Category: Politics

Hey NSA, Here's a Freebie

Dear Speaker Boehner,

I read your comments today, regarding your latest attempt to weaken the Affordable Care Act, that "It's unfair to protect big businesses without giving the same relief to American families and small businesses." I must say that I am impressed by your sudden and completely unprecedented concern about big business getting preferential treatment over individuals. I mean, you know, it's sort of an interesting definition of "preferential treatment" -- you are suggesting that, because big business is getting a reprieve from having to pay for employees' healthcare, individuals should be allowed a reprieve from receiving healthcare -- but it's the thought that counts.

But Mr. Speaker, you may want to sit down -- because you may not know this, but in 2010 the United States Supreme Court ruled that corporations have the same rights to free speech as individuals. Well, I say "same" -- but the Court also ruled that money is a form of speech, meaning corporations get more speech than individuals. Mr. Speaker, you strike me as a man who knows his Orwell; I'm sure you can recognize a "some are more equal than others" proposition when you see it.

That's why I'm sure I can count on you, based on your words today, not only to reject all corporate campaign contributions and run only clean grassroots elections from now on, but indeed to champion a Constitutional Amendment putting an end to corporate personhood. I'm sure that from here on in you will see to it that every Republican in the House votes in favor of individual liberties over monied interests.

Just kidding. I know you have absolutely no control whatsoever on how House Republicans vote.

Thanks for your time,

Thaddeus R R Boyd

You who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears

On the Zimmerman verdict, I give these words by another man named Zimmerman.

Manchester, 1965; uploaded by godriczimmerman.

(A footnote: via Brian Cronin, Dylan took some creative liberties in the song. But the point remains: Zanzinger got off light.

But not as light as George Zimmerman.)

Maybe I'll have more on the Zimmerman story later. Or maybe I won't, because it's just too goddamn depressing.

Monday Conference Part 3

Zappa talks about being misquoted and quoted out of context. Speaking of protest movements, he notes that US culture is fad-oriented; later in the interview, he speaks of how it is artificially fragmented into subcultures.

I certainly think both those problems have come into play in the protest movements of the past few years, Tea Party and Occupy alike.

"The Writing is On the Wall" is a Biblical Reference

Here's what Orson Scott Card said to EW the other day about his well-known political advocacy against gay rights:

Ender’s Game is set more than a century in the future and has nothing to do with political issues that did not exist when the book was written in 1984.

With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot. The Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution will, sooner or later, give legal force in every state to any marriage contract recognized by any other state.

Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute.

Ken White at Popehat assumes that paragraph two means Card doesn't understand what the Windsor ruling entails, but that's not how I read it. I read this as Card simply realizing that Windsor is the latest in a long list of signs that make it clear that his side will lose, gay marriage will come to be not only legal in all 50 states but commonplace, and it's going to happen sooner, not later.

On some level, that's kinda heartwarming to see, a guy acknowledging he's on the losing side of history and asking that we don't judge him too harshly.

I mean, you know, in kind of a bullshit crybaby "Who's the real bigot here" way. ("Who's the real bigot here, the man who says all gay people are pedophiles and expends a significant amount of his personal wealth on trying to prevent them from receiving equal treatment under the law, or the people who call him names and boycott his work?" It's you, Orson. It's still you.)

But you know what? I'll take it. Card is swallowing his pride here and acknowledging that he's lost. No sense kicking him when he's down; it may not be an apology but it's still the closest he's ever come to one.

Tell you what, Mr. Card -- if you put your money where your mouth is and step down from the NOM board, and pledge that you'll stop donating to anti-gay causes, I'll go see Ender's Game.

The book was pretty great.

Who Knows? Take a Chance!

Pretty sure I haven't posted this yet.

Zappa discussing the problem with record labels and how it's harder to sell something unusual to a young exec who thinks he gets it and an old guy who knows he doesn't. Uploaded by schavira. And yet more on the PMRC, sex, and masturbation (which apparently had to be bleeped on whatever TV program this is).

...I tried to find something a little more related to creators' rights to tie in with my last post, but I am turning into an old man and was hoping to get to bed by 10 o'clock. Migraine's gone and vertigo's under control, but I'm still trying to get over a sore throat.