How Andrew Cuomo can win my vote.

Posted in Editorials on September 10th, 2014
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As I knew it was an incredibly long shot, I am not too disappointed that Zephyr Teachout lost her primary bid last night. She made a strong showing and I am very happy with the message that she sent.

But this leaves me with the question of what to do in November. I’m not voting for an antichoice, antigay Republican like Rob Astorino. So Howie Hawkins of the Green Party is looking pretty good right now.

However, my opinion is not set in stone. Here’s how Andrew Cuomo (whom I voted for for both Attorney General AND Governor) can win me back.

1. Ban Fracking. You can read the Sierra Club’s explanation of the issue here. I used to think that a good middle ground on this issue would be to go back to the law as it was in 2005. Fracking used to be a lot less dangerous. Companies would use water, salt water or carbonated water to extract natural gas, rather than a mix of poisonous chemicals protected as proprietary trade secrets. However, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 exempted fracking from the Clean Water Act. This is why states must take action to protect their drinking water supplies. (Congress isn’t going to repeal this loophole anytime soon.) But my opinion on this has changed recently. Bill McKibben’s editorial in Mother Jones explains why fracking has an even bigger impact on greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change than were previously thought. Governor Cuomo needs to ban fracking once and for all in New York State.

2. Explain what the hell happened with The Moreland Commission. Governor Cuomo set up a commission to investigate corruption and then stopped them from investigating his own office. Transparency does not work that way. Now, he is under federal investigation for his actions. He needs to explain himself.

3. Show some remorse over creating the IDC. Evidence has come to light that Governor Cuomo played a key role in the “rogue Democrats” that caucused with Republicans in the New York State Senate. This is unacceptable. The common wisdom is that he did this so that he would look more “bipartisan” and “moderate” when he wanted to run for president. Considering that this has come at a cost to his constituents, this is outrageous. The Women’s Equality Act, GENDA, a bill banning gay “conversion therapy” and the state version of the DREAM Act all suffered because of the IDC. Allowing Dean Skelos to retain control of the New York State Senate means that a true progressive agenda cannot be enacted. And for this, Governor Andrew Cuomo owes the people of New York an apology.

I seriously doubt that any of this will happen, much less all three of my requests. But this is what it would take to get me to vote Cuomo in November.

Albany is a little more corrupt this morning

Posted in Editorials on September 10th, 2014
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In case you were wondering, Albany got a little more corrupt yesterday. While Sen. Malcolm Smith, who allegedly tried to rig the NYC 2013 Mayoral election and is awaiting trial, was defeated, it was the only ray of light in a rather bad day for those seeking a more ethical Albany.

Republican Sen. Tom Libous, under Federal indictment, defeated his primary challenger, and fellow senator John Sampson, a Democrat and also under indictment, won his race as well.

To top it off, Andrew Cuomo was yesterday’s victor, along with his flip-flopping deputy Kathy Hochul. Hopes were that Hochul would lose to Tim Wu, and Wu would refuse the Independence Party nomination, thus finally killing the scandal-ridden organization.

In other bad news, senators Jeff Klein and Tony Avella both won. These individuals were elected as Democrats, but then caucused with the Republicans under the guise of the “Independent Democratic Conference (IDC)” to give the GOP control of the chamber.

And the icing on the cake: moderate Republican Senator Mark Grisanti was defeated in his primary. He was defeated with the help of the teachers union, who said Grisanti was not “conservative enough.” While this was done as a way to help Democrats reclaim the seat in the general election, it ultimately served to make the IDC even more powerful as both Republican Leader Dean Skelos and Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins will be willing to give away more chits to garner their support in January. Ironically, it was Skelos who refused to usher through campaign finance reform that would have made it harder for the teachers union exercise its tactics.

So, New York, the winners in yesterday’s primary are a governor under Federal investigation, two senators under indictment, the corrupt Independence Party, the teachers union, and the sleazy Independent Democratic Caucus.

As usual, the loser is all of us who live in this state and must deal with the consequences.

Hey New York: Voting takes about five minutes. Try showing up next time.

Red Pillers – Very Concerned about Ladies’ Fashion

Posted in Editorials on August 14th, 2014
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Political Flavors co-blogger Femataur and I were talking about a recent dust-up on Reddit that occurred after a woman posted about being asked to pay a cover charge at a New York City nightclub where her friends got in for free. The Red Pill subreddit was up in arms about the fact that this woman didn’t take the insult on the chin, because they never heard of men being comped cover charges so this is about equality! (As if they believe in gender equality.)

Here’s the text of our chat:

MissCherryPi: I am amazed by how much attention red pillers pay to women’s fashion. They really really care about it.

Basically a little bit of effort in hair and nothing else. No makeup, no heals, ugliest outfit possible, shitty nails, no jewelry, and very very very plain. She just looks boring

I mean what the fuck is all of your raggedy hair doing on one side of your head? Take the time to straighten that shit and put it in a messy updo. Then throw that greasy looking top in the dumpster and grab some lowcut white blouse with strings and shit. And for the love of god why do these bitches insist on wearing those skirts that aren’t form fitting. Do you think you’re fooling us all into thinking that you’re fit but you just forgot to wear flattering clothing? Throw on a miniskirt and slut it up or don’t ever expect to be let in the goddamn club for free. And lose those fucking shades while you’re at it. You’re not a celebrity. You look stupid.”

What are they, Joan Rivers?

Femataur: Lol. God, they really really hate women. It reads like male-written erotica. Also a white blouse with strings and shit? Wat? I have no idea what they’re describing, but it doesn’t sound hot.

They just love policing everything they can about women.

I thought they didn’t like hypergamous women? Why are they advising women to artificially increase their value?

MissCherryPi: Maybe they mean a shirt like this:

white shirt

or like this: white strappy back shirt

But if so, why does it have to be white?

And those ladies look like they are going for brunch or something. Not to a club.

Femataur: They are just really bad at describing what they want…Shocker!
Dudes don’t know what they want, start imagining porn scenarios.

MissCherryPi: I can understand if the guy is super into fashion and wants someone that also has that interest/taste, but I doubt these guys read GQ and Details.

Femataur: You give them too much credit

MissCherryPi: Well this is what I don’t get- I highly doubt these men are into male fashion, but they have all these demands of women.

Femataur: I also highly doubt they are into female fashion. They are into control. They think that ladies night is a gift. And all gifts come with a quid pro quo. They think that women who go to clubs are some weird pornified idea of women, like in music videos.

These dudes: women who aren’t paying their way need to dress like porn and earn their free drinks. Women who dress like sluts are basically asking to be assaulted. Aka: if you can’t pay for something you should be assaulted. Also financial empowerment for women is unacceptable?

It’s classic sex class shit.

This Primary Day, Democrats Can Control Who Runs the New York State Senate. The Future of Progressive Social Causes is at Stake

Posted in Editorials on August 13th, 2014
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September 9th is Primary Day in New York State. While primaries have lower turnouts and generally receive less media scrutiny, they are often very significant races that determine the policy direction a party takes. In some cases, as in the June Congressional primary between Rep. Charles Rangel and State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, it determined the person who will ultimately serve in the next Congress.

Next month’s primary is an important one for Democrats. Conventional wisdom holds Andrew Cuomo, Kathy Hochul, Eric Schneiderman and Tom DiNapoli will all be serving in Albany next year. What’s less certain is who will control the State Senate.

Some are surprised to learn that the Senate is currently in Republican hands when one considers the lopsided advantage that Democrats hold in party registration in our state. As of this past April, there were 5,873,844 Democrats and 2,785,773 Republicans. Yet Dean Skelos, a Long Island Republican, controls the Senate, in part due to a power-sharing agreement made with Jeff Klein, a senator from the Bronx who defected from the Democratic caucus to form the “Independent Democratic Conference” (IDC). Joining Klein to form the IDC were Malcolm Smith of Queens, Diane Savino of Staten Island, David Valesky of Oneida, and David Carlucci of Rockland. Sen. Smith was forced to leave the IDC after he tried to bribe his way into the New York City Mayor’s office.

Smith was soon replaced by Sen. Tony Avella, who joined the IDC earlier this year. While Avella acted like he was joining the IDC for benevolent reasons alone, his staff got raises as a result, Avella himself became Chair of the Social Services Committee, and his campaign was given $50,000 by other senators for his good will.

Albany works different than real life, it seems.

On February 26th, Avella told the New York Daily News:

“Under Sen. Klein’s leadership, the [Independent Democratic Conference] has developed a clear, progressive agenda for New York’s working families.”

Odd that he didn’t feel that way before the raises, chairmanship, and 50 grand. Details…details.

This statement, though, makes September 9th so important for Democrats in New York.

Leaving the Democratic Caucus, led effectively by Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Westchester, in order to best promote a “clear, progressive agenda” is like Michael Bloomberg saying he could most effectively support gun control legislation by writing a check to the NRA. It just doesn’t make sense.

Maybe if the NRA offered Bloomberg’s staff raises and made him chair of a policy committee he’d reconsider. That would be benevolent, right?

No greater proof is needed to rebut the claim that the IDC and its alliance with the Republicans is promoting a “clear, progressive agenda” than three bills which never saw the light of day thanks to the “power-sharing agreement”: the entire Women’s Equality Act, GENDA and a ban on conversion therapy.

The Women’s Equality Act, all-encompassing legislation that would have ensured equal pay, cracked down on human trafficking, and safeguarded reproductive health was apparently deemed “extreme.” As was the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, which would have banned discrimination based on gender identity or expression. The third bill, to ban conversation therapy, would have made it illegal to try to “cure” children of homosexuality, a “treatment” that has increased depression and suicide rates. In fact, Gov. Chris Christie helped ban it in New Jersey and is quoted saying he

believe[s] that on the issues of medical treatment for children we must look to experts in the field to determine the relative risks and rewards…I believe that exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate.

All of these bills should have passed, reflecting the substantial registration advantage that Democrats have over Republicans in New York. But they weren’t even given a vote on the floor. The reason they were not given a vote is clear: because Dean Skelos and the Senate Republicans would not allow a vote.

Why do Dean Skelos and the Senate Republicans have this say? Because they were given it by members of the IDC who were given plum committee posts and financial benefits in exchange for their allegiance.

As a result, any chance of progressive social policies passing in New York came to a halt.

You see, according to the “power-sharing” agreement, both “co-leaders” Skelos and Klein need to approve bills that go to the floor.

Democracy has a different definition in Albany.

What many people don’t realize is that the Senate Republicans have a second master: the New York State Conservative Party. Many of their members could not win without the backing of the Conservative Party, and rely on it for votes, GOTV and fundraising. The Conservative Party has been openly hostile to women, to minorities and to the LGBT community, and doesn’t hesitate to punish those who run opposed to its dogma. The party is closely aligned with the Catholic Church, including its belief on the role of women in society, the rights of said women, and its narrow interpretation of the Bible to meet its own agenda – regardless of who is harmed.

This can be remedied on September 9th, though. Many members of the IDC face primaries. Two races in particular can have a significant impact on the future of the IDC and the State Senate. In Queens, Tony Avella is being challenged by John Liu. In the Bronx, Jeff Klein is facing Oliver Koppell.

If the Democrats can regain control of even one of these seats, it will send a clear message that Democratic voters didn’t go out and vote on Election Day 2012 so that Dean Skelos could be left in power.

If you want the chance for a true progressive agenda on social issues, you need to express yourself on Primary Day.

The alternative is a State Senate that is to the right of Chris Christie.

On My Honor, I Will Try…

Posted in Editorials on August 6th, 2014
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This post is adapted from a service I led at my Unitarian Universalist congregation.

Readings
The Girl Scout Promise
On my honor, I will try:
To serve God and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

The Girl Scout Law
I will do my best to be
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
and to
respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout.

Romans 12:9-13
Let love be genuine;
hate what is evil,
hold fast to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection;
outdo one another in showing honor.
Do not lag in zeal,
be ardent in spirit,
serve the Lord
Rejoice in hope,
be patient in suffering,
persevere in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the saints;
extend hospitality to strangers.

***

When I was a child I remember hearing about certain things being “on the honors system,” a contest or an exam given to older kids “on their honor.” I asked questions about what this meant, and I developed my own definition of honor. It means to do the right thing, even when no one else was looking. This seemed like a big responsibility. I hoped I would be up to the challenge when my turn came.

In my own life I don’t often hear of honor spoken of much in the way I have defined it – doing the right thing, even when no one is looking, being true to your word and keeping your promises. A quick search of my own Twitter stream and of google news and I see the word being used in two ways – to describe an achievement, “It’s an honor to win this award.” And to talk about something that is almost the anthesis of my meaning – honor killings.

From the website of the NGO – “The Advocates for Human Rights:”

Human Rights Watch defines “honor” crimes as “acts of violence, usually murder, committed by male family members against female family members who are perceived to have brought dishonor upon the family.” According to a report by Dr. Sherifa Zuhar of Women for Women’s Human Rights, killings committed in the name of “honor” may be motivated by “a perceived violation of the social norms of sexuality,” or they may be “crimes of passion, wherein a husband kills his wife whom he or other family members suspect of adultery.” U.N. Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women Radhika Coomaraswamy has described “honor” killings as one of many practices that “constitute a form of domestic violence but have avoided national and international scrutiny because they are seen as cultural practices that deserve tolerance and respect.

“Motives for crimes committed in the name of “honor” have included: suspicion of adultery, premarital sex, or some other relationship between a woman and a man; being a victim of rape or sexual assault; refusing to enter an arranged marriage; seeking divorce or trying to escape marital violence; and falling in love with someone who is unacceptable to the victim’s family according to The Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women! Even seemingly minor transgressions have been identified as the reasons for carrying out “honor” killings. In one case, a teenager in Turkey had her throat slit in a town square because someone had dedicated a love ballad to her on the radio. Although the victims are most often women, men and boys may also be targeted for crimes committed in the name of “honor,” usually when they are relatives, alleged partners, or “accomplices” of a female victim according to the Special Rapporteur Asma Jaha, Commission on Human Rights. Similarly, while men and boys are usually the perpetrators, women may be involved in, or supportive of, the commission of these crimes.

According to Wikipedia, honor killings are also sometimes committed against LGBTQ people.

And so I must make a clarification as to what honor is not. Honor is not patriarchal violence. Honor is not chauvinism. Honor is not even chastity. Violence against women and other people who do not meet ancient codes of sexual purity is in no way honorable.

Honor cannot be bestowed upon a person or taken away by other people. It is a quality describing how a person lives.

There is no group of people who hold a monopoly on honor. In some misogynist corners of the internet, Men’s Rights Advocates are fond of saying that “Honor is a male abstraction. Don’t expect women to understand.” I reject this definition and its limited worldview.

Honor is not pride. When someone cuts me off in traffic and I slam on my horn and yell something not very polite, because of my own bruised ego, I’m not defending my own honor. I’m embarrassing myself in a potentially dangerous way.

The reason I wanted to talk about honor here today began when I was thinking about the seven principles of Unitarian Universalism. I was trying to decipher what meaning they had for me as a whole, and not just as individual precepts. And what I started to conclude was that they are about doing good for the sake of what is good. This fits so neatly with my girlhood definition of honor – doing the right thing when no one is looking. And it reminded me of that promise I made “On my honor, I will try…” I went back and looked up the Girl Scout Law and I was surprised at how it echoes our principles:

to be honest and fair,
to respect myself and others,

    Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;

to be friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,

    Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;

to use resources wisely,
to make the world a better place

    Respect for the interdependent web of life of which we are a part.

I also looked to see what the Bible has to say about honor. There were many passages, but the one I read today echoes the message I’m trying to impart:

[H]old fast to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection;
outdo one another in showing honor.
….
Contribute to the needs of the saints;
extend hospitality to strangers.

So what does this have to do with how we live our lives day today? How is this concept relevant if it’s not spoken of in this context much anymore? And how does this specifically relate to Unitarian Universalism?
This past May I attended the UU Metro NY district conference, and I went to a workshop called “Getting to the Roots: Our UU Theology of Collaboration” It was led by Rev. Joan Van Becelaere a UU Minister in Ohio, that was described this way:

The Puritan ancestors of the Unitarian side of the UUA were much bolder than we commonly think. They envisioned an association of individual congregations far more collaborative and connected than commonly thought. The vision was actually quite radical. In these times of change in society and the world as well as in our districts and regions, can this collaborative theology at the roots of our organizational DNA help us meet our current challenges and give us a new perspective on what it means to work for the creation of the Beloved Community?

At this workshop, I learned about how many early American congregations were based on covenant. Covenant was and is “the matter and form of the church.” People who were living together in community also vowed to worship together in covenant. And the value of the covenant is the honor of it’s participants. It was their honor to keep their word and do what’s right for the community.

Today we are in covenant with each other in our congregation, and as a congregation with other UU Congregations throughout the country and the world. The value of our covenants is the strength of our honor.

We also see this at the end of our Declaration of Independence. The signers pledged, “our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”

Honor is the glue that holds us together.

Contradictions made by people insulting my husband (AKA, Misogynist Troll Insult Fails Part 2)

Posted in Editorials on July 17th, 2014
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Christian Red Pill blogger Dalrock published a hit piece on a woman journalist, and decided that instead of relying only on his incisive wit and literary talent, he’d also link to her personal photos and Flickr account. Because he wanted to ruin more than just a mediocre DS9 episode.

Ms Brink took to twitter asking people for help in reporting this post as abusive, and Adam sent out a tweet encouraging people to do so. And in case it’s not clear, I support anyone’s right to write or say whatever they want about whoever they want without fear of the government. But saying “Hey it’s not cool to link to naked pictures of a woman your are slut shaming” is not censorship. It’s exercising those same free speech rights to tell you that you are an asshole. Which you have every right to be.

But a simple, “This is not cool and it might violate Word Press Terms of Service” tweet has invoked the rage of the manosphere. And Oracle of Delphi, is it hilarious! They know they hate women, and they hate men who don’t hate women, but they can’t figure out why. And their reasons are delightfully contradictory.

Adam is:

“White Knight and all-purpose Mangina”
a “cowardly white knight” “spreading lies”
one of the “rabbit people”
“mangina Adam Lee (again, the only person who even has given Mizz Brink the time of day) thinks he can authorize ‘social sanctions’, even though it is safe to say that just about all the men here have had far more lifetime success with women than Adam Lee has.”

But also:

A ‘male feminist’ is almost always a sleazy predator in disguise. Hugo Schwyzer proved this. Being a ‘male feminist’ really is the perfect cover for such a predator.

So he’s a cowardly sexless mangina but also a sleazy sexual predator? Got it.

And:

Adam Lee is just another sub-human degenerate Social Justice Warrior who thinks that anyone who disagrees with him need to be shut down. These sons of bitches are just like Hitler’s Brownshirts with less testicular fortitude to face you in person.

But:

I could not help noticing from Adam Lee’s Twitter that…he appears to be a Jew

A JEWISH NAZI! OMG.

They’re also really obsessed with Adam having sex with and/or being sexually rejected by Brink:

If Adam Lee does his job right, he might just get lucky tonight!

I should also point out that Adamangina Lee is thinking to himself :

“This superslut had sex with 8 men while still legally married……I am the only one who rushed to her aid……….Yet she is STILL turning me down?? Whyyyyyyyyyy????”

Ms Brink,

Adam is only doing this because he hopes that maybe you will have sex with him.

Adam,

She is NOT going to have sex with you. Ever. You are quiche eating beta male. She is using you to try and tear down people who make her feel bad because she is a terrible person speading terrible advice. Stop what you are doing. You’re never going to get laid.

As creepy as these comments are, I don’t think “quiche eating beta male” will leave my vocabulary any time soon. It’s perfect for ironic joke insults. Thanks dudes.

I spent my morning train ride laughing my head off at these comments, and trying to pick my favorite insult. I actually made my own from this word salad – “Hitler rabbit.” As in “Adam thinks men shouldn’t call women bitches. What a Hitler rabbit!”

A Quick Reminder On Where The Mass Graves Of Dead Babies Really Are

Posted in Editorials on June 9th, 2014
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St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland.

In 2013, Christian Radio host Kevin Swanson said

I’m beginning to get some evidence from certain doctors and certain scientists that have done research on women’s wombs after they’ve gone through the surgery, and they’ve compared the wombs of women who were on the birth control pill to those who were not on the birth control pill. And they have found that with women who are on the birth control pill, there are these little tiny fetuses, these little babies, that are embedded into the womb. They’re just like dead babies. They’re on the inside of the womb. And these wombs of women who have been on the birth control pill effectively have become graveyards for lots and lots of little babies.

(Hat tip.)

Of course, this is complete and utter bullshit. Hormonal birth control works by stopping a woman from ovulating, and so there can be no fertilization, and there can be no “little tiny fetuses.” But Swanson is not about to let facts get in the way of his dreams of theocracy. “The Pill Kills” was established in 2008 to overturn Griswold v. Connecticut and aims to make hormonal birth control (and possibly all other forms of contraception) illegal in the United States. Swanson’s rhetoric is a prime example of their tactics, gruesome lies made to advance a religious agenda.

But it is not hormonal contraception or a sexually permissive culture that has created mass graves of children, but strict religious sexual morality itself. Hundreds of bodies of children were found in just one Magdalene Laundry – a place where unmarried pregnant women and others accused of sexual sin were forced to live in Ireland until very recently. There may be more mass graves at other laundries that have not been discovered yet.

I had thought that there was nothing left about the Catholic Church that could shock me or make me any more angry than I already am. But I was wrong. When I first heard this story, I thought there must be some mistake. Was there an outbreak of disease that killed these children? This is not the Catholicism I was taught. I was taught that God loves everyone, and to follow the teachings of Jesus that we should be forgiving and treat each other with kindness and mercy. But there was no forgiveness for the women sent to the Magdalene Laundries and no mercy for their children. There was no disease that plagued the Magdalene laundries. These innocent children were starved and neglected to death to uphold the sexual morality of the Catholic Church. The institution that preaches redemption through the blood of Christ did not act on that conviction. The Church acted with cruelty and spite, killing those most vulnerable to its whims. I am forced to conclude they do not believe what they say at all.

Misogynist Troll Insult Fails

Posted in Editorials on June 3rd, 2014
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Previously, I have written about an incident that occurred when I was a teenager and a boy in my class tried to insult me, but it fell flat. This happens often when interacting with people who have very different values. What one person sees as an insult, another may find innocuous or even take as a point of pride.

Cracked has published a post “5 Uncomfortable Truths Behind the Men’s Rights Movement” and the dudes at /r/TheRedPill are really mad.

I’d wager this guy is a skinny little girly man just desperate for some cash. Probably gets pegged by his angry period-raging feminist girlfriend.

And when we take out the modifiers and the name calling, and we look at what /u/bleekdawn is trying to say…there’s not much of an insult now is there? Like I said on /r/TheBluePill, he is now a little richer from the publication of this article and he will be getting laid tonight? Sounds like a win on both counts. What am I missing?

I know that /u/bleekdawn meant his words to sting with body shaming, classism, homophobia and misogyny – because of course skinny or short men aren’t men, and of course it’s shameful to work for a paycheck, and of course straight men don’t like to be pegged, and of course menstruation turns women into demonic hellspawn, and of course no one would ever date or have sex with a feminist. I don’t actually know what J. F. Sargent’s appearance, finances or sex life are like. But on it’s face, there’s nothing wrong with having a small build, getting paid to write articles on the internet or with being a straight man who likes anal sex from a woman partner.

I suppose this is why people occasionally tell their detractors to troll harder.

WFP Endorses Cuomo: Business as Usual in Albany

Posted in Editorials on June 3rd, 2014
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Corruption and Albany are synonymous. In fact, nothing about Albany corruption surprises us anymore. Indictments run rampant. Scandals loom in every corner. Deals are made every day under the assumption that voters are stupid and don’t pay attention. And it seems that at any given time, jury selection is underway somewhere in New York for a pending trial of some politician.

So the Working Families Party’s nomination of Gov. Andrew Cuomo this weekend should come as no surprise. What is odd is that the Governor, who is in good shape to be handily re-elected, threw the Senate IDC-Republican “co-majority” under the bus in order to win a nomination that four years ago he was considering not taking at all.

Perhaps the governor saw what the “professional left” has done to other, more centrist, Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Christine Quinn and he was afraid he would eventually meet the same fate. However, it doesn’t really seem logical that a WFP candidate would garner enough votes to realistically threaten his re-election. The candidate being considered, Zephyr Teachout, is an unknown entity who would have trouble garnering the 50,000 votes the WFP needs to remain an active political party with ballot access in this state. If the WFP endorsed her, the unions would still back Cuomo, siphoning votes and dollars from any campaign she had.

In fact, there is much more for the WFP to lose than gain in not endorsing Cuomo.

So why? Was this all really about a local minimum wage, income inequality, corporate tax breaks, and other populist issues? Unlikely. It would seem almost ridiculous to buck a sitting governor when he has delivered on other progressive initiatives like gun control and marriage equality.

Questions remain: Will Cuomo be true to his word and actually turn on his GOP-IDC allies in Albany? Can he actually follow-through on any of his legislative promises given that the session is about to close? Does the WFP have any recourse if he doesn’t? Is this really about satisfying liberal activists in advance of a presidential bid?

And overall: Why? Why the fight, the drama, the tension?

Perhaps the answer is in who came to Andrew Cuomo’s rescue at the WFP convention: none other than Mayor Bill de Blasio. Darling of the Working Families Party and the professional left.

Maybe it’s as simple as de Blasio and his allies just taking another pol down a peg after a strenuous six months.

As always with Albany…we may never know. Unless there’s an indictment.

Climate Change Denier Admits He Doesn’t Care What The Truth Is

Posted in Editorials on June 3rd, 2014
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On Sunday night, against my better judgement, I started an argument with someone on the Cosmos Twitter hashtag. But in doing so I got at something I think environmentalists and climate change activists need to understand. Many people who deny that climate change is occurring do not care what the truth is.

This conversation is edited for space and clarity. See my twitter page for all comments.

I’m oversimplifying here a bit. But it is true. Coal and gasoline have the hidden costs of damage to public health.

I was referring to this article in Think Progress, “Germany Sets New Record, Generating 74 Percent Of Power Needs From Renewable Energy.” Rob was incredulous at first but then he started quoting other sources about how this makes electricity more expensive.

But I didn’t say that renewable energy would be cheap or easy. My point in citing Germany as an example was a refutation of Rob’s assertion that we couldn’t do anything about climate change unless we “all go back to living like 1750.” It’s clearly not 1750 in Germany right now. The Germans are planning for the future, and trying to abate climate change as well. If we keep going the way we are now, we will face catastrophe.

Clearly missing the point here, Rob sees clean energy as some kind of money making scam. I wonder if he sees fire extinguishers and car air bags that way too?

And here’s when I first found out that the person I was talking to has no idea what the evidence for climate change is.

First he called me a Nazi:

Then he went back to “this is a money making scheme:

And finally, to his main point, that being contrary for the sake of being contrary is a good thing:

Claiming that the IPCC is just “a single source” and just some random website on the internet, revealed that Rob actually has no idea what the evidence for climate change actually is.

And he said yes.

But then he had to immediately make a joke about how silly this all is.

So although he has never looked at the evidence for climate change, it seems awfully silly and conformist to go along with, dont ya think? Almost like a religion! Rob clearly has no idea what the scientific method is, or why it works if he equates reading papers filed with data and then basing your views on public policy on that data is the same thing as religious faith. Science changes in response to new information. Religion does not.

And that, right there, is the money quote. For Rob, climate change denialism is not about moneyed interest in fossil fuels, a religious belief that God will protect the Earth, a misunderstanding of the scientific evidence, or even a failure to examine the information available to him. It doesn’t matter what the data is, he won’t believe it, no matter what, because to do so would make him a “sheep.” Nonconformity is more important to Rob than truth.

How to respond to people like this, I have no idea. But at least he told me why he believes what he does.

UPDATE: As I responded in my initial tweet to Rob, BRIC countries will probably decide to limit greenhouse gas emissions on their own. And China looks like they are heading that way right now.