when the status quo frustrates.

Next week, how I used my power as a woman to trick a guy into buying me a $3 cherry bomb, proving feminism unnecessary

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

Is it midterm time already? It must be – the weather is changing, the days grow shorter, and the wind blows over hill and dale, caressing the campus and picking up the smug cry of the newly hatched ‘concern’ feminist. Hearken to the self-righteously uninformed screed of the third-runner up of the Bestest Girl/Honorary Boy competition as she makes the first of many homes she’ll find in inferior, content-desperate publications across the land. Sure, today it’s the wretch that is your student paper (seriously, is there a student-run paper worth a damn anywhere in the country?) but tomorrow, it could be Townhall, or even, God willing, IWF.

But she’s got the routine down, she just needs some polish. Step 1: Pick a somewhat interesting non-topic over which to get your panties in a twitch. Ignore the fact that the vast majority of students have sex lives that rival that of their parents in terms of frequency and variation of partners and go straight to giving yourself a wedgie over the fraction of the 20% who are actually getting some who may be getting theirs in an irresponsible manner.

An online search of the phrase “hook up” returned some interesting – though nonscientific – results. The most benign definition I found came from dictionary.com – to join or become associated with.

I found the most disturbing definitions on open-source Web sites like wikipedia.com and urbandictionary.com. A hook up, according to Wikipedia, is “casual sexual activity.”

Really? Because the most disturbing definitions I found were when I did a safe-search-off Google Images search for “hook up.” Although I was impressed with the diversity; it’s not often the same search will bring you old men golfing AND a close-up of a fishhook injury AND a woman fucking a large dog in the top 10 results.

Two grafs in and already I’m thinking Callie Corley’s opinion isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. Clearly she didn’t dive into the real nitty-gritty of her subject matter. Where is her outrage over what that dog is doing to that poor woman’s emotional fidelity?

And here, she fumbles again:

And if you ask most college students how they classify a hook up, their definitions echo those from the open-source Web sites. Also, forgive me for any wide-sweeping generalities I make. I know there are always exceptions.

NEVER apologize for getting your rage on, Callie! I mean, you are a girl and are therefore hardwired by genetics to apologize in advance for breathing, but if you want to moral scold with the big dogs, then you have to stifle that impulse, ESPECIALLY when you’re about to shoot your mouth off over something that you have no idea about.

Cosmopolitan magazine says hook up culture consists of “lots of partying and flirting, plenty of alcohol, and [...] the idea that women can be just as bold and adventurous about sex as men are.”

Cosmo says alot of things, though, and almost all of it’s crap. For example, they routinely suggest “surprising” your partner with sexy-time props like ice when in reality that is the sort of thing you need to clear with your lover in advance. They also imply that you should feel comfortable spending $200 on a pair of jeans, and that the $80 range is a bargain.

Also, it’s a newb mistake so don’t feel bad for making it, but if you’re blaming feminists for something and your examples come mostly from your imagination and Cosmopolitan Magazine, prepared for a good old fashioned feminist mocking, because you have already torched your relevance as the voice of the young and hip-to-be-square.

College students around the country fall victim to this hook up culture everyday, not just women.

And the remaining 80% of students who have between 0-1 partners a year (but are all convinced, absolutely sure, that their contemporaries are getting more tail) would like to know how it’s done.

I won’t let the pig-headed college guy stereotype convince me that all guys only want to hook up. I refuse to believe that.

Hey! She’s right! Men might be individuals, too! Some may want things different than others! What bold and visionary thinking!

I do believe, however, that women are more affected emotionally – and, obviously, physically – by this culture.

This is the part that is feminism’s fault, for feminists told women they could reach for the stars, and then promptly fuck them, but failed to have the proper PR in place for when society ignored the boring thinky bits (“Women, long denied access to power, wealth or even bodily autonomy… *snzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz* Boorrr-iiiing!”) and kept only the juicy bits (“Hotties, feel free to fuck, and ignore that ugly woman crying about how all sex is rape – what a nut!”).

You got a better theory? Patri-what? Booorrr-iiinnnggg!

I think when it comes to equality the genders should be equal.

If Plato had been a chick, and felt the same way about gender equality, he’d totally have been Callie Corley. Because that was deep.

Women and men should be able to achieve the same high-profile jobs with big-figure salaries. We should share the workload in the office and in the household.

Equality is fine for the boardroom, but in the bedroom, skanks and virgins only, the way God intended. We’re not all going to get high-profile jobs with big-figure salaries, and in the event that I’m pushing papers for a mere low-5-digits, I’m going to need a lightly used pussy to have some marriage market value. Feminists are destroying my plan B!

Thanks to feminism, women are doing better, going farther and achieving more than ever before. From childhood, men are taught to – hopefully – respect women and treat them equally.

With all the positive things feminism started, it did neglect to educate women about one certain thing. Though we can do whatever men can, we’re going to handle and react to it differently.

Let Callie say this slowly so you assholes get it. Cake. Eat. Too. Callie likes the college educating and the voting and the ability to get credit in her own name and everything, but she is not ready to go head-to-head on a level playing field when it comes to getting the best guys, and we all know it’s still all about getting the best guys. There is a script that she is comfortable with, and she’d prefer we not screw with it. So instead of saying that a fast and easy sexual culture upsets women because the patriarchy has distorted sex-positivity and young women rush into the new sexytime ‘feminism’ without properly internalizing real feminist principles, leaving them open for a big old shaming the morning after, let’s just say women and men are “wired differently.”

Grossman has seen thousands of students, but remembers one girl’s searching question vividly.

“Why, Dr. Grossman, do they warn you about STDs and pregnancy, but they don’t tell you what it does to your heart?”

With so much accessibility to birth control and other contraceptives, women can have as much sex as they think the average male has with less worry – though avoiding pregnancy or STDs is never guaranteed by any product….

Nothing, however, protects the heart or mind.

Which is why Grossman immediately developed the condom…for the heart. Buy with the Mind Sponge to prevent dangerous oxytocin saturation!

Women will, always, treat sex different emotionally and mentally than men. Men have the ability to compartmentalize and separate emotions. Women have a more difficult time disassociating from their emotions. It’s just the way our bodies are chemically designed.

…Feminism failed us, in this respect. We were given this freedom but not taught how to properly utilize it.

Is this what our sister suffragettes envisioned when they fought for women’s equality?

Right. Women are ‘wired’ to be clingy needballs, while men are basically Data from Star Trek but hornier. Just keep telling yourselves that.

Something needs to be done. Help women understand that nothing will change the way their brains chemically react, and give them the tools and courage to make good decisions about sexual health.

Silver Ring Things for everyone!

Educate men about this difference. Teach them to be understanding – when it comes to sex, a girl can never be one of the guys.

We must teach our children the difference. We must teach our boys of the Pussy Oversoul. For it seems as though the Oversoul taunts them, taunts them mercilessly, but there is a reason behind the torture, for first and foremost, the Oversoul must protect itself.

Had your fathers and your father’s fathers not been such bastards about the skank thing for oh, about the whole history of civilization, perhaps the Oversoul would be more generous and benevolent, but alas, they were and now you must respect the Oversoul, unless she’s put out in the past and is drunk, in which case, game on.

Relationship education is what’s needed. Somewhere college students are learning that it’s OK to hook up. Somewhere they’re learning that this represents the norm. Somewhere they’re learning that such behavior carries no consequences. Somewhere.

I blame the heart.

But that somewhere is not in the heart.

Oh, then I blame the patriarchy. It wasn’t the feminists; sure, we like for the wimmins to have a good time in the sack, but we emphasize that it often means being very discriminating and choosing sexual partners who are committed to sexual equal…*snnnnzzzzzzz snork!* Boorrrr-iiiinnngggg!

Quick plug

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

Please go visit ko htike’s prosaic collection. It’s a blog featuring photos, writing, and video from inside Burma. As you probably know, the junta has imposed a media blackout and cut off internet access, so the contributers to the blog face incredible difficulties getting their story out, and are risking their lives.

Just a warning: The photos are graphic and the stories are horrifying. But it’s important to see them.

H/T cuntgirl

I thought I was a feminist, but it turns out my house had a radon problem

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

My Favorite Anti-Feminists (TM) ask, is it possible that feminism, like many form of cancer, is a by-product of pollutants in our environment?

No. Really.

Could environmental factors contribute to feminism?

Environmental factors like good mentors and strong role models, or environmental factors like when the Communists put all that fluoride in our water?

I’ve read and heard several articles (especially over the past 10-15 years) dealing with the growing amount of evidence covering the unpopular topic of the effects of both hormones from the pill and hormones from our insatiable appetite for synthetic goods upon both animals and human beings alike. Though the abovementioned industries persist in the “tale” that their products are 100% safe for both our environment and us, the mounting weight of evidence demonstrates otherwise.

Ever see a phase diagram for water? After a certain point, called the critical point, water vapor and liquid water become indistinguishable from one another.

Phase diagram from ChemGuide

Mrs. Elliot exists on a similar point in the political spectrum. At some point of sincere but completely batshit passion, a person stops being distinguishably right and left and is just frothing. This allows Mrs. Elliot to be a Conservative Christian Anti-Capitalist Anti-Abortionist Environmentalist. As you can imagine, such a brain potpourri encourages Mrs. Elliot to use the always crystal clear narrative method known as stream of consciousness.

Some years ago now, a widely publicised study carried out on genetic gender “mistakes” leading to a rise in reproductive disorders (among other problems) within the polar bear population alerted society to the dangers we’re storing up for ourselves from nearly half a century of the pill and synthetics…

if we wish, as workers for our Heavenly Father, to address this issue and advocate for change, we do need to consider the whole question of feminism and the masculinisation of womankind as more than a rise in Communist Feminist Ideology. We should rather consider a combination of the former, quietly and unsuspectedly helped along by this frightening new evidence for emerging environmental influences–a Frankenstein’s monster created by our own hand as we meddle with the delicate balance of God’s creation and His natural order.

In 1953, Saran Wrap, the same material the military used to wrap its fighter planes in to keep them fresher, longer was approved for use in food packaging. Then, the sexual revolution happened. Coincidence? I think not.

If a true, healthy gender identity is to be rekindled, any environmental influence that hampers both the feminine and masculine identity in men and women must be promptly removed from the equation.

It’s not that women don’t like patriarchy, it’s just that polystyrene and lo-dose estrogen combine to suppress the hormone femmase in women, and the polystyrene doesn’t do anything good for the masculase in men. Since femmase and masculase are the God’s Divine Will hormones, without them the estrogen and testosterone present in both genders is helpless to regulate properly gendered behaviors and the next thing you know, Satan’s polymers have triumphed over good once again, leading to women in the workforce and the end of civilization as we know it.

Legislating against the reproductive pill and the use of unsafe plastics and their intrusion into our everyday lives on such a vast scale will be a good place to start.Though these suggestions may seem extreme, if a factor has been shown to present danger, are we not morally, ethically, and spiritually beholden to act?

Sure, but it’s 2,000 years after Christ and we still have war. If you can’t get humanity to agree to stop blowing each other up because we are beholden to prevent danger, then you sure as shit ain’t getting them to give up Tupperware and Step 2 brand indestructible mailboxes.

Pop quiz: Which one of these two things sucks up more resources and does more damage to an environment? Left: A soldier at a burning oil field. Right: An ugly-ass mailbox whose production creates estrogen-mimickers as a waste product, allowing for a tenuous argument that urinating while using birth control pills is as harmful as pouring used motor oil into a stream

Remember, everything belongs to God, and he wants you to live Biblically. Specifically, he wants you to combine low-impact living with enormous family size. If this seems extreme, and possibly counter-productive, then you’ll probably need to start with regular colon cleanings and detox diets to flush the feminism away.

U.S. overturns Nuremberg Principles

Friday, September 28th, 2007

Apparently, “I was just following orders” is once again a valid defense.

Future would-be war criminals, take note.

Not-so-strange bedfellows

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Paul Fromm with his other friends
Paul Fromm with some of his other friends, agitating for the release of (deported) Canadian neo-Nazi Ersnt Zundel.

The recent Daily Show segment on immigration probably amused a lot of you, but had Canadian anti-racists nearly convulsive with laughter owing to a small detail that Jon Stewart inexplicably failed to mention.

The “immigration reform” guy they interviewed about the Mexican menace is a notorious neo-Nazi. As you can see in the photo above, taken at a rally in front of the Metro West Detention Centre (I was there, counter-protesting with Anti-Racist Action), Fromm has some friends who believe in UFOs, but not the Holocaust. Essentially, when Fromm says “the immigration lawyers” in that clip, he pretty much means “the Jews.”

It’s funny watching Fromm being made a fool of, especially for those of us who’ve had personal—shall we say interactions?—with the man. But I also posted about it because the connection between neo-Nazis and the anti-immigration contingent is kind of a no-brainer. And yet, I see anti-immigrant sentiment frequently handled with kid gloves, even by progressives.

Many of us have friends and family that take a less than sensible* stance on immigration, and receive from them annoying e-mail forwards about how They’re Taking Our Jobs. Next time you get one of those e-mails, take a moment to respond. Tell them that their country’s economy is dependent on immigrant labour (legal and otherwise), send them a link to this article, and remind them that the spokespeople of their movement are probably not the sort of people you want to associate with.

* And by “sensible,” I mean “free and open borders, status for all, no one is illegal.”

Capitalism is evil

Monday, September 24th, 2007

Just when you thought it wasn’t bad enough that bottled water companies drain public reserves of water for free and then sell it back to said public for $1.50 a pop, WaterBank of America has launched a fresh new horror:

Ice cubes

Because you didn’t need enough plastic in your life.

H/T to Meagan D.; sorry that I didn’t believe you at first.

A difference of degrees

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

When someone starts railing against ‘gender neutral education’ it’s time to put your hand over your wallet and back slowly out of the room. Amanda sent me this patriarchy-blaming Livescience article at about the same time I came across this charmer on the importance of edumakating girls to be girls, just like the Bible says.

Livescience covers five myths about girls and science, and concludes that social bias works against girls achieving in science to the best of their potential, starting as early as elementary school. Also, shock of shock, programs designed to encourage young girls in science actually encourage boys as well, so there are really no losers when you reach out to everyone. Doesn’t that just make you want to hold hands in a giant circle and sing “Free to Be You and Me”?

No? Well you’re not alone, because it doesn’t take a smarty-pants scientist to see what happens when you run around giving girls the same educational opportunities as boys. They get ideas. Sometimes even ideas of their own. And that ain’t no good.

Because we believe the Scriptures have thoroughly laid out the roles of men and women, we are not left wondering how we should educate our daughters. It is clear that they are to be visionary helpers in their father’s home, in preparation to one day be their husband’s helpmeet. Therefore, in the education of our daughters, we are mindful to filter everything through the lens of who she is in Christ and what He has made her for. It is a beautiful picture of Biblical womanhood and one that is vehemently attacked by the feminists.

So what is the curriculum of a young ladies destined to be their husband’s helpmeet?

Yet another way in which America is screwing Iraq

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

So we’ve all heard about the Blackwater thing by now, right? After last Sunday, when Blackwater Christofascist mercenaries went on a killing spree, murdering at least 28 people in cold blood, Iraq’s puppet government finally said “enough is enough,” and revoked Blackwater’s license to operate in the country. This isn’t the first time that Blackwater has done something like this—it’s easy, considering that Blackwater killers are immune from prosecution. They’re only killing Iraqis, after all.

Remember democracy in Iraq, and those teary-eyed American conservatives praising the courage of ordinary men and woman and their purple fingers? Well, turns out that the whole democracy-building adventure was as hollow as we anti-war cynics said it was, because despite the puppet government’s orders, the occupiers have resumed Blackwater convoys. This, despite how deeply horrifying the massacre really was:

Witnesses say the first victims of the shootings were a couple with their child, the mother and infant meeting horrific deaths, their bodies fused together by heat after their car caught fire. The contractors, according to this account, also shot Iraqi soldiers and police and Blackwater then called in an attack helicopter from its private air force which inflicted further casualties.

Pretty par for the course, though, burning parents and babies alive. We’re used to hearing news like that. Here’s a fresh new horror that America is foisting on the long-suffering Iraqi people: Order 81.

Most North Americans, even left-wing, anti-capitalist North Americans, don’t know about the epidemic of debt-related suicides among Indian farmers. You should take some time to learn about it, though—at least 4,500 farmers in central India have killed themselves in the past six years—even higher than the slightly-better-publicized 4,300 Palestinian deaths so far during the Second Intifada. And while neoconservatism has generated righteous anger for its genocidal ideology, the Indian tragedy is a reminder of how brutal neoliberalism has been for the people of the Third World.

So, why are the Indian farmers killing themselves? Because they can’t repay crop loans. Why can’t they repay crop loans? Well, the way farming has worked since the dawn of agriculture is that you have your initial investment, which includes seeds, and you keep reusing your seeds after each harvest. If you don’t have enough, you can trade seeds with your neighbour. But companies like the notorious U.S.-based Monsanto realized that they could make more money manufacturing and pushing genetically modified “terminator seeds,” which are sterile and cannot be reused, forcing farmers into dependence on the company for their livelihood. To make things worse, the genetically modified seeds tend to be hardier than the natural variety, so the sneaky company can just blow some onto an unsuspecting farmer’s field, and presto! The mutant crops overtake the natural crops, and you have a new Monsanto customer-for-life. Nice, huh?

Well, this has worked out so nicely for transnational corporations in India that the Americans have decided to try it in Iraq, because invading, murdering, and looting hasn’t permanently screwed the country enough. When he was administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority, U.S. diplomat L. Paul Bremer issued a bunch of orders, including the aforementioned Order 81:

What Order 81 did was to establish the strong intellectual property protections on seed and plant products that a company like the St. Louis-based Monsanto — purveyors of genetically modified (GM) seeds and other patented agricultural goods — requires before they’ll set up shop in a new market like the new Iraq. With these new protections, Iraq was open for business. In short, Order 81 was Bremer’s way of telling Monsanto that the same conditions had been created in Iraq that had led to the company’s stunning successes in India.

Dr. Vandana Shiva, a scientist and activist who has done a tremendous amount to fight against the GM assault on India, explains the colonialist dimensions of terminator seeds thusly:

This epidemic of piracy is very much like the epidemic of piracy which was named colonialism 500 years ago. I think we will soon need to name this round of piracy through patents as recolonialization as a new colonialization which differs from the old only in this – the old colonialization only took over land, the new colonialization is taking over life itself.

While the Blackwater mercenaries will eventually be forced to leave, one way or another, terminator seeds are a great way to ensure that Iraq will remain, long into the foreseeable future, a wretched neo-colony of American corporations.

Governments interfering in education? Oh no!

Monday, September 17th, 2007

When the U.S. government makes changes to the public education system, forcing public schools to conform to state regulations or face privatization, it’s business as usual.

When the Venezuelan government makes changes to the private education system, forcing private schools to conform to state regulations or face nationalization, it’s a Socialist! School! Takeover!

Speaking of standards, 11% of Americans can’t find their own country on a map. Meanwhile, the education system under Chávez seems to be vastly improving. (I couldn’t find any information on Venezuelan map-reading abilities. One can only assume that they know where donkeys come from.)

I can only assume that the new Venezuelan history textbooks won’t be as bad as the ones we had in public school. Each chapter brimmed with gushing descriptions of white, upper-class male accomplishments, with a paragraph here and there about “the role of women,” and barely a whisper about the folks from whom we stole this land.

Kidney Punch America

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

MSNBC lets the people speak in the elegantly named section “Gut Check America.” I have no idea what a ‘gut check’ is, and a quick google search suggests that it is something you get regularly in order to detect colon cancer early and also help you pick stocks. Either way, it provides a vital forum for regular middle-class Americans to finally get a voice in media:

What keeps you up at night? MSNBC.com’s Gut Check America series invites you, our readers, to tell us what matters most to you and how it affects you, your loved ones or neighbors.

Turns out the American middle class is concerned about money, keeping their money, and blaming someone, anyone for the precarious state of their money provided that the blame can be summarized as “they took our jobs!“. Actually, I’m sure the American middle class would be pleased as punch to aim their anger in more appropriate directions, but then they’d be shooting lasers from their eyes at Ye Old Powers That Be and for many reasons, this is not a good thing for Ye Old Fourth Estate. So fearmongering it is then!

Our readers have chosen our next assignment: How the middle class is coping with an increasing squeeze on their pocketbook. As our reporters work on that topic for our October report, please check back the week of Sept. 17 for our report on the Iraq war’s impact on the home front. Full story
Health care: When living means bankruptcy
Health insurance didn’t keep cancer-stricken California woman solvent
Illegal immigration: Turmoil in Tulsa
For reader, accident with apparent illegal migrant crystallized city’s change

The main page is more ads and pleas for content than actual content, so I went straight into the trenches to find out what America is really concerned over.

Turns out it’s largely illegal immigration, and one guy who wants an electric car. That’s right, under MSNBC’s proud webpage banner, with its austere workingman (and women! some of whom may or may not be ethnic in some way, or it could be the implied lighting) waving the American flag over a bunch of fearmongering that links directly to a boiling kettle of semi-literate xenophobia. Although I’m sure that this is nothing to be concerned about. When was the last time that letting the disenfranchised masses pin the blame for their economic problems on a conveniently foreign scapegoat ever lead to anything bad?

Front-page topics include “Lets sue the big companies. Call this lawyer and get paid to fight the illegals” and the cheery “Remove hispanics one street at a time.” A slightly less lemming-like poster has simply reposted an MSN trademark “list of jobs for some reason” encouraging people to go into sales or teaching and finally rounding out the front page is a young American lad getting gobsmacked:

I think what I want to convey the most is what it feels like to be a young American man out and about in the world today.

I started as any other young American does. I felt like America was the world. We are great Americans. We live better than anyone else. We are more developed and educated. Everyone besides us are just primitive.

Ameri_guy go travel. Ameri_guy meet Non_Ameri_guys. Ameri_guy confused. You still Jane. I remember having a nationalistic “I’m glad to be American cause everywhere else sucks” thought when I was like six or seven; I assume I absorbed this idea by watching too much Captain Planet. A few years of public schooling took care of that, though. Poor Ameri_guy wasn’t so lucky.

Everyone treated me well as an American. They all tried to have their respects for the symbol of America.

I’m not sure what the heck he’s talking about, unless it’s that all his glamorous international friends tried to be polite and say nice things about America in front of the American. I try to return the favor to foreigners I know. For example, even though that Ukrainian dweeb was talking a lot of smack about how much better their pickles are than ours, I didn’t say anything even after I found out that he was totally full of shit. That’s because I like to consider myself an ambassador of good will.

In every conversation, however, I couldn’t help but notice that everyday life in America for average Americans is less free and privileged than any of the other countries that we talked about.

My God, is there any way to have less respects for the symbol of America than flaunting your own freedoms in an American’s face? Bastards!

I’ve had this “Americans are less free” conversation with a German acquaintance who noticed the same disparity between our cultures, and a similar one with a British guy who’d spent some time in Slovenia. Turns out other countries have way looser open-container laws than we do. Many of them make up for it, though, with drunk-driving laws that would have the average American making Soviet Russia comparisons in a heartbeat.

No really, that’s what this guy is talking about. America: Land of the Free and Home of the Brave his ass, not when a man can’t something something sex something women something work something walk down the street with a beer in his hand.

As young men in America we completely neutered of any real instincts to develop as healthy young men trying to find suitable partners and eventually making business, being a real father to our children, and having a real wife. In fact, once American boys are out of the American cage they make great prey for the real men and women of the world to take advantage of. This is because they’ve been denied the chance to be real men at all. In America the society takes every advantage to beat us down. Sex in all forms is basically bad or wrong–a completely sex a-phobic society that uses any form of sex to destroy men’s lives and even incarcerate them. Just walking down the street drinking a beer in America must be a crime or some event to involve authorities. What on earth are they thinking here?

This, as you can imagine, is the school’s fault. And although this find young lad seems to have connected open-container laws with “using any form of sex to incarcerate men” I’m sure that he was just typing too fast, and in no way meant to imply to women everywhere that it would be anything other than safe to accept a drink from him in a bar.

First, they came for your open container on public property, and you said nothing. Then they came for your wife-beater, and still, you said nothing. Well, Ameri_guy is mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore!*

Let’s get to what really matters. In most places around the world, people understand the idea of building up a family base. They sacrifice and strive to build up a family name sake… Yet in America the government and society has completely raped and twisted the young women to the point they don’t even know they’re supposed to help men achieve this. They are happy to aid the courts and legal system destroy any real hopes of creating what a family name is supposed to mean and what a long-term future with a strong husband is supposed to be.

What is so great about a country that…forces its own citizenry to live under a fascist police state that even interferes with the domestics of everyday relationships?

Thanks, MSNBC, for bringing out the best of America right here on the interwebs for all to see. It’s nice to see the homespun values of Little Green Footballs or Men’s News Daily bubble up into the mainstream, with only a little help from an established media that hasn’t done it’s damn job in almost a decade. I’m sure you’re very proud to know that someone can look at this site, with it’s American values and American ideals, and think, “hey, this is an appropriate place for me to compare open container laws to fascism, while singing the praises of China where I met my Chinese wife which wouldn’t be terribly interesting except for here, have a heaping helping of my issues with women and violence which will cast a creepy pall on the rest of my post!”

MSNBC: You people made this environment. You’d better start cleaning it up.

*I am so close to finishing this post without having typed a single original thought. Wish me luck!

But at least it’s good for business

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

Global warming is melting Arctic ice and opening the Northwest Passage.

This is one of these stories that should get everyone freaked out, regardless of political affiliation. Of course, there’s a plus side:

Researcher Claes Ragner of Norway’s Fridtjof Nansen Institute, which works on Arctic environmental and political issues, said for now, the new opening has only symbolic meaning for the future of sea transport.

“Routes between Scandinavia and Japan could be almost halved, and a stable and reliable route would mean a lot to certain regions,” he said by phone. But even if the passage is opening up and polar ice continues to melt, it will take years for such routes to be regular, he said.

“It won’t be ice-free all year around and it won’t be a stable route all year,” Ragner said. “The greatest wish for sea transportation is streamlined and stable routes.”

To Ragner’s credit, he goes on to say that the melting of the ice—no matter how much money it brings in—is a Very Bad Thing. But it makes me wonder how many business leaders are watching climate chaos and seeing dollar signs. Conservatives’ denial of global warming is disingenuous—we can see the evidence for ourselves—but I’m sure there are a few ways that climate change can bring about short-term profit for someone.

Russia, Norway, Denmark, Canada and the United States are among countries in a race to secure rights to the Arctic that heated up last month when Russia sent two small submarines to plant its national flag under the North Pole. A U.S. study has suggested as much as 25 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas could be hidden in the area.

Which brings me to a link that’s a year old but worth reading: It’s capitalism or a habitable planet – you can’t have both. Sure, I’m biased in this regard, being no fan of wars, homelessness, sweatshops, and other products of the Great Invisible Hand of the Free Market. But Newman gives a concise environmental analysis of why things gotta change:

Capitalism is not sustainable by its very nature. It is predicated on infinitely expanding markets, faster consumption and bigger production in a finite planet. And yet this ideological model remains the central organising principle of our lives, and as long as it continues to be so it will automatically undo (with its invisible hand) every single green initiative anybody cares to come up with.

Much discussion of energy, with never a word about power, leads to the fallacy of a low-impact, green capitalism somehow put at the service of environmentalism. In reality, power concentrates around wealth. Private ownership of trade and industry means that the decisive political force in the world is private power. The corporation will outflank every puny law and regulation that seeks to constrain its profitability. It therefore stands in the way of the functioning democracy needed to tackle climate change. Only by breaking up corporate power and bringing it under social control will we be able to overcome the global environmental crisis.

I’ll leave you with Stan Rogers’ beautiful tribute to the “land so wild and savage.” I’ve always thought it was a terribly sad song. I think it’s about to become even sadder.

In other news, Karl Rove refuses to shit unless he eats more of it

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

Conspiracy theorists, you’ve been thwarted again!

I know there were tons of you out there grousing about how the invasion of Iraq was intended to garner more oil for the gluttonous needs of the ol’ US of A, but now we can prove that’s pure poppycock. Thanks to State of the Day, we’ve uncovered a Truthout document that shows just how backwards those wacky ideas are:

a recent GAO report stated an additional $57 billion in U.S. tax dollars will be needed to bring oil and electricity production to the level where it can satisfy Iraq’s domestic demand by the year 2015.

Boom goes the dynamite! Silly conspiracy types. We can’t have invaded Iraq for oil — they need a crapload of our money and 8 more years until they can satisfy their *own* oil and power needs. And given how spectacularly badly we’ve estimated everything to this point, I’d go ahead and triple those figures if we want to get the *complete* truth out.

I guess the only weird thing is that we’re running out of reasons why we fought this war. The whole WMD thing has been hammered to death (one tiny little fib; you’d think millions of people died for it or something!). We didn’t actually destroy any terrorist cells (and technically we probably created a few more than there were before). But hey, at least all you folks who thought our Fine President was pulling a Beverly Hillbillies have also been proven wrong.

Oil Barrel img
Texas tea

Now pay up. We have to hook the Iraqi economy on fossil fuels again and fast.