Author Archive

  • Joe Miller? Have a little class.

    0

    You lost, sir. You lost to a write-in campaign. Spending your time trying to fight simple, accidental misspellings of the other candidate’s name just has you looking petty and ridiculous.

    In most cases that I’ve seen, the voter’s intention is pretty clear. Obviously, if the write-in is for Daffy Duck, that one probably shouldn’t be counted for your opponent. Maybe next time you run, you can propose a complete overhaul of the education system? That way children might learn how to spell. Then this won’t be an issue in the future.

    You lost. To someone whose name wasn’t even on the ballot. Time to concede.

    As for the rest of the election, all I can really say is UGH. The people who voted for known criminals and crazies and people wholly unqualified to do the job? This is on you. I wish I could be exempt from the legislation that’s sure to be enacted. I hear Texas is trying to pull out of Medicaid. Awesome.

  • I may or may not have creamed my pants a little at this comment.

    9

    I wrote about those damn Yale frat boys a couple of days ago. I’m sure you all rolled your eyes at me getting all riled up at what was obviously a bunch of idiots acting like idiots.

    But imagine my surprise when an article on Jezebel suggested we should all do just that. Chalk this one up to boys being boys, because they were obviously just trying to get attention.

    Oh yeah? Who the fuck cares? I think we should give them all the attention they want. In the form of anal rape, you say? No, that would be going too far.

    What these “boys” were proving was just how little respect they have for women. I’ll admit that hazing rituals make little sense to me in the first place, but please don’t try to tell me that the only way to humiliate a bunch of men is to have them yell misogynistic chants on a college campus. Why not post pictures of their tiny dicks on the internet? Why not parade them around campus in chaps? Why not find an embarrassing secret and expose it? Forcing them to endure humiliation shouldn’t require punishing others. Keep your fucking hazing to yourself.

    Jezebel, I’m disappointed in you. Both for acting like shouting “no means yes; yes means anal” is no big deal on a college campus, where rape is running rampant and is particularly associated with athletes and frat boys, and for focusing more on some necrophilia chant than on the message that rape is no big deal. Let’s not let this happen again, okay?

    Then, I got to this comment…and I felt all tingly in my bathing suit parts. CassandraSays? Let’s make out:

    What actually makes us look bad as feminists is being so ridiculously concerned about our image that we’re willing to sell out those of our college-aged sisters who may well be frightened by having to live in an environment in which stuff like this is taking place. Acting like it’s silly to be angry about men making rape into a joke, especially given the actual prevalence of rape on college campuses and its particular association with fraternities? That makes us look like complete imbeciles, as well as spineless and lacking the courage to stand up for our convictions.

    First of all, we are not the Borg, individual feminists get to choose the issues they care about and want to focus on. Secondly, if one was to put together a list of things that are feminist issues but fairly low priorities in a global sense, one might include, say, the debate about what men opening doors for women means socially speaking and whether it reinforces sexism. One would not put “some men think rape is funny” on that list, nor would one include “combating rape culture on college campuses and the role fraternities play in reinforcing it”. Not unless one was too weak to stand up to the pressure not to criticize sexism in ways that make people think one is just totally uncool and humorless, man.

    The idea that feminists are humorless and prone to overreacting is based on sexism. We don’t fix that by running around going “omg, if I talk about this will people think I’m humorless?”. We fix it by refusing to allow ourselves to be manipulated into adjusting our behavior so as not to make sexists uncomfortable.

    YES! Exactly.

    And I do think, as feminists, we have to be careful not to get pissed off about every little thing. I just don’t happen to believe this IS a little thing. Especially when rape on college campuses are practically commonplace and often goes unpunished.

  • Sometimes it’s hard being responsible.

    2

    Well, THANKS, Alternet, for ruining my Halloween. Yeah, now I’m going to ruin yours. Or maybe you won’t care, I don’t know.

    It seems that much of the chocolate we regularly consume is…produced by child slave labor. DUN DUN DUN!

    No, but really. In 2001, a couple of reporters exposed US chocolate companies for procuring their chocolate from suppliers who use slave children.

    The sad thing? I don’t remember anything about it.

    Two democrats in Congress tried to pass laws to regulate the chocolate companies, but they were made useless when said companies volunteered to clean up their acts by 2005. Yeah, they didn’t. They set a new voluntary date of 2008. But that came and went. And no one really noticed.

    And now here we are in 2010. Not a thing has changed.

    Take a look at the Alternet article for suggestions on what you can do, if you’re interested in doing anything. I know I, for one, probably won’t be able to stomach Halloween candy drenched in the sweat of 12-year-old African children. (There’s a link to a scorecard where you can find out just how bad your favorite brand of chocolate is…)

  • Never mind, NOW I get it.

    0

    Dear Yale,

    You disgust me. I thought you were better than this.

    Love, Shine.

    I don’t know if you’ve seen this yet. It’s Monday morning, after all. Luckily, I haven’t eaten anything yet, because this turned my stomach.

    Headline on Alternet: Yale Frat Caught on Tape Chanting about Rape “No means Yes; Yes means Anal” (It’s short, go read it.)

    No WONDER rape is running rampant on college campuses. And what did the school administration do? Not a fucking thing.

    This should be completely unacceptable behavior on a college campus. Encouraging young men to have this kind of attitude about rape is not only disgusting, it’s dangerous.

  • I wonder if men can just get a degree in RAPE in college…

    3

    First, let me say this: I KNOW that not all men are rapists. In this case, I’m talking about the men who are.

    I just read this article on Alternet and I have to tell you…I feel almost sick. And sadly not surprised.

    If you don’t feel like reading the article, basically two male basketball players sexually assaulted a woman on campus. The woman reported the incident. The prosecutor declined to bring charges.

    What makes this case special (because sadly the lack of charges for rape on a college campus does not) is that one of the men who was involved in the sexual assault admitted that the woman didn’t want to have sex. He admitted that she said no. He stopped, but his friend kept going.

    Even the police, in this case, deemed this pretty damning evidence. A confession, if you will. But the prosecutor decided not to press charges on the athletes, saying that he’s not convinced that any force or coercion occurred (which flies in the face of the TESTIMONY by the ASSAULTER) and that the victim didn’t want to press charges (which has been denied by the woman in question and seems to fly in the face of her REPORTING IT to the POLICE).

    I’m sure there will be no punishment for this prosecutor, though I think someone should seriously question whether he’s fit to practice law.

    The athletes will probably also go without punishment.

    The sad fact is, sexual assault without consequence is far too common on college campuses. What’s even more sad is that college athletes learn early on that their actions have little consequence, and that, because they are special, they can do what they want. Then some of them grow up to play professional sports, make a lot of money, and retain the same bullshit no-responsibility attitude.

    Kobe Bryant still plays for the NBA.

    Michael Vick is back in the NFL.

    Donte Stallworth is back in the NFL.

    The list goes on. The message is clear. If you’re a male athlete, feel free to operate by your own rules. We won’t bother to hold you accountable.

    (I really can’t say whether or not this happens for female athletes, but I’ve never really heard anything about it.)

    What would I like to see?

    More prosecutions, more punishment. Women are not your playthings, the world does not bend to your will. There are laws, you must follow them.

    If you’re convicted of rape, you should, at the very least, be expelled from college. I think you should also have to repay any scholarship given to you by the university. Seem harsh? Maybe it will make these men STOP AND THINK before raping another woman. Yes, I said another. Often it doesn’t happen just once. Many of these student rapists become serial rapists.

    In my opinion, you shouldn’t be allowed back in the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS after you’ve been convicted of a felony. ANY felony. And don’t start with the blah blah paid his debt to society bullshit. That may be, but you think a doctor who gets convicted of a felony gets to just skip right back into the practice of medicine? No.

    And yes, that would probably wipe out at least half of every NFL team.

    How pathetic is it that we glorify these people who don’t seem to ever learn the difference between right and wrong?

    I know that professional sports isn’t going to cooperate with me, but I don’t think that my suggestion for student rapists is out of line. You can get expelled for cheating, why not rape?

  • Not Welcome, AKA You Should Probably be Ashamed of Yourselves.

    7

    Unless you live in a cave or possibly in Papua New Guinea, you probably heard about all the controversy surrounding the so (inaccurately)-called Ground Zero Mosque. And to all the people who continue to spew a bunch of hate about that? You know where you can shove it.

    What you probably didn’t hear about is a similar controversy, taking place in a small town in Middle Tennessee. In fact, several members of my family live in this small town. I can’t say whether they would have been a part of this, but I’m sort of scared to call and find out.

    Mufreesboro, Tennessee is home to some 200 churches, according to this article, but the town folk got more than a little upset when it became clear that there were plans to build an Islamic Center in the town, as well.

    Vandalism, protests, town meetings, and finally arson ensued. All because some people who aren’t Christians wanted to have a place to worship, too.

    I can’t even explain how much this disgusts me. What I’ll never understand is how, HOW, it’s affecting these people to have an Islamic Center in their town? What is it that gives you the right, as Christians, to commit crimes and deface property and scream and shout a bunch of hate? That’s sort of…against your religion, isn’t it? Maybe you should read that New Testament portion of your Bible again.

    People who just want to peacefully worship and practice their religion don’t deserve to have to put up with you. You’re giving Christianity and Americans a bad name, and frankly, I’ll thank you to find a new hobby.

  • That’s gay and you’re a retard.

    7

    Full disclosure: I hate politically correctness. HATE. I also think people are far too sensitive. And now, on with the show.

    I read a blog last week, in which the author railed against an anonymous commenter who complained about the use of the word “retarded” to describe something not-so-smart she had done. Anonymous commenting is part of blogging. It’s a thing we all complain about, but it’s not going away. I’ll even admit to using it as a tool once, myself, when I felt something needed to be said, but I didn’t want to deal with the fallout of saying it. ONCE. Generally, I’m cool with the fallout.

    Anyway, this blogger went on to describe all the other “offensive” words that might be used on the blog, inviting the anonymous commenter to stop reading if he or she was bothered by these things.

    I’ve always been of the opinion that words are just words. They only have the meaning that we give them. And while I still think that’s true, I also think that words can be incredibly powerful. Just because I don’t assign a particularly strong meaning to an individual word, doesn’t mean that someone else doesn’t.

    I’m not very careful with my words. This is actually something I’ve really been working on for the last couple of years. While I’m not easily offended and I think, in general, most people are too easily offended, that doesn’t really give me the right to just say whatever I want. Specifically if my words could be harmful to a group of people.

    The first thing I started with was “gay.” Yes, I know, the gays use it to describe things. That’s their prerogative, much like the n-word. It’s so easy to slip up, though. Saying “that’s gay” about something that you consider weird or abnormal or stupid is a subtle message, even if you don’t think you’re sending it. Even if you don’t believe that being gay is some sort of aberration (it’s not).

    To me, that’s the difference between saying something is “gay” and saying something is “retarded.” Not that I think it’s really all that okay to call things “retarded.” (I do it, though. I’m working on it.) At least when you say something is “retarded,” it can reasonably be tied to the actual usage of the word (but it pretty much sucks when it’s used as an insult, I rarely do that). Calling something “gay” because you think it’s stupid or different or abnormal isn’t really something that can even be tied to the general usage meaning of the word “gay.”

    In case you’re not sure what that is, you can click here for a definition. As such, it can mean happy, homosexual, or (and I found this surprising) promiscuous.

    I’m not suggesting that we all fall into only politically correct speak. I’m just suggesting that we all think for two seconds about the words we use. Whether we like it or not, words are powerful. So think about whether you really want to reinforce the prejudice against gay people (even if that’s not your intention). Don’t we already have enough of that?

  • Maybe we’re just tired of all the lies?

    2

    I’ve been listening for far too long to people complain about young people’s lack of involvement in politics these days. I, for one, am tired of it. It’s really not all that difficult to understand why we’re not very involved, and sitting around whining about it isn’t doing anyone any good.

    In my opinion, young people aren’t involved in politics for these reasons (a list which I’m sure is incomplete):

    1. They don’t really see it as important or how it affects their everyday lives. Depending on the age group we’re talking about here, they’re either in college or working jobs making somewhere around minimum wage. They don’t give a flying crap about taxes and that’s what politicians are constantly blathering about. Few people in their late teens or early twenties are really sitting around contemplating what life might be like when they have a “real job” and/or a family.

    2. They are completely disillusioned about government. While they probably won’t all tell you that government doesn’t work, they will all tell you that politicians don’t. If you’re a democrat in a republican state, what motivation do you have to go out and vote? Moreover, if you’re not going to vote, what motivation do you have to research the platforms on which the candidates stand?

    3. They’re dealing with lies from all over. Think about it for a second. They’ve grown up in a world with constant advertising (lies) and 24-hour news (which barely has standards) and politicians who constantly say one thing and do another. It’s like a game to see who can fool the most people and they’re tired of being fooled. They don’t feel like they can trust or believe anything any more.

    4. The general attitude is “how can you help me?” And really, politicians today don’t seem to care a whole lot about the younger generation. Half the time, when they go to volunteer or try to get involved, they’re treated like children or as though they’re stupid. Why bother?

    5. In today’s world, all they get to hear is the people on both ends of the spectrum shouting at each other. If you’re a democrat, you must be an elitist who just wants to rob everyone of their money. If you’re a republican, you’re probably stupid and full of hate. What these extreme people fail to take into account is that most of the country lives solidly in the middle and you don’t get anywhere with anyone by calling him or her stupid.

    Is it any wonder, then, that young people have decided to just stay home? Even just recently, they came together to support Obama and he was elected with a pretty serious majority. Then he got into office and didn’t really bother to do much of anything he said he was going to do. He lied to get elected, making him no better (or worse, for that matter) than the rest of those politicians. And if he thinks he’s going to fool them again, he better think twice. The younger generation doesn’t like to get burned.

    Since I’m 30 years old, I don’t really feel like I can count myself in the younger generation, but I do share some of these frustrations. I’m tired of the status quo, but I’m not sure what to do about it, since elections now are simply about who can raise the most money and not about who can do the right thing. We can’t even agree on what the right thing is.

    I just listened to some men on the radio puzzling about this very topic. One suggested that the way to get to the young voters is to use their technology. He suggested something with video games. This is one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard. Video games and reality television and trashy magazines are not the solution, they’re part of the problem. No, I don’t think all video games or all television is bad. I just don’t think that the answer to this problem is to have more propaganda thrown at young people through these mediums. Why not try to inspire them to ask questions and research answers? Why not try to get them involved and off the couch? Why not ask THEM what they think?

    This isn’t the ’60s, unfortunately. Even peaceful protests have been busted up by the police, despite being protected by the constitution. People are so comfortable with their hate and ignorance these days. I’m still appalled at the rampant racism this country showed when a black man was running for president. My Aunt Dana swore that Hillary should have won the nomination because, historically, “white women have won battles before black men.” I disagreed at the time and I still disagree. After all, it took another 50 years for women to win the right to vote, after a constitutional amendment was passed prohibiting the denial of a vote based on race.

    This “bipartisan” thing just isn’t working. The catch-22 of being a democrat is this: Your republican opponent will do whatever it takes to win. If you do the same, you will lose. I’m not sure how we got here. How one party can spew false information and use fear as a weapon and kidnap patriotism is beyond me. I would never vote for a candidate who blatantly did those things. Republicans? Is this really what you want? Is it just about winning? What happened to that morality you preach? Democrats are seen as weak, as “pussies,” when they don’t engage in the same behavior to win. But if they did, would we vote for them?

    Don’t get me wrong, in my opinion, at this point, a politician is a politician and the whole lot of them are bad apples. I think it’s the unfortunate nature of politics that makes this so. Especially since we’ve allowed corporations to rule our politics and rule our elections. If you donate enough money to the winning (or even losing) candidate, you can be assured that you now have carte blanche to act in whatever unethical manner makes you the most money and hurts the most people and that candidate won’t be able to call you out at all. You may even get a pass from that candidate’s entire party.

    Is this really how I want to live? No. But what can I do about it? I’m honestly stumped. I’m just one person. I try to do the right thing. I try to live my life in a kind and responsible manner. Am I going to change the world? Probably not. But I know that I’ll be able to sleep at night. Do you?

  • Why I think some liberals aren’t helping themselves.

    0

    As usual, please remember that this is simply my opinion. Got it? Good.

    While I’m at work, I’ve started listening to a talk radio station. I listen on the internets, which, I think, is the only way to listen. They stream live talk and video. It’s supposed to be a progressive talk station and it’s on Rational Broadcasting.

    I don’t know how progressive I think some of the content is. Particularly the three hours in the afternoon where a loud bald man and his merry band of fools spend most of their time talking about women as though they’re a commodity.

    The men who host shows where they talk about politics, however, are certainly liberal. I don’t know if I’d call them progressive, but if they want that title, I’ll go with it.

    What I’ve noticed about these men, more one than the other, is that they’re the very definition of that whole “elitist liberal” thing. One day, the group spent a good two hours talking about how enlightened they were, with the basic implication that anyone who didn’t think the way they think is just not intelligent.

    Now, you guys know, I think, that I’m definitely not a Republican and I’m certainly not religious. But even I was a little insulted by some of the statements made. Particularly the implication that anyone who is moderate is simply “uneducated and uninformed.” WTF, progressives? Is this really what you want to stand for? Because it’s pretty disgusting.

    One woman, who was a guest on the show, said that Americans weren’t as “cultured” or “enlightened” as Europeans, because more Europeans have active passports. In my opinion, that’s one big fucking leap. There are lots of reasons why fewer Americans might have active passports. Not the least of which is that we get less than half the vacation time.

    I guess what I want to say to those so-called Progressives out there is this: What are you really accomplishing by telling over half the country that they’re stupid? Why on earth would they want to listen to you, if you’re just going to insult them? Particularly, you should back off the moderates. There’s nothing wrong with being moderate. I think extremes are the problem, in fact.

    I think we can accomplish a lot by having a rational conversation and explaining why we believe what we believe and why we disagree with others. There’s no way to do that, if we’re just going to be rude to those we oppose. Frankly, that’s the game of the Glenn Becks and Rush Limbaughs and Sarah Palins of the world, and I don’t think we should play it.

    Stop being so dismissive of others’ opinions and beliefs, even if you don’t agree with them. Instead, ask questions and try to understand. What could it hurt?

    When the Republican mouthpieces spread lies, it’s possible to correct them without name calling. You’re better than that…right?

  • Oh, Dr. Laura.

    2

    I don’t know how you guys could have missed Dr. Laura’s n-word riddled rant from earlier this week, but if you did, here’s a transcript.

    My beef with Dr. Laura goes back for years, actually. That woman is…well, let’s just say that I’ve rarely found myself in agreement with her. I have no idea why anyone would call into her show to ask for her “advice,” let alone this woman. How you could possibly think that Dr. Laura would have advice for you on the subject of race or racism is beyond me. In this case, though, I’m not necessarily here to bitch about Dr. Laura’s use of the n-word. While I think that word is offensive and I choose not to use it and I think it should be stricken from the English language (and no one should use it), Dr. Laura technically has the right to say it on her show. And she didn’t call anyone that word, she just said it over and over and over.

    What is completely ridiculous, though, is that she went on Larry King to say that she “wants her First Amendment rights back.” Uh, Dr. Laura? You still have them. That’s why you weren’t arrested for spewing that hateful word 11 times in five minutes.

    But the First Amendment doesn’t protect you from ALL the consequences of your actions, where expression is concerned. Just the legal ones. So the fact that your sponsors and advertisers all decided (FINALLY!) to pull the plug on their money? That’s not something that’s protected by the First Amendment.

    How you still had sponsors is beyond me, since you’ve been doing nothing but spreading hate and really shitty advice for years. And while, yes, technically, you ARE a PhD, that PhD is in, I believe, physiology. Not psychology. In other words, you have absolutely no qualifications to be giving anyone advice in the first place. As the disclaimer for your show indicates.

    So tata for now, Dr. Laura. I know this won’t be the last we hear from you. But those First Amendment rights you’re so worried about are intact (for now), no thanks to your political party of crazy right wing nuts, I might add.