Category Archives: Undead sexist cliches

Sunday morning linkage

A look at how much Tea Party groups spend on fundraising vs. what actually goes to candidates.
•RIP Aero. The company that planned to deliver broadcast TV over the Internet lost against the broadcasters (who claimed this violated copyright) and now failed to get itself reclassified as a cable company.
•Jim Fallows looks at the parade of Iraq “experts” who were completely wrong about the merits and outcome of attacking Iraq before, but are still taken seriously as worth of consideration. Case in point, William Kristol and Fred Kagan, who insisted back in 2002 that “The Iraqi threat is enormous. It gets bigger with every day that passes.” No argument with Fallows here—I’ve mentioned before how pundits almost never suffer (at least in terms of being taken seriously by their publishers) for being massively wrong.
•Best way to keep women virgins until marriage: Make ‘em marry young. Courtesy of defeating the dragons.
•A place in Europe where crossing borders is fun!
•LGM argues (as it has before) that Obama is indeed the most liberal president in recent history, and discusses the difficulties in shifting the “Overton Window.”
•Increasing discussion of campus rape has some male students worried asking a woman out will get them tarred as a rapist/harasser. This is actually an old, old bugaboo—as one student says, better training about consent and harassment and which is which might help a lot.

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My new And column and a couple of other links

The new And column is up, on the claims that talking about sexism, racism, homophobia etc. is “divisive,” except when you’re in favor of them.
•Roy Edroso looks at the right-wing reaction to the Ferguson shooting and subsequent violence. You’ll be fascinated to know that when cops shoot blacks on the street, it’s Obama’s fault.
•Hobby Lobby may be strong for its own religious rights, but it’s fine with preaching to school kids.
•A suicidal 18-year-old rape victim in Ireland asks for an abortion when the fetus is two weeks along. Although Ireland allows abortion in that situation, it took the authorities 17 weeks to decide she had to get a C-section instead. Because nothing’s better for suicidal rape victims than carrying their rapist’s baby for four months.
•From a few years back, a violent encounter between a young black man and cops (the violence being all on the cops’ side).
•To escape all the liberals on Facebook, try Reaganbook!
•Tyler Cowen, a libertarian who thinks mandatory vaginal ultrasounds are a great idea and that there’s no logical reason employers shouldn’t have the right to demand employees have sex with them also thinks the problem with the poor is they’re not moral enough, so they should try, say, converting to the Latter-Day Saints. Paging David Brooks, the dude’s on your turf!

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Art is lost the conservative said, let us weep for the soul of man.

Apparently John C. Wright’s claims liberals were anti-beautiful art fits neatly into the current right-wing zeitgeist. Here we have one conservative seething that liberals are destroying beauty in art because we left-wingers can’t separate art from politics. And rape apologist Rod Dreher explains that conservatives make better art because great art requires drawing on archetypes and archetypes are traditional and therefore conservative. Or something like that.
Of course, complaints about modern art and how liberals demand art be politically correct have a long pedigree, so perhaps it’s coincidence all these posts show up fairly close together.
•Another long-standing tradition is predicting that libertarianism is finally about to catch on. Roy Edroso links to an NYT piece trotting out the usual cliches: libertarians are contemptuous of both Republicans and Democrats (this is often taken as a sign of independent thinking in the media). Young voters support legalizing pot and gay marriage which shows they want government out of their private lives, just like libertarians, and they don’t like either party’s handling of the economy. Is this the hour of libertarian triumph?
As Edroso notes, the article hardly touches on economic policy, which is the truly big issue for libertarians: they want regulation on business gone, dead, pushing up daisies (as I’ve mentioned before, the real reason libertarianism misses it’s moment is that most people realize this would suck for everyone who’s not rich or a corporation). For a fair number of them, social libertarianism (get the government out of the bedroom) is not part of the deal or at least a minor one. One of the interviewees in the NYT story says that of course she thinks government should get out of deciding who can get married … which means changing the law to let gay people get married is wrong. And Rand Paul (held up in the article as the Great Libertarian Leader Who Can Win!) is willing to support a federal gay marriage amendment (he fuzzes his position a little here). And then there’s libertarian Bryan Caplan, who argues women were freer in the 1800s than today because the lack of regulation far outweighs the legal restrictions on women.
As the blogger Digby has pointed out, there was a lot more libertarian support for Republicans than Democrats in the past couple of elections (if someone has counter-statistics that prove me wrong, feel free to do so). Yet Repubs are more aggressively interventionist on war issues than Dems and very, very anti social libertarianism. The only libertarian issue where they overlap is deregulation. So apparently that’s good enough.
Slacktivist has noted many times that Roe vs. Wade was no big deal to most Protestants, including evangelicals, when it first hit. Then over the years, it became a flashpoint, a fundamental issue. And now the push against birth control shows the same trend as sexist theocrats—oh, I’m sorry, deeply religious people concerned that using birth control isn’t “openness to life”—push to establish anti-birth control as an issue for Protestants too.
•However you here far more complaints from feminists than right-to-lifers about discrimination against pregnant women.
•The right continues crying that culture is left-wing and conservatives must take it back somehow!
•A black woman writes about a shopping trip to Best Buy. She says she’s used to being asked for her receipt but even that wasn’t good enough, and an employee wouldn’t let her leave until a salesperson vouched for her.
•This profile of gun activist Larry Pratt is striking because Pratt seems to embody so many conservative aspects. For instance, when the government is crushing left-wingers he’s all for it but when it infringes on gun rights, it’s Satan incarnate. He emphasizes the absolutist radical-left approach (no deviation from ideology!) that I’ve mentioned before. And he’s apparently fine attending white-supremacist and anti-semitic conferences as a supporter.

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Drugs, birth control, police brutality and other links.

•The FDA has asked drug companies to stop selling antibiotics to fatten livestock. Consumerist concludes the unimpressed reaction from the stock market is a sign of how toothless it is.
•Digby reminds us that despite right-wing claims all women who use contraceptives are slutty, more married women use birth control than singles (mostly because as a group they’re more sexually active).
•A court has approved a company’s request to subpoena Amazon reveal the names of some anonymous reviewers. The company in question says the reviews are part of a negative campaign to discredit it.
•We have an infrastructure that’s aging and breaking but politicians aren’t willing to maintain it.
•This Ruthless World says no, motherhood is not “the world’s toughest job” because it’s not a job in any definition of the world.
•A new religious exemption for businesses—this time against allowing workers to unionize.
•Tumblr says someone posting footage from an illegal toilet-cam isn’t grounds for taking down the site.
•Whistle-blower Edward Snowden says checking out the occasional private explicit video is a fringe benefit for the patriots in surveillance. This is not surprising: I’ve heard the same thing about cops and IRS agents abusing their surveillance powers (checking out exes or daughter’s boyfriends for instance).
•I’ve posted here about the GOP’s sudden eagerness to deny its war on women. Here’s one tactic for having the cake and eating it too: push legislation reaffirming women’s right to birth control while supporting the right of employers not to have their insurance cover it. Which is close to the anti-abortion tactics: don’t outlaw it, just make it harder and harder to get (as I’ve mentioned before, some employers now claim even signing a form to say they won’t provide coverage violates their rights). Case in point, Ohio legislator John Becker favors a)a bill that won’t let women pay for abortions with their insurance and b)a bill that won’t let women who have Medicaid or public-employee insurance use it to cover IUDs. On being told IUDs don’t call abortion, Becker’s brilliant explanation was that “I’m not a doctor. That’s just my opinion.”
•A police officer puts a man selling bootleg cigarettes in a chokehold. He dies. It happens with chokeholds, which is why cops aren’t supposed to use them. Right-winger AJ Delgado tells readers that police brutality was fine when cops beat up liberal protesters, but that was then and now cops have a union, so that’s bad. And modern cell-phone video makes it impossible to ignore the violence (as noted at the link, the only way to ignore the violence against civil-rights protesters was to close your eyes, which some conservatives were happy to do).

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When workers get paid less, they win!

At least that’s the theory of Virginia Postrel. You see millions of minimum-wage, part-time workers can’t make ends meet because that takes two jobs. And they can’t work two jobs because the schedule for even one part-time job is too unreasonable.
Think the solution is higher pay? Don’t be silly. As Postrel explains, the solution is lower pay: Workers could trade lower hourly pay for a better schedule except that thrice-damned minimum wage law gets in the way! So if we end minimum wage so they get paid less, then they can get a second job and work more hours and everything will be great! And after all, it’s not like removing the minimum would lead employers to cut wages and still impose shitty schedules because … funny, she doesn’t address that.
According to a former Hobby Lobby employee, the chain’s owners’ pro-life beliefs didn’t protect her when she took unpaid maternity leave (she didn’t qualify for the federally guaranteed kind): she got fired.
•On a more cheerful note for labor, the National Labor Relations Board has ruled that McDonalds is a “joint employer” alongside its franchisees: it exerts enough control that if labor conditions are unfair, workers can sue Mickey D’s, not just the franchise owner. The Wapo reports that the NLRB is also looking at a California case involving a staffing agency that has similar implications. Needless to say corporations are very unhappy.
•An appeals court has ruled that Mississippi’s last abortion clinic can stay open for now. The rationale is that just saying “women can go out of state so it’s not affecting their rights” is bullshit.
•One of the staple rape apologist arguments is that date rape isn’t really rape or at least it’s not as awful as a regular stranger rape. This Ruthless World explains this is, again, bullshit. Atheist Richard Dawkins’ dismissive comments (quoted therein) are a reminder that ugly as right-wing sexism gets, Republicans and conservative Christians are not the only offenders. Another case in point.
•George Will claims that America can handle an influx of Latino children coming over the border. Fox News freaks out. Given my distaste of Will’s recent rape apologism, it’s nice to see him say something sensible.
•You may have heard this already, but just in case: A teenage Virginia couple sext each other, including sending pictures of their intimate parts. The girl’s mother complains so the boy gets arrested for making and sending “child porn.” Prosecutor Claiborne Richardson actually threatened to have the kid given shots that would give him a hard-on, then take photos of it so his office could determine whether it’s the same penis in the photos.
•Meanwhile, we have a woman arrested because she let her nine-year-old daughter play in the park … alone.
•One of the staple conservative/libertarian arguments is that if the federal government has to fund programs, it should give the money to the states and let them decide how to spend it. LGM says the refusal of severals states to cooperate with Obamacare shows this is a bad idea if you want federal help to actually do good.
•Just because you pay to stop payment on a check doesn’t mean the check will be stopped.
•And despite laws that protect military members from shady financing deals some companies still prey on soldiers.

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Newsflash: Obama plotting to get impeached

That’s the new right-wing shtick: Republicans don’t want to impeach Obama and they’ve never even suggested it. So clearly Obama is making it up just to build sympathy and get out the vote this fall.
And that makes perfect sense if you ignore the facts, which are that multiple members of Congress and also Glenn Beck have called for impeaching him.
I should also note the same thing came up during the Hobby Lobby aftermath—claims Obama had directed his attorneys to go soft so that Hobby Lobby could win and the Dems would get voters out.
In other denial-of-reality news, an ESPN talking head mansplains that while yes, beating your spouse is very bad, women should ask what they could have done to avoid provoking their husband (although he plays the weasel card and says it’s not real provocation but “the elements of provocation” Which apparently is totally different).
In other news—
•An interesting discussion of masculinity at LGM. Among other points, I’m inclined to agree that one reason you can’t consciously embrace an old-fashioned masculinity because it requires consciously acting out a role that used to be automatic.
•Following broadcasters’ win over Aero, the networks try to shut down a DISH system for cloud DVR. Here’s a more detailed look at the legal issues.
•Comcast works very hard to maintain a close relationship with the people who’ll be deciding on its Time-Warner merger proposal.

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The price of a productive day—

At least for today is being too tired for anything but links.
•Bank of America will pay a $16.6 million settlement over charges it knowingly took drug-dealers’ money. Of course that’s the kind of penalty a corporation that size can shrug off. A shame we don’t put people in jail for drug crimes. Oh, wait ….
•A Yelp review’s joke about free abortions prompts a Portland restaurant to donate money to a women’s crisis line. Meanwhile another Portland eatery (ice cream) raises money for Planned Parenthood and gets threats.
•A Finnish educator says that evolutionary psychology should be taught to everyone everywhere. Echidne disagrees (and here’s a past post of mine on the topic).
•The Bloggess responds to a new Tumblr meme, Women Against Feminism. While I agree with her that feminism has its problems, I think a lot of the “against” is because right-wingers have portrayed feminism so negatively for the past 30 or 40 years. As witness one sign that baffles the Bloggess “I don’t need to grow out my body hair to prove I’m equal to men.” The idea of feminists as hairy, unshaven women (and that this is a Very Bad Thing) is a staple caricature, common enough it’s not surprising people buy into it (even people whose actual beliefs are extremely feminist. I’ve known several).
•Undocumented immigrants are a greater threat to America than al Qaeda, one right-winger proclaims!
•A church actually expels a pastor for sexually abusing children. That shouldn’t be noteworthy, but it is.
•A Catholic group active in supporting immigrants doesn’t support same-sex marriage but has a membership in a Hispanic organization that does. Which is pro-gay enough that the Catholic Church cut the group’s funding.
•Eight states have religious tests for public office.
•Some moderate churches worry that Obama’s treating gay rights too much like racial or gender rights.
•I’ve read about Apple’s brutal treatment of it’s overseas workers. Apparently American workers get treated illegally too. Outsourcing, of course, lets companies push what they do into the shadows, and they prefer it that way.
•Apple and a computer security specialist lock horns over possible back doors in iPhones.
Here’s a good idea for dealing with “safety” regulations that place requirements on abortion clinics but no-one else: Make them apply to all similar medical businesses (if abortion doctors have to have hospital-admitting privileges, so do dentists).
•A Florida court throws out a gerrymandered legislative district.

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