[Content Note: Minor injury/pain.]
When you hurt yourself or get hurt in a way commensurate, say, with stubbing a toe, do you immediately yelp or do you get very, very quiet?
I go very quiet. Pain almost freezes me. And then when the freeze passes, I usually curse mightily, lol.
[Content Note: Minor injury/pain.]
[Click to embiggen.]
The Grand Canyon shot from Mather Point during a rare temperature inversion, in which fog was pushed down into and filled the entire canyon. Via PetaPixel, "a full inversion like the one that happen this last Friday takes place only about once every ten years." [NPS Photo by Erin Whittaker.]
[Content Note: Fat hatred; eating talk; misogyny.]
Microsoft's prototype of the stress-detecting emotional eating avoidance bra.
While I can see (sort of) the potential value of a bra measures "heart and skin activity," naturally there's no better purpose than alerting women when they might start stress-eating!
The prototype contains removable sensors that monitor heart and skin activity to provide an indication of mood levels.ALERT! ALERT! YOU ARE STRESSED! DO NOT PUT FOOD IN YOUR FACE! A MOMENT ON THE LIPS A LIFETIME ON THE HIPS! ALERT! ALERT!
The aim was to find out if wearable technology could help prevent stress-related over-eating.
Mood data was provided to the wearer via a smartphone app in order to highlight when "emotional eating" was likely to occur.
Personally, I'm not a stress-eater. (Because I'm a stress-smoker. Whoops!) (That's half a joke.) (I tend to lose my appetite when I'm stressed.) But if I were a stress-eater, I can only imagine how thrilled I'd be to have my phone gleep-glorping at me about THE FATZ when I'm already feeling anxious.
[Content Note: War on agency.]
"Why did they start with abortion clinics? Because it begins with the letter 'A'?"—7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner, sarcastically questioning Daniel Lennington, Wisconsin's assistant attorney general, "about why lawmakers singled out abortion clinics in requiring their doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals."
At times appearing exasperated, Posner repeatedly interrupted Lennington, asking why lawmakers — if it's true they saw the law as primarily a public health measure and not an anti-abortion bill — focused on abortion clinics and not other outpatient clinics, such as those performing laparoscopic surgeries.Amazing.
"Why did they start with abortion clinics? Because it begins with the letter 'A'?" Posner asked.
Lennington answered, "I don't have a conjecture (about why)." Later, in response to similar questions, Lennington said it was the prerogative of legislators to act as they did.
Posner also cited figures that just .3 percent of abortions have medical complications. Asked if there were records of women dying in Wisconsin after abortions, Lennington said he didn't know.
At that point, Posner said about the law, "It doesn't sound reasonable. It sounds irrational."
Earlier today, President Obama gave a speech on economic equality in the US. Below, video of the address. If the video doesn't jump automatically to the right place in the video, scroll ahead to 40:33.
A full transcript of the President's address is available here. An excerpt:
Just to give you a few statistics: Since 1979, when I graduated from high school, our productivity is up by more than 90 percent, but the income of the typical family has increased by less than 8 percent. Since 1979 our economy has more than doubled in size, but most of the growth has flowed to a fortunate few. The top 10 percent no longer takes in one-third of our income; it now takes half. Whereas in the past, the average CEO made about 20 to 30 times the income of the average worker, today's CEO now makes 273 times more.Well, we should be, anyway.
And meanwhile, a family in the top 1 percent has a net worth 288 times higher than the typical family, which is a record for this country.
So the basic bargain at the heart of our economy has frayed...and it challenges the very essence of who we are as a people.
...You know, the idea that so many children are born into poverty in the wealthiest nation on Earth is heartbreaking enough. But the idea that a child may never be able to escape that poverty because she lacks a decent education or health care or a community that views her future as their own -- that should offend all of us. And it should compel us to action. We are a better country than this.
Dudley thinks Olivia makes a pretty good pillow. And she is happy to oblige.
As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.
This blogaround brought to you by a working internet connection. Literally!
Ian and Tara: [Content Note: War on agency; class warfare] The Greatest Trick the Supreme Court Ever Pulled Was Convincing the World Roe v. Wade Still Exists
Flavia: [CN: War on agency; violence; racism; colonialism] An Update on the Italian Woman Who Was Forced to Give Birth
Julianne: [CN: Racism; class warfare] Activists Say No to Another 'School Desert' in Chicago
ErbanLady: [CN: Violence; racism] Coming From Where I'm From
Stephanie: [CN: Racism; colorism] Coming Out as Biracial
Sarah: [CN: War on agency] Young Activists Challenge European Governments to Stand Up for Sexual Rights
Andy: [CN: Homophpbia] Croatian Government to Pursue Civil Unions for Gay Couples after People Ban Same-Sex Marriage
Leave your links and recommendations in comments...
Sheena Easton: "Strut"
I recently mentioned that I started binge-watching The Good Wife, and I've finally caught up, and I still love it. Which is not to suggest it's flawless, or that it's above criticism. It's just to say that I find it very enjoyable for a lot of reasons.
In today's Guardian, Bim Adewunmi makes the case for The Good Wife being one of the best dramas on TV right now, and wonders why it is that the show is not considered "one of the greats."
She makes some terrific points, especially about network television in the US not having the cachet of cable channels like AMC and HBO. But it may just be this observation that most pointedly explains why it is that The Good Wife doesn't get the buzz that shows like Breaking Bad do: "It has no smoking, brooding male anti-hero."
Instead, it has a heroine who is a progressive, a feminist, and an atheist; who does not routinely find herself physically imperiled; whose most compelling relationship is her difficult friendship with another woman.
Here is some stuff in the news today!
Another big winter storm is making its way across the US: "An enormous, brutal mass of arctic air is shoving south over most of the United States—threatening 32 million people for the rest of the week with snow, ice, wind and extraordinary drops in the temperature. ... 'This cold air is going to overtake just about the entire country,' said Carl Parker, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel."
[Content Note: Christian Supremacy] Terrific: Notre Dame, a Catholic university in Indiana, has "filed another lawsuit opposing portions of the federal health care overhaul that forces it to provide health insurance for students and employees that includes birth control, saying it contravenes the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church."
This quote from a ProPublica article about GOP strategist Karl Rove's Americans for Tax Reform's tax problems is amazing: "[A]fter consulting with tax experts, ProPublica determined Americans for Tax Reform couldn't have used resources from 2011 for the political spending. 'That's called bullshit with a serving of horseshit on the side,' [Marcus Owens, the former head of the IRS' Exempt Organizations division] said." Awesome. Totally awesome.
The GOP is fixing to try to impeach President Obama. Yawn. But they're resisting using "the i-word." Double yawn.
This is hopeful: "A majority of Americans believe the US plays a less important and powerful role in the world than it did 10 years ago, according to a long-running study that found that most people now believe America should 'mind its own business internationally.' It is the first time the survey of US foreign policy attitudes has recorded such a sentiment in almost four decades of polling."
[CN: Class warfare] A Dozen Facts about America's Struggling Lower-Middle Class, care of the Hamilton Project.
Cecilia Abadie, one of the "explorers" who received a tester Google Glass, "pleaded not guilty Tuesday to what is believed to be the first traffic citation" resulting from use of the device. The citation is "usually given to people driving while a video or TV screen is on in the front of their vehicle."
House of Cards returns to Netflix on Valentine's Day!
Townhall.com is a cesspool of conservative nightmares saying terrible things, and this essay by John Hawkins, "Why Liberalism Is on the Wrong Side of History," is an A+ exemplar of the quality thinking that goes on over there.
Liberals dream of one day seeing all Americans permanently locked in the smothering, cradle-to-grave death grip of the nanny state. Nothing excites a liberal more than the idea of controlling where you go to school, regulating your work and play, deciding what type of health care you're going to have and then deciding when you get to retire and how much money you have when you do. Even if you want to choose, you can't. Even if you want to break free, you're stuck. You're not allowed to make different choices because liberals have made it illegal.Liberals have made it illegal to send your children to a private school, to keep your healthcare coverage, and to invest your money in private savings accounts. TRUE FACTS! I mean, sure, there are still private schools filled with children, and, sure, for-profit insurance companies have a lot to do with who gets to keep their plans and how much they cost, and, sure, nothing is stopping anyone from investing their money in private retirement accounts in addition to contributing to the social safety net for future generations, but LIBERALS HAVE MADE EVERYTHING ILLEGAL! Because we like nothing more than DENYING PEOPLE CHOICES.
What if you're pro-choice on spending your tax dollars on a private school instead of a public school? What if you'd prefer to keep your current health care plan instead of a much more expensive new plan that provides coverage you don't need? What if you'd rather invest your own Social Security money instead of giving it to the government? Sorry, but you don't get a choice.
The problem with that is not so much liberals living how they want to live; it's that liberals want to force everyone else to live how they want to live. They don't like guns; so no one should have guns. They like gay marriage; so everyone must be forced to like gay marriage. They like PBS; so everyone should be forced to pay for PBS.LOL FOREVER. See, the thing about liberal policy is that it allows for a spectrum of individual choices. The pro-choice position does not force anyone to get an abortion who does not want one; the anti-choice position, however, prevents women who want abortions from getting them. The pro-same sex marriage position does not force anyone to marry a person of the same sex, nor require that any churches perform same-sex marriage ceremonies; the anti-marriage equality position, however, prevents same-sex couples who want to get married from doing so and prevents churches who want to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies from doing so. Et cetera ad infinitum.
It is the height of mendacious absurdity to claim that it is liberals, not conservatives, who want to "force everyone else to live like how they want to live." As evidenced by Hawkins' weak and specious argument that, because liberals support marriage equality, "everyone must be forced to like gay marriage." Nope—it doesn't matter if someone likes same-sex marriage, as long as they respect the law that gives access to people who do like it and do need it.
If Justin Bieber is at the top of the pop charts, should EVERYONE be forced to listen to Justin Bieber? If Duck Dynasty is popular, should EVERYONE be forced to watch Duck Dynasty? If the two most popular foods in America turn out to be hotdogs and chocolate ice cream, should EVERYONE have to eat those two foods at every meal? We laugh at this sort of thinking in the marketplace, but that's exactly the philosophy liberals have with government.Conservative projection—we meet again! This is not a metaphor for legalizing a spectrum of options, so people can make choices based on their own individual needs. It is a metaphor for restricting choice based on a specific preference or belief—like, for example, every single fucking lawfully encoded prejudice justified exclusively on a singular, specific religious doctrine.
Liberals like expensive health care plans that pay for birth control and maternity care; so EVERYONE has to have those plans or be taxed. Liberals love abortion; so they believe EVERY STATE must make abortion legal, even the ones that are pro-life. Liberals want to control how your children are educated; so they refuse to allow parents to choose whether they want to spend their tax dollars on public or private schools. Most people have hundreds of options on TV, on the Internet and in the grocery store; yet liberals want to use the federal government to take all of your choices away when it comes to guns, education, your retirement and your health care.The inherent problem with the conservative ideology of unfettered individualism is that it is intractably hostile toward and fatally incompatible with a functional society.
Conservatives want the benefits of a social contract—like, for example, the ample funding of a standing army (who are sometimes sent by conservative presidents, at no small expense, to fight in wars with which many liberals would rather not pay, as long as we're complaining about all the things for which tax dollars are used in contravention of the wishes of taxpayers)—but none of the responsibilities of a social contract.
They don't want to have to kick in to the pot to help those in need, to build infrastructure, to create culture. They petulantly complain about having to have a little less, marginally fewer choices, so that everyone can have a little more.
But this is the basic agreement of a functional society. If you're going to reap the rewards, you have to assume some of the responsibility.
A society of disconnected individuals without responsibility for one another isn't a society at all. And no matter how hostile to the notions of a social contract conservatives may be, the fact stubbornly remains that we are all connected to and influenced by a shared culture—a culture that is imperiled and made infinitely more dangerous for its oppressed members by a conservative approach that rejects human interdependency and shared accountability.
Liberals aren't asking conservatives to give up everything. They are asking conservatives to give something.
[Related Reading: Penny for Your Thoughtfulness; Wealth Gap.]
My internet is out; Cromcrast says it should be back by 10am, so hopefully I'll be back in blogging form soon.
As much as I love my phone, it's ahh ha ha not a great tool for longform writing. ;)
Suggested by Shaker masculine_lady: "Are there any words that you initially encountered in print, that when you did say them out loud you pronounced them incorrectly? Or is there a word that you consistently mispronounce, regardless of information to the contrary, but not on purpose or because of humorous mimicry?"
I always want to say rhe-TOR-ic instead of RHE-tor-ic.
This email, care of the campaign to reelect Republican Scott Walker, is a real thing in the world—a hilarious, terrible, amazing thing in the world:
Oh dear. I'm not sure you understand the true meaning of Christmas, Governor Walker and Friends. Luckily, Rick Santorum has made a movie that should help sort everything out for you.
Or perhaps this Glenn Beck literary masterpiece will do.
[H/T to Shaker RedSonja.]
In March of this year, HBO canceled Enlightened, which was a show I liked a whole lot, starring Laura Dern and helmed by Mike White. So I was pretty excited to read that Mike White was inking a new development deal with HBO. Except:
[Girls co-executive producer Murray Miller] will team with Enlightened's Mike White to develop Mr. Romance, a comedy project set up at the cabler.So, instead of giving White a little more time with Enlightened, a show with a terrific, award-nominated female lead, HBO cancels it, and instead hires White to work on a project about a dude competing to be a romance novel cover model.
Based on Joshuah Bearman's 2010 McSweeney's article The Only Muscle I Can't Control: In Search of the Next Romance Novel Cover Man, the nonfiction story recounts the 14th annual Mr. Romance Cover Model Competition and the quest to find the next Fabio.
...For White, Mr. Romance comes eight months after HBO canceled Enlightened, which he created, wrote and starred in. During its two-season run, the dramedy was nominated for two Emmys (for guest actress Molly Shannon and star Laura Dern) and earned Dern a Golden Globe. It was also nominated for best comedy or musical series at the Golden Globes.
Sounds about par for the course.
[Content Note: War on agency; loss of wanted pregnancy; medical malfeasance; Christian supremacy.]
If you haven't heard of the case of Tamesha Means v. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, here is some background care of the ACLU:
Tamesha was only 18 weeks pregnant when her water broke prematurely. She rushed to Mercy Health—the only hospital within half an hour of where she lived. The hospital did not tell her then that she had little chance of a successful pregnancy, that she was at risk if she tried to continue the pregnancy, and that the safest course of care in her case was to end it. The hospital simply sent her home.The outcome of this case is extremely important, because 1 in 6 US hospital patients are now treated by Catholic hospitals, as a result of healthcare monopolies the government does nothing to regulate, because fates forfend we interfere with the market.
She came back the next day, bleeding and in pain, and again was turned away. Again, she was not told of the risks of trying to continue the pregnancy, or what her treatment options were. Tamesha returned yet a third time—by now suffering a significant infection. The hospital was prepared to send her away once more, when she started to deliver.
Tamesha's baby died within hours of being born—at 18 weeks, it never had a chance.
How could something like this happen? Because Mercy Health is Catholic-sponsored, it is required to adhere to the "Ethical and Religious Directives," a set of rules created by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to govern the provision of medical care at Catholic-run hospitals. At hospitals like Mercy Health, the Directives are put above medical standards of care.
The Directives prohibit Catholic-sponsored facilities from providing vital health services and the information patients need to make informed decisions about their health care, and from honoring patients' wishes when they conflict with Catholic directives. This is true even if as in Tamesha's case, compliance with the Directives pose a direct threat to patient health.
Because of the Directives, Tamesha was never told the truth about her situation—that her fetus had little chance of surviving, that by attempting to continue the pregnancy she risked her own health, and that completing the miscarriage and ending the pregnancy was the safest approach for a woman in her condition. All that information was withheld from her. Nor was she told that because of the Directives, the hospital would refuse to provide her the safest course of care—even to protect her health. Tamesha never had the chance to direct the course of her care or make a real decision.
Tamesha is not alone. Across the country, women face the risk of mistreatment as a result of the Directives. This happens often despite the fact that doctors want to give their patients the proper care and information, if only they were allowed to. Indeed, studies show that over half of OB/GYNs working in Catholic-sponsored hospitals have run into conflicts with the Directives.
Also: The amount of shit Tamesha Means is going to have to navigate because her name is attached to this lawsuit is unfathomable. I admire her, and I am profoundly grateful to her.
[Content Note: Colloquialism using violent imagery.]
It's no secret that the Democratic establishment has unbridled contempt for progressive bloggers and activists. The hostility for leftwing policy, especially economic policy, and the neglect of social justice policy, has been documented for years under the broad header of what's colloquially known as "hippie-punching." But it's rare we get such a perfect, unvarnished glimpse at just how deep that contempt really goes.
So, thank you, Senator Chuck Schumer, for your naked honesty during an interview with Isaac Chotiner for The New Republic.
IC: You and Mayor Bloomberg, in 2007, said that reregulating Wall Street would cause people to flee overseas to London. That is very different than [the position of Senator Elizabeth] Warren.This is why progressives can't have nice things in this country.
CS: It has got to be, to me, a careful balance, OK? Wall Street excesses helped lead to the Great Recession. And to sit there and do nothing, or do what the Republicans want—repeal Dodd-Frank—makes no sense. But on the other hand, I think that you just don't attack Wall Street because they're successful or rich.
I just unsuccessfully, with Bloomberg, supported raising the building height in midtown Manhattan, so we could build more office buildings. Office buildings are our factories—imagine the people of Michigan saying, "We don't want to build a new auto factory, because the Ford family will get richer, or the person who builds the factory will make money." You've got to look at the effect on average folks. The vast majority of the people employed by Wall Street are the secretary who goes in to work on the Long Island Rail Road, who makes fifty, sixty, seventy thousand dollars a year. I'm not saying Elizabeth does this, but there are some on the far left who just have a visceral hatred of Wall Street. It's counterproductive.
IC: You don't think Elizabeth Warren makes a villain out of Wall Street?
CS: I am just going to leave it at what I said.
IC: Forget Warren then. Is this a problem for your party?
CS: You don't want to go after them for the sake of going after them. The left-wing blogs want you to be completely and always anti–Wall Street. It's not the right way to be.
IC: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case?
CS: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.
It is just factually wrong that "the left-wing blogs want you to be completely and always anti-Wall Street." Insert requisite caveat that there probably exist blogs on the vastness that is the entire internet authored by people who do want politicians to be comprehensively anti-Wall Street, but there is not a single left-wing blogger I read writing regularly on this subject who is reflexively, uncritically anti-Wall Street. I will, however, only speak for myself here.
I don't expect Democrats to be "completely and always anti-Wall Street." I expect Democrats to be pro-regulation of Wall Street.
I expect Democrats to be pro-accountability for Wall Street, when there is exploitative and/or criminal activity on Wall Street.
I expect Democrats to support reasonable taxation of Wall Street, and the people who work there and draw enormously inflated salaries.
I expect Democrats to give a fuck about wealth inequality, and I expect them to talk about the obscenity of multimillion-dollar golden parachutes for executive failures, and I expect them to laugh in the face of minimum wage proposals that are a fucking joke.
I expect Democrats to care that privileged, white-collar criminals go unpunished for their economy-destroying malfeasance, while un-privileged kids are sentenced to interminable prison terms for walking around with some pot for personal use in their pockets.
I expect Democrats to own up to the fact that they support Wall Street largely because their electoral fortunes depend on not pissing off the titans of finance who habitate there, instead of pretending that they aren't compromised.
And I expect that Democrats who consider themselves reasonably intelligent people to make the good faith distinction between someone who has principled disagreement around the latitude extended to Wall Street and someone who unaccountably insists that Democrats must be "completely and always anti-Wall Street." That is some mendacious framing, used to deflect criticism and discredit critics. It is bad faith. And it is pathetic.
I expect more.
by Shaker Hallelujah_Hippo
[CN: Christian Supremacy; eliminationism; racism.]
There is an absolutely joyful article over on the Huffington Post that a Facebook acquaintance of mine posted under the declaration that it is the best article ever!
And I have to agree, as an atheist lady who feels pretty good about knowing her own mind, it is pretty much perfect! I can't even quite pick out what my favorite part is, but I'm going to try to talk it out.
Maybe it's that being a converted Christian makes Angela Jamene an expert on ALL Christians and their motives; and that those motives are always about spreading joy and light and love.
Every invitation to church is an "I love you and I want this indescribable love, peace, and joy for you because I genuinely care about you."I for one have certainly never had anyone badger me about sharing their beliefs and partaking in their rituals because I would be DOOMED if I didn't. (To be fair she does issue a blanket apology in the second to last sentence for anyone who has "wounded [me] in the name of a God they obviously needed more time getting to know," so, ya know, the mean folks aren't Real Christians anyway. I guess that's settled.)
Maybe my favorite part is that, as an atheist, Angela Jamene is sure that I don't know myself and what makes me peaceful; I need the good word shared with me by folks who know better. The whole idea that atheists can't be joyful really pisses me off, especially because a lot of atheists I know (myself included) found joy, contentment, and peace by leaving religion in the first place. Just because the choices that make us happy are different than those of other folks (in this case, practitioners of Christian faith), does not make them wrong. It just makes us different people with different worldviews and having that dismissed is really fucking insulting.
When a friend or a kindly stranger, a relative or a playgroup parent, says "Hey, why don't you come to church with me on Sunday?" what they mean is "I love you so much, I cannot describe what I know you can get from this because I can't even put into words what it has done for me."Not for nothing, but we've done a lot of talking in this space about how 'my worldview is the only RIGHT one and everyone would agree with me if they were just smart enough/rational enough/taught well enough' is inherently silencing. I don't have a problem with anyone who has found joy and contentment and peace from reading a free bible and attending church services; I do have a problem with them telling me I am wrong for not finding the same value and joy in the exact same things they do (and if I 'just gave it another chance' or 'tried it this way' I would definitely agree with them; as if my disagreement is an indication of a lack of understanding on my part rather than proof of profoundly understanding the world differently.)
Maybe it's being told that someone (ALL Christians, in fact) wants to share 'infinite love and acceptance' with me
On behalf of Christians everywhere, I would like you to know that we really, just whole-heartedly, love you. And, we want to share this infinite and ultimate love and acceptance with you.But IT IS DEFINTILEY CONTINGENT on me doing the same rituals and expressing the same worldview as them; that I can only earn their love and acceptance by doing things their way. Saying 'I will love and accept you unconditionally (and I want to love and accept you!), if you agree that I am right' is not the most welcoming and accepting thing I can think of; but I've got an unenlightened atheist brain, so what do I know?
Maybe it's the way she compares being badgered into attending Christian religious services as THE EXACT SAME THING as my friend suggesting we try eating at a new (ethnic!) restaurant.
The people that invite you to church are just like that friend that insists that you try the new Puerto Rican restaurant downtown, they have experienced something amazing and they want it for you too.Because being urged to try (implied) new food choices is obviously the same as being urged to partake in religious views that say I am somewhat unworthy and joyless and unloved unless I am a part of them. (NB: I also want to point out how specifying that my hypothetical friend is trying to convince me to try Puerto Rican food pretty solidly says that the assumed audience is white folks (and definitely not Puerto Rican or other Latin@ folks) who are shy of ethnic food the same way they are shy of attending church services. Which is a pile of erasing and racist garbage.)
Maybe it's that she seems to be saying what she (and Christians collectively) want for me is more important than what I want for myself, but that I should just go along with it because they know what's best, anyway. I don't think I need to explain how exhorting me to ignore my own boundaries and wishes because someone else is convinced they know better than I do what is good for me is deeply hostile to consent and agency. It is a garbage argument when it is used in favor of anything else and it is a garbage argument when it is used in favor of joining a Christian church service.
I am honestly happy for Angela Jamene that she has found happiness and joy and community in her life. I would sincerely appreciate if she would respect the happiness that I and others have found as equally valid for us.