Well, I don’t know where that title came from, well actually I do. I am watching Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Lifeboat. (Damn, what an opening for a film…Lifeboat (1944) — (Movie Clip) Those Nazi Buzzards)
Such a good film.
I have plenty of links for you this morning, here they go, in link dump fashion.
Let’s start with the GOP…
The title of this first link by Lawyers, Guns and Money says it all: House GOP: Never Waste A Crisis By Neglecting to Punish Women!
Another predictable demand has been added to the GOP’s ransom note:
House Republicans have added a measure aimed at limiting contraceptive coverage to the spending bill coming up for a vote Saturday night, a spokesman for Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kansas, told CNN.
A senior House leadership aide confirmed that development.
The so-called “conscience clause” would allow employers and insurers to opt out of preventative care for women which they find objectionable on moral or religious grounds. That prominently includes birth control, which most insurers are required to provide for free under current Obamacare rules.
Yeah, that is just another twist of the screw. Not that any of this will pass, which brings me to this next article from Business Insider: How A Government Shutdown Will Hurt The Economy
After you take a look at that overview, you can read a refresher of Idiot America, including an excerpt of a FDL interview with Charlie Pierce when the book first was published: The Three Great Premises of Idiot America Take Center Stage
These are good times for those who practice wingnuttery and those who observe them. With the release of the latest IPCC report on global climate change and the ever-more-likely crash and burn that is the Congress of the United States and its handling of the budget and its apparent willingness to refuse to pay the bills that they have incurred under past appropriations, the wingnuts have a feast spread before them to dine upon, as demonstrated by the speechifying of Ted Cruz on the floor of the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body.
Sadly, we can’t simply enjoy our popcorn as we watch: wingnuttery exacts a cost, either in the idiotic policies and practices they foist upon society (see almost anything enacted at the urging of the NRA), or in the time and energy that must be wasted to beat back these idiocies (see Krugman, Paul “the Shrill One”). No, popcorn is not an option.
It’s no surprise, then, that my thoughts have been turning to Charles Pierce.
Four years ago, the inestimable Mr. Pierce put forward The Three Great Premises of Idiot America:
1. Any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings, or otherwise moves units.
2. Anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough.
3. Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is measured by how fervently they believe it.
Every Sunday morning, The Three Great Premises of Idiot America are trotted out on the Sunday morning talk shows, and this weekend should be an excellent proof of Pierce’s wisdom. Again, see “Cruz, Ted.”
Some of you may remember this quote from Pierce:
At the FDL Book Salon chat with Charlie when the book first came out, watertiger asked a question that has only become more urgent over the last four years: “How do we extract ourselves from this ‘perception is reality’ paradigm? Is there a way out?” Charlie’s answer, likewise, has become ever more urgent as well:
WT, I’ve given that a lot of thought and the best answer I can give is that we, as citizens, simply have to do better at self-government. We have to distinguish between entertainment and information. Our powers of discernment have to be sharpened. And, it should be said that, at many of its highest levels, my business has fallen green-room-over-teakettle on this very question. Any journalist who accepts “perception is reality” as axiomatic is committing professional malpractice. Our job is to hammer the reality home until the perception conforms to it.
But here is an idiot for you, from No More Mister Nice Blog: CONGRESSMAN CULBERSON’S ANALOGY: OUTRAGEOUS, BUT NOT COMPLETELY INACCURATE
Yes, this is appalling:
During a meeting of the House Republican Caucus, Congressman John Culberson (R-TX) compared the relentless Republican effort to defund Obamacare to the heroic efforts of the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 who overpowered terrorists who had gained control of the plane.
I don’t agree with the rest of this post, about the tweet being not “completely inaccurate.”
But the analogy isn’t entirely off base.
Remember what happened on the “Let’s roll” flight, United Flight 93? A lot of ordinary people died, and a target in D.C. was spared. The target was apparently the U.S Capitol, where Congress works.
As a result of what the Republican are doing now, a lot of innocent ordinary citizens will be harmed. You know who probably won’t be harmed? Members of Congress. They’ll still be paid. And most of them probably won’t lose their seats — only three House Republicans lost seats in 1996, after the last shutdown.
Ordinary citizens suffering while members of Congress are spared? Yes, there are some similarities between then and now, even if they’re not the ones the congressman had in mind.
That is a stretch to me. Because the assholes in Congress are acting like terrorist holding the US economy hostage…as this cartoon from Luckovich so perfectly illustrates: 9/29 Luckovich cartoon: Kindred souls | Mike Luckovich
While we are on the topic of terrorist, did you see the cover of this weeks Newsweek? Newsweek Cover About Female Suicide Bombers Features Tampon Dynamite
Newsweek Pakistan’s latest cover story is on the rise in female suicide bombers. And, so, naturally, this week’s cover features the words LADY PARTS emblazoned over the image of tampons with lit fuses where the removal string would normally be. That’s some TIME-level trolling, Newsweek. Kudos, I guess.
The good news is that Newsweek’s bombpons cover allows you to tick off several squares on Deliberately Provocative Magazine Cover Bingo. The bad news is that everyone on staff cringed when we saw it.
Alright, now for the links associated with women…
Why don’t people behave in more environmentally friendly ways? New research presents one uncomfortable answer: They don’t want to be associated with environmentalists.
That’s the conclusion of troubling new research from Canada, which similarly finds support for feminist goals is hampered by a dislike of feminists.
Participants held strongly negative stereotypes about such activists, and those feelings reduced their willingness “to adopt the behaviors that these activities promoted,” reports a research team led by University of Toronto psychologist Nadia Bashir. This surprisingly cruel caricaturing, the researchers conclude, plays “a key role in creating resistance to social change.”
Writing in the European Journal of Social Psychology, Bashir and her colleagues describe a series of studies documenting this dynamic. They began with three pilot studies, which found people hold stereotyped views of environmentalists and feminists.
In one, the participants—228 Americans recruited via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk—described both varieties of activists in “overwhelmingly negative” terms. The most frequently mentioned traits describing “typical feminists” included “man-hating” and “unhygienic;” for “typical environmentalists,” they included “tree-hugger” and “hippie.”
Another study, featuring 17 male and 45 female undergraduates, confirmed the pervasiveness of those stereotypes. It further found participants were less interested in befriending activists who participated in stereotypical behavior (such as staging protest rallies), but could easily envision hanging out with those who use “nonabrasive and mainstream methods” such as raising money or organizing social events.
Go to the link and read the summary of some of the results…it really is interesting. Especially when you consider the recent poll using the Obamacare vs. Affordable Care Act.
This by Scott Lemieux at LG&M: Why David Gilmour’s Sexism Matters (And Criticizing it is Valuable Free Speech)
Some good news out of Florida: Retrying the “warning shot” case – Anderson Cooper 360 – CNN.com Blogs
Marissa Alexander was sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing a warning shot at her abusive husband. She tried to use the “stand your ground” law in her trial. But a judge just ordered a new trial. The panel debates what role the controversial law may play in the retrial.
For a smooth move to the science part of the post…there is this story about women dancing ballet: The ballerina brain could hold a key to treating chronic dizziness
Years of training cause structural changes in a ballerina’s brain that help her stay balanced in the pirouette, said a report Friday that may aid the treatment of chronic dizziness.
Brain scans of professional ballerinas revealed differences from other people in two parts of the brain: one that processes input from the balancing organs in the inner ear, and another responsible for the perception of dizziness.
Most people, after turning around rapidly, feel dizzy for a period thereafter.
This is because of the fluid-filled chambers of the ear’s balance organs, which sense the rotation of the head through tiny hairs that perceive the fluid swishing about. The fluid continues to move for a while after the spin — which creates the perception that one is moving when still — hence the dizziness.
Ballet dancers can perform multiple pirouettes with little or no feeling of dizziness — a feat that has long puzzled researchers.
The pirouette sees a dancer execute one or more full-body turns on the toe or ball of one foot.
“Ballet dancers seem to be able to train themselves not to get dizzy, so we wondered whether we could use the same principles to help our patients,” Barry Seemungal from Imperial College London’s medicine department said in a statement on the study published in the journal Cerebral Cortex.
For the study, Seemungal and a team spun 29 ballerinas around in a rotating chair in a dark room, and did the same with 20 female rowers of similar age and fitness levels.
The women were asked to turn a lever on a small wheel attached to their chair in rhythm with the spinning sensation they experienced after the chair was brought to a halt.
For the dancers, the perception of spinning lasted for a”significantly” shorter period, said the study.
The researchers also looked at the women’s brains with MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans.
They found that the part of the cerebellum which processes the signal from the balancing organs, was smaller in the dancers. The cerebellum is the part of the brain that governs body movement.
“It’s not useful for a ballet dancer to feel dizzy or off balance,” said Seemungal. “Their brains adapt over years of training to suppress that input” — allowing them to continue dancing after spinning around in a pirouette and complete a performance without losing their balance.
“If we can target that same brain area or monitor it in patients with chronic dizziness, we can begin to understand how to treat them better.”
The physicists were exploring the properties of photons – an elementary particle that is the most basic constituent of light and all other types of electromagnetic radiation – when they managed to create molecules formed from photons bound together.
The discovery is startling as it goes against what scientists have previously believed to be the signature quality of photons: that they are massless particles that do not interact with each other. The capacity to create molecules out of photons has been described by the physicists involved as “pushing the frontiers of science”.
“Most of the properties of light we know about originate from the fact that photons are massless, and that they do not interact with each other,” said Harvard Professor of Physics Mikhail Lukin in a press release published at phys.org.
“What we have done is create a special type of medium in which photons interact with each other so strongly that they begin to act as though they have mass, and they bind together to form molecules.”
“It’s not an in-apt analogy to compare this to lightsabers,” Lukin added. “When these photons interact with each other, they’re pushing against and deflect each other. The physics of what’s happening in these molecules is similar to what we see in the movies.”
And a segue to history…artsy stuff: Landmark study explores Hispanic Baroque while reinventing digital humanities research
Inspiring everything from Las Vegas to Lady Gaga, Hispanic Baroque is every bit an influence on modern day trends as is hip-hop and hipsters. And yet, tracing the cultural complexity that Hispanic Baroque has spawned for centuries has proven an unenviable task. Until now.
A landmark study by The Cultureplex Lab at Western University has explored Hispanic Baroque like no previous research project of its kind. By combining traditional research tools of the humanities with complex data analysis from the sciences, Cultureplex Lab principal investigator Juan-Luis Suárez and his team have developed new methodologies which have ignited research capabilities of this ever-influential cultural phenomena (and all other digital humanities research for that matter), figuratively – not literally – transporting the game-changing study through space and time.
A stitch in time- via Medievalist.net
…the local mayor of Mayenne was well aware of another, less obnoxious Norman tradition: their fondness for strip cartoons. He commissioned a bande desinée to tell the story in pictures of Mayenne and our spectacular discoveries. The result was entertaining and educational propaganda: Mayenne was placed at the centre of French history, yet demonstrated itself as a model of European co-operation Those who lived in Mayenne could be proud of their town; those who did not should pay it a visit. The grand-daddy of all strip-cartoons, the Bayeux Tapestry, was made over 900 years earlier. It is a remarkable survival, that was recorded in 1476 in the Inventory of Notre Dame Cathedral in Bayeux as: ‘a very long and very narrow strip of linen, embroidered with figures and inscriptions representing the Conquest of England, which is hung round the nave of the church on the Feast of Relias’.
The Tapestry (or, more accurately, embroidery) has been subject to scholarly scrutiny for a couple of hundred years, so one might be excused for believing that the last word had been uttered and that we know all about it. Not so – Bayeux Tapestry scholars seem to reinvent the object of their desire almost every decade. But the answers to their questions remain elusive. Who commissioned the tapestry? Who made it, where and when? Where was the Tapestry first displayed? Was the message of the Tapestry outright Norman propaganda or a more evenhanded attempt at Anglo-Norman reconciliation? Even that great English myth, supposedly familiar to all schoolchildren, King Harold’s arrow in the eye, remains a matter of debate.
The archaeological record shows that linen was an important part of Viking Age clothing. Linen cloth developed gradually from being virtually nonexistent in Scandinavia at the start of the first millennium AD, to being an important part of fashion during the Viking Age a thousand years later.
The importance of linen is also very visible among the many re-enactors of the period, and every self-respecting ”leisure Viking” will own at least a shirt or a skirt of linen. Re-enactment is also done professionally, as part of the tourist related activities in Visitor centres and museums across the country. Ribe Viking Centre is such an open-air visitor centre, recreating authentic milieus from Ribe and its nearest surrounds during the Viking Age. The centre also works as a teaching institution, where young people, for which the normal school system is not currently a viable option, can get a different kind of schooling experience, and therefore be helped further on in the educational system. Both staff and pupils on Ribe Viking Centre are therefore dressed as “Vikings” during the tourist season, where they work with different crafts across the site, recreating a living experience of the Viking age, at least in aspects. In this they make a valuable regional contribution to the tourism industry as well as playing an important role in social and educational aspects of contemporary society. From the University side, we have gained much respect for the professionalism and success with which both tasks are handled on an everyday basis at the Viking Centre.
The main parts of the garments worn at Ribe Viking Centre are made from linen. Visitors to the Centre will therefore be met with a vision of the Viking Age, where linen is a very dominant part of the fashion during the period. But it this true? Or possibly one should better ask: What kind of effort would such an extensive use of linen represent? One thing that we did notice during our work at the Centre was that while visitors could readily appreciate the effort behind the buildings and the crafts shown at the centre, the clothing was a more invisible factor, even though the making of clothes must have been an important part of life in the Viking Age. The work presented in the following helped illustrate just how important it must have been.
Tonight is the season finale of Breaking Bad, two sweet links for you:
Those are both long articles, as for the one about the predictions, my own prediction follows that of :
The great thing about “Breaking Bad” is that creator Vince Gilligan and his team of subversive, demented scribes have always managed to give fans exactly what they want, while also surprising them. (I knew, for example, that Gus Fring’s number was up, but I did not see THAT particular moment coming.) So in trying to predict what the final episode will bring, it’s hard to divorce it from what I hope it will bring. There’s a big machine-gun in play. Someone is going to get mowed down while saying hello to Walter White’s “little friend,” and the most likely victims will be Big Head Todd and the Monsters, a.k.a. the neo-Nazis who executed Hank, enslaved Jesse, and slaughtered his would-be girlfriend Andrea. But their reign of terror is not over yet. Before Walt gets to them, they will exact a little more agony on his existence.
Finally, we have the specter of Gray Matter, raised in the last episode after lying dormant for many seasons. Will Walt finally right the injustice of his lack of credit for the creation of this tech giant? Who cares! Nobody — except Walt, and that’s all that counts in his world. I could see his old partners going down in a hail of gunfire as he starts his final kamikaze mission.
Last week, we saw jittery Lydia (seriously, does she drink only decaf tea?) urging Todd to tidy up the Skyler situation with extreme prejudice. This is a big, big “Breaking Bad” no-no. When you slaughter innocents, that’s awful enough (and one could argue about whether Skyler is really a bystander anymore). But the even bigger sin is hypocrisy. Remember when Walt ran down the drug dealers who were targeting kids? It was one of his bravest, most self-sacrificial moments. But then the very next season, Walt was slipping poison to little Brock as a means of manipulating Jesse. This is when he crossed over into straight-up evil-doer territory, and that — truly — is when he began earning all the horror that has fallen down around him. Lydia once begged Mike (now enjoying his retirement in Belize) to spare her life while her daughter played in a nearby room. He spared her, and now she is pointing Todd’s gun at another woman, another mother, and telling him to pull the trigger. I expect her to die horribly, but not by the ricin capsule. That would be too fast, and too easy. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her karmic payback come at the end of Walt’s smoking M60, probably while she begs for her life. Gilligan emphasizes violence in the abstract. Count on seeing one very bloody pair of Louboutins.
Todd will go down trying to protect her. This psycho’s puppydog crush gives him a kind of misguided honor he lacks in almost every other circumstance. After casually offing the innocent (there’s that word again) dirtbiking kid Drew Sharp, and blowing Andrea’s brains out last episode, we — I — need to see this guy suffer. He’s too shallow a human being to suffer as mightily as a Walt or Jesse, so I think his comeuppance will come in the form of futility. He’ll do some grand, selfless gesture of gallantry to protect Lydia and will be unceremoniously wiped from the Earth. Or, she might sell him out, push him in front of a bullet meant for her. Whatever the case, his death will bring a moment of comic relief to the finale. At least, I hope so.
Skyler … Skyler, Skyler. She, Walt Jr. (now going exclusively by Flynn, I’m guessing) are not going to have an A-1 day. I think Gilligan will spare the toddler Holly. This is a ruthless show, but he has broken the audience’s heart so often, especially in this last run of shows, I have to believe he will cut us some slack on the baby. Flynn, however … He took a bold stand against his narcissistic old man. He’s one of the few, unadulterated good-guys on this show. That makes him ripe for death. The death of their eldest, honest, and somewhat naïve son will be the ultimate punishment for the Whites. I’m guessing he will die sacrificing himself to save his mom and sister — a noble death, one that means something. The opposite of Todd, in another words. He will face it boldly and unafraid (the exact opposite of his old man.)
If Skyler survives, she will go forward in pieces. Walt …? Death isn’t a punishment for Walt, it’s a release. I’m not sure there is a punishment great enough for him. It’s far too late for him to be redeemed, but I do think Gilligan and Co. will find a way to at least make him penitent. We have not seen Walt be truly sorry. I’m not even sure what that would look like in a mind as twisted as his. He thinks of himself as a king, and kings liked to be buried with all their belongings. Walt’s belongings, apart from the money he lost to the neo-Nazis, are his family. He has always considered himself above them, their keeper, and it would not surprise me to see him engineer a reunion with them (if, say, Walt Jr. survives). That ricin tablet? I can envision a scenario where he seeks to bury himself alongside his family, taking all of them with him. Don’t drink or eat anything he “cooks” for you, White family!
There is a chance Jesse will be spared this reckoning and escape with his life – such as it is. But probably not. One thing we haven’t seen in this show is a large meth explosion. Since he is being forced to cook for the Nazis, engineering that kind of blast – even if it kills him, too – might be one way of cleansing the earth of these motherf*ckers.
Oh, and as October is just around the bend: Haunted October 13 Film Guide (TCM, 10/1-10/19) – Bright Lights After Dark
October is the best month in the world: you can wear your cool jacket and sweater combo, but you’re not freezing cold yet, there’s no ‘family’ holiday looming at the end of it to undo what sanity you’ve managed to accrue over the last 11 months, there is only the looming darkness of Halloween and Daylight Savings, the merciful twin blanket set of disguise and darkness.
And of course, there’s the horror movies. The speeding darkness and chill draws ghosts and candelabras, witches, demons, and monsters to our cinematic desires like a magnet. And TCM is there. As are we at the Bright Lights After Dark, where we turn those bright lights way, way, way down, all the better to scare you.
But Halloween isn’t the time for just any kind of horror movie, not the time for giant bugs, Godzilla, radio active waste, torture porn, serial killer procedurals, etc., but the horror of the past… of the unconscious, the Freudian Gothic, of long dead relatives rising from their tombs to drink the blood (and, if they’re played by Paul Naschy, fondle the breasts) of the living. It is the time of murderous devolved cannibals in the basement fed by Lon Chaney, or Lovecraftian mutants fed by Boris Karloff who doesn’t really need that wheelchair because he’s grown his own ghost legs. It is the time for Vincent Price, 70s ESP pre-slasher cycle variants, and for old school Universal Lugosi films, and 60s Hammer Chris Lee films. And TCM has them.
Rather than just list them all, blah blah, I decided to pick out the best, rarest, most worthy dozen and just present the date / time of their showing/s, and a link or few words of descr. attached to a movie poster (unless the poster is weak)…. I skipped all the ‘essentials’ casual fans are familiar with already, such as Bride of Frankenstein, Night of the Living Dead, and The Wasp Woman. I want to point out the late night/early morning rarities, the ones worth recording.
All times listed Eastern Standard…. the best Standard in the world.
You go and check that list out!
Ending with Hitch, have y’all ever seen this sculpture over in London?
It is located where Hitchcock filmed most of his movies in England: Gainsborough Studios.
Now there are condos/flats built that surround this Buddha like statue of Hitchcock’s head, check out this one listed for almost one million dollars: 2 bedroom apartment for sale in Gainsborough Studios London, N1, N1
Isn’t he wonderful!
Damn, if I won the lottery I think I’d have to buy one of these condos, sight unseen…
Y’all have a great day, and post some links and thoughts in the comments.
(BTW, you want to see a cool review of Lifeboat? Take a look at Tired Old Queen below.)
What can I say, I’ve got lots of links for you tonight that should make you shake your head in disgust. Geez, I don’t know where to begin!
Guess I will start with the White Power thing…College Student Crusades For White Student Union, Says ‘White Culture Is Dying’ (VIDEO)
21-year-old Matt Heimbach is making headlines for attempting to launch a White Student Union at Towson University near Baltimore, MD. Raw Story reports that the chunky campus whacktivist keeps whining about how “white culture is dying,” while “every other single group has a union — Jewish, black. Why don’t white students get equal treatment?”
Heimbach even has the nerve complain that “we live on a campus where there is discrimination against whites,” because of his school’s affirmative action programs. This, in spite of the facts that 2010 US Census data shows that the city of Baltimore. MD is 63.6% black, while Towson University’s student body is 68% white, according to Forbes Magazine. Heimbach’s persecution complex may also have something to do with the faculty advisor who backed out of his previous “Youth for Western Civilization” group, because it promoted “a supremacist kind of agenda,” according to the university’s Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs for Diversity Victor Collins.
Hmmmm, I bet this dude Heimbach says things like, I am not a white supremacist, but I play one on the weekends. Check out the photo here:
What, ME racist? But I’ve got a black friend, see? And my man just LOVES a man in (confederate) uniform. Photo from Matt Heimbach’s Twitter profile, which describes him as a member of “Maryland League of the South, member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and proud defender of liberty.” Heimback swears he’s not a white supremacist, but sounds an awful lot like one.
Okay then…anyway, more on this story:
Campus groups require a faculty advisor in order to be officially recognized by the university. Given the angry student petitions circulating, and Heimbach’s previous group’s habit of inviting “racial realism” proponent Jared Taylor to speak, official recognition for the new group is unlikely to be forthcoming.
Meanwhile, The Huffington Post’s Mark Hanrahan describes Heimbach’s recent appearance on a HuffPost Live panel hosted by Marc Lamont Hill with other guests, Taylor, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Lecia Brooks; Harvard student Julian Lewis; and Lehigh University Professor James Peterson. Hembach argued that there is “an inherent anti-white bias in academia,” and that whites should be allowed to “organize for their own best interest.” Brooks cogently objected that the difference between Heimbach’s group and other cultural groups is that Heimback seeks to “defend what you think you are losing. Whereas people of color or other marginalized groups organize around a common interest.”
I’ve seen this kind of crap before, the part about White culture and the line about Jewish and Black students having their own organizations. On the Banjoville local forum, written by the KKK assholes who held their pathetic rally here in October.
In other “civil waresque” news, you know all the talk of succession. One Quarter Of Republicans Want To Secede Oh please, by all means…and don’t let the door hit your racist ass on the way out!
Did any of you catch the Melissa Harris-Perry show this weekend? I really thought her comment on the latest “stand your ground” killing of a black unarmed teen in Florida was very much on point: ‘This Is No Country for Young Black Men’
MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry says that the killing of Jordan Davis is not the killing of Trayvon Martin or Emmett Till, but a sad reminder that in America, “They need not wield a weapon to pose a threat. Because, if you are a young, black man, who you are is threat enough.”
There is one solution to this…at least according to Ross Douchehat: Ross Douthat would like you to have more babies
Unless you are a single woman, of course. Oh and also if you don’t have babies, you’re being “decadent” and you don’t care about the future or the very fabric of society:
But deeper forces than the financial crisis may keep American fertility rates depressed. Foreign-born birthrates will probably gradually recover from their current nadir, but with fertility in decline across Mexico and Latin America, it isn’t clear that the United States can continue to rely heavily on immigrant birthrates to help drive population growth.
Among the native-born working class, meanwhile, there was a retreat from child rearing even before the Great Recession hit. For Americans without college degrees, economic instability and a shortage of marriageable men seem to be furthering two trends in tandem: more women are having children out of wedlock, and fewer are raising families at all.
Read more at the link, Jill from Feminist has a great response to Douthat.
Also from Jill, another story via Feminist: UN Disability Treaty Fails in Senate Because of “Pro-Life” Senators
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was put up for a vote in the U.S. Senate today, and despite being largely uncontroversial, it failed. Why? Pro-lifers.
And, of course, the usual right-wing suspects who don’t understand how treaties and international law work. The convention lists, among many others, reproductive rights for people with disabilities, which pro-lifers obviously take issue with. But as far as I can tell from this press conference, they’re even more concerned with the fact that the treaty would apply the “best interests of the child” standard, which pro-lifers say impedes “family sovereignty.” Rick Santorum says he finds it “troubling” that the convention has a special section for children with disabilities.
I am so sick of all these a-holes. More at the link.
And one last crazy loon going on a major rant, Ted Nugent is at it again, and the Washington Times have given him space to say his usual shit. Fortunately, Little Green Footballs has taken the time to read Nugent’s column, so we don’t have to. Little Green Footballs – Ted Nugent: If You’re on Welfare You Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Vote
Today at the Washington Times, Ted Nugent has emerged again from his ammo bunker with one of his typically freakish rants. Years ago, Nugent’s wild man act used to be amusing, but now it’s devolved into pure right wing hateful ugliness as he advocates “slaughtering” Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and prohibiting citizens on welfare from voting.
Let’s end on an up note…since the words “sacred cow” are being tossed around.
This is an open thread.
Every time I see anything having to do with Mitt Romney, it feels like we’ve time tripped back to some awful period in the past where women don’t have access to the pill unless they live in certain states and are married, where black people are no where to be seen on TV and they can’t vote without facing extreme tests and poll taxes, and where GLBT have been shoved back in the closet.
We’re getting voter suppression by the GOP that’s horrifying. I expect to see people being hosed in the streets again for trying to eat in public places. This election just has been really bringing out the worst in a lot of people and by that I basically mean white Republican people. Here’s a story from Virginia that’s shocking. A 31 year old white male of GOP persuasion was caught throwing away voter registrations for democrats.
The Rockingham County Sheriff’s office has arrested a Pennsylvania man and charged him with attempting to throw away filled out voter registration forms.
Colin Small, 31 year old male from Phoenixville, PA has been charged with 8 felonies and 5 misdemeanors in connection with the controversy. He is employed by Pinpoint, a company that was hired by the Republican Party of Virginia to help with voter registration.
UPDATE: The Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins released the following statement in reaction to the arrest of Small:
“We were alarmed by allegations recently made regarding an individual in Harrisonburg. The actions taken by this individual are a direct contradiction of both his training and explicit instructions given to him. The Republican Party of Virginia will not tolerate any action by any person that could threaten the integrity of our electoral process.
The individual in question was fired immediately after we learned of his alleged actions. We are grateful to the local sheriff’s office and Registrar for acting so quickly to protect our democratic process and will fully cooperate with any requests made by them. However, since there is currently an investigation underway, we will refrain from any further comments until they have concluded their inquiry. “
Not surprisingly, democratic bloggers are on fire with this news tonight. The initial scuttle came from Ben Tribbet at Not Larry Sabato, who with help discovered Small’s LinkedIn pagewhich says he is a current employee of the Republican National Committee.
Arizona’s Maricopa county listed the wrong date in the Spanish version of voter registration cards, a development likely to further complicate tense relations between local authorities and Latino residents.
The county’s elections office says it mailed out nearly 2 million new voter registration cards. Only about 50 of the cards — handed out over-the-counter at its offices — had the error, it said.
Instead of November 6, the Spanish translation said the election would take place on November 8.
“The program has been updated so it reflects the correct dates in both English and Spanish,” the county said in a statement.
A local rights group said the damage has already been done.
“It’s a mistake that should not have happened,” Petra Falcon, the executive director of Promise Arizona in Action, told CNN affiliate KNXV-TV. “To know that there’s information out there that’s wrong, it’s going to take a lot of work to make sure that people know the correct date.”
Promise Arizona describes itself as “a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding civic participation in Arizona, particularly among Latinos and youth.”
County officials and local Hispanics have long had an adversarial relationship, particularly over the subject of illegal immigration.
Those disputes have landed in court.
“I can remember the good old days, when there were all men in my department, and we didn’t have these problems!” a male manager complains to his boss. ”You didn’t have the production output you’ve got now either!” the boss counters. Through this anecdote, the McGraw-Hill instructional film below sets out to teach male managers how to “cope” with female employees.
Long before anyone was slinging binders full of women, men were forced to accept female coworkers out of sheer need. Women joining the workforce during World War II seems to have spawned a cottage industry in educational material about gender and work. Don’t miss this 1944 gem, Supervising Women Workers, or this manual of management tips.
“Look Brad, you’ve got a new bearings inspector who happens to be a woman. You need someone, and there isn’t a man available. It seems to me that whether the gal ads up to trouble or not is pretty much up to you,” the boss explains at the end of the film. Brad is in for an attitude adjustment. He arches an eyebrow but says nothing.
Go look at the film and see if you don’t see a few Romney men wandering around.
The one thing you won’t find is any Romney men wandering around the military. They have their own special form of “service”. Here’s Queen Ann talking about the princes and their public service (i.e. harassing people to become mormon) on the view.
The wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Thursday said that her husband and sons had not joined the U.S. military but had found “different ways of serving” by going onreligious missions in France, England, Australia and Chile as part of their obligation to the Mormon church.
During an interview on ABC’s The View, co-host Whoopi Goldberg asked Ann Romney how she would explain to the families of fallen soldiers why her husband and sons had not served their country.
“When I read about your husband, what I had read — and maybe you can correct this — is that the reason he didn’t serve in Vietnam was because it was against the religion,” Goldberg said.
“That’s not correct,” Ann Romney insisted. “He was serving his mission, and my five sons have also served missions. None served in the military, but I do have one son that feels that he’s giving back to his country in a significant way where he is now a doctor and he is taking care of veterans.”
“So, you know, we find different ways of serving,” she added. “And my husband and my five boys did serve missions, did not serve in the military.”
The candidate’s wife explained that Mormon missions were like military service in that “you’re going outside of yourself, you’re working and you’re helping others. And it changes you. And are we so grateful in this country for those people — men and women — that are volunteering, they’re sacrificing their life for us, and we cannot forget that or we have to acknowledge that always.”
Yup, irritating people with religious spiels is akin to fighting wars abroad. At least it is the weird world of the Romneys. Joe Walsh inhabits that world too.
Republican Rep. Joe Walsh, running against Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth in Illinois, told reporters Thursday night that there should be no abortion exception for the “life of the mother” because “with modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance” in which a woman would actually die, according to a radio station. Walsh, of course, is flat wrong.
“There is no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing,” Walsh continued. The comments were first reported by the Illinois radio station WGN.
“There is no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing, with advances in science and technology,” Walsh said, according to the video above. CREDO superPAC, which is opposing Walsh, tipped HuffPost to the comments.
You should hear Dr. Daughter go off on this. She delivers babies every day and is seeing an increasing number of high risk pregnancies due to obesity and mothers than come in that are already diabetic and have blood pressure issues from obesity. Of course, most of the women are also on medicare or are unable to get medicare because of their status so their babies tend to be born compromised. But hey, Joe says no one dies any more because science won’t let them.
Yes, there’s some weird Stepford wife reality going on there in Republican land.
It’s really hard to know these guys come up with this crap, isn’t it?
I still can’t believe that Dr. Jill Stein and her running mate were subject to arrest and detention for basically showing up at the debates the other night. Amy Goodman has interviewed the two. Nothing like shutting out alternatives to the two party political duopoly.
I interviewed Stein the day after the debate, after their imprisonment (which ended, not surprisingly, not long after the debate ended). She told me: “We are on the ballot for 85 percent of voters. Americans deserve to know what their choices are. The police said they were only doing job. I said, ‘This is about everyone’s jobs, whether we can afford health care, whether students will be indentured.’ There are critical issues left out of the debate. Ninety million voters are predicted to stay home and vote with their feet that neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney represent them. That’s twice as many voters than expected for either of them.”
Even if Stein and Honkala hadn’t been hauled off a public street and handcuffed to those chairs for eight hours, Stein’s exclusion from the debate was certain. The debates are very closely controlled by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), which excludes third-party candidates, among other things. George Farah is the founder and executive director of Open Debates, and author of “No Debate: How the Republican and Democratic Parties Secretly Control the Presidential Debates.” Farah told me on the morning of the Hofstra debate about how the CPD gained control over the debates from the nonpartisan League of Women Voters: “We have a private corporation that was created by the Republican and Democratic parties called the Commission on Presidential Debates. It seized control of the presidential debates precisely because the League was independent, precisely because this women’s organization had the guts to stand up to the candidates that the major parties had nominated.”
Okay, so I’ve had it with all things Republican this election. What about you? And, what’s on your reading and blogging list this today?
So, I read this: “Your Women Are Oppressed, But Ours Are Awesome”: How Nicholas Kristof And Half The Sky Use Women Against Each Other.
Now, it’s got me thinking about being part of the problem instead of supporting my goal to be part of the solution.
The idea is that these types of programs seem to be gender activism but are portrayed in a way that is supportive of western patriarchal imperialism. Okay, I just sounded like some kind’ve Marxist Feminist but it’s not all that cut and dried. Let me try to explain. These programs are akin to the idea of poverty porn. I understand this because of how I felt watching people in tour buses gawk at my hurricane ravaged ninth ward neighborhood with their voyeuristic tut-tutting over the state of the damage and the slow recovery. Big deal. Now, they’ve seen it. Does this change anything? I just felt like some kind of passive object that made them think,” wow, glad that’s not me”. It’s not a great feeling to be looked at like some kind of victim even when it’s the “oh, look, she’s doing something about it” vibe you get from them.
I’m one of the people that is highly concerned about the way the world treats women and girls. Please note “the world” includes “the United States”. This country is horrid to women and girls. It becomes worse with every elected Republican and DINO. I’ve also been extremely pissed at the way many so-called women and humanity friendly sites seem to shred other cultures’ treatment of women with sadistic, xenophobic, and high hatted-glee. Should there really be a ruler for misogyny and oppression that lets us pull the ruler out on others to make us feel better about the treatment of women and girls here? Do you really think we don’t have sex trafficking here in the US? Do you think we don’t support a rape culture or encourage mutilation of women through plastic surgery or extreme dieting?
I’ve never been able to clearly express it, but, I hate this concept of ”Look at how horrible these (fill in the blank) foreigners treat women” given we’ve got the likes of a Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney running for our highest offices and the Republican party has pretty much been over run by misogynists and religious fanatics. Is there some kind of smug self-satisfaction people get by telling themselves that at least “We don’t (fill in the blank) to women here”? The recent spate of superiority hissy fits mostly applies to Arab/Muslim religions but it carries farther than that. Do we really need to measure which country treats it’s child brides worse or isn’t it enough to see the entire practice any where is abhorrent and should be ended? It happens to Catholic girls in Belize, Hindu girls in India, Protestant girls in Kentucky, and Muslim girls in Nigeria. Do we have to slice and dice their suffering by religion, country, or continent?
So, let me quote some of this essay. It deserves consideration.
There are plenty of critiques I could make of Kristof’s reporting (in this film and beyond, see this great round-up of critiques for more). Critiques about voyeurism and exotification: the way that global gender violence gets made pornographic, akin to what has been in other contexts called “poverty porn.”
For example, would Kristof, a middle-aged male reporter, so blithely ask a 14-year-old U.S. rape survivor to describe her experiences in front of cameras, her family, and other onlookers? Would he sit smilingly in a European woman’s house asking her to describe the state of her genitals to him? Yet, somehow, the fact that the rape survivor is from Sierra Leone and that the woman being asked about her genital cutting is from Somaliland, seems to make this behavior acceptable in Kristof’s book. And more importantly, the goal of such exhibition is unclear. What is the viewer supposed to receive–other than titillation and a sense of “oh, we’re so lucky, those women’s lives are so bad”?
Makes you think doesn’t it? The article is written by Sayantani DasGupta who teaches at Columbia University.
The issue of agency is also paramount. In the graduate seminar I teach on Narrative, Health, and Social Justice in the Master’s Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, I often ask my students to evaluate a text’s ethical stance by asking themselves–“whose story is it?” For example, are people of color acting or being acted upon? Although the film does highlight fantastic on-the-ground activists such as maternal-health activist Edna Adan of Somaliland, the point of entry–the people with whom we, the (presumably) Western watchers, are supposed to identify–are Kristof and his actress sidekick-du-jour.
In fact, many have critiqued Kristof for his repeated focus on himself as “liberator” of oppressed women.
This theme then carries over to the idea of imperialism so omnipresent in western, white male cultures. It creates a rescue theme and it justifies the idea that superior white men can go rescue oppressed women by any means including drones that murder them and their children and define them as collateral damage.
Although a few passing comments are made about rape, coerced sex work, and other gender-based violence existing everywhere in the world–including in the U.S., hello?!–the point that is consistently reiterated in the film is that gender oppression is “worse” in “these countries”–that it is a part of “their culture.” In fact, at one point, on the issue of female genital cutting, Kristof tells actress Diane Lane, “That may be [their] culture, but it’s also a pretty lousy aspect of culture.”
There’s nothing that smacks more of “us and them” talk than these sorts of statements about “their culture.” Postcultural critic Gayatri Chakrovorty Spivak, in fact, coined the term “white men saving brown women from brown men” to describe the imperialist use of women’s oppression as justification for political aggression.
Spivak was writing about British bans of widow burning and child marriage in India to make her point, we can see the reflections of this dynamic is the way that the US has justified wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as missions to “free Islamic women from the Veil.” (For a fantastic critique of this rationale, see Lila Abu-Lughod’s “Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving?“) According to Spivak, this trope of “white men rescuing brown women from brown men” becomes used to justify the imperialist project of “white man” over “brown man.”
And this formulation is consistent, pretty much across the board, with the film. White/Western dwelling men and women highlight the suffering, as well as local activism, of brown and black women. Brown and black men are portrayed consistently as violent, incompetent, uncaring or, in fact, invisible. And it’s only a small leap to realize that such formulations–of countries incapable of or unwilling to care for “their” women–only reinforce rather than undermine global patriarchy, while justifying paternalization, intervention–and even invasion of these “lesser” places–by the countries of the Global North.
So, the argument here is not that speaking out against violence and oppression is bad. It’s the argument of what are you doing when you try to speak for others. That isn’t empowerment of women. It also frequently is used to support the goals of patriarchies as they vie with each other for power.
As feminist philosopher Linda Martín Alcoff argues in her essay “The Problem Of Speaking For Others,” that part of the problem of speaking for others is that none of us can transcend our social and cultural location: “The practice of privileged persons speaking for or on behalf of less privileged persons has actually resulted (in many cases) in increasing or reinforcing the oppression of the group spoken for,” she writes.
So, take a look at the photo above. It was part of the narrative of the essay. Does it make you feel oh, so, good about the way we treat our women compared to the Taliban? I saw this photo elseblogs and on Facebook. It actually creeped me out. I found it less empowering of women pilots for many reasons. Why didn’t my gut tell me to feel all so superior?
First, look at the implication of the words “OURS” and “YOURS”. These words indicate possessions right? OUR women? YOUR women?
Second, let’s think about the actual life experience of women in the U.S. military where rape isn’t just something you think about on your way to your parked care in the night. These women are subjected to some pretty high powered sexism and risk rape by their fellow soldiers in a high powered rape culture. Then, let’s also think about how these women can’t control their reproductive decisions because the congress refuses to let them make their own decisions about abortion. Get raped, sweetie? Remember, Paul Ryan says that’s just another form of conception for those lovely little beans that prove his gonads work!
From the first link and The Guardian we learn:
A new documentary by director Kirby Dick, The Invisible War, about systemic rape of women in the military and the retaliations and coverups victims face, has won awards in many film festivals, and recently even triggered congressional response. The examples of what happens to women soldiers who are raped in the military are stunning, both in the violence that these often young women face, and in the viciousness they encounter after attacks.
Yes, “our” women can fly planes in the military but they are also subjected to sexual assault, cover-ups, and poor treatment. This is from the second link above at Jezebel. Yes, “our” women can fly planes in the military but we’re not going to give them coverage of abortion services because “our” men in congress want them to goosestep to “their” beliefs.
The military reported 471 rapes of servicemembers in 2011, but the real number is probably higher, since the Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office estimates that only about 13.5 percent of all rapes and sexual assaults in the military are actually reported. Several hundred women in the military become pregnant as a result of rape each year. Despite these statistics, the 200,000+ women serving on active duty are often prohibited from getting abortions in military health centers — even if they’re willing to use their own money — because it makes some conservative politicians at home feel all icky.
Yes, current Pentagon policy is even more restrictive than the 1976 Hyde Amendment, which prohibited federal funds from being used to provide abortion services except in cases of rape, incest, and endangerment of women’s life. The Department of Defense only provides abortion coverage if the life of the mother is at stake; if she’s raped but can survive giving birth, her right to choose essentially goes out the window. If she still wants an abortion, the military might generously allow her to pay for the service with her own money, but only if she can prove she was raped — which is extremely difficult to do, especially within a few months. Without a stamp of rape-approval from the higher-ups, servicewomen (including military spouses and dependents) have to venture off-base for services or fly all of the way back to the United States, all to assuage the fears of politicians — the majority of whom, it’s safe to say, are not overseas fighting for their country — that the government would be “endorsing” abortion if military facilities granted women the same rights they have back home.
Feel all warm and smug about not living among the Taliban now? I’m ignoring all the coverage we’ve given all year to the likes of Todd Akin who probably would use more biblical punishments for women, gays, and lesbians if he thought he could get away with it. Who doesn’t think that ol’ Todd secretly hopes some one blows up the local planned parenthood and takes out some doctors and nurses in the process? Does lusting in his heart for right to life violence count? Surely, we can honestly attest to the fact that we have some extremely sick religious extremists of our own. I wonder if the Swedes would like to come do a documentary on how women in the US are so far down the ranks of gender equality that we maybe deserve rescue too?
So, anyway, this made me think. What does it make you think?