Alex Blaze

Eight stupid questions

Filed By Alex Blaze | May 10, 2009 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Arlen Specter, Barack Obama, foreign policy, health care reform, idependence, john yoo, LGBT, Michael Savage, pigs, public option, queer, secession, sexism, slaughter, stupid questions, supreme court, swine flu, torture, uk

I just got back from vacation, and I spent the last several hours catching up on my favorite blogs and news sites. Since spending any more than a few hours away from American politics only makes it seem ridiculous when you get back to it, I'm stuck pondering a few stupid questions.

1. How is the fact that only one out of nine Supreme Court justices is female the result of anything other than systemic sexism? I suppose one could explain it away by simply saying that women are intellectually inferior to men, but doesn't that just prove the systemic sexism?

By the same token, how do we explain the fact that there's never been an openly queer Supreme Court justice other than citing systemic homophobia?

2. Is there any way for American politicians to prove their independent cred other than by talking about how conservative they are?

3. Why do Americans eat sick pigs that shit on each other and have to be shot full of hormones and antibiotics just to be able to walk to the slaughter? And is anyone surprised that those pigs' unsanitary and cramped living conditions could lead to new epidemics?

4. If we assume that the conservative argument against government-run health care is correct, that single-payer health care eliminates choice, is inefficient, costs too much, reduces access, and kills people, then how could creating a public option to compete with private health care destroy the industry? Wouldn't people just rationally choose a private insurance plan because they'd never want to hear the words "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you"?

5. Does the American media and political elite actually think that other countries are impressed by the fact that we'll lose our heads in a crisis, disappear and torture anyone we please, and invade a country based on false premises just because we scare easily? Do they really believe that taking no steps to prevent that from happening again will make us less of a target for future attacks?

6. Not only is part of our next generation of top lawyers being taught to analyze the law by a sociopath/careerist who helped formulate official torture policy, another part of that generation is learning from a professor who's obsessed with the president's choice of mustard. How do these people get these jobs? Do these schools think that hiring conservatives will help expand their students' horizons or something?

7. Secession? Seriously?

8. The UK banned Michael Savage from entering their country. Why can't we do the same?

OK, if someone could just explain all that to me, I think that I'd be far less confused and more hopeful about the future.

It's just me, right?

(I'm only kidding on the last one. I know that no one else would be willing to take Michael Savage.)

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This is why I keep telling you that you should blog about more international queer issues since you live in France now. It'll keep your head from exploding over the nonsense that is American politics. (And I'd love to know what happens in queer news & politics around the world! What happened to you two in Ireland, for example?)

American politics is filled with nonsense, but I'm willing to bet that other countries' political systems are filled with nonsense as well. At least I understand America a bit more than those other countries.

As for Ireland, it was awesome. We went to Dublin last year and this year we went to Cork and Killarny, which are in the southwest. Really wild and really, really green. The whole place is like a postcard.

I ought to do a series of travelogues since I've gotten around Europe a bit since I first lived in France. I don't know if anyone would like to read the internet equivalent of a post-vacation slideshow, though... :)

It's sad, isn't it? A culture taking pride in its xenophobic antics.

1 - If one looks at the number of judges at the time of Day's appointment that were "qualified" (meaning on a bench in the higher courts), you'll find that she was pulled from a court nominally outside the pool typically selected since there were so few judges within the realm that had previously been appointed (which was due to sexism). Ginsberg was a similar choice, but in just that short period, things had changed dramatically.

Ideally, yes, it should be representative. But then, to truly reach such a concept, the court needs to be expanded to roughly 25 judges in order to meet such an onerous requirement, and there is question regarding the number of viable candidates. So the sexism and homophobia kicks in at a much lower level than SCOTUS, which has only 9 seats, and if one is going to make requirements based on individual characteristics, then one should equalize the court over such qualities -- including those like religion and socioeconomic class, as well as age.

There are 9 seats right now. That's it. There's not much likelihood at present that equity of that sort is feasible. So, in this case, truly, be thankful its a possibility.

2 - Actions.

3 - Having worked on a pig farm as a youth, I can say that those sick pigs are not as messy as you might think, and that I wonder the same thing about sheep.

4 - People are lazy and will rely on what is given without regard for it over what is earned. And no, they wouldn't. Most people aren't rational. They are emotive.

5 - Even the political elite don't think that -- that's spin, Alex, of the same sort that says a gay man is a pedophile. Remember, they scare just as easily (see 4, above). And taking no steps to prevent it is due to a rather simple military concept found in sun tzu. the restrictions on liberties as a result, however, and the change to way of living, absolutely need to be undone -- but are unlikely.

6 - Um, the majority of top leadership in the country is technically sociopaths (more accurately, psychopaths, as defined presently in the DSM-IV), because they generally will remain somewhat more separated from the typical emotive concerns, and will use that in other people to achieve their ends. Obsession does not detract from other worthwhile pursuits, either, until it becomes significantly life altering, which the case in point is not indicative of other than as an aspect of acrimony and derision on the part of those ridiculing them. These people get jobs by being sociopaths, to a great extent -- they manipulate and utilize the system to their advantage. Prejudice is not implicitly related to sociopathy, either, btw, so the implied connection and inference is somewhat limiting of your question. And yes, as a matter of fact, they *will* expand horizons. To oppose your enemy, you need to understand them (and as a benefit, in understanding, you tend to find less reason for opposition and greater commonality, thus reducing them as your enemy, which is why the knowledge in person of a queer individual is so effective.).

7- only for a very small minority.

8 - He was born here -- we cannot remove citizenship without his being found guilty of treason, which has not been done. Care to try and get him up on charges?

9 - Its not just you.

10 - (implied) -- these things are what stops you from having a more hopeful outlook. Its never external, always internal, but its easier to blame others for one's own failings. Being hopeful takes work.

And if you weren't hopeful, you wouldn't be doing such a good job here.

And you wouldn't appreciate this:

The dangers of the Heterosexual Agenda are many... (as a heterosexual, I feel safe in agreeing...)

dyssonance, thanks so much for answering. It's comments like your answer to #6 that keep me in the blogging business because I keep on learning from the conversations that take place on this site.

Just to specify about the pig farms, since I'm sure that there are plenty that are clean and good, I was referring to the Smithfield Foods plant near La Gloria, Mexico, which is the same town where the swine flu started:

yeah, I knew it was that reference (and, as a note, smithfield is pretty nasty in terms of treatment and even I'm inclined to take a peta-like stance in regard their treatment as the jimmy dean farms' treatment).

My comment on sheep was based in a similar note regarding some of the ones I encountered which put me off lamb until I die (and I used to love the stuff). Took me forever to start waring wool again, lol.

A lot of our viewpoints are often couched in a greater good basis, and then we descend into a habit of screwing it up by getting personal.

Never underestimate the power of emotion, as it is not a bad thing, but too often academics such as I once was discount it because of its unreliability. But what we fight is emotion, and the best weapon we have is emotion as well.

1. What % of women jurists are strict constructionists? Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, Bush I'm not seeing a whole lot of support for expansive readings of the Constitution.

How many openly queer anythings have there been in the last 50 years?

2. Since in this case independent means critical of a strong central government in all but national security one follow the other as night into day.

3. We eat cows that do the same thing. Petrolium based mono-cultures give us seemingly cheap but eventually toxic food. Industrial agriculture is actully as much if not more of a threat to national security than people flying airplanes into buildings. Wanna make a bunch of Americans sick, mess with their food supply it isn't that difficult.

We grow more McMansions than we grow healthy food crops,growth in any given state should be based on its ability to feed itself.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 10, 2009 10:45 PM

Greg, I am glad you mention this particularly as it is not "the meat" only it is the quality of nutrient value in the food we raise for ourselves and to feed the animals our society has chosen to consume as food. Between hybridization, genetic modification, oil based fertilizers and pesticides we are creating an chemical toxic monster.

No one can figure out why diseases ranging from childhood asthma to early onset Alzheimer's are exploding in numbers, but certain "sacred cows" must not be questioned. Meanwhile, I trim fat, de skin chicken and use meat as a "seasoning" with rice and pasta from non GM sources.

As to where we will get the clean water to raise food crops in a world where 97% of the water is not useable I leave to your imagination. Remember America, water in the "chem lawn" generously. We wouldn't want to have brown lawns on the way to starvation.

Sorry if I "derailed" Alex, but after "psychopaths" have been mentioned above I think the train has already left the tracks.

I think Alex might forgive us, food is important. He's quasi French now, and we all know how they are about food... ;)

If every queer, gay , lesbian, bisexual, transgender, transexual, trans* person became a slow food activist a lot of society's inequities would be addressed.

Read books like, Fast Food Nation and The Omnivore's Dilemma. And if you're still eating fast food please read, Super-Size Me. Or watch it... I'm not sure if that one is even a book.

And if they don't like it, we'll eat their livers with fava beans and a nice chianti.

oops -- have to reconnect subsription

Brad Bailey | May 10, 2009 9:20 PM

Alex, I would dearly enjoy reading your series of travelogues. Please consider writing them, and add lots of pictures. Thanks. Sincerely, Brad