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Showing posts from February, 2019

This is something other than condemning violence against journalists

On 22 February 2019, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that POTUS #45 hasn't "at any point has done anything but condemn violence, against journalists or anyone else." (ABC news clip)What the Press Secretary says is not true. Every day, I remember this tweet by POTUS on 2 July 2017. It shows POTUS at a wrestling match. He throws his arm around the neck of a faceless man who represents a CNN journalist (the man's face is obscured by a CNN logo in the video). He tackles the CNN journalist and punches him repeatedly in the head. On the day Trump posted this, the immediate reaction of then-Homeland Security adviser Thomas Bossert was to say that he felt "pretty proud" of the president for being so "genuine," and, after all, he assured us, "no one would perceive that [video] as a threat." That interpretation is not obvious. Since the time of this tweet, Cesar Altieri Sayoc Jr. has been charged with mailing pipe bombs to C…

Lessons in a ten-year-old NYT op-ed against same-sex marriage

Happy tenth anniversary to this bizarre op-ed, "A Reconciliation on Gay Marriage" (David Blankenhorn and Jonathan Rauch, New York Times, 21 Feb 2009).Believing in 2009 that "federal recognition of same-sex marriage...is not likely in the near future" (surprise: that recognition came just four years later), the authors said they wished to avoid "a scorched-earth debate" and to seek instead a "sensitive compromise" between those who supported the right of same-sex couples to marry and those who cited religious reasons for discriminating against those couples.The authors laid out what they saw as the argument for discrimination:"The First Amendment may make it unlikely that a church, say, would ever be coerced by law into performing same-sex wedding rites in its sanctuary. But religious organizations are also involved in many activities outside the sanctuary. What if a church auxiliary or charity is told it must grant spousal benefits to a sec…