Thursday, June 25, 2015

Not a hard choice

All remaining Supreme Court decisions, marriage equality included, are to be handed down tomorrow or Monday. I think there are five big decisions to go. Sources I've seen say the marriage issue will probably come out Monday. Maybe, just maybe you can start planning your wedding on Tuesday.

There is a lot of news of various governmental bodies, groups, and businesses deciding to remove or no longer sell the Confederate flag. Good news! Melissa McEwen of Shakesville notes these actions won't rid us of the image completely (nobody is yet calling for it to be criminalized for being on pickup trucks). McEwen also notes removing this symbol will not eradicate racism or white supremacy. But it is a potent symbol and removing it from a state capitol is important.

Alas, there are some who are trumpeting a flag more evil than the Confederate Stars and Bars – the rainbow gay pride flag.

Yeah, Donald Trump announced he is a candidate for president. I didn't read or listen to his announcement, though apparently it contained a great deal of Mexico-bashing. In response Dalton Ramirez of Mexico City created an easy way to do some Trump-bashing. He created a Trump pinata. Yes, a pinata is the figure hung from someplace high at which children swing sticks to break it open to spill out the candy.

The Satanic Temple has filed a lawsuit in Missouri against harmful abortion restrictions. The Temple says the laws have no legitimate secular purpose and violate their member's First Amendment guarantee of free exercise of religion. They argue that when life begins is a religious question and the state has no business proselytizing religious beliefs. I'm very interested in how this might play out.

A state jury trial in New Jersey has declared gay "conversion therapy" to be fraudulent. The group JONAS had been offering conversion therapy and some of its customers sued under the state's Consumer Fraud Act. There are two false premises in the group's promotional material: (1) Gay people are broken and need to be fixed. (2) Their therapy actually does that fixing. But this therapy has been extensively discredited and shown to be harmful. Hopefully, the case will lead to more lawsuits or states (or Congress) banning such therapy. There's still the big idea to counter – a homophobic culture that drives people to seek conversion therapy.

The Global Sustainability Institute along with the UK Foreign Office and Lloyds of London insurance and others have issued the results of new research. Using system dynamics modeling they saw, based on plausible climate trends and a total failure to change course, by mid-century the global food supply system would face catastrophic losses. This would result in an epidemic of food riots, as food production falls short of consumption, and a collapse of global society. This isn't a "will happen" but a "will happen if we don't do something." So let's start slashing carbon pollution and start adaptations to minimize the impact. "It isn’t really that hard a choice."

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