Monday, July 6, 2015

Donald Trump is on Jeb Bush's Case

An unfortunate re-tweet by Donald Trump regarding fellow 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush's spouse caught a bit of attention before being taken down, after standing for about 24 hours. Talking about a politician's spouse in that way is unusual and a little tacky--it's not the kind of thing professional politicians do, but then again, Trump is not a professional politician. I'm hovering between still treating him as having acquired an awkward rich man's hobby in running for president which he may get bored of eventually, or actually (why not?) taking him a little seriously.

It seems to me that he seems a bit more pointed in issuing criticisms about former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. It makes a kind of sense though--punching the person perceived as the biggest guy in a room earns respect. That's where I start to think he has some kind of instincts.  (But still--the guy who said he would restore America's national brand, has now lost deals with Serta, NBC, Univision, etc. If this is how he manages his own brand--yeesh!)

There are different ways of looking at what seems to me to be a bit of a Trump/Bush beef.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

MIke Huckabee Has A Problem With Modern Love

So, one of the fun things Mike Huckabee has stated regarding traditional marriage is that it is so emotional and that we are too romantic about it.  He thinks we're too hung up on modern love.  Things were simpler when spouses were obtained the traditional way, in exchange for livestock, and then they simply clung together from necessity and to avoid being stoned to death as adulterers. We could learn so much from the past.

Pollen-Laden Buzzing Angels Sing Thee to Thy Rest Burt Shavitz.

The death of the founder of Burt's Bees means a lot to me as a devotee of their products--I think their lip balm is magic. Their lotions, their lemon cuticle crème, the buttermilk soap and peppermint foot lotion, are meaningful products in my life. They were organic and effective. His makeup line wasn't the greatest--the tinted foundation wasn't for me--but what he did well was the pinnacle of self-care--his Res-Q ointment is a genius temporary discomfort-fixer.  He made great soaps and hair supplies, that were clean and fresh and smelled great and made us feel great when we used them.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Aspiration Nation

There's something that seems right to me about the celebration of the independence of the original thirteen colonies from the motherland as being based on the date, not of any victory in battle or even the end of the war, but with the date of the airing of the Declaration of Independence itself. The text of this most fiery "Dear George" letter, sounds off on the lack of access of American colonists to the British government they thought they should rightly have had access to, but also states a fairly quaint principle that seems utterly of the Enlightenment and remains an aspirational thought:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--

 The idea of the equality of men (implying also womankind), the idea of the basic rights of mankind, and the idea that government is a man-made machine for the benefit of people, are aspirational goals. At the time this document was written, and even in the fabric of the Constitution, chattel slavery was viewed as a fact of life. The language is centered on men--the idea that women were deserving of the right to vote or serve juries or participate in government did not come until later. We still labor to determine how we partition our voting districts and ensure who has lawful access to the voting franchise of our government to ensure that our government does represent the consent of the governed.

Vexacious Vexillology

There is a theme that I have noticed in threads regarding the subject of whether the Confederate flag should be flown, or what the meaning of the flag happens to be, that derails the conversation into why a particular image was chosen--based on the image, without respects to the political or self-determinative why of any choosing of a symbol in particular--whether it be the choosing of a symbol for the side of slavery, or the choosing of a side for the perpetuation of Jim Crow and segregation.  It's sort of a way of trying to not see Nathan Bedford Forrest for the trees. I think it's a boring segue into a bit of the history of the political that tries to elide the history of the personal--in other words, it goes into what people meant versus what they did.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Civil War Should be About Gay Marriage Now, For Reasons

Strangely Blogged has never awarded any prizes for stupid, because, in a way, I cover the politics front, stupid is my beat. But I am breaking down and awarding the "Stupidest of the Day" award to Wisconsin's own Glenn Grothman, Bryan Fischer doppelganger and all-around schnook, who provided the actually dumbest protestation against marriage equality imaginable--because the Civil War, that's why.

“In the Civil War, some 600,000 people died in a country that was much less populated than that today, and it was a much more religious country,” the lawmaker said. “I think a lot of people who died fighting in that war felt they died fighting for a religious cause — you know, ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’ and all that.”

As former slave states debate whether to remove the Confederate battle flag from government buildings, Grothman said Union troops would find the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling “particularly offensive” to their religious beliefs.

“I think it would shock those people who died in that war to find out the constitutional amendment which was ratified kind of as a culmination of their great efforts and their great deaths would be, 150 years later, a little less than 150 years later, used by these five robed, arrogant, robed people to take this constitutional amendment and say that that constitutional amendment that was drafted after the Civil War was in fact an amendment designed to say that same-sex marriage had to be legal,” Grothman said.

Let Me Explain Ted Cruz on This One

I can fairly easily explain how it is that Senator Ted Cruz of Texas makes the connection that re-opening a US embassy in Cuba is so a "slap in the face" to Israel. It helps to think of a meat grinder really, and I've helpfully provided an image of one. Ted Cruz is like a meat grinder that is dedicated to red meat. The red meat goes into the top part, and then is thoroughly masticated and is vomited out the side-hole in easily-digested hamburger. Israel is good guys and Cuba is bad guys and Obama is a bad guy siding with bad guys over good guys because Obama is always bad.

One could note that in comparison, Sen. Marco Rubio has made actually direct appeals to things specifically applying to the Cuba situation like human rights and the civil liberties of Cuban citizens, which I will definitely give him points for for staying on topic and addressing things that are real concerns. But I would point out that the Obama Administration is addressing those things and that without negotiation, given the previous state of affairs, the US wouldn't get any movement from them at all. At least this provides hope of something. So, Senator Rubio--engaging in a foreign policy discussion. Senator Cruz--hello, cameras! Not endorsing Rubio per se. Just admiring the qualitative difference in approach.