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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Election Day Today

Election day is today.

Make sure you vote.

Polygamists charged

Polygamy charges have finally been laid against Mormon fundamentalists from Bountiful. And if you read the article you’ll see that these misogynist will be making the exact same arguments that socons elsewhere: that religion trumps everything. One example would be the contraception mandate cases in the US.

And yet these socons’ hypocrisy is revealed by the fact that they do not support polygamists. If they truly, truly, truly thought religion should trump everything else, they be supporting polygamists. The fact that they don’t shows that their “concerns” about religion is really just a pretext.

Additionally, that slippery slope actually isn’t. The polygamists explicitly argued that marriage equality meant they had to be allowed to marry multiple people. However, the court upheld the law against polygamy. It rejected the very argument bigots make against marriage.

As for myself, I think we give too many privileges to religion already. It ought to be illegal to oppress women, and that women’s rights ought to overrule religion every time. And therefore my opposition to polygamy follows, whether you’re a Mormon fundamentalist, radical Islamist, or any other theomisogynist.

Word of the year 2013 are chosen because reasons!

The American Dialect Society has chosen its words of the year for 2013. First the other categories:

  • Most Useful was “because” when used to introduce another word, like in the title of this post.
  • Most Creative was “catfish”, when you misrepresent yourself online in the pursuit of romance.
  • Most Unnecessary was “sharknado”, a tornado full of sharks that came out of a movie.
  • Most Outrageous was “underbutt”, the underside of people’s buttocks, made visible by certain clothings.
  • Most Euphemistic was “least untruthful”, the smallest amount of lying.
  • Most Likely to Succeed was “binge–watch”, which is to television shows what binge–eating is to food.
  • Least Likely to Succeed was “Thanksgivukkah”, having Hanukkah start on (US) Thanksgiving.
  • Most Productive was “–shaming”, a form of public humiliation.

As an aside, I am surprised there were no “economy words” like shutdown, sequester, debt ceiling, etc. If this is due to them being common than I really don’t like the implications of that.

And the Word of the Year? Because… because reasons! Because useful! Because everywhere!

In a companion vote, the ADS sibling organization, the American Name Society, chose Francis (after the pope) as its Name of the Year.

Another lesson from south of the border

As virtually everyone knows by now, there are significant threats of a government shutdown in the US. The basic guts around it is that the US government will run out of funds for daily operations as no appropriations bill has been passed (as of yet). The reason there is no appropriations bill passed is because the GOP wants to defund the Affordable Care Act, and therefore makes defunding it one of the strings it has attached to get what it wants. And there is also the debt ceiling on the way.

Do I agree that the above is irresponsible, petty, partisan, reckless, and obstructionist? Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. But guess what, it is perfectly legal. Article 1, Section 5 of the United States Constitution says (in part) the following:

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a member.

In other words, filibusters, refusing to fund the government, and so on, are all allowed by the rules the two Houses of the United.

Therefore, this means that another takeaway from the (likely) US Government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis is that the rules of operation should be amended to prevent the above obstructionism and hostage-taking from being allowed to occur.

Link farm August edition

I know I’ve been inactive lately, but that is due to a full–time job that leaves less time for blogging. Still, I will try and keep posting.

In the meantime, here’s a link roundup:

  • The Texas Attorney General admits to deliberate gerrymandering. At least he’s honest.
  • The US might take steps to reduce the over–incarceration caused by the War on (Some Classes of People Who Use Some) Drugs. This is a good idea. The vast majority of people imprisoned in the US to lengthy prison sentences are for non–violent crimes like drug possession. This is a huge drain on public resources, and a huge dump of corporate welfare for the prison industrial complex. Ending it would help public finances, and prevent many young people from becoming a permanent underclass. Treating drug addiction as a medical problem would also improve public health, while reducing drug use, and ending the War on (Some Classes of People Who Use Some) Drugs would also reduce crime and gun violence in the US.
    • It does not follow from the above that I necessarily endorse the use of drugs. The primary reason tobacco use causes heart disease is because smoking produces carbon monoxide. Smoking marijuana would produce likewise. (There is still excellent evidence that marijuana has medical uses, however).
  • Noah Smith is right. Libertarianism really is just about protecting the liberty of “local bullies.”

Orange crushed

Well, the election is over and there is a result no one expected. Christy Clark and the BC Liberals were re–elected to another majority government. The NDP will be the official opposition, and Green Andrew Weaver and independent Vicki Huntington will round out the legislature. In what might end up being BC’s version of Don Getty, Clark might lose her own seat (Vancouver Point Grey); she was trailing by a few hundred votes as of this writing. Nevertheless, she still qualifies as the first female to be elected Premier of British Columbia. Update (2013–05–15): Clark did lose her own seat, narrowly. This will be no barrier to her keeping her job. Some liberal in a safe seat will resign to let her come in in a by–election.

Everyone who looked at the polls would have easily predicted an NDP win. The Liberal win is therefore truly an upset. I myself said that “it seems likely that NDP flags will fly in enough ridings tomorrow to give them a narrow majority government.” I made that prediction, and unlike American political operatives who melt down on live television, I admit that I got it wrong and accept responsibility for my error. Let this be seen as an opportunity to improve polling methods and voting projections so that there will be no more surprises in the future.

As I indicated, British Columbians had a chance to end our perverse “tradition” of putting women in charge of political parties in ruins. From Rita Johnston losing her seat in 1991, to Kim Campbell taking charge only to lose in the PC wipeout, to Joy MacPhail becoming Leader of the Opposition with only two seats, to Carole James taking over that position, for far too long a British Columbian woman leading a major political party has meant that her party is (about to be) in ruins. But with Clark winning, that streak is finally over. That ought to be one good thing everyone can agree on.

And voter turnout was dismal yet again. Folks, I know you can do better.

Election day today

Election day is today. The polls open at 8am, and remain so for twelve hours until 8pm. Make sure you vote.

Elections BC has more information.

Even if you live in a safe Liberal or NDP seat, you have no excuse. I live in a safe seat, and always vote.

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