In a long-ago Doonesbury cartoon, Joanie Caucus says to her dying friend after he and his doctor trade some gallows humor, "How can you joke about this?" He replies, "How can you not?"
A remarkable display of grace by our 39th president.
Our friend Jon Rauch summarizes the history of the modern Republican Party in one sentence: "Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller got into an argument and George Wallace won." His elaboration (click on the link) ends with this:
Conservatism is wary of extremism and rage and anti-intellectualism, of demagoguery and incoherent revolutionary rhetoric. Wallace was a right-wing populist, not a conservative. The rise of his brand of pseudo-conservatism in Republican circles should alarm anyone who cares about the genuine article.
Rauch wrote this in 2010, but it could not be more true today.
A good read on Hillary Rodham Clinton's videotaped backstage encounter with BLM activists. On balance I think it helps her. Many black activists are agreeing with her.
Julian Bond was a leader for whom intersectionality wasn't a buzzword, but a principle at the core of his being. http://t.co/4M6NW3oaUu— PFAW (@peoplefor) August 17, 2015
The one time I met Julian Bond was a few years ago at the 90th birthday party for Norman Lear held by People for the American Way. Above, PFAW President Michael Keegan pays tribute to the civil rights leader.
(Hat tip: Craig Howell)
Thanks to Councilmember Grosso.
GLAA discusses the issue in our latest policy brief.
The recent Washington Post commentary misses a key point. Keeping commercial sex on the black market makes sex workers less safe. Legalization does not solve everything, but it would help with that. Regulation and inspection are also needed. And of course alternatives are crucial, otherwise consent is illusory. Consent implies choices, which are all too often absent for (say) trans women of color who were driven into sex work because of transphobia and discrimination.
The arrests currently being boasted of by MPD generate criminal records, which only make it harder for the sex workers to get better and safer work. Imperfect solutions may still improve things for the marginalized populations that are most at risk. Equating all sex work with human trafficking is false and counterproductive. Disapproval of commercial sex does not make it the same as kidnapping and slavery. If we cannot make these distinctions, we are doing no favors to the ladies on the stroll who are there to avoid starvation and who are kept there by public policy.
Straight Outta Compton is a stirring and superbly done movie. Not to be missed. It is eerie how current it is. This is compelling storytelling.
More Monmouth Musings reports.
Tragic news, just when I replenished my supply of Ding Dongs.
Gov. Christie thinks the rights of trans people are laughable. What is laughable is that this smug bully is the governor of a state, much less a presidential candidate. But the rights of our transgender brothers and sisters are no laughing matter. The legal denial of trans people's existence is cruel, pointless, and must stop.
Our friend Andy Bowen at Garden State Equality comments:
Hey Governor Chris Christie: 33 trans women have been murdered in the US in the last two years. Our survival is #nolaughingmatter
This story was shared on Facebook by Sean Bugg, who comments:
The guy who called a Supreme Court justice a "goat fucking child molester" suddenly discovers decorum and civility. I am sooooooo loving the GOP primary season.
Our friend Dana Beyer shares this commentary by Charles Mudede from Seattle's The Stranger, and comments:
Critical issues for moving forward. Alliances are crucial, as we are not a revolutionary society. Change must take root, or it will fade like the day's cable news. The teabaggers and Occupy arose in parallel; Occupy changed discourse but the Tea people changed legislatures.
I have been arguing with some people about this on Twitter. Here is one post from this morning.
My latest column for Bay Windows looks at how home-grown fanaticism is isolating the Jewish state. Here is an excerpt:
A pair of recent atrocities by Israeli terrorists (which is what they must be called) underscores the futility of diverting attention from the country's oppression of Palestinians by emphasizing its pro-gay policies.
The fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Shira Banki at Jerusalem Pride, and the firebombing death of Palestinian Sa'ad Dawabshe and his baby son, Ali Dawabshe, in a West Bank village, point to increased Israeli fanaticism. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appropriately denounced the attacks, but that is small comfort coming from a man who has done so much to stoke the extremism that led to the crimes.
The deluge of threats against Israeli President Reuven Rivlin after he condemned the violence demonstrates that vigils for the victims are not enough. The present situation disturbingly echoes the one 21 ago when a right-wing extremist killed Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin as he left a peace rally. At the time, Netanyahu eloquently said that bullets would not be allowed to determine the course of government, but in fact they did.
Israel is isolating itself more and more, including from American Jews, and failing to address internal threats for which it has planted the seeds. Netanyahu's pledge in March never to return occupied land was not just an election ploy. Israel continues to build new West Bank settlements while knocking down Palestinians' houses and cutting down their olive groves. In light of this, expressions of horror are unconvincing.
Part of the controversy over the new Roland Emmerich film about the Stonewall riots, of which we have only seen the trailer, is bound up in ongoing battles over historical revisionism and the substitution of favored myths for evidence. For those interested in what really happened, I recommend David Carter's Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution.
Secretary of State John Kerry opens our embassy in Cuba. Below, openly gay Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco reads his poem "Matters of the Sea," written for the occasion. Bravo to President Obama for making this happen. 54 years of a failed policy are long enough.