Saturday, May 06, 2006

Hookergate- Duh

So a few weeks ago there was a British study published that proved men make stupid choices after looking at pretty girls.

Is it any wonder then that prostitutes might make certain politicians more open to accepting bribes from contractors?

Stupid Republican boys. I can't wait to see how this one plays out. Where do hookers and bribery fall into the whole Character Counts slogan? What does getting someone to pay someone who is not your wife to give you a blow job have to do with family values?


Friday, May 05, 2006

Friday Playlist- Fuck the Patriarchy Edition

Nothing but Girrrrrrl Rock today.
  1. April March :Chick Habit
  2. Sleater Kinney: Dig Me Out
  3. Sleater Kinney: Combat Rock
  4. Le Tigre: Mediocrity Rules
  5. Princess Superstar: Ney York City Cunt
  6. Suzanne Vega: Blood Makes Noise
  7. Liz Phair: Fuck and Run
  8. LE Tigre: Hot Topic
  9. Sleater Kinney (Yeah I know-they're on here alot- shut up) Step Aside
  10. Sleater Kinney: You're No Rock and Roll Fun

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A Super Jumbo Answer

to the question "Do we really want the government controlling our healthcare? They screw up everything else"

Cause the private sector has done such a fantastic job with healthcare so far- uhuh. And the Easter Bunny really does pop out candy-colored eggs every spring.
Twenty-five Kaiser Permanente patients in Northern California were denied the chance for new kidneys that were nearly perfectly matched to them last year during the troubled start-up of the giant HMO's kidney transplant program in San Francisco, a Times investigation has found.
The Times reported Wednesday that Kaiser patients were imperiled by the massive start-up of the HMO's first kidney transplant program, which now has a waiting list of more than 2,000. Since Kaiser took over, the number of transplants has plummeted. Patients have complained of inexplicable delays. And paperwork snafus have left hundreds of patients stuck between programs with no hope of receiving a life-saving organ.
But the government would be worse? Really, how? Being denied a perfectly matched kidney because your insurance company couldn't pull its head out of its ass is better than what?

Fursday Funnies from The Stranger

The United States of North America?

Read this fantastic post over at Salon's How the World Works

One year ago, in the run-up to the French referendum on a proposed
constitution of the European Union, much was made of the "specter" of "the Polish plumber." In a Europe with ever-fewer restrictions on worker movement, so the theory went, a horde of cheap Polish plumbers would descend upon France (or England, or Germany) and wreak havoc on existing wage structures.

This is one reason that after the accession of the so-called A8 central and eastern European countries in 2004, only three "old E.U." nations, the U.K., Ireland, and Sweden, placed no restrictions at all on worker migration from the new E.U. members. But last week, four more, Greece, Finland, Spain and Portugal, possibly convinced by a fleet of studies opining that the economies of the U.K. and Ireland had benefited from the influx of new workers, if there was any visible effect at all, opened up their borders. Germany and Austria, which, not coincidentally, have historically been the most popular destinations for workers from eastern Europe, are still keeping a tight grip on inward migration.

For us, NAFTA and similar trade agreements we supposed to help us compete against the EU- whose population and GDP are quickly outpacing us. But NAFTA is only trade, not labor or social policy.

The main argument for both sides is that, historically speaking, every previous expansion of the E.U. has not resulted in an overwhelming rush of workers from poor to rich countries, because the benefits of membership have helped to boost
the economies of the new entrants so much that people find it more attractive to
stay home.
So maybe our real solution to immigration is to create a real alliance between Canada, Mexico and the US that includes immigration and social policy. Mexico would be required to create a less corrupt bureaucracy, the US would have to institute universal healthcare, and Canada could increase it's population and tax base. I know I'm about to say something heretical- but maybe we should be the United States of North America. Each country would still retain it's national identity (I think we can all acknowledge that the UK is not France) yet would benefit from a huge population and resource base. Mexico would increase its standard of living, which would increase the number of people who can afford to buy our products and decrease the number of people who need to come to this country to support their families.

Even action heros need inner calm

Action figures doing yoga. Very fucked-up!

Why do you deserve a pat on the head?

There has been a little running conflict about boys and how much credit we girls should give them going on in the blogosphere. I know that every time I post something girly I can hear crickets chirping and I am torn over what to do about it.

I could play benevolent educator- which is what I do in real life with a lot of you and what I do here quite frequently. But, and I'll be really honest, it is pretty fucking exhausting to constantly try to re-educate you all.

I could just write off all boys as never being able to understand the fucked up power structure that pushes on us like a groper in a subway car. But I like to think you are capable of understanding more than that.

And then there are the boys who want a great big pat on the head for doing what they are supposed to be doing- and this one makes me want to scream. Since when do we give people pats on the head for doing what they are supposed to be doing to begin with.

I'll give ya a couple of examples, and since it's May we're gonna center on parenting crap (happy Mother's day and all that)

Unamed Boy #1: "My wife got a new job and I have had to babysit my daughter every morning this week"

Uhm- that's not fucking babysitting- you're her parent for christsake- babysitters get paid. You are doing what you are supposed to be doing. Mother's never say "I am babysitting my own child", why do fathers act like it's such a big deal when they have to look after their own children? This was said to me, by the way, to get my sympathy and some kudos for the guy for "putting aside his very important work" so he could do this thing so his wife could work. If I remember correctly- he wanted his wife to work. They needed the money.

Unamed Boy #2 is a single dad raising his daughter by himself. Group of single mothers (and this just proves that the idiocy infects both sexes) is fawning over him for "taking responsibility". I sat back until it was my turn to speak at which I point I said something about "how nice it must be for him to get all this praise for doing the exact same thing that every woman in the room does everyday without getting any praise at all." In fact, single mothers usually get more harshly judged. We can't possibly perform as well as families where there is a man.

So the point to all this blathering is why do boys think they deserve a great big pat on the head for doing what they are supposed to be doing? I don't get a great big pat on the head everytime I wash a dish or pick my child up from school or do the grocery shopping. It is assumed, whether I am working or not, that these are my responsibilities.

I am sure the crickets will be chirping in force on this one. But at least y'all will be thinking about it.

Addendum:I am going to give one big fat pat on the head to Phuxy. He goes to school and takes care of the kiddos while his hot wife, Science Girl goes to work. I have never heard him call it babysitting nor has he ever acted like he was doing something above and beyond the call of duty. For that- Phuxy gets a head pat (and a belly rub if he's really nice).

But I wanna be a whore of heresy!

We made Sister Nancy Beth Ecxema's blogroll, but unfortunately we are only Nancy-cons. I wanna be a whore of heresy. Growl, whine, snivel.

Picture included above only cause I think it's hot. It has virtually no relation to this post whatsoever.

It's close enough for Fursday

New Conservative Fashion Trends Courtesy of Mikhaela- click on pick for more fun!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Buy Blue!

Most of you have heard me rant about buying crap from irresponsible companies. Now I have found a tool to make it much easier to know who you are buying from and what they do.

check out

Some things I have discovered:

I am never buying from Amazon again, I'll go to Powell's instead. is not only a great place to find bargains, but supports Dems too.

Ebay is blue-ish.

As always- Costco kicks all the other big-box stores in the nuts when it comes to corporate responsibility and donations to the Dems.

Shop wisely kids- only you have the power to prevent donations to the republicans being made with your hard earned money.

Sneaky little recruiters

Wonder and I were talking about the sneakiness of military recruiters this morning. See, I live in a poor neighborhood near a highschool. In the only shopping center for the neighborhood (this is the ghetto- big grocery stores don't want to compete for food stamp dollars) are all the military recruiters. Army, Navy and either Air Force or Marines (I can never remember which) all have men with crew-cuts and well-pressed uniforms wandering around all the time. Now, 3 miles up the road, where all the docs and proffs for the university live- there isn't a military recruiter to be found. I'm sure if they even tried- eyebrows would be raised considerably over there. But even here in the ghetto, they aren't getting much business lately. This is despite the reduction in student loans and financial aid to colleges. Guess the real possibility of dying in war isn't a great marketing strategy.

So I am perusing craigslist today- checking out jobs, cause like I said- they cut financial aid and the Queen's coffers are seriously diminished at the moment. I may have to take a break from school for a bit and go work a real job.

Then I ran across this:
Which leads to this little bit of crap:

Funny- I didn't know that dying in a fucked-up war constituted customer service work. And $250 a month seems like a paltry sum to me. No wonder they can't get anyone to join up.

But how sneaky is it to post on craigslist as a customer service job? Pretty damn sneaky in my opinion.

Now why did ya have to go and do that

Oh man- this just chaps my hide. Enough that I went and emailed my congressman- Jim McDermott.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) took on a rare role yesterday as a defender of President Bush. Hoyer came to the defense of the commander in chief after Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, where the president took a drubbing from comedian Stephen Colbert. “I thought some of it was funny, but I think it got a little rough,” Hoyer said. “He is the president of the United States, and he deserves some respect.”

We are the minority party because of pissants like this who couldn't grow a set of balls if they tried.

So here is the note I sent:

Dear Congressman McDermott:
Would you please tell Rep. Hoyer to stick a sock in it about Stephen Colbert's fabulously brave Correspondent's Dinner speech? Hoyer's sucking up is the reason Democrats are perceived as milquetoast weenies.

While our party has spent most of the last 6 years running around trying not to offend, Colbert was one of the few people to call Bush on his inane policy behavior to his face. If more dems acted like that instead of trying to pander- we wouldn't be the minority in every branch of the federal government. Standing up to corruption and idiocy is not disrespect- it is patriotism and a civic duty. Hoyer’s comments are asinine at best, but harmful in that they perpetuate the idea that Bush’s grab for absolute power is ok- he’s the president after all and according to Hoyer he deserves absolute respect simply for occupying that position.

Thank You, I know you have been much more vocal than most of your fellow Reps, but the other members of the party who (to use a blue phrase from my yellow dog democratic southern roots) wouldn’t say shit if they had their mouth full, are causing us to look like the party of cowards and suck-ups.

Thank You

If you are also tired of Democratic politicians who act like pimples on the ass of wignuts- go tell your rep to shut Hoyer up.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Fun with sitemeter

Some fun things I have discovered while checking out our Sitemeter info

1) If you search msn for hot girls wallpapers we show up as the 7th site. You'd be amazed at how many people get directed to our little site because of that. Little do they know they are actually getting Lovejoy's piece about Macho Vs. Girly. Guess it's one way of fighting the patriarchy- haha

2) If you search Yahoo for thankyoustevencolbert- we are #3 of 3 sites that shows up

3) My little post on ladyquakes also seems to draw them in - especially since Sister Nancy Beth Eczema linked back to our site) (scroll down to everyone gets a holiday but Jesus- we are the to speculate part of the link

4) Despite Mephistopheles tendency to be long winded- his posts on immigration vs environment and intelligence being linked to income have drawn in their own little following. Good for him!

And the number one thing I noticed while writing this post- we have to stop using vs. some much in our titles- macho vs. girly, income vs. intelligence, immigration vs environment

Get off your ass if you want to save the internet

from the NY Times:
Cable and telephone companies that provide Internet service are talking
about creating a two-tiered Internet, in which Web sites that pay them large
fees would get priority over everything else

So us poor bloggers would have to take a back seat to corporate bigwigs with fat wallets once again? I don't think so. The best argument I've heard against this is that telephone companies don't get to decide which phone call you make goes through faster- they shouldn't get to decide which pages you click load faster.

Shakespeares Sister has a good list of actions to take to save the internet- go do something good.

But ain't I a woman

The other day Mephistopheles brought me a print out of rules for husbands and wives from the late 1800's. I've seen similar things before and I love collecting old books on how women should behave. I currently have a sex manual from the 1930's and I used to have a revolutionary book called "What every young woman should know" from 1905 (my whack-ass mother has a tendency towards cleptomania and it's been gone for a while).

There is one main theme through these books- it assumes that the reader is of a class where the wife can stay home. It's a pretty steadfast delusion that until the the 1970's women didn't work. But it was only certain women that didn't work. Poor women have always worked- it was never a choice to stay home or to to earn a living- it was work or starve. Even today, the argument over women working outside the home only applies to a small minority of women who have the financial resources to actually have a choice. But the arguments and condescension from women who have the ability to choose not to work really piss me off. If they think more women should be barefoot in the kitchen- then maybe they should pay women to be barefoot in the kitchen so we all get a choice.

In my family, where women have always been what was previously called high-spirited (or independent) everyone works. I was fortunate that I could take a year or so off when The Kid was born, but that is because childcare would have cost more than a 20 year old can generally make.

Mephistopheles comes from a family that has been securely lodged in the upper-middle class for a long time. The women didn't have to work. He sometimes forgets that this may have been the social ideal of the time- but it is not really the whole truth.

So, I thought I would give you all Sojourner Truth's "Ain't I a Woman" to remind you all that women work and always have. We haven't always been paid for it, but it's never been bonbons and soap operas for most of us.

Sojourner Truth (1797-1883): Ain't I A Woman?Delivered 1851Women's Convention, Akron, Ohio

Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?
That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?
Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?
Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.
If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say.

Next time someone says something about when women didn't work- ask them when in the history of the world have women not worked?

Oh Willie- thanks for giving me a platform

Willie Nelson has an article up at alternet about saving family farms, and it's the perfect excuse for me to launch into one of my favorite topics- eliminating farm subsidies.

In America, we tend to think of the people who grow our crops and raise our meat as the struggling family farmer who is doggedly perusing a noble cause and spartan existence. When the topic of removing farm subsidies comes up, images of Willie Nelson on stage at Farm Aid in the 1980’s are trotted out to pull our heartstrings. But most farm subsidies in America go to large agri-business firms. From Welfare Farming at Fortune Small Bussiness:
“America’s farmers are among the most cosseted constituencies in the
country. In the past five years alone, they have soaked up a record $99
billion in subsidy payments…But it is the biggest farms that get the most,
turning subsidies into a particularly gross kind of corporate welfare. The
largest 10% of farms get about 70% of the loot.”

Huhm- sounds familiar. Once again the wealthiest 10% are taking off with most of the government cash. Just to give you an example- the subsidies on cotton are equal to the actual market output and America has 40% of the worlds cotton exports- yet struggling West African produce cotton much more efficiently until you factor in US subsidies. Another example- it cost a farmer in 2001 $5.31 to produce a bushel of wheat which was then sold on the international market for $3.50 after US subsides were applied. That's a subsidy of about 34%.

On a positive note, the small organic farms the Willie is talking about are experiencing the fastest growth and innovation as well as being able to set above commodity market prices for their goods. So I can absolutely get behind Wilie's call to help the small farmers with legislation to keep land, food and water healthy.

This year the farm bill is set to expire (they expire every 5 or 6 years and the last one was instituted in 2002). So how about we eliminate those subsidies to wealthy agri-business and in it's place we can give grants to innovative farmers to increase yields in organic farming and expand the food stamp program so that it's not just rich white yuppies that can afford organic milk and pesticide free vegtables. We all deserve healthy food, and the small farmers that produce it best derserve a fair shot to do so

Monday, May 01, 2006

Happy International Workers Day!

I know, there are marches in the streets and some of you are bitching about your inability to get a taco- but I thought I'd remind you all what today is all about.

This little calculator has just told me that the average CEO makes my hourly wage in just over 30 seconds.

Some other fun facts about my job: I am not allowed to work over a certain number of hours per week- even though the committee that funds my position has paid for more hours- because then I would qualify for benefits. If I go over a certain number of hours in a 6 month period- they have to fire me.

I wish my little employment misfortunes were unique, but sadly they are not. I also wish I got the benefits that working for a state government (or in my case a regional community college district) are supposed to provide in lieu of private sector salaries- but again, sadly no. I do have a job where I get to spend many hours glaring at students and playing rebel typist with a cause, but that doesn't make up for a lack of dental care or full time salary.

Que sara, sara. Happy May 1st

Farewell Mr. Galbraith

On Saturday, John Kenneth Galbraith, the architect of the new deal, social security, and the guy who instituted Keynsian economics in America, died at the age of 97.

Mr. Galbraith was an unabashed liberal who thought that the military industrial complex that made war profitable was a very bad thing and would prefer to see our economy to " respond to welfare, to a kindness, a humane need, not to sending soldiers into battle or, nowadays, sending airplanes to bomb innocent people".

While Hayek's ideas may currently rule the day, I can only hope that Galbraith is rediscovered as an economist who was capable of incorporating humanism into the discipline and gave us ideas for how society should be - so we know what to aspire to. Next time someone tells you that all progressives do is bitch about the problem, you can point to Galbraith as someone who gave solutions. And hopefully his son, James K. Galbraith, will continue the tradition.

Geek Political Theory Alert

So for the major theory geeks- there has been a bit of an academic battle between the theories of Francis Fukuyama (End of History) and Samuel Huntington (Clash of Civilizations). My poly sci proff is a Huntington freak- so Fukuyama was barely skimmed over in my international relations class and I didn't pay much attention. I preferred to bitch about Huntingdon's eurocentric bullshit (for the record- I am a die hard fan of Emmanuel Wallerstien's structuralist theories, which puts me on the far left).

Then I read this and watched this. Fukuyama is steadfastly based in free market liberalism (trade=democracy=more trade=more democracy=more trade) but he deftly explains the neocons 'realism" of creating an enemy in order to gain more power. I remember the attempts to make China the most feared nation (while Clinton was giving China most favored nation trade status). I have often wondered if the neocons were really that paranoid or if they were trying to instill fear where none was needed. Turns out they are all about exploiting the fear.

So now that the evil empire is Muslim instead of Soviet- you can bet your ass there will be an invasion of Iran. They could not possibly let diplomacy do it's job because diplomacy defeats the image of the scary Muslims with nuclear weapons and without an image of an enemy to fight against and protect people from, the neocons haven't got a thing to keep us in line with.

Give thanks to truthiness in action

Go leave a thank you note for Steven Colbert and his giant balls o'steel at You know he's gonna need all the support he can muster when the Great Decider sicks all the acronyms (FBI, CIA, IRS, FCC, NSA, etc.) on him.

And just a little something to make your panties wet- I give you raised eyebrow Steven (uhmmmm full of tasty truthieness)

Will Taco Bell be Open Today?

Denver-area contractor Chuck Saxton, who hires temporary workers, is sympathetic to the movement. "I'm going to go to support them. These guys come here, they work hard and they're honest," he said. "They provide a vibrancy to our economy and our country that is fading."

Of course Chuck loves his illigal workforce. You know why they work hard and they're honest Chuck? Because if they fuck up there's ten more of them in the Home Depot parking lot chomping at the bit for the same job. Chuck, do you relly think that things are going to be the same if "we're all equal"? Do they look so appealing when you have to pay them benifits and respect their rights?

Shit Chuck, you might as well unionize them while you're at it... turn them on to the dysfunctional American Work Ethic.

I'm off to find a taco and a Dos Equis... fuck everyone.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Free trade means free trade of labor too

This article states better than any of my inept ramblings why it is that this whole immigration brouhaha is a bunch of protectionist crap.

From the standpoint of economic theory, liberalizing the flow of labor is no different from liberalizing trade. Both redistribute a nation's wealth, with a net positive effect. The difference is that liberalizing trade disproportionately benefits richer countries, while easing immigration
restrictions would help the world's poor.

Dani Rodrik, an economist at Harvard, estimates that a worker in the first world earns 10 times more than someone with similar qualifications in the third. Even a light loosening of immigration restrictions, Rodrik argues, would provide a far bigger boost to the world's poor than knocking down all the famously crippling agricultural subsidies.

I am big on eliminating farm subsidies to begin with. Africa can produce higher quality cotton at a fraction of the rate of the US before our ag subsidies kick in, and NAFTA destroyed Mexican corn farmers by flooding the market with cheap, subsidized American corn while Mexican officials ignored the quota system put in place to soften the blows to Mexican farmers. Even while competing with massive US subsidies, Brazil kicks everyone's ass when it comes to soy production. But Rodrik is right, if one immigrant African worker makes 10 times more money in the US than at home there is no way that eliminating ag subs could come anywhere near to improving the poverty that remittances from the US could. If an immigrant sends home just 10% of their pay- they have contributed an entire year's wages to their family.
After all, for many in those countries, their biggest asset is their labor,
and the current system forces them to sell it at much lower than market value.
If free trade is a tide that lifts all boats, then so is free labor. But this
time, the smallest boats get the biggest boost. If we're going to ask countries
to let in our goods, we should be willing to let in their workers.

I know very few of us who would be willing to give up the niceties that we get for cheap from imported sources. I'm sitting here right now in a skirt made in China and a t-shirt made in Guatemala. I know the horrible conditions these clothes were made under- yet I still wear them. So is it that you don't mind the crushing poverty wages as long as you don't have to see it. Or maybe you don't like the idea of competing with someone who is more desperate than you for work. If that's the case- then legalize the immigrant workers and let them organize. I can promise you that if they have legal rights to better pay then they will use them. The only reason they work for less than minimum wage now is that they have no recourse. But think about it- would you work for less than minimum wage if you had legal recourse- hell no!

All Colbert, all the time!

Shakespeare Bill has forwarded me a link to the entire text of Colbert's speech and a link to the video that may work faster.

But just to give y'all a taste of what you're missing- Colbert to the White House Press Corp:

But, listen, let's review the rules. Here's how it works. The president
makes decisions, he’s the decider. The press secretary announces those
decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make,
announce, type. Put them through a spell check and go home. Get to know your
family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking
around in your head. You know the one about the intrepid Washington reporter
with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know fiction.

And I can't forget to mention the intrepid Helen Thomas! The Christian Science Monitor is a fantastic paper and it's nice to see some journalists still have a set of steel ovaries and a rightous sense of humor. Go Helen!

Steven Colbert- I want to have your babies!

(this photo was shmaelessly stolen from Shakespeare's Sister- deal)
Steven Colbert and his truthiness should be added to my hot brains list.

I wish I was still sleeping with the cable guy for free cable- just to I could watch Colbert work his magic. But I've seen the cable guy that works my neighborhood now and even if it was doggy style with Colbert on the TV screen in front of me- I couldn't do it. Even if it was gay porn of Colbert and Jon Stewart getting it on in front of me I couldn't do it- the cable guy is just that gross (think handle bar mustache, giant beer belly barely contained by his cable guy shirt and a mullet and you've got my cable guy now)

So the point of all this Colbert worship is that he roasted The Great Decider at the White House Correspondents' Dinner the other night. It is fantastically funny (though the Great Decider is less than amused) and much of the audience looks uncomfortable.

I give you Colbert's entire speech (cut into three bits at You Tube) it takes forever to download but it is soooooooooo worth it.

Viva la truthiness. Viva Colbert!

Colbert Roasts Bush 1

Colbert Roasts Bush 2

Colbert Roasts Bush 3