I Concur

In an 1822 letter to Kentucky Lt. Governor W.T. Barry, James Madison wrote that “a popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or perhaps both.” Madison’s letter, originally espousing a robust public education system for Kentucky, has since been used as an appeal for open government. “A people who mean to be their own governors,” Madison wrote, “must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” Today, the people appear utterly unarmed against the National Security Agency, which holds a incredible amount of knowledge about citizens while withholding essential facts about how it spies on them. That secret knowledge is secret power, which is anathema to democracy when in the hands of an unaccountable elite.



Read the whole thing.

Chuck Grassley is a Liar

 Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said the court’s decision on Tuesday reflected the positive impact of the civil rights legislation and that the legislation was no longer needed.

“What it tells me is after 45 years, the Voting Rights Act worked,” Mr. Grassley said, “and that’s the best I can say. It just proves that it worked.”

NY Times, 6/25/13

Right, Chuck.  Racism is totally dead in America.

Fuck you, you asshole; your atavistic bullshit can’t die off soon enough.

There’s no way these people can be this stupid.  They know exactly how much the press will report, and that they won’t get called on this mendacious bullshit.  Fuck ’em.  It would take about half a second to point out that, you know, racism is in fact alive and well.

Not to mention…well, Chuck, if we don’t need the law anymore, then why ar eyou working so hard to get rid of it?  It’s not like we’d decriminalize murder if the murder rate dropped to zero, right?  That shit would still be wrong, and it would still be a crime.  



Added: 18 kids are dead. 18. Eighteen. Kindergartners. “Currently, at least one entire classroom of children and teachers is “missing.””


But, y'know, guns had nooooothing to do with this. Nothing at all! Don't you dare mention it and politicize this tragedy that our lobbyists are working hard to help us forget by next week! Don't you love your country? Why don't you jump on the team and come in for the Big Win?


I’m all for eliminating the Civil Rights Act in places where I’m confident local government will do its job and a cartel of white businesses won’t use coercion to discriminate against black people.

This is from a comment highlighted by Ta-Nehisi Coates at his place over at The Atlantic. Yes, it’s a very truncated quote, but let me give you the summation:  Dude is saying that when he’s sure people are following the law, we can repeal the law.

This has to be the stupidest thing I’ve read all month.

Why do we have to get rid of the rule, if everyone is following it?  Why does it bother you that a rule mandating equal treatment exists?  And why does it bother you so much that, in the face of its success, you feel the need to destroy it?  Without the law on the books to remind people, what’s to stop the same discriminatory behaviors from resurfacing?

Maybe the best counterexample to this sort of bullshit is the current Wall Street debacle.  Many felt that regulations could be relaxed, since there had been no financial catastrophes for 60-something years.  We relaxed them aaaaand….BAM!  Catastrophe!  Oh noes, how could this have happened?!

Arguments like the one highlighted above never take such considerations into account–it’s too inconvenient.  People have never behaved in the way he proposes they could, and they never will.  It’s why we have laws in the first place.  It’s also why this is such a frustrating article.  If we’re going to discuss fantasy worlds, couldn’t we talk about the last couple issues of Green Lantern or Xbox games or something?