Hello. I am back blogging again!
Sunday, August 07, 2011
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
While homophobic supposes the mind of the individual by assigning him or her a physic state of fear or terror as implied by the post-fix phobic, anti-homosexual only describes what is evident- that is the actual behavior of an individual be it communication, policy, financial support, organization affiliations. People are not scared of homosexuals. Those normally labeled homophobic simply don’t like homosexuals, don’t like what they perceive homosexuals do, think, or desire, or don’t like sexuality of any that does not fit into the moral conscripts of their choosing. Imagine this racists who are racist specifically against Black people are called Africanphobic; people who don’t like feminist politics and identities are called Femiphobic. Really. No. It is opposition that we can prove in the political arena fear is best left to the psychoanalysts. I wrote to him. He is brilliant so if he writes back I will be thrilled.
Posted by Michael J. Foster at 6:00 PM
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Look I love all kinds of music. Bring on the Celtic Women, Chris O'Riley Plays Radiohead, and Nickleback. Bring on the good music. But, what the heck is going on at PBS?
My local station WLIW is in it's Spring drive like all PBS stations and is effecting a OCD like obsession with Celtic Women. I am struck by the sense of musical colonialism over at PBS: anything European gets replayed like Christian evangelists in the coveted 10/40 window during the last days. Where are the African, South American, and Asian arts?
Three Mo' Tenors was the last effort PBS put forth to increase their musical 'diversity' and boy was it a fantastic effort. Those guys were so versitle, elegent, and exciting. I was reminded of the muscial talent I grew up with: Black people who mastered various song styles. But goodness PBS what now; what next? Is there no more of the world beyond the colonial shores of Britain, Ireland and Austia that holds promise for PBS fans? (Yanni does not count, in so many ways.) This entertainment colonialism is even present in PBS tv programming. I usually can learn about Africa only when there an endangred species of charismatic megafauna is the lead. But of all the English speaking country I can not, and in fact I do not believe England produces the funniest programming around. When I was in South African within one week I was engrossed in a nationally distributed soap opera. And they spoke English, for I do not speak Afrikaans.
PBS give the Celtic women a break and give the rest of the world a break in the process.
Posted by Michael J. Foster at 9:08 PM
...gay adults have fewer rights in their relationships than 13-year old straights. Inmates on death row have more rights - they have an inviolable right to marry even if they will never be able to live with or even have sex with their spouse. The clinically insane have an inalienable right to marry. Larry King has the inalienable right to marry seven times to six different women. Suze Orman? Not so much. And the repercussions extend to social security [PDF] and over a thousand other federal benefits. And that is entirely a deliberate message sent to gay citizens: you are anathema, and your families are worthless. Your own government will continue to treat you as if you did not exist...
Insofar as the legal arguments to be considered in Prop 8, as Dale Carpenter over at The Volokh Conspiracy so aptly buts it...
...In principle, the justices’ votes on whether there is a right to same-sex marriage and on whether a proposition repealing that right is an amendment, are independent questions. A judge could believe there’s a fundamental right to same-sex marriage but that the state constitution liberally allows amendments by simple majority votes. On the other hand, a judge could believe there’s no fundamental right to same-sex marriage, but think that once the right is recognized, the elimination of a fundamental right for a suspect class is such a monumental act, and is fraught with so many dangers if allowed to stand as a precedent, that it can be accomplished only by revision...Complicated. Everyone seems to agree the decision will come down in two parts: Gays keep your marriages, California keep your amended constitution. We've got 90 days to find out.
Addendum: I now understand the issue surrounding the word marriage. Ok I get it. For some marriage means something different than its vernacular use in both secular civil life. Usually langauge specificity is important to me. In this case. It's not. What the hell people (by whom I mean gay marriage opponents)? Really, really you (again by whom I mean gay marriage opponents) believe that when gay people do that civil ceremony, whatever the name, that they will not call it marriage. Get a grip. Marriage, the word, its civil forms and ceremonies, and its religious forms and ceremonies, is American venacular English. It is venacular that is well understood to not necessarily mean anything specifically or particularily religious. Removing marriage discrimination and establishing marriage equality has never been a threat to religious freedom.
Semantics are never a strong argument for arbitrary discrimination.
Posted by Michael J. Foster at 8:39 PM
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
I don't follow a lot of celebrity gossip and the Rhianna, Chris Brown situation is no different. I was struck, however by the comment by Perez Hilton, as retold by Elizabeth Méndez Berry at New American Media:
“You cannot take the hood outta these rats. Enough said.”I don't know if Chris Brown is from the 'hood' nor do I know if he has engaged in previous behavior that would establish him as a 'rat' but I more unsure, as to Perez Hilton's expertise at complex sociological issues so as to know what is behaviors of young African-American males are innate and immutable. I guess Hiltons' point is hood rats whoever they are, are not worth... Worth respect? Time? Investment? Understanding?
Certainly if someone is always going to behave violently no matter what I suppose there is no reason for hope and therefore no reason for continued social investment. Perez is a powerful intellect for his ability to forecast the outcomes to such complex social relations and behaviors. If only we were all so intellectually limber.
Hear Elizabeth talk about this over at the NewBlackMan. Thanks go to Mark Anthony Neal Professor of Black Popular Culture in the Department of African and African American Studies at Duke University.
Posted by Michael J. Foster at 6:35 PM
Monday, March 02, 2009
So Rush Limbaugh makes an appearance at CPAC and he is celebrated for his ardent stance against the current administration's tax policies. I am not so concerned about his stance. What I am concerned with is the thinking, as evidenced by the constant cheering through his CPAC speech, thinking that is not limited to the right but heavily present on the left as well, that the best policies are the result of either/or logic. Ok, simply put I am saying: good policy prescriptions are not the result of either/or thinking that is encouraged and championed by ideological adherents, rather they are the result of logical and informed thinking through extremely complicated problems.
So it is with taxes. Rush's speech, aside from the ad hominem attacks; aside from the questioning of Democrats moral intentions; and aside from the questioning of Democrats capacity to offer and execute good tax policy brings to the fore the complicated nature of taxes. How? By his very presentation of his (aka the Rights') solution to the current economic meltdown as a simple adherence to conservative principles. Summed up: don't punish the wealthy or small business owners with higher taxes because the wealthy or small business owners create jobs. In fact, to augment the position, if the government rewards the wealthy and small business owners with smaller tax burdens then those entities will continue to create jobs. My first question is: What is Rush's proof. What is the evidence? I am not saying he is wrong but I am demanding evidence. I require the same proof for the Obama economic strategy too. What is the evidence the spending trillions results in sustainable economic growth. I am not saying it doesn't but I am demanding evidence.
Ok, so I have a graduate degree and I have taken more than one graduate level econ course and still this stuff is hard to figure out. What in the world happens to voters who lack the formal or even informal education to parse the mathematical models but wish to take sides on policy? How do they decide which direction to go? I hope they don't depend on ad hominem attacks, questions about either party's' moral intentions; questions about either party's' intellectual capacity; or questions about either party's' ability to execute good governance to provide data. It won't.
The fact is that economist disagree, scientists disagree, and technocrats disagree. That is why policymakers disagree. Not (on the whole) because they wish to do harm, are morally disordered, or are stupid and incompentant. Well, at least this is where the tax policy discussion should begin- above the fray. For that reason I am ok straddling, spanning, or sitting on the fence. It's complicated.
Posted by Michael J. Foster at 9:51 PM
Posted by Michael J. Foster at 9:46 PM