Sunday, September 6, 2015

Last Call For Martyr And Meathead

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis remains in jail for not doing her job as Republicans gleefully co-opt black civil rights history and compare her to every icon they can find.

Davis, the elected Rowan County clerk, was sent to jail in contempt of court on Thursday after openly defying multiple court orders to obey the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in all U.S. states. Davis has maintained doing so is against her Christian beliefs.

This has prompted her attorneys and supporters to come up with some wildly fanciful comparisons.

“Kim joins a long list of people who were imprisoned for their conscience,” her Liberty Council attorney Mat Staver said. “People who today we admire, like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jan Huss, John Bunyan, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and more. Each had their own cause, but they all share the same resolve not to violate their conscience.”

Staver also said Davis is being persecuted the same way Jewish people were under Nazi Germany, while others have compared her to the “tank man,” an unnamed man who faced down Chinese military tanks during the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising.

According to a Twitter account that appears to be run by Davis’ husband Joe, Davis reportedly also wrote “a letter from a Carter County jail,” possibly mimicking Martin Luther King’s legendary and tide-turning Letter from Birmingham Jail.

“I have no doubt your opinion of me has been swayed by the liberal media gotchyas,” Davis allegedly wrote. “I am here because there is a war on Christians in America. This country was founded on the beliefs of Christianity. This is a fact.”

Davis also wrote in her letter that she believed Rosa Parks “had it easy.”

“The whole world is watching me,” the letter reads. “Under this microscope, I am now not only an example for my family but for the millions of Christians in America facing persecution and the loss of their fundamental right of Religious FREEDOM!!!”

Rep. King is apparently not a fan of honoring Supreme Court rulings he doesn’t agree with. The 1963 Abington Township School District v. Schempp King’s tweet refereed to didn’t ban prayer from schoools, according to the First Amendment Center. It enforced the Establishment Clause by making it illegal for public schools to force students to participate in prayer or promote religion. Students are free to express religion or pray on campus as long as it doesn’t interfere with lessons.

It’s unclear which “award” King believes Davis should receive, but some pointed out that Davis’ actions are more similar to the bus driver that had Rosa Parks arrested for refusing to give her seat up to a white passenger.

I'm not at all surprised by this, Republicans, particularly evengelical Christians, love to believe themselves to be persecuted when other people get rights they've had for decades or even centuries.   That's not persecution, of course.  Nobody is say, burning a gay flag on Davis's lawn or you know, firebombing her church with little girls inside it at the time.  Nobody is physically assaulting her, turning water cannons or dogs on her.

And again, I can't stress this enough: Kim Davis was arrested for refusing to do the job she swore an oath to, and refusing to serve the people in the office she was elected to serve in.  Her reasons for doing so are irrelevant as to why she's in jail.

Same-sex marriage is not persecution of millions of Christians, no matter how badly you dislike it.

And co-opting the memory of civil rights leaders who fought for justice, not bigotry in the name of a God who hates, is really, really the most awful thing here.

But it continues.

Return Of The Podcast

Hey guys, got a surprise for ya.

Podcast Versus The Stupid is back for the 2016 election season!

Check Out Politics Progressive Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Zandar Versus The Stupid on BlogTalkRadio

Give a listen to this week's episode, and be on the lookout for more...

Feeling The Pressure

You think DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is aware of how bad voting against the President's Iran deal would look, considering she's already in a position where she should lose her job for incompetence?  Today she's out in favor of the deal in an opinion piece in the Miami Herald:

In July, I committed to an exhaustive review process to carefully examine the facts and consider the intangible elements of this agreement, basing my decisions exclusively on what I believed would be most likely to prevent Iran from achieving its nuclear-weapons goals.

I have subsequently come to the conclusion that the agreement promotes the national-security interests of the United States and our allies and merits my vote of support.

I do not come to this decision lightly. I have probed the details of this agreement page by page, word by word, and had personal meetings with President Obama, Vice President Biden and Treasury Secretary Lew. I heard directly from Secretary of State John Kerry and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and had numerous highly classified briefings. I also spoke or met with independent economists, nuclear experts, military and intelligence experts in Israel and the United States, and ambassadors from our allies that are parties to the agreement as well as Israel’s ambassador.

Finally, before I finished my lengthy review, I held a series of meetings with my constituents so I could hear their concerns directly. I am proud to represent such an engaged constituency on the issues that matter, and I am proud of the time, energy and thoughtfulness the hundreds of individuals I met with or spoke to put into their review, whether for or against.

Vice President Biden saw these attributes on display firsthand when he led a roundtable discussion last week in my district, in an effort to answer questions and dispel myths for both me and some of my constituents.

This agreement is not perfect. But I join many in the belief that with complex, multilateral, nuclear non-proliferation negotiations with inherent geopolitical implications for the entire world, there is no such thing as a “perfect” deal.

I am somewhat pleasantly surprised at her decision, and her reasoning is what we've heard from other Democratic lawmakers supporting the bill.  It doesn't change the fact she presided over the disastrous 2010 and 2014 cycles and lost more than 80 House seats and nearly 20 Senate seats total in those two elections, and she still needs to be replaced.

But she did the right thing here, for once.

Read more here:

Sunday Long Read: More Tales Of Two Cincys

CityBeat Cincinnati takes a look at the Queen City's race and inequality problem and finds that there are no easy answers, and a whole hell of a lot of hard questions.

Cincinnati’s economic and geographic segregation hasn’t gone unnoticed. A 2011 study by researchers at the University of Michigan’s Social Science Data Analysis Network found that Cincinnati is the eighth most-segregated city in America. A study of major U.S. cities by social science journal New Geography published in January ranked Cincinnati 50 out of 52 cities when it came to the economic prospects of black residents. 
A CityBeat analysis of 2010 Census neighborhood and census tract-level demographic data shows the disturbing extent of the economic isolation in Cincinnati’s black neighborhoods. And that isolation seems to be getting worse. 
Of the city’s 10 neighborhoods with the lowest median household incomes, nine are more than 70-percent black. Six of those neighborhoods with considerable populations — The Villages at Roll Hill, Winton Hills, West End, Millvale, South Cumminsville and Avondale — are more than 90-percent black. 
Each of these neighborhoods has a median household income around half, or less, than the city’s median of about $34,000 a year. In these places, life expectancies are five to 10 years lower than the city as a whole
At least one of these neighborhoods, Over-the-Rhine, is undergoing a kind of revitalization, and its triumphs and travails are well-covered by the media. But the others are neglected, rarely considered places. 
One Cincinnati neighborhood, English Woods, today consists almost entirely of a single housing tower looming over vast, empty, fenced-off fields that once contained the rest of the housing project. It is home to about 400 people, 90 percent of them black. Its median household income is just $8,474 a year. 
Together, these lowest-income and predominantly black neighborhoods account for more than 36,000 people, a quarter of the city’s black population. 

The history behind why black neighborhoods in Cincinnati are not the kind of things you read in history class.  Redlining, white flight, urban renewal and gentrification have all come at the expense of the city's poorer, black neighborhoods.  It's still going on today and in fact things have gotten worse.

Black Cincinnati has never recovered from the financial devastation in 2008.  It was left behind, yet again.  The systemic issues in this country have blown a hole in the side of the boat, and the rising tide only serves to drown millions in poverty.
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