Monday Reads

Good Morning!  Quelle Surprise! Pop Culture is still Misogynist, Racist, and Homophobic!

Pige-Manga-BWI found some interesting reads over the weekend so I hope you’ll enjoy them!   They are all sort’ve stories that actually reflect a lot of the things that fascinate and entertain me.  I love strategy games and have been playing them on line for quite some time  Actually, it’s been since the early 1990s when most of the games were simply text oriented.  I also love animation art, and books, and of course, music. So, here’s a little bit on that and a little bit of stuff that has to do with social justice too.  If I do a have a consistent train of thought here it is that so much of what should be entertaining and could be informative can sow bad seeds.  I’ve a few examples where the pop and geek culture are taking on hard topics. Some are  successful and examining crucial human stories.  Some rely on the same old misogyny, racism, and homobigotry.

Japanese Manga is a way many creative people in Japan explore how they feel about a variety of things. This article is about a new manga book on the lives of the Fukashima plant workers.

A manga that describes the reality of daily life at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant through the eyes of a worker is enjoying popularity.

“Ichiefu” (1F), written by Kazuto Tatsuta, 49, first appeared in autumn 2013 as a serial comic in the weekly magazine “Morning,” published by Kodansha Ltd. Ichiefu stands for the Fukushima No. 1 plant among locals.

The comic was published in book form on April 23. The publisher shipped a total of 150,000 copies of the first volume, which is an unusually large number for a little-known manga artist.

Tatsuta said he changed jobs repeatedly after graduating from university. At the same time, he also worked as a comic strip artist.

It was when he was considering another job change that the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami occurred, triggering the nuclear accident at the Fukushima plant.

While seeking a better-paying job, Tatsuta also wondered what part he could do as a citizen of Japan to help. As a result, he began to work at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant from June 2012 for a total of six months.

“Ichiefu” describes the situation at the plant in great detail. The descriptions of equipment, such as the masks and protective gear the workers used, and the procedures they took to measure radiation levels make readers feel as if they are there and reading actual worker manuals.

The comic also depicts intimate practices only workers there would know. For example, the workers always say “Be safe” to each other before starting their shifts.

Each of the workers was also required to stop working when his dosimeter issued a fourth warning sound.

I quit playing a few games last year that I had really grown fond of because of the rampant misogyny and homophobia of many of the white male manga-dark-warriorplayers.  I had repeatedly asked them to constrain their language, behavior, and what they posted.  I am fortunately playing a game right now where that’s not the case.  I am still one of the few female players in my alliance.  I believe I am one of two but I have found that I generally enjoy better game play if I am in an alliance where there are many openly gay men.  This NPR article summarizes a series of articles that are focused on white male privilege in the online game atmosphere.

In video games, sexism often comes in the form of male-dominated storylines and character archetypes. In the video game community, it takes a more menacing shape.

It ranges from attempts to silence female critics to the harassment of fellow players. Some harassment even goes so far as phone calls and rape threats, as one female game developer found out last year.

“The issue is often framed as a women’s issue, but sexual harassment, sexism and misogyny in gaming is not a women’s issue — it’s a gaming community issue,” says Jonathan McIntosh, a producer for the Tropes vs. Women in Video Games Web series.

Last week, McIntosh wrote a piece for gaming website Polygon about what he calls the “invisible benefits” that males experience while playing video games. In the post, he lists 25 effects of “male gamer privilege.” Here’s a sample:

  • I can choose to remain completely oblivious, or indifferent to the harassment that many women face in gaming spaces.
  • I am never told that video games or the surrounding culture is not intended for me because I am male.
  • I can publicly post my username, gamertag or contact information online without having to fear being stalked or sexually harassed because of my gender.
  • I will never be asked to “prove my gaming cred” simply because of my gender.
  • I will almost always have the option to play a character of my gender, as most protagonists or heroes will be male by default.
  • If I am trash-talked or verbally berated while playing online, it will not be because I am male nor will my gender be invoked as an insult.
  • My gaming ability, attitude, feelings or capability will never be called into question based on unrelated natural biological functions.

So far, the reaction to his post — both in the more than 700 comments on the piece and elsewhere — has been relatively civil. As McIntosh pointed out on Twitter, he doubts it would have been as civil if he had been a female writer raising the same points.

“I’m saying the same thing that women have been saying for years,” McIntosh says. “There’s nothing in my piece that’s really new, it’s just that it’s coming from me. If my name was Joanna McIntosh … I’d be called irrational, I’d be called hysterical and I’d be called too sensitive.”

One other thing that I did not mention last week but I would like to mention this week is the rape scene between the Lannister twins in Game of Thrones.  The same scene in the book actually was rough but consensual.  

There’s been a lot of discussion, Internet rage, and general overall hoopla following Sunday night’s episode of Game of Thrones, as the television show made the most shocking book-to-screen deviation to date. *Spoiler free for future books.*

Jaime and Cersei finally had their reunited love scene, and suddenly for book readers, Jeyne Westerling seemed like a small cinematic sacrifice to make in comparison. I don’t want to get into a philosophical discussion on whether or not this scene constitutes as rape. Smarter people than I have alreadydonethat.

What we have to work with in the scene is what the characters said and did because we can’t know how they felt. And whether or not the scene was intended to come across as consensual sex, the way the scene was cut by the director makes it definitive to the audience that it was not consensual. Cersei repeatedly said no while Jaime forced himself on top of her and answered that he didn’t care as his creepy voiceover carried out onto a shot of Arya staring at mountains. If that’s all we know about the scene, then yes, in the television show Jaime raped Cersei.

The “debate” about the rape has been nearly as upsetting as the rape itself.  I liked this take clearly stating that rape is not a “narrative device”.

In some ways, it’s useful for television shows to acknowledge the extent of sexual violence in our culture. These narratives allow necessary stories to be told. But the execution is too easy. From daytime soap operas to prestige cable shows, rape is all too often used to place the degradation of the female body and a woman’s vulnerability at the center of the narrative. Rape is used to create drama and ratchet up ratings. And it’s rare to see the brutality and complexity of a rape accurately conveyed on-screen. Instead, we are treated to an endless parade of women being forced into submission as the delicate and wilting flowers television writers and producers seem to want them to be.

download (9)I am still wondering why there seems to be a renaissance in misogny, racism and homobigotry.  You would think that the sports arena would have made better strides against racism given that teams and fans are fully integrated to the idea that there are players of many races.  However, it seems the real money and power behind the bread and circuses are still those rich, horrid, white men.  We talked about the Clippers’ owner last week.  There is, of course, more on that.

Deadspin has acquired an extended, 15-minute version of the conversation between Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his then-girlfriend V. Stiviano. If the original nine-minute tape acquired by TMZ left any questions about Sterling’s opinions regarding minorities, the audio here should remove all doubt that he’s a doddering racist with views not too far removed from the plantation.

The Clippers themselves showed some class this week in a protest that was priceless.  There will undoubtedly be more coming and hopefully the NBA can find a way to strip Sterling of the franchise.

The Clippers gathered at center court before a118-97 Game 4 loss in their first-round series against the Golden State Warriors and took off their Clippers warm-up shirts and left them there. They then warmed up wearing inside-out red shooting shirts that did not display the Clippers name or logo. During the game, players wore black arm or wrist bands and black socks.

In other news, water is still wet and Sarah Palin is still one of the dumbest people on the planet.  This is the money quote she gave the NRA: ‘Waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists’.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) defended the controversial enhanced interrogation technique of waterboarding this weekend, and implied that the practice would still be commonplace “if I were in charge.”

“They obviously have information on plots to carry out Jihad,” she said at the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual meeting on Saturday evening, referring to prisoners. “Oh, but you can’t offend them, can’t make them feel uncomfortable, not even a smidgen. Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.”

The remark stands in stark contrast to the opinion of her former running mate, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

The former Republican presidential nominee, who spent more than five years in a prison camp during the Vietnam War, has repeatedly denounced the practice, which he says is torture.

In her speech, Palin praised the NRA, a group whose members “are needed now more than ever, because every day we are seeing more and more efforts to strip away our Second Amendment rights,” she said.

I am still waiting for some examples of how any government in the US is stripping away the second amendment rights.  I do, however, have thousands of examples of how women are losing their right to self determination.

My last offering this morning is yet another in depth article on the demise of the middle class in the USA.  Middle class Americans are an endangered species.

Wages for millions of American workers, particularly those without college degrees, have flat-lined. Census figures show the median household income in 2012 was no higher than it was 25 years ago. Men’s median wages were lower than in the early 1970s.

Meanwhile, many of the expenses associated with a middle-class life have increased beyond inflation. This includes college tuition, whose skyrocketing cost has laid siege to a bedrock principle of the American Dream: that your children will do better than you did.

recent poll conducted by the Washington Post and the Miller Center at the University of Virginia found that 40 percent of those calling themselves middle class felt less financially secure than they were just a few years ago. Forty-five percent said they worry “a lot” about having enough money stashed away for retirement, and 57 percent said they worry about meeting their bills. Less than half said they expect their kids to do any better.

Fewer Americans find themselves in the heart of the middle class with every passing year.

In the mid-1970s, the majority of Americans were in the middle, with 52 percent earning the equivalent (in today’s dollars) of $35,000 to $100,000. Today, according to census figures, the share of households earning under $35,000 is virtually unchanged, 35 percent. The shift has occurred in the other two categories. Households with incomes over $100,000 have doubled, to 22 percent, while less than 44 percent are in the middle cluster.

So, what’s on your reading and blogging list today?

64 Comments on “Monday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Nice post.

    More on Donald Sterling from WaPo: Alleged Donald Sterling recording is the latest in series of incidents involving Clippers owner

    Sterling’s history paints a picture of a man who has let slip bigoted beliefs for years — and has, at least so far, sidestepped major repercussions. He was sued in 1996 for sexual harassment. In 2003 he testified in a separate court case that he occasionally paid women for sex. The same year, Sterling was sued by 19 tenants of a building he owned, along with the Housing Rights Center; they claimed Sterling’s employees refused repairs to black tenants and frequently threatened to evict them. Sterling settled the case for an undisclosed sum.

    In 2009, Sterling spent $2.73 million to settle another suit, this time brought by the Justice Department, which alleged Sterling refused to rent his apartments to non-Korean tenants, preferring that black and Hispanic prospective tenants look elsewhere. The lawsuit quoted Sterling as saying in sworn testimony that “Hispanics smoke, drink and just hang around the building,” adding that “black tenants smell and attract vermin.”

    Sterling also feuded with Elgin Baylor, a Washington native, NBA legend and the Clippers’ general manager for 22 years. Baylor, who has declined commenting publicly this weekend, sued Sterling in 2009 for discrimination and wrongful termination. In the lawsuit, Baylor, who is African American, alleged Sterling built his franchise with the “vision of a Southern plantation-type structure” and accused the team owner of a “pervasive and ongoing racist attitude.” A jury ruled in Sterling’s favor in 2011.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      Just looking at Sterling and his “paid for” girlfriend, you know that this is a “love match made in Heaven”!

      He’s 80, she’s 30 something and you can feel the “love” just oozing out of his wallet.

      This shows just what “money can buy” when your “girlfriend” tapes your conversations with the intent of someday “cashing in” while the billionaire “boyfriend” disapproves of her “friends”.

      A couple of sharks circling one another in a sea of sheer stupidity.

      • RalphB says:

        In this case, I hope the younger shark wins though. What she did was worthwhile, no matter the reasons. Sterling should be shunned.

        • bostonboomer says:

          The article said that the “girlfriend” is no longer with Sterling and he is suing her for something. I’m not sure how long ago the conversation took place. She may be the one who released it.

          • Yeah I think she is the one who released it, check this out:


            DS: I don’t want to change. If my girl can’t do what I want, I don’t want the girl. I’ll find a girl that will do what I want! Believe me. I thought you were that girl—because I tried to do what you want. But you’re not that girl.

          • Pat Johnson says:

            No doubt she did. It was her lawyer who pronounced it “authentic”.

            One thing they do have in common though is both their faces have undergone some serious “work”.

            But there is no fool like an old fool who believes that money can buy “love” – or whatever it was that brought these two weasels together.

            The only thing missing so far is Gloria Allred demanding retribution for “pain and suffering”.

      • janicen says:

        I don’t for a moment think that she was with him because she fell in love with him, but I’m having a hard time seeing where she will someday “cash in” because of exposing him. Even if she writes a book it’s highly unlikely to become a best seller and I can’t see her commanding huge fees on the lecture circuit. In terms of pure greed, she stood a better chance of cashing in by staying quiet and staying with him. While clearly, I would not hold her up as the ideal I would like my daughter to emulate, I give her credit for exposing him despite the fact that it resulted in losing her lucrative relationship.

        • Pat Johnson says:

          She’ll come up with a way to sue him for something. That’s where the “cashing in” becomes relevant.

          She already is represented by a lawyer as the first step down that road. He may be a total sleaze but her motives, especially since he “supported” her for a time, are equally egregious.

          She is not out to correct race relations but to further enhance her bank account. His track record in that area has already been exposed. But since his team is near to possibly winning the NBA championship the “value” of those recorded conversations has risen.

          He bought and paid for the privilege of her company. This is how she makes her living.

          Two disgusting people with zero integrity who have become front page news by their odious behavior.

          Only in America.

          • RalphB says:

            Frankly, I don’t give a damn about her motives. Her actions are pretty fucking righteous. If she can sue the pants off that asshole, more’s the better.

          • janicen says:

            I guess what makes me bristle about what you’re saying is that it is the same thing that is often said about women who report being raped by wealthy men and yet I never find their names on the Fortune 500 list.

          • Pat Johnson says:

            Let’s not turn her into the next Cliven Bundy. She is not the “champion” of civil rights.

            She is an equal opportunity gold digger out to make a quick buck.

            Sterling already has a background in racist behavior and before this few refused to sign up to play for his team.

            All of a sudden the “fainting couch” has been introduced as if this was the first time his views were ever heard. He was a sleaze then. He is a sleaze now. Where has all that “outrage” been over the years leading up to this tape? Below the radar of course.

            No “clean hands” on either side. He has been a racist all along.

          • dakinikat says:

            Palin is a grifter. She also uses her looks and personality. But, she uses fuckability without the fucking. How dishonest is that compared to just outright being the fuck object and arm candy? Frankly, if these old men don’t mind being gold dug, I don’t mind revenge of the gold diggers. I never knock the power of tits and ass as long as the woman controls it.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Bloomberg Businessweek:

    U.S. to Impose New Sanctions on Russia as Kharkiv Mayor Shot

    In the worst confrontation with the U.S. and its European allies since the Cold War, Russia has started military exercises on Ukraine’s border where the North Atlantic Treaty Organization says Putin is massing about 40,000 troops in a potential preparation for invasion. That conflicts with an April 17 agreement signed in Geneva aimed at solving the standoff, according to U.S. and EU officials.

    “Later today, there will be an announcement made, and I can tell you that it builds on the sanctions that are already in place,” Obama told a news conference in the Philippine capital Manila today. “We are going to be moving forward with an expanded list of individuals and companies that will be affected by sanctions. They will remain targeted. It will also focus on some areas of high-tech defense exports to Russia.”

  3. Fannie says:

    Good morning, luv the topics this morning. Hope the folks in Arkansas are safe, and other areas are prepared for more to come.

    I am not a online game person, but I think sexism and misogyny is everywhere on the internet. I am grateful that you point out the effects all this has on our communities. Speaking of things in the sports arena, I was really pissed off with Donald Sterling comments. When I stated so, a rush of men, including my husband, started saying loud, GO Lakers, Go Warriors, etc. They did not say Go Clippers, but they missed my point. It is the sports culture, hooray for hoops, and win win win, that part of the team, the community, and NAACP, failed to see the racism the abuses from Donald Sterling prior to the release to this tape. It reminded me of why everybody turned their heads for years about Jerry Sandusky the football coach.

    There are days when I just get in my car and drive, yesterday was one of them. I later came home and discussed this further with my husband, and the Clippers had lost, and I just said their comes a time when you must put your foot down, and say no to the likes of Donald Sterling and his money. I wouldn’t have gone on the basketball court for him. Men see this in such a different light. I guess women do too, because I would have never stayed with an the likes of Donald Sterling.

  4. RalphB says:

    Nice post. Palin is still stupid, the middle class is vanishing, and bigots are bigger now. I wonder how those things will turn out in electoral politics?

    NYT: Why the Democrats’ Turnout Problem Is Worst in North Carolina

    … But Ms. Hagan is far more vulnerable than she appears at first glance. North Carolina might be the state where Democrats suffer the most from low midterm turnout. The state is divided between older, culturally Southern and conservative voters, and younger, more diverse and more liberal voters, especially around the Research Triangle and Charlotte.

    In presidential elections, those two groups fight nearly to a draw. In midterm elections, when older voters turn out at much higher rates than younger ones, the Republicans have a big advantage. …

    Conventional wisdom I know, but will this still be the case since North Carolina has become a right-wing nutjob heaven for the last two years? I hope conventional wisdom doesn’t hold up.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      She is still fodder for being one of the most inarticulate, unintelligent, least prepared person on the political landscape that includes the likes of Ted Nugent.

      Why they keep insisting in dragging her sorry butt out for “commentary” is beyond me.

      You could get more “wisdom” from a 5th grader and without that grating voice.

      • Fannie says:

        She’s been paid big time by the NRA, and she can’t work tea party anymore, can’t run for senate, she’ll be talked down on the senate floor and she knows it. She can’t work as public servant, so the NRA is talking care of the “gals” as she so proudly said. She is good, very good at lying and draining people.

      • RalphB says:

        Maybe the worst insult to the average 5th grader I’ve ever seen. 🙂

        • Pat Johnson says:

          Okay, let me amend that comment.

          She shares the same mentality as Kim Kardashian: “Look at me, look at me, look at me!”

          Neither one has a clue but are shoved down the throats of the public on a daily basis when it is quite apparent that there is “no there there”.

  5. Me likey the post too!

  6. RalphB says:

    Krugman: High Plains Moochers

    It is, in a way, too bad that Cliven Bundy — the rancher who became a right-wing hero after refusing to pay fees for grazing his animals on federal land, and bringing in armed men to support his defiance — has turned out to be a crude racist. Why? Because his ranting has given conservatives an easy out, a way to dissociate themselves from his actions without facing up to the terrible wrong turn their movement has taken.

    For at the heart of the standoff was a perversion of the concept of freedom, which for too much of the right has come to mean the freedom of the wealthy to do whatever they want, without regard to the consequences for others. …

    Krugzilla on the Bundy Mooching.

  7. janicen says:

    I am so glad to read your spot-on critique of online gaming. I also play one game fairly regularly. When I first created my character, I entertained the thought of identifying myself as a male because I knew that the community was dominated by men and let’s face it, many men go out of their way to beat the shit out of women. But I decided no, fuck that, I’m a woman, my character will be female. Well wow, just wow. The entire experience has taught me that at least in the gaming community but I suspect overall, 99.9% of men have serious issues with women. Even the ones on my team. We can work together and help each other as long as I am the weaker one. As soon as I start gaining in strength, things change and the hostility begins to show. And there are some who can not be told “no”, who cannot stop themselves from harassing and abusing (their own teammate, by the way!) until they are forced to by a player with mega-strength, and that’s always a female. Men never stand up to the abusive men and tell them to stop. And sadly, there are women who will choose a sexualized avatar, and play along to get along with the sexist men. I always speak out against the sexist and homophobic remarks but I am almost always the lone voice. In one case, they set up a private chat where they could make their 12-year-olds’ jokes and not offend people, but they could not actually stop themselves from making the jokes.

    I enjoy the game and I enjoy being able to stand back and understand the rampant misogyny and homophobia that pervades our society. It’s somewhat disguised in day to day life, but it’s all out there in the gaming community. It’s really fascinating and enlightening and when it becomes tiresome, I can just turn it off.

    • dakinikat says:

      The meme that finally got to me was “blue waffles”. I explained why I found it offensive. I told them why it was offensive. I asked them over and over to stop that, stop using the word, and if they had to post porn to each other to establish their own freaking porn conversation and to not do it in front of me. I used to get well you talk dirty and use innuendo all the time. I kept saying yes. I do. But I don’t freaking use some one else’s biology and sexuality as an insult and as something disgusting. These guys were all white, all straight, all married, and mostly long term unemployed. The biggest insults to hurl at each other had to do with either being a gay guy or being a woman. I just quit. I couldn’t take it any more.

      • dakinikat says:

        The other woman that played with us would just post Magic Mike Youtubes at them or ignore them. I told them where my line was and they would just ignore it. Then, some of them would apologize for the other’s and say boys will be boys. I’d say, you have daughters damn it! They’d say, I tell them men are evil and to stay away. Then, I’d say, you need to tell them it’s unacceptable not just cower than apologize to women. Drove me fucking nuts!

      • janicen says:

        I don’t know what “blue waffles” means, and I’m not going to look it up, but I trust your assessment of it as being offensive to women. I have read comments on feminist websites about the fact that most men really hate women and want to hit them either literally or metaphorically, and I used to believe that was an exaggeration until I peeked into the world of online gaming. They like us when we are weaker than they are but when we start to become stronger, they want to kill us.

      • janicen says:

        I love this line,

        “… especially since it means a sex life that is entirely masturbation-based, since real women don’t look this way.”

        I’m totally going to find a way to say that in a game chat.

  8. dakinikat says:

    There are an unbelievable number of Navy fighters from Pensacola buzzing the hood today. There are definitely maneuvers afoot. Last time it was this bad was right before we invaded Iraq. Wonder if they upped the defcon because of Russia this morning? There is another one! It has been constant all morning!

    • janicen says:

      That would jibe with one expert said on Al Jaz the other week, that if NATO decides to get involved, it won’t be by sending in ground troops, they will pummel Putin’s forces with air strikes.

  9. dakinikat says:

    The Donald joins in the slut shaming:

    Although Sterling has a history of being sued for housing discrimination based on race and for making other racial remarks, Trump spent a large portion of his weekly Fox News interview on Monday attacking then-girlfriend V. Stiviano.

    “It’s terrible, he got set up by a very bad girlfriend,” Trump opined. “Let’s face it. That whole thing is — she’s called the girlfriend from hell.”

    Fox News host Brian Kilmeade noted that many viewers had taken Sterling’s side because “it’s a private conversation… clearly, she was baiting him.”

    “It’s so bad,” Trump agreed. “She was baiting him, and she’s a terrible human being. And he gave horrible answers, and disgusting answers. You’re right, it’s a private conversation. But it became very public.”

    Co-host Steve Doocy pointed out that TMZ reported on Monday that Sterling had asked his girlfriend to record him for over 100 hours because he was forgetful.

  10. dakinikat says:

    I didn’t want to post this up top but when I heard this, I just thought, wow, is this what’s wrong with the rich or what. I can’t imagine another election system with Mr. Snooze Button.

    Bob Schieffer: Romney may consider 2016 run if Jeb Bush doesn’t

    • janicen says:

      I saw that headline yesterday and it made me smile and shake my head. Romney just does not have a clue. He still can’t believe he lost in 2012. So many Republicans feel the same way. I think we can beat Jeb and we can certainly beat Romney again. I’m hoping for a Clinton/Warren ticket, my true dream team.

      • NW Luna says:

        I dread having to see Romney smirking and faking concern through another campaign season. OTOH, it will be so enjoyable to see Hillary put him in his place with a few well-chosen remarks, debate after debate.

  11. NW Luna says:

    A few short months after getting zillions in tax write-offs from the Washington state legislature to keep projects here for the Machinists, it’s back to business as usual for Boeing, as it screws over its workers again. This time it’s going after its engineers.

    Boeing expects to save more than $100 million a year by transferring 1,100 research engineering jobs out of the Puget Sound region and an additional 200 from Southern California to lower-pay locations, according to internal Boeing documents reviewed by The Seattle Times.

    The documents show the company is willing to spend more than $150 million to implement the plan, laying off people and closing research labs here while moving the work to new engineering centers in Huntsville, Ala.; North Charleston, S.C.; and St. Louis.

    I’m not holding my breath for the legislature to take back those tax breaks.

    • dakinikat says:

      It’s never about the jobs themselves. it’s about the pols getting to say they save and create jobs.

      Jindal’s job pogromme was this and he brags about it.

      He created jobs in Northern Louisiana.

      What he did was incent a chicken evisceration plant to move across the border from Arkansas to Louisiana. Most of those folks still live in Arkansas and they commute every day across the border. The company gets huge tax breaks. They are far above the amount the jobs or the plant contributes to the community or the state. But Jindal daily brags he’s brought jobs and plants to Louisiana and he pockets the donations from the corporation as they know reside some place where they pollute our state and use our roads and infrastructure at OUR expense.

      • NW Luna says:

        And the workers with jobs in northern Louisiana probably still do their shopping in Arkansas where they live, so that doesn’t help either.

        Boeing moved its corporate headquarters to Chicago a few years back in a snit over perceived lack of bribes/incentives from Seattle & WA state. Now their fat cats get to enjoy Chicago winters, lol. Yet
        I think Boeing is still a huge presence — or should I say issue — here in the Puget Sound region. Most everyone has a relative or friend working for or retired from (or laid off from) Boeing.

        Probablem is Gov. Inslee is a Democrat. He’s been disappointing as governor; as a Representative he was more liberal. There’s a great deal of grassroots dissatisfaction with him over the Boeing kow-towing. The situation’s murky if there will be a strong liberal challenger to him when he runs for re-election.

  12. dakinikat says:

    Scathing Report Finds School Privatization Hurt Poor Kids

    Gordon Lafer, a political economist and University of Oregon professor who has advised Congress, state legislatures, and the New York City mayor’s office, landed at the airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, late last night bringing with him a briefing paper on school privatization and how it hurts poor kids.

    Lafer’s report, “Do Poor Kids Deserve Lower-Quality Education Than Rich Kids? Evaluating School Privatization Proposals in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,” released today by the Economic Policy Institute, documents the effects of both for-profit and non-profit charter schools that are taking over struggling public schools in Milwaukee.

    “I hope people connect the dots,” Lafer said by phone from the Milwaukee airport.

    Lafer’s research, commissioned by the Economic Policy Institute to evaluate the school-privatization push in Milwaukee, is a sweeping indictment of the growing private charter school industry — and other schemes backed by rightwing groups and big business — that siphon public funds out of public schools and enrich corporate investors at the expense of quality education for poor children.

    • RalphB says:

      I believe there would be no charter school or privatization movements if there was not large amounts of easy money to skim out of it. It’s just another part of the right wing con.

  13. RalphB says:

    American Conservative: The Sacrilegious Sarah Palin

    Princess Dumbass stepped way out over the edge for a lot of non-idiot conservatives.

  14. RalphB says:

    mediaite: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Is the Al Jazeera America of Late Night

    Simply great review and there’s a clip here that is just hilarious. 🙂

  15. bostonboomer says:

    Wall Street Republicans’ dark secret: Hillary Clinton 2016

    Read more:

  16. RalphB says:

    Raw Story: Citing religious freedom, NC clergymen sue state for right to perform same-sex marriages

    In a twist on the conservative argument over the separation of church and state, a group of clergymen filed suit in North Carolina today challenging state laws that make it illegal for them to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples within their congregations.

    The clergymen, representing the United Church of Christ, as well as Lutheran, Baptist, and Unitarian congregations jointly filed a federal challenge to Amendment One – recently passed by voters – in Western District of North Carolina.

    The addition to the North Carolina Constitution prohibited the state from recognizing or performing same-sex marriages or civil unions. …

    Bet this was quite a surprise. 😉

    • RalphB says:

      According to the Campaign for Southern Equality, today’s suit is the first of 66 marriage equality suits filed nationally to evoke the First Amendment’s right to the free exercise of religion.

      “The core protection of the First Amendment is that government may not regulate religious beliefs or take sides in religious controversies,” said attorney Jonathan Martel. “Marriage performed by clergy is a spiritual exercise and expression of faith essential to the values and continuity of the religion that government may regulate only where it has a compelling interest.”