Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Archives for February, 2011

The Vacuous Accusation of Elitism

There is nothing more absurd in the American political system than the right wing’s tendency to call everyone other than themselves “elite” or “elitist.” This faux populism is nothing more than demagoguery, drawing on basic tribalism to separate “us” from “them” — which might make sense if it wasn’t being used by people who are…

The Problem of Muslim Anti-Gay Bigotry

Johann Hari has an important and disturbing article about anti-gay violence in predominately Muslim communities in the UK: Last autumn, mysterious posters began to appear all over the East End of London announcing it is now a “Gay-Free Zone.” They warned: “And Fear Allah: Verily Allah is Severe in Punishment.” One of them was plastered…

Gingrich’s Convenient Sophistry

Newt Gingrich’s reaction to the announcement that the Obama administration would not defend the Defense of Marriage Act in 1 of the 13 federal judicial circuits is a classic case of demagoguery. “Imagine that Governor Palin had become president. Imagine that she had announced that Roe v. Wade in her view was unconstitutional and therefore…

More Details from Palin Tell All Book

The details just keep coming from the leaked manuscript of Frank Bailey’s tell-all book about Sarah Palin. The thing is full of quotes from emails between Bailey and both Todd and Sarah Palin and it apparently shows some very interesting things. Like this, about that perfect marriage: Sarah Palin appeared to trust Bailey and confided…

Houston Police Chief Gets It Backwards

Balko has the story of a ridiculous but predictable situation in Houston, where officers have been recorded recently as they engaged in flagrant misconduct by beating suspects, sometimes brutally. And as usual, the police chief there is concerned that allowing people to record such things might make his officers less safe. It’s a bit rich…

Hypocritical Quote of the Day

Put your irony meters away for this statement about the situation in Libya by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: How can a leader subject his own people to a shower of machine-guns, tanks and bombs? How can a leader bomb his own people, and afterwards say ‘I will kill anyone who says anything?’ In related news,…

Ron Shock and the Bill Hicks Chronicles

Ron Shock has recorded a series of Youtube videos with his memories of Bill Hicks and the Comedy Outlaws, the group of Houston comics that included both of them. Ron Shock is one of the funniest comics on stage today and has been for a long time, and of course Bill Hicks is one of…

Connecticut: Pass This Law

Balko writes about a brilliant new law in Connecticut: Connecticut State Sen. Martin Looney (D-New Haven) has introduced a short bill (PDF) that not only acknowledges the right of citizens to record on-duty police officers, it also provides for a civil action against police officers who violate that right. That second part is important. A…

U.S. Citizenship Test Has Wrong Answers

ProPublica has a really interesting article about a Canadian woman who just received American citizenship — but only because she gave answers she knew to be wrong on the citizenship test. Friends told me I didn’t need to study, the questions weren’t that hard. But I wanted to and so for months I lugged around…

Inadvertantly True Quote of the Day

This statement by Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, intended to be a bit of rhetorical bluster in response to the Obama administration’s decision not to defend DOMA in the 2nd Circuit, is far more true than he knows: “We have not yet begun to fight for marriage.” As my friend Scott would…