Jun 19, 2013
commented on Less Than a Quarter of Americans Have Confidence in Newspapers
It's a bit scary to me that I went through the list going, "Nope. Nope. Nope."
I can't answer it without being able to be specific about just what it is that I have confidence in any of those particular groups to do, or in some cases, which subsets of them - I have more confidence in my local public schools than the ones in Texas or Kentucky, for example, and I trust organized labor to stand up for the workers, but a bit less when they get involved in some aspects of politics, and so on.
Similarly, I'm reasonably confident about "the military" - but only if I am allowed to separate out how they get the job done from who gets to decide just what that job is and how those decisions get made. I trust military people, but not so much the uses to which our military is often put. And they are still way behind the curve on how to treat their female members.
And so on.
There isn't a single group on that list that I would trust implicitly.
Jun 13, 2013
commented on A "Surprising Slump" In the Number of White Americans
You don't have to go too far back in history to see Greeks, Jews, Irish, Italians, and other groups we currently see as lumped in with all other white people as being members of separate races.
In fact, when I was a child in school, "Hispanic" wasn't a separate racial identity from "White" - and this was in an area with a noticeable Hispanic presence.
The "dominant racial group" is "human" - and how we slice that up has been fluid for a LONG time.
Jun 8, 2013
commented on Sacred Sanctity of Marriage Watch
I always point out when anti-gay folks talk about how straight parents are so much better than gay ones that ever IF that were true, that's the wrong standard.
You have to prove that the very best gay parents are worse for kids and for society than the worst of the straight people who are allowed to marry under the current standards.
The bar that is set by allowing convicted death-row serial killers to marry is insanely low. I think that the vast majority of gay couples manage to surpass that with very little effort.
Jun 1, 2013
commented on It's Looking More and More Like Illinois Legislators Are Not Going to Vote on Gay Marriage Today
Yes, the Black Caucus was a part of the problem - especially since Harris says that there were members who said that they personally support equality but aren't willing to vote that way, but plan to spend the summer covering their asses better and plan to vote favorably in the fall.
And yes, a few more of them with the courage to vote their convictions would have put it over the line.
But singling them out as somehow more reprehensible than all but two of the sitting Republicans who were clear from the start that there was no way in hell they were going to support equality is way out of line and irresponsible.
It's proof that we need to better outreach to the African American religious community and help them see this as civil equality rather than a religious attack. It's been reported that there were no black pro-gay lobbyists until literally days ago. That's ludicrous.
Rather than pointing fingers, we need to mobilize. The vote is simply delayed, not struck down. Fall will be here soon, hopefully with a supportive SCOTUS ruling.
May 13, 2013
commented on Morning News: Cocaine Vaccine and Mother's Day Violence
No dispute that the targeting of Tea Party groups should be investigated. But seriously, were was the outrage from these people when the FBI was infiltrating left-wing groups and starting dossiers on people who supported non-violent liberal causes?
May 1, 2013
commented on What a Wonderful World It Would Be
" Sometimes I like to think about a world where all the devout, evangelical Christians get sucked up to be with Jesus. Earth would be so pleasant! No NOM, no Million Moms, no Michele Bachmann, nobody left from the Bush Administration. It would be heaven down here."
Assuming that such a Rapture would actually take away the people who loved God, loved their neighbor as themselves, didn't judge others, fed the hungry, cared for the sick, clothed the naked and did unto others as they would be done by, then it would most decidedly NOT be "heaven down here" because we would have nothing but incessant whining by the people who thought they should be eligible but for some "inexplicable reason" didn't make the cut.
All those people you list would still be among us, and shriller than ever.
May 1, 2013
commented on Americans Heart Surveillance Cameras
I'd rather see a robust national discussion about what the cameras are for, who gets access to the video, and what would constitute a criminal misuse of the footage.
As things get cheaper, more pervasive, and the tools to use things get more sophisticated, we need to be having the discussion and making laws to cover potential misuse.
I have absolutely no issue with the footage being available to law enforcement for the valid pursuit of crime or national security.
I remember a couple of decades ago when "concerned citizens" shut down a perfectly legal adult bookstore by staking the place out and taking pictures (using film cameras - these were dedicated wingnuts) of every patron and their license plate.
I can see similar misuse of public cameras, especially for situation like divorce, child custody, or these sorts of "morals enforcement."
Yes, we don't have an expectation of privacy when we are in public. But we also don't have an expectation that perfectly legal behavior will end up on some website or facebook or Twitter for public shaming or stalking, either.
In short order, if we don't already have it, it will be possible to find any vehicle anywhere on a public street or highway using digital recognition of the license plate. And we have to broaden our definition beyond mere cameras as we all walk around and drive around with portable GPS units in our phones and cars.
I'd be happy with pervasive public surveillance and heavy penalties for private misuse of it - including private misuse by people who have access to it for the legal parts of their jobs.