Saturday, September 20, 2008

Open the Door, Get on the Floor. Everybody Walk That Dinosaur

Mat-Su Valley activist and music teacher Phillip Munger tells America why they should be terrified of Palin getting near those nuk-u-lar codes in a recent Salon article.
"I pushed her on the earth's creation, whether it was really less than 7,000 years old and whether dinosaurs and humans walked the earth at the same time. And she said yes, she'd seen images somewhere of dinosaur fossils with human footprints in them."

Munger also asked Palin if she truly believed in the End of Days, the doomsday scenario when the Messiah will return. "She looked in my eyes and said, 'Yes, I think I will see Jesus come back to earth in my lifetime.'"
Basically Palin believes that mushroom clouds will summon Jesus on his dino-mount. Then, while all of the Muslims, gays, and secular humanists are left to reenact Cormac McCarthy's The Road for all time, Palin and her buds will ascend into heaven. Once there, God will build a frickin' sweet ramp so big even he can't jump it. But everyone will high five after Todd Palin can, on his snow-mobile. Vroooom!
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Friday, September 19, 2008

Feminism V. Machismo

In the last week, I’ve heard several women (some of whom would call themselves a feminist and others who wouldn’t touch the word with a ten-foot pole) describe how a woman should not be allowed to run the country because of their emotions. This is all in light of Sarah Palin being named as McCain’s VP pick. I won’t defend Palin on almost anything, but here I feel I must.

These women argue that the emotions women experience would make a woman unfit to run our country (or to be second in command). Surprisingly, no man has voiced this opinion to me. I say surprisingly because its usually the dominant population (in this case, men) that want to rid the oppressed (women) of their rights and argue that they’re naturally weak and feeble….the oppressed don’t usually agree. I think the men I come in contact with on a regular basis probably know better than to mention such an idea to such a real feminist like me.

I won’t deny biology. There is a time of the month, which we’re all familiar with, when women experience a surge of hormones that result in a fluctuation of emotions. Sure. Biology. Science. Fact. Makes sense. But any conscious female who has been experiencing this for, let’s just pick an arbitrary number, ten years can recognize this and can try to counteract it. At least I can usually control my outward emotions. Internally, I may be a “hot mess”, but outwardly I can hide my PMS. And I certainly don’t believe it’s a power that just I possess. Women aren’t the only ones to possess this strength either. Men do it all the time. I know this. I’ve seen my brother do it. And while he is a good man, nay a great one, I don’t think he’s the exception to the rule.

But the previous argument is ludicrous. And here’s why:
1.) It is ludicrous to call yourself a feminist and also espouse that women are unfit for any position simply because their women.
2.) It is ludicrous that people still believe this in our modern age.
* Although, in fairness, I will concede that suffrage happened a mere 88 years ago and it usually takes much longer, historically speaking, for the people to provide the every-day-equality that their legislation demands.
3.) Men have been in positions of power for thousands of years and I’ve never heard one concern that his machismo or masculinity might get in the way of a man doing his job well. If someone has said something similar, I imagine that it’s a much more modern theory and probably a statement of someone who considers themselves to be a feminist. Sadly, this means a part of the society will most likely write it off to a subculture theory that isn’t worth shit. This is, also, ludicrous.

All these points are troubling to me, obviously, because that’s why I wrote them. However, it’s the third point that seems completely obvious and not so all at the same time.

Now a little word association:
• Femininity says women should be dainty, polite, cultured, educated and well-spoken but not abrasive. Feminine women play a specific role at home as well. They are specifically the cook, the maid, and the primary caregiver and these roles are supposed to trump all others. A feminine woman’s career is secondary to her role as a wife and mother. Isn’t that why they say, “I know pronounce you man and wife”? Feminine women spend time and energy communicating their feelings. Evolutionarily speaking, women had to win over their mates with their willingness to be a good wife. Women are relationship kinds of people (and by relationship I mean that they value the interaction with both friends, family, and lovers) because we’ve been taught to be such. We force communication, play the caring role, and do our best to be attractive because we want our men to be faithful.
• Masculinity is about bravado. It’s about competition and spreading their seed. In our modern times, this evolutionary model sounds ridiculous because there is enough free will and thought to counteract this impulse but we can’t ignore our history as humans any more than we can ignore the Holocaust. If we do, it’s just bad news. Masculine men are to be strong, stoic, educated, and strong enough in mind for he and his partner. Masculine men take care of feminine women both physically and financially. All that emotional work, again, falls to the women. And this idea of strength and competition knows no bounds. That’s why our modern masculinity is found in the conversations where men brag about the number of women that they’ve slept with or how big their penis is. Sometimes these are serious conversations, other times less so. But they happen. With so much wrapped up in taking care of their wife and family in a superficial sort of sense and all the conquests that come before marriage, its no wonder that we have created a society ridden with homophobia. Let’s face it, you’re not really considered to be masculine if you’re not familiar with the vagina. Although this is notably ironic as many straight men don’t really know the vagina all that well either.

This is the dilemma: If a woman cries (an action that she has been socialized as okay and perfectly acceptable) at a movie or god-forbid anything, does this rule out her intellect and general competency for a job…any job? Conversely, does a man’s bravado or his desire to be sexually experienced and unemotional make them a poor choice for any job?

You could have guessed, but I say, unequivocally, NO.

Machismo has gotten our country into a few follies over the last eight years. And if you doubt me, just listen to a Toby Keith song. He epitomizes masculinity. Or perhaps Walker, Texas Ranger ranks Number One, but Keith is pretty close. His unwavering desire to fight back against what happened to us on 9/11 is admirable. No one wants to sit idly by and say, “It’s alright that this happened.” But it’s his unwavering desire to fight a war that has jack shit to do with what happened on 9/11, except that the Bush administration and a stupor-stricken media were able to spin 9/11 into a campaign for Iraq. This can be likened to the fact that masculinity suggests to men they shouldn’t ask for directions. Bush and Keith are way too prideful to back up, take a close look at has happened, and admit they might have made a mistake.

Femininity has issues too. Femininity, for starters, is outdated (well, it’s actually the dichotomy of masculinity and femininity that is outdated). And the image that femininity gives is weak. Literally, women are supposed to look weaker and smaller than men. The attributes of femininity are what our culture deems weak, too, and this is a major ideological shift that we need to experience as a society.

Women are now apart of the professional world. In a world of business and sales the attributes of femininity cannot equal success because it means a woman couldn’t be pushy or forward and she would, ultimately, have to be submissive to the male. It’s a dog-eat-dog sort of world. Femininity does NOT equal dog-eat-dog. Femininity says we should care for the dog even if it shits all over us and bites the hand that feeds it because we’re, ultimately, caregivers. And being a caregiver is the most important role a woman plays. Some would doubt that this sort of woman actually exists anymore. To which I would respond: Turn on TV Land. You’ll find her. She’s selfless, serving, and submissive. Will the real June Cleaver please stand up?

If a woman does show more masculine attributes in her professional or personal world, she’s considered to be a “bitch.” Just ask Hillary, she’s heard this before. When Hillary spent her campaign discussing the pressing issues our society faces, a pundit (who I can’t remember) said that we wouldn’t elect her as a nation because men would always feel as though she were nagging them to take out the trash. If that’s the case then I liken George Bush’s presidency to slipping the impressionable American public and media GHB and then taking advantage of us for the last eight years.

But let me get back to the issue of WHY women are seen as unfit for a powerful position. Their emotions.

Most of us (“us” here means humans, not women), are not empty inside. Unless of course you closely resemble my favorite fictional serial killer, Dexter, you probably feel things from time to time and probably express them in some way or another. But the great thing about humans is that you have control. Well, most of the time we do. Sometimes we choose not to control ourselves too and that’s where it gets dangerous.

Of course, as civilians many of us make decisions based on our emotions all the time. These decisions made on emotions usually range from greatest-idea-ever to catastrophic-in-consequences (i.e. your marriage v. a one-night-stand, respectively…or if you’re the other 50% of the population…one-night-stand v. your marriage). This is because we’re romantic, idealistic, and impulsive. But that’s an American thing. NOT a gender thing.

The bottom line here is that society has assigned men and women roles and each has willingly accepted different aspects of their roles over the years. Some parts of these roles have dissipated. Others will, hopefully, dissipate over time. Either way these roles partially dictate the appropriate emotional response (i.e. if we were taught marriage were akin to slavery all weddings would make us feel hopeless and sad…although I’m sure some DO see marriage this way already). Nevertheless we all play the part or risk being ridiculed and degraded in our own private lives or, if we’re unlucky enough, by national media conglomerates (the most recent and obvious of victims being the previously mentioned Clinton).

But while many of questioned how a woman’s socialization and adherence to her socially-prescribed rolled discussed above would affect their job performance, I’ve heard few ask how men adhering to their roles affects their performance. The latter question should have been a question we’ve been asking for a long time since history has been formed and manipulated by men in power for as long as we have existed.

Morale of the Story: Reality Bites. Especially when you have “feminists” claiming that women aren’t good enough for important jobs and men have been fracking up our country for centuries.

But then I guess, in reality, these women aren’t feminists. Or perhaps I’m being too harsh on them. But probably not.
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Obama to Leave MO Hope-less, or a Change Noone Can Believe In.

There's been speculation lately about Obama's plans for Missouri. Polls have repeatedly shown a McCain lead in the single digits, and advertisement buys have appeared to taper off in the previous month. Missouri GOP executive director Jared Craighead claims to have secret info from his crack team of rural-route mail carrier spies.
Jo Mannies of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes
The state Republican Party touched off the talk of a Democratic defection late last week, when state GOP executive director Jared Craighead held a conference call to assert that the Obama campaign would soon pull up stakes after the latest round of public polls showed a slight edge for the Republican presidential nominee, John McCain.

"I think they're out of here," Craighead said. "They're just not getting traction here."

Craighead provided no proof of an eminent Obama defection, beyond third-hand talk from an unnamed rural mail carrier who allegedly told Republicans of outgoing shipments of equipment from an outstate Obama office.

Sorry Jared, but those boxes from outstate Obama offices are more likely to be filled with tens of thousands of new voter registration forms filled out by Obama supporters than they are to be office equipment bound for other states.
Obama's not budging from Missouri. With 40 field offices in the state to McCain's 10, and the latest polling data showing Obama cutting McCain's lead down to 4 points from 10 just a month ago, the Obama campaign's effort to flip MO and its eleven electoral votes back to blue is starting to pick up real momentum. The MO GOP is simply doing the only thing they know how to do, spreading disinformation.
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Sarah Palin is the anti-woman Christ

So not only does Sarah Palin hate women, because she can't possibly really be one, but she also hates witches. But in all fairness, they hated her first.

This dailykos article talks about what a religious nut this woman is. Do we really want someone in the vice president's office who fervently believes that God put her in office?

"As I was mayor and Pastor Muthee was here and he was praying over me, and you know how he speaks and he’s so bold. And he was praying "Lord make a way, Lord make a way."

"And I’m thinking, this guy’s really bold, he doesn’t even know what I’m going to do, he doesn’t know what my plans are. And he’s praying not "oh Lord if it be your will may she become governor," no, he just prayed for it. He said "Lord make a way and let her do this next step. And that’s exactly what happened."

Doesn't she know that it was really her her husband going door to door and threatening run over peoples pet moose with his snow mobile at 110 or 112 mph if they didn't vote for Sarah-cuda that got her elected? Geez.

If you want to believe that there is a higher power walking through life with you, that's just great. But for the sake of our own humanity, let's just start taking responsibility for our own lives and quit blaming God. God didn't put us in Iraq - greed for power and money, largely over oil did. God didn't put you in office either - the people of Alaska did.

I don't know why either. So, Ms. Palin, I'd like to take this opportunity to say, "Thanks... but no thanks."
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Tony Blair visits The Daily Show

Jon interviewed Fmr. Prime Minister Tony Blair last night. Jon asked Blair fairly pointed questions about the war in Iraq. The entire interview is worth watching but in the following Jon makes a really salient point about whether the war's proposed goals are really achievable.

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Everyone Wants to Lay Pipe

You may remember John Brown from VH1's cringe inducing White Rapper Show a couple of years ago. He was the runner-up to the equally white rapper $hamrock. Total fix, I know. But he's back! Here's the new hott jam burning up da clubz, "Sarah Palin (I Wanna Lay Pipe)".
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Today in Useless Polls

The Associated Press and Yahoo News get down to business and ask Americans the definitive question of this election: Who would you rather watch a football game with?
We know from our last two Big Dumb Elections that all America wants from their president is a drinking buddy. So the result of this poll is great news for our friend Barry.
50% of those polled would prefer to drink white wine spritzers and discuss the finer points of the game with our guy, while only 47% would prefer to pound Budweisers and be yelled at by John McCain when you ask him to stop switching to the History Channel. He'd then fall asleep at halftime, for 5 and a half years. Read more On "Today in Useless Polls"!

John McCain created stem cell research!

So, on my way to work everyday I listen to the radio. And nearly every day this week along a certain portion of my drive, I've heard the same thing:

I laugh, I cry, and now I have started changing the radio station for about 30 seconds. The original mavericks indeed.

I guess the ad fits okay with McCain's recent statements. Here is a quote from, where the candidates answered questions on a variety of science and technology related topics, including stem cell research, "While I support federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, I believe clear lines should be drawn that reflect a refusal to sacrifice moral values and ethical principles for the sake of scientific progress. Moreover, I believe that recent scientific breakthroughs raise the hope that one day this debate will be rendered academic. I also support funding for other research programs, including amniotic fluid and adult stem cell research which hold much scientific promise and do not involve the use of embryos. I oppose the intentional creation of human embryos for research purposes and I voted to ban the practice of “fetal farming,” making it a federal crime for researchers to use cells or fetal tissue from an embryo created for research purposes."
Yeah, whatever Walnuts, say what you gotta say. It's funny hearing you talk about being unwilling to sacrifice moral values and ethical principles now.

Oh, and nice job taking 2 full weeks longer to answer these questions than Obama, whose answers I'm going to guess SOMEONE from your camp looked at before turning yours in.

You can see a transcript of that radio ad and a quote that just says, "John, you so crazy." from the Obama camp here:

What really gets me riled up in this instance is his willingness to pick a VP who fundamentally doesn't agree with him on issues he deems important enough to draw up an ad for in battleground swing states just weeks before the election. This tells me that while his campaign thinks that the issue is probably important to at least a few folk here in good old Missouri, that he really cares very little because his own "hand-picked" (ha) second in command sharply disagrees with him on the issue. Thus if anything happens to McCain, issues like stem cell research will fall to the wayside. Like so many other issues. Like all of these issues probably will anyway under a McCain administration because let's face it: Republicans like McCain care about money and making sure there is plenty of it in their pockets and their friends' pockets and if it isn't directly related to putting more money in the pocket, then it isn't an important issue post-election cycle. Let's face it. How many Republican presidents can it be argued won on issues like abortion and then never even thought about the issue again until re-election time?

Plus, it's like the Obama camp quotes says, it's great for McCain to claim that he supports stem cell research, but it would be even better if he actually put his vote where his mouth is.

It's not even that I think that stem cell research is the most important issue, but as far as we know right now the possibilities of what we could do, what we could cure with more knowledge about stem cells is limitless, so why are we even entertaining the possibility of electing people who will surely put a cap on those possibilities.

After spending a late night talking over confusing insurance plans with JE and seeing how few people insurance companies even want to insure and how uninformed they want those they do insure to be and thinking over issues like stem cells, I realize that insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies (and thus the wealthy elite who run them) do not want to cure anything. I'd even go as far as to say that stem cell research has probably already been slowed due to the influence big corporations like pharmaceutical companies have on government, especially government run by the likes of George W. Bush and John McCain. They don't want to cure anything because they would all go out of business.

Stem cell research is the consumer credit information to the pharmaceutical companies ugly half-sister, the credit card companies.
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

It’s like an African American saying “No thanks, civil rights and integration aren’t for me!”

On one gloomy, god-forsaken Friday John McCain announced Sarah Palin as his running mate for the 2008 election. In all reality, I don’t think it was a gloomy day. I’m pretty sure it was sunny actually (at least in Dallas it was), but I feel a sense of gloom and doom when I think back to that day. In actuality, Sarah Palin’s specific form of crazy scares the shit out of me.

This is what I know about Sarah Palin. She’s a woman and fairly attractive. I state this first not because it’s the most important factor but because I was sent a text message that Friday saying “McCain’s VP is kinda hot…” I was at work at the time of the announcement so this is actually how I found out who the McCain had chosen. But the sense of gloom hadn’t quite set it because I didn’t know much about her. I, initially, was angry because I felt McCain pulled Palin from the middle of nowhere (probably from the “Bridge to Nowhere”) because she had a vagina. Its insulting for the McCain campaign even think that true Hillary supporters would even flirt with the idea of voting McCain simply because his VP is a woman. And any true Hillary supporter wouldn’t agree with Sarah Palin on much. I will go as far to say that a true Hillary supporter would run the other direction when Palin was chosen, because her shit is scary. This is what scares me about her:
• She’s a woman but she opposes choice for women. Easily said for a woman who can afford to have five children and has probably lived a life of privilege.
• She’s a member of the NRA. Or maybe she just has guns. It scares me when ANYONE has a gun. Even police officers. Because, ultimately, we’re all human and prone to emotion and passion.
• She believes abstinence is the only birth control. She is right that it is type of birth control that is 100% effective unless you’re Virgin Mary. Her abstinence policy, while moral in some ways, isn’t effective or realistic. She knows that now first hand with a pregnant teenage daughter.

Sarah Palin offers an interesting and terrifying problem for women if she were to get elected. She would hold the second-most powerful position in the United States and that would be BIG for women. But during her reign, she would likely try to take away fundamental rights of women, including the right to choose. If someone personally chooses to have an abortion then it is, obviously, their choice. If someone could not bear that burden and decides to have that baby then they too are choosing a certain life for themselves. And if someone has a religious opposition to choice, fine. I get. But that doesn’t mean someone’s religious beliefs should be coerced onto a young woman who was date-raped.

This is fracking America people. Our fracking country was founded because people who were facing religious persecution. America was supposed to be a place where people could freely practice your religion without fear. Well, much of our country was founded on the idea that we could do things without fear. And now we live in a culture of fear. Hypocritical much?

And now a conundrum to close:
Hypothetically speaking (and this certainly wouldn’t be the case, but perhaps her self-importance would allow her to think that it is…) let’s say Sarah Palin is the best thing since sliced bread…politically speaking. Let’s say she’s the best VP our country has ever seen. Unemployment is down, civil rights are being afforded to all, socially speaking we’re thriving and internationally we’ve finally pulled our head out of our collective ass. Hypothetically speaking. And then in the midst of all of her success she gets pregnant again (god knows she doesn’t believe in contraception). It would be her sixth and she would, undoubtedly, be getting older. It is after all what we call aging, as much as many Americans try to deny it. Any pregnancy after 35 is practically high risk. In your 40s those odds just get worse. What if she got pregnant again and she knew that having this baby would kill her? What if she knew that all her hypothetical progress would go down the drain the moment she died? What should she do? Help us all? Or save herself from her guilt and her God?

***Note: This is not at all what I intended this posting to be about. I found myself writing an intro to a post that will soon follow but it appears that once I started, I just couldn’t help myself. Can you really blame me?
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Forget the Cowboys, Manchester United is Now America's Football Team

From Kevin Drum of Mother Jones:
"Now that you, the American taxpayer, more or less own insurance giant AIG, it turns out that you, the American taxpayer, are also the principal sponsor of Manchester United, thanks to a four-year, $100 million sponsorship deal signed in 2006. So this got me curious: how is our soccer football team doing?
Answer?: Not well. After winning the Premier League and the European Championship last year, they've started slowly this season with a loss to Liverpool, a win over Portsmouth, and a tie with Newcastle. Net result: 14th place. Next up is first place Chelsea on the 21st."

Great. So now our money is so worthless, it can't even buy things Americans don't even care about. Read more On "Forget the Cowboys, Manchester United is Now America's Football Team"!

Latest McCain Ad Reveals Barry's Plan to Kill all 243 of Palin's Babies.

McCain's latest ad reasserts that we should all be very, very afraid of an Obama administration. See, Barry would build a Capitol so sun-blockingly tall, that when it is inevitably attacked by his terrorist friends it would fall upon and smother every white baby in the country.
This ad is a bold new direction for the McCain campaign, as it is the first time they've moved away from more traditional issue based lies and toward LBJ "Flower Girl"-esque terror propaganda. Read more On "Latest McCain Ad Reveals Barry's Plan to Kill all 243 of Palin's Babies."!

GZA Proves to be a More Prudent Economic Advisor than Phil Gramm

While cash may rule everything around us, few understand how to protect their neck in these uncertain times. We need Wu-Tang Financial now more than ever.
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I may be stupid, but....

I honestly don't understand this t-shirt. According to Jezebel, it is very sexist. I truly do not understand it.

My best guess:
1 Librarian Glasses? (Tina Fey Fetishist, I presume)
2 Lack of Sweat Stain? (She's sure!!)
3 This one I get. Her Derriere. I think.
4 Knees? Read more On "I may be stupid, but...."!

I'm a Reality-Based Intellectualist!

Take this quiz to find out your exact brand of liberal.. I have officially been categorized as part of the liberal elite. Yay!

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