Math has a well known liberal bias.
Math has a well known liberal bias.
Dear Ann Coulter of the Day: After Ann Coulter referred to President Obama as a retard in a tweet during Monday night’s presidential debate, Special Olympics athlete and global messenger John Franklin Stephens penned her this open letter:Dear Ann Coulter,
Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow. So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?
I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow. I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you. In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.
I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child by people like you, but rose above it to find a way to succeed in life as many of my fellow Special Olympians have.
Then I wondered if you meant to describe him as someone who has to struggle to be thoughtful about everything he says, as everyone else races from one snarkey sound bite to the next.
Finally, I wondered if you meant to degrade him as someone who is likely to receive bad health care, live in low grade housing with very little income and still manages to see life as a wonderful gift.
Because, Ms. Coulter, that is who we are – and much, much more.
After I saw your tweet, I realized you just wanted to belittle the President by linking him to people like me. You assumed that people would understand and accept that being linked to someone like me is an insult and you assumed you could get away with it and still appear on TV.
I have to wonder if you considered other hateful words but recoiled from the backlash.
Well, Ms. Coulter, you, and society, need to learn that being compared to people like me should be considered a badge of honor.
No one overcomes more than we do and still loves life so much.
Come join us someday at Special Olympics. See if you can walk away with your heart unchanged.
A friend you haven’t made yet, John Franklin Stephens Global Messenger Special Olympics Virginia
Has your state banned sodomy? In Massachusetts, we enjoy it.
This map is from 2011, but I have had trouble finding if there has been any change in it. Lawrence v Texas invalidated these laws, but many states still have it on the books.
(Also, a strict definition is not just anal sex. It can be defined as any sex that is not penis + vagina = babies within wedlock.)
Today in inexplicable religious zealotry:
A candidate for the Arkansas legislature, Charlie Fuqua, says children who don’t demonstrate “respect for parents” should be put to death, the Arkansas Times reports. Fuqua is a former member of the Arkansas legislature and has received support from the Arkansas Republican Party and two sitting members of Congress.
The maintenance of civil order in society rests on the foundation of family discipline. Therefore, a child who disrespects his parents must be permanently removed from society in a way that gives an example to all other children of the importance of respect for parents. The death penalty for rebellious children is not something to be taken lightly. The guidelines for administering the death penalty to rebellious children are given in Deut 21:18-21:
Fuqua helpfully notes that “This passage does not give parents blanket authority to kill their children.” Rather, parents would have to “follow the proper procedure in order to have the death penalty executed against their children.” Fuqua assures the reader that, in his view, the procedure would “rarely be used.” The threat of death would, however, “be a tremendous incentive for children to give proper respect to their parents.”
The trouble for Fuqua — and anyone else who thinks the Hebrew Bible provides a good template to follow in cases like these — is that he doesn’t actually have any idea what Jewish scholars and religious authorities have been thinking and writing about this particular passage for centuries:
In defining the extent and limitations of the laws of the ben sorer u-moreh, the Talmud (Sanhedrin 71a) states that the child is not considered liable until he has stolen his father’s property in order to acquire a tartimar of meat to eat, and a log of Italian wine to drink. The Halakha places further restrictions upon the ben sorer u-moreh so as to make the application of the law extremely unlikely, if not impossible. The rules only apply with the first three months after the child has reached halakhic manhood; both parents must be living and willing to press charges; neither parent can be deaf, lame, nor missing a limb; they must speak with the same voice and have the same appearance; the boy must steal the meat and wine from his father’s house, yet consume them elsewhere in the company of worthless individuals, in order for him to be convicted. According to the Tosefta Negaim, this law is not in effect in Yerushalayim. (The Meshekh Chokhma suggests that this is due to the continuous eating of so many sacrifices and offerings, as well as ma’aser sheni – the second tithe – within Jerusalem; consumption within the city, since it is performed for mitzva purposes, cannot be considered gluttony.) These are only a few of the numerous restrictions and limitations that apply before a boy can be judged as a ben sorer u-moreh, ensuring that the actual application of the law was extremely rare.
Several Talmudic opinions (Sanhedrin 71), having studied the above limitations, conclude that the case of the ben sorer u-moreh“never occurred and never will occur.” According to them, the sole purpose of having this section in the Torah is to learn the laws and provide a reward for those who do so.
So, in brief, here is my plea to people like Charlie Fuqua:
Stop cherry-picking the Torah to justify all of the terrible things you want people to do to one another; Jews don’t believe that things like this are mandated by the Torah and it’s our book.
Lots of jobs and fewer snakes.
Romney knows our pain…
There is nothing like an actual monstrous act to demonstrate the silliness of our tendency to reduce one another to caricature. Shortly after the shooting, the website of the late Andrew Breitbart published speculation, quickly hyped by conservative internet maven Matt Drudge, that the suspect in the the shooting was a registered Democrat. With no apparent sense of irony, the website later published an “exclusive” press release from a Tea Party group criticizing ABC News’ Brian Ross, who made the outrageous decision to speculate publicly that the suspect might have been involved with a local Tea Party organization. I don’t know Ross’ political views, so I can only describe his actions as inexcusably reckless. (ABC later apologized.)
To look at the the frightened eyes of the survivors in Aurora, and see only our own intrinsic goodness, and our political enemies’ implacable evil, is the most impenetrable vanity. It’s not politics, it’s just tribalism. And it’s grotesque. But we shouldn’t mistake this kind of pettiness for politics itself, which is far too important an arena to cede to those who are incapable of seeing a tragedy and wondering, above all, what it says about themselves. We should be talking about why this happened, and what, if anything, can be done to prevent it from happening again.
National tragedies are political. They’re too important not to be.
It’s not politics. It’s tribalism.
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has verified her support for marriage equality to the Washington Blade, making her the first Republican member of the House to do so.
She is further breaking from the leaders of her party in the House, who not only oppose marriage equality but also are funding a legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act in court.
‘Divide and conquer’ .. an ancient tactic that, surprisingly, still seems to work ..
Somehow, teachers and union workers have become “greedy bastards,” but CEO’s who take a bonus while laying off workers are benevolent “job creators.”