jmatonak: (Default)
I am not inclined by nature to be a "good soldier." I try not to be a jerk, and I will compromise when I need to, but there comes a point when I just can't do that anymore. I think I have that in common with a lot of people.

Politics )

I'm trying to cut down on the politics posts, I swear.
jmatonak: (Default)

This situation developed because Alaska's transparency laws allow anyone to file Freedom of Information Act requests. While normally useful, in the hands of political opponents FOIA requests can become a means to bog down a target in a bureaucratic quagmire, thanks to the need to comb through records and respond by a strict timetable. Similarly, ethics investigations are easily triggered and can drag on for months even if the initial complaint is flimsy.

Let. me. get. this. straight.

Sarah Palin. Was chased out of office. By FOIA requests??!?

The prospect of having to tell people what their state government was up to was so daunting that the governor had to quit. As opposed to hiring two new college-educated minions to deal with the massive onslaught of documents.

Look, having to deal with discovery-as-harassment sucks. I admit this freely. But this woman, who has the First Amendment exactly backwards, gets none of my sympathy. The government is accountable to the people, period, end of story. If it took her this long to realize she'd be subjected to more scrutiny as a governor than as a private citizen...

... Sweet Zombie Jesus.

I await the inevitable chorus of FOIA baad!, led by the usual evil suspects.

Karl Rove acknowledges the unusual battering Ms. Palin has endured in recent months, but told Fox News that GOP leaders are still puzzled by her decision. "If she wanted to escape the ethics investigations and save the taxpayers money, she's now done that," he said. Unfortunately, he added, her decision "sent a signal that if you do this kind of thing to a sitting governor like her, you can drive her out of office."

Oh, gee. Karl Rove has an opinion about this. Shock.
jmatonak: (Default)
Everybody- meaning most of us- has written a love letter, and they're almost uniformly mortifying. Needling someone over their crushed-out mushiness is perfectly acceptable and hilarious; reading someone's love letters out loud, as though the reader himself hasn't written letters just as stupid, is stomping on the Bro Code.
jmatonak: (Default)
Did you ever have something you *really* wanted to come out a certain way but you were afraid to jinx it?


The world rarely works the way I think it's supposed to. (Not that my reaction is particularly relevant.) O Lord, please let them not get crushed.


I ask the police and army personals [sic] not to “sell their religion”, and beware that receiving orders will not excuse them before god. Recognize the protesting youth as your children. Today censor [sic] and cutting telecommunication lines can not hide the truth.

I pray for the greatness of the Iranian people.

-- Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, "reformist cleric in Qom, and once the designated successor to Khomeini", tr. unknown, todayish

He's right.
jmatonak: (Default)
So the Department of Justice filed a brief that amounts to a defense of DOMA in federal court on Thursday. A married gay couple wants federal benefits; I assume it's because one of them is a federal employee. More here.

A letter I sent to the White House )

Looking at it now, I feel I was too reasonable. What I've seen of the brief is shameful, and the idea that the DoJ "must" enforce it is horseshit. I suspected it was, and now I have proof. This is just crap piled on crap. Epic fail is too mild.

The President does a lot of stuff I agree with, and I admire him. But not for this. This is bigotry and bullshit, and he should know better.
jmatonak: (Default)
"The decision leaves intact the holding of the Marriage Cases that
gays have the fundamental "right to marry" under the California
constitution, now and in the future; but unless and until the
California constitution is again amended to the contrary, such unions
cannot be called marriage." -- some lawyer guy on the net

When I was in college, someone asked me if I was "partners" with my
lab partner, and I said yes. About two weeks later, I sat up and said
"hey, wait..."

I like words like "married", "husband", "wife", "spouse", "boyfriend",
"girlfriend". They are short and unambiguous. Everyone knows what
they mean. So, apart from any questions about anyone's rights and the
pernicious effects of separate-but-equal, I intend to use the
conventional words when they apply to a gay couple, purely out of
self-interest. The law, being the law, can be as abstruse as it
wants. Over the long term, I expect most folks will go with the
familiar words, because they are the right ones.


Mar. 18th, 2009 06:05 am
jmatonak: (Default)
Privatizing VA health care is just plain dumb. Even partially. That was just poorly thought out.
jmatonak: (Default)
"Court Rejects Obama Admin's Effort To Stop Wiretapping Suit", per Huffington Post.


The government appealed. Boo!


I haven't been feeling well lately, so I haven't posted much. My bad.
jmatonak: (Default)

Extraordinary rendition sucks. Invoking "national security" to excuse crimes sucks. I am so very, very disappointed right now.
jmatonak: (Default)
God bless Claire McCaskill. I wish I could vote for her.
jmatonak: (Default)
Apparently, President Obama's Inaugural Address will call upon the nation to reject the culture of "anything goes."

I have mixed feelings about this. I like Anything Goes. I went to some effort to get the Ella Fitzgerald version just this weekend, in fact.

In all seriousness, there is a sense in which I believe in responsibility and a sense in which I very much do not. I do not believe in shirking, cowardly anonymity, and doing whatever one likes, whenever one likes, to whomever one likes, no matter who gets hurt. But I also do not believe in sober-sidedness, respectability, and the kind of "adulthood" that boils down to fear of looking ridiculous and a deep suspicion of having a good time.

I'm pretty sure President Obama will say things I admire and respect. He usually does. I'm even fairly sure he'll be championing the kind of responsibility I like. The headline from the Huffington Post just made me feel a little... off.
jmatonak: (Default)
So one of the nutbars who keeps insisting Barack Obama is a furriner or renounced his citizenship as a child (!) or any number of other things making him ineligible to be President is named Orly Taitz.


That's her name.

I can't wait for the press release from Lolcat Jones.

She's cute.
jmatonak: (Default)
If some jerk uses the Emoluments Clause to keep Hillary Clinton out as Secretary of State, I will be extremely pissed.

If the Supreme Court even entertains the ridiculous argument that Barack Obama is not an American citizen, I really lack the words to express how angry I will be.

I had a bunch of factual probably-errors in the rest of this post about precedent. I hate when I make these kinds of mistakes, but I do. I recommend consulting a non-wiki reference. The errors have been cut, leaving fact-free ranting. Call it my Thin Rush Limbaugh impression.


Nov. 25th, 2008 09:05 pm
jmatonak: (Default)
Okay, I am going to say one more thing about the the auto industry bridge loan/bailout/money thing, and then shut up.

None of this is the UAW's fault. A union that secures good working conditions, decent health care, and a certain amount of job security for workers is doing exactly what it should, and the complaint that American auto companies can't compete because the damn unions are making management pay for health care is disgusting and shameful.

I believe in extremely careful supervision of management in exchange for the money. The people using this as an excuse to bust some unions need to be slapped around.

The UAW isn't perfect, and they may need to take a hit on this one. Let's not confuse regrettable necessity with justice. Blaming the unions for this crisis is the opposite of justice.
jmatonak: (Default)
Paul Krugman can shoot off his big bazoo as much as he wants, but if it were up to me, I'd let the auto industry go tits-up. And laugh about it.

Every twenty years or so, the auto industry gets a bailout. And they always swear that this time they'll learn to build a decent fucking car and not let chimps make their business decisions anymore, snickering behind their hands all the while. And Congress falls for it every single goddamned time. It's the rankest kind of corporate welfare.

Frankly, if a million jobs are in danger, I think giving each of those million people $25,000 is a more sensible use of our money. Despite what everyone seems to think, a smarter car company (there are lots of teeny companies trying to make a better car, but the "Big Three" like to squash competition) will come along and fill the empty spot in the economy.

We will never get true technological progress in this country if we don't let companies fail, especially when those companies are big.
jmatonak: (Default)
As of this writing, marriage equality is losing in my state.

I believe in constitutional government. But I also believe that this inequality is very, very wrong. This will be a defect in the California constitution. I hope it shows up on our ballots again and again, until we get it right.
jmatonak: (Default)
I'll go ahead and be the 988875th person to say it:

See that? That's what a community organizer does.


jmatonak: (Default)

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