Friday, May 29, 2015

Short Posts, 5/29/15: The Maoist/Marxist US Demoncrats, Scott Walker, the Nazgül of Wisconsin and the Hastert and Duggar cases Compared

I'm in my dark humor stage.  That is a contents warning.

1. The funniest headline I've read for a loooong time:

Have Democrats Pulled Too Far Left?

That is guffaw-inducing, snort-causing and just a wonderful example of the Orwellian type of political writing.  The context matters:  This country has unions in their death throes, no real left or actual communists in any meaningful power, and most talking-heads playing Democrats in political television show would have fitted well into the 1970s Republican Party, except for their milquetoast demeanor. 

Forty-five years ago it was a Republican president who signed the executive order for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, today caring about the environment is a liberal ploy.  Fifty years ago white leaders of American Evangelists were pro-choice.  Today their views would lead to public stoning.   And so on.

So it's the Democrats who have veered further to the left...

2.  Scott Walker, the Ringwraith* governor of Wisconsin, has plans for us wimminfolk.  He is planning to sign into law a bill which would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, even if the pregnancy was due to rape or incest.

In a different context he told us that ultrasound pictures of fetuses (feti?) are cool, which means that jamming a large scanner into an abortion-seeker's vagina for no medical reason at all is also cool!  But he was misquoted by the lazy lefty media:

“I think they realize, when people actually hear what’s going on and they can’t win on the left on an issue, they exaggerate things, they make things up, and they take them out of context,” he said. “Here I pointed out, as I pointed out before I signed the law, I said, ‘Who’s opposed to an ultrasound?’ They tried to claim it was a certain type, I said, ‘No — our law says that before someone has that procedure, they have to be given access to an ultrasound.’ “
 I thought he was the person signing that law, too?  So he is hiding behind the law that he himself authorized?  The man has guts belonging to a dead whale.

3. The Hastert scandal deserves a much more serious take which I'm not going to write here, but two thoughts want to be expressed right now**.

The first is my boundless admiration of so many people in power who believe they will never have the skeletons in their cupboards rattled by outsiders, that they will never be caught.  What could you possibly hide if you live in public limelight?

Everything, some politicians seem to think, and that's because they are surrounded by their courtiers telling them every day that they truly are the smartest and greatest and most beautiful people of all.  Like the mirror of the evil queen in Cinderella Snow White.

The second thought links the Hastert case to the Duggar case, and the teachings about female modesty in the religious camp.  This quote describes them in a different case from the one involving the Duggars:

The boy wrote that modesty was a “factor” in his actions because it “was not at the level is should have been in my family.”
“It was not uncommon for my younger sibling to come out of their baths naked or with a towel,” he wrote.
He also said his younger sisters acted inappropriately when they wore dresses, saying they “did not behave in them as they should.”
He then said his sisters didn’t realize what they were doing to him because they didn’t realize their “own nakedness,” and it wasn’t taught properly to them. He seems to blame this on his mother, who he says didn’t see the human body as a big deal because she is a nurse.
The boy said he spoke with his mother who had “no idea” how “visual” men are sexually compared to women. He said changes have since been made in his home.
“This was not a major reason for the offending, but it allowed my little sister to be open to what I made her do,” he wrote.
He then wrote, “A different lifestyle, with more modesty, might have prevented what happened.”
But what about the cases involving boys as the focus of sexual molestation or other sexual acts?  Should boys wear long dresses?  Not wrestle in school athletic programs?  Work more on their modesty?  --  The school of victim-blaming has a lot of expansion to do.

*I call him that because of the nine ringwraiths in Tolkien's   Lord of the Rings, enslaved by Sauron due to their original greed,  and doing his bidding.  Walker, and a group of other Republican governors elected about the same time seem to do the bidding of the conservative ALEC foundation.  I also find this funny and apt.

**They jostle at each other in the gateway of my mind and scream in these squeaky voices:  Take me!  Me first!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Thank You

For your generosity and kindness during my fund-drive, and for reading me.


A Canadian reporter, Shauna Hunt, was interviewing some football fans when one fan said to the fan being interviewed:  Fu*k her right in the pus*y (FHRITP), and Hunt could hear it.  You can watch what happened next:

The last man interviewed in that video was fired from his job, perhaps because he never stopped telling Hunt how f**king fantastic it was to blurt out that phrase.  Spocko asks whether firing him is justified, given that the man actually using the phrase just slithered away, for example.  I tend to agree that for low-powered people the same public humiliation that was intended for Hunt should suffice.

Because public humiliation it was, or at least an attempt at that.  It doesn't matter what the offending fan's intentions were (to entertain his mates, perhaps, or just to come across as funny); the outcome for female reporters getting these sorts of"jokes" regularly is a form of humiliation, a gantlet/gauntlet they must run, just to do their jobs:

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Fundraising, The Final Day!

You can still give to this blog to cover the costs and the chocolate which fuels my engines.  Thanks to all who have contributed, mwah.  And yes, the final day really should have been Friday but I charge nothing for late payments.

In other news, my humerus bone break is growing callus, the precursor to bone (though it looks like mold in the x-ray pics)*.  It also hurts less, and physical therapy should begin this week.  I'm recording all the monetary information for a participatory study in health care economics! 

Knitting needles are excellent for scratching an itching-and-healing arm in an  immobilizer, but hot weather doesn't help.  Still, recovery is good, and I'm probably going to remain more ambidextrous.

That's my news.  What are yours?

*Looking at those x-rays made me laugh at the idea that humans are the crown of creation.  Start with a poorly designed rickety framework and then cover it with meat?  Worms are a better initial idea but they need hands and wheels.  Birds are an even better idea, though once again they need hands.

Speed-Posting, 5/26/15: Tanith Lee, Women in Palmyra and Bruce Bartlett on Fox News

1.  RIP Tanith Lee, the master of dark fantasy.  She is one of the writers whose books people recommended to me and whom I read, to the extent the local library would allow, but no more.  Now I regret the fuzzy idea I had of reading more of her some time later.

2.  The Islamic State has taken over the cities of Ramadi in Iraq and Palmyra in Syria.  Among all the horrors that are taking place it's worth noting that it took only about a day after the invasion of Palmyra for IS to start preaching in the mosques that all women must cover their faces or be flogged.

It's not that the orders are to be compared with the beheadings and kidnappings and the general butchering IS is so fond of, but note the central role the control of women has in their ideology.  The orders of proper dress for women couldn't wait until the first round of killings were finished.

Needless to say, there's nothing about the covering of the face in the Koran; only about the covering of the bosom.  But conservative extremist religion always centers on the control of women.   And strict sex-segregation means that women cannot now get adequate health care inside the "caliphate" because male doctors can't treat women and there are too few female doctors and nurses.

3.  Bruce Bartlett has written an article about the self-induced brain-washing (lefty view) or brain-cleansing (righty view) watching Fox News can cause.  You can download the article here.

I read it.  Bartlett gives statistics about the ignorance effect:  In several categories Fox News watchers know less about political events than those who don't watch any news.  But his piece is not original research, and I was left asking why there's a whole television channel for one party but not for the other party.  Also what planet Fox's female commentators come from and whether looking like a Barbie doll is the first requirement.  But obviousle men don't have to look like the boyfriend called Ken, or have tiger-eye makeup.

Watching Fox (which I did a few weeks ago) is initially hilarious.  Then you start feeling you can't breathe, so you start analyzing what is removing the oxygen from the room.  Is it the constant repetitions of the same news, most about the perfidy of Obama or complete fluff?  Or is it the utter absence of news you see covered everywhere else?   Or all the messages crawling across the screen?  If you follow those you wouldn't be surprised to read that Democrats cause cancer.

On the other hand, Bartlett notes that Fox News  may not ultimately help Republicans in elections, because it flames the anger of conservatives and moves them even further rightwards.  Then those same conservatives vote for very extremist candidates in the primaries, and you get the tea-partiers.

It could be the case that we all live in similar ideological bubbles, could be.  But I try to follow news from various outlets and from several countries, and the Fox world stands out as belonging to a different galaxy.


Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day 2015

You might like the links in my post for Memorial Day 2013.

This year I'm blocked.  To write about this day in depth requires grave-digging, deep explorations into the reasons for wars, the evaluation of the need for any particular one of them, the meaning of sacrifice, voluntary or possibly not, the concept of "supporting" troops if you are not willing to extend that past bumper stickers, and even deeper dives into the human psyche and the exchanges between groups of humans.

It's easier to pat the soil on those graves and to plant some violets on them.  Or at least to remember.