jmatonak: (Default)
Suppose I am reading an LJ and a commenter (not the journal owner) says something really pretentious and stupid. The correct thing to do is to keep my big trap shut, right? It's not polite to start flaming a commenter in a third-party journal?

That's what I thought.

Le sigh.
jmatonak: (Default)
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124700261179807839.html

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)
The word "Allah" is the Arabic word for "God." Muslims use this word to refer to the "God of Abraham." Arabic Christians use this word to refer to God- "Allāh al-ʼAb" means "God the Father", and that construction is used to distinguish Christian from Muslim.

I don't know this because I am some great scholar. I looked up "Allah" on Wikipedia, that's all.

I am posting this because every time I hear someone say, "They don't worship God, they pray to Allah!", I want to slap the taste out of that person's mouth.

There is plenty of room for doubt and mystery in pondering what god, goddess, or whomever there might be. If you are an atheist, a pagan, or whatever, good on you. But I never again want to have to sit through a conversation with my ignorant neighbor, who thinks that to refer to God in a language he doesn't speak is to refer to a different God.

Jesus Christ.
jmatonak: (Default)
World, you're making me not want to be with you. Why you gotta be like that?
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)
I am so very, very tired of how people who face disagreement in the media whine about their "right to free speech". I believe in free speech. What I do not believe in is the right of anyone, at any time, to say anything they like without fear of disagreement and with no possibility of any assertions they make being questioned.

If you don't like child porn, and you say so, and someone comes along and disagrees with you, both parties have spoken. Freely. If your opinion is unpopular and you feel shunned because of it, that is not "taking away your right to free speech."

The "right to free speech" is sometimes invoked instead as "First Amendment rights." What people seem to forget is that the First Amendment restricts government action ("Congress shall make no law abridging...") and not the actions of private persons or corporate entities. If you go to a private company's message board and post something that gets you banned, that's not "a violation of the First Amendment." And I personally reserve the right to ban people from posting comments on my LJ entries if those comments are obnoxious.

Finally, if "the media" fact-checks your assertions and they are wrong, or if the press asks you questions you think are unfair, you have to eat it. The only First Amendment issue here is the freedom of the press, and if your tendency to say stupid things gets you in trouble that's your problem.

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jmatonak

January 2012

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