Thursday December 12, 2013
Archive - Jul 2013
What’s simply delicious, even if it’s genetically engineered? Irony.
For years, advocates of growing crops with genes from other species spliced into their DNA have claimed that this newfangled farming increases crop yields, reduces pesticide use, and provides a host of other benefits.
On first blush we progressives won some impressive victories this past week but the "never say dead" folks are still at it. We dare not relax.
Profound political change never happens overnight. The epic struggles for civil rights, voting rights, women's suffrage and workers' rights all took decades to achieve success and, at many levels, are still going on. But no political movement has ever sped to victory as fast as the fight for marriage equality, capped this week by the Supreme Court's historic decision overturning the Defense of Marriage Act.
The end of another momentous Supreme Court term compels the question: Is the accusation of judicial activism just another way of saying "decisions I don't agree with"?
Consider the court's blockbuster finale. A majority composed of the conservative justices overturned a key section of the Voting Rights Act, triggering complaints from the liberal minority that the court was improperly substituting its judgment for that of Congress.
The filibuster is at the core of the U.S. senate.
It’s also why nothing of much significance has been done the past decade.
Under Senate rules, senators can filibuster any legislation. They can just stand up and start talking. They can talk about anything they wish. They can read from telephone books, or even take bathroom breaks. They can also yield the floor to like-minded senators.
"What do you do with a BA in English?
What is my life going to be?
Four years of college and plenty of knowledge
Have earned me this useless degree.
I can't pay the bills yet
'Cause I have no skills yet
The world is a big scary place
We prefer to think of the Supreme Court as an institution apart from politics and above its struggles. In the wake of this week's decision gutting the heart of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, its actions must now be viewed through the prism of the conservative movement's five-decade-long quest for power.
Even now, nearly six months later - during which time Amazon.com has been flooded with hundreds of negative reviews condemning her; a website was set up attacking her; and her friends and colleagues have been bombarded with emails denouncing her - it is a little hard to understand why Ping Fu's memoir, "Bend, Not Break," has aroused such fury in some quarters of the Chinese immigrant community.
Every once in a while, something happens that challenges your entire view of the order of the universe. For instance, this week the U.S. Senate actually passed something. Meanwhile, in Texas, liberal Democrats and the abortion rights movement won a huge political victory.
If we keep this up, soon we will hear that in Africa, migrating herds of wildebeests stopped moving and began settling into trailer parks.