Open Thread

image of a shaggy red Highland cow with long pointed horns

Hosted by a Highland cow.

This week's Open Threads have been brought to you by animals with impressive horns.

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Open Thread

image of a Rocky Mountain bighorn ram, with huge, backwards curling horns

Hosted by a Rocky Mountain bighorn ram.

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The Virtual Pub Is Open

image of a pub Photoshopped to be named 'The Trashy Lady Saloon'
[Explanations: lol your fat. pathetic anger bread. hey your gay.]

TFIF, Shakers!

Belly up to the bar,
and name your poison!

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OMGOMGOMG Photo of the Day

image of a tiny chihuahua puppy sitting on a table beside the giant nose of an adult Neopolitan mastiff
A Chihuahua has become best pals with a giant Neapolitan mastiff who is 120 times his weight. Little Digby is just five weeks old and weighs half a kilo. He was found shivering and dehydrated, cowering in a blanket between two rubbish bins beside flats in North London. He's teamed up with Nero, even though she towers above him, at the Southridge RSPCA Animal Centre at South Mimms, Hertfordshire. [Photo via.]
Jesus Jones, that is just about the cutest fucking thing I've ever seen!

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The Friday Blogaround

This blogaround brought to you by rye bread.

Recommended Reading:

Mariah: [Content Note: Misogyny; antifeminism; sexual abuse; domestic violence; misogynist terrorism] Mad Men: Inside the Men's Rights Movement—and the Army of Misogynists and Trolls It Spawned

Mustang Bobby: [CN: Homophobia; racism; misogyny] Nice Try

CBPP: Helping Eligible Workers Claim the EITC

Digby: The Greatest Country in the World

Kyler: [CN: Transphobia] White House Petition for 'Leelah's Law' Banning Conversion Therapy Reaches 100,000 Goal

Jamilah: The Breakout Film at Sundance About Trans Sex Workers Was Shot on an iPhone

David: Sculptures of Sea Monsters from Old Maps

Leave your links and recommendations in comments. Self-promotion welcome and encouraged.

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Olivia the White Farm Cat asleep on the arm of the couch with her paw on her head
Olivia, sound asleep with her paw on her head.

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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Still Misogyny

[Content Note: Misogyny.]

This is something that came up in comments here, as well as in a conversation I was having with friends elsewhere: The men who object to the all-female Ghostbusters remake on some principle ostensibly other than misogyny.

Generally, their stated objections are something along the lines of the entertainment industry's creative bankruptcy for doing another remake (even though this isn't a remake), or how any reboot, no matter who's starring in it, negates the original Ghostbusters universe.

Or it's this or it's that, but whatever it is, it's definitely not about female Ghostbusters.

Except: It really is about female Ghostbusters.

Creative bankruptcy is a relevant argument when a film is being remade without meaningfully changing or improving it. That is not something that can said about a remake which elevates marginalized characters to central roles.

Well, it can be said—but only if you erase all cultural meaning regarding visibility and inclusion.

Leaving aside altogether arguments about whether reboots actually do "negate" preexisting iterations, the original Ghostbusters universe was one that contained no women in central heroic roles. Maybe that's a universe that needs negating.

It's hard to see how wishing to uphold a universe devoid of heroic women is anything but misogyny.

Passive, if not active.

Naturally, it's possible to express bigotry unconsciously, because of the internalized biases with which we're all socialized, but I haven't personally seen a whole lot of that with regard to negative reactions to this movie. Instead, I'm seeing a lot of men expressing pretty evident misogyny, wrapped in thin claims of objecting for some other reason.

But at the root of all these allegedly not misogynistic reasons lies misogyny.

It may be unexamined misogyny, but it's misogyny all the same.

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

Eddie Rabbit: "I Love a Rainy Night"

This week's TMNS brought to you by the hits of 1981.

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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Misogyny] Hey, remember when Mike Huckabee, who is a human nightmare concealed behind a goofy grin, said that women who curse in the workplace are "trashy"? Well, even conservative women were unhappy with that garbage: "[Fox News host Megyn Kelly] waited until the end of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee's interview to serve the outspoken presidential hopeful an unwelcome reality check. 'I do have news for you before I let you go,' Kelly told Huckabee on her show, The Kelly File, on Wednesday night. 'We are not only swearing. We're drinking, we're smoking, we're having premarital sex with birth control before we go to work, and sometimes boss around a bunch of men. [Huckabee] laughed but was clearly taken aback. 'I just don't want to hear that,' he joked." Hahaha FUCK YOU AGAIN. Guess what? If you "don't want to hear" about the basic lives of women, then you aren't fit to be president of a nation, half of whose people are women. Asshole.

Imani Gandy explores "Congressman Tim Ryan's Abortion Stance Switcheroo." I'm definitely with Imani on this one: "Whether he will follow up his abortion switcheroo with some concrete action—especially now that Republicans control Congress and seem intent on regulating the contents of every person's uterus—remains to be seen. Still, I welcome his change of heart with a full-throttled 'Hooray!'—at least for now."

Cuban President Raul Castro said that the "process of normalising bilateral relations" between Cuba and the US is dependent on the US giving "back the territory illegally occupied by the Guantanamo naval base." And that ain't gonna happen. Welp.

[CN: Death penalty; disablism; descriptions of violence at link] Despite the fact that the Supreme Court has banned executions of people with significant intellectual disabilities, Texas executed Robert Ladd last night, citing its absurd Steinbeck standard for establishing the severity of intellectual disabilities.

John McCain, one of the nastiest men to ever haunt the halls of Congress (which is really saying something), said that CodePink protesters who called former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger a war criminal were "low-life scum." Seriously. "I've been a member of this committee for many years, and I have never seen anything as disgraceful and outrageous and despicable as the last demonstration that just took place. ...You know, you're going to have to shut up, or I'm going to have you arrested. Get out of here, you low-life scum." Christ.

[CN: Misogyny] Gee, I hope the poor NFL can find the money for this: "A California state representative who is a former college cheerleader this week introduced legislation that would legally classify the state's NFL cheerleaders as employees, making them subject to state minimum wage and employment laws." Billionaires paying women less than minimum wage. For fuck's sake.

[CN: Transphobia] Cisgender Transparent creator Jill Soloway posted images mocking Bruce Jenner on her Facebook page, accompanied by the text: "I couldn't not. Someone sent it to me. Tell me it's wrong and I'll take it down." She couldn't not be transphobic! Gross.

In good news: Meet the Radical Brownies! "The Radical Brownies, a social justice-oriented version of the Girl Scouts, was set up only a few weeks ago to 'empower young girls of colour to step into their collective power, brilliance and leadership to make the world a more radical place'. The group of 12 girls are not affiliated to the Girl Guide movement and there are no badges for hostessing. Instead, the members, aged between eight and 12 years old, learn about black history, civil rights and social justice; their reward system includes a 'Black Lives Matter' badge and lessons in sustainable agriculture for a 'Food Justice' badge. 'Radical Beauty,' 'Radical Self-Love,' and 'LGBT Ally' badges are also on the curriculum."

Do you want a picture of your own face on your morning toast? Well, if you've got $75, you are in luck!

And finally: Icelandic Horses!

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This F@#king Guy

[Content Note: Domestic violence; misogyny; racism; murder.]

George Zimmerman is a fucking case study on male entitlement and lack of accountability. He literally got away with murder, after a lifetime of his parents and authorities failing to hold him accountable for hurting people. And, even now, he continues to escape meaningful consequences for his violent behavior toward people who don't share his privilege:

George Zimmerman won't be prosecuted on aggravated assault and domestic violence charges for an incident involving his girlfriend earlier this month, the Florida State Attorney's Office said Friday. The office said it reviewed reports and statements provided after Zimmerman's arrest on Jan. 9 and determined no formal charges should be filed. State Attorney Phil Archer said in a statement that "the subsequent recantation by the victim of her initial statement along with new documents provided by the victim and her attorney precludes my office from proceeding further."

Police say Zimmerman threw a wine bottle at his girlfriend during the alleged assault at his Lake Mary home. His lawyer told reporters that while the 31-year-old "has not been lucky with the ladies," he has also had a "rough time" since he was acquitted in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in 2013.
Poor soul. What terrible luck to have been repeatedly charged with domestic violence. And I'm sure our hearts all bleed for the "rough time" he's been having since murdering a teenager in cold blood.

The State Attorney dropped the charges because the woman who is dating Zimmerman didn't want to proceed with the case, despite the fact that Zimmerman has a documented history of intimidating and threatening women with whom he's involved.

This should be a huge red flag to police and prosecutors; if she tries to leave him now, it could be extremely dangerous for her. He is a very dangerous man, and he's already gotten away with murder once.

Instead, off he goes to his freedom once again. And his lawyer flippantly quips about how he's unlucky with the ladies.

I'd suggest that the ladies have been rather unlucky with him.

And so was Trayvon Martin.

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Never mind, Mitt Romney actually announced via conference call to the billionaires who would have been funding his presidential run that he is not going to run after all! The AP:

Three weeks after unexpectedly saying he was considering a third campaign for the White House, the former Massachusetts governor told members of his staff during a Friday conference call that he is out of race.

Romney jumped back into the presidential discussion on Jan. 10, when he told a small group of former donors in New York that he was eyeing another White House run.

But in the days since, as Romney tried to rally support for another campaign, he discovered that several of his past supporters and major fundraisers had defected to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Said one this week in an interview with The Associated Press, "I have turned the page."
Oh SNAP! Your page in the billionaires' scrapbook of political puppets has been TURNED, Mitt Romney!

But please stand by in case Jeb Bush totally fucks it up.

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Mitt 4 Least Worst!

image of Mitt Romney standing at a podium in front of a giant flag, looking agitated, to which I've added text reading: 'I'm GONNA make my announcement just as soon as my gol-darn-diddly flag gets here!'

Mitt Romney will reportedly be speaking to his "senior donors" later today, to tell them that's he's running for president. Of course he will. Because nothing says "man of the people" more than announcing via private call to billionaires that you're running for president.

The reinvention is going great, in other words.

Soon it will be official: Mitt Romney will be running for president and the 2016 primary will be GO. What a great day for us all. WHAT A GREAT DAY FOR AMERICA.

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Open Thread

image of a saiga antelope with towering horns and a short, elephant trunk-like snout

Hosted by a saiga antelope.

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Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker BigDots: "What are some traits that you prefer/admire/desire in bosses or supervisors? (I'm asking because I have a lousy supervisor but have a hard time articulating what exactly I dislike!)"

One of the things I always valued the most when I was working for someone else was a boss who trusted me. Who didn't feel obliged to hang over me all the time. That seems to embody lots of other related traits I valued: Not micromanaging, empowering me, treating me like I am intelligent and responsible, not getting totally bent out of shape if I needed to leave early or come in late, because they knew I'd get the job done, etc.

A boss who trusts their workers goes a hell of a long way with me.

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Of Course

The now Republican-controlled Senate, with help from nine Democrats, has passed the Keystone XL oil pipeline bill, despite the fact that President Obama has pledged to veto it:

Senators voted 62-36 on the bill to bypass the Obama administration's review of Keystone, five short of the number needed to overturn a potential rejection by the president. All Republicans present voted for the bill as did nine Democrats.

Approving Keystone has been the top priority of Republicans in the new Congress after they won control of the Senate in November.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Keystone would be good for the middle class and "pump billions" of dollars into the economy.
Which is not quite accurate. Keystone would pump billions (?) of dollars into the pockets of TransCanada Corp., and would create fewer than 40 permanent jobs, according to a State Department report.

Way to get things done, Republicans. As usual.

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What Is This

[Content Note: Police misconduct; police brutality; racism; misogyny.]

A couple of videos, care of @elonjames:

1. San Francisco Public Defender Jami Tillotson, a thin middle-aged white woman, is arrested at the San Francisco Hall of Justice on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 by officers of the San Francisco Police Department, after she tells them not to unlawfully take pictures of two young black men.

Video Description: Two young black men are standing against a wall inside a municipal building. Tillotson stands between them; as far as I can tell, she represents one of them but not the other. Offscreen, the police inspector, a white man, says: "I just want to take some pictures, okay. Then he will be free to go." He steps into the frame and raises a camera. Tillotson moves to block the young man. "No, he's—" she starts. "Counsel," the inspector interrupts. She begins to explain she doesn't represent him, and the inspector asks to speak to her for a minute. He tries to move her away, but she stays in place, in between the two men, and the inspector moves back, blocking the camera with his back. "Look," he tells her, "you can either step aside, let us take pictures, two minutes, or we can make this—" She tells him: "We're okay here. We don't need pictures taken, thank you." The inspector then tells her, "If you continue with this, I'll arrest you for resisting arrest." She smiles at him and says, "Please do." So they fucking arrest her. He instructs her to put her hands behind her back, and she is handcuffed, and she is turned over to uniformed officers. Tillotson says she's still representing her client, who stands by, not knowing what to do. "There is no 148," she says. "I am not resisting arrest. There is no 148." They lead her away, and the police inspector proceeds to take pictures of the two young men.

2. Seattle Police Officer Cynthia Whitlatch, a white woman, is recorded by her dash cam arresting William Wingate, an elderly black man, for using a golf club as a walking stick:

Video Description (starting at 1:45): Whitlatch pulls up in her vehicle alongside a curb where Wingate is standing, minding his own business. "Can you put that down, please?" she tells him. "What?" he says. "Your golf club," she says. "What about my golf club?" he asks. "Can you please set it down?" she instructs him. "What's going on?" he asks. "Set it down, please," she tells him. "I don't know what's going on," he says, clearly and understandably confused. "PUT IT DOWN!" she shouts. "It's MY golf club," he replies. "I'm not gonna take it from you, but it's a weapon. Set it down," she says. "I've had this golf club for 20 years," he exclaims. "I'm not gonna ask you again; set it down," she says. He tells her he's been using the golf club as a walking stick for 20 years, and she tells him he's being recorded, and he says call somebody, and she says she is calling somebody, and then she ACCUSES HIM OF HAVING SWUNG IT AT HER WHEN HE HAS DONE NO SUCH THING AT ALL. Naturally, Wingate vehemently denies that, and he says he wants a witness. Whitlatch continues to scream at him to put down the club, as Wingate tries to talk to a passer-by about what's happening. She tells him he's not free to leave. "If you do not put the golf club down, you will be subject to arrest for obstruction!" Wingate tries to leave, and Whitlatch rushes around the car to grab him. Another officer, a white man, arrives, and they tell him to put his hands on the car. She then alleges he swung the club at her at another location, which Wingate denies. (AND WHO FUCKING CARES IF HE DID WAVE A GOLF CLUB IN THE AIR AT A PASSING COP CAR JESUS FUCKING CHRIST.) Whitlatch and the other officer arrest Wingate.

3. Seattle Police Officers randomly spray pepper spray at people, including high school history teacher Jesse Hagopian, peacefully leaving a rally on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day:

A white female uniformed officer, flanked by other officers, is screaming at a quietly dispersing crowd of people to "GET BACK!" Without warning, she sprays a huge canister of pepper spray, hitting Hagopian, a black man who is walking by talking on his phone, right in the face. "Seattle Police Department!" she screams, as she continues to spray. "GET BACK!"

I don't even know, y'all. You know, maybe if the police want people to stop accusing them of being totally out of control, they should stop acting totally out of fucking control. Because, yeah, not all cops, but enough of them to be a major goddamn problem.

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Ain't Afraid of Ghosts. Terrified of Women.

[Content Note: Misogyny.]

All credit to @Doubting_Tom for the headline of this piece.

There has been a predictable and tiresome backlash ever since Paul Feig announced the cast of the all-female Ghostbusters remake. You know, the one we've been talking about for months, but apparently just wasn't real to shitlord misogynists until it was cast. Or something.


Among the mountainous trash heap of nightmare reactions from ideological dinosaurs, this was my absolute favorite bit of contemptible detritus:

image of the Ghostbusters logo photoshopped so the ghost is holding up his middle finger, accompanied by text reading: 'FEMINISTS. THIS ISN'T ABOUT WOMEN. THIS ISN'T ABOUT MISOGYNY. IT'S ABOUT OUR CHILDHOODS. STOP MAKING IT ABOUT YOU.'


I mean, where to even begin with this shit?

First of all, this isn't even a remake of the original. Even if it were, it wouldn't mean that the original would cease to exist, for fuck's sake, but that's not even what's happening. Your precious childhood memories will not be DESTROYED BY ESTROGEN.

Secondly: Yeah, it's about women.

Third: Yeah, it's about misogyny.

Finally: Guess what, garbagebrains? Ghostbusters was part of my childhood, too! I know it's tough to remember that women exist and have lives independent from being your fuckholes, but it turns out that lots of women, many of whom are feminists, watched and loved Ghostbusters when we were kids, too.

You don't own nerd culture.

I have said it regarding video games and regarding comics, and now I will say it regarding films: It is truly pathetic that people who love a medium which can imagine the future, conjure the past, and create new worlds and their inhabitants to indulge the wildest of imaginations, can be so aggressively unimainative when it comes to human women.

If you are a person who can get on board with paranormal activity and proton packs and Gozer the Gozerian, but can't get on board with women playing Ghostbusters, you should be deeply embarrassed.

Stop making memes, get off the internet, and reexamine your fucking life.

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Sophie the Torbie Cat lying stretched out on my chest and raised knee
I'm basically just a chaise lounge for the tiniest cat in the world.

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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Quote of the Day

[Content Note: Environmental harm.]

"It's hard to deny that in certain geographic locations with certain geologic circumstances, we've had some problems with some wastewater wells [but] to make a blanket assertion that wastewater wells are always the cause, I don't know that I can agree with that."—A.J. Ferate, vice president of regulatory affairs for the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association, acknowledging, sure, the oil and gas industry's "deep wastewater disposal wells that have been linked to a dramatic increase in seismic activity across the central United States," including nearly daily quakes in parts of Oklahoma, cause a few quakes here and there, but, come on, they're not causing all the quakes. Probably. Geez.

Runner-up quote, from the same story, care of Glen Brown, a Continental Resources geologist: "There's a hysteria that needs to be brought back to reality that these [quakes] are light and will not cause any harm."

Around 11 p.m. on Nov. 5, 2011, a magnitude 5.6 quake — the biggest in state history — hit the small town of Prague, east of Oklahoma City. Sandra Ladra, a business manager for a state job training center, was sitting in a recliner watching television when the quake toppled her two-story stone fireplace. Big rocks rained down on her legs, gashing her knees.

"I nearly went into shock," said Ladra, 63. "You just really don't think you're going to live through it."
What a hysteric.

[H/T to Jamison Foser.]

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

[Content Note: There is a strobe-light effect in this video.]

Kool & the Gang: "Celebration"

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