Thursday, May 28, 2015

Slimy, Stupid, Serious - Which Has Received the Most Coverage

Today we look at three stories from the last few days.  Let's start left to right (and remember they are "Slimy, Stupid and Serious" in order.
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SLIMY
Rand Paul was on Jon Stewart.  He was kind of funny, but very slippery.  Jon asked him a few times about the "religious liberty" exemption people want.  Rand agreed that things could be protected, even if he seriously disagreed with them, but they were legal.  Their example in this was the Ground Zero Mosque.  Rand then argued the whole, bakers-shouldn't-have-to-bake-a-cake-for-a-gay-wedding thing.  To which Jon asked, "Can they claim that if it is their profession? Do don't ask anyone else if they are sinners?  Do they ask everyone if they have taken the Lord's name in vain."
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Rand Paul then didn't answer the question for a minute, connected unrelated dots.  He brought this around to "can a corporation have a religion" then to "is a corporation a person" and ultimate said, "This is why it all comes back to the Patriot Act."
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The audience applauded, as did I; his feat of verbal gymnastics to avoid answering the question was stupendous.  Unfortunately Rand used that applause to stop talking and never answered the question at all.  Which was slimy but political.
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STUPID
Josh Duggar, when probably around age 14 - 16, molested a quite a few young girls, including at least one of his many many sisters (he is one of the children of the show "19 and counting" about a religious family with 19 kids).  His father downplayed it to a local policeman and didn't report it.  Although they did believe it was serious enough to send him to rehab.  Years later (after the statue of limitations expired) one of the girls related this information via the Oprah Winfrey show.
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The current media storm is driven, in part, by Josh Duggar's position as head of the Family Research Council.  And his laser focus of that group on the drive to end Same Sex Marriage.
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Many religious people have gone to idiotic lengths to justify what happened - both by the parents (who had the media power to bury it) and the sexual actions of Josh.  They do this primarily as a reaction to the hyperactive press which loves a scandal and what they see as an attack on religion.
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I choose not to deal with this sad situation because it completely avoids discussion of what happened to the girls he molested.  He is an admitted child molester and shouldn't be the focus of this beyond contempt and prosecution.
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Defending and attacking Josh Duggar is a waste of time as it has become a political issue somehow.  The take-away here, however is this.  If you are a  child molester, you should immediately embrace God and denounce fags.  Then you get a free pass from a large swath of the country.  Although you might have to move to Arkansas to get away with it (California and other states have no sexual molestation statue of limitations because of the Catholic Church's actions.)
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SERIOUS
And then there is the story that gets near-zero press (LINK).  The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a measure that up-ends our 200 year old history on the ways legislative districts are drawn.**
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As specified in the Constitution, there is a census every 10 years.  Based on this census, legislative districts are drawn.  Except for the disgusting issue of slavery (where slaves were counted as 3/5's of a person), everyone in the district is counted: women, children, citizens and non-citizens alike, as a free person, "... excluding Indians (which are) non-taxed".
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This has occasionally been challenged and is always been upheld as 1 man 1 vote. ***  Now there is a challenge in Texas that only eligible voters should count towards a district.  The idea is that more non-citizens live in some states and urban areas, so the rural areas should get more votes.
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At a cursory level, I understand the feeling.  Why should non-citizens be apportioned to a "1 man 1 vote".  But ...  Gez, where to begin?
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First, what do you do with felons, who may get the right to vote back?  How do you know the non-citizens don't naturalize?  What about children who aren't of voting age yet, but will be before the next census?
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And the Census.  The Republicans continually cut back on the census funding (because the better it is, the more non-citizens it finds).  And many conservatives will not answer any questions but person count (because that is what the Constitution says).  Now you want to know: Who is a citizen versus a non-citizen.  Who is eligible to vote?  For eligibility, do you count registered or available to register?  Felons in some states can't vote, in other states they can, in other states it depends on the crime.  IN some states the mentally disabled can't vote, in some they can.  The cenxus now needs all this data?
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And what of children. Now you need the ages of children.  If someone is 15 when the districts are created (which occurs every 10 years) are they a potential voter or not?  Or are they 7/10's of a voter (since they can vote 7 of the 10 years).
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It is silly and the Supreme Court has taken it for the sole reason that it would help Republicans and we have a crazy political Supreme Court now.
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Oye.
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** I think it is scary that they may overturn our history for this political ploy.  I do want to acknowledge that many people probably think the same thing about gay marriage.  I would argue that societal changes - including women rights, interracial marriage and children's rights have also changed over 200 years of court interpretation and are not equivalent.  However I acknowledge that an argument can be made that political changes can also be reflected by the court.  I think this cannot be argued that way.

***Another difference from Gay Marriage - which was not adjudicated in the past.

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