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Friday, February 06, 2004

Left-Libertarian? 

Call me slow or uninformed, but I didn't realize this was a developing school of thought worthy of being countered by the essay Leiter links to here. I haven't finished reading it yet, but it appears there is a relatively significant amount of literature on a conceptual framework that i didn't know existed, but have used the nomenclature of to describe my own view of the world and its inhabitants. I'm going to have to stop saying this about myself until I've read up on it sufficiently to determine if my own views correspond with a degree of precision that justifies overt subscription. Really intrigued. I'll try to do some reading (like I really have time) and report back here. Sounds promising, even though the inconsistencies pointed out in Risse's piece have not escaped my attention, they are far from fatal to the framework as far as I can tell (though I am decidedly a non-philosopher).

Leiter on Blogging 

Brian Leiter's got a great post up today. A sort of "intellectual's take on blogging". The best part is the tone. It really sounds like he started blogging either a) on a bet; b) to study the phenomenon; c) to defend Chomsky; or d) all of the above. Then you get the distinct idea that he's now doing it because he likes it, whether he admits it or not. Which is fine with me. It's always good to have someone with a sharp philosophical/legal mind out there in the blogosphere to counteract the shit people like me spew on hastily thrown together tripetacular sites like this one.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Plame Investigation 

The shit is slowly hitting the fan in the Plame scandal.

And, shockingly, it looks like the outting is a product of Cheney's office. Whooda thunkit? The answer, of course, is "anyone with more than a gram or two of grey matter between their ears."

UPDATE: Ezra at Pandagon says that the Cheney camp's guilt is bad for Democrats. I fully understand his point, but as a newly christened Dem, I guess I'm short on loyalty. Either that or I'm long on loathing for our vice president, whom I see as the embodiment of corporate capture of government. If he goes down as a patsy, I'll still cheer. I'll just try to implicate Bush in the whole fiasco as much as possible. I don't like Rudy G. that much, but if I get to shop for possible VPs, I'd certainly rather have him in there than Cheney. Rudy's wrong about almost everything, but he does have a heart and a brain that are connected to one another, which is more than I can say for most of the people around Bush as it is now. Anywho. Bring Cheney down...nobody deserves it more. Then lets get those other investigations going on him to make his last leap back into the private sector a money-losing venture instead of a profiteers dream.

Thank Evolution! 

Well...the Georgia "let's not say evolution thing" didn't last too long.

My guess...that it wasn't really the public uproar that did it. I'm guessing the Chambers of Commerce and other business-minded types in places like Atlanta (where civilization has put down a few roots despite the recalcitrance of most of the South to emerge out of the strange blend of Victorianism and Neanderthalism that is traditional Southern society) don't want the reputation of the state of Georgia to be that of a backasswards pit of ignorance as that would likely lead to decreased investment in the community from the private sector.

Leave it to capitalism to fuck up religion...and if the Cheneys and Fallwells of the world keep up the strange loveathon between the amoral capitalist-evangelicals and the hyper-moral (at least where others are concerned) "religious" "right", that won't be a figure of speech for long.

Why the "alliance"? Simple. It's easier to manipulate people who believe in the supernatural than those with whom only rational arguments will prove persuasive, and since nobody but the rich would really vote for a Cheney-style economy (supply-side, rich get richer, "trickledown") unless the argument was tied to something totally irrational, like presuppositions about the unknowable or visceral bigotry. That's how I see it...the religious and bigoted (and I don't mean to conflate the two in any way) poor are simply manipulated by others who only superficially accept (or in the case of bigotry, covertly imply that they might, possibly, accept) the manipulatable belief(s).

UPDATE: I like the word "manipulatable". It's got a certain "something completely incorrect" about it that is alluring and sexy in much the same way as Andrew Sullivan's ideas.

Gay Marriage in Ol' Mass 

Massachussets (and I don't care if I spelled that right) is trying to figure out what to do legislatively about the SJC ruling that only gay marriage will satisfy their decision, which brings up Brown and the separate = inherently unequal doctrine in a whole new part of town.

As someone who supports gay rights in a pretty serious way, I find the decision disturbing for prudential reasons. i'm not faulting the court, they ruled properly as far as I can tell. My issue with the situation is that now the issue is forced. Pending legislation creating a Vermontian "civil union" type compromise is shot to shit now. What does that mean? That means the FMA (Federal Marriage Amendment for those who don't do acronyms) is going to rear its ugly head in a serious way, and Mass. legislators (against gay marriage) may lead the charge.

Here's my deal. I don't give a rats ass about marriage. I don't care who does it, how, where, anything. I wouldn't lose sleep if a mob hung marriage in the public square and then spat on it. It's not "sacred" or "pure". It's a legal deal, and anyone in our country should have a right to it with whomever they choose. Churches can keep people with similar anatomies from getting hitched in their big room with benches or whatever...who gives a shit. But when it comes to the civil benefits (and detriments) of "marriage" in the sense that you sign a permission slip at the courthouse, it should be available to all. Period. This inclines me to root for civil union legislation. Hell...I'd be more likely to tie the knot if it was called a civil union, and I'm not even gay...it takes away some of the stigma associated with what I see as an obsolete institution and makes it more...well...secular.

That's the crux. This is about religion, not civil society. So my response is to separate the two (which in my opinion is always a good idea when it comes to distinguishing between that which requires faith and the real world that we actually live it).

That's why I'm not happy about the ruling. It cuts out the one option that can prevent firebreathing on both sides. Why on earth some in the gay community insist on calling it "marriage" is beyond me, but they're entitled to fight for that, and if it's a fight they want, they're sure as hell gonna get it now...and it's gonna be vicious. The side-effect of the ruling is that it will take secularists who are for equality in civil rights for gays out of the debate to a certain extent. That's fewer allies on the side I'd like to see them on, but I'm far less inclined to fight for "marriage" in the traditional sense than I am for simple civil equality.


CIA Hitting Back 

I said they wouldn't take this shit sitting down. Looks like they're not gonna take it at all. You'd think the son of a former CIA boss would know not to fuck with Langley. But you'd also think the president would be able to count to ten or make toast...

Best Newswire Headline of the (insert overbroad temporal spread here) 

Check out this one.

On a related note...Eight Indicted for Rouging Hamsters.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

New Links 

Go check out The Leiter Reports...a great blog for the legal nerds out there courtesy of Brian Leiter of the University of Texas School of Law (where I am currently imprisoned).

Another good one from a fellow student: Wings and Vodka...click it BIATCH!

ahem...

Tbag's Balls-Out Endorsement for the Democratic Presidential Ticket 

John Edwards.

He's convinced me that he's a real populist. Of course, Clinton convinced me of the same thing, and although he went that way for a while he turned out to be a dud (primarily because he opened himself up to attacks that necessitated his wibbly-wobbly compromise-athon and leadership drought). Maybe I just fall for the slick Southern speakers (and other alliterations). Well, hopefully Edwards doesn't squander his credibility and goodwill by bangin' ugly broads (whether or not he gets the nomination).

I'm not a HUGE fan of Kerry...his record is solid and I think he's a good person, but he's so open to attack on the class thing. If he can deflect it the way Bush did, he's set...but it's harder for a "liberal" to do that. Most important is that he really seems to be committed (within bounds of pragmatism) to campaign finance reform which, aside from the drug war, is likely my pet issue.

So...Edwards is my favorite, but if Kerry gets the nom (not inevitable, but looking likely) you'll see a button on my lapel.

UPDATE: Let me make myself completely clear. Now that the Liebergnome is out of the race, I'm backing whoever the Dems nominate. In fact...for the first time in my life, I'm openly claiming myself to be Tbag - Democrat from Texas.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

On that Prediction 

Damn...when I'm right...I'm right...and I usually am...damn I'm good...great even...sweeeeeeeeet.

Prediction 

Edwards is gonna surprise the shit outta everyone today...

Monday, February 02, 2004

Overloaded 

Man...I gotta take a break from political-junky news-watching. My brain is about to melt. Someone wanna take over and just spoonfeed me the essentials?

Superbowl 

Didn't watch it. Heard the game was good, the ads sucked, and the halftime show was titty...that about cover it?

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