Just Some Odds and Ends

A social earthquake occurred in the United States beginning last Thursday and aftershocks continued until today. It was caused by the Supreme Court’s rulings in favor of homosexual marriages, reinforcing the permanence of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), blocking Texas legislation that will close abortion clinics, indirectly making it simpler in the future to declare the death penalty cruel and unusual punishment regardless of the manner by which States choose to execute felons, and last but not least, voting against an appeal by the Arizona republican party to allow more party input into the State’s redistricting process. It turns out Arizona is one of only three states where redistricting is defined by an independent commission – not by party politicians.

The extreme right has been pressing for a one-religion nation since 2009 when the tea party was created. It was an opportune time for the tea party to press its political/religious mores because republicans had gerrymandered state districts to guarantee republican legislatures no matter how the popular vote turned out. The conservative legislatures were permissive to tea party requests. The homosexual marriage ruling, in particular, which requires all fifty states to allow, perform and recognize such marriages, was a heavy blow to the extreme right. From Alabama to Texas, state court systems are trying hard to fight off the Supreme Court’s ruling but the die has been cast. In short order, every state will have to conform.

Senator Bernie Sanders, running for President against Hillary Clinton, shows poorly in national polls. However, it turns out he is drawing the largest crowds to his events – larger than everyone else running for President!

Pope Francis has invited Naomi Klein to sit on a panel about global warming. The Vatican is putting on a panel Wednesday to draw attention to a conference in Rome later in the week being organized by the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace and by Catholic groups that work on development issues.

You may remember that the mariner has cited her works on several occasions. Klein’s latest book, This Changes Everything, Capitalism versus the Climate, takes the position that capitalism is the cause of climate change and further, capitalism cannot solve the climate issue.

Australia has raised concern about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The nation is one of the participants and the public has had more access to the agreement than we in the US. Australia is concerned about the same things Americans suspect about the agreement: it is heavily cast in favor of corporations, allows corporations to disregard labor and civil rights legislation, and does not, in fact, create more jobs because corporations are not bound by location and can relocate at any time to the least expensive labor market. Obama slipped us a mickey on this one.

Happy Independence Day!

Ancient Mariner

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