I guess my paycheck last Friday didn’t get the memo on the death of Patriarchy. I wonder if either of my daughter’s noticed it?
I understand that the big picture is not always reflected in women’s daily experience of life. Maybe a woman has an overbearing husband or a retrograde boss or just a lingering problem that has no name. But as a collective, it sometimes feels that women look too closely at the spot right in front of us. This is a moment, unprecedented in history—and also pretty confusing—when young women who work how they want and have sex how they want may also quilt and can fruits. When working-class women who quietly leave the only steady paycheck on the kitchen table every week may still believe that a man is the God-ordained head of the household. So I want to tell these women who are seeing only oppression: Look around.
Dear Hanna Rosin. I am looking around. Down here in the ninth ward, it ain’t all rich white woman privilege, even–actually ESPECIALLY–if us bitchez have doctorates in such non traditional sectors as financial economics. Ever spend a day with the finance boyz club? My youngest is doing that now and they’re surprised she wants to be a trader and where the action is instead of being a cute marketing fixture at the corporate headquarters of TDAmerica. Then, let’s talk about my daughter the gynecologist who is trying to avoid a state where her medical degree counts for less than the odd predilections of the boyz in the state legislature.
A fun anecdote: a “well-educated” woman once dared to challenge Rosin at a reading. “Lucky for you that you have the luxury to agonize about your choices,” she said. “What about the woman who picks up your trash after you leave at 5?”
“This is when I knew I was dealing with some irrational attachment to the concept of unfair,” Rosin writes:
For my book I’d interviewed plenty of women who might find themselves picking up the trash, likely as a second job after a full day of school or another job, or both, because their husbands—or, more likely, the fathers of their children—were out of work. My young interrogator might be annoyed to learn that many of those women who pick up the trash yearn to bring back at least some aspects of the patriarchy. They generally appreciate their new economic independence and feel pride at holding their families together, at working and studying and doing things on their own, but sometimes they long to have a man around who would pay the bills and take care of them and make a life for them in which they could work less. And they want the men in their lives to be happy. It’s elite feminists like my questioner and me who cling to the dreaded patriarchy just as he is walking out of our lives.
Oddly, that woman is not the only “elite feminist” — the type of woman Rosin portrays in her book “as benefiting from the new era of female dominance, when women are better prepared for the current economy and have more independence to choose their life path” — who doesn’t agree with Rosin that women should stop whining about injustice. Why is that? Because some elite feminists are capable of caring about the majority of women who aren’t privileged enough to choose how often they want to work at what type of job. Rosin’s argument only makes sense if you pretend financial concerns and racism and sexism aren’t deal-breakers for most people — to do that, you either have no qualms about trolling to sell your book or you live in a fantasy world.
“I understand that the big picture is not always reflected in women’s daily experience of life,” Rosin writes. “Maybe a woman has an overbearing husband or a retrograde boss or just a lingering problem that has no name.” Some names: sexual assault and domestic violence statistics, abortion restrictions, the gender wage gap (which, hey, does exist for women who don’t look like Rosin).
If you’re not currently a CEO who is also an award-winning quilter, console yourself by searching the #RIPPatriarchy hashtag.
We’re clinging to structurally reinforced sexism like a bad boyfriend, and it’s time to say, “See ya later, Patriarchy.” It’s been real. Thanks for all the good times.
We’ll never forget …
1. The 200 abortion restrictions passed since 2011, closing 58 (or roughly 1 in 10) clinics.
3. “Bikini bodies”; “baby bump debuts”; and “post-baby bodies.”
4. Thigh gap.
5. Juice cleanses.
10. Vaginal-tightening cream.
12. Anal-bleaching cream!
13. Being called sluts.
14. Having no friends because we’re sluts.
15. Wondering if, when, and how we can “have it all.”
16. Never winning any prizes.
17. Not being geniuses.
18. All the books titled The ______’s Daughter and The ______’s Wife.
19. Vibrators shaped like cupcakes.
21. Disney princesses.
22. Real princesses!
23. That thing where dudes get an extra half of a seat on the subway for their balls.
24. Not having mandatory paid maternity leave.
25. Having an unemployment rate higher than it was at the beginning of the recession, thanks to the public sector jobs lost in budget cuts.
26. The lines for public restrooms.
30. Girls Gone Wild.
31. Revenge porn.
32. Honor crimes.
33. Dowry deaths.
34. Purity balls.
35. “Peak nubility.”
36. “Pretty women who are unaccompanied want you to talk to them.”
37. “Women’s suffrage and individual freedom are incompatible.How’s that for an unpopular truth?”
38. “We Saw Your Boobs”
Yup. There’s that and I got 99 reasons for thinking the Patriarchy is alive and well and Hannah Rosin is not one of them. Wanna wait and see what happens to a Hillary Clinton Candidacy in a few years now that the bro got in before the ho? Think things will change? Nope. Me Neither.
Here comes yet another anniversary of September 11th…it is a bad date for my family. Not only does it bring horrible memories of the attack on World Trade Center, and the hours of torture that followed… such painful thoughts flood back into our minds. It also is the day my daughter lost her school friend, Kenny, in a car accident three years ago.
Bad, sad day.
My internet was out most of the day yesterday, in fact it is going off and on while I write this post! I keep getting warnings from WordPress, so I best make this quick.
Little Green Footballs had a thread up and it is a long one, with all sorts of pictures and updates on the 12th Anniversary: 12 Years Later: Remembering 9/11 – Little Green Footballs
The past 10 years have been a near constant reminder of the profound sense of absence. 1WTC (aka the Freedom Tower) has finally recaptured part of the skyline. 1WTC is still under construction but the antenna and external structures are complete. The base and interior work continues.
The WTC Transit Hub from Greenwich Street at VeseyLooking down Greenwich St at the WTC Transit Hub and 3 and 4 WTC
Take a look at the link for some info on strange dealings with the Port Authority, and a $10.00 sale agreement gone phfffft….I just thought the pictures were something good to see.
The skyline will never be the same. Neither will our hearts, which are heavy with the loss and supreme sacrifices made on 9/11 by the rescue personnel who bravely rushed up the towers even as people were racing to get out of the towers or gasping as people were forced to jump to their deaths to avoid being burned alive in the fires that racked the towers.
More photos of Ground Zero and the rebuilding at the World Trade Center, as taken from 4WTC, which is scheduled to open next year.
The WTC as seen from Hoboken.
I think this image of the Tribute in Light is much better:
Or my own picture of the towers from August 2000…
Nah, how about a picture of NYC back a long time ago…in 1933: If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger, There’d Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats
Old New York #66Lower Manhattan (1933)
Wow…but you know something…it is so sad.
Ugh, it is emotionally draining for me…and since the internet is giving me problems I will go ahead and leave this morning’s post at that. I’ll post something a little later on…until then just use this as an open thread.
The issue of what to do with Syria, its civil war, and its brutal dictator’s gas attacks on its innocent citizens is on the US agenda tonight as President Obama takes the case for “narrow” attacks on specific Syrian targets. Can he persuade a war weary nation who has heard this type of case once before? The speech will be carried on TV and the internet live tonight at 9 pm EST.
Some suggested before Speech Reads:
President Obama’s big national address on Syria tonight isn’t aimed just at a deeply skeptical American public. It’s also targeted to the members of Congress who could decide the fate of the Obama administration’s actions on Syria, including the request for an authorization of force, if that route is still open.
What those actions could look like is totally in flux as of Tuesday afternoon, with a new report fromThe Wall Street Journal that Syria is not only acknowledging it has chemical weapons for the first time, but also saying it would tell the “United Nations, Russia, and others” where they are located. This development comes a day after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad declared to an American audience that his country has never used such weapons and refused to comment on whether Syria had a stockpile.
With the White House privately starting to believe it may not have the votes for an authorization of force, the administration has spent some of the last day trying to win Republican Senate support for getting a new agreement through Congress, reports National Review‘s Robert Costa. That agreement could be pegged to the diplomatic progress made over the last day, and it could be something we all hear more about tonight.
So far, Obama has given many of his usual staunch opponents a good deal of face time to discuss the possibilities on Syria. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden hosted a group of Republican senators—including Lindsey Graham, Kelly Ayotte, and Saxby Chambliss—for dinner (Italian was served) at the Naval Observatory on Sunday. And a half-dozen Republican lawmakers were granted the attention of White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough this week.
Obama’s speech will likely be about more than just missiles—specifically, the whirlwind of diplomacy that we’ve seen over the past 24 hours. But how members of Congress take tonight’s speech will go a long way toward deciding just how much room the administration will have to act.
Russian Times: Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Syria’s chemical arms handover will only work if the US and its allies renounce the use of force against Damascus.
“Of course, all of this will only mean anything if the United States and other nations supporting it tell us that they’re giving up their plan to use force against Syria. You can’t really ask Syria, or any other country, to disarm unilaterally while military action against it is being contemplated,” President Putin said on Tuesday.
President Putin said that the matter of bringing Syria’s chemical weapons under international control has long been a subject of discussion by experts and politicians.
Putin confirmed that he and President Barack Obama had “indeed discussed” such a possibility on the sidelines of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg last week.
It was agreed, Putin said, “to instruct Secretary of State [John Kerry] and Foreign Minister [Sergey Lavrov]to work together and see if they can achieve some progress in this regard.”
President Putin’s comments came shortly after the Syrian government said it would agree to place its chemical weapons arsenal under international control.
Think about what will happen if the Russian initiative starts to fly.
Chemical weapons are relatively easy to make and store (and fire), but much harder to dismantle safely. The chemicals themselves are fiendishly dangerous and need to be destroyed with specialist equipment without creating environmental hazards. Plus the explosive part of the delivery shell needs careful handling. Destroying CW stocks is therefore a complex and expensive operation, even under calm conditions. Both the United States and Russia have both heavily failed to meet internationally agreed deadlines for destroying their massive Cold War legacy chemical weapons stocks.
There is no precedent for attempting anything like this in a country wracked by civil war. It just can’t happen. No Syrian chemical weapons will be destroyed or “handed over” quickly.
Meanwhile any new process of setting up an international monitoring and destruction regime will require painstaking UN and wider negotiation with the Assad regime, thereby giving Assad and his state apparatus a massive boost of renewed confidence and legitimacy. Before long Washington may find itself locked on to implicitly or even explicitly supporting Assad in his civil war as the best chance to get some sort of internationally agreed CW destruction programme delivered in Syria.
1. Is Kerry a national-security genius, or a guy who says whatever half-baked idea comes to mind, or both?
2. Why are the Russians seemingly so ready to aid Kerry and President Barack Obama by helping relieve Syria of its chemical weapons? Since when is Russia interested in helping the U.S. out of a jam, even if it burnishes its own reputation in the process?
3. Do these early signs that Russia might be interested in making a deal to avert an attack prove that threatening to attack was the right thing to do?
4. Who is making American policy on Syria? Kerry or Obama?
5. Why would Assad give up his chemical weapons? He saw what happened when Libya’s late dictator Muammar Qaddafi gave up his weapons of mass destruction program, which is to say, he lost some of his deterrent power.
6. How do you possibly verify that Assad has given up all of his chemical weapons? The Syrian regime possesses hundreds of tons of these munitions.
7. Does Syria get to keep its biological weapons under this still nonexistent deal?
8. If the U.S. gives up the idea of an attack, would the remaining moderate rebels, so dispirited, start moving toward the al-Qaeda column?
9. How do you secure and transport all of these chemical-weapons components in the midst of a horrifically violent civil war?
10. Even if the theoretical strike was intended to be “unbelievably small,” why would the U.S. tell Syria this?
11. A related question: Who goes to war not to win?
12. Let’s just say that Assad gives up his chemical weapons. Does that mean he gets to kill civilians in more prosaic ways indefinitely? Is that it?
13. If Assad’s behavior is even somewhat analogous to Hitler’s, as administration officials (and surrogates like Senator Harry Reid) are suggesting, then how is it possible to argue for anything other than Assad’s total defeat?
14. At a certain point in this drama, will any of the various Arab countries that want the U.S. to bomb Syria then go do it themselves?
15. How did the U.S. get so bollixed-up by the tin-pot dictator of a second-tier Middle East country?
Tonight at 9:00 PM ET, President Obama will address the nation from the East Room of the White House.
The President will be speaking about the United States’ response to the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons that killed more than 1,400 civilians — including more than 400 children.
You can watch the President’s speech live on WhiteHouse.gov/Syria.
I have to believe that we’re all going to have some different thoughts on all of this. I am still torn.
Obama hatred has really reached a crescendo today, and I’m not talking about hatred spewed by the Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, or Rush Limbaugh. I’m talking about people who identify themselves as “progressives.” Twitter is mobbed emoprogs making a concerted effort to ensure that if there is a deal with Russia and Syria to prevent military action over Syria’s use of chemical weapons, President Obama will get zero credit for it.
Meanwhile supposedly “left-wing” pundits Robert Dreyfuss and Robert Scheer are praising Russia’s anti-gay, ex-KGB agent President Vladimir Putin for leading the way to peace.
Check this out from Dreyfuss at The Nation:
It’s tempting to enjoy the moment, that is, the humiliation of President Obama and the short-circuiting of his war push by a brilliant coup conducted by Vladimir Putin, that sly old dog and ju-jitsu expert, along with Russia’s ally, Syria. President Obama might as well not bother giving his Oval Office speech tonight, because the chances that Congress will approve Obama’s Authorization to Use Military Force are zero, and the possibility that the United States will go to war against Syria without congressional support are now less than zero.
You know, I really don’t take pleasure in seeing the President of my country humiliated; and I have to wonder about the judgement of a “journalist” who does–especially a journalist who probably doesn’t want to see a President Ted Cruz elected in 2016.
Dreyfuss can’t imagine a scenario in which Obama doesn’t particularly want to bomb Syria but threatens to do so in order to pressure Russia to respond with a diplomatic alternative. However he can picture Putin doing something clever and sneaky. Dreyfuss even quotes Tucker Carlson and Fox News–of all people!–in support of his belief that Obama is utterly incompetent and incapable of guile.
Ask yourself–if instead of threatening military strikes, Obama had simply asked Assad in a nice way to give up his chemical weapons, what would have happened?
Robert Scheer also wrote a snide piece at Truthdig that isn’t quite as in-your-face nasty as Dreyfuss’s but it’s pretty bad, and Scheer also quotes a right-wing pudit–Peggy Noonan! Scheer writes:
…there was a moment Monday when the odds for sanity seemed to finally stand a chance of prevailing. It came when President Obama acknowledged the Russian proposal for Syria to avert war by agreeing to destroy its chemical weapons stock as “a potentially positive development.” It was quintessentially an un-Bush moment when suddenly this presidential “decider” seemed possessed of a brain capable of reversing his disastrous course.
Because Obama has, until now, been completely intractable and inflexible, with a Bush-like brain?
The bipartisan rejection of the inevitability of a military response has been stunning in its geographical reach, and as Peggy Noonan, a leading Republican intellectual as well as a former top speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, observed in her Wall Street Journal column Saturday: “The American people do not support military action… . Widespread public opposition is in itself reason not to go forward.” Although underscoring the need to “rebuke those who used the weapons, condemn their use, and shun the users … a military strike is not the way, and not the way for America,” she wrote.
She is right. The use of chemical weapons cannot be ignored, even though the U.S. did just that decades ago when then-Mideast special envoy Donald Rumsfeld embraced Saddam Hussein after he deployed those heinous weapons on his own people and in his war with Iran. A strong response to the use of those weapons is in order, but instead of more violence that would inevitably kill innocent people, why not give peace a chance? At the very least, even if the Syrian government continues to deny responsibility for the chemical attacks, it must abandon its arsenal of these weapons that are inherently inhuman.
So what would that response be? Scheer credits Russian foreign minister Sergey V. Lavrov with a sudden brainstorm in response to a supposedly off-handed remark from John Kerry.
Lavrov seized upon Secretary of State John Kerry’s purely rhetorical point that Syria could abandon its chemical weapons supply and asked, why not? It was a serious plan, given that it had been previewed in a phone conversation between Lavrov and Kerry and that Syria’s foreign minister, who was in Moscow at the time, welcomed the sentiment.
Except if Kerry and Lavrov had discussed the idea previously, then Kerry’s remark wasn’t an off-handed gaffe that destroyed Obama’s dream of war, was it? Scheer truly wants to describe events in such a way that Obama comes out looking like a stupid, incompetent war monger.
Since Dreyfuss’ and Scheer’s diatribes were posted, we’ve learned that Obama and Putin have been discussing diplomatic solutions to deal with Syria’s chemical weapons for months. Laura Rozen of Foreign Policy writes at The Back Channel:
U.S. and Russian officials confirmed Tuesday that they have had discussions about removing Syria’s chemical arms going back months before the August 21st alleged chemical weapons attack outside Damascus, and that the idea was not born out of a stray comment made by US Secretary of State John Kerry at a London press conference Monday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that he and President Obama had “indeed discussed” the idea during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia last week.
He and Obama agreed “to instruct Secretary of State [John Kerry] and Foreign Minister [Sergey Lavrov] to get in touch” and “try to move this idea forward,” Putin told Russia Today in an interview Tuesday.
According to Rozen, Obama and Putin discussed the issue a year ago when the two met at the G-20 summit in Mexico and John Kerry talked about it further with Putin when he was in Moscow in April of this year. I guess in the time of Wikileaks, Snowden, and Greenwald, it’s now assumed that government are permitted no secrets and diplomacy must be carried out in the glare of TV cameras. Well, folks, that really isn’t how it works.
And now, as Sam Stein noted on Twitter, emoprogs are “this close” to hoping for a failure of the diplomatic solution so that Obama can be further mocked and humiliated.
I’m not sure where all the Obama hatred is coming from, but it’s really ugly; and the more I see of it, the more I want to give Obama the benefit of the doubt. I really like Bob Cesca’s take on this: A Deal to Prevent an Attack on Syria Reveals Obama as JFK, Not GWB.
Is anyone else here old enough to recall the Cuban missile crisis? Kennedy had learned that Russia had installed missiles in Cuba. His advisers urged him to attack Cuba and take out the missiles, but that would have forced the Russians to retaliate and likely led to World War III. Instead Kennedy set up a blockade around Cuba, and gave both sides some breathing room. From Wikipedia:
in secret back-channel communications the President and Premier initiated a proposal to resolve the crisis. While this was taking place, several Soviet ships attempted to run the blockade, increasing tensions to the point that orders were sent out to US Navy ships to fire warning shots and then open fire. On October 27, a U-2 plane was shot down by a Soviet missile crew, an action that could have resulted in immediate retaliation from the Kennedy crisis cabinet, according to Secretary of Defense McNamara’s later testimony. Kennedy stayed his hand and the negotiations continued.
The confrontation ended on October 28, 1962, when Kennedy and United Nations Secretary-General U Thant reached an agreement with Khrushchev. Publicly, the Soviets would dismantle their offensive weapons in Cuba and return them to the Soviet Union, subject to United Nations verification, in exchange for a US public declaration and agreement never to invade Cuba. Secretly, the US also agreed that it would dismantle all US-built Jupiter IRBMs, armed with nuclear warheads, which were deployed in Turkey and Italy against the Soviet Union.
Now that we know that the US and Russia have been engaging in “back-channel” negotiations over Syria, isn’t that a better comparison to the current situation than Bush and Cheney lying us into Iraq?
Syria is still the top news story today, and its still very unclear what is going to happen. The latest CBS/NYT poll found that 56% of Americans disapprove of the president’s handing of the Syria situation, and 61% are opposed to military strikes.
Yesterday President Obama told CBS’ Scott Pelley, “I understand” American people aren’t with me on Syria strike. You can read the transcript of the interview at the above link. The interview ended this way:
SCOTT PELLEY: The people aren’t with you.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Yeah, well, not yet. And I, as I said, I understand that. So I’ll have a chance to talk to the American people directly tomorrow. I don’t expect that it’s gonna suddenly swing the polls wildly in the direction of another military engagement. If you ask the average person — including my household — “Do we need another military engagement?” I think the answer generally is gonna be no.
But what I’m gonna try to propose is, is that we have a very specific objective, a very narrow military option, and one that will not lead into some large-scale invasion of Syria or involvement or boots on the ground, nothing like that. This isn’t like Iraq, it’s not like Afghanistan, it’s not even like Libya. Then hopefully people will recognize why I think this is so important.
And that we should all be haunted by those images of those children that were killed. But more importantly, we should understand that when when we start saying it’s okay to — or at least that there’s no response to the gassing of children, that’s the kind of slippery slope that leads eventually to these chemical weapons being used more broadly around the world. That’s not the kind of world that we want to leave to our children.
Obama will address the nation tonight, and it seems unlikely that he’ll be able to shift public opinion dramatically enough to get support for military intervention in Syria. According to the CBS/NYT poll linked above, Republicans oppose Obama on Syria even more overwhelmingly that Democrats do; and it’s not clear to me that the opposition is just about military action. As far as I can tell, the hatred for Obama at this point is so strong among Republicans–and among many Democrats as well–that he can’t do anything right. If he had ignored the chemical weapons attacks in Syria, he would have been called weak, but now that he wants to act, he’s suddenly a warmonger. He’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.
Currently the focus is on whether Obama can convince Congress to support action on Syria. If, as is most likely, his speech tonight doesn’t magically change public opinion, he’ll apparently be seen as an utter failure, both nationally and internationally. From The Boston Globe: Credibility stakes high for Obama in Syria speech.
President Obama’s speech to the nation Tuesday night has turned into a defining moment for the remainder of his term. The outcome of his call for Congress to authorize military strikes against Syria could determine both his credibility on domestic issues and his power on the international stage, analysts said Monday.
The stakes remained high even in light of Monday’s development that Russia is pushing Syria to allow United Nations control of its alleged chemical weapons. In an interview with CBS, Obama said Monday night that any proposed diplomatic solution must be backed by the “credible military threat from the United States.” [....]
“If he loses, then clearly, his lame duck status probably starts more than a year earlier than normal,” said Elaine C. Kamarck, a Clinton administration veteran and now a senior scholar at the Brookings Institution. “Also if he loses, it’s difficult to say how the bad guys in the world, like North Korea and other places, interpret this.”
President Obama said he will go ahead with his speech on Tuesday, outlining the rationale for US military action. The task has been made much more difficult because Obama has seemed uncertain of his own course. He initially drew a hard line on chemical weapons and then, once convinced that the Syrian government had used them last month, spoke and acted as if a military strike were imminent.
But of course if Obama hadn’t asked for Congressional approval, he would have been excoriated by the press for that and his second term would have been written off anyway. I just don’t think Obama can win at this point, regardless of what he decides to do on Syria or any other issue. Even the endorsement of popular former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton can’t turn around the current judgment that Obama is always wrong.
Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday endorsed President Obama’s call for military strikes against Syria and said “it would be an important step” if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad surrendered his stockpile of chemical weapons.
“The Assad regime’s inhuman use of weapons of mass destruction against innocent men, women and children violates a universal norm at the heart of our global order, and therefore it demands a strong response from the international community, led by the United States,” she said.
Clinton, a potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, made her first public remarks on Syria during a previously scheduled appearance at the White House. She said she had just come from a meeting with Obama, during which they discussed a proposal advanced by Russia to avert U.S. military strikes by having Assad turn over control of the country’s chemical weapons to international monitors.
She said that such a move would be important but that “this cannot be another excuse for delay or obstruction, and Russia has to support the international community’s efforts sincerely or be held to account.”
She also suggested that the Russian proposal came about only because of a “credible military threat by the United States.”
I think that’s probably true. Personally, I hope there’s a diplomatic solution, and the fact that Obama and Putin discussed such a possibility last week–and even before that–gives me some hope.
In other news,
Four men have been convicted in the gang rape of a women in Delhi, India last year. From BBC News:
The 23-year-old woman was brutally assaulted on a bus and died two weeks later.
Her death led to days of huge protests across India in a wave of unprecedented anger.
The case forced the introduction of tough new laws to punish sexual offences. The four men are expected to be sentenced on Wednesday.
Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur and Pawan Gupta denied charges including rape and murder, and lawyers for three of the men said they would appeal against the convictions.
They face the death penalty over the attack on the physiotherapy student after being found guilty of rape, murder and destruction of evidence.
Read more at the link.
Will the verdict affect attitudes toward violence against women in India? Nita Bhalla discusses this question at Thompson Reuters: As India gang rape trial ends, a debate over what has changed.
The serial rapist stalks her for days. Eventually he breaks into her home when she is alone and tries to rape her at knifepoint. But she somehow manages to overpower and trap him.
Now, with the help of her two housemates, she has to decide what to do. Kill him and bury him in the garden? Or call the police, who are known to be insensitive and may let him off?
The plot is from “Kill the Rapist?” – a provocative new Bollywood thriller which aims to embolden Indian women to report sexual assaults – and to deter potential rapists by making them “shiver with fear before even thinking of rape” the film’s Facebook page says.
Controversial? Yes, but it is part of a growing awareness in India about violence against women since the high-profile fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old student on a bus in December.
“Like most Indians, I had become used to hearing about rapes and other crimes against women. I would read about them, then turn the page and forget,” says Siddhartha Jain, the 39-year-old producer of “Kill the Rapist?”
“But the December incident shook me to the core. I didn’t want this just to be another story that would be forgotten in a year. My film, which will be released on the anniversary of the incident, is an excuse to amplify the discussion of women’s security and hopefully bring about some positive changes.”
It sounds a little like that play from the 1980s, “Extremities,” that Farrah Fawcett starred in. Perhaps India is getting its consciousness raised?
Meanwhile, check out this info I just pulled off Twitter: Study: 1 in 4 men across parts of Asia admit to rape. Some highlights:
1 A UN study in 6 Asia-Pacific countries found that 1 in 10 men admitted to raping a woman other than his wife or girlfriend. Counting wives and girlfriends, the figure rose to 24%. More than 10,000 men were interviewed in Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka.2 The percentages of men who admitted to rape varied by country. In Bangladesh, 11.1% admitted to rape; in Cambodia 20.8%; in China 22.7%; in Indonesia 31.9%; in Papua New Guinea 60.7%.3 More than 70% of those who admitted to forcing a woman to have sex gave reasons that fell under the study’s category of “sexual entitlement.” Nearly 60% said they were bored or wanted to have fun. 40% said they were angry and wanted to punish the woman. Only half said they felt guilty and 24% had been imprisoned for rape.
Here’s an economics story from Wonkblog for Dakninkat to opine on. Why doesn’t Fed policy pack more punch? Blame Grandpa.
One of the great frustrations of the last few years has been that, even as central banks around the world have taken extensive steps to try to prop up growth, the impact hasn’t been that great. Indeed, over the last generation, there’s lots of evidence that changes in interest rates don’t pack the punch, in terms of both jobs and inflation, that they used to.
A researcher at the International Monetary Fund has a novel explanation for one reason why this may be: namely, a growing proportion of the world population, and especially in advanced nations, that is elderly.
“We will argue that monetary policy also has a weakened effect on the economy due to changing demographics,” Patrick Imam writes in a working paper. “The elderly used to account for a small share of the population, but technological breakthroughs and social changes over the last two centuries have transformed this demographic structure.”
The gist is that young people are more likely to borrow money, while older people tend to live investments, so lower interest rates have less effect on an aging society overall.
When just embarking on a career, a young person might take out major loans for education and for buying a house and car. As they reach middle age, they will tend to have paid down some of that debt while also building savings. By the time they hit retirement age, they should be net creditors, with significantly more savings than they still owe in debt.
That would imply that in an older society fewer people are actively using credit products. Which should in turn imply that a central bank turning the dials of interest rates will be less powerful at shaping the speed of the overall economy.
As usual, it’s the baby boomers’ fault. Anyway it’s an Interesting theory . . . we’ll have to see what Dak has to say about it.
Now it’s your turn. What stories are you following today? Please post your links in the comment thread.
Let’s take a break today from the usual stuff. Let’s chase down the kewl!!
The world’s largest cave has been discovered in Vietnam. They’re getting ready to give tours!!
But nobody knew any of that until four years ago.
A local man discovered the cave entrance in 1991, but British cavers were the first to explore it in 2009. Now, tour company Oxalis is running trial tours of the cave andaccepting sign-ups for real six-day tours to take place next year.
Scientists say that they have discovered the single largest volcano in the world, a dead colossus deep beneath the Pacific waves.
A team writing in the journal Nature Geoscience says the 310,000 sq km (119,000 sq mi) Tamu Massif is comparable in size to Mars’ vast Olympus Mons volcano – the largest in the Solar System.
The structure topples the previous largest on Earth, Mauna Loa in Hawaii.
The massif lies some 2km below the sea.
It is located on an underwater plateau known as the Shatsky Rise, about 1,600km east of Japan.
It was formed about 145 million years ago when massive lava flows erupted from the centre of the volcano to form a broad, shield-like feature.
The researchers doubted the submerged volcano’s peak ever rose above sea level during its lifetime and say it is unlikely to erupt again.
“The bottom line is that we think that Tamu Massif was built in a short (geologically speaking) time of one to several million years and it has been extinct since,” co-author William Sager, from the University of Houston, US, told the AFP news agency.
“One interesting angle is that there were lots of oceanic plateaus (that) erupted during the Cretaceous Period (145-65 million years ago) but we don’t see them since. Scientists would like to know why.”
Prof Sager began studying the structure two decades ago, but it had been unclear whether the massif was one single volcano or many – a kind that exists in dozens of locations around the planet.
While Olympus Mons on Mars has relatively shallow roots, the Tamu Massif extends some 30 km (18 miles) into the Earth’s crust.
Until recently, however, scientists weren’t able to locate it, which had led to some skepticism as to whether a map for numerosity exists.
Benjamin Harvey of Utrecht University and his colleagues have discovered signals that show that the much-debated numerosity map really does exist.
Numerosity is different from symbolic numbers.
“We use symbolic numbers to represent numerosity and other aspects of magnitude, but the symbol itself is only a representation,” Harvey noted.
Numerosity selectivity in the brain comes from visual processing of image characteristics, where symbolic number selectivity comes from the recognition of the shapes of numerals, written words, and linguistic sounds that represent numbers.
“This latter task relies on very different parts of the brain that specialize in written and spoken language,” Harvey added.
To discover the map, Harvey and his colleagues asked eight study participants to examine patterns of dots that differed in number over time, all the while studying the neural response properties in a numerosity-associated part of their brain utilizing high-field fMRI. This technique allowed the researchers to scan the subjects for far less time per session than would have been necessary with a less powerful scanning technology.
Harvey and his team turned to population receptive field modelling to measure neural response.
“This was the key to our success,” Harvey posited.
It allowed the scientists to model the human fMRI response properties they saw following results of recordings from macaque neurons, in which numerosity experiments had been conducted more fully.
They discovered a topographical layout of numerosity in the human brain: the small amounts of dots the participants saw were encoded by neurons in one area of the brain, the bigger amounts, in another.
The discovery shows that topography can also develop for higher-level cognitive functions.
“We are very excited that association cortex can produce emergent topographic structures,” Harvey said.
So, BB knows me and knows my fascination with graves. It seems a badger has unearthed a treasure trove of medieval European graves.
A badger has led German archaeologists to a stunning find of medieval warrior graves, complete with one skeleton still clutching a sword and a wearing snake-shaped buckle on his belt.
Scientists are now examining the burial site where at least eight people were buried.
Artist and voluntary monument maintenance man Lars Wilhelm said he was watching badgers near his home in Brandenburg, north Germany, when he realized they were digging into an ancient grave.
He said he had been watching the progress of an enormous badger sett for five years. “My wife and I – we are both sculptors – wanted to put artworks in there.”
But this was now out of the question, he said. “The bones changed everything,” he added.
The Berliner Zeitung newspaper said Wilhelm called the experts as soon as he realized the animals had dug up bones. Archaeologists moved in and expanded the work of the badgers, freeing up eight graves, two of which were of noblemen.
“These are late Slavish graves,” said Professor Felix Biermann from the Ernst-August University in Göttingen, who is leading the dig in the Uckermark Stolpe area. He said they dated from the first half of the 12th century AD.
“Apart from these last heathen Slavs, the whole surrounding area was already Christianized. It’s special because these rulers still had their independent heathen beliefs.”
The warrior graves were particularly exciting. The skeleton of one man, aged around 40, was complete with a two-edged sword, and a bronze bowl at his feet.
“At the time such bowls were used to wet the hands before eating,” said Biermann. “The bowls would a sign that a man belonged to the upper classes.”
He added that the warrior also had a bronze buckle with a snake’s head, which probably came from Scandinavia. His grave also contained an arrow head.
“He was a well-equipped warrior. Scars and bone-breaks show that he had been hit by lances and swords, and had also fallen from a horse.”
While the international community debates what to do about Syria, evidence of the use of chemical weapons dating back 1,700 years has surfaced.
British archeologist Dr Simon James believes 20 Roman soldiers may have been killed by lethal poisonous gas during a Persian attack on their fort at Dura-Europas in Eastern Syria during the 3rd century.
If true, it would be one of the earliest documented incidents of chemical weapons.
The soldiers met their fate in a narrow space in around 256AD, according to a statement by the University of Leicester academic in 2009.
Speaking at the time, Dr James said: ‘For the Persians to kill 20 men in a space less than two metres high or wide, and about 11 metres long, required superhuman combat powers, or something more insidious.
‘I think the (Persians) placed braziers and bellows in their gallery, and when the Romans broke through, added the chemicals and pumped choking clouds into the Roman tunnel.
‘The Roman assault party were unconscious in seconds, dead in minutes.’
Dr James was alerted to the evidence by mineral residue near the bodies. He concluded the gas was created by adding a compound of burnt bitumen and sulfur to fire.
So, there’s some interesting stuff to get our minds off the current problems. I’m going to let you get us up to date today. What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
During my time off, while driving around Banjoville one day with my dad, he pointed out a road sign to me that he knew would get my goat.
He also knew it would be something I probably would talk about here on the blog, take pictures of in fact, and share it with you….of course he was right.
So here beneath the redneck woods, in the haze of blue mountains, amid the squeals of pigs, there is one shop that can meet your need of class III weaponry and fill that prescription of Abilify as well…
Check out this picture below, Sign reads:
McCaysville Drug & Gun
Guns. Ammo. Accessories
Class III Dealer. Prescriptions
Yeah. I know the picture is not the greatest, it is from my camera phone and it was taken on the move…but you can definitely get the full scope of the situation here. I don’t want to link to the website, and get hammered by gun nuts, trolls or whatnot, but you can find it if you wish by looking it up on your own: mccaysville drug center dot com. The irony of it all, the drug center health mart web page…with this sentence up front and center: YES! We have guns and drugs!
Hey, if it works for them…fine. But I just think there has to be something fucked up about selling big ass guns at a place that also carries prescription drugs. No, these aren’t the kind of guns they sell at wallyworld btw…these are, “kill every muthafukker in the room” guns:
Now…just how hard is it to get a Class 3 weapon? Will Hayden: How to Buy Class 3 Weapons
- Class 3 firearms include machine guns, short-barreled rifles, short-barreled shotguns, suppressors, destructive devices and Any Other Weapons (AOWs).
- The tax for privately manufacturing any class 3 firearms is $200. Transferring requires a $200 tax for all class 3s except AOW’s, for which the transfer tax is $5.
- To legally possess a class 3 weapon you must complete a transfer of registration within the NFA registry.
- There are two ways for you to legally buy a class 3 gun. The first is by transfer after approval by ATF of a registered weapon from its lawful owner residing in the same State as the transferee. The second is by obtaining prior approval from ATF to make NFA firearms.
As for getting that dealer license to sell those class III firearms, well…there is nothing at the ATF website that says you can’t also have prescription drugs sold on the premises, nor is there any info on this during the application process.
Alright, so there’s that.
Now for some newsy items. I knew the Fukushima radiation disaster wasn’t going to be a problem for the IOC: Tokyo selected to host 2020 Summer Olympics – The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room
In seven years, all eyes will be on Tokyo.
The International Olympic Committee voted to send the 2020 Summer Olympics to the Japanese capital on Saturday.
The city beat out Madrid and Istanbul to host the international sporting games.
Forget steroids and enhancement drugs…the athletes will have that special glow in the dark kind of doping they can only get with radiation as high as 2,200 millisieverts (mSv). You think there are British swimmers known for their large “shark fin” noses now? Just imagine what some Godzilla sized rays of nuclear contamination will do to that schnoz.
In other Olympic news: Olympic sports will learn their fate on Sunday | McClatchy
After months of campaigning, revamping and strategic positioning, international federations for wrestling, squash and baseball/softball will find out Sunday if their sports will have Olympic life.
All three will go through a second round of presentations, hoping to earn a place in the 2020 Summer Olympics.
The decision, which will be made in Buenos Aires, Argentina, by the International Olympic Committee’s General Assembly around 10 a.m. Colorado time, comes seven months after wrestling was removed from the IOC’s list of summer Games core sports.
The February ouster prompted wrestling’s international governing body FILA to make possibly the most aggressive changes to its sport among the three finalists that will present their cases before the IOC on Sunday morning.
“We found the strength to change,” said Nenad Lalovic, who took over as president of FILA in February.
The change proved effective as wrestling got new life May 29 when the IOC whittled a field of eight sports to three finalists. The sports that didn’t make the cut were karate, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu.
Remember, pole dancing is one of the new “sports” competing for a slot in the games.
I am now going to quickly give you some links on a few disturbing issues dealing with the collective war on women.
First two stories on rape, but both are bullshit…and really piss me off.
The pre-trial hearings in a military courtroom at the U.S. Naval Academy have exposed a Navy midshipman who has accused three academy football players of rape to pointed cross-examination of the kind a civilian accuser wouldn’t face, according to news reports covering the case.
Under defense questioning over the last four days, the accuser has been asked by defense attorneys how wide she opens her mouth during oral sex, how many times a day she lies, whether or not she was wearing underwear or a bra, and other questions that experts interviewed by the Washington Post say would never be allowed in a civilian courtroom.
Her attorney, Susan Burke, filed suit Thursday against the academy and Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Michael H. Miller on her client’s behalf, arguing that the timing and nature of the cross-examination were a form of retaliation directed by Miller. Burke is seeking a court order compelling Miller to refrain from further interference in the case.
The suit alleges that “the Superintendent wanted to sweep the matter under the rug to prevent any reputational harm to the Academy,” and assured her client that “the investigation likely would just ‘go away’ if she signed a declination and refused to cooperate.”
Under pressure from the school and one of the football players, the accuser did not cooperate with an initial investigation but was subsequently ostracized and retaliated against by the football players and the Naval Academy community, Burke said in earlier statements. The academy subsequently disciplined her client for drinking. The accuser sought legal help and the attention of the media in early 2013 and the Navy reopened the investigation, Burke said.
The case stems from charges leveled in June 2012 against three U.S. Naval Academy football players charged with raping a female midshipman and making false statements. The Article 32 proceeding determines if the charges will proceed to a general court-martial. The accuser, a 21-year-old midshipman at the academy who has not been named in major media reports, alleges that she was raped after getting drunk and passing out at an off-campus party in April 2012 in Annapolis, Maryland, site of the elite school.
Burke said in a statement earlier this year that her client “woke up at the football house the next morning with little recall of what had occurred. She learned from friends and social media that three football players were claiming to have had sexual intercourse with her while she was incapacitated.”
Oh, but this is not the only rape case in the news today dealing with college football players, check this out: Disturbing Allegations Emerge In Vanderbilt Rape Case
Further details have come out concerning the June 23 rape of a 21-year-old woman that led to the dismissal of four Vanderbilt football players, including junior college transfer, Brandon Vandenburg. According to a report from BuzzFeed, the incident was worse than previously reported and at least one source believes head coach James Franklin tried to cover it up.
In August, Vandenburg and three others—Brandon Banks, JaBorian McKenzie, and Cory Batey—were charged with five counts each of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. The alleged rape occurred in Gillette House on the Vanderbilt campus, where a second-floor door was destroyed—seemingly kicked in—and security footage showed a stream of men entering and exiting a room. Then Vandenburg threw a towel over the camera.
It’s believed the woman was raped in the room and then moved while the camera was obscured. The woman was reportedly unconscious while Vandenburg had sex with her. After the other three players entered the room, she was penetrated with random objects. Vandenburg recorded and took pictures. The woman had no recollection of any of it until she began to hear about the pictures and video. An attorney who has seen the video told BuzzFeed that there is “a strong racial component” to the footage, without elaborating.
Here is the kicker:
A source close to one of the dismissed players thinks coach Franklin urged one of the players to delete a video after viewing it.
I’m 99.9 percent sure that Franklin saw the video,” the source said. “And I wouldn’t be surprised if the public finds this out soon.”
“Coach Franklin denies that emphatically,” said Hal Hardin, Franklin’s attorney. “People always speculate and gossip. There is no truth to that accusation whatsoever. It’s inflammatory.”
Three other men—including suspended wide receiver, Chris Boyd—were later indicted for allegedly urging Vandenburg to delete the video and deleting the video and photos from their own phones.
Franklin has turned the team into a “winning” team, from what I can see…he’s given the university its first successful season in a long time. According to USA Today, Franklin made over 1.8 million in 2011, and it is speculated that his contract over the next few years will be substantially higher. He isn’t going anywhere, and you can bet he will be protected by the administration. However, I am not sure what to make of this bit from the buzzfeed link:
Franklin’s self-described “extreme personality” is the marvel of players and fans alike. His voluble nature has also garnered unwanted headlines. During a radio interview last June, he said that he doesn’t hire an assistant coach until he sees his wife. “If she looks the part, and she’s a D-1 recruit, then you got a chance to get hired. That’s part of the deal.”
On Twitter, Franklin, who has more than 24,000 followers, backpedaled from the comment: “My foot does not taste good, I hope I did not offend any1, I love and respect ALL, have a great day, enjoy the fam & don’t forget to #AnchorDown,” citing the Commadores’ de facto slogan — which Franklin came up with and popularized.
Other woman’s issues links:
Residents in Waco, TX are angry over a company’s decision to advertise with a realistic depiction of an abducted and hog-tied woman in a truck bed. According to KTEM News, sign-making and marketing firm Hornet Signs designed the truck decal for an employee’s vehicle to advertise its car wrap services.
“I wasn’t expecting the reactions that we got,” said Hornet Signs owner Brad Kolb. “Nor was it anything we condone or anything else, but it was just something more or less that we just had to put out there and see who notices it.”
Some people noticed the vehicle in traffic and called police.
Kolb said that the woman on the decal is an employee who agreed to be photographed and that orders for car wraps and decals have gone up since the sign hit the streets.
Meanwhile, in my state of Georgia, this is happening: Ga. PSC may give $10K fine to anti-abortion group | AccessNorthGa
Two elected utility regulators in Georgia want to give a $10,000 fine from a telephone company to a religious anti-abortion charity with past financial ties to one of the officials, a proposal that the attorney general’s office is calling unconstitutional. But the state attorney general has thrown cold water on the idea.
Under a settlement, Peerless Network of Georgia LLC will pay a $10,000 penalty for failing to file required reports. Civil penalties usually go to Georgia’s state treasury.
Instead, Public Service Commissioner H. Doug Everett proposed this week that the telephone company pay the penalty as a contribution to the Atlanta branch of Care Net, where his wife works as unpaid volunteer. The organization is a Christian charity that discourages women from having abortions. It offers pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and baby supplies to expectant mothers, according to its website and tax filings.
Emails released under Georgia’s open records law show that the attorney general’s office has cautioned that state regulators do not have the authority to approve such a deal. In an Aug. 29 email, Senior Assistant Attorney General Daniel Walsh wrote that the Public Service Commission can allow violators to make alternate settlements rather than paying fines, such as by offering consumer refunds or funding training to prevent natural gas accidents.
“Here, I don’t see a plausible connection between a utility regulation and a pregnancy center,” Walsh wrote.
After utility regulators ignored that advice, Attorney General Sam Olens wrote them a letter Wednesday warning that the plan violated Georgia’s state constitution.
“Despite the obvious good intentions of those expressing an interest in a settlement agreement that would provide funds to various non-profit organizations, the law simply does not permit such a result,” Olens wrote.
Everett said there is a legitimate tie. Peerless admitted in filings that it failed to comply with several rules, including procedures to ensure the confidentiality of family violence shelters. Everett said Care Net assists pregnant women who are abused and need shelter, although it does not operate any shelter services itself. Peerless officials did not return a call seeking comment.
“I can’t understand why this one was singled out,” Everett said.
Allowing the company to make a donation to Care Net rather than paying a fine to the state could raise questions over the constitutional separation of church and state. Care Net says on its website that its mission includes, “Sharing the truth that Jesus Christ offers thereby making voluntary pregnancy termination unnecessary and undesirable.”
When I read this article, I felt physically ill. 10 fucking thousand dollars. Unbelievable! I want to scream into my pillow as I write this. Ugh.
Here is a good link for you though, something to work on and work toward: Where We Go From Here… #HB2 – Jessica W. Luther
People want to do stuff. People are itching to be active, to participate, to rally, to…DO.
Everyone is going to have their own opinion on what we should be DOING at this point. And I’m great with that. The fact is, we should all be doing whatever we are comfortable with, what we have the time to do, etc.
So, I’d like to just start a conversation about it. I AM NOT – by any means – some kind of expert on this. My only real organizing was at the Texas capitol this summer, a bathing in the fire.
If you have ideas that I should add to this list, please leave a comment or shoot me an email.
Take a look at Jessica’s list, it is detailed and a great place to start…oh, Ralph and Mona, be sure to pass it on your friends in Texas!
This post is long, and it is already after 2:30 in the morning and I want to go to bed, the rest of the morning’s reads will be in link dump fashion. We will go in chronological order, okay?
The Conventum inter Guillelmum Aquitanorum Comitem et Hugonem Chilarchum is a 340-line, highly descriptive document of claims, counter-claims, and often violent conflicts, all revolving around property, between Hugh of Lusignan and Count William of Aquitaine, written by an unidentified author and scribe. This eleventh-century document is written in a conversational mode, largely using direct speech, and from a secular perspective, since both parties are lay lords. It is the textualization, or the writing down, of a series of events and oral transactions of the demands of Hugh for the properties he claimed by right of inheritance, either directly or by proximity to his kin. The textualization allowed the author to control the information that was incorporated into the text, thereby to be passed into the future. While historians have called the document highly unusual, because of its length, because of its direct speech, because of its one-sided portrayal of events, and because there is no comparative document from the region, they nevertheless study the document for lord-vassal relationships of the eleventh century. However, the question of why the document was written has still not been adequately answered, although a few historians have put forward their assertions of the document as literature rather than history. These assertions seem largely based on the Conventum’s grammatical or narrative structure, which are only a part of its textualization.
…the importance of the document lies in this textualization of legal claims as understood in the moral standards and accepted norms of conduct in the eleventh century, all of which provide the events therein with legal validity and thus, by extension, to the agreement itself. This type of evaluation allows the text to take its place with other legal documents of the early-eleventh century. I further maintain that Hugh had the document written to formalize his claims, not only against Count William of Aquitaine but also against Count Fulk Nerra of Anjou, since most of the lands that Hugh claimed were under men commended to Anjou.
To do this I examine the importance of land, its role in the attainment of personal power, its role in the identity-formation of a family, the methods of its acquisition, the disputes around its inheritance and ownership, and the methods of dispute settlement, including the role of violence. In the upheavals of the early eleventh century, textualization of land holdings and their dispute settlements provided a permanent record for family identity and for the legal procedures that were employed. The thesis also examines the geo-political implication for the setting of the Conventum, the power struggle between the Counts William and Fulk, and the possession of allodial or free lands and their added influence on the bargaining power of the lords. Then, I trace the importance of textualization as a continuation of the documentation process already prevalent under the Carolingians. Subsequently, it is necessary to look at some of the words and portrayed events that indicate the use of customary procedures by Hugh in making his claims. The thesis also examines the oath of fidelity to see how the relationship of a lord and his man was defined, how the oath affected the conduct of each to the other, and its implications in the ongoing debate over the lord-vassal relationship and thus the feudalization of eleventh-century social structure.
Keep those themes of legal argument and documents and such…and the use of words and language in mind.
Richard III suffered from a roundworm infection, according to research carried out on his skeleton.
The remains of the king, who ruled England from 1483-85, were discovered last year under a council car park in Leicester.
Cambridge University researchers used a powerful microscope to examine soil samples from his pelvis and skull as well as soil surrounding the grave.
They found multiple roundworm eggs in the pelvis sample. But there was no sign of eggs in soil from the skull and few around the grave, suggesting a roundworm infection rather than contamination by later dumping of human waste in the area.
Damn, not only did he suffer Scoliosis, have a club foot and other maladies, but he had worms too!
From World Wide Words Newsletter: 7 Sep 2013 There are two cool entries for you:
The name of this delightful vegetable has swung from classical Latin to rustic reinvention and back during its history in English.
It first appears in English around 1000. Its name was taken from medieval Latin sparagus but by the sixteenth century it had come sperach or sperage. It might well have stayed like that had it not been for herbalists, who knew the classical Latin name was asparagus, itself borrowed from the Greek. Their influence meant that that name became quite widely known during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries alongside the older names. Nicholas Culpeper, for example, headed an entry in his herbal of 1653 as “Asparagus, Sparagus, or Sperage”, thus covering all bases.
Non-scholars had trouble with asparagus and did what the medieval Latin writers had done — leave off the unstressed initial vowel, so making it sparagus again. But they went one step further, converting it by folk etymology into forms that seemed to make more sense, either sparagrass or sparrowgrass. The latter form became common in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries:
So home, and having brought home with me from Fenchurch Street a hundred of sparrowgrass, cost 18d.
Diary, by Samuel Pepys, 20 April 1667.
In the eighteenth century sparrowgrass was so much the standard and polite term that John Walker commented in his Critical Pronouncing Dictionary in 1791: “‘Sparrow-grass’ is so general that ‘asparagus’ has an air of stiffness and pedantry”.
I guess you would say asparagus with the pinky finger raised?
Q From Patrick Martin: As I gave the cat its supper, I said to my wife that I was doing it to curry favour with the cat. Out of curiosity I looked curry up in the two-volume Oxford dictionary to see where this expression comes from. The explanation involved a chestnut horse. This seems a bit far-fetched. Is there a better explanation?
A Believe it or not, the explanation is correct. But then, it’s an odd phrase — why should curry have anything to do with winning the favour of somebody or ingratiating oneself with him?
Its origin lies in a French medieval allegorical poem called the Roman de Fauvel, written by Gervais de Bus and Chaillou de Pesstain in the early 1300s. Fauvel was a horse, a conniving stallion, and the poem is a satire on the corruption of social life. He decided he didn’t like his stable and moved into his master’s house, becoming the master and being visited by church leaders and politicians who sought his favour.
That is some horse!
There are several layers of meaning in his name: fauve is French for a colour variously translated as chestnut, reddish-yellow, tawny or fawn. A close English equivalent is the rather rare fallow, as in fallow deer, an animal with a brownish coat (it may be that uncultivated ground is also said to be fallow because it looks that colour). Fauve is also a collective name, originally les bêtes fauves, for a class of wild animals whose coats are tawny, such as lions and tigers, and hence ferocious wild animals (the fauverie in a French zoo houses the big cats). In the poem, the name Fauvel can moreover be glossed as fau-vel, a veiled lie, but it is actually a partial acronym of the initial letters of the French words for six sins: flatterie, avarice, vilenie, variété, envie, and lâcheté (flattery, avarice, depravity, fickleness, envy and cowardice). His colour also evokes the old medieval proverbial belief that a fallow horse was a symbol of dishonesty.
The poem was well known among educated people in Britain, who began to refer to Fauvel, variously spelled, as a symbol of cunning and depravity. That soon became curry Favel. This curry has nothing to do with Indian food (a word that came into English only at the end of the sixteenth century via Portuguese from Tamil kari, a sauce or relish) but is another ancient word from a French source, still common in English, which means to rub down or comb a horse. The idea behind currying Favel is that the horse was highly susceptible to flattery, figuratively a kind of stroking.
For people who didn’t know the poem — then, as now, that was almost everybody — Fauvel or Favel meant nothing. Favour seemed much more sensible a word and by the early part of the sixteenth century popular etymology had changed it and so it has remained ever since.
Alright, now a book review link: Brief Review of “The Great Dissent” by Thomas Healy (UPDATED) | The Volokh ConspiracyThe Volokh Conspiracy
…“The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind–and Changed the History of Free Speech in America” by law professor Thomas Healy.
…the book is a lively read, and provides a good amount of interesting information about Holmes in general, and how he came to be (rather suddenly, after having not been at all) a champion of judicial protection of freedom of speech.
Want to read David Bernstein’s complaints about Healy’s book…go check out the rest of the review at the link above.
Wanna know what it’s like to sit on the back of a rocket ship and watch as it breaks the sound barrier? Because for their recent test of SpaceShipTwo’s reentry systems, Virgin Galactic stuck a camera onto the tail of the rocket and recorded its ascent into orbit. This is one of those videos you need to watch in 1080p — trust us, it’s worth the load time.
Y’all have a wonderful Sunday, please stop and let us know what you are reading and thinking about today.