Dec. 3rd, 2009

1) The New York State Senate votes down same-sex marriage. This was totally not a surprise, and I'm disappointed that the buzz that went out during the day gave the impression that the votes were there. Seriously, it's hard to count where the votes would have come from back when they were counting noses in the summertime, and since then the national Republican party has issued a very clear fatwa against independent thought amongst its politicians at every level of government, most specifically making an example of the center-right New York legislator who was running for the NY-23 seat THAT THE NATIONAL REPUBLICAN PARTY REFUSED TO ENDORSE EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE. Sure it's cowardly when a politician casts a vote just to extend their political futures, but who among the rest of us are risking our careers every day over justice?

The good news is that now it is clear who needs to be replaced, most particularly the eight Democrats who are more eager to serve their bishop than their LGBT constituency. The bad news is that state legislators never ever lose elections in NY, so it's going to be an uphill battle even to get it done after next years' elections. Go ahead and guess when New York State outlawed slavery. Sorry, you're wrong, it was much later than that. So it's an old problem.

2) Mike Huckabee is a co-conspirator in a cop-killing spree. Okay, of course not really. I'm all over the map on this one. I'm definitely not a fan of the tenor of what happened to Mike Dukakis over a similar issue, but I think that Dukakis should have had to answer sober questions about how and why a prisoner under a life sentence got a weekend furlough. And the same thing goes for Huckabee. There is a good case to be made that a man shouldn't get sentenced to 108 years for aggravated robbery and all the trimmings. But when one wields unilateral authority to downgrade a sentence, it seems that one has taken an ownership stake in the rest of that man's history, and I don't think that Huckabee made his decision with that sort of burden in mind. At the time of Clemmon's clemency, he had enough prison violations under his belt to give a strong impression that this wasn't a safe bet. Maybe the Holy Spirit told Governor Huckabee differently, or he thought that it did. And I think it's perfectly fair to ask whether a President Huckabee would be inclined to use the same sort of moral intuition on any or all of the venues in which a President can issue executive orders.

3) On the other hand, I feel bad for Tiger Woods. The guy has feet of clay, but who doesn't? He admits that the whole thing is stupid and that the whole thing is a private matter, and I don't disagree with either. But really, literally 90% of the reason that Tiger Woods is literally a billionaire is because he seems like the sort of guy that you'd want to buy a watch from. And now, not so much. He seems a bit like the sort of guy that would cheat on his wife and take out his anger on innocent fire hydrants. And while he has the right to choose the public's level of access with him, he doesn't get to choose how we perceive him and subsequently what values we ascribe him with. He should choose accordingly, but either way we'll probably soon enough forget that he is made of flesh and blood and return to the suspicious that he is an alien ninja golf robot from the future.

4) Chia Obama. Oy. Okay, in this context of being able to buy a Chia George Washington or a Chia Abraham Lincoln, it's obviously not racist, huh. Except that we've never had Chia presidents before this year AFAICT, so it really does seem like someone thought through that this is the first year that we've had a President with Chia-like hair. (And as far as the Chia Hillary Clinton goes I am just totally WTF.) I can sort of wrap my mind around how it might conceivably be a beloved non-ironic gift under some Giftmas trees this year, but I hope to not see one in real life ever.

5) Speaking of our Glorious Leader, I've been alerted to the existence of the Obameter. I do appreciate the reminder that things of substance have been done in the past ten months, because it is so much easier to see all the places where progress has been delayed or denied. I remain concerned that some opportunities are lost forever because Obama will never be as popular or have the congressional majorities that he had in the first few months of his Presidency, but we'll see.
I just proved that multiplication of the natural numbers is commutative. It took a half a page (and I lost track of how many pieces of scratch paper to work out the details), and that includes assuming that addition is associative and commutative and cutting out as much formalistic dreck as I could. Just to prove that ab=ba for the positive integers only.

So, if you were concerned about that, you can relax.


Matthew Daly

December 2012

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