Various & Sundry, 5/6/10

Short thoughts about what I’m thinking regarding things and stuff:

* Over the last couple of days I’ve been asked if I have any thoughts about the British elections, which are today, and the answer is, not really, no: It’s not my country and while I’ve been reading about it casually off of friends’ blogs and from Andrew Sullivan, what I’ve really learned is that I don’t know enough about British politics to make any sort of informed comment.

What I can say is a) I really like the fact that election season in the UK is confined to ten weeks, which seems sane compared to the US “eternal campaign” mode, and b) it’s interesting to look at politics in a country where the typical MP of the mainstream “right” party would be something like a moderate albeit slightly hawkish member of the Democratic party here in the US. I took one of those “which UK party would you belong to?” quizzes myself and found my positions being somewhere between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives, with the quiz ultimately assigning me to the Conservatives. As someone who occasionally gets sniped at by right-leaning folks here in the US as being a pinko commie liberal, I found this deeply amusing.

* Also have very little to add to the story of George Alan Rekers, professional conservative homophobe found engaging the services of a twinkish young man through male escort site, except that it once again feeds my perceptual bias that when a conservative male says “the gays are a danger to our way of life,” the unsaid portion of that sentence running in his mind is “because they are so delicious and I just want to gobble them up.”

What irritates me most about these things is how appallingly stupid their excuses are when they get caught. “Oh, I just hired this hot young man from an online gay escort service to lift my luggage.” “Oh, I hired this male escort to massage me for three years because I was stressed.” “Oh, I offered this guy in a public restroom $20 to blow him because I was afraid he would beat me up, in his dusky, chocolately blackness.” Bitch, please. I mean, no, I don’t expect these guys to say “Wow, you caught me, fair enough,” and then patiently lay out their down low proclivities over the years to a happily gnashing press. But, come on, guys. Not even in deepest Religious Conservatania are these things going to fly.

There’s also the lesson here that when one is in fact tolerant of gays and lesbians, one then has the option of not having to resort to male escorts and public restrooms to find congenial company. It’s just a thought.

* Oh, look: Joe the Plumber has won a seat on his local GOP board. Nice to see he’s getting work.

* Oil Spill! My thought on that, aside from the general and appropriate “well, this sucks” response: Hmmm, bet Obama is regretting his plan of a few weeks earlier to open up more portions of the seaboard to drilling. I’m aware of Rush Limbaugh and a couple of others floating the idea that the spill was some sort of planned sabotage by environmentalists, but it doesn’t seem to be getting any sort of traction, I suspect because it requires a “he’s just carrying my luggage” level of credulity.

* Guy trying to bomb Times Square: One, glad we caught him; two, glad he was an incompetent bomb maker; three, oddly enough it does seem that reading the dude his rights and not trundling him off with a bag over his head to be waterboarded is paying off in terms of getting him to talk. Oddly.

The New York Times has an interesting article today in which friends of the attempted bomber note the correlation between the decline of his economic fortunes and the rise of his miltantness. I say “correlation” because I want to be very careful to avoid going “Look! That’s the cause!” because, really, what do I know about the guy? And also I suspect there’s a lot that happens between being a normal sort of fellow and becoming the sort of guy who tries to bomb a bunch of people with an SUV.

There is apparently evidence of a tie between this event and the Pakistani Taliban, to whom I say: Please to enjoy our Predator Drones! They will be saturating your sky soon. I also rather strongly suspect our Ambassador to Pakistan has had a nice conversation with that country’s president, along the lines of “this is the part where your army goes up there and kills all the Taliban our Predator Drones miss.” So we’ll see how that goes.

* People who have looked at my appearance schedule know I will be appearing at the Phoenix ComicCon later this month and wanted to know if I was planning to back out because of the immigration law that was passed in Arizona. The answer is no: I made the commitment before the law was passed and to the best of my knowledge the Phoenix ComicCon was not integral in its passage so I’m not inclined to punish it therewith. Moreover Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon has been pretty vocal against the law, so I feel fine about being in Phoenix.

But, yeah, I’ll note after the Phoenix ComicCon I won’t be in a huge rush to trundle back to Arizona. Backers of Arizona’s immigration law have been lately bleating about how they had no choice but to pass it because Washington’s not been doing anything about illegal immigration. Well, you know what, you don’t protest your landlord not fixing a broken door by burning down the apartment building. In my estimation the Arizona immigration law is unconstitutional, and despite the wall-papering amendments added to the law after it was passed, in practice it will almost certainly be racist, as the very excuse its proponents give for its passage rather explicitly notes who the targets of the law are, since Arizona is not precisely concerned about illegal aliens from Vancouver.

This isn’t an official boycott, since I don’t have the real inclination to double check everything I do or buy to see if it’s got any Arizona component. Nor do I feel inclined to tell anyone else what to do on the matter. But on the other hand I’m not going to go out of my way to spend a whole lot of time in a place where I feel members of my own family are part of a general suspect class, and that a police officer might see them drive by, notice their skin color and features, and then look to see if their tail light is working. Sure, they’re not supposed to do it in that order, and I don’t think most of Arizona’s police officers will. But if you don’t think some will, you live in the same land where “he’s carrying my luggage” is a reasonable excuse.

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