Things that are made from organic material age and decay, especially when they stop being alive. A piece of home-baked bread, say, left on your kitchen counter, will get moldy relatively fast. Lord knows what some ground beef would smell like after a week. But the artist Sally Davies has been photographing one McDonald’s hamburger and fries every day for 137 days. They look basically exactly the same.
“Levi Johnston filed paperwork on Friday that confirms his intent to run for office in Wasilla, Alaska – presumably for the same office Sarah Palin held until 2002.
Filing a letter of intent is typically the first step local politicians take when seeking elected office. Johnston’s filing permits him to accept campaign contributions.
‘Loving Levi: The Road to the Mayor’s Office,’ will feature the trials and tribulations of America’s most famous teen dad as he enters the world of politics while continuing to dabble in Hollywood, the production company also confirmed.”
Okay, so I’m not hallucinating, this is happening.
I genuinely understand why people find comfort in religion. I would love to think that I’ll get to see my friend again one day and to finish all those silly conversations that we had while drunk and philosophising (well, drunk anyway) and to be able to tell him how much he meant to me as a friend. Problem is, I don’t believe that. Neither did he.
As an essentially culture-less, Caucasian, middle-class atheist, how should I grieve? I honestly do not know.
I find hope in the words of two American strippers interviewed by the Wall Street Journal. Cassandra, who works at New York Dolls, just around the corner from the proposed community center, said she worried that calls to prayer might wake up the neighbors. The WSJ writes: “But when she was told that the organizers aren’t planning loudspeakers, she said she didn’t have a problem with the project: ‘I don’t know what the big deal is. It’s freedom of religion, you know?’”
Chris works in the Pussycat Lounge, even closer to the site. When the airplanes struck the World Trade Center, Chris became a Red Cross volunteer working with survivors. The WSJ writes she “sat on a barstool in a tiny, shiny red dress and defended Park51. ‘They’re not building a mosque in the World Trade Center. It’s all good. You have your synagogues and your churches. And you have a mosque.’” Chris lost eight of her friends on Sept. 11, 2001, firefighters from the Brooklyn firehouse she lived next to at the time, but “the people who did it are not going to the mosque.”
But amid the 1st Amendment outcry from both Palin and Schlessinger, there’s really not much of a constitutional issue here (as there wasn’t for Palin when her Facebook post was removed after an orchestrated campaign in the liberal blogosphere to have it taken down).
Both Schlessinger and Palin were broadcasting their views via commercial organizations that have their own guidelines on what is permissible –- and their remarks did not enter the arena of hate speech that can attract the government’s attention. (Schlessinger’s talk radio station KFWB-AM is subject to a government-granted license but the “N word” does not fall into any category of offensive words that could result in said license being pulled.)
Schlessinger had previously intimated her desire to quit talk radio, possibly as a result of a long-term trend of falling ratings –- which may be closer to the truth about her decision to halt her show. Palin, meanwhile, continues to broadcast on Fox News and to more than 2 million followers on her Facebook page.
The 1st Amendment, it seems, is not so much an issue for these two as a handy diversion amid criticism of their choice of words. Which, of course, they are freely at liberty to express.
“Daily Kos blogger Homogenius wrote last night to point out that the red-caped loons at the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property didn’t like the result of their poll on the overturn of Prop 8, so they went in and edited the wording of the top response. Thanks to a freeping effort, 84% of respondents ticked the “I support the decision” box. But by the end of the day, the top response had been changed to read “It is an irrational decision denying the nature and purpose of marriage.”—Joe. My. God.: Red-Caped Nutters: When You Don’t Like The Poll Result, Just Edit The Choices
“Critics of birthright citizenship cite poll numbers and recent laws passed by European countries limiting citizenship. America is not Europe. Nor should we want to be. Europe has struggled for centuries with assimilating ethnic groups. By contrast, America’s unique melting pot of cultures and ethnicities has successfully assimilated new groups in far less time. This assimilation has made the whole nation stronger. The 14th Amendment is one of the crowning achievements of the Republican Party. Following the Civil War, the 14th Amendment guaranteed due process for every person under the law and helped to reunite a fractured nation. It pains me to think that we may start tinkering with this fundamental fabric of our union" - Congressman Charles Djou, using the WSJ to call out Republicans who want our constitution to be more like France’s.”—Yglesias Award Nominee - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan
“Those immigrants aren’t coming here to have babies and they aren’t coming here to abuse social services. As Riley told Reason.tv, immigrants “use welfare at lower rates than natives. I should also add that if your concern is that some immigrants are receiving more in public benefits than they pay in taxes, you should keep in mind that so do 67 percent of Americans.” According to the Pew Hispanic Research Center, based on its study of the 2004 Census, the labor force participation rate for illegal immigrant males (ages 18 to 64) was 92 percent, compared to a rate of just 83 percent for native-born males.”—Born In The USA, Ctd - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan
“This notion that the elite’s responsibility is to preach values they do not believe in and do not practice is not the same as failing to live up to norms we all aspire to. It is not simply being human; it is cynicism. You see it in the neoconservative flattery of crude religious faith they quietly feel alienated from - and then the bashing of “liberals” for being more honest about it. Everyone who fails to live up to ideals deserves support. Those who lie about the ideals they actually hold, and use that as a cynical bludgeon in political warfare deserve no such thing.”—The Unique Quality Of “Lifelong Heterosexual Monogamy” Ctd - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan
About a month ago, I received a letter forwarded to me from Samuel French. A company called Pearson, which contracts with the State of Texas to provide education and testing materials, wanted to use a very short play I wrote some years ago called Game Theory (published in Ten Minute Plays from Actors Theater of Louisville, Vol. 6) as part of a test called “End-of-Course English III Assessment.” For ten years to come, high school students taking this exam would read my play, and then have to answer questions about it. Neat.
But… they wanted to make a change in the text. They wanted to cut the phrase “From God’s sake” from one of the lines.
“There are many many sad and lonely people out there and some of these postcards would break your heart. Suddenly the problems that I or my friends might have, seemed small in comparison to the ones I was reading. It certainly made me take a look at my life and realize how lucky I was.”—
“I think at some point you understand that this is the life you have, a consequence of countless tiny decisions that didn’t even seem like decisions at the time … And this is life. It is an adventure, not a plan. Regrets are the flip-side of freedom. I’d rather have both than neither.”—
I really, really hate – as in, this is extra special slimy, even for them – the fact that only now, since the Prop 8 proponents have lost, is the whole “he’s gay, should he have recused himself” meme starting to take hold. Folks, if you think your judge should recuse himself, you put on your big boy or girl pants and you file the damn motion … The point is this: if you are a good lawyer, and you’ve got grounds, you file that motion. And if you don’t file it, either a) you’re not a good lawyer, or b) you got no grounds in the first place, and you know it. And the Prop 8 proponents knew it. And didn’t file it. Because there was nothing to file.
It’s no more bias to be gay in this case than it would to be African American, Latino, Jewish or female in a discrimination case. This is a smear. And a cowardly smear at that. Nothing less.
Over a beer and a basket of chips and under the colorful lights of the indoor porch at the old restaurant, I sighed to my dining companion: “I feel bad for people who don’t live in a part of the country where Tex-Mex is readily available. I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t shake off a bad day over a margarita and some queso.”
He cocked his head pensively. “You’re right,” he finally said. “What a miserable existence.”
“Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite- sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.”—Perry v. Schwarzenegger - Proposition 8 Unconstitutional
“This is a strange war we’re fighting against Islamist terrorism. We must fight the terrorists with alacrity, but at the same time we must understand that what the terrorists seek is a clash of civilizations. We must do everything possible to avoid giving them propaganda victories in their attempt to create a cosmic war between Judeo-Christian civilization and Muslim civilization. The fight is not between the West and Islam; it is between modernists of all monotheist faiths, on the one hand, and the advocates of a specific strain of medievalist Islam, on the other. If we as a society punish Muslims of good faith, Muslims of good faith will join the other side. It’s not that hard to understand.”—A Terrible Decision by the Anti-Defamation League - National - The Atlantic