You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.One-and-a-Half Cheers for Executive Action".
This week everybody was talking about President Obama's immigration moveThe weirdest immigration conversation you're going to hear was on Kris Kobach's radio show. A caller suggested that when Hispanics become the majority in parts of America, they might do an ethnic cleansing on the whites. And Kobach took it seriously:
What protects us in America from any kind of ethnic cleansing is the rule of law, of course. And the rule of law used to be unassailable, used to be taken for granted in America. And now, of course, we have a president who disregards the law when it suits his interests. So, while I normally would answer that by saying, ‘Steve, of course we have the rule of law, that could never happen in America,’ I wonder what could happen. I still don’t think it’s going to happen in America, but I have to admit, things are strange and they are happening.I wonder when Kobach thought the rule of law in America was "unassailable". For non-whites, the rule of law has always been shaky and still is, as the families of Michael Brown and John Crawford can tell you. Rupert Murdoch's New York Post for some reason thinks that portraying Obama as the Statue of Liberty is an attack. Senator Tom Coburn warned, "you could see instances of anarchy. ... You could see violence." It's funny: When right-wingers don't get what they want, any subsequent violence is the fault of the people who didn't give them what they want. The same principle does not apply in, say, Ferguson. Here's what's most dangerous about the Republicans' over-the-top wolf-crying about "disregarding the law" and so forth: What if the next president actually does disregard the law and start making decrees? If rhetoric has already been turned up to 11 over something like this, any objections then will just sound like more rhetoric.
TPM elaborates on a point I've been making here: "No, Your Ancestors Didn't Come Here Legally".
Prior to 1875’s Page Act and 1882’s Chinese Exclusion Act, there were no national immigration laws. None.My ancestors came to America anarchically, or pre-legally. But no, they didn't follow the law, because there was no law.
and Bill CosbyI've mostly ignored the Bill Cosby controversy, because fundamentally it's a celebrity story. Rape is wrong; rapists should be punished; and the fact that the accusations are about Bill Cosby doesn't interest me that much. AlterNet's Amanda Marcotte, though, raised a question that does interest me: Similar accusations from a number of women have been out there for years, so why is the story only getting traction now? Her theory, which I would like to believe, is that society is losing its acceptance of the kind of rape Cosby is accused of: acquaintance rape via drugs rather than violence.
A major obstacle in changing attitudes about rape is there are literally decades of cultural endorsement of the idea that sex is a matter of a man getting one over on a woman, and therefore it’s okay to have sex with unwilling women using trickery, bullying or intoxicants. ... But now another conversation is happening: People are beginning to key into the fact that it’s not normal to want sex with someone who is laying there like a dead fish, crying, or otherwise giving in because she fears she isn’t getting out of this situation safely otherwise. In fact, that behavior is not funny or cool, but sad at best, and usually downright violent and predatory. A man who bullies an unwilling woman into bed isn’t “scoring” but a real creep.There's more to her argument, and it's well worth your time. Another Cosby story I found worthwhile was Ta-Nehisi Coates' account of why he, as a journalist, wrote a story about Cosby years ago without mentioning the rape accusations, even though he believed them.
I don't have many writing regrets. But this is one of them. I regret not saying what I thought of the accusations, and then pursuing those thoughts. I regret it because the lack of pursuit puts me in league with people who either looked away, or did not look hard enough. I take it as a personal admonition to always go there, to never flinch, to never look away.
and snowThe southern edge of Buffalo got an incredible six feet of snow in one storm. This time-lapse video taken from a downtown office building shows the amazing quality of lake-effect snow: There is a wall of snow on one side of an apparently arbitrary line, and little-to-no snow on the other side. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxuacZudBPU] The photos are ridiculous, like this one: [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="570"] Don't go out there.[/caption]
and you also might be interested in ...Another Benghazi report clears the administration of wrong-doing. This one comes from the House Intelligence Committee, which has a Republican majority. Will this finally be the end of it? Lindsey Graham says no.
A meaty article from 2012 that a friend pointed out to me this week. Thinking of social class in America as a ladder creates some illusions, because not everybody is climbing the same ladder. Michael O. Church describes three separate social ladders, and the relationships between them.
Australian TV-morning-news anchor Karl Stefanovic got sick of all the criticism his female co-anchor got for her appearance, so he ran an experiment: Every day for a year, he did the show wearing the same suit, changing only his shirt and tie. No viewers complained or even appeared to notice. He says:
I'm judged on my interviews, my appalling sense of humor — on how I do my job, basically. Whereas women are quite often judged on what they're wearing or how their hair is.
I'll bet a Kindle wouldn't do this: After Thursday's shooting incident at Florida State, a student found a bullet in his backpack, in the middle of some books he'd just checked out of the library.
Sunday Cleveland police shot dead a 12-year-old who had an air gun. Needless to say, the kid was black.