Random musings on whatever subject strikes my fancy, published every other day.

Tag: conservertarian Page 1 of 4

Good Slave-Owners

A little bit of a disturbing story by Margaret Biser on Vox about her experiences as a tour guide on a former slave-owning plantation.  Even visitors to a plantation famous for how slaves built it and operated it don’t want to hear about how slavery was not nice.  They want the stories about how good the slaves had it.  About how the owners of the plantation were the good slave-owners.  About how the slaves loved their owners.  Ultimately, it’s a whitewashing of our nation’s history — in every sense of the word “whitewashing.”  One tourist’s reaction:

“Listen, I just wanted to say that dragging all this slavery stuff up again is bringing down America.”  [Biser] started to protest, but he interrupted [her]. “You didn’t know. You’re young. But America is the greatest country in the world, and these people out there, they’d do anything to make America less great.”

Is it any wonder we have difficulty to this day talking about the real, structural racism in American society?  We still can’t being ourselves to rip off that Band-Aid.

On the other hand, a criminal like Cliven Bundy gets a news cycle for saying:

And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.

So you’d think that would make him anathema, even to the crypto-racist dog-whistlers of the Republican Presidential Clown Car, wouldn’t you?  Well, you know what I always say about “you’d think”: any statement that begins “you’d think” ends in disappointment.  Rand Paul met privately with Bundy for 45 minutes last week, presumably to counsel him on how to dog-whistle more subtly.

Ken Paxton Loves Left-Wing Bloggers Like Me

so smug!

Ken Paxton, the attorney general of Texas, has been instructing county clerks across that state to disregard the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.  To disobey the law of the land.

“How can that be?”, you say.  “Isn’t he sworn to obey all laws?  Isn’t that the oath he took when he was admitted to the bar?”  Well, actually, no.  At least not from what I can discern in the plain meaning of the words of the New Lawyer Oath of the Texas Bar Association:

I, _______, do solemnly swear to support the Constitutions of the United States, and of this State; that I will honestly demean myself in the practice of law; that I will discharge my duties to my clients to the best of my ability; and, that I will conduct myself with integrity and civility in dealing and communicating with the court and all parties.  So help me God.

(Aside: isn’t it funny that this oath doesn’t mention Texas by name?  Did they just take some boilerplate from the ABA and slap it on their own letterhead?)

So “obey” is not mentioned, and “support” could just mean something like “cheer on,” right?  And “integrity” – well, what would a Ken Paxton know about that?  Not so much, it seems.  See, telling clerks that they should ignore a Supreme Court ruling is just part of a pattern of law-ignoring that seems to suit Ken’s personal style.  Today I found this gem:

Special prosecutors will ask a Texas grand jury as early as this month to indict the state’s attorney general on first-degree felony charges for suspected securities laws violations, one of the prosecutors said on Thursday.   A spokesman for Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican who came to office earlier this year with strong Tea Party support, was not immediately available for comment.

Now, if Ken didn’t love me, why would he be so generous to me with material?

Law of the Land?

A Supreme Court decision is the Law of the Land, unless Christian bigots dislike what the court says.

The Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton, probably doesn’t really give a damn who marries whom.  But he’s no stranger to what works in Texas politics, and what works there is playing to the persecution myths of the white Christian heterosexual cis-gender males, the most grotesquely over-privileged group ever to walk the face of the earth.  In a press release he called Friday’s opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges “a judge-made edict that is not based in the law or the Constitution” and said it “diminishes faith in our system of government and the rule of law.”

Inevitably, this emboldened petty officials around Texas to disobey the law, and sure enough we have Hood County clerk Katie Lang saying she won’t issue any same-sex marriage licenses because “It’s my religious liberty, my belief in traditional marriage”.

Here’s what they don’t get.  And I see I am going to have to make this simple enough so that even stupid people like Paxton and Lang can understand it.  So I will take a cue from Randall Munroe of xkcd when he explained the Saturn V launcher that took us to the moon.  (I hope Paxton and Lang aren’t in denial about that, also.)  Munroe decided to use only the thousand – sorry: ten hundred – most common words to explain one of humanity’s most amazing technological accomplishments, and created a panel called Up Goer Five.   Along those lines:

When two people love each other they might want to share a home, they might want to share it for all of their lives. They might want a baby, or a few.  The state where they live likes this, because having families in the places where people live makes those places nicer.  So the state gives people who share this way some good stuff.  They are allowed to visit each other in the hospital, without being bothered.  They are allowed to pay less money to the state, and to have easier ways to make the papers for doing that. The state accepts less money because the people making a family help make the state a better place in ways money doesn’t help with.  Families, love and sharing are just good for the state and all the people who live there. 

Now, the people who say what’s allowed in all the states have said that no state can stop two people who want to love, share and make a family from doing that.  Even if the two people don’t fit the old idea of “one of them has to be a man and the other one has to be a woman.”  

Some people think a god will be angry about this.  But any people who care about what the god thinks are free to stick to the old idea when they make a family.

thanks to http://splasho.com/upgoer5/ for making that a lot easier than it might have been

At least Cleburne County (AR) Clerk Dana Guffey had the integrity to resign over this issue, rather than remain in office, refuse to do her job, and impose her religious bigotry on others.  Kudos to her for that.

In Touch with Reality

+Citizens Fed Up posted this meme, and asked, “How can these Republican Candidates be so out of touch with reality??”

The answer is, they are not out of touch with reality.  They are in touch with this reality: their only remaining constituency (not counting billionaires and lobbyists for multinational corporations) is angry old white men who watch Fox News, plus the women those AOWMs control.

When speaking to that audience, “single mother” is a dog-whistle for “slut.”  It doesn’t matter to them what the reality of a situation is, only what grooved track you can get the “mind” of an AOWM onto when deciding how to vote in the fall.

Implying that the women who raised our two most recent Democratic presidents fit the “slut” category is just a bonus.

Ho-hum, Another Mass Shooting

Nine dead inside a black church in Charleston, SC when a white twenty-something walked in and opened fire in what even a South Carolina police spokesman is calling a “hate crime.”  You know the racism has to flow pretty thick before it comes to that.

Anyway.  Who cares?

It’s obvious that we (the US) do not care.  Not about this, not about Sandy Hook, not about Aurora or Virginia Tech or Columbine.  We do not give a rat’s ass about any of it.  Mass shootings are just the price we pay so that insecure males for whom TruckNutz are not enough can carry around the only way to kill dozens of people before being stopped.  Not even a Vorpal Sword could be so efficient.

After every single one of these slaughters, of course, some silly soft-headed agitators will start making their pinko noises about gun control.  The President will make a speech with his sad face on.  Legislators will swing into action and then there will be a big flurry of… exactly nothing.

No reason to think this is any different.  Nothing to see here.

image from Daily Kos

Move along.

UPDATE: In my NY Times Headline email today… unrelated to the story about the Charleston shooting… this:


“This is America. I should be able to have a howitzer or a bazooka if I want one.”

JEFF FUNICELLO, who is selling his 1975 armored GMC truck, a type of vehicle that has raised concerns for some law enforcement officials after an attack on Dallas Police Headquarters.

‘Murica!  Yee-haw.

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