Someone apparently shut this site down Friday. Smarter people than me are working on it. I’m sorry for any inconvenience, past or ongoing.
Two billion dollars isn’t that much to JPMorgan, but a smart person I know thinks it may not be the full extent of the problem. I’m buying puts this morning, but only with money I can truly afford to lose.
THE CASE FOR REGULATION
If you knew we were putting humans on a course to extinction — or at least misery and mutation — would you want to take steps now to avoid that? Even if you would have to forgo the use of DDT or drive more efficient cars?
The preferred response, especially among Republican lawmakers and their corporate patrons, is: I DON’T WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT. There’s no proof smoking causes cancer. There’s no proof climate change is real. There’s no need for environmental regulation — the Earth is so big, how could 7 billion people spewing effluent into the air and water 24/7 possibly affect it?
All this came to mind as I read Nick Kristof’s recent column: “Last year, eight medical organizations representing genetics, gynecology, urology and other fields made a joint call in Science magazine for tighter regulation of endocrine disruptors. . . . Big Chem says all this is sensationalist science. So far, it has blocked strict regulation in the United States, even as Europe and Canada have adopted tighter controls on endocrine disruptors.”
Daniel: “I’m not sure if the best part about this is the headline itself or the fact that my dad sent it to me: ‘With Dicks in, all 6 WA congressional Democrats favor repeal of gay-marriage ban.’ — Seattle Times reference to Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA).”
EVEN THE REPUBLICANS?
Andrew Sullivan posted a remarkable Republican strategy memo that suggests they may soon be dropping much of their opposition to equality. Andrew concludes:
The last paragraph is, to my mind, the most remarkable. It’s advising Republican candidates to emphasize the conservative nature of gay marriage, to say how it encourages personal responsibility, commitment, stability and family values. It uses Dick Cheney’s formula (which was for a couple of years, the motto of this blog) that “freedom means freedom for everyone.” And it uses David Cameron’s argument that you can be for gay marriage because you are a conservative.
BECAUSE, AFTER ALL . . .
How radical is marriage equality anyway?
Listen to Atlantic staff writer Conor Friedersdorf:
Writing in National Review in the hyperbolic language that social conservatives in the gay marriage debate so often adopt, Dennis Prager declares that “nothing as radical as redefining marriage to include members of the same sex has ever been publicly supported by a president of the United States,” and goes on to claim that it is “the most radical social experiment in modern history.” It isn’t uncommon to hear this sort of claim from gay marriage opponents, so it’s worth taking on.
Same sex marriage would permit gays to participate in an existing institution that encourages those who enter it to practice sexual fidelity, give emotional support, and provide financial stability. What social experiments in American history were more radical? I got to wondering. Here’s what I came up with . . .
There follows a list of 21 items (not even including, as he notes, experiments like communism), and he challenges Prager to tell us which of the 21 he finds less radical than allowing loving same-sex couples civil marriage licenses. It is an interesting exercise.
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Quote of the Day
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury.~Alexander Tytler, historian
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