(Remix To) I Could Eat a Knob At Night

27 01 2011

I enjoy this.

Which has as its genesis this exchange:

In the fine tradition of R. Kelly, I insist that all remixes be called “remixes to” things rather than “of” things.

A Word on Burke & Slating Judges

25 01 2011

Commenter Pete asks:

Ramsin, the Tribune points out today that Judges Hoffman and Hall were both originally “slated” by Ed Burke’s party committee. What does slating typically entail? Just making someone the nominee? Or is there financial backing as well?

Slating is the process whereby the Cook County Democratic Organization selects candidates to endorse for elective positions. Typically a person is slated through sponsorship by committeeperson, and then approved by the organization in slating sessions. Typically the County organization then gives cash or in-kind support to slated candidates if they’re in tough fights. For judges, this usually means inclusion on official literature and palm cards. Thanks for the question Pete.
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Are We Religiously Intolerant?

25 01 2011

So, when John Ashcroft got elected governor, he was anointed on the head with oil. I think that’s kind of silly. I mean–it’s silly, right? Using cooking oil to give yourself a blessing to be the governor of Missouri? I also think its silly that Shi’ites cut their heads and bleed all over the place on Ashura. I mean–it’s a bit extreme. Snake-handlers? Weird. That’s a weird thing to do, to run around handling dangerous snakes because of one of thousands of passages in the Bible.

C'mon fellas we're all just trying to have a good time.

Because I have trouble believing in anything supernatural–ghosts, spirits, nebulous “energy” other than those defined by science, etc.–I inherently think they are silly. Meaning in other words I think that these things are literally un-believable. Something not to be believed.

Here’s my thing. If somebody looked at something I held dear and didn’t just say, “I don’t believe that,” but rather, “I think that thing is silly,” I think my feelings would be hurt. So when I say these things are silly, am I being intolerant? Am I belittling and insulting someone for their beliefs? I don’t know the answer to that question. Can expressing an opinion be intolerant? I mean that would require that all non believers were inherently intolerant every time they expressed their lack of belief. That hardly seems fair. Still, I don’t want to be intolerant; I don’t want to make people feel assaulted or ridiculed for what they think is important in their life.

But then again, each member of each of these different faiths must, by definition, think all the other believers believe silly things. Are they intolerant of one another?
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Make Sense, Be Honest: Emanuel’s Ballot Access

24 01 2011

(cross-posted from GB)

There’s a lot of political schadenfreude going around in reaction to an Illinois Appellate Court decision to remove Rahm Emanuel from the municipal election ballot. A local objector filed suit to prevent Emanuel’s candidacy, with the argument that Emanuel failed to meet the requirement that candidates for local office in Chicago both be a qualified elector (i.e., voter) and have “resided” in Chicago for a year before the election.

The latest turn in Emanuel’s on-going legal troubles in getting on the ballot was a shock to many (but not all), and has naturally led to indignation at the injustice done to voters (i.e., “Let the voters decide!”) and the justice of the universe (“He’s buying the election! He failed to meet the letter of the law!”)

I implore everyone to take a breath and consider their arguments outside of the election fight context for this one instance; in a post-Bush v Gore society, we can’t afford any more “I’ll cheer when it helps and screech when it hurts” approaches to legal decisions like this.

The Opinion and Dissent

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Is The Truth Front Page News?

22 01 2011

I appeared on this panel late last year; the audio has finally been uploaded. I was with Mary Mitchell of the Sun-Times, Timothy McNulty from Medill School, Alden Loury of the Chicago Reporter, and Richard Steele of WBEZ, who moderated. It was a very interesting discussion, and worth checking out.

Fred Rogers Was a National Hero

20 01 2011

This is a beautiful thing. Watch Mr. Rogers defend public broadcasting to Congress.

They Said It Better: Freddie deBoer Edition

17 01 2011

It frustrates me as a lefty that the mainstream political left is allowed only a narrow range of moral and policy positions which all essentially confirm neoliberal, pro-capital, vaguely anti-labor theory. With only Anglo exceptions (the UK, Canada, and Australia) every major democracy–including some of our dearest economic and political allies–have straight out socialist movements and social democratic parties. Look, maybe you disagree with it, that’s not my issue; but why is it so insane to admit them to the debate? How can you have a democracy that excludes a movement that advocates from a class point of view that represents the interests of the vast majority of the workforce, even if you disagree with their approach to satisfying those interests?

Unfortunately, I suck at expressing this frustration. Fortunately, “just a dude” Freddie deBoer does the opposite of suck at expressing this frustration, in that he articulates it very well.
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