HA Bible Study: Deuteronomy 7

Deuteronomy 7
When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you- and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in the fire. For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.

Discuss.

Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza!

Thom politically corrects FAUX News Nutburger Steve Doocy.

Jimmy Dore chats with Rep. Peter King:

Sam Seder: Palin flubs on White House.

Women and Republicans

Jon: American priorities.

Thom: The Good, The Bad, and The Very, Very Ugly.

ONN: The Onion Week in Review

Young Turks: FAUX News has bullshit eruption after Obama calls bullshit on their bullshit.

Sam Seder: Bill-O blows a fuse over Colbert’s mocking of his stupid idea.

Mental Floss: 14 Money Saving Life Hacks.

Puppet Nation: Please hold for the President.

The Republican War on Voters™:

James Rustad: “The Ballad of [Texas Gubernatorial Wannabe] #GregAbbott”.

Sam Seder and Cliff Schecter: Cristie’s Tunnelgate will dwarf Bridgegate.

Jimmy Dore gets a call from Gov. Rick Perry.

White House: West Wing Week.

Young Turks: CNN’s cowardly attack on Reza Aslan.

Thom: How privatizing medical records will harm you.

Sam Seder: Michele Bachmann wants a global war with Islam.

Breach!

John Fugelsang and Thom: Why the American dream is on the chopping block.

Puppet Nation: Vote Granny.

Jimmy Dore chats with President Obama.

Thom with more Good, Bad, and Very, Very Ugly.

World War III Kickstarter update:

ObamaCare is Working!

Last week’s Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza can be found here.

State Supreme Court Upholds Washington’s Estate Tax; Frank Blethen Rolls Over in His Grave*

Back in 2013 the Seattle Times editorial board repeatedly advocated against a technical fix to Washington’s estate tax, calling it both “legally and economically wrong.”

Given the current crisis of income inequality in America they are certainly welcome to continue to argue the latter. But as for their stoopid, stoopid legal arguments, well, the Washington State Supreme Court has once again proven the editors to be constitutionally incapable of interpreting the constitution:

The state Supreme Court has upheld the Washington estate tax as it was amended by state lawmakers in 2013.

The court handed down its unanimous ruling Thursday. The opinion was authored by Justice Charles Wiggins and leaves in place a tax-law change that was meant to preserve an estimated $160 million in the current biennium.

I’m not sure what’s worse—that the editors arrogantly thought they knew better than all the lawyers advising state legislators, or that they didn’t think they knew better and just decided to fake it in an effort to snow readers?


* No, Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen isn’t technically dead, just the five-generation family media empire that’s been pissed away on his watch.

Open Thread 10/2

- I’m not sure there’s all that much that the state can do about oil trains, but good on Governor Inslee for doing what he can.

The problem isn’t that people don’t have enough guns. The problem is that police are too often using the guns they have. That won’t be solved by a bunch of average suburban white people wandering around public spaces with their rifles slung over their backs. Those aren’t the people most likely to be shot by police –whether they’re armed or not. They’re missing the point entirely.

Washington state is dotted with landslide-prone slopes, and many counties and cities do less than Snohomish County to keep homes away from harm.

– What marijuana shops will open are slowly working themselves out.

– That’s cute and all, but maybe an income tax would be a better way to solve the budget hole than taxing political contributions?

Two Weeks Vacation Is Stupid and Inhumane

Richard Branson has made Virgin Management the latest of a handful of companies to offer employees “unlimited” paid vacation time. The idea is that these companies won’t track your hours as long as you get your work done. Which, as a binge worker, sounds pretty damn great me.

But “beware the implications of unlimited vacation,” warns Bloomberg Businessweek’s Vanessa Wong:

The glow of trust and togetherness that such policies provide could actually make employees less likely to take time off. Already, some 40 percent of American workers don’t use all their paid vacation days. Even away from the office, employees can still choose to be on their BlackBerrys (BBRY) for 168 hours a week (as the device’s marketing materials point out, to every worker’s distress). Abolishing official vacation days also means you can’t trade unused days for cash, or hoard them for 20 years and take a hard-won paid sabbatical before retiring.

Um… what century is Wong living in?

I’m 51 years old and have never stayed in one salaried job long enough to accrue more than two-weeks of paid vacation days a year, let alone hoard them for cash or sabbatical. Wait. I take that back. Last February, on my three-year anniversary at The Stranger, I qualified for a third week of paid vacation for the coming year. I was fired one month later.

And my penchant for job hopping isn’t so abnormal. The average worker today stays at one job for a median of 4.4 years—for Millennials, half that. So a national paid vacation standard that starts at two weeks and is tied to length of tenure ends up being cruel, counterproductive, and downright stupid. This is a policy that inevitably leads to burnout while distorting the labor market by punishing workers for switching jobs.

So I’m all for any policy that helps shake up America’s draconian attitude toward vacation days.

Today in I-Can’t-Believe-We-Don’t-Have-This-Already

Patty Murray is introducing legislation to provide increased access to and education about emergency contraception.

When women are not given full counseling about — and access to — emergency contraception, a major health decision is taken out of their hands. Every year, over three million pregnancies (one half of all pregnancies in the United States) are unintended. In the 1960s, researchers began testing the effectiveness of concentrated, high doses of oral estrogen to prevent unintended pregnancy. In 1973, putting science and medical evidence first, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved this form of contraception only as an emergency measure. In the time since (and not without significant resistance from critics), the FDA has declared emergency contraception, a.k.a. the morning-after pill, to be safe and effective in preventing unintended pregnancy after unprotected sex, birth control failure, or sexual assault. In addition, the FDA has approved the sale of some forms of this pill to women of all ages — over the counter, without prescription.

However, despite this increased access — and the number of options now available to women — emergency contraceptive use in the United States remains low. In fact, only half of OB/GYNs offer emergency contraception to all of their patients, and one third of reproductive-age women don’t know it exists.

Well, that’s a problem. I mean fortunately this is such a no-brainer that I’m sure it will sail right through our responsive democratic process. Surely, right. Right?

Open Thread 9/30

- Not sure what Washington’s rules about selling the Confederate flag in gift shops is, but if we don’t have a rule like this, we should probably adopt one.

– The GOP trouble attracting women to their cause is sure tough to explain. Part infinity.

– Still not a big fan of Amazon, but if they’ll build a woonerf* I’ll be happy for a moment.

– Hey DC Comics: Do better.

– Goldy will probably have a longer post at some time, but Chris Hansen has submitted all the paperwork for the Seattle Arena.

[Read more...]

Seattle Times Editorial Board Disappears Erik Smith

Usually the Seattle Times is quick to tout the new additions to its editorial board, while lauding the contributions of its departing editorial columnists. But after only six months on the job, Erik Smith was suddenly disappeared from the editorial board over the weekend, entirely without comment or explanation.

What kind of a cowardly newspaper would do something like that?

Whatever our political differences (and they were profound), our personal interactions were always friendly and professional. As an editorial writer Smith may have been wrong about everything, but he worked hard at it, and was certainly the most prolific member of the editorial board during his brief tenure.

That said, Smith was also the author of the paper’s breathtakingly dishonest and inaccurate “death tax” editorial. So while as a fellow ex-newspaperman I can certainly empathize with Smith, as a media critic I won’t miss him.

Drinking Liberally — Seattle

DLBottlePlease join us tonight for some politics over a pint at the Seattle Chapter of Drinking Liberally.

We meet tonight and every Tuesday evening at the Roanoke Park Place Tavern, 2409 10th Ave E, Seattle. The starting time is 8:00 pm, but some folks show up before that for dinner.

Can’t make it to Seattle? Perhaps you can visit another Washington State chapter of Drinking Liberally over the next week.

The Tri-Cities chapter also meets this Tuesday. The Lakewood chapter meets this Wednesday. On Thursday, the Tacoma chapter meets. The Enumclaw chapter meets on Friday. And next Monday, the Yakima, South Bellevue and Olympia chapters meet.

With 203 chapters of Living Liberally, including seventeen in Washington state, three in Oregon and three in Idaho, chances are excellent there’s a chapter meeting somewhere near you.

Open Thread 9/29

- Sorry it’s so late. I think even though I knew it was coming I wasn’t prepared for this crappy new bus reality. Should be back to regular soon.

Whitewashing History

Hillsboro’s environmental record is really something to strive for.

Macefield Music Fest!

– It’s a little late for banned books week, but I’m linking to this now because it’s better than never.

– Speaking of books and a little bit late, hey, my friend wrote a book. I haven’t read it yet, so no recommendation one way or the other.

Seattle Times Advocates Against the Rule of Law

Exactly what is it that the Seattle Times editorial board doesn’t get about the Constitution?

Recent high-profile rulings should make Washington uneasy, as the court eases restrictions on state authority and gives itself unprecedented authority to dictate government actions.

In 2012, for example, the court threw out the two-thirds-for-taxes rule, wildly popular with voters, which made it harder for the Legislature to vote for tax hikes.

The two-thirds rule may very well have been wildly popular with voters, but it was also wildly unconstitutional. Are the editors seriously suggesting that the justices should have deferred to election results rather than the very clear and unambiguous letter and spirit of the law? Because that would have been malpractice.

Some states—like California—permit voters to amend the constitution via initiative. Washington’s constitution does not. I’d argue, wisely. Are the editors arguing that Washington should be more like the California? If so they should advocate for amending the state constitution as such instead of cowardly casting aspersions at our justices for doing their job.

But to suggest, as the editors do, that the justices basing their ruling on the constitution rather than popular opinion “should make Washington uneasy,” just makes the Seattle Times look stupid.

HA Bible Study: Revelation 12:1-6

Revelation 12:1-6
A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.

Discuss.