Thomas Jefferson, who died without getting to write any Yelp reviews
Tomorrow, Americans everywhere will shoot fireworks into the air to frighten away the British and ensure six more weeks of freedom. All we have to do to preserve our way of life is make sure there aren’t any kings around, since freedom is a natural state. That truth is self-evident, along with our equality and our inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of
property happiness. But what if a bunch of other stuff were self-evident, too? That’s the implication of a recent investigation by Princeton professor Danielle Allen, who believes that a period was mistakenly added to our transcript of the Declaration of Independence. You know what that means: it’s time for another Close Reading.
Edith Windsor (left) and her wife, the late Thea Spyer
Maybe you heard about this, but the Supreme Court has overturned the Defense of Marriage Act and, in the process, given Edith Windsor $350,000. Windsor filed suit against the federal government in 2010, arguing that DOMA unconstitutionally deprived her of a spousal exemption from the estate tax upon the death of her wife, Thea Spyer. This morning, the court ruled that DOMA “is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.” It also ruled that the plaintiffs in Hollingsworth v. Perry lacked standing, effectively driving a stake through the heart of California’s Proposition 8.
If only there were some way to make this graph that did not put percentages on both axes. That would be class warfare, though. You’re looking at a visual representation of historical US income inequality that is A) extremely conjectural in red and blue, and B) terrifying. It’s from this article in the Atlantic, which tentatively alleges that ours is a less equal America than it was on the eve of the Revolution and the Civil War. Numerous qualifications after the jump.
Not long ago, a symbol of American freedom fell under vicious attack from an enemy who knows neither compassion nor hope. It was a day that we will never forget, and it signaled a new frontier in the struggle of this great nation. Of course I am referring to yesterday’s GoDaddy outage, which took down 53 million websites including this one. After literally threes of you contacted me about it, I spent literally minutes trying to figure out what was going on. It turns out that a series of freedom-hating routers sent bad table information that clogged the GoDaddy servers with electrons or something. It was not some douche from Anonymous, although everybody went ahead and reported that anyway.
Anwar al-Awlaki, alleged terrorist and certain dick/corpse
On Friday, the CIA successfully executed a drone attack against Anwar Al-Awlaki, killing him and fellow Al Qaeda operative Samir Khan as they rode through Yemen in a car. Khan was the editor of Al Qaeda’s weird English-language magazine Inspire, which is like US Weekly if US Weekly were entirely about murdering people. “Make a Bomb In the Kitchen of Your Mom” was the headline of one recent Inspire feature. Awlaki is a radical preacher whose anti-American rhetoric was believed to inspire numerous acts of terrorism. Both men are American citizens. Awlaki was born in New Mexico, and Khan—raised in Queens and North Carolina—is of Pakistani origin. If you believe that Elvis was an accident, the two men are now the first American citizens to have been assassinated by the CIA. Khan appears to have been a bonus, but President Obama put Awlaki on a kill list at the beginning of last year.