Monday, May 21, 2012

Links of Note

Hello readers, and thanks for your patience with my lateness this week. I managed to land myself with a lovely little virus and spent the weekend feeling like Death was at my door. Dramatics aside, things are back to normal, and I give you some of the links I've been collecting from around the web:

First up is a piece on the new voter registration laws in Florida, which give registration organizations a very limited timetable for filing their new registrees with the state. The stated purpose of the law is to cut back on voter fraud, though how a shorter time frame for verifying an individual's registration accomplishes this purpose is beyond me. Right now the primary impact appears to be that voter registration groups are generally pulling out of Florida, with the result that tens of thousands of potential voters (many of whom are Hispanic, surprise surprise) aren't being registered.

The latest and greatest from Arizona is that Governer Brewer has signed the "show me your whore pills" bill into law. Yes, there have been amendments made to the bill so that female employees have to justify non-medical pill uses to insurance companies, not employers, and in theory there's a grievance process for them to follow should HIPAA be violated, but WHAT. THE. HELL. NO ONE should have to choose between access to contraceptive pills and employment. There's so much stupid in Brewer's decision (and the decisions of all the legislators who made the bill possible in the first place!) that I'm not even sure my head can bring itself down to that level.

In a sweeping move to restrict civil rights, two states- North Carolina and Colorado- have done their part to keep same-sex couples from getting married. The states did it in two different ways (NC did it with a voter-instigated constitutional amendment, while Colorado did it via filibuster and foot-dragging), but the end result is rather the same: someone else decided that we couldn't receive the 100+ legal benefits that come with co-signing a piece of paper. This comic from The Atheist Pig pretty much sums it up:

In a brief bout of sanity, I managed to find an article about a nine-year-old who felt so strongly that the Westboro Baptist Church is wrong that he hastily scribbled "God hates no one" on a piece of notebook paper and held that up to protest. I'm sure there's someone who wants to argue about who wrote the sign and whose idea it was to protest the WBC, but I really don't care. It's a piece of good news in an overwhelming tide of bad.

Speaking of "bad," Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall decided to open his mouth and say that "Sodomy is not a civil right." Ten points out of ten for missing the point, Mr. Marshall, but the sex acts of any given couple aren't on the line today. In fact, they really haven't been on the line since 1996, when Romer v. Evans (517 U.S. 620) made it unconstitutional to legislate against homosexual sex acts (particularly sodomy). What's on the line is the legal right of any two consenting adults to sign paperwork allowing each other to affirm their commitment to and care for each other. DONE. I know many people think gay sex is "icky" (see above comic), but I also know a lot of people think various sex acts between heterosexual married couples are icky too (see: fisting, anilingus, and urolagnia, for example, but bear in mind that these links have pictures) and that plays no role in whether or not those couples can socially and legally affirm their relationship. So get over it.

Finally, I bring you one mom's retort to Time Magazine's recent piece on attachment parenting. Actually, let me rephrase that: it wasn't really a "piece" so much as it was "a biased piece of drivel that somehow managed to be marketed as journalism." Not only did the article display a spectacular level of ignorance about how attachment parenting actually works, but it also decided to pit parents against each other by suggesting that raising children is a competition with some sort of minimum-standards bar. Seriously? Parenting is a hard job. It's dirty, it's exhausting, it's often thankless, and it's a constant guessing game; the last thing any parent needs is to be told that they're not "enough" of a parent for their kids. Go read the retort though. She's actually a parent.

That's all, folks! Tune in again next week for more links.

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