Anyway, that gives me time to get some stuff done on the class and maybe do some reading. And blogging.
During the campaign, I noted several times my frustration about how conservatives approached Obama, and when Obama failed to fulfill their stereotype, Michelle Obama. She became the "angry black woman" that we were all to fear. Her one statement about being proud of America became more justification to question her patriotism. Sarah Palin's husband joined a separatist movement, but no one questioned her patriotism. Cindy McCain's wealth came purely from the cozy relationship with government regulations, yet her contradictory political stances didn't cause anyone to question her patriotism. We don't question the patriotism of conservatives (I know this is a broken record here) even when they out our CIA agents and endanger our country.
But Michelle is supposed to be scary. Even Juan Williams, who choked up at the sight of Michelle and Barack and their family at the DNC Convention, echoes that stereotype, calling Michelle a "Stokely Carmichael in a designer dress." As Ta-Nehisi says, "are you serious?" You want to invoke the most basic stereotype of black men and women with our new First Lady?
Every time they open their mouths, I lose more respect for our conservative class.
Speaking of conservatives, everyone here knows that "abstinence only" sex-ed programs make me furious. Every reputable study shows that they don't work nearly as well as comprehensive sex-ed courses. No problem including abstinence in those other programs, but making it THE program is irresponsible, and dangerous to kids. Hell, as the NYT is reporting, teenagers are not having more sex after all, but those who do are less likely to use contraceptives. So, we are seeing a rise in teen pregnancy. No word on STDS, but that is certainly a logical thing to be worried about as well.
Here is my real frustration. I suspect, and with good reason, that those advocating abstinence-only programs will just ignore this report, as they have any that questioned the actual effectiveness of their programs. Facts just don't matter when you can substitute "belief" or "faith" in their place.
Fine, if you want to believe that way, but please keep your "beliefs" out of my public policy.
Sully notes this quote from Kathryn-Jean Lopez, of the NRO:
"We’re a nation not just where you are free to believe or not to believe; we’re a nation founded for Him — so we could praise Him, so we could do His will," - Kathryn-Jean Lopez.
The right wing is in full throat calling any talk about war crimes or investigations partisan hackery. I have been accused of that myself, and told that any desire to hold Bush and Cheney accountable was just political retribution. Sullivan had this to say about Israel's possible war crimes in Gaza
War crimes happen, even when political leaders send the right signals. What distinguishes civilization is a capacity to investigate them and hold the war criminals accountable. Israel, unlike Hamas, is part of that civilization.We are supposed to be part of that civilization too.
Speaking of crimes. As Bush and Cheney's are dismissed as "policy differences," and Bernie Madoff is living high on house arrest after defrauding millions and ruining countless lives, this story of a homeless man who has been sentenced to 15 years for robbing a bank. At first blush, that sounds ok, but then you read that the guy went in to the bank, told the teller it was a robbery, and then only took one $100 bill off the top. He then surrendered to the police the next day, and pleaded guilty to the crime before being sentenced. No doubt he committed a serious crime, but look at our differing responses. Madoff is negotiated with, and he has done more damage than we can possible imagine for one person. I will be very interested to see if he does as much time as this homeless man. Bush has overseen the deaths of countless people around the world, and his irresponsible policies have endangered Americans here and abroad. He has admitted to authorizing torture and has defended that decision.
He will never be punished for those crimes.
More on Torture and Bush and Gitmo. Also from Sully, word that Obama's team met with the security experts in the CIA who were adamant and unanimous that not torturing would not change their ability to gather intelligence. What is more, we learn from the WaPo that the original commander of Gitmo ran it with dignity and under the Army regs. That is, until he was over-ruled by Rumsfeld.