erikred: (Default)
Texas passed HRJ 6, a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Some people have already noted that the language in the first part is self-contradicting.

What's fascinating to me, however, is the second part:

SECTION 2. This state recognizes that through the
designation of guardians, the appointment of agents, and the use of
private contracts, persons may adequately and properly appoint
guardians and arrange rights relating to hospital visitation,
property, and the entitlement to proceeds of life insurance
policies without the existence of any legal status identical or
similar to marriage.

While this was almost certainly written to mean that the state recognizes that currently existing methods of designating guardians, appointing agents, or using private contracts are adequate, the language could also be construed to mean that the state recognizes that marriage is not a necessary pre-condition to appointing guardians, arranging rights to hospital visitation, property, and the entitlement to proceeds of life insurance policies.

In other words, in the great State of Texas, the only unique advantage to marriage is... a tax break.

Can't wait to see this one brought to the courts.
erikred: (stalking_bird)
Nine of you also have [livejournal.com profile] haineux on your friends list, so this is going to be a repeat. For the other 30 of you, however:

I give you MSNBC growing teeth. (As seen on BoingBoing.net; requires Windows Media Player, sound; worksafe but political.)
erikred: (Default)
Ganked from [livejournal.com profile] foomf, an excellent editorial rant on intolerance of intolerance (or better titled, "Yes, Virginia, there are causes worth fighting for").
erikred: (stalking_bird)
If you wanted to take the heat off of Rove long enough for people to forget that you said that anyone involved in leaking the name of a CIA operative to the press would be fired, surely you could not have chosen a more controversial method than to nominate to the Supreme Court a practicing Catholic and arch-conservative with outspoken views against the right to abortion and the rights of private citizens to sue the government to prevent the wholesale destruction of mountain-tops in the pursuit of coal.

Short of nuking Iran, of course.
erikred: (Default)
Scott McClellan in "Feets, don' fail me now!"

It's like highbrow comedy in a lowbrow dress.

Torture

Jun. 20th, 2005 11:25 am
erikred: (zombie)
The article is a month old, and yet bears revisiting.

There are ways to win wars. There are ways to defeat insurgencies. There are ways to get information, and there are ways to discover secrets.

Chaining people up, beating them, denying them water-- these are not methods conducive to any of the abovementioned goals. Oh, sure, in the short term they may yield some limited results, but in the long term they're utterly self-defeating.

Let's get this straight: we did not bring 9/11 on ourselves, and we are not inviting further terror and reprisals through our actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. What we are doing, when we engage in torture and murder like this, is losing the war. All moral arguments aside, this is self-defeating. We can do better than this. It will require more work, more dedication, and more effort, but we can do better than this.

Achtung!

May. 23rd, 2005 11:15 am
erikred: (zombie)
Note to Gerhard Schroeder's PR people: consider, carefully, a proposal to change that backdrop. Now.

erikred: (stalking_bird)
Slashdot is reporting that the Pres. has signed into law S.167 ("Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005"). This law makes it a crime to sneak a camera into a theater or release on a "computer network" a movie currently being prepared for commercial distribution. To be fair, it specifically says that the copyright infringement in question has to be "for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain," leaving the question of 'backing up' movies for personal use for other laws to handle.

This bill frightens me, however, because I worked for a movie theater in college, and I know the yahoos who work in movie theaters. This law gives them an incredible power:

    `(d) Immunity for Theaters- With reasonable cause, the owner or lessee of a motion picture exhibition facility where a motion picture or other audiovisual work is being exhibited, the authorized agent or employee of such owner or lessee, the licensor of the motion picture or other audiovisual work being exhibited, or the agent or employee of such licensor--

      `(1) may detain, in a reasonable manner and for a reasonable time, any person suspected of a violation of this section with respect to that motion picture or audiovisual work for the purpose of questioning or summoning a law enforcement officer; and

      `(2) shall not be held liable in any civil or criminal action arising out of a detention under paragraph (1).


In other words, Joe Theater Employee, making minimum wage and getting high up in the booth before each show, now has the authority to detain you if he thinks you have a camera on you. Sure, sure, there's that nifty "reasonable manner" part to somehow short-circuit abuse, but that last part pretty much voids all rationality; you can't sue Joe if he happens to grab your arm (assault) during the course of detaining you on suspicion of having a camera on you. You better hope Joe didn't notice the camera on your cell phone.

What brave new world is this that has such people in it.
erikred: (zombie)
Ignore the networks' alleged refusal to air news about this, and just focus on DeLay's actions:

"DeLay family decision to end father's life"

There's a word for people who are unable to empathize with other human beings: sociopath.

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Erik, the BFG

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