Friday, March 29, 2013

Get the government out the marriage business?

So now the right wingers are adopting a seemingly libertarian stance on marriage and saying that the government should get out of the marriage-sanctioning biz entirely and leave that up to churches and synagogues (maybe some of them add mosques, but I'm skeptical).

Fine, if they also mean that all the laws granting married couples any kind of special status compared to single people will also be removed. I'm sure they don't mean that, at all. I'm sure they just want to sucker libertarians*, yet again, with the aim of making marriage even more restrictive than it is now.


* Is it in the DNA of libertarians that they're so often so easily suckered by the right wing?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but plagiarism ain't

Someone sent me an e-mail alerting me to a blog post about vampires that lifted a lot of text from my essay about vampires.

A link to my essay would have been nice. A polite request to use some of the text, with attribution, would have been even nicer.

Unfortunately, I don't see any contact information on that blog or even a way to comment.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Political Prognostications Are Worth the Electrons They’re Written with

But they’re so much fun.

Listening to a bit of the speeches and interviews at CPAC on NPR this morning, I'm suddenly reminded of the conservative movement in the early 1960s, during part of which time I shared a college dorm room with the president of the Indiana University chapter of Young Americans for Freedom (who was a nice guy, when we weren't discussing politics).

My roommate and the other young conservatives — which seemed like a real oxymoron to people like me, back then — were rallying behind Goldwater, and they were utterly convinced that if only Barry could win the Republican nomination in 1964, the whole country would flock to his banner. Because, as they knew in their hearts, the American people are fundamentally right wingers. If they had been correct, then the slogan of the Goldwater campaign during the 1964 election, “In your heart, you know he’s right,” would have been a brilliant one.

They also assumed that the Johnson campaign would be incompetent and wouldn’t exploit all the weak spots in Goldwater’s positions. Obviously, they were wrong on both counts.

No, Goldwater didn’t lose in a landslide because of a supposedly unfair Johnson campaign commercial about a little girl picking flowers as the nuclear bombs start going off. That commercial struck a lot of us at the time as being right on the money, but that’s irrelevant. Goldwater would have lost in a landslide even if that commercial had never run.

Because Goldwater mellowed a bit in his old age and condemned the Republicans for their homophobia, people who don’t remember 1964 think that Goldwater wasn’t such a bad guy, after all. Wrong. He was correctly seen as a raving loon. At the very least, if he had won, his administration would have been filled with raving loons he would have been unable to control.

Now I’m beginning to think that maybe Rand Paul will be the GOP nominee in 2016, instead of any of the familiar names the pundits are backing, and that the result will be another Democratic landslide similar in magnitude to 1964.