June 30, 2011

Charity is a Crime in Orlando

These three look pretty shady, don't they? Well, they were in fact arrested earlier this month in Orlando. You might ask for what nefarious act these three were carted off to jail? Surely, theft, violence, ... murder? Nope.

These dangers to society were arrested for feeding the homeless. Read all about it here. Tell me, who exactly is on the Orlando city council these days -- Ebenezer Scrooge? Marie Antoinette? King Herod?

June 23, 2011

Using 'Gay' Epithetically

This campaign from GLSEN raises awareness of how in the last ten years or so the word gay has come to be used to mean uncool, worthy of derision, or worthy of rejection and how destructive that usage can be. Irrespective of one's beliefs concerning the morality of homosexuality, I don't think one should use the word gay epithetically because it could cause emotional harm to someone who is either gay or wondering if they might be. Considering the ongoing fact that gay young people commit suicide at much higher rates than their straight counter-parts, I think extra sensitivity is warranted. So, when you say (or hear someone say) "Dude, that's so gay!", imagine that you're gay and how that would make you feel.

June 21, 2011

Christie, the Examplar of the New Conservatism

I think that this clip captures the spirit of the new Conservatism better than anything I've ever seen -- a Conservatism that sees reliance upon government (for anything except safety and perhaps roads) as contemptible parasitism. It is clear to me from his reaction to the woman's question that he has no sense of obligation to those who rely upon his state's government to provide a decent eduction for their children. The fact that he counters her question by insisting that he does not ask her where she sends her children to school implies that everyone in his state has the same choice he has -- that everyone can afford to send their children to private school. (The median household income in New Jersey in 2009 was $68,444 per year. [U.S. Census])  
This woman does indeed have the right to ask him where he sends his children to school because he has a profound level of control over the education of her children, while she has only her voice and her vote. Yes, he emphasizes that it is for religious reasons that he sends his children to private school, but that doesn't change the fact that he has that choice -- because he can afford it -- and that his children are not impacted by the budget cuts he is imposing on the questioner's children.  Even if Governor Christie either backs off from or apologizes for his reaction, this episode still demonstrates what's in his heart -- contempt for those who need a helping hand from their fellow citizens to educate their children and provide us all with the benefit of a well-educated populace.

June 16, 2011

Anti-Gay Illogic

Fortunately, the impartiality of Judge Ware in the case Perry v. Schwarzenegger was upheld this week and the case will proceed on its inexorable route to the Supreme Court. The arguments of those who fight against the inevitability of same-sex marriage grow increasingly thin and internally inconsistent. In this case, the plaintiffs argued that because Judge Ware is gay he should have recused himself from the original trial. The problem with their logic is that during the original trial one of their principal arguments was that opposite-sex marriage is diminished by same-sex marriage, which means that any person who might participate in opposite-sex marriage would also have a vested interested in the outcome of the trial. With all gay and straight people excluded from presiding over such a trial, I'm not sure who would be left.