27 October 2009

Is Ben Bernanke a "Brave Thinker"?

The Atlantic Monthly thinks so. The magazine with a "longtime commitment to challenging the conventional wisdom" chose Bernanke as one of 27 such living luminaries. After all, "his radical interventions may have saved the day" for the American economy! We'll never know for sure, of course, since "the particulars of the Fed’s interventions remain lamentably shielded from oversight."
Edmund White has hit the nail on the head re. gay marriage:

In the past, when gays were very flamboyant as drag queens or as leather queens or whatever, that just amused people. And most of the people that come and watch the gay Halloween parade, where all those excesses are on display, those are straight families, and they think it's funny. But what people don't think is so funny is when two middle-aged lawyers who are married to each other move in next door to you and your wife and they have adopted a Korean girl and they want to send her to school with your children and they want to socialize with you and share a drink over the backyard fence. That creeps people out, especially Christians.

Though why should Christians be creeped out by same-sex commitments?

20 October 2009

James Bowman writes regarding the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell:

In fact, we do not know and we cannot know what our armed forces would be like under such conditions....In Britain, the change came about in response to an order from the European Court of Human Rights, whose decrees have the force of law. For this reason, it would not be in the interest of any officer who valued his career prospects to remark upon any problems that the presence of gay soldiers, sailors, or airmen might be causing in their armed forces. Nor has the performance of the British Army in Iraq or the Royal Navy in the Persian Gulf been such as to render all suspicion of damage to morale, good order, and discipline ridiculous.

Way to call our British allies pussies, Bowman. And I suppose the examples of Canada and Australia (who have allowed openly gay servicemembers for 16 years) don't count because, well, they've been "feminized" by playing too much rugby or something.

16 October 2009

Yesterday's Balloon Boy odyssey was the fourth nail in the coffin of cable TV. White child number 7,340,323 goes missing ("missing" defined as whatever his parents say); law enforcement spends hours searching, with accompanying footage of a ridiculous-looking tin foil balloon on CNN; Wolf Blitzer elicits a confession of fraud from the unharmed boy, seems to reject the possibility of foul play, and starts milking this udder for all its saccharine potential.

Anyone who gets their news from diverse sources knows that a boy was beaten to death not a month ago in Chicago, outside a high school, and that there are thousands of malnourished and homeless children in this country. Will mainstream TV ever spend a small fraction of their 24/7 coverage on these things? Of course not. When a cute fair-skinned child is said to be in danger (by his reality-TV whore father, of all people).....

13 October 2009

A Memo to the President:

This past weekend, you told the Human Rights Campaign you were "committed to ending Don't Ask Don't Tell." I'm sure you are aware that Rep. Ellen Tauscher introduced a bill doing just that in Congress in March of this year. It now has 176 bipartisan cosponsors.

I appreciate your respect for the legislative process, but it has become all too clear that the Senate will not touch this issue with a hundred-foot pole. Every day, our tax money is being spent on the persecution and discharge of servicemembers who happen to have the wrong sexual orientation. This policy is pernicious and stupid, and I cannot see how you hope to win the war in Afghanistan without scrapping it.

If you cannot bring yourself to sign an executive order suspending the enforcement of Don't Ask Don't Tell before March 1st, 2010, I will regretfully decline to vote for you again.

Skye Winspur

05 October 2009

Fitness diary:
I ran a mile in 13 minutes 20 seconds today.
I was reading Edward Hyde's History of the Rebellion, written in the middle of the seventeenth century. His AP English teacher might not have liked this sentence very much:

It was very true that, after many great and noble actions performed by prince Rupert in the relief of Latham, and the reduction of Bolton, and all other places in that large county, (Manchester only excepted,) in which the rebels lost very many, much blood having been shed in taking places by assault which were too obstinately defended, the prince had marched out of Lancashire with so good reputation, and had given his orders so effectually to Goring, who lay in Lincolnshire with that body of horse that belonged to the marquis of Newcastle's army, that they happily joined the prince, and marched together towards York with that expedition that the enemy was so surprised that they found it necessary to raise the siege in confusion enough, and, leaving one whole side of the town free, drew to the other side in great disorder and consternation; there being irreconcilable differences and jealousies between the officers, and indeed between the nations: the English resolving to join no more with the Scots, and they on the other side, as weary of their company and discipline; so that the prince had done his work, and if he had sat still the other great army would have mouldered to nothing, and been exposed to any advantage his highness woud take of them.

02 October 2009

Today would be Mahatma Gandhi's 140th birthday. A sample of his handwriting: