Vagabond Scholar dissects the reasoning of those who demand that tolerance requires tolerating their intolerance. This reasoning has informed efforts to deny birth control, gay marriage, and, ultimately, equal rights in many areas.
A tolerant person says, “I will live my life the way I like, and you can live your life the way you like.” An intolerant person will say, “I will live my life the way I like, but you must also live your life the way I want you to.” These are not equivalent. Both people have beliefs, it’s true, but one is seeking power over the other.
The three minutes it will take you to follow the link and read the rest will be well worth your while.
The New York Times stumbles over unknown object, upon investigating discovers something called “truth” and “accuracy.”
You have all heard non-apology apologies. They commonly contain phrases such as “I am sorry if anyone took offense,” when the speaker knows damned well he or she did offend someone. That’s why he or she is apologizing, for Pete’s sake.
Radley Balko takes on a cousin of the non-apology apology: the non-explanation explanation, specifically police departments’ explanations of police officers shooting innocents. A nugget, after a quotation from a news item about the shooting of a 10-year old boy in Georgia.
The most plausible scenario is that the deputy tried to shoot the dog and mistakenly shot the kid instead. It’s less plausible but possible that the deputy didn’t intend to fire at all, in which case he’s still negligent for mishandling his weapon.
What isn’t remotely plausible is that the deputy’s gun jumped out of its holster, walked up to the kid and shot the kid in the leg. . . . Yet the sheriff’s explanation, at least the way the WALB reporter relays it, leaves open just that possibility.
I agree with Leonard Pitts, Jr., that “Thank you for your service” uttered to a member of the armed forces is a callow and empty phrase. Indeed, I have had veterans of my personal acquaintance tell me that their reaction to hearing it ranges somewhere between apathy and loathing.
It’s as empty as “I’m sorry for your loss” said by the detective on the telly vision to another character just before starting the third degree.
Pitts points out that the empty thanks have been expressed for a long long time–indeed, for much longer than he cites. A nugget from Pitt’s column:
What would it look like if we gave our service personnel a love they could see? Well, here is what it would not look like:
It would not look like Veterans Affairs facilities across the country requiring sick and injured veterans to wait months to see the doctor, then falsifying records to make it appear they were actually being seen much more quickly. This, of course, is the scandal that has roiled the White House and put Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki on the defensive.
But look past that. A love they could see would also not look like a backlog of disability claims that peaked last year at more than 900,000, forcing some veterans to wait a year or more for their benefits. Nor would it look like the 2007 Washington Post report about wounded men recovering in a military hospital with rotting walls, creeping mold and vermin sauntering about.
Point being, this new scandal is not new. Rather, it is but a variation on a sadly recurrent theme: the neglect of our veterans.
Read the rest. Then read this. And this.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Bundy affair. If not, TPM has a nice little summary.
The short version is that a rancher stole from the government–that is, you and me–for almost two decades by grazing his cattle on public property, while ignoring repeated requests, followed by court orders for payment. When the government started to confiscate his cattle that were illegally on public property, the rancher went all John Wayne and threated a range war. Wingnuts grabbed up their AK-47s and rushed to fill his army. At last report, the government has backed down from aggressive enforcement to avoid bloodshed, though I suspect it’s not over yet.
Bob Cesca cuts to the hypocrisy (emphasis added):
This wasn’t about freedom or government overreach. This was about a rancher who’s clearly leeching off the system, and then who subsequently got all pissy-pants when, after repeatedly ignoring numerous civil attempts at collection, gathered a posse of local hooples to fight the power: armed neo-Confederate cosplayers, Ron Paul cultists, weekend warriors and Alex Jones chemtrail-busters who literally formed a line of battle and foolishly advanced upon the government corral.
All we hear every day from the far-right is about how food stamp and welfare recipients are unfairly sucking from the government tit . . . . And yet there they were, lined up with horses, guns and cowboy drag, marching toward armed BLM rangers in the name of defending an actual freeloader who’s bilked American taxpayers out of millions.
“Cowboy drag.” That pretty much sums it up.
Frederick Fuller is fed up with Hobby Lobby and its dupes and fellow travelers (emphasis added):
O’Brien went on to say, “The idea that a corporation has a conscience is for many of us completely ridiculous. It’s granting power to business owners with extremist religious beliefs.”
The bottom line is that religion has no place in issues of this sort. Religion is, as it has been for time immemorial, an excuse to break the law, kill people, conquer people and land, and refuse to help people in need. For all its fundamental Christian ideals, Hobby Lobby and the others involved conveniently play the religion card but forget that their Messiah turned no one away for any reason. They’re not Christ-like; they are capitalist opportunists hiding behind religion for their own gain.
Religion of any flavor is menacing when used by people to harm others or to shield themselves from public censure.
Many years ago, an old black man said about my then State Senator, “He calls himself a lawyer . . . .”
It was an onion statement.
It had many layers, but underneath them all was a truth. The person in question was neither a good lawyer, nor a good State Senator.*
The statement can be equally true for someone who calls himself a pastor.
Sadly, in the universe of those who “call themselves” something or other they are not, there are many more who call themselves “pastors” than who call themselves “lawyers.”
Wrap yourself in God and get away with anything.
At least in this world.
*His wife was my boss on one of my summer jobs when I was a college student. She was a much better boss than he was either a State Senator or a lawyer.
Scofflaws caught on camera.
I promised myself that I was not going to spend more than one post on Duck Dynasty, but this is too good (and too true) to pass up.
Warning: Language, every bit of which is deserved.
The Inky notes that the Stars and Bars seems to be gaining popularity in Yankeeland. A nugget:
Charlie Hauber, owner of the Flag & Sign Place in Broomall, Delaware County, said he keeps Confederate flags in stock because of their historical relevance. Other flag stores refuse to sell them.
“I’ve had truckers come to me and say, ‘I can’t buy these things anywhere,’ ” Hauber said. “Places just stopped selling them.”
Hauber said that he doesn’t support slavery, but that the Civil War was also about states’ rights.
This question was not asked (or, at least, not mentioned in the story):
States’ rights to do just what, exactly?
One more time, when someone says, “states rights,” ask that question.
Then please let me know what happens.
Drape the Stars and Bars over it and thereby hide the obvious.
My ancestors wore the grey, and even I can understand that it was all about theft of labor (play the video if you want to get it).
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, wrap up theft of labor in misty grey-colored memories, add grits, and it becomes “Southern culture.”
I’ll stop now, before the profanity.
Politeness in the “happiest place on earth.”
A Walt Disney World park guest found a loaded gun in the seat of a ride at the Animal Kingdom that had fallen out of a man’s back pocket on Sunday.
A grandmother handed a Cobra .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol about noon to a park attendant, who immediately contacted security and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
The gun nut in question was quoted as saying the gun fell out of his pocket.
If there were an intelligence test for gunutt–oh, never mind.