A small improvement on the No Fly Lists

The US government’s notorious No Fly List supposedly contains about 47,000 names. The only clue that anyone might have as to whether their name is on that list as when they go to the airport and are refused boarding without any explanation. If you ask whether your name is on the list or the reason it might be on it, you receive no response. That meant you had no way of getting off the list.
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Attention all gay people! Stop pestering Maggie Gallagher with your wedding invitations!

Maggie Gallagher is co-founder of the National Organization of Marriage, an organization devoted to preserving the idea that marriage can only be between a man and a woman, a view that is becoming an increasingly unpopular despite her boast that “we fight gay marriage—and win.” The problem is that gay people seem to keep inviting her and other opponents of same-sex marriage to their weddings and, to her dismay, some of her fellow-travelers seem to be actually going to them.
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Carrying religious pandering a little too far

American politicians pander to the religious. The tried and true method has been to subscribe strongly to belief in a fairly nondescript ‘Judeo-Christian’ god (with the tacit understanding that the ‘Judeo’ part is only meant to mollify Jewish voters and means nothing more) and only mildly to any given church. That way you minimize the risk of alienating true believers in any faction. That worked for the Republican patron saint Ronald Reagan and for any number of presidents. But fresh out of the gate of the announcement of his candidacy, senator Marco Rubio has run into some problems with giving an answer to what might seem like a simple question: What church do you go to?
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Hair apparent

In reading an article about Marco Rubio’s announcement of his candidacy for the Republican nomination, I was struck by a comment that suggested that his receding hairline might be a problem for him. My initial reaction was: What the hell? Have we sunk to such superficial levels in our political discourse that the amount of hair a candidate has matters? Besides, he seemed to me to have a full head of hair anyway.
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They need to look in the mirror

The Obama administration announced today that it will take Cuba off its list of states that sponsor terrorism. This will take effect in 45 days unless Congress votes to deny it, in which case the White House will certainly veto it. Iran, Sudan, and Syria remain on the list.

There is something deeply hypocritical about the US maintaining lists of countries that sponsor terrorism when it engages in acts of violence and subversion all over the world. It is lucky for the US that other nations don’t have such lists (at least none that they disclose publicly) because it would likely be on most lists. That would be embarrassing.

California ballot initiative to shoot gays

The state of California has a system whereby one can put proposed laws on the ballot for a statewide referendum, provided the petition garners a certain number of signatures that this year stands at 365,000. This year a lawyer Matt McLaughlin has petitioned to have on the ballot what he has called the Sodomite Suppression Act and filed it with the state’s attorney general along with the required $200 fee, the first step in getting permission to gather signatures.
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The invisibility of privilege

Once in a while, you get a revealing glimpse about the nature of privilege, especially the fact that those who are the biggest beneficiaries of it are also often the most oblivious. David Brooks, the kind of person who is seen as a serious thinker by The New York Times and NPR, has a column on the new recommendations requiring police to war bodycams that is very revealing of the mindset of the privileged.
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