Wednesday, February 25, 2004

The most fundamental institution of civilization

President Bush appeared on Al Hurra ("the Free One"), his new Middle East Television Network, and said that he is "the first American president to have articulated a Palestinian state."

If articulated is the right word.

Speaking of His Articulateness, today Junior announced himself in favor of defining marriage as between one illiterate alcoholic man and one glazed-eyed wife. Evidently marriage is “the most fundamental institution of civilization,” which is why most Republicans get married two or three times (personally I’ve never been institutionalized). And the institution is millennia old, although a few marriage licenses in New Mexico and San Francisco will evidently change it “forever.” I’d like everybody to stop and ponder that “forever.” It’s not just that gay people marrying somehow damages the marriages of straight people (I think this is a variant of the one-drop theory by which race used to be defined in this country), but that change will be permanent. Read the statement, it’s remarkably badly written (although it made Bush have to try to say “jurisprudence,” which is always fun to watch).

I was going to make a joke about the proposed amendment (which, by the way, would tell state supreme courts how to interpret state constitutions, which is I think a first)(this is necessary because the amend restricts rights rather than expands them; normally you don’t mind if state constitutions are read to give broader rights to, say, privacy) also including a provision by which homosexuals only had 3/5 of a vote, ha ha, but then it occurred to me that there is a precedent for that, beyond the slave thing, I mean. In 1882 polygamists were disfranchised by a bill pushed by a senator from, ironically enough, Vermont, who later also successfully advocated disfranchising all women in the Utah territory. Nobody is mentioning it, but the constitution of Utah defines marriage in the way Shrub wants; it was a prerequisite of statehood.

And King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia (age 81, father of 14), who recently supported gay marriage, announces that he is not gay. In case you were wondering.

Followup: the mother of the Uzbeki who was boiled to death has been released.

The Saudi education ministry issues a code of conduct: girls who don’t pray or do date boys may be suspended from school. But at least all their teachers aren’t terrorists like ours are.

Britain is trying to bribe Tanzania to take Somali refugees Britain wants to expel, and keep them in refugee camps. And it plans to start forcibly returning Iraqi refugees in April.

As I write/surf, Gary Bauer is on Nightline saying that gay marriage in SF opens up a can of worms. I’m telling you, everything said about this issue sounds dirty.

There is a move afoot to recall atty gen. Lockyer for not sending in the national guard to stop gay marriages.

Fun historical facts: the GI Bill was the first federal program to explicitly exclude homosexuals from its benefits.

The US finally announces it will try two Guantanamo detainees. You’d think they’d start with the most obviously violent types to justify the policy of detention. Instead, a couple of bodyguards, with a charge of accountancy thrown in. No violence, no involvement in terrorism. One is supposed to have made recruiting videos. Big fucking deal. The “worst of the worst”?

Oh, c’mon, he got a nice last meal out of it without even having to die, what more could he want?

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