Random musings on whatever subject strikes my fancy, published every other day.

Tag: liars

Totally non-discriminatory

Gov. Steve Beshear of Kentucky filed a delightful brief with the Supreme Court on March 27 in defense of “traditional marriage” or “natural marriage” or whatever dog-whistle the bigots are using this week to identify the sentiment, “I get to marry whoever I want but I think your love is icky.”

Kentucky’s marriage laws treat homosexuals and heterosexuals the same and are facially neutral. Men and women, whether heterosexual or homosexual, are free to marry persons of the opposite sex under Kentucky law, and men and women, whether heterosexual or homosexual, cannot marry persons of the same sex under Kentucky law.

Well, there you go!  True equality under the law!  It immediately made me think of that paean to equality from Anatole France,

In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.

It’s easy to see that under Gov Beshear’s ideal system, we’d have no Americans with Disabilities Act; let everyone alike go up the same stairs!  No Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; let everyone alike deal with the same racist manager!  

By constraining a government built (loosely) on majority rule, the Bill of Rights accomplished what few societies before had managed.  It created a public and commercial sphere in which majority and minority populations could coexist and flourish.  Congress, as the branch of government most driven by the sentiments of the masses, is constrained time and again from doing everything the Founders could think of that would support the proverbial tyranny of the majority.  Indeed, the phrase “tyranny of the majority” is not the exact phrase James Madison used, but he did write, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson about the need for a Bill of Rights added to the Constitution,

“… In Virginia I have seen the bill of rights violated in every instance where it has been opposed to a popular current. Notwithstanding the explicit provision contained in that instrument for the rights of Conscience, it is well known that a religious establishment would have taken place in that State, if the Legislative majority had found as they expected, a majority of the people in favor of the measure; and I am persuaded that if a majority of the people were now of one sect, the measure would still take place and on narrower ground than was then proposed, notwithstanding the additional obstacle which the law has since created. Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression. In our Governments the real power lies in the majority of the Community, and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of the Constituents.

So when I hear the repeated appeals of anti-marriage-equality and anti-anti-discrimination demagogues  to “the will of the people”, it is supremely chilling.  Because what this means is, they got a bigoted ballot measure to pass a popular vote in someplace like Kentucky.  Well, knock me over with a feather.  

What this means to me is: marriage equality and anti-discrimination laws are all the more desperately needed in just those places.

Not meant to offend

A Knoxville, TN church put up this sign and then had the temerity to be shocked that someone would take it the wrong way.

In the news story Andy Henry was quoted as saying, “It’s clearly a sign that was meant to offend a particular community – the LGBT community. Because of (the church’s) lack of foresight, they ended up offending everybody who had ever fought for equality or civil rights in general.”  After the yelling started, the church changed the sign to say, “Didn’t mean to offend.”  And of course it was never going to offend the white, straight cis-gendered Christian men who make decisions at a place like Knoxville Baptist Tabernacle.

Still, isn’t that the message of patriarchal religions and all patriarchal systems?  There cannot be an upper class/caste/race/gender without there being a corresponding lower.  Demanding that the playing field be leveled in any way is Evil.

Not Nearly All, sadly

In an earlier post I extolled the virtues of a management motivational bullet point, “Get all the liars in one room.”  It serves to neutralize them.

Today’s post is a public service gathering of some of the proponents of one of the most effective lying strategies, The Big Lie.  In this, a person with a public forum starts repeatedly telling the same few lies, over and over.  Their comrades begin repeating the list of “talking points.”  Gradually a few more people, and then a lot more people start repeating – and more to the point, believing – the same lies.

And now, pictures of some recent-history Big Liars. (hey, it beats pictures of my cats)



Father Coughlin
Joe McCarthy
Lester Maddox
And carrying on the tradition since 1996…


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