“Deal Struck on $789 Billion Stimulus”

It is wonderful that Obama has got his bill on his schedule!  But…

And here’s the compromise:

The package will pare back Democrats’ proposed spending on education and health in favor of tax cuts needed to win Republican votes in the Senate.

Are the votes worth that?  I thought they had the votes needed even if the Republicans voted against it.

Who won this election?  Maybe when I read the details, I won’t feel so ill.  Of course, these are the people who’ve decided not to hold Bush and Cheney responsible under the law for what are arguably high crimes and misdemeanors, so I’m not wildly optimistic.

What do you think?

When is a joke just a joke? When is a response needed?

At the risk of demonstrating clearly that feminist philosophers have no sense of humor at all:

The 86th Philosophers Carnival is up.  The first cited entry is on strong friendships in contrast with romantic relationships.  The first are intrinsically valuable, according to  Aaron Weingott, while the  second are only instrumentally valuable.  The carnival is on a cartoon site and accompanying the reference  is the following cartoon (not by AW):



Words really do fail me, though about 20 minutes after having first seen it, I’m struck by the fact that the race and gender of the cartoonist seem pretty obvious, and the age of the author, Aaron Weingott, also fairly clear. At least, I hope men tend to grow out of this sort of view of human life, though when I think of it …

Earlier (in  comments) we explored the idea of just querying a comment when supposedly jokey remarks employing discriminatory discourse are used in public spaces. I’m thinking that just saying, “Could we just clarify the point of  the brothers-and-whores analogy?” might be better than nothing.

The following thought does also occur to me: “They really think they own the world and provide the model for it.”   But, jj, where is your sense of humor?!?

What do you think?

A Religious Country?

As an ex-pat American now living in the UK, I am still struck by the very different senses in which it can be said that the US and UK are religious countries. The US is an officially secular nation with a supposedly strict separation of church and state. Yet its people are in fact very religious (at least compared to other Western democracies), and Christianity plays a huge role in politics. The UK is officially a Christian country, but its people are some of the most secular around and it is considered highly distasteful for politicians to mention their religious beliefs. Mostly, as a secular person, this makes me far more comfortable in the UK. One big exception, though, is education. All schools have a daily act of worship which must be of a “broadly Christian character” (with a huge range of interpretations of this available), and this really creeps me out as an American. (Though I find that my equally secular British friends are mostly unperturbed by it.) Which brings me to this story. One interesting thing to me is my reaction. Somehow I do find it more disturbing to have a Christian assembly at a majority Muslim school than to have one at a majority atheist school. Is that just because we atheists are so accustomed to being ignored? (Thanks, Jender-Parents!)