sphagnum moss, dark water, and politics
Saturday, March 29, 2003
Yes, everyone and their blogging cats have already linked to Dahlia Lithwick's hilarious coverage of oral arguments in the Supreme Court's Texas anti-gay sodomy case. Nevertheless, here it is again. In fact, I'm blockquoting a big chunk of it:
Justice Stephen Breyer asks one of his famed three-part questions and, when Rosenthal doesn't answer immediately, Breyer interrupts: "That's not my question. I'd like to hear your straight answer." The gallery busts up. Rosenthal says there's a good place to draw the line of privacy and fundamental rights, and that line is "at the bedroom door."For some reason I keep having a vision of the Justices suddenly rising up in their black robes and singing "YMCA" by the Village People as a disco ball descends from the ceiling . . .
The weirdness is spreading. TAP Online is apologizing for running an article in which Breyer quotes not Tom Brown but Dr. Seuss:
Editor's Note: This article has been corrected since its original publication. Justice Stephen Breyer did not invoke the phrase, "I do not like this, Sam I Am," but rather the phrase, "I do not love thee, Dr. Fell; the reason why I cannot tell." TAP Online regrets the error.It's a shame, as quoting from Green Eggs and Ham would have been downright appropriate, given the moral of the story and the sociocultural implications of the whole Seuss corpus.
Another thing: I was idly flipping through the Economist and realized that the co-plaintiffs are (or were) an interracial couple! This fact hasn't shown up in any of the admittedly extremely limited amount of coverage I've seen about the case; indeed, the Economist makes this point only visually, and perhaps inadvertently. Now, I doubt this particular biocultural fact has any practical relevance to the case at hand, but all the same it sets up interesting echoes . . .
And that line about sodomy [defined here as oral or anal sex] leading to marriage and procreation? Supposedly some folks in Texas - which in 1995 became the third state to teach abstinence-only sex ed, thanks in part to one Governor Bush - think it is quite a small step:
Many teenagers said that with the limits on teaching, and with parents who are uncomfortable discussing sex in detail, they learn much of what they know from experience. Some young women here [Lubbock, TX], under the mistaken belief that they can get pregnant through oral sex, refer to their children as "spit babies."Then again, I have to wonder if this is really an example of a Washington Post reporter going off into the red-state wilds and being outrageously conned by the natives, or at best puffing up urban legends.
And yes, this happened:
Smith replies that there would need to be some showing that gay kindergarten teachers produce harm to children. Scalia offers one: "Only that children might be induced to follow the path to homosexuality."I'm speechless.
posted by Dan S. on 12:14 AM | | link
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
"Furthermore, because this is a war of choice . . . those who were eager for the choice to be made had an incentive to minimize expectations of inevitable unpleasantness."
Guess what crazed, America-hating liberal said this. Alterman? Krugman?
Ladies and Gentlemen - meet George F. Will.
Granted, he thinks the war is a wise choice and that the public unease over this "inevitable unpleasantness" is "disproportionate." But he also argues for a principled, cautious conservatism against the frightening idealism of the neocons' foreign policy.
In the papers, a stunned, shocked understanding that the war is not a video game played on "God" mode. Am I overstating? From the NY Times:
Indeed, the Times/CBS News Poll found that the number of Americans who expected the war to be won quickly dropped 9 points from Saturday to Sunday, and 10 more points from Sunday to Monday [margin of error larger than +/- 2 percentage points]. Those shifts coincided with television coverage of prisoners of war and battlefield casualties that seems to have caught at least some Americans — accustomed to the relatively bloodless victory in Afghanistan last year — by surprise.This is incomprensible. The cheerleaders in the Administration have a great deal to answer for.
posted by Dan S. on 8:12 AM | | link
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
Gives new meaning to the term "protest vote." Well, kinda.
On Jeanne's blog, a comment:
I think that if there were "register to vote" booths at all events, something useful and positive could come out of all the protests and marches. If there were some indication that these actions might actually effect Bush, he might pay attention. -- Matt BallI don't know if I'd follow it all the way, but the register-to-vote booth thing is an excellent idea. I'm e-mailing it to various organizing groups. Feel free to do the same.
posted by Dan S. on 12:00 AM | | link
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