Friday, August 21, 2009

Does Race Trump Gender?

I imagine, by this point, most people who read this blog know about Caster Semenya, the 18 runner who won a gold but a competitor challenged her biological status, i.e., she's not a she.

The controversy is entirely way to complex. Fascinating but complex.

Yet, I am struck with an interesting rhetorical move by another South African athlete, who, according to The New York Times, stated:
“The question I ask is if this were a European person, would these questions be raised?” said Ruben Ramolefi, a track athlete for South Africa. “It seems there’s hypocrisy behind it.”

Since this is incredibly complex, I ask that Ramolefi not mention another loaded, socially-constructed term into the controversy until someone can figure out the gender issue.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursday Musical Tribute...

Regina Spektor, "Samson."

I am a big fan of this song. It hurts, every time.

It is a great example of mortification where the person takes the blame for the downfall rather than scapegoat someone else for the problems in a relationship.

"You are my sweetest downfall..."

The Politics of Cynicism as an Art Form

In his new book, Tom Ridge will proclaim what everyone else knew: during the 2004 Presidential Campaign, Team Bush manipulated the Terrorist Spectrum, i.e. the Terrorist Threat Alert System, for partisan reasons. Even better, because of this partisan tactic, Ridge knew he should leave the federal government.

Ridge stepped down as Head of the Department of Homeland Security in 2004.

I may be wrong about this but, if we believe Ridge to be the virtuous citizen he proclaims, why did he not speak out in in August of 2004 and not August of 2009?


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Image of the Day: Metaphors from the Health Care Debate

This seems to be an appropriate metaphor describing the Health Care debate. CNN has more about this person who brought his assault riffle and handgun to a location where President Obama spoke on health care.

Though the person in question is practicing his constitutional rights while protesting, it seems that the refutation for this position is prudence. Similarly to the free speech debate, of course you have the right but it is not always wise to exercise that right. It does not seem to be a prudent move to bring a gun to a forum where citizens can "debate" health care. Somehow this image does not seem to inspire a "good faith effort" necessary for political debate and it does not seem as the person in question is open to an ethical debate, a debate in which the person is open to changing his or her position on a subject.

If only hippies packed heat when Bush and Cheney held their social security or Iraq war rallies. If that occurred, it would have been interesting to listen to conservative commentators attack the hippies for threatening the safety of the President and the quality of the debate.

Oh well. The decline of the American Empire is not here just yet...