Back on line

Temporarily off yesterday for Internet issues. And running wildly behind due to staying out late with the writing group yesterday. Totally worth it, of course, but if time had permitted I’d have done most of this morning’s work Monday night.
Anyway, down to links:
•Earlier this week I linked to Niall Ferguson asserting John Maynard Keynes’ economic theories were all warped because Keynes was gay. Here’s a detailed look explaining that Keynes did care about the long-term—he just didn’t think “Well this will work out in 100 years” was an excuse for not intervening in the present (a radical view at one time—the idea the Great Depression was purging the economy of deadwood was very popular back in the day).
I’m amused that arguments in this vein (linked to at the previous post) assert that if Keynes was a parent, he’d naturally have put the Big Picture forward. Because you know, fathers always put their families first. Never neglect their kids. Never cheat on their wives (I’ve previously discussed the assumption that becoming a father automatically elevates you to a higher plane of understanding).
•If chemical plants are too dangerous to divulge public information about them (to discourage terrorism) why are they allowed near schools and homes?
•Is the government keeping track of all American telephone calls? As Glenn Greenwald notes at the link, massive phonetapping has been documented for some time, but it’s still worth remembering it.
•LGM says the missile-defense program didn’t push the Soviets toward peace with the US.
•As I mentioned previously, some conservatives think having a “conversation” about homosexuality means they can condemn gays but shouldn’t get criticized. Roy Edroso looks at conservatives grumbling, as usual, that critics of anti-gays are trying to destroy/repress/silence Christianity! Freedom is on their side! (Related blog post here). On his blog, Edroso looks at Jonah Goldberg’s equally vapid ruminations on the subject.
•In the same spirit of self-righteous indignation, Rand Paul explains away the criticism his speech at Howard University (which discussed how Repubs are the real champions of black rights) as “I think some think a white person is not allowed to talk about black history … which I think is unfair.” At the link, Ta-Nehisi Coates points out white people have been talking about black history for years and nobody’s suppressing them.
•Violence in Iraq has spiked up again. Which makes Andrew Sullivan’s warnings against intervening in Syria that much more pertinent (as Digby notes, it’s not even clear if the Syrian government or the rebels is using chemical warfare). As he says, a democratic, open Syrian regime would be great, but nobody knows how to get there from here. And of course (though he doesn’t say this), if America did intervene there’s no guarantee we’d do it to create a democratic regime. As our past policies have shown, given a choice between a free country that disrespects us and a dictator who kisses our ass (Saddam Hussein pre-the first Gulf War, for example), we go with the tyrant. Maher Arar makes the same point in a thoughtful overview of the conflict. Glenn Greenwald doubts we’d support Syria making a pre-emptive strike on Israel the way we do Israel’s attack on Syria (after all, we and our allies are superior).
•The mayor of Charlotte (I’m not sure which city of that name) proclaimed a Day of Reason alongside the recent Day of Prayer. Conservatives freak out and explain this is bad, bad, bad because reason is bad, bad, bad and leads to things like the Holocaust. It’s a common argument, as Edroso discusses. Of course that’s understandable, as reason is not on their side, but it’s still depressing—I guess after rolling us back to the 19th century, they’ll move us back to the medieval era.
And speaking of clinging to the past, Georgia’s governor refuses to endorse an interracial prom.
•Anti-abortion activists continue calling for the deaths of abortion providers. And as I’ve noted many times, they’re also eager to ban birth control, because it’s like a “pesticide” for babies (but here’s some good judicial news on that topic). And keep teens ignorant about sex.

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Filed under economics, Politics, Undead sexist cliches

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