No, Virginia. Intolerance of intolerance isn’t the same as intolerance of human beings.
When it became public that recently appointed Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich had donated to the controversial anti-gay rights Prop 8 initiative in California back in 2008, things – as we used to say back home – blowed up. Rarebit yanked an app from the Mozilla marketplace and in a highly visible move, dating site OK Cupid asked its users not to access the site with Mozilla’s Firefox browser.
Eich fought back, and we witnessed a couple of days of textbook crisis management as the company (and its under-fire CEO) worked to convince the world that a person’s official and personal beliefs can be compartmentalized – that is, you can be anti-equality in your private life but suitably inclusive at work. Continue reading Brendan Eich case raises free speech issues for people who don’t understand how free speech works
I … I … ummm. This is a joke, right?
Marriage should be limited to unions of a man and a woman because they alone can “produce unplanned and unintended offspring,” opponents of gay marriage have told the Supreme Court.
By contrast, when same-sex couples decide to have children, “substantial advance planning is required,” said Paul D. Clement, a lawyer for House Republicans.
Apparently no, no it is not.
Used to be teh queers couldn’t be trusted because they’d hump anything they could catch. Now they have to be restricted because … they’re responsible.
2016 is going to be a banner year for Dem candidates if the GOP keeps this up….
Former English Prime Minister Tony Blair has taken his share of beatings here at S&R, and I’m grateful to my colleague Wufnik for periodically reminding us all what an invertebrate git Wee Bambi is. In the grand scheme of things (you know, helping his Mac Daddy George Bush invade Iraq, resulting in the pointless deaths of … well, the estimates vary, but range as high as a million-plus, many of them civilians) today’s news is piddling, but it nonetheless confirms what we have long known about Teflon Tony.
Nobel peace prize winner defends law criminalising homosexuality in Liberia: In joint interview, Tony Blair refuses to comment on Liberian president’s remarks supporting anti-gay laws
Continue reading Tony Blair sits quietly as Liberian president defends law criminalizing homosexuality
A few days ago, Phoenix Suns president Rick Welts revealed that he is gay. And the whole sporting world exploded yawned.
Okay, that’s not precisely true. There has been a bit of comment and analysis. But so far, no controversy. No homophobic ranting, no athletes stepping up to say that Jesus doesn’t approve, none of that. This is a wonderful thing. That the public response so far has amount to a collective shoulder shrug is evidence that America is finally getting over the idea that sports just isn’t ready for gays in the locker room. Continue reading Gays and professional sports: Sir Charles stands up for what’s right. Again.
In a recent discussion on one of my political lists Sara Robinson (easily one of the brightest folks in the blogosphere) made an important point about what often causes people to migrate from socially conservative perspectives to more progressive points of view. In describing her experiences with a particular activist group that helped people leaving fundamentalist religions (something that can be emotionally traumatic at the very least, and that frequently comes at a significant price in their lives – lost families, ostracization, etc.), she noted:
[T]he first sliver of doubt came about when the person’s authorities asked them to believe something that they simply could not reconcile with their own experience. In a plurality of cases, this dissonance was caused by knowing and caring for someone who was gay, and realizing that the conservative storyline on the inherent evil of homosexuality just didn’t line up with what they knew of this wonderful person. (If the religious right knew just how often this one issue triggered those first unignorable doubts, they’d walk away from gay-hating and never go back to it.) Continue reading Time for America’s Freddie Mercury moment: there are more than 100 gay pro athletes in the US, and the sooner they get out of the equipment closet the better
CNN reported last week on a new study showing that liberalism, atheism and sexual exclusivity in males are linked to higher IQ scores. The findings are intriguing, for all the obvious reasons.
Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa at the the London School of Economics and Political Science correlated data on these behaviors with IQ from a large national U.S. sample and found that, on average, people who identified as liberal and atheist had higher IQs. This applied also to sexual exclusivity in men, but not in women. The findings will be published in the March 2010 issue of Social Psychology Quarterly.
Reactions have been all over the place, but there’s been strong suspicion of the findings from both “liberal” and “conservative” corners (especially conservative, as you’d expect). Which is good. Continue reading Are liberals smarter than conservatives? Our nitwit media strike again…
Pulitzer- and Emmy-winner William Henry‘s famous polemic, In Defense of Elitism (1994), argues that societies can be ranked along a spectrum with “egalitarianism” on one end and “elitism” on the other. He concludes that America, to its detriment, has slid too far in the direction of egalitarianism, and in the process that it has abandoned the elitist impulse that made it great (and that is necessary for any great culture). While Henry’s analysis is flawed in spots (and, thanks to the excesses of the Bush years, there are some other places that could use updating), he brilliantly succeeds in his ultimate goal: crank-starting a much-needed debate about the proper place of elitism in a “democratic” society.
Along the way he spends a good deal of time defining what he means by “egalitarianism” and “elitism.” Continue reading Democracy & Elitism 4: equality, opportunity and leveling up the playing field
A modest proposal, perhaps.
It’s been entertaining watching American public “discourse” since the election. (I use that word in its broadest, most ridiculous sense, since nothing that hinges so completely on self-absorption, rank ignorance and pathological dishonesty can be accurately characterized by such a noble word. But indulge me. I’ve been working on my irony lately.)
On the one hand you have conservatives fainting dead away that we’re now in the clutches of a “socialist” president. Never mind that these folks wouldn’t know a real socialist if he was gnawing their balls off. Never mind that most of these folks think “socialist” is the French word for Negro. Never mind that Obama demonstrably is to socialism what Joe the Plumber is to brie-sucking Northeastern intellectualism. As arch-conservative TV pundit Stephen Colbert says, “this is a fact-free zone.”
On the other you have the righteous outrage of the progressosphere, which feels six different kinds of betrayed by a president who promised them the moon and stars and has now left them to what looks like at least a four-year walk of shame. If I might borrow from an old fraternity joke, imagine the following scene from the Oval Office: Continue reading Democrats to Progressives: We’re just not that into you
Orson Scott Card is a barking fascist asshat. Let me illustrate.
I always marveled at how some of my friends worshiped the writing of Orson Scott Card. Maybe, I thought, it’s because we’re North Carolinians and he’s from Greensboro. From my perspective he was nothing special, at best, and has in the last couple of decades evolved into perhaps America’s most overrated science fiction author. Ender’s Game was prescient in its way – in a world where weaponry is so technologized that war is a video game, of course kids can be uber-warriors. But when the boy is made into some kind of equally uber moralist and philosopher (or whatever the hell Speaker for the Dead was about) I smelled the pungent aroma of self-indulgence that so often attends SF writers of a certain stripe.
The Alvin Maker series was even less bearable. We were doing fine in Seventh Son, clipping through an interesting enough little story (assuming you could get past the inexplicably patronizing treatment of Native American names) and then – the damnedest what the fuck passage in all of known literature. Continue reading Author Orson Scott Card: Gays not “acceptable, equal citizens”; “I will act to destroy that government and bring it down”