Sunday, December 25, 2011

the "true" meaning of the holidays

Birthdays are not just days we celebrate the day someone was born, we celebrate their life and what their presence has brought to this world. 
Regardless if you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, atheist or something in between or beyond, 
Ignore (for the moment) the fact that this day is 6 months off the supposed date,  
Whether you believe Jesus was the Son of God, a man who lived with some simple yet radical ideas, or just one story in the Hero Myth, 
If you take the message of Jesus’ life and strip it of the artifice and subversion put on by history, societies, and imperfect human beings, 
At its very core, his message has simply been this:  
Love one another.  
Fiercely, tenderly, without hesitation, holding one another in the highest regard. 
It’s that simple:  
Love one another.  
To me, that is worth celebrating, on this day and all other days. Merry Christmas.
-Ashley Krohn, posted to Facebook 12/25/2011 (quoted with permission)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Rick Perry is one of those rare individuals who makes me question whether everyone really should be allowed to vote.

I know I've dropped the ball big time lately by pretty much not ever posting, so as a peace offering, I bring you yet another Rick Perry fail:

Quick, how many justices are there on the U.S. Supreme Court?

If you said "nine," congrats. You're officially more qualified to be president than Rick Perry, who thinks there are 8. 
[TW for (ignorant) discussion of religion at that link]

As a fun bonus question for those of you who like a challenge, how do they become justices of the SCOTUS and [extra bonus] why is it done that way?

If you said "they are appointed by the POTUS" and "because that is part of our system of checks and balances between our three branches of government," then congrats. You ALSO have a better grasp on the structure of the U.S. government.

Further, if I asked you to name on of the current justices of the SCOTUS, what name would come to mind?
I'm guessing maybe 80% of you would think of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, as she is the second most recently appointed justice (she took her oath in August of 2009) and her appointment had a lot of controversy around it. Not only can RP NOT remember her name, but he can't remember her name as he's criticizing her.

I'm going to get to my thoughts on the two videos at the link, but first I just wanted to quote Melissa McEwan at Shakesville because I think her response is excellent (as usual):

Dude's a full-tilt wrong machine. 
Josh Voorhees at Slate found a great quote from Anita Perry, the First Lady of Texas, on her husband's gaffe-prone fartbrainery: "I pray for him to have strength and wisdom and for the right words to come out of his mouth and to be patient because we're not on his timetable, we're on God's timetable." 
If I believed in god, I'm pretty sure my estimation at this point would be that god doesn't want Rick Perry to be president.

There was also a great comment left by commenter ethel:
Aaaaaand it's yet another 4-4 tie in the Supreme Court! On this issue, DO WHATEVER YOU WANT, THEY CAN'T DECIDE!
... which made me LOL so hard.

Briefly, my thoughts and reactions on those two videos:

First video:
  • "Activist judges"- UGH this term. It's an oxymoron. Judges and justices are only able to decide on the cases that are brought before them. They can't just go out and start mandating random shit. Also, it is their JOB to decide these cases. They are not being "activists," they're doing their damn jobs. (Something that seems to be a foreign concept to the GOP....) The job of the SCOTUS is to interpret the Constitution and apply it to the cases brought before them. They are pretty limited by the fact that they have to use said Constitution. Just because YOU don't like their decision, that doesn't make it wrong. It just means you don't like it. Don't throw a hissy fit and start calling names. It is unbecoming, Mr. Perry. ALSO, it's pretty telling that RP only attacks Justices Sotomayor and Justice Kagan for being "activist judges" (the two most recently appointed -justices-, both under Obama, and coincidentally also both women) when two Justices are not enough to make an actual decision on anything. Since there are NINE justices, a minimum of five justices must agree on a decision. Even bigger fail, RP. 
  • If you're going to criticize her, at least know her name. It doesn't exactly lend credibility to your accusation when you don't even know who you're talking about. (Not that he had much in the way of credibility, anyway.)

Second video:
  • lack of understanding of the issue of prayer in PUBLIC schools, and lack of understanding of the actual rules in place (that private schools can do that already, duh).
  • "independent school boards, not government": a) they're not independent, DOY. They're under the state government. b) "not government" SCHOOL BOARDS ARE GOVERNMENT. 
  • Washington isn't telling "local" schools they're telling ALL schools, as they have for years, that as a general rule, since there is separation of church and state in this country, and since schools are part of the state, that it is unacceptable to attempt to force religion into the school system and attempt to force it on students. 
  • I'm incredibly reluctant to believe that RP is an authority on "most Americans" in any capacity.
  • "Unelected, unaccountable judges": see above fun bonus question and answer. 
  • I'd also like to point out that school are already failing miserably at actually EDUCATING students. We really don't need to take even more time out of the school day to mandate prayer.