Upyernoz thinks that the who-shot-john over Indiana’s “yes you can mistreat folks because they are gay” law indicates the Republican alliance is starting to splinter.

Not long ago, the business community would not have cared if a state passed a law intended to promote discrimination against gay people. At best it was too controversial for them to touch. At worst, they didn’t think it was controversial to hate gays but they did have a sense that their customers would find anything related to gay people to be icky. For pro-business conservative gay issues were a politically safe bone to toss to their social conservative base.

What has happened in Indiana in the past week shows that does not work anymore.

I hope he’s right, but I expect he’s being optimistic. One constant in American politics is that hate sells. Hate has been the means to fame, fortune, and influence for a flock of preachers and pols, and the market seems unsated.

Hate has sold in the past, it sells today, and it will sell tomorrow.


Writing about Indiana’s recent decision to give legislative sanction to sanctimonious bigots, Emily Mills wonders what would happen if the cake were turned upside down (emphasis added).

It’s not just LGBTQ people who will be affected. The language is general enough that really anyone could decide to violate the Civil Rights Act and claim that it’s all part of exercising one’s religious “freedom.”

That’s the biggest problem with laws like this one. The people who write them do so with an intensely myopic view of the scope, one focused almost solely on their own personal pet peeves, instead of seeing the way it could be applied right back at them. Say a gay couple owns a bakery, and decides they don’t want to serve the Republican couple that comes in to have a wedding cake made. The proprietors could claim that serving Republicans violates their own religious beliefs. Turnabout is fair play. Except when it’s not.


The right-wing has changed “freedom from discrimination” into “freedom to discriminate.” Quite clever, really, in all its vileness.

Via Raw Story.


Steven D, considering what right-wingers mean when they say, “I want my country back,” recalls an incident from his growing up:

As a child born in the middle of the Fifties in the South, I knew at an early age that some people were considered inferior to me. The signs were all around – literally. I remember once when I was three or four when a white woman stopped me as I approached a drinking fountain, thirsty after being dragged around on a hot summer day by my mother on one of her shopping trips to Raleigh’s downtown. The woman, politely, but sternly, took hold of my arm, and told me I couldn’t use that fountain because it was for “colored people.”

I’ve a similar story, which I’ve told before, but shall tell again.

When I was about ten, my mother, brother, and I were taking the bus to visit my grandmother in South Carolina, several years before the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. During a short stop in Raleigh, North Carolina, I walked into the the wrong waiting room–the “colored” waiting room. Conversation stopped; everyone looked at me.

I have never before or since felt so out-of-place and alone.

When the right says, “I want my country back,” what it demands is the ability to inflict that same feeling–the alone-ness, the out-of-placed-ness–on everyone, anyone, just because they can.

Follow the link and read Steven D’s entire post.


Josh Marshall thinks that the reaction to Indiana’s recent law permitting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is qualitatively different from what’s happened in the past and that Indiana’s bigots did not anticipate it. A snippet:

Don’t we go through this story almost every year in which some red or reddish state pushes through some anti-gay rights law? This happens every year like spring follows winter. But this time something is different. Yes, there have been boycotts before. In Indiana itself, business groups wary of bad publicity and boycotts played a role in beating back another effort to ban same sex marriages. But here you have a flood of proactive statements by different companies saying they’ll shun the state. That seems to have created something of a rush to the exits (or entrances?) with various organizations which a few years ago likely wouldn’t have touched this kind of controversy signing themselves up for the effort.

Now Gov. Pence is reduced to lamely complaining that his and the legislatures efforts have been misunderstood or distorted. “I just can’t account for the hostility that’s been directed at our state,” Pence told the Indianapolis Star. “I’ve been taken aback by the mischaracterizations from outside the state of Indiana about what is in this bill.” He can’t even manage the standard, conservatives in my state are being victimized by the axis of gays and liberals. He seems genuinely surprised.


It is something that people do so as not to face up to their own rotten selves.


Image:  If you have to make a law that hurts a number of people just to prove your morals and faith, then you have no true morals or faith.

Via PoliticalProf.


Three men beating gay man bloody with their BIbles

The Gospel of Love.



Via Job’s Anger.

23 March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Culture Warriors

The Rude One lets his imagination take flight.

22 March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Culture Warriors

The Inky analyzes why so many college fraternities are swamps of drunkenness and misogyny and also why that swamp is unlikely to be drained*; the article focus on Penn State, no stranger to headlines in recent years, but can easily be generalized. A snippet:

Changing large state schools will be an even greater challenge, said Syrett, the University of Northern Colorado professor. He is also the author of a 2009 book, The Company He Keeps: A History of White College Fraternities.

Syrett said that Greek alumni were a powerful force, sometimes withholding donations if their fraternity or sorority is threatened by university action. And some schools often depend on fraternities to help shoulder the burden of student housing.

Doug Fierberg, an attorney who has helped people sue several universities and fraternities, expects little change to come out of Penn State’s latest scandal. He has overseen lawsuits involving hazing deaths as well as the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre.

“Penn State and the fraternity will pat themselves on the back as if they’ve done something proper,” he said. “But until the fundamental flaws [are addressed] in the way the fraternities are managed – and mismanaged – this will continue to get worse.”


*No every chapter of every frat deserves such a characterization, but the ones who do not are outliers. Hell, at my college, when I was a student back in the olden days, the Sig Eps were considered the sane ones.


Chart ridiculing reasons that people make up for being against gay marriage, when the actual reason is that they think it's icky.

Click for a larger image.

Via Job’s Anger.

19 March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Culture Warriors, Republican Hypocrisy

Republicans just can’t help toying with sex.

Via C&L.

18 March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Culture Warriors, Republican Hypocrisy

The Republican Party has some really strange hang-ups about sex.

18 March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Culture Warriors

This is big.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved redefining marriage in the church constitution Tuesday to include a “commitment between two people,” becoming the largest Protestant group to formally recognize gay marriage as Christian and allow same-sex weddings in every congregation.

If you are going to practice a gospel of love, you must recognize love wherever it happens. I tip my hat to the Presbyterians (I do have Presbyterianism in my heritage). Given the hatred exuded by so many who call themselves “Christian” and pretend to practice the Gospel of Love while in actuality fomenting hate, this took some courage.

As I have mentioned before, nothing that ever happened in a same-sex bedroom has ever affected a marriage of mine.

I cannot say the same for other types of bedrooms.


Ambrose Bierce once defined “Presbyterians” as those who believe that the fathers of the church should be referred to as “Presbyters.” One who understands Presbyterianism would understand that he was predestined to do so.

17 March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Culture Warriors

Writing at the Guardian, Jason Williams examines the “paleo diet” and finds it paleolithic in unexpected ways. A snippet:

The human diet, as evolutionary biologist Marlene Zuk argues in her book Paleofantasies, is constantly changing. If we’re going to nominate a period to emulate, why not eat like a medieval peasant, or an ancestral tree shrew?

In my view, the answer to that has little to do with food. The paleolithic is a favoured era because of the way it answers to a desire to justify or reimpose certain social hierarchies, especially those concerning gender.

For John Durant, a paleo thought leader, feminism is a particular bête noire. He spends pages of his cash-in book, The Paleo Manifesto, railing against the feminist Carol Adams, who connected feminism with vegetarianism. At one point he writes that “Adams’s meat-hating, man-hating mantra – ‘Eat Rice Have Faith in Women’ – is intended to undermine the male culture of meat-eating, thus undermining male power, thus reducing rape”.

Missing from his analysis, but also noteworthy, is that the “Paleo Diet” is based on the imagined diet of paleolithic Europeans. THe “Paleo Diets” of persons in the various regions of the Americas (if there were any at the time), Africa, and Asia would have been much different, as they would have eaten foods native to their regions and their varying climates.

It is, ultimately, not only Euro-centric, but also an intellectually dishonest construction promoted by charlatans, as fad diets are wont to be.

06 March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Culture Warriors

Science being threatened by masked figures labeled

Click for a larger image.

04 March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Culture Warriors

Der Spiegel takes a look at the megalomaniacs of Silicon Valley and finds it’s not a pretty sight. Here’s a bit; the entire article is worth your while.

The new “masters of the universe,” though, are fundamentally different from their predecessors: Their primary focus isn’t on money. They don’t want to just determine what we consume, but how we consume it and how we live. They aren’t trying to capture just one economic sector, but all of them. They aren’t stumbling haphazardly into the future, rather they are ideologues with a clear agenda. Indeed, aside from their astounding success, it is that ideology that makes them unique. The religion of Wall Street is money. But the religion of Silicon Valley goes much deeper. It is driven by substance; it is the unfailing belief in a message.

That message holds that technology can change humanity for the better. The people from the valley who hope to reshape the world fundamentally believe that their high-tech solutions will create a better future for all of mankind just as pious Hindus believe in reincarnation. But they are not interested in external interference. The Silicon Valley elite has little use for policymakers and considers regulation to be more than just a hindrance, they see it as an anachronism. Their message seems to be: If societal values such as privacy and data protection stand in the way, then we simply have to develop new values.

27 February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Culture Warriors

Republican Congressman:  Today is sunny, so who needs a clean air bill?  No one got indicted today, so who needs campaign finance laws?  I got my government-funded health insurance, so who needs to expand Medicaid?  But we urgently need laws to protech relights liberties from gay wedding cakes!

Via Job’s Anger.

27 February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Culture Warriors

Jessica Valenti suggests that Republicans think that women are magickal beings with mystical powers beyond masculine understanding.

Methinks she is onto something.

Then, again, mayhaps they are simply sexist nutcases.

Inquiring minds want to know.

24 February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Culture Warriors

Honest to Pete, you can’t make this stuff up.

The stupid. It burns.