Question of the Day

What's your favorite "totes easy" recipe?

(It's OK if it includes something out of a package or a can; Deeky and I have a friend that calls that "Can-Opener Gourmet.")

I made this awesome Italian Beef in the slow cooker a few weeks ago. My co-worker related the recipe to me and it didn't even require writing it down.

1 Beef Roast (mine was close to 3 pounds, he used a 4.5 pound roast. Oy.)
2 cans beef broth
1 Package dry Italian salad dressing mix

Quickly sear the roast for about 30 seconds on each side. Throw it in the slow cooker. Pour in the broth and seasoning. Cook on low around 8 hours. Take the beef out of the cooker, and either slice it, or shred it (I shredded it). Put the beef back in the cooker and cook on low another 3 to 4 hours. Eat on crusty rolls! (Add your own hot peppers, provolone cheese, etc.)

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More on Catholic Church and Police Scandal in Ireland

[Trigger warning.]

Below is video/transcript of CNN's coverage of the story I wrote about Friday: A report investigating three decades of the Dublin Diocese found that the diocese colluded with police to cover up sex crimes committed by priests, even after the Church had acknowledged the problem and was publicly stating its resolve to confront the institutional failings that facilitated the endemic abuse.

I was struck by two things in this report: One, the poignant truth of survivor Andrew Madden's observation that the report, and its truth, is the closest thing to justice that many of the survivors of sexual assault by coddled priests will ever have. And two, the fact that the current Archbishop of Dublin doesn't even come close to making any promise that such a thing will never happen again. There are apologies, yes. But an apology for a chosen course (as opposed to an apology for an accident, like stepping on a toe) is meaningless without resolve to make certain that the thing for which one is apologizing will not happen again in the future.

This was no accident. This was a deliberate and carefully orchestrated strategy to conceal the abuse of children. The archbishop cannot guarantee that no priest will ever abuse another child, but he sure as hell can guarantee that no known crimes committed by a priest in his diocese will be hidden by the Church again on his watch, that he will not actively seek to collude with the police to conceal sex crimes.

How fucking dare he even say he's sorry, without a promise he will do everything he can to ensure it will never, ever, happen again—with nothing but a polite request to "the priests of the diocese and the Parish Pastoral Councils to ensure that the wide reaching measures introduced into our parishes and organizations regarding the safeguarding of children are rigorously observed and constantly verified and updated." How very…formal.

I'd be more impressed if he'd stop being so goddamn sorrowful and showed a little righteous fucking anger. I frankly don't trust anyone in a position of power who doesn't get visibly, demonstrably angry on behalf of the people who have been victimized by that power. Even Jesus got pissed—and over far less important shit than this.

And, for the record, I've known Catholic priests (those wacky Jesuits again!) who were good and goddamned pissed about this stuff, too. As anyone who really understands the scope and gravity of this conspiracy should be.
Sue Saville, ITN Reporter, in voiceover: Cover-up, connivance, concealment were found in the Catholic Church and in its relationship with the authorities who should have been investigating allegations of child abuse. The Church was seen as being above the law, putting its own reputation before the protection of children, and being allowed to continue unchecked by a state fearful of scandal. The report covering thirty years in the diocese of Dublin found that four archbishops did not hand over information on abusers. One priest has admitted sexually abusing more than a hundred children. Some of those abused by priests gave their reactions to the report. Andrew Madden, Survivor: This report is a shocking indictment on the Catholic Church and Dublin. Its publication may bring closure for some victims; it may also serve as the only justice some victims ever receive. But its publication, if not acted upon, will have been a wasted opportunity to raise standards of child protection in this country. Marie Collins, Survivor: The institution came before the welfare of the children of this country, and all their denials are now proved to be false. Saville, in voiceover: The Irish government has promised to bring pedophile priests to justice for these shocking crimes. Dermot Ahern, Irish Minister of Justice: —as I read it, I felt a growing sense of revulsion and anger. Revulsion at the horrible, evil acts committed against young children. Anger at how those children were then dealt with, and how often abusers were left free to abuse. Saville, in voiceover: The current archbishop of Dublin responded for the Catholic Church. Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin: I offer to each and every survivor my apology, my sorrow, and my shame for what happened. But I'm aware that no words of apology will ever be sufficient. Saville, in voiceover: The Irish police say they're deeply sorry for failing to protect children. The reputation of the Catholic Church in Ireland has been severely shaken. Sue Saville, ITV News.

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Photo of the Day

President Barack Obama tours the Great Wall in Badaling, China, Nov. 18, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today's Edition of "Conniving and Sinister"


Strips One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77. In which Liss reimagines the long-running comic "Frank & Ernest," about two old straight white guys "telling it like it is," as a fat feminist white woman and a biracial queerbait telling it like it actually is from their perspectives. Hilarity ensues.

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Daily Kitteh

Poor Ms. Matilda had a rough day Saturday. She spent the morning at the vet, where she had to get her rabies booster shot, and then spent the afternoon being groomed, since she's lately decided she neither wants to prevent mats on her own backside (which she hasn't done for years), nor let me sort it out (which she used to do without any fuss). So I called in professional help. Tilsy was a very good girl for her very nice groomer, and now she has a shaved arse and a new nickname: Lady Butthole Nudington.

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The Merry Life of an Escaped Rapist

[Trigger warning.]

Above is an image of Roman Polanski's Swiss ski chalet, where he will live under house arrest once he is released on bail. It's a hard-knock life.

The LA Times reports [via]:
A Swiss justice officials was quoted by AFP and Swiss news media as saying Polanski would be allowed to make unlimited phone calls and have full access to e-mail and the Internet. Although he cannot leave his house, he can invite friends over and throw parties at the tony chalet in the ski resort of Gstaad.
And with all the celebrities who are defenders and fans of the escaped rapist, I'm sure the parties will be real star-studded events. Huzzah.

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Quote of the Day

"As a pastor, my goal is to encourage, to support. I never take sides."Pastor Rick Warren, on Meet the Press this weekend.

Warren—the minister who, you may recall, gave Obama's inaugural invocation—has indeed refused to "take sides" on the heinous anti-gay legislation proposed in Uganda and championed by Warren's friend and associate Martin Ssempa. When asked to comment on the proposed legislation, Warren responded with a noncommittal: "The fundamental dignity of every person, our right to be free, and the freedom to make moral choices are gifts endowed by God, our creator. However, it is not my personal calling as a pastor in America to comment or interfere in the political process of other nations."

Of course. Because he "never takes sides."

Except for when he supported Prop 8 and conflated same-sex marriage with polygamy, incest, and rape.

Or when he took the position that women don't have the "right" to leave abusive husbands, because the Bible does not identify physical abuse as grounds for getting a divorce.

Or when he compared legal abortion to the Holocaust.

Other than that, though, he never takes sides.

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Interesting (Where "interesting" = "totally predictable.")

[Trigger warning.]

You might have heard that, over the weekend, Tiger Woods got into a car accident. His version of the story has Woods getting lacerations on his face from the accident and casts his wife as a hero for knocking out the windows of his vehicle with a golf club to rescue him. Another version of the story casts his wife as a domestic abuser who gave him the lacerations on his face during a fight and smashing the windows of his vehicle in anger at rumors he was cheating before he hurriedly drove off and quickly crashed.

I have no idea what the truth is. If it's true that Woods was abused, he has the same compelling reasons that every victim of domestic violence has to mask the truth, plus the added feelings of shame that men victimized by women frequently feel by virtue of our cultural narratives about manhood. If it's not true that he was abused, the salaciousness of the tall tale and its appeal to prurient gossip-mongers provides the requisite motivation for the tabloids to promote the lie, even if they know it to be a lie.

So I don't know—and neither does anyone else who's just reading along at home—and I'm not going to speculate. (Nor is such speculation welcome in comments.) The reason I am mentioning the story at all is because I find it interesting who suddenly has an interest in domestic violence, when it's a woman accused of doing it.

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NQDTR Discussion Thread - M091130

This is the Discussion Thread for the Not Quite Daily Teaspoon Report (M091130).

This is not the place to report teaspooning acts. For that, you want to go to this thread over here.

Here you may discuss the acts you see on the main thread. For ease of reference, we recommend you preface your remarks with the username and perhaps the timestamp of the comment you're posting about. For a nonsensical example, your comment to one of mine might look like this:


@CaitieCat 11/18/2009 01:08 PM : I wrote this post!

And we're really glad you did! I've been able to use this thread as an example to my innocent schoolkids, and I'm so glad you thought of the children!


For now, we'll let this thread be pretty open, so to be more explicit, yes, "that was awesome!" comments are allowed. If we find this is becoming problematic in terms of signal-to-noise ratio, we may revisit that. If you're thinking of posting to say something congratulatory only, perhaps consider reading the thread first, and judging whether there are several people before you who've already done so. This make it harder to have a good discussion, in part because of the lack of threadedness in the comments here for most of us (if you go through Disqus directly, I believe it offers some threading).

Please remember to be polite and thoughtful in your comments, to respect the safe space provided here, and that no one is required to read this thread - so even if you've got something burningly important to say to a specific commenter, they may not see it here.

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Not Quite The Daily Teaspoon Report - M091130

Alright, so, first one under the new regime.

Here's the scoop: we're looking for comments in this thread regaring acts of teaspooning you've seen or committed in the last few days.

This thread is only for those comments. Reports of acts. This explicitly means no "that's awesome!" comments in this thread; the focus is tightly on teaspooning.

If you wish to discuss something you've seen here, we will have a discussion thread for the NQDTR over here. Discussion threads will have the same code on them as the NQDTR itself (M091130 above: Monday, Nov.30/09). This is to make it easier for me to post and monitor them (consistent naming makes links easier). They'll also, to the best of my ability, be posted immediately after the NQDTR itself.

Remember that there is no requirement to read the Discussion Thread associated with a given NQDTR. You can just post your teaspoon and move on, if that's your thing.

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Monday Blogaround

This Blogaround is brought to you by Shaxco, makers of Pocket Diversions. Pocket Diversions are a handy, portable way to create a diversion when a distant yet nosy relative at a holiday gathering starts grilling you about your "love life". Comes in Doorbell, Excuse Me the Cat Just Threw Up, and Something's Burning on the Stove!

Border House: [Trigger Warning] Second Life designer releases bruised skins

Jade Park: i can't hear you

I rarely talk about my stroke anymore, I am so determined to put it behind me. But occasionally, I’ll be reminded that I’m not exactly the same person I once was, and it takes me a little while to absorb that fact. Sure, we’re not the same person we were just 24 hours ago, because of all the things that happen to us in a day and all those things change us in tiny ways…but when you are changed by illness, especially at a younger age, there’s a sense that your life was…disrupted, that these changes don’t come about by normal process. Of course, illness is a part of life, but there’s an anger/discouragement attached to that…disruption.
Two from Isis The Scientist:
Discrimination and the Power of a Word
Why no, Virginia. I'm Not a Mexican...

ME agenda: A link round-up on the XMRV retrovirus. This retrovirus may be associated with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), according to a paper published last month in the journal Science (pdf of the Science paper for those with access).

Cosmic Variance: First Collisions in the LHC!

Legal Momentum: New U.S. Crime Reports: Flawed Methodology Sharply Underestimates Rape Rates Against Women and Persons with Disabilities

Diary of an Anxious Black Woman: Moving Yet Sloppy Portrayal of a Harlem Girl: My Review of Precious (Spoilers)

Language Log: Snuckward Ho!

The Sewing Divas: Hot Patterns Free Slinky Shrug Download Simplified. The Divas give tips on how best to print out and use this free and simple sewing pattern, sizes 6 to 26, from the very tony Hot Patterns.

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Today in Rape Culture

[Trigger warning.]

So, I've been watching Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew, which I suspected would by its very nature really be a show about surviving sexual assault, and, in fact, it is: Every one of the female patients has survived sexual assault, usually multiple incidents, as has the only gay male patient, Duncan.

There are also two straight male patients in the group, neither of whom have reported any sexual abuse.

In this weekend's episode, one of those two straight male patients, James, told one of the female patients, Jennifer, that he wanted to "rape the shit out of [her]." As the incident is discussed in group therapy, it's explained that it wasn't a threat, but an intended compliment. James explains he just wanted to "bring joy" to Jennifer.

Jennifer explains to him that he did not bring her joy, but caused her to feel anxious and scared for the entire day; she was shaking and couldn't eat. Some of the other women back her up by explaining, in no uncertain terms, that there's nothing "joyful" about rape. Later, in his room, James can do nothing but complain that he was being ganged up on, still mystified that saying he wanted to "rape the shit out of" Jennifer didn't bring her "joy."

That a young, privileged man who's never been sexually assaulted thinks rape is a compliment and is better at self-pity than empathy when called on his casual cruelty is hardly remarkable. What I did find remarkable, however (and not in a good way), was the reaction of the therapists during the group session.

Obviously, the scene is edited, so we can't know everything that has been said, but, given Duncan's reaction to (what seems to be) their lackadaisical response, it seems rather likely the response was just as insufficient as it appeared on the show:

Jennifer Ketcham (aka Penny Flame), Adult Entertainer: [choking back tears] I haven't allowed myself to feel anything in a long time, [deep breath] and the second that you said "rape," my head started turning, [deep breath] and it really fucked me up.

Jill Vermeire, Therapist: Mm-hmm.

Jennifer: If somebody tells you that they want to rape the shit out of you, it is crossing the line.

[James shakes his head. James is, btw, James Lovett, a professional surfer.]

Jill: I wanna say the reason you couldn't sit with it, and you were shaking, and you feel the way you feel, is because you really do wanna be better. [Jennifer is heard crying.] You really are here to get some help. You know, you wouldn't be feeling this way if you weren't ready. [Jennifer and Duncan dab at their eyes.] And I wanna say to James, too, and to everybody, you can't cross a boundary if one hasn't been set. So, you're setting the boundary, and you get to maintain it, and you get to now honor it, you know, so you have—it's our job to set our boundaries and hold our boundaries. There is none unless you have one.

Dr. Drew Pinsky, Internist and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Keck USC School of Medicine: Duncan, you had a pretty powerful reaction to this thing—

Duncan Roy, Producer/Director: Well, I suppose I find it really hard to just, like, [makes sweeping gesture with hands]—well, that's that. And I think, you know, words do have a huge amount of power, "rape" being one of them, and especially with vulnerable girls, who are trying their damnedest to help themselves. And, you know, every single one of the women in here has, at some point—including myself—been in a situation where we've been at the mercy of men. And, as children, when we couldn't do anything about it. And for me, it's just like, it's all too easy to just brush it under the carpet. I'm sorry, but there you go. That's my feeling.

[The women nod in agreement; Duncan takes a deep breath.]

Dr. Drew: You're angry.

Duncan: I don't know. I care about her [gestures at Jennifer, who's sitting beside him] obviously, and it's that I don't want anything bad to happen to her, and I don't want to hear that somebody's said those things to her. You know, anybody. I can't bear it. [He shifts angrily in his seat and sighs emotionally.]

Jennifer: [her voice a squeak] Thank you, Duncan.

Duncan: Because she doesn't fucking deserve it, that's why.

Dr. Drew: None of you deserve the stuff that's happened—

[Nicole Narain gets up to give Jennifer a hug. Jennifer sobs gratefully.]
What irked the fuck out of me was Jill's assertion that "you can't cross a boundary if one hasn't been set" with regard to what James said to Jennifer—as if what he said wasn't a problem because Jennifer had never specifically said to him, "Please don't say you want to rape the shit out of me." As if Jennifer, who has already told the group that she is a survivor of multiple sexual assaults had the responsibility to communicate to James that she doesn't consider rape a compliment, rather than James having any responsibility for acknowledging the gravity of rape, even as he participates in a group including multiple survivors. As if there's some context in which saying he wants to "rape the shit out of" someone could be appropriate.

What makes the therapist's response even worse is that James is there as a sex addict himself. That he considers rape a compliment (no less a way of "bringing joy" to women) should be a huge red flag to the therapist that his respect, or lack of respect, for consent need to be explored. But instead of taking the opportunity to discuss consent with him at all, instead she effectively frames boundaries around rape jokes and threats as implicit consent unless someone tells you otherwise.

That's exactly the way opportunistic rapists view women—in a constant state of affirmative consent. Only someone who explicitly says "no" is off-limits (which is why incapacitated women are "fair game").

It's positively shocking to me that a therapist dealing with sex addicts would allow a teachable moment like that to pass, no less treat issues surrounding rape—even rape jokes and threats—as "our job to set our boundaries and hold our boundaries." That's certainly an important discussion for sex addicts (or any sexually active person) as regards involvement in consensual sexual activity, but in terms of sexual assault, it's precisely the wrong message.

Which is why Duncan jumped in to angrily protest that he could not accept how the situation was being handled, to explain why it's anathema to survivors to point out that the language of rape is a victimization all its own.

But why did it take one of the survivors in the group to reject the casual assertion that rape jokes and threats are fine until someone "sets a boundary" that they're not? I expect the promulgation of the rape culture in lots of spaces and from lots of people, but from a therapist whose expertise is sex addiction is not one of them. I've rarely seen such an egregious violation of a safe space—a sex addiction group therapy session in which a survivor was triggered by rape language, and the offender not only allowed to remain in the group after showing no remorse, but accommodated with an admonishment to the survivor to set firm boundaries.

This incident carries over into the next episode, and I'm very curious—and fearful—to see what happens next.

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Blogginz Semi-Daily Dumpus

So this is pretty much the cutest thing you'll see all day:

[Transcript/paraphrase by Liss below.]
A teensy wee kitten lies on its back. Adult hands tickle its belly, while a voice says: "Kitchy kitchy kitchy kitchy KIT!" On the last note of the nonsense sounds, the adult pulls hir hands back and makes jazz-hands, which are mimicked by the kitten. Rinse. Repeat. Totally adorable.

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Anti-Gay Legislation in Uganda Sponsored by "The Family"

Last Wednesday, CaitieCat posted about what is perhaps the most heinous anti-gay legislation I've ever seen:

Under current Ugandan law, homosexuality is a crime punishable by life in prison. The proposed law would not just condemn HIV positive gay men and "repeat offenders" to death, it would also jail for three years anyone who knows a gay man but refuses to report them to authorities. Further, anyone who defends in public the rights of gays and lesbians would be subjected to a seven year prison term.
Shaker Linkmeister mentioned in comments that Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power—a recent book on the secretive fundamentalist organization of which many Congresspeople are members and which has been associated with a number of recent Congressional sex scandals (see more here, here, and here)—had been on NPR's "Fresh Air" and reported that the legislation was sponsored by a member of The Family.
"[The] legislator that introduced the bill, a guy named David Bahati, is a member of The Family," he said. "He appears to be a core member of The Family. He works, he organizes their Ugandan National Prayer Breakfast and oversees a African sort of student leadership program designed to create future leaders for Africa, into which The Family has poured millions of dollars working through a very convoluted chain of linkages passing the money over to Uganda."

And how did Sharlet discover the connection? "You follow [the] money," he said. You look at their archives. You do interviews where you can. It's not so invisible anymore. So that's how working with some research colleagues we discovered that David Bahati, the man behind this legislation, is really deeply, deeply involved in The Family's work in Uganda, that the ethics minister of Uganda, Museveni's kind of right-hand man, a guy named Nsaba Buturo, is also helping to organize The Family's National Prayer Breakfast. And here's a guy who has been the main force for this Anti-Homosexuality Act in Uganda's executive office and has been very vocal about what he's doing, in a rather extreme and hateful way. But these guys are not so much under the influence of The Family. They are, in Uganda, The Family."
You know, one of the things that strikes me about "The Family" is that they're the very thing conservative Christians have always accuse Jews of being—some shadowy religious organization that tries to control governments in other countries. It's just like how that same flavor of Christian schemes to convert children by rewarding kids who bring friends to church and targeting the youth market with Christian wrestling and Christian rock concerts and Christian extreme sporting events, but they incessantly accuse gays and feminists of child recruitment. Projection, projection, projection. When you want to find out what they're doing, just consider what they're accusing us of doing.

[H/T to Shaker David.]

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Radio Shakesville

Episode 13: Saudade

Here is a link to the podcast blog.

And this is the list of all songs used in this week's ep.

You can also play the show in a pop-up.
(Which is the recommended way to read Shakesville, by the by.)

The show is available via iTunes, and on Feedburner. The RSS is here, for those who are into that kind of thing.

Saudade is a Portuguese word that is not translatable into English but means "a vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist."

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I'm Shocked, Shocked, I Tell You

Actual Headline in the Washington Post: Palin particularly popular among fans of Limbaugh and Beck.

And here's an interesting side note:

Those who identify as Republicans today see themselves as more conservative politically than those who said so during the last years of the presidency of George W. Bush.
If the Republican Party gets any more conservative, they'll need to reanimate the corpse of Mussolini to lead the ticket in 2012.

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What the Hell?

Shaker Phyllis.

Going all The Price Is Right with her Xmas loot.

(If you've a ridiculous and/or embarrassing photo of yourself from your youth, please send it to shakerwhatthehell_at_yahoo_dot_com. I'll post them up as part of our series called What The Hell? so everyone can laugh at with you.)

[See also: Deeky, Liss, evilsciencechick, katecontinued, ClumsyKisses, Mistress Sparkletoes, Liiiz, Reedme, Mama Shakes, Mustang Bobby, RedSonja, MomTFH, Portly Dyke, SteffaB, Icca, Christina, Orangelion03, Car, Siobhan, InfamousQBert, Maud, Rikibeth, MishaRN, CLD, Cheezwiz, MamaCarrie, Temeraire, somebodyoranother, goldengirl, Liss (again), summerwing, yeomanpip, Susan811, bbl, Deeky (Part II), A Daily Shakesville Fan, Sami_J, liberalandproud, Temeraire: Redux, Mama Shakes II, Bonus Deeky, OuyangDan, J.Goff, Iain, Talonas, The Great Indoors, gogo, kiwi_a, em_and_ink, Tik_bev, phdintraining, Deeky Freakhands, busydani, Jenny Anne, rowmyboat, DesertRose, Steve/Pido, Anne Onymous, phredrika, The Last of the Famous International Deekys, Iain, Another Mustang Bobby, mkp-hearts-nyc, Arvan, Norbizness, Electrasteph, SteffaB, molliecat, Aestas, catvoncat, Filthy Grandeur, Shelly, Mighty Doll, IraeNicole, sevenhelz, the Shaker Halloween Special, Mistress Sparkletoes, Neilleast, NapalmNacey, Rowan_Bristol, and ChelseaWantsOut.]

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Open Thread

Hosted by Sigue Sigue Sputnik.

Sigue Sigue Sputnik

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

Tic Tac Dough

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How to Teaspoon

This is one way.

Gist: a heterosexual couple in the UK are challenging the law that restricts marriage to heterosexual couples, saying they don't want to marry while the law is restricted in this way.

This, to me, is the best way to respond to privilege: be willing to use it to end itself.

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Open Thread

Hosted by a fucking squirrel, played by Eddie Izzard.

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Open Thread

Hosted by Lachlan

laughing at his silly face making

Inviting you to make goofy faces and then laugh about how totes funny you can be.

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The Virtual Pub Is Open

TFIF, Shakers!

Belly up to the bar,
and name your poison!

I'm thankful for
you, Shakers.

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Daily Kitteh

Liss: Hey, Sophs!

Sophs: What?

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More Charming Behavior from the Catholic Church

[Trigger warning.]

I honestly cannot understand how the Catholic Church can continue to be regarded as a moral authority on anything by anybody after decades of revelations that they prioritized their reputation over thousands of children (and adults) being sexually assaulted by their priests, the latest being that they colluded with police in Ireland to cover up the crimes.

The cover-ups spanned the tenures of four Dublin archbishops and continued through to the mid-1990s and beyond, even after the church was beginning to admit to its failings and had professed that it was confronting abuse by its priests.

But rather than helping the victims, the church was concerned only with "the maintenance of secrecy, the avoidance of scandal, the protection of the reputation of the church, and the preservation of its assets," said the 700-page report, prepared by a group appointed by the Irish government and called the Commission of Investigation Into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin.

In a statement, the current archbishop, Diarmuid Martin, acknowledged the "revolting story" of abuses that the report detailed, saying, "No words of apology will ever be sufficient."
Not for nothing, but any "words of apology" are not only insufficient, but are effectively meaningless as long as the Holy See is still trying to redirect blame onto gay men.

I don't guess I need to point out that colluding with police to cover up sexual assaults not only denied justice to existent survivors, but ensured that even more survivors would be created. Forget sinful—this shit is immoral, unethical, and criminal.

But don't listen to me. I'm just an anti-Catholic, vulgar, trash-talking bigot. And everyone knows it's far worse to publicly object to the institutionalized protection of rapists and continual revictimization of their victims than it is to do such heinous things in the first place.

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LOL! No.

New group tries to convince Cheney to run in 2012:

A new group wants former Vice President Dick Cheney back in the White House.

The organization - "Draft Dick Cheney 2012" - launched on Friday, and unveiled their new Web site. Their aim: To convince the former vice president to seek the Republican presidential nomination in the next race for the White House.

"The 2012 race for the Republican nomination for President will be about much more then who will be the party's standard bearer against Barack Obama, the race is about the heart and soul of the GOP," said Christopher Barron, one of the organizers of the Draft Cheney movement. "There is only one person in our party with the experience, political courage and unwavering commitment to the values that made our party strong – and that person is Dick Cheney."
This has to be a joke.

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Awesome. Totally Awesome.

[Transcript below.]
[Onscreen is an image of a Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends parade float with a house and a bunch of kids and puppets.]

Announcer: What happens to the invisible friends little kids invent after they don't need them anymore? Well, thanks to Cartoon Network, they wind up in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. Here's where you'll find a distorted but not disheartened Blue and his friends. Foster puppets are ready for their close-up, thanks to Cartoon Network and host tonight's movie, Destination: Imagination. The Foster pals sing "You're My Best Friend"—but watch carefully! We hear there is a special musical surprise.

Puppets: [singing] Ba, ba ba, ba ba, ba, ba ba, ba, ba ba, ba, ba ba ba ba ba ba! People let me tell you 'bout my best friend! / He's a warm-hearted person who loves me 'til the end! / People let me tell you that he's so much fun! / He—

[sound of record scratching; music stops; camera pans down to reveal Rick Astley emerging from the house as "Never Gonna Give You Up" begins to play]

Rick Astley: Sings "Never Gonna Give You Up," [lyrics] effectively Rickrolling the entire Macy's Day Parade. Takes a bow.

Announcer: That was Rick Astley, singing the Rickrolling phenom, "Never Gonna Give You Up."

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Friday Blogaround

This blogaround brought to you by Shaxco, publishers of Deeky's "1001 Uses for Leftover Gravy."

Recommended Reading:

Zohra: It's 16 Days - Get Active

Audacia: Take Back the Tech to End Gender Based Violence

Tami: When Allies Fail - Pt. 2

Fannie: Anger and Non-Duality

Steve: A New Way of Doing Business

Andy: ABC Books Chris Brown After Dumping Adam Lambert

Leave your links in comments...

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From the Mailbag

Items that are potentially triggering are prefaced with [TW].

[TW] Shaker Silvas sends this amazing collection of photographs of Pakistani women who have been attacked by acid. They are pictures of some of the bravest women on the planet, which is not hyperbole; the strength of these survivors is truly awe-inspiring. Nick Kristof: "Here in Pakistan, I've been investigating such acid attacks, which are commonly used to terrorize and subjugate women and girls in a swath of Asia from Afghanistan through Cambodia (men are almost never attacked with acid). Because women usually don't matter in this part of the world, their attackers are rarely prosecuted and acid sales are usually not controlled. It's a kind of terrorism that becomes accepted as part of the background noise in the region." (I would like to note that I'm both horrified and angry that the attackers are routinely referred to as "boys" in the photo essay.)

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Shaker BrianG emails a heads-up that the Stonewall Family was chosen as WoW's Guild of the Month: "The Stonewall Family, originally started as a single guild – La Familia de Stonewall. It was founded in late 2007 by a handful of friends who had tried other gay/lesbian/bi/transgender and LGBT-friendly raiding guilds... but always felt they were somewhat lost in the shuffle, and never really felt a sense of 'family'. They wanted to start a guild where the social aspects of play and friendships were the most important factor, and where they would be able to avoid any anti-lgbt harassment. From that small group of friends, we have grown to a 'meta-guild' of over 700 members across 5 sub-guilds today."

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[TW] Shaker Kelly forwards two articles from The Guardian: "The first is about the new classes being introduced to schools from ages 5 to 15 discouraging violence, particularly against women. The second is a report from Sara Payne into the treatment of rape victims." The second article, "Police ignore rape allegations if victim has been drinking," is particularly of interest given that Britain has one of the lowest rape conviction rates in the industrialized world and engages in huge amounts of public victim-blaming especially surrounding (female) drinking.

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[TW] Shaker TBJ emails two articles about a murder trial in Oahu in which the victim was a trans woman. Both of them are problematic: This one starts out well, but ends on a positively disastrous note, allowing the murderer's defense attorney to refer to the victim as "him." But it's nowhere near as bad as this one, in which one of the prosecutors is quoted as saying, "It was a tough case in the sense that it involved a more sympathetic defendant than perhaps the victim was," effectively communicating that being a murderer is an improvement on being trans.

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Shaker kat_st sends more fuckery from the Animal Rights Group That Shall Not Be Named: "I saw this pic in the free newspaper distributed on Melbourne's train network, MX, today."

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[TW] Shaker ASDKids2 emails: "A woman was charged with a hate crime for her actions against another woman in a grocery store. The hater passed a Palestinian-American woman in hijab in an aisle, complaining loudly about how Nidal Hasan was, 'from the middle east.' She then followed her victim to the checkout and tried to rip the hijab from her victim's head. It wouldn't budge, causing her entire head to be yanked back. The victim followed the attacker out and presumably got her license plate number, because the cops arrested her shortly thereafter. Tinley Park, where this took place, is a heavily Muslim area (heavily for America, that is), and the cops took it quite seriously. I say hooray for the victim, who had the presence of mind to get the license plate number. My only complaint is to wonder why the attacker was not also charged with assault for the verbal attack and battery for the physical attack."

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Shaker Kathy sends this video of Glenn Beck ruling out a Palin/Beck 2012 presidential ticket:

Beck: First of all, let me rule that out. Uhh, Palin/Beck? Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.

Unidentified Guy: She's far too smart for that.

Beck: No, I was just thinking, what—I'm going to take backseat to a chick?! [laughter; crosstalk] I mean, while you're at it shoot a bear! Make some stew! I'm hungry in here! [laughter]

Unidentified Guy: That's so great.
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Shaker Meg forwards this gobsmacking example of the type of horrendous advice being doled out in advice columns:
Dear Amy: My girlfriend wants to "talk" again. She is currently experiencing her monthly cycle. Can I ask her to wait until this is over? She usually gets a bit worked up and later apologizes. I do not want to come across as inconsiderate. Based on past discussions, I'm sure she wants to talk about our future together. This is important but shouldn't it be done when she is a little more balanced? If you agree, can you offer a caring way to frame this statement of concern to talk at a later time? -- Matt

Dear Matt: You might think: "Let's have this conversation at a time when I don't think your head will spin around and fall off." What you should say is, "I want to talk to you, too, honey -- because this is important. But for now, why don't you enjoy these flowers? Oh, and by the way, have you lost weight?" In short, dodge. Dodge, deflect and duck, if necessary.
There's even more where that came from, like: "You should also talk about her hormonal issues. Many women, myself included, don't quite realize the patterns in our monthly moods until someone else lovingly points them out to us." Wow.

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[TW] Shaker Mark sends the link to this National Bureau of Economic Research working paper abstract (via The Sports Economist) on "Family Violence and Football: The Effect of Unexpected Emotional Cues on Violent Behavior." Writes Mark: "[The paper] is behind a pay wall, but the gist is 'Controlling for [a number of factors], we find that upset losses by the home [football] team (losses in games that the home team was predicted to win by more than 3 points) lead to an 8 percent increase in police reports of at-home male-on-female intimate partner violence.' The effect seems to increase if the loss is 'frustrating' or 'salient' (no definitions in the abstract)."

Evidence of what people involved in domestic abuse issues know intuitively and anecdotally: Men who abuse generally do so out of a need for control; men who abuse are not people who know how to express their emotions in a healthy way, so they are also more likely to engage in the Patriarchy-approved habit of limiting their expression of emotion to an association with sports; men who become deeply emotionally invested in a football team then feel out of control when their team loses; they are then more likely to abuse in an attempt to regain feelings of control.

File Under: Why feminism (which doesn't demean men for showing their human emotions in a healthy way) is good for everyone.

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The NQDTR: A Decision

Alright, Shakers large and small, here's the way I think we should run it.

Whenever I post a NQDTR, it will remain tightly-focused: teaspoons only. So anyone looking to just mainline on teaspoons, you're good to go.

However, I shall also post a NQDTR Discussion Thread, in which discussion of the teaspooning can happen. I'll post guidelines for that when I post the Discussion Thread. This will be where you can admire one another's teaspoon technique, gently offer constructive criticism, or just be encouraging, or whatever makes the discussants happy.

I'd thought, as suggested, that we might try a single Discussion Thread a week, but it occurred to me they could be fairly high-traffic, and it might be better to have one per NQDTR, to save on the load times when we get to the third NQDTR of the week. For now, then, we'll go with a Discussion thread alongside each NQDTR.

If anyone's got opinions on this decision, this is the post to register those opinions in. Let's all try to be nice to one another the way I know we can. :)

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Today's Edition of "Conniving and Sinister"


Strips One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76. In which Liss reimagines the long-running comic "Frank & Ernest," about two old straight white guys "telling it like it is," as a fat feminist white woman and a biracial queerbait telling it like it actually is from their perspectives. Hilarity ensues.

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Stay Classy, CBSA!

My friend Jessie of Gender Euphoria pointed this one out to me: USan journalist detained at border, grilled over intended reportage.

Let me spell this out in nice small words for you, CBSA.

This nice lady is a "reporter". They have note pads, and pencils, and their cars go vroom vroom vroom. "Reporters" are people who write stories, stories about real things that happen, not like your most very favouritest stories about Clifford the big red dog.

In this country, we have a silly little thing called the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It's full of all kinds of big silly words and phrases, and some of them are very confusing, I know. Let's look at one of those phrases, shall we? Maybe some of them could be, you know, "relevant" to this reporter-lady, what do you say?

Here's a neat one. Say it with me now, "Freedom of the press". It's right here, under Section 2, with some very big words, like "fundamental" and "freedom".

Fundamental freedoms

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
So, I have to say, CBSA, I'm not sure I understand: Which section of that big ol' Charter of Rights and Freedoms says it's a good idea to detain people who are the press, given the whole "freedom of the press" thing they mention? And even if you think she isn't a good enough reporter to have your respect for her fundamental freedoms, I'm pretty sure that she counts as part of that "everybody" above.

Of course, silly me, I had this weird idea that a reporter was part of the press, and therefore protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Guess that was back in the days before the War on Terror (ooh, big scary words, let's throw away our rights so we can make the big scary words go away!).

Dear CBSA, could you please make a fix of this? Because just between us Canucks, you're really embarrassing me in front of ymay Mericanway riendsfay.

Thanks ever so,

Your snarky fellow Canuckian comrade,

CaitieCat the Aging Commie Dyke

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What the...?!

How in name of Allen Funt did this happen?

The Secret Service is investigating how a couple aspiring to be reality-show celebrities managed to appear at President Obama's first state dinner without being on the guest list, provoking questions about security at the White House.

The inquiry was begun after a Virginia couple, Michaele and Tareq Salahi, slipped past multiple layers of high-level White House security Tuesday night and managed to rub shoulders, literally, with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and the White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, among others, at Washington's most exclusive social event this year.
Within hours of the event, the Salahis had posted images of the event on Facebook, where they were pictured posing with Vice President Joe Biden and "Ron" Emanuel.

[H/T to Mama Shakes.]

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Open Thread

Hosted by a less nutritious breakfast. And Hanson.

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

Third Rock from the Sun

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Question of the Day

For what and/or whom are you thankful?

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Daily Kitteh and Puppeh

Cake Thieves Edition

The kids' kitten, Oron, not thirty minutes after hosing down an entire room of my parents' house with projectile coconut frosting vomit. Yeah, those cupcakes were for the kids, counter-jumper!

Dougie, AKA Sir Doug, who purloined an entire slice of Starbucks lemon pound cake from the coffee table while my father strained his tea.

Holiday Bonus photos below the fold:

Sir Doug-- Poet, Philosopher King, and Cake Thief Extraordinaire. Photo by The_Lady_Eve.

"Hand over the cupcakes, two-legs!"

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Today's Edition of "Conniving and Sinister"


Strips One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75. In which Liss reimagines the long-running comic "Frank & Ernest," about two old straight white guys "telling it like it is," as a fat feminist white woman and a biracial queerbait telling it like it actually is from their perspectives. Hilarity ensues.

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What Are We Really Giving Thanks For?

[This piece originally ran last year, but Renee has graciously permitted me to repost it again this year.—Liss]

by Shaker Renee, of Womanist Musings

Today families are going to gather across the nation to share a meal. (At least those who can afford to participate.) They will brave long lines, security at the airports, and lots of traffic to ensure that they are able to re-enact the national fable that we have come to understand as Thanksgiving Day. As the mashed potatoes and turkey are doled out, a few will stop to consider their bounty. Other than the 4th of July, could there be another day that is filled with more tradition, and pure Americana?

Hours of labour will have gone into preparing the feast. The stress of the travel will be forgotten as people begin to gorge themselves. It will be a day that will reach its climax when finally every stomach is filled beyond tolerance, and each face holds a smile. Satiated and relaxed, the family will retire to their respective couches to reflect upon a good time had by all.

Yes, it seems like a wonderful day of light hearted mirth and family bonding, until we begin to speak about the unmentionable; the suffering of the Indigenous community. The national myth includes happy compliant Native Americans, with no mention of the near genocide that occurred that makes them nearly invisible to this day in the social hierarchy.

We are further meant to believe that the pilgrims as people of God, held no prejudice, or ambition in their hearts. We are continually reminded of their persecution, as though that absolves them of the pleasure that they took in the near destruction of Native peoples. Only the truly God-fearing and tolerant kind, find happiness in small pox decimating a population.

John Winthrop, Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, called the plague "miraculous." To a friend in England in 1634, he wrote:

"But for the natives in these parts, God hath so pursued them, as for 300 miles space the greatest part of them are swept away by the small pox which still continues among them. So as God hath thereby cleared our title to this place, those who remain in these parts, being in all not fifty, have put themselves under our protect."
This is not the only declaration that Winthrop would make. The thanksgiving that we partake in today is nothing more than the re-enactment of a celebration over the murder of over 700 Pequot people.
'Thanksgiving' did not begin as a great loving relationship between the pilgrims and the Wampanoag, Pequot and Narragansett people. In fact, in October of 1621 when the 'pilgrim' survivors of their first winter in Turtle Island sat down to share the first unofficial 'Thanksgiving' meal, the Indians who were there were not even invited! There was no turkey, squash, cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie. A few days before this alleged feast took place, a company of 'pilgrims' led by Miles Standish actively sought the head of a local Indian leader, and an 11 foot high wall was erected around the entire Plymouth settlement for the very purpose of keeping Indians out! Officially, the holiday we know as 'Thanksgiving' actually came into existence in the year 1637. Governor Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony proclaimed this first official day of Thanksgiving and feasting to celebrate the return of the colony's men who had arrived safely from what is now Mystic, Connecticut. They had gone there to participate in the massacre of over 700 Pequot men, women and children, and Mr. Winthrop decided to dedicate an official day of thanksgiving complete with a feast to 'give thanks' for their great 'victory'....
The unspoken thanks for the near-genocide of a people is what we will all fail to reflect upon. In this way we are able to maintain a colonization that has gone on since Plymouth Rock landed on the Indigenous Peoples.

The lie is maintained from generation to generation. We use children's cartoons to inform the young that they are entitled to this privilege born of bloodshed. Schools use thanksgiving pageants, where the children are dressed as Pilgrims and Indians to re-enforce the national myth.

Though the Indigenous community has complained, time and time again about the obvious appropriation of culture, many refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of the offense. They hold tightly to the idea that they have the right to their traditions. (Warning: Comment section is extremely offensive.)

In the name of tradition the colonization, exploitation, and marginalization continues. One would believe that after the breaking of over 350 treaties, the trail of tears, and the slaughter of untold millions, that we could socially decide that a tradition that is based in this is worth changing.

It is the denial of racial privilege to believe that one group has the right to so forcefully express their power in this manner. Though the Indigenous community represents the vanquished historically speaking, they are still a vibrant part of our society. The annual celebration of such cruelty is macabre to say the least.

If we must have a day when we gather together, it should not be in the celebration of a near genocide. There is nothing that evokes warmth and love about an earth that is filled with the blood of so many innocent people.

Today as the turkey and the ham are passed around, perhaps instead of the laughter and camaraderie, a moment of silence could be devoted to the cultures that have been forcibly destroyed, the languages lost, and the untold suffering of millions. The Indigenous Peoples of the Americas deserve at least that. If we can pause on Remembrance Day for a war that lasted four years; perhaps we can take a moments pause for a colonization that has lasted centuries.

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