So Bobby Jindal makes fun of ‘volcano monitoring’, and soon afterwards Mt. Redoubt erupts. Susan Collins makes sure that funds for pandemic protection are stripped from the stimulus bill, and the swine quickly attack.
What else did the right oppose recently? I just want enough information to take cover.
“Romeo and Juliet is a Goddamn timeless template. I saw it set in Ireland with an all female cast and it still worked, one family was all lesbians and one was all dinosaurs. You just can’t fuck it up. You dab your eyes at the end and wonder what is so wrong about the love of a lesbian for a dinosaur.”—
What Are Friends For? A Longer Life - NYT [Link]nytimes.com
Last year, researchers studied 34 students at the University of Virginia, taking them to the base of a steep hill and fitting them with a weighted backpack. They were then asked to estimate the steepness of the hill. Some participants stood next to friends during the exercise, while others were alone.
The students who stood with friends gave lower estimates of the steepness of the hill. And the longer the friends had known each other, the less steep the hill appeared.
Now there is scientific proof to support what the Swedish have known all along: friendship doubles our joy and divides our grief.
Anti-Gay Sentiment That Smears the Military; Letter to the Editorwashingtonpost.com
As a huge supporter of gays and lesbians being allowed to serve in the military, I have to say that the four senior military officers who advocated against allowing them to serve openly have changed my mind. I now believe that, as they said, “Team cohesion and concentration on missions would suffer if our troops had to live in close quarters with others who could be sexually attracted to them.”
In fact, I’m so fired up for their cause that I plan to start a campaign to prevent women from serving in the armed forces. All those young, red-blooded American men simply can’t be expected to complete a mission with women around clouding their judgment. I have no proof, of course. Neither do the senior officers who simply said they “believe” that openly gay members would “undermine recruiting and retention.”
Thank goodness I left when I did. I’m sure the military is much more effective without me.
“It’s unlikely that as a consequence of me shaking hands or having a polite conversation with Mr. Chávez that we are endangering the strategic interests of the United States.”—President Obama
Texas governor says secession possible [Link]politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com
Apparently Texas is talking about seceding, AGAIN. Does anyone else notice they keep threatening but they never go through with it? The Lone Star state is a little kid who decides to run away from home. The rest of the nation packs it a snack for the trip and says, “Okay, if that’s what you need to do, I understand.” Then little Texas gets down to the end of the block and just sits there for a couple of hours wondering where to go. As parents, we know they will come back when they get hungry or tired or need medical attention, all the little necessities that parents provide. And just like that little kid, it comes home and pretends nothing ever happened. We pat it on the head and say, “Texas, we are so glad you’re back” while it proceeds to its room to unpack its things.
P.S. The greatest part about this story is that Chuck Norris said he would run for president of Texas. Bowflexes for everyone!
“1. Meet privately with the Grateful Dead in the Oval Office.
2. Float possible talks with Iran leading with a concession.
3. Remove restrictions from Cuba.
4. Play with his dog on the White House lawn.
5. Invite gay couples to the Easter Egg Roll.”—
5 Things Obama’s Done in the Last Few Days That Clinton Would Have Gotten Hammered For - Mark Halperin - TIME (via apsies)
The governor is reeling after nominating for attorney general a man who allegedly defended the right of men to rape their wives.
According to Burton, who detailed the allegations for me, Ross allegedly declared during a speech before a 1991 gathering of the “father’s rights” group Dads Against Discrimination, “If a guy can’t rape his wife, who’s he gonna rape?” …
Burton said Ross’s statement was consistent with his overarching attitude toward women’s issues. She claimed that he once said during a debate on the Equal Rights Amendment, “If a woman would keep her mouth shut, there wouldn’t be an issue with domestic violence.”
Jackson Katz - Ten Things Men Can Do to Prevent Gender Violencejacksonkatz.com
Approach gender violence as a MEN’S issue involving men of all ages and socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds. View men not only as perpetrators or possible offenders, but as empowered bystanders who can confront abusive peers.
If a brother, friend, classmate, or teammate is abusing his female partner — or is disrespectful or abusive to girls and women in general — don’t look the other way. If you feel comfortable doing so, try to talk to him about it. Urge him to seek help. Or if you don’t know what to do, consult a friend, a parent, a professor, or a counselor. DON’T REMAIN SILENT.
Have the courage to look inward. Question your own attitudes. Don’t be defensive when something you do or say ends up hurting someone else. Try hard to understand how your own attitudes and actions might inadvertently perpetuate sexism and violence, and work toward changing them.
If you suspect that a woman close to you is being abused or has been sexually assaulted, gently ask if you can help.
If you are emotionally, psychologically, physically, or sexually abusive to women, or have been in the past, seek professional help NOW.
Be an ally to women who are working to end all forms of gender violence. Support the work of campus-based women’s centers. Attend “Take Back the Night” rallies and other public events. Raise money for community-based rape crisis centers and battered women’s shelters. If you belong to a team or fraternity, or another student group, organize a fundraiser.
Recognize and speak out against homophobia and gay-bashing. Discrimination and violence against lesbians and gays are wrong in and of themselves. This abuse also has direct links to sexism (eg. the sexual orientation of men who speak out against sexism is often questioned, a conscious or unconscious strategy intended to silence them. This is a key reason few men do so).
Attend programs, take courses, watch films, and read articles and books about multicultural masculinities, gender inequality, and the root causes of gender violence. Educate yourself and others about how larger social forces affect the conflicts between individual men and women.
Don’t fund sexism. Refuse to purchase any magazine, rent any video, subscribe to any Web site, or buy any music that portrays girls or women in a sexually degrading or abusive manner. Protest sexism in the media.
Mentor and teach young boys about how to be men in ways that don’t involve degrading or abusing girls and women. Volunteer to work with gender violence prevention programs, including anti-sexist men’s programs. Lead by example.
An excellent list. Folksinger Utah Phillips noted that men walk into the world armed to the teeth with the weapons of sexual privilege, and part of living a pacifist lifestyle is not only to discard these weapons but to encourage others to discard them as well. I’m paraphrasing him, but that’s the gist. That idea seems to echo item #3 on this list - “Have the courage to look inward. Question your own attitudes.”
“I also love the casual assertion that “marriage is by nature the union of a man and woman,” as if marriage is some sort of naturally occurring phenomenon like evaporation or mitosis. Marriage is a social construct. It’s whatever we say it is. And it has meant many different things over the course of human history. For instance, polygamous marriage was once very common (still is in some parts of the world). And for many centuries, marriage was primarily a financial arrangement and a way of ensuring inheritance rights. Women were essentially bought and sold. The modern concept of love as a basis for marriage is of relatively recent vintage. And civil marriage is a very different thing than religious marriage (which itself differs from religion to religion and culture to culture). The idea that there is some sort of platonic essence to marriage is just rubbish. Marriage was created by human beings and human beings can choose how they want to define it.”—
“Yes, the new handshakes were out, shaming me with their permutations and slippery routines. Slam, grip, flutter, snap. Or was it slam, flutter, grip, snap? I was all thumbs when it came to shakes. Devised in the underground soul laboratories of Harlem, pounded out in the blacker-than-thou sweatshops of the South Bronx, the new handshakes always had me faltering in embarrassment. Like this? No, you didn’t stick the landing: the judges give it a 4.6. (The judge from Hollis, Queens, was a notorious dick, undermining everyone from the other boroughs.)”—Colson Whitehead, Sag Harbor (via thebronzemedal)
“I think that when you get dressed in the morning, sometimes you’re really making a decision about your behavior for the day. Like if you put on flipflops, you’re saying: ‘Hope I don’t get chased today.’ ‘Be nice to people in sneakers.’”—Demetri Martin
Through work to bring materials from women’s studies into the rest of the curriculum, I have often noticed men’s unwillingness to grant that they are overprivileged, even though they may grant that women are disadvantaged. They may say they will work to women’s statues, in the society, the university, or the curriculum, but they can’t or won’t support the idea of lessening men’s. Denials that amount to taboos surround the subject of advantages that men gain from women’s disadvantages. These denials protect male privilege from being fully acknowledged, lessened, or ended.
I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege. So I have begun in an untutored way to ask what it is like to have white privilege. I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was “meant” to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools , and blank checks.
”—Peggy McIntosh, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
“The bodies of two gay men have been found in Baghdad’s Shiite slum of Sadr City after a leading cleric repeatedly condemned homosexuality, an Iraqi police official said Saturday. The killings come after Shiite cleric Sattar al-Battat repeatedly condemned homosexuality during recent Friday prayers, saying Islam prohibits homosexuality. Homosexual acts are punishable by up to seven years in prison in Iraq. The two men were believed killed Thursday by relatives who were shamed by their behavior, said the official. Police said they suspected the killings were at the hands of family members because no one has claimed the bodies or called for an investigation. The killings come weeks after Iraqi police found four bodies in late March buried near Sadr City with the words “pervert” and “puppies” written on their chests, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.”—AP: 2 Gay Men Killed in Iraqi Slum (via negevrockcity)
A joint statement from Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal and Iowa House Speaker Pat Murphy [LINK]iowapolitics.com
“Thanks to today’s decision, Iowa continues to be a leader in guaranteeing all of our citizens’ equal rights.
“The court has ruled today that when two Iowans promise to share their lives together, state law will respect that commitment, regardless of whether the couple is gay or straight.
“When all is said and done, we believe the only lasting question about today’s events will be why it took us so long. It is a tough question to answer because treating everyone fairly is really a matter of Iowa common sense and Iowa common decency.
“Today, the Iowa Supreme Court has reaffirmed those Iowa values by ruling that gay and lesbian Iowans have all the same rights and responsibilities of citizenship as any other Iowan.
“Iowa has always been a leader in the area of civil rights.
“In 1839, the Iowa Supreme Court rejected slavery in a decision that found that a slave named Ralph became free when he stepped on Iowa soil, 26 years before the end of the Civil War decided the issue.
“In 1868, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that racially segregated “separate but equal” schools had no place in Iowa, 85 years before the U.S. Supreme Court reached the same decision.
“In 1873, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled against racial discrimination in public accommodations, 91 years before the U.S. Supreme Court reached the same decision.
“In 1869, Iowa became the first state in the union to admit women to the practice of law.
“In the case of recognizing loving relationships between two adults, the Iowa Supreme Court is once again taking a leadership position on civil rights.
“Today, we congratulate the thousands of Iowans who now can express their love for each other and have it recognized by our laws.”