when the status quo frustrates.

Not All The Whackadoodles Are Republican, Really!

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

I WAS going to write a followup today on “Fun Feminism,” since I didn’t really get a chance to finish exploring the assumptions about monogamy and sexual self-control I brought up in the original post, but after yesterday’s exciting and informative trip to the MVA* I couldn’t resist blogging about this instead!

Photobucket

What the heck is that, you might ask? (And more pertinently, what is it doing on state property..? I shot them an email this morning asking that exact question–if I get an answer, I’ll definitely share it.) So I decided to take a closer look:

Photobucket

Notice the awesome “Obama as Hitler” headshot on the far left!…so at this point I’m thinking “Teabaggers…I mean TeaPARTIERS**…oh sigh” but then I started to really look at the rest of the pictures…is that Franklin Roosevelt there perched on top of Obamahitler’s head..? And whattheheck is that map of the world with “New Bretton Woods” inked across it..? And–

While I was staring bemusedly at the table, one of the two guys manning it approached me. “We’re ready to kick Obama out of office!” he said enthusiastically. “How about you?”

“Er,” I said. “Um, so, who are you guys..?”

“We’re supporters of Lyndon LaRouche. We just got a representative elected in Texas…! Did you know that Obama’s conspiring to shut down NASA?” he demanded.

“Um, no–”

He didn’t object to me taking pictures, he said, but didn’t let me escape til I agreed to take the handouts he pressed upon me and give serious consideration to the merits of Lyndon LaRouche (I didn’t have the nerve to tell him I’d never heard of Lyndon LaRouche before in my whole life; dude was pretty wild-eyed at that point).

So who is Lyndon LaRouche? According to Wikipedia:

Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche, Jr. (pronounced /ləˈruːʃ/; born September 8, 1922) is an American self-styled economist, political activist, and the founder of several political organizations known collectively as the LaRouche movement. He has been a perennial candidate for President of the United States, having run in eight elections since 1976, once as a U.S. Labor Party candidate and seven times as a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination. He is the founder and contributing editor of the Executive Intelligence Review, and has written prolifically on economic, scientific, and political topics, as well as on history, philosophy, and psychoanalysis.

Okay…

He was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment in 1988 for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and tax code violations, but continued his political activities from behind bars until his release in 1994 on parole. His defenders believe the prosecution was a politically motivated conspiracy involving government officials and a mass-media brainwashing campaign.[1] His appellate attorney, Ramsey Clark, a former U.S. Attorney General, argued that the case represented an unprecedented abuse of power by the U.S. government in an effort to destroy the LaRouche movement.[2]

LaRouche provokes sharply contrasting views. His supporters see him as a political leader in the tradition of Roosevelt and Martin Luther King, Jr., and a brilliant thinker who has been unfairly persecuted, while critics regard him as a cult leader, a conspiracy theorist, a fascist, and an anti-Semite.[3] Norman Bailey, formerly with the National Security Council, described LaRouche’s staff in 1984 as one of the best private intelligence services in the world, while the Heritage Foundation has said that he leads “what may well be one of the strangest political groups in American history.”[4]

Indeed! So what would a LaRouche presidency strive to bring us..?

#colonization of the planet Mars by 2025
#the screening and quarantine of AIDS patients
#low interest rates and opposition to the Gramm-Rudman balanced-budget law
#opposition to environmentalism, health maintenance organizations, outcome-based education, gay rights, abortion, and the nuclear disarmament movement
#opposition to the legalization of recreational drugs
# opposition to the idea of man-made global warming–LaRouche proposes that cosmic ray radiation, including that from the Crab Nebula, “determines much of the climate on Earth”.
# opposition to the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
# opposition to deregulation. According to EIR, “LaRouche has consistently called for reregulation of utilities, transportation, health care (under the “Hill-Burton” standard), the financial (especially the speculative markets) and other sectors, and a return to traditional American-System practices, set aside over the past 40 years.”
# opposition to the United Nations and any other international organization
# proposal of the “Homeowners and Banks Protection Act of 2007,” which would freeze mortgage rates, ban foreclosures and put the banking system through a bankruptcy reorganization.

Wowie! …hey, at least it explains both the NASA remark and the picture of FDR proudly adorning the top of their table. Definitely NOT Republican, in spite of the hatin’ on gay people and abortion and global warming! …you learn something new every day, you know…

*That’s “Motor Vehicle Administration,” for those of you living in states that use the more traditional “DMV” appelation (Department of Motor Vehicles).

**For those of you who are under the impression that the “Tea” Party isn’t just a particularly fussy faction of the “Republican” Party but is actually an independent political party, I don’t know how else to put this to you…you’re wrong.

…but you know, it’s really kind of okay to “call a bunch of people who are retards, retards!” As long as it’s Rush Limbaugh doing it.

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Photobucket

Remember this?

According to the Wall Street Journal, Rahm Emanuel called liberal activists who wanted to run ads against conservative Democrats “f—— retarded” in a closed-door meeting at the White House. On her Facebook page, Palin likened Emanuel’s “slur on all God’s children with cognitive and developmental disabilities” to using the “N-word,” something she deemed “unacceptable” and “heartbreaking.” Emanuel later issued an apology to Special Olympics chairman and CEO Tim Shriver.

However, Palin’s conservative cohort Rush Limbaugh took offense to people, presumably including Palin, protesting Emanuel’s remark. On his radio show, Limbaugh lamented that “our political correct society is acting like some giant insult’s taken place by calling a bunch of people who are retards, retards.” That comment caused Greg Sargent to request a reaction from Palin’s spokeswoman.

Yesterday, when asked for comment on Limbaugh’s use of the “r” word in a recent broadcast, Palin spokeswoman told Greg Sargent of the Washington Post, “Governor Palin believes crude and demeaning name-calling at the expense of others is disrespectful.”

BUT!

Today, Stapleton claims the statement was meant generally and she was not specifically referring to Limbaugh.

…I mean, if he’s gonna tirelessly promote her new book after also tirelessly promoting her for Veep during the 2008 elections...it’s not like he’s some kind of nasty, sneaking D-e-m-o-c-r-a-t, after all!

Wow. Just…wow.

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Shorter Glenn Beck: I’m channeling Sarah Palin! though the blatant-yet-cunning racism I manage to display here may be tipping the scales on my Stupid/Evil Ratio more heavily towards the E.

(hat tip Pam)

Sorry–I Refuse To Hate Men, And None Of You Can Make Me Do It No Matter How Hard You Try

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

“Men are dogs,” said my previous ex-husband to me, as we were driving out together to meet my current ex-husband at the bank to close our joint account.

“No, they’re not,” I said.

“Yes they are,” he said, very firmly, staring straight ahead at the road. “You need to stop thinking everyone’s like you, you know. You always do that. You did that with me, too.”

“You wouldn’t have done something like this.”

“No,” he agreed. “But I take marriage very seriously. Clearly he doesn’t.”

Obviously true and inarguable, so I let it go. But I didn’t forget that conversation, nor could I erase something my current ex-husband said to me since our parting of ways:

Him: I think your feminism may have been part of the problem.
Me: How so?
Him: When you said your divorce lawyer told you that you must have a problem with self-respect to have allowed yourself to be treated this way. That really bothered you.
Me: Don’t you want me to have self-respect?
Him: (pause) In some ways. Sometimes.

The above theme had cropped up earlier as well, in the month or two before we separated–of course, I wasn’t aware at the time what was triggering it, that his ex-wife had moved up here and they were conspiring together to get rid of me (maritally, not literally, of course!). In short, he mentioned on several occasions that what he really wanted was someone who would do whatever he wanted whenever he wanted without interference from such concepts as her own self-respect or personal desires–my efforts to please and placate were clearly underwhelming, and he just as clearly believed that such a woman was indeed out there just waiting for him. (Again, since I didn’t know about the eager availability of his ex-wife–who I should probably point out, didn’t actually consistently perform to that standard while they were married, which is why they separated repeatedly and finally divorced–I found his assurance on the subject bewildering. Not anymore, obviously.)

But the thing that troubles me is that both men do think that this sort of behavior is simply something that’s endemic to men, to the gender male of H. sapiens. Now, you’ll never find me arguing that there aren’t a large crop of asshats running around the planet at any given point in time–but I just can’t really bring myself to believe that all or even most men are secretly (or not so secretly) this particular brand of asshat. Some, sure. But so are some women–I’ve met them. And I would definitely agree that society and culture (pretty much all of ‘em, even worse in other cultures than in ours) set men up to be more likely to be this sort of entitled, domineering, sexually uncontrolled brand of asshat.

But I still can’t really believe that menarejustlikethat! I especially reject that they are like that as an inborn trait–I have no patience for that brand of evo-psych. But I also reject that they are all like that as an acquired trait, too. I reject that most of them are like that…men are people, not badly programmed sexbots. (Well, okay, except for Dennis Prager.)

But my first ex-husband and my current ex-husband aren’t the only men who’ve made these statements to me. Over the years, many many other men have made similar statements to me–about the inherent selfishness, sexual obsessiveness, immaturity, etc. that is the essence of malekind. I’ve always rejected them as blanket statements or even as reliable generalities.

So am I being stupid, to assume I know better what men are than all these other men who’ve argued with me about it? Many men have treated me with respect and consideration during the course of my life–am I to believe, as all these other men always insist, that it’s because I’m desirable and it is done solely to enhance the possibility that I might someday accidentally trip and fall on top of their waiting dicks? That it’s all an act to get me where they want me (emotionally and often, legally bound to them) so then they can reveal what they’ve really wanted all this time..? Gad, it’s all such a stereotype–must I buy into it?

Sorry–I still don’t. I still think it’s more likely that I just haven’t been careful…though I’ve gotten more and more careful with each spouse, and put up with the subsequently revealed repellent post-marriage-ceremony bullshit for shorter and shorter durations each time, clearly, I simply haven’t been careful enough in my choices.

On a kind of funny side note, I now have an saved email archive full of ex-husbands declaring (post-divorce!) what a wonderful, special woman I am, and how sweet and kind and beautiful and caring and intelligent and strong and–! I do have a good, positive relationship with the first ex, and I may well have one with this one, too, if he chooses that. It’s very peculiar; I’ve never really witnessed the like. Either I’m really something spectacular, or they want to keep the hope alive that I might put out again someday when they’re desperate and alone–I just can’t decide which. :)

The Passion of Ayn Rand

Monday, April 27th, 2009

That is the title of her biography, written by one of her ex-adherents who also happened to be the wife of a man Ayn had a long-term affair with–given all that, one would expect the tone of the book to be rather more unsympathetic than otherwise. However, that’s not really the case. I read it over a decade ago for a college class–the one and only women studies course I ever took required us to choose and write an in-depth paper about an influential woman of the first half of the twentieth century. I chose Ayn Rand, for three reasons: first, because she fit the criteria as presented; second, because I have a rebellious streak and knew full well that we were expected to choose a feminist, regardless of what the criteria explicitly stated; and third, because I was genuinely interested in the woman behind Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.

(more…)

Why I Concern Troll About Being Pro-Choice****, by William Saletan

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

…er, okay, actually the article is called “Lady Parts,” by William Saletan. He doesn’t really talk about any lady parts in it, though, so I thought the above title was a far more accurate descriptor of his latest offering of emergency toilet paper (just hit “Print!”).

You know, that observation is worth pursuing a little. William Saletan, in this article about abortion, in vitro fertilization, pregnancy and surrogate motherhood, manages to discuss them all without once referring to a mature human female uterus. He does manage to refer seven times to a developing human embryo, though. What a surprise!

Clearly I (and Amanda*, and others) are not the only ones who have been steadily repulsed by Saletan’s concern trolling about abortion for, well, years now. Apparently, he has gotten a flood of inquiries on the subject!

(more…)

Well, I called that one, didn’t I?

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

From my prescient self, just a few weeks ago:

It’s also quite the mystery why [Bristol Palin] hasn’t married good old Levi yet. Her lack of enthusiasm for that eventuality pretty much oozes out of the screen, and the only time she ever brings him up is when the interviewer directly asks her about him.

And hot off the People magazine presses today:

Bristol Palin and her fiancé Levi Johnston have broken up, two sources tell PEOPLE.

The split happened “a few weeks ago,” according to a source close to the couple, but it’s unclear what precipitated it. “It was a mutual thing,” adds the source.

Bristol, the 18-year-old daughter of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, spoke with FOX News in February and told Greta Van Susteren that she and Levi – who are parents to 2-month-old son, Tripp – expected to get married after they completed high school.

“It kind of just happened,” says the source, referring to the split. “I thought they would stick it out. But I think they can work together to raise Tripp.”

“I’m not sure what caused [them to break up] – it’s common knowledge,” says another source who knows the family.

So let me get this entirely straight…Bristol Palin is choosing to be an unwed teen mother when she could have been a wed teen mother instead.

This does remind me of that small news item from last year:

Palin Slashed Funding for Teen Moms

ST. PAUL — Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee who revealed Monday that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, earlier this year used her line-item veto to slash funding for a state program benefiting teen mothers in need of a place to live.

Photobucket

After the legislature passed a spending bill in April, Palin went through the measure reducing and eliminating funds for programs she opposed. Inking her initials on the legislation — “SP” — Palin reduced funding for Covenant House Alaska by more than 20 percent, cutting funds from $5 million to $3.9 million. Covenant House is a mix of programs and shelters for troubled youths, including Passage House, which is a transitional home for teenage mothers.

According to Passage House’s web site, its purpose is to provide “young mothers a place to live with their babies for up to eighteen months while they gain the necessary skills and resources to change their lives” and help teen moms “become productive, successful, independent adults who create and provide a stable environment for themselves and their families.”

I mean, why reward those little sluts for their out-of-wedlock shenanigans with da gubment cheeze? If they’d just marry the father, then they’d already have a place to live! …er, right, Bristol..? and Sarah..?

Of course, Bristol Palin doesn’t need the services of Passage House. She’s being supported by the woman who did her best to gut their funding–wonder how well that sits with her..? Then again, I didn’t get the impression from Bristol’s Faux News interview that she’s in possession of a stellar or incisive intellect, so perhaps such thoughts have not troubled her brain. Or perhaps she’s just keeping as silent as possible on the subject to stretch out her parents’ support of her unwed teen motherhood as long as humanly possible–God knows I would, in her position.

Oh, good God

Friday, February 20th, 2009

When I wrote this post, I wasn’t actually predicting that those two ladies would ever be juxtapositioned anywhere outside the confines of my own head. However, apparently, somebody in the journalistic world thought it would be piquant to get the feelings of that societally-approved chronic uterus self-abuser (aka, Michelle Duggar) about the recent activities of the societally-reviled version of heself, Nadya Suleman.

Joy Behar, guest host Thursday night on “Larry King Live: …at least you guys enjoyed having the babies, you went through the sex then the giving birth. This woman didn’t have any of that, except the giving birth, which must have been rough, don’t you think?

Michelle Duggar: Oh, my, I can’t imagine. I had twins, but I have — I just can’t imagine having eight at once and the responsibility that that brings.

Behar: Why do you suppose this woman has provoked such negativity? They have a “USA Today” Gallup poll saying 70 percent of those surveyed are unsympathetic to this woman. What is going on?

Michelle Duggar: Well, you know, I feel like probably more than anything it’s just the fact of the responsibility issues from their perspective, and I, you know, I imagine that’s probably more of the animosity that’s out there. And so — but I do — I just can’t imagine, you know, her — how she’s going to handle that many little ones under the age of 8. That’s a lot of little ones all at once.

Yes, having them serially gives you the invaluable option of built-in babysitters at each developmental stage by the time the sheer kid-volume starts to get unwieldy! You’re one smart broad, Michelle!

The Duggars are surprisingly restrained on the subject of Nadya, in spite of the blatant attempts by the interviewer to suss out a negative opinion from them towards her, given how loudly they generally wax on about the glories of having a traditional, Christian-American family…which clearly and unequivocably requires a man and woman united in unholy matrimony. I suspect they’re a little nervous about saying anything that might possibly, possibly ever be taken as casting even the slightest negative connotation on the idea of reproducing as massively as possible, given the fragility of their own glass house on that subject.

Horrors. I’ve Been Going About It Wrong The WHOLE TIME!

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

Well, I couldn’t resist this:

Our mission: To find out exactly what men are looking for in a good girlfriend. Impossible? Not exactly. We simply turned to Lisa Daily, syndicated relationship columnist and author of Stop Getting Dumped, who promises to help readers find and marry “the one” in three years or less. Daily followed her own advice and married her dream man, who proposed at the top of the Eiffel Tower after a six-month courtship. Now, she is determined to help other single gals do the same.

Yes, single gals, you’ve come to the right place. Her name is Lisa; my name is Lisa. (Okay, her last name’s most commonly an adjective while mine’s always a proper noun, but the congruence is still uncanny, right?) She got married to her “dream man;” hell, me too! All you jealous, bitter, cat-feeding spinsters on the wrong side of thirty, you know you all want to know–what’s our secret?

Lisa Adjective says, “about the 10 traits every man is looking for in a serious girlfriend:”

1. She has a life of her own — and it’s pretty good to boot.

That sounded reasonable to me at first. You do want somebody who isn’t massively codependent either on you or his or her parents, right? Someone’s who is interested and engaged in life, has dreams and ambitions, etc?

…er, apparently that’s not what that means.

Ladies, this means that you take care of yourself, pay attention to your personal style and find time to hang with your fabulous friends and family.

Oh, okay. A good life of your own means you need to obsess over your appearance and make the people in your life your number one priority. Looks first, service second, anything else about you or your life that you might possibly value or want a distant third!

2. She never makes the first move. …Daily says that she strongly believes women should never, ever pursue a man. Instead, she suggests waiting for the man to initiate and plan dates. Her reasoning: If the woman is always the one calling, she will never know if he is really interested in her or if it’s just convenient for him…Men simply aren’t programmed to think like that and therefore are better suited to the chase, Daily says.

I agree; shy men should be forced to lead lives of quiet and celibate desperation, because clearly their programming got botched at some point and they may not even really be men in the first place. Women who aren’t obsessing every second over whether or not the man they’re with is REALLY that into them obviously have botched programming too. I think we all need to find this programming person and set him or her straight about “quality control.”

3. She is sexy without being trampy. This means something different at the beginning of the relationship than it does down the road, Daily says. In the beginning of courtship, a woman should refrain from making any comments that are overtly sexual. She also flirts by using nonsexual touch like placing her hand on his forearm or even the knee but only briefly. When the relationship gets more serious, and presumably more intimate, sexual touch and public displays of affection are more appropriate. At this point, it’s okay to play footsie under the table.

This must be where I really blow things. I always forget to pretend I am a sweet, shy virgin who nonetheless is so overwhelmed by these strange, new feelings that I periodically cannot stop my hand from every so briefly and hesitantly fluttering towards that bronzed, muscled forearm before I snatch it away with a blush and downcast eyes. Once he’s managed to plead you into bed, though, then you can brush his foot with yours under the table where nobody can see you do it, on purpose. That is sexy! and not trampy! hear that, you sluts?!

4. She waits to have sex.

I said, did you hear that, you sluts?!

…when women have sex, they release a hormone called oxytocin (also referred to as “the cuddle hormone”), which some scientific researchers believe makes women feel extra warm and fuzzy for their sex partners. Daily warns that if women do the deed too soon, they might make too much of a relationship that barely ever existed outside of the bedroom. When you inflate the significance of a relationship, the man often bolts. Daily’s advice is to wait at least one month into the relationship before having sex with your new man.

I recommend using your pill pack to track the days–oops, I guess it’s not very virginal to have a pill pack, huh? So much for that idea!

Just a brief segue–people, if you have no science background or knowledge, please do not attempt to use impressive-sounding chemical words and/or phrases to make your bizarre bullshit sound remotely scientifically-based. Unless you can draw out the structural model for oxytocin for me right now, on demand, and demonstrate the receptor mechanism (preferably with diagrams using all standard chemistry notation and conventions) that occurs in the brain during uptake, just…please, shut up!

Relationship-wise, I’ve already botched the whole thing so badly that there probably isn’t a point in me reading any more. I hide from my family; I have routinely asked a man if he wanted to go out and called or emailed him whenever I had the urge; I have always had sex whenever it was we both felt like having it, both the first time and every subsequent time thereafter; if I have a “personal style,” that would be news to me unless “whatever I feel like wearing to whatever level of grooming I’m in the mood to engage in” is a personal style.

Nobody ever proposed to me atop the Eiffel Tower, though–if you want that experience, maybe you’d better go the Lisa Adjective route. All the Lisa Noun route’ll get you is a cheap trip to the nearest county courthouse. :)

Unreal.

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

Note: In its original format, this article made no sense whatsoever. The items in bold are my annotations, which hopefully will give you an easier time figuring out what’s really going on here than I had the first time I read it. Apologizing in advance for not blockquoting all the article excerpts!

No kids, no jobs for growing number of wives

By Sarah Jio, author of articles such as “Do You Mommy Your Husband?” and “She’s Just Not That Into You–Or Is She,” an article that has such story highlights as Study: Woman better at reading facial expressions, body language and Expert: Men more likely to heed woman’s words, than her actions.

(LifeWire) — “What do you do all day?” is a question Anne Marie Davis, 34, says she gets a lot. This is an intrepid attempt to instill indignant sympathy in the reader at first go, as Sarah is aware that the next few lines are going to inspire most readers to say Well…yeah, given all that, I’m kinda not surprised she gets that question a lot.

Davis, who lives in Lewisville, Texas, isn’t a mother, nor does she telecommute. She is a stay-at-home wife, which makes her something of a pioneer in the post-feminist world. This is very much like someone living in the Bronze Age declaring a flint knapper a pioneer in the Iron Age world, but if the reader doesn’t accept this as fact, they will be unable to swallow the rest of the article at all.

Ten years ago, she was an “overwhelmed” high school English teacher. “I didn’t have time for my husband, ” she says, “and I didn’t have a life.” Given that most of us work jobs that don’t even have extended winter, spring and summer vacations built in like that one and still manage to find time for our significant others and our lives, this is clearly a personal problem. However, we are obviously being invited to empathize.

She presented the idea of staying home to her husband, a Web engineer. “I told him it was something I wanted to do, and he supported it. It was a great relief.” Now, don’t you wish you had someone in your life who when you said, “I’m tired and stressed all the time and I just don’t want to work anymore, please say you’ll take care of me if I just quit my job and sit at home all day, please please please!” just WENT for it..? Aren’t you secretly just DYING of jealousy here..? Isn’t she SO lucky? …are you following the script here yet?

Dr. Scott Haltzman, author of “The Secrets of Happily Married Women,” says stay-at-home wives constitute a growing niche. “In the past few years, many women who are well educated and trained for career tracks have decided instead to stay at home,” he says. While his research is ongoing, he estimates that more than 10 percent of the 650 women he’s interviewed who choose to stay home are childless. Here is some background on Dr. Scott:

Sex is something that will keep men happy, Haltzman wrote in the fifth chapter of his new book, “The Secrets of Happily Married Women: How to Get More Out of Your Relationship by Doing Less,” which was released last month. The crux of Haltzman’s book can be gathered from the chapter titles alone: Chapter 1: Know Your Husband, Chapter 2: Nurture His Needs – and Yours, Chapter 4: Talk Less and, of course, Chapter 5: Have Lots of Sex.

(more…)

Let’s talk thrifty

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

So like I said in my last post, I’m moving. This will be the first time I’ve lived by myself, which of course has advantages and disadvantages. Ability to walk around topless whenever I want? Maru! Splitting the cable bill? Batsu! This biggest disadvantage will be the crippling loneliness. Sure, I spend all night reading or attached to the computer anyway, but the option to go down and pester a roommate was always there, and now they are a 15 or 50 minute drive away, respectively. This means I will probably have to venture out in search of local companionship, and will probably be hitting more bars. No bill splitting + more leaving the house to socialize = must budget better.

The biggest place I can rein it in is the grocery store, and that means finding the time to clip coupons. But there are other obvious places: our family plan cell phone bill was $100/month, which meant I was paying $33/month for the 100 minutes of phone conversations and a dozen text messages I actually used. We have over 3,000 unused rollover minutes. Screw that noise – I suspect a prepaid plan will slash my yearly phone bill from almost $400 to just over $100.

Cleaning supplies were another place. I have an insane collection of cleaning chemicals. I’m always on the lookout for that one product that will actually make my life easier. And just before I left for Europe, I found it: vinegar. Cleans fucking everything. So the only remaining chemicals I want are toilet bowl cleaner (love those curvy necks, love them love them love them) and a super-strong calcium and lime remover, plus window cleaner because it’s still cheap and easier than diluting your own ammonia, which is what my mom does.

So I’ve been on the interwebs looking at being thrifty. I found this recipe for homemade laundry detergent, and have looked at covering my windows with 3M window films. Would wrapping my water heater in insulation actually help? How long would it take a toaster oven to pay for itself?

How do you punkasses save money?

On the Death Penalty, Partisanship and the Rape of Children: Part Two

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

I think it’s worthwhile to take a moment and look at the definition of partisan:

partisan[1,noun]

Main Entry:
1par·ti·san
Variant(s):
also par·ti·zan \ˈpär-tə-zən, -sən, -ˌzan, chiefly British ˌpär-tə-ˈzan\
Function:
noun
Etymology:
Middle French partisan, from north Italian dialect partiźan, from part part, party, from Latin part-, pars part
Date:
1555

1: a firm adherent to a party, faction, cause, or person; especially : one exhibiting blind, prejudiced, and unreasoning allegiance

In a post I put up earlier this week, I was rather snarkily harrassed for displaying the second half of the definition above…and fascinatingly enough, I was harrassed again today in a different post, for failing to display it. Now, clearly I’m either partisan or I’m not…there isn’t any gray area in terms of blind, prejudiced unreason. I am happy to report that in fact, not only do I not fit the second half of the definition, I don’t even fit the first. (Which I would have thought would have been a much more logical conclusion–the hypothesis that I must then be neither, rather than that I must be both! but hey. Diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks.)

Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m a registered Democrat, have been since the age of 20 and am reasonably content with it. However, I have no emotional investment in the fact. If I felt sufficiently motivated, I’d go register as a Republican, or a Green, or as nothing at all. I do not feel any particular loyalty toward or love for the Democratic party as an entity. In the same way, I feel no hatred toward the Republican party as an entity. Basically, I see them as two “clubs,” and really the only games in town if you actually want to do something that has any real effect in the great game that is American politics–if that is what you want, you have to “belong” to one of the clubs. So I picked the one that has as its stated goals…I’d prefer to say achieved or even vigorously pursued but I think I must stick to the much more accurate stated…ideals that are closest to the ones I want to be ascendant in the world in which I must live.

Because I fail at blind, prejudiced and unreasoning allegiance to the one club (and therefore blind, prejudiced and unreasoning rejection of the other) I am capable of two great (I may be injecting a little sarcasm into that adjective) feats. One, I do not fail to see the flaws, hypocrisies, inconsistencies and artificialities displayed by any individual(s) representing my chosen club; and two, I am able to perceive it when a member or four of the other club has something worthwhile, important, true or valid to say. Even more delicately, I am able to successfully interpret slanting of information by both sides, even regardless of the direction of the slant.

I find rational thought a relief. Don’t you?

(more…)