Thursday, June 04, 2009

Random Thursday Thoughts

Is it bad that I still want chicken fingers tonight? Is that cheating?

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I hate my closet. You know how sometimes you just look at a massive pile of clothes and see nothing worth wearing? I am at that stage. Help is needed.

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Does anyone see any conceivable chance that the government doesn't still own GM in 10 years? And that it doesn't lose money every year but continue employing a whole lot of important voters in swing states? I heard Obama say the other day that "There was no other choice" besides doing what they did. Um...yes there was, you could just let it die like it is going to anyway. Write it down...when it is all said and done, the total cost of this to the taxpayers will be more than the financial bailouts.

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I am (tentatively) supposed to get on an Air France flight in two months. I would be lying if that didn't cross my mind when I saw that a plane disappeared the other day.

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New Hampshire became the sixth state to legalize gay marriage yesterday, and it stands as a valuable lesson in what I am going to call "socially driven legislation". Is there any reason on earth why the citizens of New Hampshire and their lawmakers would make gay marriage legal, while those in California would go out of their way to reject it? By most measures, California is a much more socially liberal state that we would all expect to be further down the progressive curve than New Hampshire...so why did voters in California reject the idea last year?

I have no data on this...but my instinct says that people don't like the idea of Judicial Activism, and that the debate in California was poisoned by the State's Supreme Court overruling the original will of the people. I feel like that cemented the "anti-" crowd, and froze opinions where they were, rather than allow them to evolve as other states (including this one) experimented with same-sex marriage. The lesson? There is a pace of social change that can be encouraged, but can not be totally subverted by non-elected officials to whom voters have no recourse.

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Tienanmen Square was 20 years ago, and since then we have now had four different Presidential Administrations (Two Bush's, a Clinton and an Obama) that have vowed to "get tough on China's human rights practices". The first three consistently elected to preserve commerce instead of press for reform. This one is different...it has elected to preserve access to Chinese capital instead of pressing for reform. Does that count as progress? (At least the first three didn't get openly ridiculed by Chinese officials while traveling there.)

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If the government wants an industry to bail out, why not skip the automakers and take up newspapers instead? It would be cheaper, and they serve a completely irreplaceable role in a Democracy. As The Boston Globe dies a very public and severe death, they have run a whole series of stories about several different large (and amazingly brazen) frauds in the state's pension funds, in congressional aide compensation packages, at the Turnpike Authority, and in dishing out rigged state contracts. News aggregators are great, but there is no one else...not blogs, nor TV, nor radio...that is capable of the kind of reporting that newspapers are.

Just a thought...

5 comments:

Smoking Hot Roommate said...

I think we can have chicken fingers as long as we get some to go and bring them to Munchkin tomorrow. Of course, we will have to eat her french fries, they don't re-heat.

Plan?

Heather said...

I read the court's document on the california revision - i have to say that i think the court is right. making it an issue of language helps get homosexuals the same rights as everyone else.

In other words, i am not sure that the state should recognize "marriage" at all. Civil unions are what we should legally be getting. Marriage is an union offered by a religious institution. I realize that this is not what is going to happen in the near future - but i think it would be nice. The separation of church and state, in a pluralist society, needs to be further etched out - this is one of those places that we have a throwback to a thoroughly Christian nation.

Anonymous said...

A first time commenter who waited two or three posts so as not to appear to be guilted into commenting.

I love your notion of the newspaper bail outs - in theory at least. Call me an old foogie but there's nothing quite like holding the paper and reading it. It's so tactile. I wonder though, if the government bailed out newspapers how could journalistic integrity be preserved. Wouldn't there always be either suspicion about the reporting and/or fear that digging too deep on the "bosses" wouldn't creat job security.

At the end of the day though, we are going to miss them.

Brian said...

Fairly new resident to California but I have a tiny little bit of insight into why Prop 8 was passed here.

The legalization of same-sex marriages fortified the religious groups opposed to such legislation. Many groups, led by the Latter Day Saints (I am 90% sure on this fact) raised HUGE amounts of money to wage campaigns in support of Prop 8. They outspent the No crowd easily and forced a huge shift in public opinion. I read recently the No faction believe they failed because they didn't target rural areas as much as they should have, focusing their efforts on major cities.

Just my two cents from living here.

Ys said...

I just had a political rant on my blog, seems like it's one of those days ;) It's great to read!

I was very confused by the result in California. Here in the UK it was legalised without too much hoorah from the bigots. Seems strange that a state as apparently liberal as California went against it.