Maggie Thatcher’s death and other matters

Glenn Greenwald makes a point about Thatcher he’s made before about Reagan and Jerry Falwell: When a person’s in politics, it’s perfectly reasonable to speak ill of the dead. Otherwise they and their values become enshrined and exalted and let’s face it, sometimes their value suck. She was anti-feminist, privatized Britain’s retirement system for the worse and supported South Africa’s apartheid government (or at least opposed black rule, as the US did for years, as the gateway for a communist takeover). Those thing should be mentioned, along with (as LGM notes at one of the links) her AIDS policies (much more pragmatic and humane than Reagan’s).
As Greenwald points out, there’s no more reason to be reverential to Thatcher than there is to hold Hugo Chavez above criticism (but as Corey Robbin points out, lying about the dead is another matter).
•Ta-Nehisi Coates argues that Ron Paul’s appeal is much the same as Louis Farrakhan’s. Meanwhile, Paul’s son Rand is going to perform some sort of minority outreach despite remaining opposed to the Civil Rights Act. Alicublog sums up Paul’s “ending discrimination good, passing laws to end discrimination bad” perfectly: It’s like supporting milk but opposing the milking of cows.
•Coates, again, on racism, Southern pride and how to express Southern pride: “hold a huge party on Martin Luther King’s birthday, to celebrate a Southerner’s contribution to the world of democracy. He could rock a T-shirt emblazoned with Faulkner’s Light In August, and celebrate the South’s immense contribution to American literature. He could preach about the contributions of unknown Southern soldiers like Andrew Jackson Smith. He could tell the world about the original Cassius Clay. He could insist that Tennessee raise a statue to Ida B. Wells.”
•Iran has the legal right to non-weaponized nuclear power under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The New York Times describes this fact as a “claim” rather than a fact.
•One argument against the Supreme Court approving gay marriage is that it’s going to happen everywhere, eventually (which I agree with), so imposing it by judicial mandate will just alienate people and increase resistance. LGM says that even though gay marriage has majority support, that doesn’t translate into political action, so a Supreme Court victory is a good thing.
As FAIR points out, gay marriage is still illegal in most of the country. Which doesn’t stop the USA Today article FAIR links to portraying opponents as “fighting a lonely battle …outspent and lately out-hustled” And a “diverse” group despite being all conservative Christians. And let’s face it, the Catholic Church isn’t an inconsequential opponent, though the Catholic spokesman here comes off as daft as many others—did you know poor minority children growing up fatherless proves gay marriage is wrong? I read his quote and I still don’t know why. Alex Pareene lists some other flimsy arguments. Slacktivist discusses attempts to turn the Manhattan Declaration against same-sex marriage into a fund-raising tool.
•Attorney Martin Garbus ponders the case of deceased reporter Mike McAlery, who smeared a rape victim in the press.
•Is it legal for a restaurant to confiscate tips to make up for customers who don’t pay? Consumerist says in many cases, no.
•Alicublog catches right-winger Jonah Goldberg playing a version of “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear”—he argues that genuinely disabled people should accept, nay demand that phony claims be rooted out and exposed! And hey, maybe people would support more disability benefits if they knew it was going to real claims.
As pointed out at the link (in comments and in the post), disability-applications are hard enough already (it’s common for even genuine claims to get denied at first) so it’s not surprising people who need disability benefits don’t want it harder. And for large numbers of people on the right (I’d imagine Goldberg’s among them) the bottom line isn’t that people are filing false claims, it’s that worthless losers are stealing tax money from the Real Americans. They don’t want honest claims—they don’t want any disabled people getting money period.


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One response to “Maggie Thatcher’s death and other matters

  1. Pingback: All links possible | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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