Patterico's Pontifications


R.I.P. Chris Squire

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:55 pm

The Yes bassist was just 67. He succumbed to cancer.

A couple of years ago, Mrs. P. and I saw a new incarnation of Yes with Jon Davison as the lead vocalist. They played the entire albums Close to the Edge, The Yes Album, and Going for the One. Great show. Squire was everything you would have wanted to see.

I did not think I wouldn’t get a chance to see him perform again.


Texas Pushes Back Against Gay Marriage Decision

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:21 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Leave it to Texas!

County clerks can refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples based on religious objections to gay marriage, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Sunday.

Paxton noted that clerks who refuse to issue licenses can expect to be sued, but added that “numerous lawyers stand ready to assist clerks defending their religious beliefs,” in many cases without charge.

Paxton said Friday’s “flawed” opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court, which overturned bans against same-sex marriage in Texas and other states, placed religious people in conflict between following their faith and the U.S. Constitution.

In a sharply worded rebuke of the Court and its judicial activism, Paxton expressed an even greater resolve to protect religious freedoms:

“Friday, the United States Supreme Court again ignored the text and spirit of the Constitution to manufacture a right that simply does not exist. In so doing, the court weakened itself and weakened the rule of law, but did nothing to weaken our resolve to protect religious liberty and return to democratic self-government in the face of judicial activists attempting to tell us how to live.”


You and Your Device

Filed under: General — JVW @ 1:26 pm

[guest post by JVW]

A break from all the inveighing against the weirdness of the Supreme Court.

Do a Google search on “mobile device addiction” and you will note that the has garnered a lot of attention over the past year. Allow me to relate a couple of incidents I have had a couple of interesting experiences the past few months that I can relate:

The Setting: Public transportation in the San Francisco Bay Area.
I was riding BART (the local subway) during the afternoon rush hour. The train I was on was crowded so I had to stand and hold on to the passenger handrail. I took a look around the train where I probably had about 35-40 people in my line of vision. Literally every single person had their heads down and were gazing intently upon a mobile device, either a tablet or phone. Literally every single person. People in their 50s and 60s who were sitting down: reading a Nook or an iPad or a phone. Younger people standing: one hand on the handrail or the rail strap, the other hand holding a mobile phone. All races, all 900 sexual orientations that Facebook recognizes, all apparent levels of income were busy with a device. Granted this was the Bay Area and it was rush hour, but how amazing was it that everyone in my line of sight was doing the exact same thing? I then transferred over to CalTrain to head down the peninsula, and encountered pretty much the same thing, with the exception of a couple of old fashioned folks who actually had laptop computers open and were typing on an actual clackety-clack keyboard.

The Setting: A beach bar on a weekend afternoon.
I am meeting up with a friend to watch a game and drink some beers, and I am there a bit early of our arranged time. I’m sitting at a table next to a young couple who are pretty apparently on a first date. I’m guessing that they met online or through some dating service because I can overhear themselves going over the usual litany of first day discussion items (where are you from? what do you do for a living?). They were two nice-looking young people and they seemed to have a lot in common so by all appearances the date was off to a good start. Suddenly, though, there is the inevitable lull in the conversation and inexplicably the young guy excuses himself and pulls out his smart phone to check on his messages. Naturally the young lady does the same, and for the next few minutes there is this uncomfortable silence (or at least I thought it was uncomfortable) while the two of them stare down at their devices. Amazing.

And just today, at 10:00 mass at my parish, I am making my way up in the communion line to the front of the church and there sitting in a the sixth row of pews having already received communion is a guy playing a game on his smart phone. Seriously. While everyone around him is kneeling in silent contemplation of the Mystery of the Body and Blood of Christ, this grown man — probably at least 40 years old — was playing a game on his phone.

So let’s make this an open thread centered around some questions. Do you own a mobile device? If so, what self-imposed limits to you observe? Do your children have mobile devices? If so, what rules are they expected to follow?


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