2018-10-06

Who cares about qualifications when there's winning to be had?

What can I even say about Brett Kavanaugh that hasn't already been said a thousand times in a thousand ways?

The allegations of sexual assault and attempted rape are getting all the attention, by no surprise, but there's another important thing that his supporters seem to be completely overlooking. The man displays an alarmingly Trump-esque aversion to telling the truth. On a wide range of subjects from whether he got legacy preference when applying to Yale, to what a Devil's Triangle is, to the legal drinking age when he was a high school senior, to whether he was involved in the nomination of another controversial judge, to the stolen documents he received while working as a White House lawyer years ago, his evidently favorite approach involves evading, misleading, and outright lying. It doesn't matter how irrelevant the topic is or how easily the facts can be confirmed, he'd apparently just rather not acknowledge reality.

2018-08-26

As vulnerable by any other name

I like to do a lot of reading about issues and topics that I find interesting or relevant... articles, blog posts, editorials, whatever. Sometimes even vitriolic pieces, if only so that I have some idea of what truth and decency are up against. Usually, though, I prefer more informative pieces, or those that try to explore various questions or psychological aspects of things.

When the comments on a piece aren't too noxious to bother with, they're sometimes more interesting than the piece itself. Which brings us to one of the commenters on an older post about Internalized Trans-Phobia, who remarked that "while technically I'm a 'trans girl' according to my medical record I don't identify as trans, I don't even see it as part of me; it's just something on my medical record." She objected to the way that people sometimes tell her that she has internalized transphobia and shouldn't be so ashamed of who she is.

2018-06-03

Status Quo Does Not Make Right

Although the plaintiffs are expected to keep fighting, for now, it's official. The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that there's nothing wrong with the Boyertown Area School District policy that treats transgender boys (those boys designated female at birth) as boys and transgender girls (those girls designated male at birth) as girls. There is nothing "hostile", "threatening", or "humiliating" about it, much less illegal or unconstitutional, and the judges seemed unimpressed by all attempts to argue otherwise. Judge Theodore McKee rejected repeated appeals to the status quo in particular, referring to Brown v. Board of Education and retorting, "These types of cases wouldn't happen if the answer was always, 'Go back to the status quo.'"

2018-02-28

When Humanity is Disregarded

There was something familiar about a comment in a recent sermon that touched on the Valentine's Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, about the problem being less one of guns, or of mental health, or of whatever else, than of a lack of respect for people and for human life. It reminded me of some of the musings of Ken Corbett in A Murder over a Girl: Justice, Gender, Junior High, his account of the criminal trial for a shooting that took place in a school a decade ago, and of related events in the aftermath. That particular murder happened ten years ago this month, at E. O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, California, so perhaps this is as good a time as any to revisit the case.

2018-01-14

Created "and"

So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.
- Genesis 1:27 (New International Version)

"And". It should be such a simple word.

Particularly for something written in a time when women were often considered little, if at all, better than property, that verse from Genesis makes a fascinating assertion. The image of God is not the sole domain of the male, nor, for that matter, of the female. Neither masculine nor feminine is better or more Godly. The man cannot say to the woman that he is more favored of God, nor the woman say to the man that nothing of God is in him. All are part of God's creation and exhibit facets of God's nature.

Created "in the image of God... male and female". Not only does this make neither inferior, it leads to the inescapable conclusion that the image of God is itself neither purely male nor purely female. This God is both and neither. We might even say that God... transcends gender.

2017-12-21

むり, むだ, and だめ, for when something's probably not a good idea

So, how about some vaguely related can't/shouldn't words?

無理 (muri), also written むり or ムリ

Though it's sometimes translated as "impossible", calling something muri doesn't necessarily mean that it's outright impossible, nor that it's necessarily wrong as such. Such an action does, however, go beyond the limits of what is normal, acceptable, or sensible.

2017-12-03

Junk science that needs to desist

Sometimes it seems like we, as a people, are incapable of discussing anything rationally, and it always seems to get worse when the discussion involves those who are in some way different from the majority. Heated accusations are frequently thrown around whether or not they have any basis in fact, or even make sense at all. And even when claims come across as calmer and more reasonable, they often end up being widely shared with little thought given to their accuracy or relevance.