Archives for September 2011

Perry’s Hilarious Position on Marriage Equality

Rick Perry got into trouble with the Teavangelists when he said that the states should decide whether to allow same-sex marriage, not the federal government. So listen to this amusing attempt to extricate himself from the problem:I asked spokesman Mark Miner if Perry still held held to his view that states should be allowed to decide the issue of gay marriage. He said, “Governor Perry is personally opposed to gay marriage, and worked in Texas to pass a constitutional amendment that defines m … [Read more...]

Farah: Palin Should Sue Over Lies I’ve Never Seen

This statement from his latest column tells you pretty much all you need to know about Joseph Farah:I think Sarah Palin should sue the daylights out of Joe McGinniss and his publisher for their reckless disregard for the truth they showed in his new book –which, for the purpose of this column, shall remain nameless.No, I have not read the book, nor do I intend to read it.Then you have no idea what is true and what is not. I don't either. And I also don't intend to read it. I have no i … [Read more...]

Obama, Clinton and Racism

Melissa Harris-Perry has an article in The Nation arguing that President Obama is being held to a different standard than Bill Clinton was because of white liberal racism. I think she's wrong. Oh, I'm sure there may be some white liberals who do hold such a double standard, but I don't see any compelling reason to believe that this explains why Obama is receiving so much criticism from the left. I think he's receiving that criticism because he deserves it and that would be true if he was purple … [Read more...]

Introducing the First Amendment to College Administrators

As I've documented many times, speech codes on college campuses are a clear and present danger to free speech. Here's a perfect example from the University of Wisconsin - Stout. Here's how it started:On September 12, 2011, Professor Miller posted on his office door an image of Nathan Fillion in Fireflyand a line from an episode: "You don't know me, son, so let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you'll be awake. You'll be facing me. And you'll be armed." On September 16, UWS C … [Read more...]

Romney’s Disingenuous Anti-Intellectual Pandering

There are few more idiotic memes on the right than the denigration of intellect and learning, but it's especially ridiculous coming from Mitt Romney. Here he is in a speech last month claiming that Obama is weak when dealing with dictators:“That may be what they think in that Harvard faculty lounge,” he said, “but it’s not what they know on the battlefield!” … [Read more...]

Why Guantanamo Matters

The two hikers finally freed from an Iranian prison demonstrate why the existence of Guantanamo matters:"In prison, every time we complained about our conditions, the guards would immediately remind us of comparable conditions at Guantanamo Bay," he said. While the hikers don't believe American policies "justify what has been done to us," he said, "We do believe that these actions on the part of the U.S. provide an excuse for other governments, including the government of Iran, to act in … [Read more...]

Perry = Palin?

Kevin Drum says that Rick Perry has screwed up the debates because he hasn't bothered to put in the work to get better:But there was a bigger problem: Perry looked like he didn't think he needed to even care about any of that stuff. He muffed his attack lines because he hadn't bothered to study them. He wasn't prepared for the tuition fight because he figured that he could just repeat the same old explanations and flash his thousand-watt smile at the audience. He didn't know what to say … [Read more...]

The Progress of Human Morality

Steven Pinker has an interesting essay in the Wall Street Journal arguing that violence has declined precipitously in the human race in recent decades and centuries. He recognizes that there is still far too much violence in the world and also that his claim will be greeted with skepticism, but he presents compelling arguments for why violence in modern nation-states is much lower than in earlier epochs:Believe it or not, the world of the past was much worse. Violence has been in decline for … [Read more...]

Roger Ebert’s Inspiring Courage

If you haven't been inspired by how Roger Ebert has handled the tragic health problems that have beset him, you haven't been paying attention. Thyroid cancer has resulted in the removal of part of his jaw and the loss of his ability to speak or to eat and drink and he now takes nourishment through a feeding tube. But he has shown remarkable dignity and grace during the whole thing. He has a new book out about life and death and an article on Salon that sums up his views. It is a model of how a … [Read more...]

Robert O’Brien Nominee: Larry Klayman

You can always count on Larry Klayman to bring the crazy:As just one example, this time from the Democratic side of the aisle, our president, Barack Hussein Obama, Muslim under Islamic law as his father was Muslim and clearly Muslim in his heart, is in the process of orchestrating what Netanyahu branded "theatre of the absurd" with regard to Israel, a vital ally and one that is essential for U.S. national security in the oil-rich region of the Middle East. … [Read more...]

The Founding Fathers and Vaccination

The incredibly cool Lindsay Beyerstein writes at The Nation about Michele Bachmann's anti-vaccination nonsense -- and what the founding fathers she claims to revere so much might think about it.Bachmann’s grasp of political science is as shaky as her grasp of medical science. As a Tea Party conservative, Bachmann styles herself as defender of original vision of the founding fathers for America. Ironically, several of the founding fathers were champions of inoculation against infectious d … [Read more...]

Romney’s Attempt to Otherize Obama

One of the most persistent memes on the right since the rise of Barack Obama is the attempt to otherize him, turn him into not just a non-American but an anti-American. That's the root of Birtherism and all that nonsensical talk about American exceptionalism. And it's the whole purpose of the relentless claim by Mitt Romney and others that Obama went on an "apology tour" around the world.As Romney said, once again, at last week's debate, “The president went about this all wrong. He went a … [Read more...]