Big Smoke

’cause it’s hard to see from where I’m standin’

Smells familiar

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The Turkish government is threatening the Syrian government with military force after Syrian forces shot down a Turkish F-4 Phantom that was flying in Syrian airspace.

Now, some are saying that this is clearly an aggressive move by the Turks and the Syrians are obviously in the right when it comes to sovereignty, but that’s exactly how they want it. After all, Turkey’s been building F-16s since the 80s; and with the third largest air fleet in NATO, what need have they for Vietnam-era F-4s?

Seems like a textbook USS Maine incident. After all, NATO’s been hands-off with Syria despite the horribly violent repression of late, and one would imagine that the government should be legitimate in order to claim sovereignty. Now, obviously, technically speaking it shouldn’t be up to one’s neighbors to determine the value of one’s legitimacy, but considering the absolute clusterfuck that’s going on, this can’t be any worse than the current situation – or, at least, no worse than Libya – and it’s a bit humorous to see the Turks pull a page from the US handbook for international intervention.

Legislating Maturity

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The Times did a piece about a state court that decreed that “gay” is no longer slanderous per se. I’d agree, to an extent, though I think the article got a bit confused as to the definition of “gay.”

Namely, I interpret the appellate court’s decision as based on the definition of “gay” as “homosexual.” It is no longer defamatory, in other words, to call somebody a homosexual, as being homosexual isn’t a bad thing and, arguably, enough of society realizes that now. Ginia Bellafante’s article on the Times conflated that use of the term with the definition that certain teenagers use, which she rightly describes as synonymous with “stupid.”

I’d expect, however, that teenagers aren’t in the habit of providing the fodder for slander nor are they suing anybody for it.

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