Saturday, May 03, 2008

More on class warfare

It's just sheer dumb luck that I read this article after writing my post below.

This is to give you a taste of what I meant by "I know that poor people aren't lazy (and because I know the other side- I know that despite their nice words the upper class thinks we are)."

So this article at Salon is about the greenwashing of a super lux, environmentally friendly (put air quotes on that) development in Montana. When the locals decided that there was something wrong in Denmark, Wade Dokken, the super wealthy DEMOCRAT who started the project threw a bit of a hissy fit about the lower class

For Dokken, this proved too much. When you cracked on the ultra-wealthy, you were cracking on his people, and he couldn't let such a remark go unchallenged. He fired off a letter to Park County planner Mike Inman in which, among other things, he berated his critics for "class envy," claiming remarks like Feigley's were directed "at people who have had more success in life than the letter writers and blog writers ... Perhaps they were smarter. Perhaps they worked harder. Perhaps they managed their money better ..."
Really, the elites of our own party think we are poor because we are dumb and lazy. How does that make them Democrats exactly?

BSG open thread

First- have any of you peeps also watched the new Bionic Woman (you can see if on for free)and realized just how many BSG actors show up in it?
Not just Starbuck, but the Chief and Baltar's lawyer. And that's just the pilot.

Spoilers below

OMG mutiny! Cylon alliances! Leoben!

And how is it that Chief can't see that Tory is chock full o'evil?

And the more religious Baltar gets the more creeped out I become. One true god my ass.

When Hopium Smokers Get Desperate

they doctor old documentaries to make it seem like Clinton's supporters are both racist and hate Indiana.

Nice to see the desperation boys. You know, they say a hopium addiction is really hard to kick. It takes about 15 minutes of using common sense and a whole lotta self-examination. Why are you a sexist? Why would you give up all reason and rational thinking for a mythical unity pony? How come you were so easily swayed by someone's charisma while the glaring reality was invisible to you? Are you really just a dumb follower who is easily distracted by pretty words like a fish is distracted by shiny gum wrappers?

I feel like chicken tonight

(Does anyone remember those silly Chicken Tonight commercials? Cause I do and now I totally have it stuck in my head)

Since that is out of the way, via NO Quarter comes a little video about chickens and Obama and debate. This is another "It's Funny Cause It's True" video. I should make that a tag.


Edited to add: Also from NO Quarter- the best description of Obamabots yet. "Smoking hopium" Bahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

Class Warfare

First, go read Anglachel's incredible post on class divide that is splitting the Democratic party.

Anglachel brings up something that has been twisting in my head for a while. I am a horrible hybrid of the two halves of the Democratic party. On one side is my father's family, who my mother called "San Francisco intellectuals". They have always had money. They have always been part of the thinking class. They were abolitionists. They are the western version of the WASP, or what happens to white Anglo Saxon protestants when they get some sunshine and a shitload of wealth from good real estate investments.

Then there is my mother's side. Sure, 500 years ago they were minor aristocracy, but they have become the embodiment of southern, working class whites. My mom grew up as a "Detroit street rat", Detroit being a place where many poor southerners (both black and white) went to get decent jobs in the auto industry. My mother's family fought on the side of the North in the civil war, but not for the esoteric idea of equality. They were too poor to own slaves to begin with. They fought for the North because many remembered the Revolutionary war and could not bring themselves to fight against a union that had cost them so much. They are hillfolk in North Carolina and Tennessee.My great uncles all live in trailers circling each other like wagons.

So I grew up with the intellectual values of my father's family coupled with a sure knowledge of the poverty of my mother's (especially since my father's intellectual values didn't extend to him paying child support). I know and treasure things that the working class isn't supposed to, like travel and languages and grand theories of how people should think and act. I know which silverware to use in fancy restaurants and how to conduct myself with people who have a lot more money than I do. I know about the weird foods rich people eat with gusto and how to pretend to like them.

I also know how to pull together with my fellow poor neighbors and share burdens. I know how to navigate the horrible red tape of social services (if anything I could be considered a super-power, my understanding of bureaucrat-ese is it). I know how to juggle bill payments with an "oh but I mailed that check last week, didn't you get it?" I know that you can work you ass off and never make it out of poverty. I know that poor people aren't lazy (and because I know the other side- I know that despite their nice words the upper class thinks we are). I know that we are not dumb, but luckless.

And there, did you notice that. That I started saying "we". I think it is only recently that I picked my side. I still cringe over the trappings of poor white culture. I will never be a lover of Nascar or football or cheap beer. I will still love art and literature and most gourmet foods. But in the basics, I am working class.

Someone once told me that I was a "good representative for poor people" (and then asked me to do an interview in order to get their organization donations). What they meant is that though I am poor, I speak like a member of the educated elite. I was grouchy about that at first. But if I can claim my class and use my vocabulary to better our lot, then so be it. Well spoken poor people have a long history of advancing society. Even Socrates was the son of a midwife and a stonemason.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

In the ghetto

So right across from my lab, about 10 minutes ago, there was a shooting. According to the 911 logs, it was an assault with a weapon. We all heard the gun shot then heard (and saw, cause my lab door is open) a bunch of girls go running into the bank for cover.

This is the 3rd shooting in 2 years. This neighborhood hasn't always been quite so violent (despite it's reputation). But the worse the economy gets, the more stressed out people get and the more trigger happy they become. And since this is a poor neighborhood, we are always close to the violence tipping point.

It's not endemic to a certain race. Look at our oil wars. When resources get scarce, people fight and kill. It's part of the anthropological idea of collapse (Jarred Diamond readers will be familiar with the term, so will anyone who has taken a class in anthropology or sociology or looked at the carrying capacity lately).Poor people are war fodder because it is easy to push us into reacting violently over scarce resources. In the shopping center where the shooting just happened is a recruitment office for the army, navy and marines. That is no accident.

UPDATE: The guy who got shot just got grazed (he's the son of a friend of the school janitor) and the shooter got caught. But for the 2 hours of fuel for 5 helicopters and the costs of the 7 police cars, 3 fire engines and 2 ambulances that showed up, we could probably pay for an officer to patrol this neighborhood after school (when most of the trouble happens) and during the summer.


In England the people who clean out old stations of the London Underground are called "fluffers".

I wonder if they get as much respect as fluffers in America?

It's funny cause it's true

Does Anyone Remember

How got started?

That it was Censure and Move On meaning censure Bill Clinton for the Lewinsky thing and then move on to the business of running the country?

(Move On has never really had a love of the Clintons or the censure bit wouldn't be necessary)

But mostly it was a giant group of people who felt that their needs we not being served because their political reps were too busy doing something else.

So now there is a huge group of us, much like those early move-oners, who feel left out and trampled on by the political powers that be while our needs are ignored. And the phrase that keeps coming up is "Thrown under the bus".

Maybe, as Doctor Violet pointed in a post several weeks ago, the seeds of the new progressive blogosphere needs a sort of post clearing house. Our own Daily Kos (minus the megalomania and sexism) of sorts.

And maybe that place should be called "Under the Bus" cause it would be people by those of us who keep being thrown there whenever it's expedient for the Democratic party.

Just an idea.

Assistance please (and this includes lurkers)

Come out and play!

Actually, a guy from the NY Post is looking for people who have switched from supporting Obama to supporting Hillary.

As a special prize to anyone who replies (including lurkers who just wanna say Hi) I'm brining back the virtual cookie award.


How Barak Fails the Working Class

The media would like us all to think that the working class isn't voting for Obama because he's an arugala eating, latte drinking, non-bitter elitist.

Note to the media- we working class people know about Starbucks. We drink lattes too. We don't think Hillary spends her days shopping at Walmart and eating at MacDonalds. We don't care if our next president is someone we can have a beer with.

And note to Obamabots- it's not just the white working class that doesn't trust Obama. It's the Latinos and the Asians. It's pretty much everyone but the African Americans (and we can't fault them for voting for someone who looks like them).

Obama cannot win the working class because Obama has NO FRICKEN IDEA what we need. His ideas all center on making things easier for business. We know that benefits to businesses usually involve less protection for us. Less job protection, less retirement protection, less wage protection, fewer benefits, more hours, etc.

We, the working class, need wages that will pay our housing, gas, and food costs. We need health insurance that doesn't cripple us. We need a country with a future. We need another industry boom that creates living wage jobs. We need education that is affordable for ourselves and our children. We need a real way to save for retirement. We need options for our young people above and beyond becoming fodder for the war machine. We need schools in our neighborhoods that prepare kids, not warehouse them.

Yes, there is part of us that remembers Bill Clinton. But what so many people fail to realize is that the working class has been in a recession since Bush took office in 2001. We have never had an upward swing under Bush. But under Clinton we got raises. When Clinton was president, my income doubled every year that I worked full time. I actually made it to the middle class. I had a house and a car that was paid for and ran. I could pay for childcare and rent and utilities.

Since Bush took office, my income has decreased by 30% every year until it hit half the poverty level. And I've been stuck there since. That is 7.5 years of poverty. That more than half my kid's life.

We trust Hillary not just because we remember Bill, but because we know she actually thinks about our plight. We know that she has the big wonkish brain to find solutions that actually help us.

Hope and change are lovely ideas, but we can't feed our kids hope and change. We can't pay for college with hope and change. We can't by food on hope and change credit. We want solutions. We want to count. We want our kids to have a shot at the American dream, though for the last 8 years it's become obvious that we are the new feudal class. Our Lord and Employer may change, but there is no way for us to improve our lot anymore.

We don't care if the person with the right ideas drinks lattes or coffee regular. We don't care if that person drinks Bud or Burgundy. And we want someone who understands that we aren't just bitter, we are angry. We got promised the American dream only to have our homes foreclosed on. We know we've been fed a load of shit. We want someone to make the promise reachable again. We know Hillary has the not only the chops to do it, but the desire to. Barak is just feeding us another load of hopeful shit, but we know the taste already.

A wee bit of good insomnia news

Recent poll puts Hillary 2 points above Obama in NC.

I think this calls for a Par-Tay!

PS- Hillary rocked BillO's world. And laughed in his face. Hey Obama- that's how you take on Faux News. (link has video)

Nighty Night

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Request From the Kid

Dear People of Blogland:

My mom has asked for just one thing for Mother's day. She would like Hillary Clinton to be the nominee.

I can't buy that for her. But you can help me get my mom what she wants. Anything you can do to help Hillary win means that I can give my mom the best Mother's day present ever.

And if I butter her up with a present that she really wants, then maybe I can get her to let me play video games in the living room more often.


The Kid

Buyer's remorse?

I must admit to more than a wee bit of schadenfreude while the big boi bloggers realize that Obama is not the holy anointed one but is, in fact, a politician.

But here's the real problem.

For months we have been treated like outsiders. We have been bullied, harassed, insulted and called racists for not supporting Obama with unquestioning loyalty.Our concerns about Obama's casual sexism and the outright sexism of the media and Obamabots has been ignored at best, ridiculed at worst. Our concerns about his lack of experience and love of republican framing have been completely ignored.

But then Obama showed up on the enemies own tv station and started parroting soft Republicanism 101.

Now that those same bully boys have realized that Obama's robes ain't as spotless as they thought, I wonder if we will get a half hearted apology for having been pushed out of the main Democratic blogs? (Doubtful) or will we just get more of the shut up and love the unity pony bullshit.

Hey, you guys are the ones that bought this Unity Pony to begin with. You may regret it now, but that doesn't mean that we have take a ride on the pony with you just cause you finally got a wee bit of sense in your head.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

No matter the reason

I don't know if it's still reproductive choice week or not. But shit, it's reproductive choice week every week here.

India, despite having outlawed the practice of aborting girl fetuses for their girlness, still has a dearth of girls.

Feminist me says "duh, making abortions illegal, no matter what the reason is, NEVER reduces the number of abortions".

We use that as an argument here all the time. We say it just pushes women to find underground solutions. Rich women travel, poor women risk death and rusty coat hangars. But making abortions illegal doesn't change the demand for them. This also works as an argument in places where abortions happen for reasons we find repellent.

Now of course I think aborting girl fetuses because they lack a penis is atrocious. But simply making abortion illegal is not going to make more girl babies be magically born. In a place like India, the only way to make daughters more desirable is by making them people and not property. And that takes a lot more laws, a lot more work, a lot more money.

Bathroom Chemistry

Have I told you peeps about my tendency to play bathroom chemist? I get tired of trying to find the perfect product (or I just don't want to spend gazillions of dollars) and so I make stuff.

I make salt scrubs, facial cleansers, my own special oil cleanser recipe (seriously, the only stuff you can buy ready-made is super pricey). I mix other products together to make better products. My bathroom is always crowded with little pots of this and that.

So my friend Amanda Panda and her friend Libby are thinking of going into business together. Both of them are message therapists. And I may start making massage oils for them and "glows" (can't say exfoliant or you have to get an esthetician license) .

So I am trying to come up with some recipes for massage oil. And maybe a clay body wrap.

(RQ has more talents that you thought- it's true)

Note to self

Do not drink and type

Do not drink and type

Do not drink and type

That is all

One of the few benefits of a Obama Presidency

Bear with me- I've had a ton of cava and vodka. Typing is fucking hard. OMG how do people think they can drive like this?

My dear friend and future faux lesbian wife was over for dinner tonight. She bought and I cooked bloody steak, dill mashed potatoes and roasted asperagas, And much much booze. Do you have any idea how long typing this sentence took?

She is voting for whomever the Dem nominee is. Mostly because she is a dem, but also because her parents (who control her trust fund) are terrified that a Dem will tax them into oblivion and they will give her her money early. And then she and I can live the life of faux lesbian wives gallavanting around Europe as we have been planning. Her parents, steadfast southern republicans are terrified that a Dem is going to tax them into the middle class.

And they are especially scared that a black president is going to make them pay for all the benefits they have received as white southern landowners.

(I did mention earlier that all the real racists were already voting for McCain, nez pas?)

Wev, I've allready said I'm moving to SPain. My faux wife and I both speak Spanish,

So if I do have to leave the Democratic party, I not only get to vote for McKinney but I get to bum around Europe with a hot girl. At this point I am seeing a win win in either case.

OKay- typing while drunk is really fucking hard. THis took me 30 minutes. I type 60 wpm peeps.

That is all.

Monday, April 28, 2008


From How the World Works
The key figure is 2.3 million -- the total number of homes that are empty and for sale. That adds up to a vacancy rate of 2.9 percent, which is the highest, reports Bloomberg, "since the bureau started keeping count in 1956." 2.2 million homes were vacant and for sale one year ago
.According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Second Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, released in March 2008, "the total number of homeless persons reported on a single night in January 2006 was 759,101."
Assuming that number bears some reasonable relation to reality, that would mean there are 24 unoccupied homes for every homeless person in the United States.
The Kid and I, just after Georgie stole the White House in 2000, wound up homeless. For two years we couch surfed with various friends and family and occasionally (but thankfully not often) slept in our car. The only reason we have housing now is that I lucked into a program that fast tracked me into a Section 8 voucher. Those types of programs have been massively cut now. If we were homeless now we would be staying at the tent city (Hooverville) that temporarily set up in a vacant lot down the street. Families live there. Women with children live there. And we have 24 unoccupied homes for every single person in those camps.

I am so ashamed of our country.

Not so stimulating

Dear George Bush

Thanks for sending out those economic stimulus checks early. Lord knows my bank account could use it. But since the economy has been in the shitter for much longer than you will admit (and for us poor folk it's been in the shitter since you took office)I am afraid that instead of buying these with my stimulus money
I will be paying my rent, paying my internet bill, covering my overdraft fees and maybe if I am very lucky buying some groceries.

The Working Class

(BTW- these shoes are made by the same people who made my most favorite ever, bought in Italy, strappy sandals. Aren't they purdy?)

A little Monday Fun

I posted this a million years ago but I love it.

What is so hard to understand?

After reading the original story over at Broadsheet and Cara's dead on analysis, I thought it was time for a reprint of an old post with the relevant bits highlighted.

How men can stop rape

Via Pandagon comes the horrific story of a 17 year old girl gang raped by guess who...

No really, guess..

It's not hard, I promise.

OK- by a group of 8 college athletes from DeAnza Community College. Who couldn't see that one coming? OK- maybe you couldn't pick the exact school, but college athlete is becoming code for rapist.

“This poor girl was not moving. She had vomit dribbling down her face. We had to scoop vomit out of her mouth [and] lift her up. Her pants were completely off her body,” says Chief Elk. “She had her one shoe on, her jeans were wrapped around one of her ankles and her underwear was left around her ankles. To the left of the bed there was some condom thrown on the ground.”

“When they lifted her head up, her eyes moved and she said ‘I’m sorry,’” says Grolle. “One of the guys who was in the room said ‘This is her fault. She got drunk and she did this to herself.‘”

Lovely- like she just wandered into a room and fell on 8 cocks. Totally her fault, natch.

In the comments at Pandagon a discussion came up about how men can stop rape and why is it men's responsibility to stop it instead of both men and women.

First- why is it men's responsibility.

Women have been told that it is their responsibility to prevent rape since forever. We are told not to dress a certain way, walk alone at night, get drunk, lead someone on, etc. etc. etc. Yet for some reason, all of our efforts to eliminate rape through our own behavior have failed because the only difference between a mini-skirt wearing drunk girl walking home by herself at night and a rape victim is THE PRESENCE OF A RAPIST. So boys, half the population has been working to eliminate rape already and that hasn't solved the problem. It's time for you guys to get with the fucking program.

What men can do to eliminate rape

1) Don't rape (obvious, I know)

2) Don't treat rape like a joke or try to equate it to something else. For example- it is not ok to say "Man I got raped on that car deal". Overpaying for a car or getting the bad end of a divorce settlement is not in any way comparable to getting raped. Actually getting raped is comparable to getting raped.

3)Don't laugh, wink, or quietly let slide when other guys make rape jokes. You know you've done it. You need to grow a pair and say "that's not cool". This includes making jokes about prison rape - no one deserves to be Bubba's prison bride just like no one deserves to be murdered.

4) Treat anything less than an enthusiastic "Hell yes!" as a no when it comes to sex. No one has ever died or had their life ruined from not having sex, but having sex with someone who is not a completely willing partner will ruin someone's life. You should treat an "I don't know", "Maybe" or no response at all as a "No". Women are conditioned from before we grow boobs that men are dangerous. A woman who doesn't say an explicit "no" may simply be trying to find the least confrontational way out of the situation. Even if you don't think you are dangerous, our frame of reference says otherwise.

5) Assume drunk equals "No". It doesn't always, I know. I think everyone has at least one drunken sex story, but play it safe and assume it's a "No". If she's sober next time and wants to- yippy! But if not, be glad that you dodged a non-consent bullet at worst and serious morning after humiliation at best. If you never see her in a sober state- assume she has a drinking problem and should be avoided.

6) Begging, pleading, seducing, charming, lying, bothering, convincing, pestering, etc to get a woman to have sex with you may not legally equate to rape (in some places it does)- but it makes you an asshole and it hurts the person you want to have sex with. Here's an example, cause I feel like being all personal and shit lately.

A few months ago a "special friend" was supposed to come over for a visit. I had developed a horrible kidney infection. Antibiotics weren't working, my back was killing me and I had a fever of 103. He showed up, I didn't even want to get up to answer the door so I just laid in bed.

He kept ringing the bell. For like 20 minutes. I finally answered the door and yelled at him- "What the fuck dude- I'm sick and you're ringing my bell like a god damned stalker". He was very apologetic and said if we couldn't have sex he would just come hang out for a while and take care of me. Fine, whatever. 15 minutes later and he's trying to put his hand up my shirt. "Seriously, dude- do you not understand kidney infection?- We are not going to fuck!"

"How about if you just jack me off?"


"OK I'll just give you a back rub"

"Fine, but we really aren't going to fuck"

After a few more futile attempts to get me to fuck him, he left. When the fever was gone I sent him a seriously bitchy email about how that was not ok. He's still not talking to me (no loss) or the friend that introduced us. But he really did think that harassment is an ok way to get laid.

Here's a radical idea for you all- getting sex from a girl is not a battle to be won. That is maybe the most radical idea on this whole list-

7) Getting laid is not a battle.

Repeat- getting laid is not a battle. You are not trying to capture an enemy flag. You are not trying to show your manly prowess by hunting for girl game. You don't "win" by convincing a previously unconvinced girl that she wants to sleep with you.

8) Sex is a thing for mutual enjoyment. I promise that any boy who has to spend that much time convincing a girl to fuck him has not in the end actually convinced her that he is an awesome love god, but has instead worn her down into delivering sex for the sole purpose of getting him to leave her alone. It's worse than a mercy fuck dude. At that point the girl has basically decided that it is easier to be a hole in the mattress than to deal with your whining for another hour. It means she has given up all hope of your being a decent guy. It also means that she probably faked an orgasm just to get you off her faster.

9) If she says yes to begin with and then changes her mind- stop immediately! Again with the mutual enjoyment thing- she's not enjoying it and you don't have a god-given right to finish once you've started. You will live through a case of blue balls, I promise.

10) Teach your kids that their bodies are theirs and they have control over them. This is for both boys and girls and it starts in small ways. I remember being a kid and my mom's friends would tickle me until I cried. Instead of being told that I could tell them to stop (or better yet- having my own mother tell them to stop picking on a little kid)- I was told to stop acting like a baby. Basically- I was told that I didn't have the right to stop people from touching me in a way I didn't like.

I didn't do that with my kid. The rule is that in play fighting or tickling or anything- one no is all that has to be said for it to stop. This goes for him and me, just because I am his mother doesn't mean he gets a free pass. It teaches him that his body is his own and someone else's body is their own to do with as they please. If he understands that basic premise of sovereignty and that it applies to everyone then he is less likely to ignore a girl when he gets older and she says no. He is also better prepared should someone try to rape him (not as likely for boys, but this is an added benefit).

11) Don't minimize rape. No one ever asked for it, there is nothing she could have done differently and with the huge stigma that comes from being raped, the chances that she is making it up are really, really slim. Don't apologize for rapists or excuse their behavior. The only crime where we question if the victim is actually a victim is rape. You can scream about innocent until proven guilty all you like, but give the victim the same respect you'd give the victim of any other crime and assume that she is actually a crime victim.

And finally, to the 3 girls who stopped the rape and got the girl to the hospital- you 3 have ovaries of steal and hell of a lot more morality than any of the boys in that room. You rock and are my heroes for today.

** Before all my old Blogger comments got eaten by the move to Haloscan, this post inspired the commenter who was pissed, pissed that by not allowing rape we were interfering with a man's right to network with his peers at a gang rape. I shit you not

The funny side of knapsacks

For those of you who don't know about the privilege knapsack- read this first

Then check the knapsack - Lolcats version.

You know how I've been bitching

about Obama's use of republican framing and how it isn't a far step from republican framing to republican policies?

Well it didn't take long for Obama to prove me right

Obama on capital gains taxes- don't raise them higher than what Reagan had them at. (But how are we going to pay our massive debt if the rich keep not paying their fair share?)

Obama on corporate responsibility- wants more deregulation. WTF? We already have lead painted lollipop toys for the kiddies, ecoli spinach for salads, and a drug industry that basically runs the FDA.

Obama on tort reform- he likes it. See above about corporate responsibility. Not only does he want us all eating ecoli spinach, but he wants us to not be able to sue when our livers shut down.


h/t Reclusive Leftist