Author Archives: Scott Launius
As much as I love the courts, and their ability to protect the rights of those who most need protecting, I’ve never thought they’re the best way to achieve our goals here.Â Remember, our goal should not just be the legal right (which is obviously important), butÂ also widespread public support for said right.Â We’re getting close, but we’re not there yet.
That said, the fact that a court ruled this way – unanimously – in a relatively socially conservative Farm State is fantastic.Â Massachusetts, California, and Vermont are states that opponents of equal marriage rights like to deride as being full of liberal elites, whose views don’t represent Middle America.Â They’ll have a hard time making the same claim about Iowa.Â I don’t want to sound too optimistic here, but still – I think this really could be a turning point.Â It sounds cheesy, but when I read this this morning, it actually made me feel good – it was sort of uplifting, in a way few court rulings are.Â This reinforces what I’ve believed for a while now – that, by the time our generation is fortunate enough to have children of our own, they will allÂ grow up to have full legal rights to marry their partners – regardless of their sex.
So I’m on CNN.com a few minutes ago when I saw this under CNN’s “Latest News”
Ticker: I want Obama to fail, actor says
Well, I thought to myself, who could that be? Â Aren’t all actors crazy socialists who would probably describe Obama as “a little conservative for my tastes”?
So I clicked on the link.Â
It’s about Fred Thompson. Â
He may be a former Senator, presidential candidate, etc., Â but to CNN, he’s just some “actor”. Â This gave me great pleasure.
In a new documentary, Utah State Senator Chris Buttars makes some remarks about gays that are…less than friendly.
Apparently, the wacky “give gay people rights and stuff” movement is going off the deep end (presumably, because of that whole “giving people rights and stuff” part that Senator Buttars is none too fond of). Â And apparently this reminds him of…
It’s just like the Moslems. Muslims are good people…but it’s been taken over by the radical side.
Yeah! These “equal-rights wantin’” gay people are just like the radical Muslims. Â The radical Muslims who became terrorists. Â Because we didn’t give them rights. Â In America. Â What?
Oh, I see. Â It’s a moral issue:
What is the morals of a gay person? You can’t answer that because anything goes.
Uh, no. Â The reason I can’t answer that question is SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT, natch. Â But seriously, I should probably listen to you on this. Â What was it you said about a year ago? Â If only you had said something tremendously stupid and vaguely racist, like referring to a bill(?) as…
This baby is black, I’ll tell you. Â This is a dark, ugly thing.
I’ll confess, I don’t really know the context of that. Â But it sounds like it’s both moral AND well-reasoned.
But that was a year ago. Â The comments above were just a “moron aftershock”. Â He couldn’t possibly have said anything else about THE GAYS…
They’re probably the biggest threat to America going down I know of.
But wait. Â I thought they were “just like the Moslems”? Â At worst, wouldn’t they be co-biggest threat to America? Â Come on man, if you’re going to be prejudiced, at least be consistentÂ about it. Â But I do appreciate your use of street lingo like “going down”. Â Well here’s some more street lingo for you, Mr Buttars: If I were unfortunate enough to have stupid shit like this pop into my head, I hope I would at least retain the decency to keep it on what we call “the downlow”.
This guy should take some Pepto-Bismol for his verbal diarrhea.
So I don’t know why this has flown under the MSM radar, but in an interview with C-SPAN two weeks ago, Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) made some startling revelations:
On Thursday (Sept. 18), at 11am the Federal Reserve noticed a tremendous draw-down of money market accounts in the U.S. – to the tune of $550 billion – was being drawn out in the matter of an hour or two. The Treasury opened up its window to help and pumped $105 billion in the systemÂ and quickly realized that they could not stem the tide.Â We were having an electronic run on the banks. They decided to close the operation, close down the money accounts and announce a guarantee of $250,000 per account (the previous guarantee was $100,000) so there wouldn’t be further panic out there.
If they had not done that, their estimation is that by 2pm that afternoon,Â $5.5 trillionÂ would have been drawn out of the money market system of the U.S.,Â would have collapsed the entire economy of the U.S., and within 24 hours the world economy would have collapsed. It would have been the end of our economic system and our political system as we know it.
That sounds like all kinds of fun.
Now this has been questioned by some sources. Â For one thing, the FDIC did not publicly announce the possibility of an insurance cap increase until several days later. Â But still, damn.
So a couple years back, Barack Obama wrote a book. Â He then did the reading on the audiotape on the book.
Everything is funny out of context:
And my favorite:Â
In his interview this evening with Charlie Gibson, President Obama said – okay, we’ll say “implied” – that he wants the controversial (read: stupid) “Buy American” provisions removed from the stimulus bill:
CHARLES GIBSON: A couple of quick questions. There are “Buy America” provisions in this bill. A lot of people think that could set up a trade war, cost American jobs. You want them out?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I want provisions that are going to be a violation of World Trade Organization agreements or in other ways signal protectionism. I think that would be a mistake right now. That is a potential source of trade wars that we can’t afford at a time when trade is sinking all across the globe.
CHARLES GIBSON: What’s in there now? Do you think that does that? Do you want it out?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I think we need to make sure that any provisions that are in there are not going to trigger a trade war.
Provisions like these almost always lead to far more negatives than positives. Â For example, following the pattern often seen with what is essentially protectionism in the form of a government subsidy (not a “direct subsidy” in the classical sense, but that’s not important), a studyÂ showed that these provisions would indeed create roughly 1,000 jobs in the US Steel industry. Â This, unfortunately, would be at the cost of as many as 65,000 (read “65 times as many”) jobs in other US industries as a result of increased input costs.
Also of note: the provision is, uh, illegal under WTO rules. Â Way to go, guys.
Kudos to Obama for not giving into protectionist pressures coming from Congress. Â Forgive them, Barack, they know not what they do.
(Via Marc Ambinder)
From The Agitator, a letter from Michael Phelps to America (full text here):
I take it back. I donâ€™t apologize.
Because you know what? Itâ€™s none of your goddamned business. I work my ass off 10 months per year. Itâ€™s that hard work that gave you all those gooey feelings of patriotism last summer. If during my brief window of down time I want to relax, enjoy myself, and partake of a substance thatâ€™s a hell of a lot less bad for me than alcohol, tobacco, or, frankly, most of the prescription drugs most of you are taking, well, you can spare me the lecture.
Yet you all get bent out of shape when Ricky Williams, or I, orÂ Josh Howard smoke a little dope to relax. Why? Because the idiots youâ€™ve elected to make your laws have without a shred of evidence beat it into your head that smoking marijuana is something akin to drinking antifreeze, and done only by dirty hippies and sex offenders.
Youâ€™ll have to pardon my cynicism. But I call bullshit. You donâ€™t give a damn about my health. You just get a voyeuristic thrill from watching an elite athlete fall from graceâ€“all the better if you get to exercise a little moral righteousness in the process. And itâ€™s hypocritical righteousness at that, given thatÂ 40 percent of you have tried pot at least once in your lives.
In a video response to a question on Change.gov, White House Press Secretary-designate Robert Gibbs announced that Obama will end the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and allow gays to serve openly in the military:
Thadeus from Michigan: Is the new administration going to get rid of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy?
Robert Gibbs: Thadeus, you don’t hear a politician give a one-word answer much, but it’s yes.
The policy, which had been in effect since 1993 when Clinton agreed to it as a compromise measure, prohibited those who “demonstrate(s) a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts” from serving in the military. Â While Obama said during the campaign that he wanted to end the policy, he was seen by some as backpedaling in recent months, as Obama said he might not be able to end the policy until 2010, and only after he consulted generals, etc.
Especially given the current strains our military is under, I can’t imagine anything stupider than discharging perfectly qualified and honorable soldiers for their sexual orientation.
Unfortunately, the crazy idea of giving rights to gays is still controversial in this country. Â I applaud Obama for his courage and consistency on this issue. Â It’s things like this that remind me of why I was an Obama supporter all along.
I don’t know how many of you are familiar with Facebook “Lexicon“, but I just discovered it. Â Basically, it’s Google Trends for Facebook Walls. Â (If you don’t know what Google Trends is, click here and commence mind-blowage.) Â As such, it allows you to compare trends in occurrence of terms on Facebook walls. Â Try “Obama”, and you’ll see a marked increase around November 4th – much like you would with Google Trends. Â But because Facebook Lexicon records person-to-person communication, you can also find things like this, a comparison of the terms “party tonight” and “hangover”:
(Best if viewed on “large” setting”) (more…)