It’s all well and good when the leader you like does it

During the Bush administration, I repeatedly told people that the measuring stick for a government program should not be whether you trust it in the hands of the leader you like, it should be whether you trust it in the hands of the next guy. Once you give up freedom, you have no guarantee that you’re ever getting it back or that the leaders down the road will use the power you’ve ceded to them in a responsible and democratic manner. I would like to revisit that point in light of the NSA revelations this past week. Let us be clear, what we learned is not remotely new, they told us they were going to do it during the frenzy of post-9/11 legislation. I have operated for years as if any unencrypted communication with non-citizens outside of the US borders was being monitored because the Bush administration made it quite[…]

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Pawns in the culture war

This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes – Morpheus, The Matrix In the few days since I wrote my post about what I strongly suspect is HSLDA’s litigation strategy to make homeschooling a fundamental right with no restrictions, not even for abusers, people have been doing some digging and have found information that quite frankly, is incredibly disturbing. In a nutshell, in 2009 an all male group of homeschool leaders met for a summit at one of Bill Gothard’s ATI training centers to discuss the future of homeschooling. Included among the big names present were Doug Phillips of Vision Forum (and former HSLDA attorney),[…]

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Musings from a parallel universe

Earlier today I posted a link on facebook about how Michael Farris of Patrick Henry College threatened to sue the the people behind the Queer at Patrick Henry College blog for copyright infringement for using the name “Patrick Henry College”. [Here’s where we pause for a moment while I say, COPYRIGHT LAW DOES NOT WORK LIKE THAT!!!!!!!111ONE!!!!!!!eleventy!!!!! phew, deep breath, now that’s out of my system we can go on]. Apparently somebody pointed out to Michael Farris that copyright law does not work like that, because he promptly withdrew the threat. Anyway, Mike Farris landing in the news got me thinking about something I hadn’t thought about in a long time. Before he went and started a college that would let fundy homeschool parents feel safe about sending their kids off to a school that would keep the kids sheltered from the outside world, his claim to fame was starting the[…]

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A few thoughts on the election

Now that it’s been a few days since President Obama won reelection and I’m no longer utterly sleep-deprived, I think it’s time for me to write up a few thoughts.  I’m new to the Democratic game, but I’ve been around politics for most of my life. Back in 1992, I did get-out-to-vote calls for George H. W. Bush and at 12 years old learned what it feels like to campaign for a presidential candidate and to have them lose. I remember thinking it was the end of the world, that Bill Clinton would destroy the country, and I remember everyone flipping out. Most people who threaten to leave the country when their guy loses never actually do, but I knew people who did. It all seems ridiculously silly now, especially given that Clinton governed from the middle, but that’s what it was like. To the people who are flipping out[…]

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It may be an abstraction for you, but for me, it’s my life

Idea stolen from the intarwebs with my own additions… Dear friends who are thinking about voting for Mitt Romney, When you read his or his surrogates’ comments about gays, replace "gays" with my name. Examples: Kathryn shouldn’t be allowed to marry. Kathryn getting married is a threat to families. Kathryn can’t be a good parent. Kathryn doesn’t love, she can only lust. Kathryn can’t truly commit. Kathryn is what is wrong with this country. If Kathryn can marry, we should just let people marry animals. Kathryn is what destroyed the Roman Empire. If God doesn’t judge America for Kathryn, He should apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah. Kathryn is destroying Western Civilization. Being Kathryn is a choice. I hope this brings the debate out of the abstract for you. For you this is another academic debate in the culture wars, for us, this is our lives. I hate even having to bring this up, it’s[…]

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Am I better off today than I was four years ago?

Am I better off now than I was four years ago?  Well, let’s see. At this time four years ago I was living in Hanoi watching the American economy implode while wondering what kind of country I’d be coming home to. Watching as the country inched towards the brink of a meltdown that would have taken the rest of the world with it. Four years later, it’s easy for people to forget just how close the country came to economic ruin, but I’ll never forget the feeling of standing on my roof in Hanoi looking across the city skyline to where the glowing red sign of the AIG building served as a constant reminder that halfway around the world my homeland’s economy was in a death spiral.  Are things perfect now? No. But it’s still a heck of a lot better than it was four years ago and I don’t[…]

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Pardon me if I seem to be in a bad mood…

…but I’m rather frustrated at the outcome of the North Carolina Amendment One vote. It’s always lovely to see that 61% of the voters in a state think you’re such a threat to civilization that they have to enshrine your inequality in their state constitution. I just love being reminded that I’m a second class citizen and that my rights are subject to the whims of a bunch of bigots who think that this country is a theocracy that should be governed by their ignorant twisting of scripture and their bad theology. You know what though? No matter how many laws you pass, now matter how much you try to enshrine our second class citizen status in state constitutions, you’re not going to magically make us disappear. 

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I don’t think I want to live on this planet anymore

Kim Kardashian’s political ambitions are being treated as if they’re a real thing. You might as well just shoot me now, I don’t think I can live in a world where Kim Kardashian’s political ambitions are taken remotely seriously, even if it is just Huffington Post that’s taking them seriously. We’re talking about a woman who got famous for being a friend of Paris Hilton who copied Paris’ route to fame and made a sex tape. She’s not even an original fame whore, she exactly copied another person’s route to being famous for absolutely no reason at all. And now she’s spouting opinions about how she was impressed by “Rick Santoro” and his daughters, and people are reporting on it as if it is political news.  BRB, jumping off a bridge. The apocalypse is clearly upon us, the Mayans were right.

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This does not compute

One recurring theme in the fight against providing coverage for birth control, is the idea that sex is for recreation and insurance should not cover someone’s recreational activities.  Now, theoretically, I can understand the logic behind that even though I think that it’s a bad argument for a myriad of public policy reasons, not the least of which being that if you want to reduce the number of abortions it makes no sense to make access to birth control more difficult. However, what I cannot understand is that the people making this argument are, by and large, the same conservative Evangelicals who have spent decades railing against a society that cheapens sex and reduces it to nothing but a recreational activity. How is it that the same people who argue that sex is for procreation when they’re fighting tooth and nail to keep me from ever getting legally married are[…]

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Okay, so this Scumbag Scalia meme isn’t an entirely accurate representation of Scalia’s tl;dr on the healthcare law or of his lengthy opinions, but it is an accurate representation of how I feel about having to read his lengthy dissents. And truthiness is what matters, right?

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