David Frum has been a Republican and conservative for much of his life. For example, the term “axis of evil” is of his own invention. Although increasingly moderate (by GOP standards), I still disagree with plenty of his political positions. Nevertheless, credit is due where credit is due:
In his weekly column at CNN, this week concerning the legalization of same–sex marriage in New York, Frum writes: “The short answer is that the case against same-sex marriage has been tested against reality. The case has not passed its test.”
Go and read the rest of his column where he admits to being wrong about same–sex marriage.
In a 7–2 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States has struck down a California law outlawing the selling certain violent video games to minors. Parents have to take responsibility for the games their children play.
I don’t play and don’t like shoot–em–up style video games. But nevertheless, this decision is the correct one.
The New York State Senate has narrowly passed a bill legalizing same–sex marriage. It differs slightly from the version passed by the Assembly, and a reconciled version will be passed soon. The Senate version has stronger religious exemptions. Once a reconciled bill is passed, it will be signed into law and same–sex marriage will begin thirty days thereafter.
The passing of this milestone is excellent news. Throughout the history of this blog, I have covered the quest for marriage equality in New York on several occasions, even arguing with someone else at one time. It is glad to see that marriage equality will finally come to pass.
BTW, the sky still hasn’t fallen.
A male contraceptive that has been undergoing testing in India will now begin clinical trials in the United States.
This is of course excellent news. Men need to take responsibility for safe sex too. Always placing the onus on the woman is immoral. However, it is still important that women be able to control their own fertility as well, as it is fucking misogynistic to force her to rely on male cooperation.
At Lawyers, Guns, & Money there is an interesting discussion of who the worst American president is. As you might expect, the usual suspects are named the worst.
What about my view? As a Canadian I am tempted to choose Madison. Frankly, invading your country* is an excellent way to get anyone to hate you. But nevertheless, other considerations must come into play, and these compel me to conclude that Madison is certainly not the worst.
I know this might be an unpopular position, but I retain my view that George W. Bush is not the worst president. As a matter of fact, it might be argued that it is too early to rate him. Consider Truman. When he left office, he was absolutely hated. Since then, he has become more and more highly ranked amongst historians. The distance of time allows people to move beyond partisanship and get a more objective look, while the president’s legacy gets time to develop and become fully apparent. For these reasons, one could make the case that it is too early to rate Bush (and Clinton and Obama, at least).
I think James Buchanan was the worst US president. Bush, whose achievements include an expansion of the surveillance state, statist reactionaries on SCOTUS, blowing the budget on deficits, the rise of torture, creeping theocracy, the Iraq War, and having a really smooth outgoing presidential transition, at least kept the goddamn country together. Buchanan, on the other hand, came in as President of the United States of America, and left as President of the Untied States of America. You can’t do worse than that.
A common campaign promise is to “deregulate”; that is, reduce the number of regulations businesses must comply. While sometimes, deregulation does indeed help all businesses, in general this is an oversimplification focusing on the mere number of regulations. The real attention should not be on the number of regulations, and not on merely adding or removing regulation for their own sakes, but rather on intelligent regulation.
The complete antithesis of intelligent regulation is taking place in Wisconsin (no surprise) and show how the wrong sorts of regulation mean there will be nothin’ but good times ahead for big bidness in that state.
One example (h/t Think Progress) is a new law that will make it harder for small breweries to distribute their own product. In other words, they cannot handle their own distribution, and instead must hire a third–party to do it.
The previous regulation is an excellent example of rent–seeking, where a company gains profits by manipulating the business environment, rather than adding value. A wholesale distributor is a drop in the keg for a big beer baron company, but not for a microbrewery. The regulation in question increases the cost and difficulty of doing business for microbreweries, therefore hindering their ability to compete. The end result is that big beer barons are protected from competition, therefore meaning that they can stay profitable by simply having no (or less) competition rather than by, you know, brewing better beer. Clearly, businesses have no problem with regulation if it discourages competition and protects their monopolies.
The other regulation concerns a law that prevents libraries and universities from using a co–op broadband service called WiscNet. The law claws back stimulus money used to implement WiscNet, and if universities and libraries want broadband they will have to use commercial services. This is rent–seeking at its most blatant, as it is cheaper to use WiscNet. So much for “fiscal responsibility”.
For people who blow such much oxygen ranting about the evils of “socialism,” conservatives sure hate the free market.
REPEATED sexual health campaigns have been credited with a huge drop in the number of abortions across the Lothians last year.
Terminations hit their lowest for almost 20 years in the area, with rates falling in all age groups, especially among teenagers.
Health chiefs said endless messages about contraception were finally sinking in, but stressed improvements still had to be made.
One of the main reasons for the fall, experts said, was the growing use of long-term protection like the coil and contraceptive implant.
Dr Alison McCallum, director of public health and health policy for NHS Lothian, said: “Our priority has been to look at the provision of long acting reversible contraception (LARC) and encourage uptake of this by particular groups, including those who have had an abortion.
“One of the main aims of our new sexual health & HIV strategy is to further reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies through increasing the use of contraception in high risk groups, particularly LARC.
“We also aim to support people to make informed choices about sex and the use of contraceptives and ensure they are confident about the decisions they make.”
Deprivation remains a huge influence on how likely someone is to have a termination in Edinburgh. Someone from the poorest part of the Capital is twice as likely to request the procedure as their counterpart from the wealthiest.
Put briefly, comprehensive sex education and access to contraception reduce the abortion rate.
In other news, water is wet.