Another One Bites the Dust

By , May 8, 2011 1:55 pm

Peter Vidmar resigns as chief of mission for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team.

Why? you ask.

In a story on the Chicago Tribune’s website Thursday, openly gay figure skater and two-time Olympian Johnny Weir called Vidmar’s selection “disgraceful” because of Vidmar’s opposition to gay marriage.

Vidmar, a Mormon, was a public supporter of Proposition 8, the voter-approved law passed in 2008 that restricted marriage in California to one man and one woman. The Mormon church believes all sexual relations outside of marriage are wrong, and defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.

Fits a pattern.

Kind of turns “do unto others” on its head.


By , May 6, 2011 9:57 am

I’m against torture.

I’m undecided about waterboarding. Is it torture? It certainly must be uncomfortable, and I’ve read all the arguments that it is–Japan did it in WWII, and we went after them, etc. But then there’s the odd fact that guys like Christopher Hitchens willingly underwent waterboarding to see what it was like. (It was like torture, he said.) I have a hard time imagining Hitchens allowing someone to attache electrodes to his genitals or pull off his finger nails.

Anyway, we can debate my moral dilemma another day. My point today is to raise an interesting question raised by an interchange in the comments on Barry Ritholtz’s website The Big Picture. Ritholtz, by the way, is adamant that water boarding is torture. Virtually all of his readers appear to agree with him, judging by the comments.

But then there’s this interchange:

Andy T Says:
May 6th, 2011 at 2:45 am
“Thinking that torture is wrong is not a liberal or conservative value — it is an American value.”

If your wife or child was captured by somebody…and the only way to get really good information out of a suspect/accomplice was to torture them, what would you do?
Tough question…..I know.
Mike Dukakis lost an election with that type of question in 1988.
Keep holding on to your ‘truths’ ….


BR: Its not a tough question — its a silly piece of rhetoric, revealing the questioner to be a fool. Of course, my personal code of ethics is different than what a great nations’ laws are.
What I would do personally in that situation — ripping someone’s eyes out with my bare hands so I could piss on their brains — is not the same sort of response that is appropriate by a nation.

Why is what might be appropriate for me to do, inappropriate for a nation to do? Discuss.

Not to Pick on The Donald

By , May 4, 2011 2:27 pm

But this guy is richer than you are and apparently has the facts to back up his braggadocio. Oh, and better hair.

And he seems to have bigger things in mind than himself. A quote from the Jornal do Brasil story (translation mine):

Minha missão é mostrar a jovens brasileiros que eles podem se orgulhar do que estão produzindo. Alguém tem que mostrar que é possível. [My mission is to demonstrate to young Brazilians that they can be proud of what they’re producing. Someone has to show (them) what is possible.]

Calling Donald Trump

By , May 4, 2011 2:14 pm

Obama Says He Won’t Release Bin Laden Death Photo.

You’d Never Confuse the Press with the Birthers

By , May 2, 2011 4:20 pm

Birthers are skeptical. The press, at least when it came to Obama’s birth and education credentials, were not. And that’s a tragedy.

Just sayin’.

And thus it hurt to watch the following as the President acted unpresidential, and the press howled with no apparent self-awareness.

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