August 20th, 2015

Peter G

Duggar Your Own Hole

"If you constantly act like you are better than others, people will go out of their way to remind you you are not."
--Joe Queenan

Today at lunch, I'm reading the newsfeeds, and there's an article on the Duggar family and how they are trying to distance themselves from Josh Duggar, who molested five girls, two of them his own sisters ("Do not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father's daughter or your mother's daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere."  Leviticus 18:9.  Just throwing out a suggestion for their next Bible discussion group).  The family seemed surprised that people weren't just moving on as they had hoped and were still dwelling on it, prompting them to try to figure out how to rehab their image.  The article speculated on ways to possibly make people forget about that pesky molestation thing.

Well, this ought to do it.

Most people are familiar with the web site Ashley Madison, where people can sign up for NSA sex, usually with people looking to cheat on their spouses.  I have never understood the appeal of cheating, because it doesn't seem worth the effort.  Just dump the person and start running around instead of having to hide everything.  The site got cracked (cracked, not hacked.  There IS a difference, you know) and the crackers threatened to post all the personal information, including email addresses, credit cards, names, and what the clients were looking for.

I didn't pay much attention.  I feel about people getting exposed through Ashley Madison the way I feel about people getting busted with radar detectors -- this is ostensibly a creation intended to help do something, at the very least, unethical.  I've always said there's no subsitute for simply staying out of trouble.  So I simply didn't care and wasn't going to bother reading anything about it.

Then Gawker discovered that Josh Duggar had not one but TWO accounts on Ashley Madison.

I saw the headline, and literally, I couldn't react.  I just put my elbows on the desktop and my head in my hands.  Really?  Fucking really?  Partly because it turns out the trainwreck has a few more cars to derail, and partly because, as I thought last time, oh, lord, the fanfic.  (I'm not kidding.  The profile lists, among other things, his preferences and his turn-ons -- “A Professional/Well Groomed,” “Stylish/Classy,” “Casual Jeans/T-shirt Type,” “Muscular/Fit Body,” “Petite Figure,” “Tall Height,” “Short Height,” “Long Hair,””Short Hair,” “Girl Next Door,” “Naughty Girl,” “Sense of Humor,” “Imagination,” “Creative and Adventurous,” “Relaxed and Easy Going,” “Aggressive/Take Charge Nature,” “Confidence,” “Discretion/Secrecy,” “A Good Listener,” “Good Personal Hygiene,” “Average Sex Drive,” “High Sex Drive,” “Dislikes Routine,” “Has a Secret Love Nest,” “Disease Free,” “Drug Free,” and “Natural Breasts.”  Although I would personally love to meet a woman who is both tall adn short, or relaxed and aggressive.  Just because I didn't think it was possible to be both at once.)

If the Duggars thought they were getting dogpiled before, it's about to get even worse.  For all their talk of instilling traditional Christian values and how they have it all figured out, Josh is undermining their credibility and their audience.  To be fair, the Ashley Madison stuff isn't the Duggars fault -- it's not like they "dealt with it" like they did the molestation charges.  But Josh has been exposed as a huge hypocrite, and detractors are going to make as much of the family collateral damage as they can.  The parents exploited the whole family, now it's going to be everyone else's turn.

Folks, just live a decent life.  It's so much easier than this.
Peter G

Why Eliminating Birthright Citizenship Will Never Happen

Donald Trump wants to eliminate birthright citizenship.

And people are actually talking about this?

Honestly, I can't leave you kids alone for a minute.

Let's first go over the cheat sheet, and where the candidates stand.

Supports ending birthright citizenship:
Donald Trump

REAL candidates who support ending birthright citizenship:
Ben Carson (R)
Chris Christie (R, says it needs to be re-examined)
Bobby Jindal (R)
Scott Walker (R)
Lindsay Graham (R)
Rick Santorum (R)
Rand Paul (R)

REAL candidates who support birthright citizenship:
Hillary Clinton (D)
Bernie Sanders (D)
Martin O'Malley (D)
Mike Huckabee (R)
Jim Gilmore (R)
George Pataki (R)
Jeb Bush (R)
Carly Fiorina (R)
Marco Rubio (R)
John Kasich (R, actually a flip-flop.  While serving in Congress, he supported ending birthright citizenship, but has apparently since changed his mind)

Ted Cruz (R, and isn't it nice he's actually keeping quiet about something for a change?)

Okay, that's out of the way.  This is prompting ink as people discuss whether this is right or wrong.

Completely overlooking that it's never going to change.  People born in the US or US territories will forever be US citizens by birthright.

(Side note:  back when Obama was first running back in 2008, I had to listen to a bunch of idiot "birthers" insist that Obama wasn't technically a US citizen and thus could not be President.

Relax, I said, we've had plenty of Presidents who weren't born in US territories.

"Name one!"


...aaaaaaaaaaand I got kicked off the channel for being a smartass again.)

In order to change birthright citizenship, they need to repeal the 14th Amendment.  The 14th was passed in 1868, partly to reverse the decision in the Dred Scott case (for those that came in late, that was the case from 1857 where the US Supreme Court ruled that not only were slaves, whether born here or not, not US citizens, but they didn't even have the right to argue otherwise in US courts), and partly to make sure that any black citizens in the South during the reconstruction after the Civil War were not denied their rights.  The amendment was challenged in 1898 in the case United States v. Wong Kim Ark, and the Supes affirmed the 14th Amendment stood, and it's been that way ever since.

And this is why fretting about the end of birthright citizenship is bullshit.  Just look back a few years, during Bill Clinton's presidency.  People were determined to protect the SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE and squash gay marriage flat by amending the Constitution to say marriage could only be between one man and one woman.  It wasn't that long ago, but the majority of people supported this idea.  They still saw gays as a flaw and unworthy of respect.  They wanted to refuse gay marriage.  This was the dominant stance on the subject.

And no.  Amendment.  Ever.  Happened.  All they got was DOMA, which anyone could see was a legal challenge away from failure (Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer, we salute you).  Congress couldn't make it happen.  The states couldn't make a Constitutional Convention happen.  Despite this idea having the most widespread support, where backing it would have been a no-brainer, it never happened.

This is why, every time a candidate talks about introducing a Constitutional amendment, I roll my eyes.  It's the political equivalent of, "I swear to God" -- it is considered the ultimate stance of how dedicated you are and proves how serious you are.  And people buy into it, thinking it will happen.

Folks, it won't.  It never will.  So just relax, and worry about more important stuff.  Or anything else, really.  Don't encourage them.