Over the past few months, federal and state courts have been finding that state bans on marriage equality or recognizing LGBT marriages are unconstitutional. Utah was the first, and it’s since been followed by Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia, Kentucky, and New Mexico. While most of these are being appealed, Virginia’s is not, and in Kentucky, the Attorney General has refused to appeal, so an outside counsel will be used. In reaction, several states are attempting “religious freedom” bills to allow people to refuse LGBT’s on the basis of “religious objections.” Arizona, Kansas, and Indiana have all attempted it, with … poor results. Arizona’s governor vetoed the bill after massive backlash, while Kansas and Indiana allowed their bills to die in the legislatures. It’s not unexpected that there is going to be this sort of reaction, particularly in the “Red States,” where Republicans hold control and are acting on their base’s demands.
Tag Archives: pragmatism
One of the first agricultural techniques, which is still practiced in many parts of the world, is “slash and burn agriculture.” It’s pretty simple:
Slash-and-burn is an agricultural technique that involves cutting and burning of trees and plants in forests or woodlands to create fields. It is subsistence agriculture that typically uses little technology or other tools. It is typically part of shifting cultivation agriculture, and of transhumance livestock herding.
It works by clearing an area, planting crops until the soil is depleted, and then moving on to the next area. Eventually, one may move back to the original area, after a period of allowing regrowth, but that isn’t always possible. Its use as a successful method depends on having a small population and a lot of land to move to. The problem with it is that it’s not a sustainable method of agriculture. Once you reach a certain population density, or have exhausted the land available, it becomes unsustainable. So, what does that have to do with the economy?
One of the things that amuses me is when I see the typical demographic of Tea Party or “true conservative” Republican Party members. Why does it amuse me? Well, I fall into that demographic as well. I’m in my 50′s, a rural white male. My childhood was spent in rural areas, and today I live in one. We were (and are) hard working, independent, “take care of yourself and your family” people. I had a strong religious background, in fact, many people assumed that when I grew up I’d be a minister. I went to college, joined the military afterward, and after leaving, went to work in the private sector. I even ran my own business for a few years. So “obviously” I should be a conservative Republican, not a liberal Democrat!
Back in the early days of this blog, I defined my stance as a pragmatic liberal:
I’m a pragmatic liberal and a realist. What that means is that I will always go with “what works” over an impractical solution, or take what is achievable for now versus doing without anything in the vague hope that “the perfect” will somehow happen. I recognize that “all or nothing” often means nothing, and that if nothing hurts a lot more people than something, I’ll take the something – every time.
One of the things I’ve noted is that purists tend to be quite willing to propose impractical solutions, or accept nothing at all, if it means “not perfect” is the alternative according to their lights.
There’s a lot of stories right now about Judge Robert Shelby’s ruling overturning the ban on same-sex marriage in Utah. This has caused LGBT couples in Utah to apply for marriage licenses, couples are being married (including by the Mayor of Salt Lake City), and there’s lots and lots of news stories. Of course, the state wants to appeal, screaming about “activist judges.”
Gov. Gary Herbert issued a statement following Shelby’s ruling, saying he was disappointed.
“It’s not surprising to me. It’s disappointing, but not surprising,” Herbert said. “Typical wisdom would have had, with the order of last Friday, a stay to accompany with it. It clearly was going to be appealed, no matter what the decision was, it would be appealed by either side. So the process will move forward, that’s the democratic process.
The usual crowd on the right wing are also screaming their heads off, with the usual dire warnings and rush to the bastions to “defend marriage.”