SCOTUS declares DOMA Unconstitutional, 5 - 4.
The gay rights movement saw a significant victory at the Supreme Court Wednesday, where the justices struck down part of a law barring federal benefits to married same-sex couples.
In a 5-4 ruling
, the court struck down a provision of the 17-year-old Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that denies federal benefits -- like Social Security benefits or the ability to file joint tax returns - to same-sex couples legally married.
The impact of the DOMA case, United States v. Windsor, is clear for the nation's approximately 130,000 married same-sex couples. Section 3 of the law, the provision that was struck down, denies same-sex couples federal benefits. That provision impacts around 1,100 federal laws, including veterans' benefits, family medical leave and tax laws.
posted by theora55
on Jun 26, 2013 -
"In 1961, Phyllis Richman applied to graduate school at Harvard. She received a letter asking how she would balance a career in city planning with her 'responsibilities' to her husband and possible future family. Fifty-two years later, she responds
." [more inside]
posted by DarlingBri
on Jun 8, 2013 -
In Praise of Leisure
- "Imagine a world in which most people worked only 15 hours a week. They would be paid as much as, or even more than, they now are, because the fruits of their labor would be distributed more evenly across society. Leisure would occupy far more of their waking hours than work. It was exactly this prospect that John Maynard Keynes conjured up in a little essay published in 1930 called 'Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren
.' Its thesis was simple. As technological progress made possible an increase in the output of goods per hour worked, people would have to work less and less to satisfy their needs, until in the end they would have to work hardly at all... He thought this condition might be reached in about 100 years — that is, by 2030." (via
) [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Jun 22, 2012 -
Stephanie Coontz: The M.R.S. and the Ph.D.
"Is this really the fate facing educated heterosexual women: either no marriage at all or a marriage with more housework and less sex? Nonsense. That may have been the case in the past, but no longer. For a woman seeking a satisfying relationship as well as a secure economic future, there has never been a better time to be or become highly educated... The most important predictor of marital happiness for a woman is not how much she looks up to her husband but how sensitive he is to her emotional cues and how willing he is to share the housework and child-care. And those traits are often easier to find in a low-key guy than a powerhouse." [more inside]
posted by flex
on Feb 25, 2012 -
The past century . . . is rich with examples, both poignant and tragic, of technological possibilities not realized. On 1 September 1939, a decision was . . . taken by our species to spend five trillion dollars and expend ~72 million human lives. This decision was followed in 1947, and repeated at intervals until 1991, to expend an additional ~12 trillion dollars, and perhaps another 1-2 million human lives. . . . In the midst of the first of these costly escapades, on 15 March, 1944, the architect of the German V-2 rocket, Wernher von Braun, was arrested by the Gestapo on charges of high treason for having privately expressed regret, after dinner at a colleague’s home one evening the previous October, that he and his team were not working on a spaceship . . .
From a wide-ranging essay by Mike Darwin on the future that wasn’t
. (Note: Site doesn't seem to display properly in Internet Explorer)
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear
on Jun 7, 2011 -
This week, Rockstar Games released L. A. Noire
, a video game that's--perhaps not unusual for a Rockstar game--getting stellar reviews
. One review, and one reviewer in particular, though stands out. Carolyn Petit, a new member of the staff at GameSpot
, made her video game review debut
yesterday. Carolyn is transgender
. Note: if you're not a GameSpot member, you'll have to do an age check on the video [more inside]
posted by PapaLobo
on May 17, 2011 -
Fareed Zakaria: Are America's Best Days Behind Us?
- "We have an Electoral College that no one understands and a Senate that doesn't work, with rules and traditions that allow a single Senator to obstruct democracy without even explaining why. We have a crazy-quilt patchwork of towns, municipalities and states with overlapping authority, bureaucracies and resulting waste. We have a political system geared toward ceaseless fundraising and pandering to the interests of the present with no ability to plan, invest or build for the future. And if one mentions any of this, why, one is being unpatriotic, because we have the perfect system of government, handed down to us by demigods who walked the earth in the late 18th century and who serve as models for us today and forever. America's founders would have been profoundly annoyed by this kind of unreflective ancestor worship." [for
posted by kliuless
on Apr 17, 2011 -
Pandora, Prometheus, and Pessimism.
"Pessimism deserves serious consideration in today’s culture of Oprah-quick-fix happiness, Prozac induced euphoria, and unjustified optimism for our species. Unlike Oprah and Prozac, pessimism is not easy to swallow. It is time we consider this tradition in a culture steeped in farcical, puerile conceptions of happiness; an environment where every person who is able to grin on a book-cover can tell us how to achieve happiness now; where angels or god or some other fairy-tale character cares about our actions in this world. Life is not a grand, heroic narrative with a happy ending. It is not a place where we are overcoming obstacles in order to achieve a time in our lives of perfect serenity. In order to combat such serious obstructions to clear-thought, boundaries to reality and gateways to delusion, pessimism can help us shape our thoughts on matters which resonate with all us rational, bipedal apes."
posted by homunculus
on Apr 15, 2010 -
The New Road
. A photo essay by Rob Amberg on the building of I-26 through Madison County in the mountains of North Carolina. via
posted by 1f2frfbf
on Feb 3, 2009 -
"The more we understand why we demonise certain scientific advances, the better we will be able to decide whether some areas of research are so sensitive they should always remain off limits to science." Is Science Out of Control?
posted by tybeet
on Jan 10, 2009 -
The Happy Planet Index
presents an alternative to GDP for measuring standard of living. It ranks countries by measuring life expectancy and self-reported life satisfaction against an "ecological footprint" needed to support that country's lifestyle. The press release
claims that well-being is not based on high levels of consumption, but many don't agree
. Full report in PDF here
. Vanuatu tops the charts, while Zimbabwe and Swaziland lie at bottom. Critiques here
, and here
. A critique of happiness indices generally here.
posted by shivohum
on Jun 3, 2007 -
Gay and Muslim groups getting together in the UK?
plans are to look at homophobia in the Muslim community and Islamophobia in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community
. The Muslim Council of Britain is also admitting that if you have nothing positive to say keep your mouth shut,
which is a very good first step. Can two groups often on the receiving end of hatred work together ? “British Muslims welcome working with everyone including members of the Lesbian and Gay community against a common enemy, fascism.”
I don't know if they have the likes of Michael Savage
there (or the many many others), who rail against (and call for the death of) both Muslims and gays on the airwaves daily, but it seems hopeful, no?
posted by amberglow
on Apr 19, 2006 -
I posted the story
about how researchers had discovered that both sexes cared about appearance when selecting dates. Today Stanford
(!!) releases the startling discovery that cars get hot when parked in the sun. Meanwhile K State learns that women feel better
about their bodies when complemented, and the other shocker story is that problem gamblers share traits with substance abusers
. And how about that New Scientist story about the fact we're entering a dark age
? So what's up with science lately, particularly in America?
posted by Fozzie
on Jul 5, 2005 -
Joe Valentine has Two Mommies
--..."It's no different than having a mother and father," he said. "These are the two women who raised me, and they are wonderful people. It's just not a big deal to me. Why should it be?"
In an enlightened world, it shouldn't. But major league baseball is to enlightenment what Pauly Shore is to career longevity. ...
Meet the Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher
--"...a baseball player who was raised by two wonderful, loving mothers. How can anyone criticize that?"
posted by amberglow
on May 3, 2005 -
Wedding Bells in NYC??
-- with a beautifully-written ruling, NY Supreme Ct. Justice Doris Ling-Cohan states that denying marriage to gay and lesbian New Yorkers is unconstitutional: ... There has been a steady evolution of the institution of marriage throughout history which belies the concept of a static traditional definition. Marriage, as it is understood today, is both a partnership of two loving equals who choose to commit themselves to each other and a State institution designed to promote stability for the couple and their children. The relationships of plaintiffs fit within this definition of marriage.
Similar to opposite-sex couples, same-sex couples are entitled to the same fundamental right to follow their hearts and publicly commit to a lifetime partnership with the person of their choosing. The recognition that this fundamental right
applies equally to same-sex couples cannot legitimately be said to harm anyone. ...
posted by amberglow
on Feb 4, 2005 -
By the People, For the People: Posters from the WPA.
From the website at the Library of Congress, the posters consist of 908 boldly colored and graphically diverse original posters produced from 1936 to 1943 as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal. Of the 2,000 WPA posters known to exist, the Library of Congress's collection of more than 900 is the largest. These striking silkscreen, lithograph, and woodcut posters were designed to publicize health and safety programs; cultural programs including art exhibitions, theatrical, and musical performances; travel and tourism; educational programs; and community activities in seventeen states and the District of Columbia.
For examples, see a poster on the health dangers of Syphilis
and one for the play Alison's House: A Poetic Romance
posted by moz
on Dec 31, 2001 -