Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

Michigan’s 2012 Ballot Proposals: Collective Bargaining is a Right, not a Privilege

October 22, 2012

Michigan has six ballot proposals this year, which seems like a lot, especially since many voters will be forming opinions on the fly next month. Partially to help organize my own thoughts before I submit my ballot, I am going to explain my positions on each of the six proposals here. (more…)

Quotes from Michele “Fuzzball” Bachmann

August 13, 2011

This collection of quotations is designed to reflect some of Michele Bachmann’s most absurd views.  I have tried to provide enough context to show that I am not manipulating her words, but I also want to avoid too much unnecessary text to keep this post from growing to enormous proportions. I have provided hyperlinks to credible sources to permit easy verification that these excerpts are legitimate. Please feel free to link me to better sources (transcripts of live recordings are ideal).

Since this list is long, I am setting noteworthy bits in boldface to permit skimming.

Is your favorite Bachmann quote missing? Tell me about it in the comments.

(more…)

Houston, We Have a Platform

June 23, 2010

The Grand Old Party of the Lone Star State has released its 2010 platform, and the masses are in awe of its ability to pack so much timeless wisdom into absurd little aphorisms. It is sort of like Lewis Caroll’s Through the Looking Glass, except that it’s substantially shorter and less entertaining and its production probably involved higher concentrations of hallucinogenic substances. A leading party official described it as “a lot of fun to write — sort of like when you work really hard to dislodge a giant ball of phlegm from your throat. At first you wonder if all the drama is unnecessary, but then you’re glad to get it out.” He then added, “but I don’t meant to imply that this copy of the document has any phlegm on it.”

One Genuine Conservative Republican (GCR) also said of the document, “it’s even more fun to read with a little help from Mary Jane.”

The platform contains most of the standard talking points of modern American conservatism, but it also includes some super special bonus content, guaranteed to raise your Genuine Conservative Republican Rating by at least 37 points. To save you the time of perusing the document yourself, I will outline that bonus content here, using direct quotations from the platform. The preamble reminds us that “Throughout the world people dare to dream of freedom.” You, the reader, can be one of those dreamers. You can seek the “embodiment of the Conservative Dream in America.” Where will you find it? In Texas. Our Texas. Your Texas. (more…)

Ongoing Student Protest in Puerto Rico

June 17, 2010

Yesterday, I proposed that the federal government should guarantee the right to post-secondary education. Most of my reasoning also applies to public education funding more generally, and especially to efforts to make public education more affordable. One such effort is the ongoing protest against the Puerto Rican government’s decision to cut funding to the University of Puerto Rico and raise tuition. The students at the university have been on strike since April 21st. (more…)

Access to Higher Education Should Be a Federal Guarantee

June 16, 2010

Education is a fundamental human right, without which neither a large-scale democracy nor a large-scale economy can function. And higher education is becoming increasingly expensive, making it inaccessible to many. While it can be viewed as an investment which will pay off in the long run, not everybody has the capital on hand for that investment to seem worthwhile. As bachelor’s degrees become more and more essential to numerous forms of economic and political participation, the federal government has a responsibility to guarantee universal access to higher education in the United States. (more…)

Israel and Symbolic Concessions

June 5, 2010

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems like an ever-growing pile of complications. It is possible to take a step back from this very real, very inconvenient complexity, however, and ask one simple question: What should be the overriding priority of each body of leaders involved?

The answer I’m looking for is “peace.” And, ethically and strategically, “peace” should remain the answer for any individual governing body even when the other parties to the conflict seem to have other goals. Unfortunately, in practice, that’s not how most political leaders’ minds work.

Last week, the Israeli military captured a flotilla of ships bound for the Gaza strip, resulting in violence. There has been backlash from some in the international community, thinly-veiled exasperation from US leaders, and defiance from Israeli authorities. As usual. It doesn’t matter whether the violence was the consequence of an overzealous Israeli military or overzealous protesters or both: this is what always happens. (more…)

Marriage is Still Not Assimilation

February 17, 2010

I recently updated this older post for publication in Consider Magazine. Here is my revised version.

Marriage is Not Assimilation

Some activists have resisted the push for marriage equality by arguing that marriage itself is patriarchal or heteronormative, or that many leading figures in the marriage equality movement exhibit oppressive social attitudes.

But marriage is not assimilation, and even if it were, it would still be a right worth fighting for. (more…)

Scott’s Potshot

February 17, 2010

It’s story time!

Paul Scott was a spunky young conservative politician trying to realize his grand ambitions in the Grand Old Party of Michigan. He wanted so very badly to be Secretary of State, but he knew that he needed to be nominated before he could ride the party ticket to victory. Poor Scotty! Despite his good looks and his clean manners, he wasn’t receiving any media attention — probably because of that gosh darned liberal stranglehold on all forms of mass communication. What was a busy dude like Scott supposed to do to quickly earn his face a spot in the papers? (more…)

Filibuster, Schmilibuster

January 22, 2010

Obama and the Senate Democrats should have ignored the threat of a filibuster on health care reform from the beginning–and they should be ignoring it now. A sixty seat majority is totally unnecessary, and would have been unnecessary for any version of the bill. Obama’s promises, especially the public option, should never have been sacrificed in the name of pragmatics as long as there were at least 51 Democrats on board. (more…)

Marriage is not Assimilation

November 4, 2009

Marriage is not assimilation, and even if it was, it would still be a right worth fighting for.

Some inflexible activists have resisted the push for marriage equality by arguing that marriage itself is patriarchal and not worth fighting for. I noticed such arguments especially in response to the battle over Proposition 8 in California, first running across the idea in print on Facebook and a sparsely-formatted website. It always pains me when folks with their hearts in the right places adopt such warped, narrow ways of expressing legitimate criticisms. (more…)