To Do List:

If you text “swat” to 20222 you will send $5 to the United Nations High Commission for Swat refugees in Pakistan. Join me in doing it! And propagate the meme.

Miss Guided

Photo of Jeffpw wedding ceremony in the Nether...

Jonathan Chait, in The New Republic, demolishes the anti-gay marriage demagoguery of Carrie Prejean and other “anti-gay marriage intellectuals.” The ‘argument’ that “Marriage should be between a man and a woman” is really a non-argument, equivalent to any other argument which says that you oppose something because, well, you don’t support it. And attempts to articulate reasons, e.g. the idea that it threatens the sanctity of heterosexual couples’ marriages or weakens the relationship between marriage and procreation, are either wildly illogical or prejudicial or both. To begin with, how in the world does it diminish my rights one bit if those rights are extended to another, previously disenfranchised, segment of society?

Chait suggests quite reasonably that the ‘nonarguments’ constitute “a body of opinion held largely by people who either don’t know why they oppose gay marriage or don’t feel comfortable explicating their case.” (While few opponents of gay marriage are so bold as to admit that they are not concerned with the rights of gay members of our society, that is what it amounts to.)

I have long proposed that the proper answer is not to legalize gay marriage but to ban all marriage, including heterosexual. I am only being half-facetious. What I mean is that marriage be restored to its position as a sacrament in whatever church it occurs, not a function of the state. Civil unions, for the purpose of conferring the civil rights of domestic partnership, are the only role of the state.

Wikipedia bans Church of Scientology

church of scientology ~ edmonton

Wikipedia has banned the Church of Scientology from editing any articles. It’s a punishment for repeated and deceptive editing of articles related to the controversial religion. The landmark ruling comes from the inner circle of a site that prides itself on being open and inclusive.

In a 10-1 ruling Thursday, the site’s arbitration council voted to ban users coming from all IP addresses owned by the Church of Scientology and its associates, and further banned a number of editors by name.” (Five Things –

What is Judge Sotomayor’s Stance on Abortion?

The New York Times cover page from January 23,...

‘In nearly 11 years as a federal appeals court judge, President Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, has never directly ruled on whether the Constitution protects a woman’s right to an abortion. But when she has written opinions that touched tangentially on abortion disputes, she has reached outcomes in some cases that were favorable to abortion opponents.

Now, some abortion rights advocates are quietly expressing unease that Judge Sotomayor may not be a reliable vote to uphold Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 abortion rights decision. In a letter, Nancy Keenan, president of Naral Pro-Choice America, urged supporters to press senators to demand that Judge Sotomayor reveal her views on privacy rights before any confirmation vote.

“Discussion about Roe v. Wade will — and must — be part of this nomination process,” Ms. Keenan wrote. “As you know, choice hangs in the balance on the Supreme Court as the last two major choice-related cases were decided by a 5-to-4 margin.” ‘ (Five Things –