Sicko: The Incredible Condescending San Francisco Chronicle

In an article on Michael Moore’s new movie Sicko, Victoria Colliver asks (emphasis mine):

The Friday opening of “Sicko” prompts the inevitable question: Will people really want to spend 123 minutes of their precious leisure time watching Michael Moore dissect what ails the American health care system?

I think “precious little proletariat leisure time” might have been a bit more effective.  But I nitpick.

The lack of coverage for millions of Americans, and the shitty greed-driven coverage the rest of us get is an issue that we’ve all likely butted heads against at some point in our lives.  It is an issue that determines how well we live to an incredible degree.  I think we can spare the 123 minutes Victoria.

In addition to those 123 minutes, I’d challenge you to spend one more hour.  That’s it, just one hour.  Go to the movie with a group of friends and family.  Then go out for dinner and talk.  If this is anything like Bowling for Columbine, there will be a lot to discuss.  All indicators point to this being a hell of a ride.

Trailer

Discourse is one of the cornerstones of a free society, and it is the most essential political currency.  The silence on this issue has left us too poor to afford the change we desperately need.  This movie is a step towards getting us back on track.  There is no need to underestimate Americans and assume we won’t spend even a little bit of time on an issue as important as this.  Our health is what’s at stake.  Not only will people “really want” to spend their time at this movie, its going to bust box office records for a documentary.  This weekend is opening weekend, and you know the pundits and the analysts will be watching this movie like hawks.  Let’s give them something to look at.

New Driving Tax: Virginia Lawmakers Are Strange

I saw this in Leesburg Today, and I just had to add my two cents (emphasis mine):

Rust also explained that the law applies to Virginia residents only because of a constitutional issue that prevents the state from imposing civil remedial penalties on nonresidents. Loudoun’s legislative liaison, Eric Link, surmised the issue involves the fact that driving is considered a privilege in Virginia to residents, while out-of-state drivers, have a right to be on the road; however, he had not consulted with legislators about that.

Wow. In Virginia, your rights are our privileges.

Del. Tom Rust (R-86), who authored the abusive driver legislation with Del. Dave Albo (R-42), said the objections to the fees have only surfaced recently, while the idea of the fees has been floating around the state for more than two years.

“Never did anybody show up and raise any of these objections,” Rust said, referring to the time during which the General Assembly considered the fees and took public comment. “We didn’t hear from anybody.”

Isn’t it strange that people are more likely to object to the laws they hear about in the news?

Become a Socialist, Its Easy as Pie!

Apparently believing government should in some way regulate business makes you an automatic socialist.

Hmmm.  So that makes me one.  And yet I oppose “Socialist Roads”.

A socialist opposing socialist road taxes?  How dash clever of me.

Or perhaps not everyone who criticizes Ron Paul is a socialist.

Real Cowardice From the Far Right: Threats vs Free Speech

I was reading another thought provoking post by David of Orcinus about hate.  Specifically, about a neo-nazi who made a clear threat against an African-American journalist:

A white-supremacist Web site angered by a Leonard Pitts Jr. column alluding to the murder of a white couple posted The Miami Herald writer’s home address and phone number — leading to threats against the 2004 Pulitzer Prize winner.

When Herald Managing Editor/News Dave Wilson asked Overthrow.com to delete the address and phone number, site editor Bill White replied: “We have no intention of removing Mr. Pitts’ personal information. Frankly, if some loony took the info and killed him, I wouldn’t shed a tear. That also goes for your whole newsroom.” 

As David notes, this isn’t about speech, it is about violence:

This is not a free-speech issue. Threats and intimidation are crimes in every state, and a crime by its nature is not a form of protected speech. I’m not certain why authorities haven’t taken White’s threats seriously, but their inaction, unfortunately, speaks volumes.

It is common to hear right wing pundits rhapsodize about various bits of violence being perpetuated against reporters, editors, entire news organizations.  What I don’t think they realize is precisely what they are saying about their own positions and character.  When faced with an argument you disagree with, there are a number of ways you can tackle it.  Like head on, for instance.  Or in the case of a far right idealogue, you do your damndest to engage in personal attacks and borderline threatening behavior.  Then when someone criticizes you on the issues, you shrilly claim any such commentary is attacking you, while avoiding the issues.

The only people who fall for that are already on the ground in a stupor.

Upon reflection, these tactics are horribly ill suited towards actually moving people to vote.  What you have instead are Republican voters who eat around the gristle of these antics, and vote based on issues that are important to them.  Eventually some get fed up with more hard fat at the expense of real meat, and vote opposition.  Worse, this line of attack opens you up to a royal whooping should your opponent have a shred of rhetorical savvy.

What would happen if the tables turned, and Mr Pitts published Mr White’s personal information in the paper?  Would Mr Pitts be fine with that, or would he immediately start whining and sue?

The position of a neo-nazi is one built out of a deep seeded sense of inferiority that desperately clings to a group identity to provide the recognition life has not afforded.  This fear and angst can fuel very hateful speech and action.  But it also makes one extremely vulnerable to a well orchestrated counter attack.  Mr White is a coward, and the need to appeal to violence against an individual, rather than directly address the offending commentary on its own merits, broadcasts just how full of shit he really is.

If the only thing you have left is “I hope someone shoots reporter/justice X”, you’ve got nothing, and you are letting the whole world know it.  Don’t expect the world to sit on its haunches and let that pass.

Why Ron Paul is a Corporate Candidate

“And its spent for very special reasons because corporations end up controlling the government.”  Ron Paul (via LewRockwell) on overseas spending.

For a serious candidate to say something like this is flooring.  How very natural for Ron Paul to assume the role of rebel candidate, opposed to the corporate forces that are censoring him.

But is he really for people first?  When the chips are down will Ron Paul side with us or with the multinationals?

Neither.  And the end effect of this is not unlike a zookeeper staying out of a dispute between a bengal tiger and a toddler.  Who do you think has the power advantage?  In effect Ron Paul’s policies would let corporations run wild.

As Thom Hartman notes (via Sara, emphasis mine):

The first myth Hartmann wants us to puncture is the myth of the free market, which has been elevated to the level of a religion. He invoked Grover Norquist — who famously said that he wanted to shrink government down to where he could drag it into the bathtub and drown it — and noted that New Orleans was what ended up getting drowned instead.

“Why does the Bush administration replace competent people with ideologues?” asked Hartmann. The answer lies in the essence of the conservative worldview. Conservatives believe that corporations are morally neutral; but human beings are essentially evil. Given that equation, it’s obvious that corporations are thus morally superior to human beings, and thus should be given greater rights and dominance. Government, on the other hand, expresses the will of the people — and since people are inherently evil, government is inherently evil as well.

Liberals, on the other hand, generally agree on the moral neutrality of corporations; but they believe that people are fundamentally good. “This is the fundamental cleavage between these two world views,” notes Hartmann, pointing out that this worldview is clearly reflected in the preamble to the Constitution. “Our founders’ six stated purposes reflect this belief — that government exists to lift people up to their highest potential.” We provide for the common defense in order to protect ourselves from the handful of bad apples in the bunch; but the rest of the document, asserts Hartmann, is about maximizing human opportunity.

On the other hand: “The free market is just a euphemism for large multinational corporations controlling the planet,” he concluded.

The appeal to a market utterly free of regulations and limits, the libertarian ideal, is a world where might makes right.  What must be understood is that this world has existed before.  As amor mundi observes (emphasis mine):

Ron Paul looks to me like the oldest story in the 20th Century American playbook: yet another market fundamentalist libertopian who believes civil libertarianism is compatible with corporate capitalism. If that is the new “21st Century Democracy” then the facile “friendly fascism” peddled to earnest saucer-eyed privileged Americans by Ayn Rand (“America’s Persecuted Minority: Big Business”), Ronald Reagan (“Government Is the Problem”), Bush I (“The New World Order”), Clinton (“The Era of Big Government Is Over,” NAFTA, workfare, deregulation), Bush II (“Our MBA President,” PNAC, the Unitary Executive) then the new 21st Century democracy looks an awful lot like the old Robber Baron “democracy” to me, but this time with the tools at its disposal to render the planet an uninhabitable radioactive, Greenhouse, pandemic sewer of goo.

There is a fundamental disconnect between an anti-corporation stance and support for the free market.  You cannot be both.  If you are truly going to stand up to the abuses of large multinationals, then you are talking about regulating the market.  If you are going to let those multinationals continue without any checks to their power, you are at the very least unworthy of the anti-corporate populist mantel.

Ron Paul isn’t so much against a corporate state as he is against the state.  If companies want to spend those same vast somes on “overseas spending”, would he regulate away the free market to prevent it?  Or does the same action, if performed by individuals acting under the auspices of a corporate entity suddenly become unethical once it is government in the driver’s seat?

If Ron Paul were to win, he may very well act to decrease the influence of corporations on government.  He would also reduce government to such an extend that corporations would no longer need to influence government to run the world their way.

The government envisioned when this country was founded, was one of the people, for the people, and by the people.  To stand up to the corporations and politicians who have perverted that is noble, but the solution to a leaky roof isn’t to tear down the house and sleep in the rain.  The solution is to either fix the damn roof, or build a better house.

We need to take our government back, and Ron Paul is not the candidate to help us do that.  He’ll just crumple it up and throw it in the circular suggestion box.

Patriots Blog Against Theocracy!

July 1st to 4th will see another Blog Against Theocracy, this time focusing on the patriotism of separation of Church and State:

We’re going to be holding another blogswarm during the Fourth of July week, July 1-4.

A blogswarm is where a group of bloggers from all venues agree to post on the same topic. Our loosely framed topic for this swarm is “the separation of Church and State is patriotic.” But this is about blogging, and we’re not trying to herd anyone. Post on church/state separation, against theocracy, and you’re participating.

If you need resources, let me point you to two. Talk2Action is a blog specifically on current church/state issues. And the First Freedom First website not only provides tremendous resources, their petition is an excellent way to point your readers to ACTION on endorsing our Constitutional guarantee of the separation of church and state.

It should be a rip snorting good time. Dive into Faith Based Affordable Housing, or get historical and blog about the importance of church state separation over time. Its all good, and all welcome. Let’s get this party started!

Matthews Gets Historic (Is Still an Ass)

Matthews has his undergarments in a concerned twist over the possibility of a woman President with (gasp!) female advisors.  When he is caught in the act, he pulls out a double edged excuse (MediaMatters via Pandagon):

Asked by Time managing editor Richard Stengel, “What are you suggesting by asking does this diminish her as a commander in chief by being surrounded by women?,” Matthews replied: “No, the idea that it — well, let me just get historic. We’ve never had a woman commander in chief.”

Let’s get historic for a moment, shall we?  Would Matthews be concerned about a black commander in chief?  We’ve never had one of those before.  Chris digs himself in deeper:

… that final decision to vote for president, a woman president, a woman commander in chief, will be an historic decision for people. Not just men, but women as well.” Turning to New York Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller, Matthews added: “Elisabeth, you’re always thinking about these things.”

Wow.  Concerned with appearing sexist, Matthews makes the brilliant move of turning to the nearest female reporter to get her take on things.  You can just picture him with big puppy eyes and a clipboard, asking for signatures:  “Will you endorse my sexism?  If a women endorses it, it won’t seem half as bad”.

Things just kept going downhill:

Bumiller referred to Golda Meir and Margaret Thatcher — women who were elected to lead Israel and the United Kingdom — and said: “[W]e all remember these women. … I think we can get there.” Matthews responded, “But we’ve got Patton and John Wayne on our side.”

First, since this is a historical vote, then there aren’t many American examples to draw from, are there?  But to the point, Matthews is raised two elected leaders, and responds with a Major General and an Actor.

Mr. Matthews follows outright sexism with a flimsy attempt to cover his own ass, and only ends up showing how much of one he truly is.  Whether Clinton would make a good President has everything to do with her positions and her ethics, and nothing to do with her gender.  But by playing the electability card, Matthews is trying to push the idea of a female President out of the mainstream.  No one likes voting for a loser, and that is precisely how he is framing her with his laughable attempt to “get historic”.  However when pressed for the reason women advisors, or even a women President, would be in any way problematic, Chris guiltily tries to shift the frame.

So let me pose a question to Mr. Matthews:  Let’s pretend you didn’t cower away from Stengel’s question.  What is it about the gender of Clinton’s advisors that is so damn worrying?

Giuliani’s Partisan Problem with National Security

Rudy Giuliani has proclaimed that he made a mistake in joining (and not attending) the Iraq Study Group (hat tip Majikthise).  He was perhaps unintentionally revealing:

Giuliani said the main reason he quit was that it “didn’t seem that I would really be able to keep the thing focused on a bipartisan, nonpolitical resolution.” [AP]

This tells us two things.  First, that Giuliani considers “bipartisan, nopolitical” resolutions to be a good and necessary thing.  Second, that he does not think he can provide such a resolution (at least when it comes to questions of war and national security).

With arguments like this, who needs opponents?

FBI To Institute Student Fear Campaign

The FBI is providing a list of “espionage indicators” to new england universities.  (Press Esc va Slashdot):

FBI is offering to brief faculty, students and staff on what it calls “espionage indicators” aimed at identifying foreign agents.

Unexplained affluence, failing to report overseas travel, showing unusual interest in information outside the job scope, keeping unusual work hours, unreported contacts with foreign nationals, unreported contact with foreign government, military, or intelligence officials, attempting to gain new accesses without the need to know, and unexplained absences are all considered potential espionage indicators.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to monitor their colleagues for signs of suspicious behaviour and report any concerns to the FBI or the military.

This will have a chilling effect on students and faculty at some of the nation’s top research universities.

US university students will not be able to work late at the campus, travel abroad, show interest in their colleagues’ work, have friends outside the United States, engage in independent research, or make extra money without the prior consent of the authorities, according to a set of guidelines given to administrators by the FBI.

While these activities are not expressly verboten, they are meant to trigger a “spy on your friends and colleagues” mentality that is sure to impact behavior.  Given the troubled history of political groups and US intelligence agencies, how will more overt attention from the FBI be received on campus?

Hopefully with a patriotic one fingered salute.

We are Ahmadinejad’s Useful Enemy

The NYTimes has an article up on Iran’s recent crackdown on dissidents, the press, and rights groups:

The shift is occurring against the backdrop of an economy so stressed that although Iran is the world’s second-largest oil exporter, it is on the verge of rationing gasoline. At the same time, the nuclear standoff with the West threatens to bring new sanctions.

The hard-line administration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, analysts say, faces rising pressure for failing to deliver on promises of greater prosperity from soaring oil revenue. It has been using American support for a change in government as well as a possible military attack as a pretext to hound his opposition and its sympathizers.

Meanwhile our “tough talk” (read: warmongering) is playing right into the hands of Ahmadinejad. The Iranian President gets to follow in our own fearless leader’s footsteps. As long as we remain an obvious threat to the region, despots and terrorists have their enemy signed and delivered for domestic consumption.  This helps free them from the responsibility of addressing pressing domestic issues or adhering to the will of the people.  One of the very real effects of abdicating our place as defender of liberty in favor of naked imperial desire is we provide an opening to power hungry politicians who smell opportunity in our war cries.

Analysts trace the broadening crackdown to a March speech by Ayatollah Khamenei, whose pronouncements carry the weight of law. He warned that no one should damage national unity when the West was waging psychological war on Iran. The country has been under fire, particularly from the United States, which accuses it of trying to develop nuclear weapons and fomenting violence in Iraq.

Imagine a foreign policy towards Iran that dropped the threat of war, and took up the hard work of friendship and diplomacy. The Iranian people are being oppressed, but waving our overextended military in their face won’t help anyone. And judging by Iraq, the Iranians might be reasonably wary about the real-world effects of being “liberated”.

We should drop the tough talk on weapons, and start the tough talk on rights. But this is a discussion that will move forward with greater speed and stability if we approach it as friends, and not as useful enemies.

Thinking Blogger Award

Chris at From The Left tagged me for a Thinking Blogger Award! I feel honored, excited, and humbled by the recognition. Doubly so by his description of my blog:

Smart, insightful news analysis with stylish writing.

Weeee! Here is the award:

And here are the rules:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn’t fit your blog).

Much like Chris and Mirth, I find that picking only 5 blogs is tough. I could really just point to my blogroll, push a big green “award” button and be very happy with the results. In making my choices, I aimed for blogs that have not yet received the award and cover a wide breadth of issues. Here are my five (in no particular order):

  1. !Para Justicia y Libertad! (xicanopwr): Well researched writing that digs deep into issues of immigration and liberal politics.  He does more than shine light on the problems that fall through the cracks.  He lifts them back out and provides rhetorical sealant.  A first stop for many news stories.
  2. August Pollack (xoverboard): I started reading August through a link from Tom Tomorrow, and have been hooked since. One of the first blogs I read regularly, and with very good reason. August mixes insight, humor and political acumen into a very small space. That concentrated goodness also comes with a frequent side of witty cartoons over easy.
  3. Majikthise (Lindsay Beyerstein): Lindsay brings professional photojournalism and a highly analytic yet accessible style of writing to the table.  Another blogger who catches a lot of substantial news items first.  Together with reasoning forged in philosophy and an eagle’s eye for photography, Majikthise is a daily must-read.
  4. Dennis Perrin: Provides a much needed slap of reality to the progressive movement.  Stoutly anti-corporatism and pro-people, he is a liberal and a radical when everyone else is afraid to be.
  5. Our Descent Into Madness (80Proof: Emily and Daisy): Insightful News, Perspectives and Analysis covering a wide range of progressive issues.  Perhaps the very definition of a blog that makes you think, Emily and Daisy hit stories you’ve never seen before from angles you didn’t know existed.  The result is supremely informative and entertaining reading.

Thanks again to Chris for the award.  And a very big thanks to everyone who stops by to read, talk and think.  Enjoy the links, and also check out the blogroll: they are all blogs that will make you think.

Congress Supports Torture and Terror

As long as it happens to South Americans, its good for us, right?

Disgusting.

RickB has the dirt:

here is the report:

214 Members of Congress missed the chance to stand up for human rights, justice and democracy, and voted to keep the funding for the SOA/WHINSEC flowing.

What is the SOA (emphasis mine)?

If you don’t know what SOA/WHINSEC is, basically it’s where the empire trains aligned latin nations police and military on how to torture and kill enemies to maintain imperial order:

The School of the Americas (SOA), in 2001 renamed the “Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation,” is a combat training school for Latin American soldiers, located at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Over its 59 years, the SOA has trained over 60,000 Latin American soldiers in counterinsurgency techniques, sniper training, commando and psychological warfare, military intelligence and interrogation tactics. These graduates have consistently used their skills to wage a war against their own people. Among those targeted by SOA graduates are educators, union organizers, religious workers, student leaders, and others who work for the rights of the poor. Hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans have been tortured, raped, assassinated, “disappeared,” massacred, and forced into refugee by those trained at the School of Assassins.

This is brutal.  It is the politics of empire at any cost.

No party should support this, but especially not Democrats.  The DNC should withdraw all support for the traitors who voted for this.  Mask of Anarchy has a list of the Democrats who voted yes.  Why not write them a letter thanking them for doing their best to make torture a bipartisan issue.

Thompson Will Win the Republican Nod in 2008

In spite of all the attention Ron Paul has been getting online, Thompson is leading the polls.  He is even ahead of political unexploded shell Giulliani (The Liberty Papers):

Here’s the summary. Fred Thompson, who hasn’t even declared his candidacy, leads Rudy Giuliani 28% to 27%. Romney and McCain are tied at 10%. Mike Huckabee and Sam Brownback get 2% each.

The top 3 candidates all have a multitude of issues that make them too much of a risk for the Republicans in 2008.  Fred Thompson has the best chance of emerging at the top of the pack come primary season.  The essence of his risk to the Democratic candidate boils down to his celebrity and the Reagan halo Republicans are certain to graft onto his spine.  Ironically, this operation was last attempted on George W Bush, the man Thompson inherits most of his political mantle from.  He has an unpopular position on the war, civil liberties, and in fact shares nearly every weakness Bush would bring to the table without the arguable benefit of the incumbency.

The fact is that Bush deserved the Reagan legacy.  His failures are a result of, not a departure from, conservative Republican politics.  Thompson would bring that same legacy to the 2008 elections.  What may seem like a canny framing to Republican strategists will prove a heavy burden to bear against a Democratic candidate in line with voters on the most pressing issues of the day.

Even some Republican candidates can see this(Raw Story):

On Tuesday, Ron Paul, a 10-term congressman from Texas and a Republican Presidential candidate, expressed serious doubts about the chances of a GOP victory in the 2008 Presidential race if the nominee is a ‘pro-war’ hawk.

“I don’t see how any Republican candidate can possibly win next year as being proponents of war and with the intention of spreading war into Iran,” he told MSNBC News. “And it looks like it’s going to happen if we don’t have a new foreign policy.

It looks like the Republicans have set themselves up to lose in 2008.

Bloomberg: You Cannot be Timid and Nonpartisan

There is some buzz around Bloomberg as a politician thanks to his departure from the Republican party to join the ranks of Independents. His talk of being “nonpartisan” is hardly anything new. But it provides some insight into one of the many problems with politics today. (Guardian, emphasis mine):

He declared his decision to drop his Republican affiliation on a campaign-style sweep through California, during which he criticised both parties in Washington for being too timid.

Recent speeches have also focused on national issues and he has repeatedly criticised the partisan politics that dominate Washington.

The politics of partisanship and the resulting inaction and excuses have paralysed decision-making, primarily at the federal level, and the big issues of the day are not being addressed, leaving our future in jeopardy,” he said on Monday at a University of Southern California conference.

There is a disconnect here. Invariably the discussion of moving beyond so called partisan politics is advocating for a very timid approach to politics. People disagree, and politicians, representing divergent viewpoints, have a responsibility to represent them. Disagreements over universal health care, the environment, or the war, are real battles that need to be fought. Clamoring for the non-partisan mantle is a rush to cave in and betray the values of the voters who put you into office. To be fierce and bold you must stand up for your beliefs.

When it comes down to it a nonpartisan approach to politics is an appeal to go with the crowd. It is the status quo over the will of the voters. At its extreme it says the single worst thing you can do as a politician is make an argument for a partisan position.

But even if there were a sense in claiming the answer is 5 when there is bickering over whether 2+2 is 4 or 6, it is anything but bold. Nonpartisan politics is the embodiment of timidity. Viewed through Bloomberg’s fractured idea of partisan politics his party switch looks less like an action of principle and more like another politician trying to be all things to all people.

Virginia: Purple and Homophobic

Virginia is a purple state. We have a Democratic governor and a Republican state legislature. We vote along the line for presidential candidates. The last election cycle indicates we are largely slipping towards the blue side of the spectrum.

Except when it comes to “those gays”. Virginia passed a measure banning same sex marriage 57% to 43%. This despite the the ban coming at the cost of protection against domestic abuse:

Attorneys at the Washington, D.C., law firm of Arnold and Porter, along with more than 200 attorneys and legal scholars around the state, have produced a 70-page memo detailing the unanticipated legal consequences of the gay marriage amendment—consequences including barring unmarried couples from the protections of state domestic-violence laws; nullifying trusts, wills, and medical directives between unmarried couples; and undermining custody and visitation agreements for children of unmarried couples. Characterizing the amendment as “the most expansive such proposal ever to have been put before the voters of any state,” the memo raises serious legal problems with its “exceedingly broad and untested language.”

That’s right, Virginia was so concerned about same sex couples having the same rights as heterosexual couples, they willingly risked domestic violence and other legal protections for all unmarried couples.

Principled.

With such a stance a priority for homophobes and lobbying groups such as the Virginia Catholic leadership, is it any wonder that the direct effects of this law on homosexual couples are a joke to state officials?

So much so they are touting, touting, gym membership as a benefit! (Via Pam):

Virginia, the state where Mary, Heather and little Samuel live, has an extreme anti-gay amendment in place, and it is facing the same problem. The situation is so hostile that a f*cking meager benefit like this is being touted.

University trustees have agreed to allow the same-sex partners of faculty and students to join the university’s gyms paying a lower rate previously reserved only for married couples.

But even to do that, the agreement extends to any two people living together who share expenses.

The all inclusive wording of the new rule has been accepted by Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell, although his spokesperson warned the school that McDonnell was only signing off on gym memberships and it should not interpreted as anything more.

Of course not. Don’t interpret it as any signal that there is equality under the law, or that religious hatred for homosexuals has no place dictating the rights of all citizens.

Virginia may have barely elected a Democrat to the Senate over an entrenched Republican, but Allen largely dug his own fortunes. The voters spoke loudly on an issue of civil rights and equality, and that voice was full of irrational hatred and fear. It is shameful that we as a state failed the litmus test this ballot question represented.

The stingy “benefits” being offered in the place of actual rights and protections is a slap in the face to University faculty.

We have a long way to go as a country when this is how a swing state views fundamental issues of equality, rights and justice.