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    • Lazy Caturday Reads December 4, 2021
      Good Afternoon!! I’m getting a late start today. The news this week has been so awful; I feel really exhausted and drained of energy. Using the computer has gotten more difficult for me as I’ve gotten older. I can’t believe I just turned 74. Reading on the computer really bothers my eyes now; fortunately I […]
      bostonboomer
    • Frank Friday Reads December 3, 2021
      Happy Friday Sky Dancers! I’m going to make this entire weekend TV-free. It’s easy for me because all forms of sportsball bore me and I certainly don’t need to see the endless talking heads as it’s been a depressing enough week already. Most movies and tv shows bore me too so my plan is to […]
      dakinikat
    • Thursday Reads: Back To the 1950s (Which Were Not ‘Happy Days’ for Women) December 2, 2021
      Good Morning!! There are plenty of interesting news stories out there today, but all I can think about is that the right wing Supreme Court is poised to reverse Roe v. Wade and attempt to return American women to the second class status we inhabited when I was a girl in the 1950s and early […]
      bostonboomer
    • Wednesday Reads: WTFF?! December 1, 2021
      What the fuckity fuck? That is all I’m gonna say about that. Cartoons are from the Cagle website: I’ve been dealing with a cold since Thanksgiving…so just adding some links below: This thread is tough to read: That’s it for now…one more thing: This is an open thread.
      Minkoff Minx
    • Tuesday Reads: Omicron, Trump, and Cuomo November 30, 2021
      Good Afternoon!! Once again, there isn’t a lot of good news out there to talk about. The media is still “freaking out” about the Covid omicron variant, and we still don’t actually know much about it. Trump and his goons are still threatening U.S. democracy, and the DOJ appears to be doing nothing to stop […]
      bostonboomer
    • Manic Monday Reads: Double Standard Edition November 29, 2021
      Good Day Sky Dancers! The one thing that’s become more apparent to me than anything else is the double standard in the media and elsewhere with what they tolerate from white men who are screaming like scalded hogs at the moment and essentially trying to install an autocratic government to retain their privilege and control […]
      dakinikat
    • Sunday Reads November 28, 2021
      Cartoon from Cagle: This is an open thread.
      Minkoff Minx
    • Lazy Caturday Reads November 27, 2021
      Good Afternoon!! I wanted to try to find some good news to post today, but there just isn’t much of it out there. I guess it’s sort good news that a Republican associated with Mitch McConnell has criticized Rep.Loren Boebert for her grotesque attack on Rep. Ilian Omar. Raw Story: ‘Absolute garbage rhetoric’: Mitch McConnell […]
      bostonboomer
    • Virulant Friday Reads: Get Ready for the Next Wave November 26, 2021
      Happy Avoiding Black Friday Day! I spent Thanksgiving with my neighbors, which is so lovely on many levels.  It really felt like the first typical holiday for me in a few years. The last one was the Mardi Gras, where I woke up with something that made me highly ill for weeks. I was really […]
      dakinikat
    • Thanksgiving Reads November 25, 2021
      Happy Thanksgiving!! I hope you all have a very pleasant day with family and friends or alone if that’s what you prefer. I have spent many Thanksgiving Days by myself and have been grateful to be able to do so. I usually get really stressed out over “the holidays,” and I guess that’s beginning for […]
      bostonboomer

When Fear Is All Around You

Kevin Drum has a new article up at Mother Jones that is, in my opinion, worth reading. Actually, I’m not 100% sure it’s worth reading because I was too lazy to do anything but skim through it, but I got the general idea. Basically, the National Park Service wants to bring a higher level of security to the Washington Monument and Bruce Schneier thinks we should just shut it down.

Kevin Drum, like me, could really care less what happens to the Washington Monument. I didn’t even know people visited it. Like most Americans, I just see it in movies and I think, “Oh… the Washington Monument.” That sums up my opinion on the whole thing. But Drum sums up my opinion on something else very clearly: the intellectual laziness of Bruce’s attitude.

Maybe we should just shut it down. But that particular issue aside, I think Bruce’s attitude needs some major pushback.

There’s a certain class of people to whom his prescription sounds great. Refuse to be terrorized! Stop being such babies! I’m a member of that class. I would happily accept a slightly increased risk of terrorist attack in return for a less intrusive security regime. I think we’re way too willing to let fear rule our culture. On a purely personal level, this stuff infuriates me.

But those of us who feel that way really have an obligation to understand just how out of the mainstream we are. I’m willing to bet that most of us are a bit nerdy, sort of hyperanalytical, maybe even slightly Aspergers-ish. We’re comfortable — too comfortable, probably — viewing the ebb and flow of human lives as an accounting exercise. We’re also very sure of ourselves, generally pretty verbal, and we have soapboxes to shout from.

And, at a guess, we represent maybe 10% of the population. At most.

I have a friend who does not represent this 10% of the population. Like most people my age, she pretends to be non conformist and unique… but really isn’t. At least on this particular issue, her non conformism is purely commercial. If I go out in the middle of the night to take a walk or stop by the 24 hour drug store to grab some eggs, I get a tut and a shake of the head from her. “Oh… that’s smart. You’ll get raped and killed.”

Neither of us have spent much of our lives in particularly bad neighborhoods. We have been comfortably safe in suburbia and have never had our lives threatened in any way. But like most Americans we watch the nightly news and stories about murder and general destruction are plastered across the screen. Yes, I do run the risk of danger if I go out at night. I try to let this frighten me or deter me but… it just doesn’t. I don’t care.

Maybe I’m just a reckless young person who believes in her own invincibility. My answer to that is: well, I’ve been reckless for a while now and I’m still here, right? Or maybe I’m just an idiot. Actually, I’m probably just an idiot, but I think I’m losing my point here.

The point is, I have a certain attitude about the things I do, and it’s a simple one: I do what I want. I run the risk of dying when I get in a car to drive. Hell, I could drop dead or be struck down at any moment. My attitude is the exact opposite of reckless belief in my own invincibility. I know the grim reaper could pay a visit at any time, unannounced, and I wouldn’t be able to do a damn thing about it. That’s why I don’t care about death. It’s inevitable. I accept her dark embrace. And I’m not going to sit around and be so worried about death that I forget to live. As far as I’m concerned, she can call me anytime, because frankly I would rather die young knowing I stood up for something than die old and realize I threw my life away.

Our modern society is deathly afraid of death. Go figure. And violence. And since I was a child, terrorism was thrown into the mix. When you can’t even go through a scanner at the airport without having your private business groped, you have to stop and take a look  around you and wonder, “why?”

I am growing up in an age of fear and it is getting old fast.

We’re afraid of Cancer. “Watermelons cause Cancer!” a Woman’s Health article screams at at us when we’re in the Grocery Line. Jesus Christ. EVERYTHING causes Cancer! Who cares??? Eat a god damned watermelon! They’re friggin’ delicious!

We’re afraid of teen pregnancy and sexual activity. Oh my goodness. It’s not that hard. Teenagers want to have sex because they’re HORNY. Just teach them about sex education, give them some condoms and birth control pills and send them on there way. Everyone gets sex and everyone wins. Simple.

But then, what about morals? Our culture of sex and drugs is degrading our preciously valued beliefs and traditions! The sky is falling! No, it’s not. Who cares about morals? Morals are boring. As long as you aren’t hurting anyone else do what you want. I have low moral fiber and I am proud of it.

But… Terrorism kills people! Yeah, it does. But Terrorism isn’t just about violence. It’s about using violence… to make people SCARED. I’m sorry, but groping my hoo ha when I’m at an airport is not the way to fight Terrorism. Closing the Washington Monument would just tell our enemies just how afraid of them we really are. I’d rather we stood up to them.

And most importantly, people are scared for America. Or of America. Which one? I don’t know, probably both. China is gaining influence, the media tells us ominously. And we are declining. Our standard of living is declining, our government is imploding from the inside out. The economy is down and won’t get back up for a while, if ever. What are we going to do? We won’t be the world’s biggest superpower anymore! By 2040 white people will be a minority! WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?

It’s all mass hysteria and it’s all silly. Stop giving into fear. That’s what you do. Don’t sit there and complain and let it happen. Don’t say, “America is doomed” and then go to Wal Mart to buy cups.  Do something. Vote. Get your shit together and get yourself organized. Protest. Raise Hell. It’s what the Founding Fathers would have wanted. They cared a lot more about that than “Family Values” and “American Security.”

And most importantly, stop being afraid for America. Fight for her if you love her. Don’t just let her go.

 

Monday Morning Palinpalooza

I am almost as sick of hearing about and seeing Sarah Palin as I am hearing about and seeing Barack Obama, but the news is awful, the weather is boo boo, and as a liberal fem I am apparently supposed to go into a screaming emotional PMS induced rant every time her name is even brought up. Why fight it?

I don’t plan on reading or buying her new book. Do any of you? I didn’t think so. But Historiann has the scoop.

Don’t miss Michelle Goldberg’s analysis of the feminist history in Sarah Palin’s new bookAmerica by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag. Apparently, it gets worse after the diabetes-inducing title.  I agree with Goldberg that “[i]n some ways, it’s a good thing that Sarah Palin calls herself a feminist. It means that, even among conservatives, women’s equality has become a normative position, the starting point for debate. It means that feminism has gone from something that the right wants to destroy to something it wants to appropriate. That’s progress, of a sort.”  This is indeed a new development–Phyllis Schlafly’s days are over, for now, and it would be even too intellectually dishonest for Palin to pretend that feminism had nothing to do with shaping the possibilities of her political career.

As an optimist I am also pleased that a woman politician at least has to call herself a feminist to get anywhere, much less conservative woman. But this step forward is not to Bible Spice’s credit. A woman in politics has to call herself a feminist now because of the treatment a certain plucky Secretary of State received not just in 2008 but throughout her entire life in public service. Just sayin’. Let’s continue.

However, Palin is all wet when it comes to American history in general, and as Goldberg explains, feminist history in particular:  she claims Elizabeth Cady Stanton as a devout Christian–a woman who once said that “[y]ou may go over the world and you will find that every form of religion which has breathed upon this earth has degraded women,” and who wrote her own version of the Bible.  (Truly, this is more laughable than the people who try to re-claim Thomas Jefferson as a godbag.)  Palin repeats the flimsy lie that Susan B. Anthony was anti-abortion, and she repeats the distortions of Margaret Sanger’s work and career by claiming that she advocated “Nazi-style eugenics.”  (She cites the esteemed historian Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism on Sanger.)

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and another fun fem, Amelia Earheart, also rejected the usefulness of remaining faithful to their husbands. Amelia even passed a petition about it around. Hillary wasn’t the first classy lady to question standing by her man. So far that’s Hillary: 2 Sarah: 0.

Sarah Palin is a huge disappointment.  She could have countered her detractors the right way and continued working for the people of her beloved Alaska, but instead she has allowed herself and her family to be turned into celebrity jokes. Marketing yourself as a pundit on Fox News and giving yourself a reality show on TLC is not the way to prove you’re Presidential material. So much for all that maverick talk about Middle America. She should have taken a leaf out of that crazy bra burning feminist Hillary Clinton’s book instead of Barack Obama’s. Now she and him are like the American Idol clones of Presidential Politics. If they are both running in 2012 we won’t even be able to take a break and watch an episode of House or Dexter without one of them guest starring. They and their brands will be EVERYWHERE. God help us all!

I still don’t believe you have to be liberal or pro choice to be a feminist, but Caribou Barbie stopped caring about standing up to the good old boys a long time ago. It was probably some time in between the grand finale of Dancing with the Stars or a deep philosophical connection with Dick Morris while he was ghostwriting her new book. At least now she is caught up to the President and has managed to write two autobiographies without actually accomplishing much of anything.

Either way, from now on she’s on her own.

I Hate Mondays

In Monday’s good news, Lady Gaga sweeps the VMAs. We love you too, Lady G.

Also, the country from which my soul originates plans on penalizing companies that pay women less. Yes, in fact, I was French in a past life.

But it’s Monday, and things are looking grim. Dakinikat takes on our low information nation at TC.

How do you stand up for what is right and hype people up with fear factor politics at the same time?

Of course, both sides do it.  We’re seeing this now with all the nonsense surrounding the Park51 cultural center and the outrageous rhetoric from Arizona’s Governor on Mexicans supposedly found decapitated in the Sonoran Desert. So many untruths it makes my head spin!  The memes are flying out of the mouths of the stupid and the press seem to just embrace them.  The current memes are couched with look what happens to your lives when the other sides win?  Dogs and Cats openly living together!  Oh, the humanity!!!

Bleak. Especially in California. Between Meg Whitman, the Guvuhnatuh, and Jerry Brown, I don’t know how everyone doesn’t move there.

And the Quran thing will just not die. Apparently, any politician who says Islam is a Religion of peace “cannot be trusted.” I’m sorry, what? Jesus Christ! I am so done talking about this. I mean, Done! Doney, Done Done! I have nothing else to say… EXCEPT this!

OF COURSE Islam isn’t a Religion of Peace! BUT NEITHER IS CHRISTIANITY! Does that mean I shouldn’t trust everyone anyone who says Christianity is a religion of peace? I guess that means I can’t trust any politician. WHOA! What an epiphany!

I sometimes want to recant on my coexist/why can’t we all get along position. If Fundamentalist Christians and Fundamentalist Muslims started getting along, all Hell would break loose. My God, they would be collectively unbearable, always up to some kind of bull shit together. Burning American flags because of Homos in the Military, then burning witches when they get bored with that. Running around in Africa, converting everyone and everything they get their hands on. Gay Prostitution would be the wealthiest industry in the country. There would be houses full of hustlers everywhere, advertisements for them underneath McDonalds Billboards. God Bless America!

I need a drink.

Riverdaughter Nails it, as Usual

Over at TC, Riverdaughter really nails it. She says exactly what I don’t feel like saying, and is a better woman than me for it.

This post is for all of our former friends who were Clintonistas in 2008 but somehow let their anger lead them in a different direction.

I know how pissed you were at the way your vote was taken away from you in 2008.  I know you feel disenfranchised by the one party you thought you could rely on.  You’ve been the invisible ones during this mother of all recessions.  You have lost your jobs or your family has.  You have seen government not working for you anymore where once it had.  You saw people come into office in 2008 promising change and then watched as they crumbled under the slightest wind of opposition.  They let you down, they’ve deprived you of a retirement free from worry and destitution.  They have been completely deaf to your pleas.

But don’t take it out on Muslim Americans.

The people who are channeling your rage towards Muslims are the very same people who are responsible for the mess you’re in now.  They are providing you with a distraction and an easy scapegoat.  They are pointing your rage towards destruction.  It is unproductive and won’t save your job, pay your mortgage or help you retire with dignity.  It simply takes your soul towards a dark place without the tempering spirits of civil behavior.

Please read the rest. I posted too much of it as it is, but it so has to be said. I have respect for some people who seem to have a chip on their shoulder about Islam, but I also have respect for some Porn Stars, so this isn’t saying much. (Jenna Jameson’s autobiography, How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: Highly recommended!)

I would never, ever burn a book. To do so is so irreverent, so despicable, I can’t even put it into words. A few years ago, there was an issue of Sagewoman, a Pagan magazine for women, that I was reading, and I came across a long debate over book burning. A Pagan woman had written to the editors and said that Sagewoman was too “fluffy” and that she and her Pagan group were having a “Bible Burning” event. Letters upon letters came into the editors condemning her actions, even some Christian woman who actually read Sagewoman and told her kindly that their differences with her were far less important than what they had in common. Those Christian gals behaved more like Witches than that Bible Burning woman did.

The Bible-burning Pagan chick defended herself by claiming that it was her duty to burn the Bibles, because of all the Misogynist and Racist material in the text. She pointed out the fact that thousands, possibly millions of women and children, some of them witches, had died because of what was in the Bible. She defended her actions as her Pagan duty and a couple of people even agreed with her.

But she was wrong.

She was no better than an anti-gay New Pentecostal weirdos who perform “Gay Exorcisms” on young men, causing them to vomit and have seizures. She was no better than the white guy who who won’t let his daughter go to the Prom with a black guy. And she was on par with the handle-bar mustachioed truck driving Pastor who plans on burning Qurans. And I’ll let Hillary tell us how “Patriotic” and “American” censorship is.

Thanks, Hillary.