-Man tonight and I really enjoyed it. The stakes weren't world-shattering, which was a nice step back from the recent Marvel movies, and there was a good deal of humor. Paul Rudd is great in everything he does.

I also love the careful setup for future Marvel stories and characters as well as the fun callbacks. Marvel is nearing Pixar levels of consistency.

Bring on Phase 3 of the MCU.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Fun Weekend with Dogs and Smoke


Last weekend (July 3-5), we traveled over to Harrisonburg, Virginia, to see Rachel play "Blue Dog" in the JMU Children's Theatre production of Go, Dog, Go!

The book was a favorite of both kids and I read it to them over and over when they were little. The show is only 45 minutes long but accurately converts the book into a musical, with lots of singing and dancing. It was really fun and cute and the kids loved it. Other than the performance we attended, where the theater was about half full, Rachel says the other shows have been packed. The show closes after two final shows tomorrow. Then, next weekend, she's in a musical revue, Broadway Classics, with the same group, and then comes home.


They made the local news! Here's the (long) segment.


While in Virginia, since it was July 3rd, we picked up some fireworks! Actually, just smoke bombs. Ben and Carol had never seen them before, so we fired them on the deck.






Pretty spectacular, no?

Friday, July 10, 2015

You'd think someone who wants to be President might know this


Republican Presidential candidate Jeb! Bush is in hot water for saying this:
My aspiration for the country and I believe we can achieve it, is 4 percent growth as far as the eye can see. Which means we have to be a lot more productive, workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families. That’s the only way we’re going to get out of this rut that we’re in.
He says this because it's become a Republican meme that the American middle class and "the poors" are to blame for their own lack of a livable income. Republicans don't want to acknowledge that wage stagnation and corporations taking bigger and bigger slices of the pie at the expense of their employees are responsible for a lot of the poverty in this country.

Here's what Bush apparently doesn't understand:


American productivity has skyrocketed since the 1950s. Wages started falling in the 1970s. The economic benefits of the American productivity increase went straight to the rich. The actual workers saw none of it.

That's why the middle class is dying, why the poor can't get out of the hole they're in, and that's why Jeb! Bush is an asshat who should never be President.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Cosmos Redux: This time with family


Last spring I had a great, even moving, experience watching Neil deGrasse Tyson's Cosmos. None of my family watched it with me, and I felt that seeing it would really benefit Ben (who's about to enter his senior year in high school). I bought the Blu-Rays when they came out, so a couple of weeks ago I "enticed" Ben to watch them.

Okay, I told him I'd give him $100 if he watched all 13 episodes.

We've watched four episodes so far, and he's not falling asleep or complaining. In fact, he's the one suggesting we watch an episode each night. He did say that he already knew most of the information in the evolution episode, and that actually made me pretty happy. Go Maryland schools!

I'm happy to be rewatching the show, hopeful that Ben will retain some of the science, and hopeful that he might be inspired by the wonderful tales of humanity. But mostly I'm happy to be spending time with Ben.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Viewing Habits - Archer


I've started binge-watching  FX's animated spy comedy, Archer, on Amazon Prime. I'd caught a couple of episodes over the years and knew I'd enjoy it, so I started watching it last week. I'm up to the third episode of Season 3 and really loving it. I like the ambiguous timeline of mashed up 60's/70's/80's/90's fashions and technology, the colorful (but static) animation style and backgrounds, and the fantastic voice work. Plus, it helps that the show is just really funny.




I think this is the first show I've ever binge-watched, actually. I rewatched several seasons of Battlestar Galactica on DVD with Rachel until she caught up, but I don't think I've ever watched an entire series in this way. (Although I will soon catch up, the show is still airing new episodes with its seventh season to premier next year.)


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Inside Out


Now that Ben's back from Guatemala, tonight we belatedly went to see Pixar's latest, Inside Out.

If there was any thought that Pixar had lost its way with Cars 2 and Brave, Inside Out should end that. Director Pete Docter of Monsters, Inc. and Up, is probably Pixar's best at telling emotion-centered stories and Inside Out is wildly successful. It's also Pixar's funniest film, filled with funny moments from, among others, Amy Poehler, Bill Hader and Lewis Black.

I loved it. It will be listed among the pantheon of Pixar's best films, and that's saying something. Pete Docter really seems to understand the human condition and conveys complex emotions in a mature, wonderful and absolutely entertaining way. I can't wait to see it again.

Equal at last


A few years ago, after gay Californians briefly gained and then lost the right to marry, I added the symbol below to the right column of my blog page.




The symbol represents support for marriage equality. I first adopted the No H8 logo which represented the California fight, but then changed to the marriage equality logo in support of ALL gay Americans. I decided that I wouldn't take it off my page until all Americans had the freedom to marry.

California was only the second state to allow same-sex marriage, but they lost the right and it was a long five years until Federal courts intervened and they regained equality. By that time, seven other states and the District of Columbia had become marriage equality states. Ignited by California, state courts and legislatures started expanding equal rights for all, until my state, Maryland, became the first in the country to grant marriage equality through a popular referendum. Within the past year, more than half the states joined us.

And now, here we are only two years since California was resolved, and the United States is a marriage equality country. No one thought it would happen so fast. But state by state, rights were expanded, until marriage equality seemed inevitable. The only unknown was how long it would take.

Obviously this is a historic day and if you have any sense of history, you know that universal same-sex marriage will quickly normalize with no ill effects. We have years of experience with the early adopter states and there have been zero problems.

Of course, there are those in our country who are less attuned to history, and would rather enforce their own morality on everyone, even if it means denying fundamental rights. In America, we call those people Republicans. Let's hear from some of them.

Normally you expect the wingnuts to own all the crazy talk. But this event was just so special, even some smarter chaps you would hope would be above such nonsense have come out of the closet.

Chief Justice John Roberts (from his dissent):
Supporters of same-sex marriage have achieved considerable success persuading their fellow citizens — through the democratic process — to adopt their view. That ends today. Five lawyers have closed the debate and enacted their own vision of marriage as a matter of constitutional law. Stealing this issue from the people will for many cast a cloud over same-sex marriage, making a dramatic social change that much more difficult to accept. […]
Indeed, however heartened the proponents of same-sex marriage might be on this day, it is worth acknowledging what they have lost, and lost forever: the opportunity to win the true acceptance that comes from persuading their fellow citizens of the justice of their cause. And they lose this just when the winds of change were freshening at their backs.
Rats! Why didn't he say that before gays went all out and got equal rights? Sheesh, now they won't have the awesome fun of being discriminated against while they try to convince bigots that they shouldn't be.

Justice Clarence Thomas (our only Black Justice) (from his dissent):
Petitioners cannot claim, under the most plausible definition of “liberty,” that they have been imprisoned or physically restrained by the States for participating in same-sex relationships. To the contrary, they have been able to cohabitate and raise their children in peace. They have been able to hold civil marriage ceremonies in States that recognize same-sex marriages and private religious ceremonies in all States. They have been able to travel freely around the country, making their homes where they please. Far from being incarcerated or physically restrained, petitioners have been left alone to order their lives as they see fit.
Yeah, gays! It's not like we constantly beat you up and call you names. We let you travel and don't throw you directly into jail! You should just be happy about that. Why do you have to be so uppity? (Oops!)

And:
The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government. Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity)because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.
Slaves had it great! They had dignity and humanity. Why can't you gays just be like those slaves and take it?

Well enough of those eggheads. (I'm not going to touch Scalia's ravings). Let's hear from some of the most powerful and prominent Republicans, the Presidential candidates!
Ted Cruz: Today is some of the darkest 24 hours in our nation's history.
Sean Hannity: I ... I couldn't say it more eloquently.

Yep, today is some of the darkest hours. Who can argue with eloquent grammar like that?

Hmm, Mike Huckabee seems like a nice guy. Let's hear from him.
The Supreme Court has spoken with a very divided voice...I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat.
Oh. Um, okay. 

How about Scott Walker?
"I believe this Supreme Court decision is a grave mistake. Five unelected judges have taken it upon themselves to redefine the institution of marriage."
But if those unelected judges want to take AWAY your rights, then it's okay. Amiright, women?

Here's the thing. I grew up in the conservative Midwest. I went to college believing that being gay was wrong and that being gay was a choice, a bad choice. I believed that they were responsible for the problems that society was causing them.

I was the one who was wrong.

And I came to that discovery by just thinking through the issues. By considering "Teh Gays" as people.

When you finally grasp that their natural feelings are not a choice; that who they are as people is not wrong, but a part of the human experience, then the idea of punishing people for being born who they are is an injustice. (It also works for people who don't look like you. Try it!) You realize that gays deserve the same rights and privileges that I get without question for being born a white male. That is, basic human rights. Not through an accident of birth, but through the existence of a fundamental set of principles that apply to every single human being on this planet. Extending those rights to everyone makes others happy, makes us all better people, and makes the Earth a better place for us all to live.

I will close with the quote below from Justice Kennedy's great opinion that settled this issue.







This weekend, I'm taking the Marriage Equality logo off my page. Rest in peace, logo. Your task is done.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Obamacare saved


I am of course thrilled that the Supreme Court saved the Affordable Care Act today. From a legal standpoint, this was a stupid, stupid case that shouldn't even have been heard, but now that it has, the ACA is safe for the foreseeable future.

Justice Scalia, as befitting a partisan hack, contradicted one of his own dissents in wanting to kill the ACA for what amounted to a typo. He and Justice Thomas can't leave the Court soon enough.

Now maybe tomorrow we'll get nationwide Same Sex marriage.