Saturday, May 10, 2008
He's studying American history this year and they are learning all about the constitution and the civil war, etc. He said "the Civil war wasn't really fought over slavery, it was over state's rights".
And then I gave him the condensed for a 13 year old version of this post
You may have some romantic notion that the Civil War was fought for philosophical reasons over the enslavement of fellow humans. The truth is actually based in the functions of a capitalist society. As the north industrialized and started selling more finished goods that were more capital intensive than agricultural raw goods from the south, slavery became an impediment to the wage system.
Keeping a slave is a fixed cost. The only fluctuation is in the original buying price, after that there is no competition to keep costs down. You could keep your slaves near starvation but when they dropped dead you would have to buy another slave. Replacement was not cheap. So the price of raw goods stays relatively high because labor costs can't be dropped. Paid workers, on the other hand, had no initial cost and since you were not responsible for their well being you could pay starvation wages without a replacement cost. As long as there was a surplus of labor, you could keep dropping the wages lower and lower making the cost of producing your goods cheaper and cheaper. Capitalism at it's finest (oh sense the irony there or you people don't know me well).
And so the very next day (oh providence!) the kid had a group exercise on the Civil war, slavery and economics.
And my darling child just went and rocked the brains of a group of 7th graders.
When I asked him if he understood what I explained to him - he did the typical teenage eyeroll "Of course, Moooooooom." And he thinks the other kids understood it too.
So RQ is not only corrupting her own child with radical ideas, but the precious children of the creative class elites as well. Their parents may have drank the koolaid, but not all hope is lost.
So I decided to figure out how much we really value mothers' work. We've all seen the calculators that say if moms were paid for all they do they'd make the same salary as doctors. But we don't actually pay moms like that. In fact, there is only one instance in this country where women are paid to stay home with their children. Welfare.
But welfare is temporary. Women with newborns have to start 40 hours a week of job searching when their child is just 12 weeks old. And Welfare doesn't exactly pay minimum wage.
In WA state the monthly TANF (new term for welfare since welfare to work program started) grant is $440 in cash for two people. And from personal experience that amount has been the same for at least 13 years. If you include food stamps, it's $607.
Let's just assume a mom on welfare works just 40 hours a week caring for her child. 607/ 4.3 (weeks in a month)/40 (hours in a week) and she gets about $3.53 per hour.
(And if you happen to be one of the 30% of custodial parents who receives child support in a timely fashion and you also happen to be on TANF- your child support will go to the state first to pay back your grant money. You *may* receive an extra $50 on top of TANF from your child support but you will not get the whole amount of both child support and TANF)
And WA is in the high middle as far as grant amounts go. Tennessee, at the bottom of the heap gives a family of two $142 in cash and a total of $398 if you include food stamps or about $2.31 per hour.
That is what motherhood is worth in this country, less than minimum wage.
Let's contrast that with the average monthly cost for infant daycare. In WA it's about $754. That's 20% more than the monthly TANF and food stamp grants combined. In TN it's about $412 per month, close but still more than TANF and food stamps.
Why, if mothering is such an important job, do we pay poor mothers so very little to do it?
Because the ideal has been set of the two parent family with a mom who stays home and sacrifices herself for the good of the kids. And sacrifice isn't really looked at as work. Sacrifice is religious term meaning to give up yourself for the good of others. But not just give up, but totally subvert any of your own desires.
And because the sacrificial mom is our ideal, we do not give poor mothers with no other resources as much money as someone who does their same job for fewer hours a day and fewer days per week. We don't expect strangers to sacrifice themselves. Actually, the only people we expect to sacrifice themselves completely are mothers.
But children are work. And the work that a mother puts into her children is not for her benefit. It is partially for her child's benefit, but it is mostly for societies benefit. We need children to grow up and be productive members of society. We need them to grow up to pay the taxes that will pay for social security. And now we need children to grow up and pay the taxes for our massive war debt. If we remove all the sentimentalism that has been attached to motherhood to make the sacrifice more palatable, then mothers are performing a vital function for society to continue. And they aren't paid for it. They are financially punished for it with lower wages ($11,000 less on average than non-mothers), higher expenses and less job security.
Because we don't value women, but we really don't value mothers.
Friday, May 09, 2008
Fuck you. Seriously. I don't like it when Rethuglikan boyz try to control my behavior with threats to my bodily autonomy, why on earth would you think it's okay coming from you.
Really it is two halves of the same coin. Don't be a slutty whore or you'll get punished with an unwanted pregnancy on one side and don't be a slutty Hillary voter or you'll get punished with an unwanted Supreme Court on the other.
How's this? It's my mother fucking uterus and I am a grown up woman. I think I know how to best protect it, and you boyz do not. I am sick of and tired of having to vote for shit ass people because of a threat to limit my control of my own body. And quite honestly- so far my voting for the candidate least likely to pack the court with Forced Pregnancy wignutz hasn't done shit. Did the Dems shut down Roberts- no. Did they stop the partial birth abortion ban- no.
So my letting the immediate safety of my uterus dictate my votes hasn't really worked out. And you boyz seem to think that is the ONLY thing feminists care about. Yes- reproductive rights are incredibly important. But they wouldn't even be an issue if we women were considered to be full human beings with all the rights that entails.
So I choose to focus my time and attention on a candidate who understands that women are more than the sum of their genitalia.
In the mean time I'm stocking up on birth control and emergency contraception.
My uterus, not a hostage, not for sale to the lowest bidder.
Get another tactic boyz.
I missed you.
So I have some tiny powers of observation even without power (you might have noticed that I knew we had a megatroll boring us all to sobs). RQ is slightly omnipotent.
Let's all give thanks to our darling mediatrix and a special thanks to the ghost who published my letter to a certain troll for me (from a text I sent to her email no less).
I have always wanted to be the bastard love child of Dorothy parker and Mae West and hold salons full of sharp wit and good manners. I find trolls to be very, very uncouth, much like pissing in the punchbowl. I don't tolerate atrocious manners from people in real life (you should see me tear into line cutters and parking spot stealers)so someone who comes into a place that I consider my second home behaving badly is a definite no no.
But you, my darling friends and readers, have all shown yourselves to be full of charm and wit and intellect and that is always a plus.
Cause it's my (our) blog, my (our) discretion.Edited to Add- I have recently become fond of making up limericks mocking misogynists' penis size as well as editing comments to reflect the internal thoughts of the cheetoh eating, basement dwelling, couldn't get a date with a woman, male entitlement trolls. If you must troll, you should be pretty damn secure in knowing that your comments will be permanently changed to reflect your stalker/ date rapist tendencies.
If you're racist, sexist, assholish, repetitive, annoying or even just plain boring - I reserve the right to edit your comments and replace them with the Barney song
I love you
You love Me
We're a happy family
Or maybe I'm a little teacup. It's a mood thing really. Also possible are such nursery hits like The Ensy Weensy Spider or Humpty Dumpty.
I also may turn really awful comments into a blogpost to be made fun of and mocked accordingly. If you don't like these policies you are free to write your own blog and you are free to write on your own blog how mean and horrible I am and how you're just a poor misunderstood asswipe. But not here.
UPDATE 10-19-2011 Damn, how long has this blog existed? Forever. But that's off topic. What you should know, dear trolly shitheads, is that this blog is moderated by 2, yes 2 kick-ass Elizabitchez, separated by 9 fucking time zones. So for about 20 hours a day this blog is fiercely guarded by one and often 2 Elizabeths. Do you want to feel the full might and furry of two pissed of Elizabeths? No you do not. Trust. So move along. Go whine and moan and gnash your measly teeth elsewhere you tiny infant of a man (or woman, but mostly man. Almost always man, except for the time we had the Jill Staneck forced birthers praying for my sinning ass. But the worst of those were still men.)
Also, unfortunately with the great eating of Haloscan by fucking Echo, I lost my comment editing abilities (sad face). No more nursery rhymes or jokes about nice guys. But the ban hammer is mighty and fierce and I will crush you with it.
You are a troll and obviously an attention whore. You were warned yesterday that you are not welcome on my blog. I do not allow biggots or liars or people who are just tediously boring to comment here. You are the trifecta of all those things. You do not add anything of value to the conversation but you do manage to make blogs you troll the All About Tiny Penis Boy show for awhile. Look, you even have a whole blog post dedicated to your tiny cock now. I can only assume you are a masochist who gets
off on public humiliation. Now that you have been exposed i hope that you will have blown your wad (OMG a girl wrote a whole blog about my wee little man nugget) and will kindly leave. And don't forget to take you spooge covered tissues with
you. All future comments from you will either be deleted or replaced with cute kitteh pics.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
So I will be computer-less for at least 24 hours. Think of this as an open thread and leave me something nice to read when SCL finally brings me back to the 21st century. I'll take thoughts, musings, haiku, rants, jokes, you name it.
And enjoy this picture. Behind every great woman there isn't necessarily a great man, but this is too cute not to post.
Roosevelt was not a theorist. He was an experimental pragmatist. To pull our country out of the Great Depression he threw every kind of social program at it he could think of. The ones that worked, he kept. The ones that didn't, he scrapped.
But he also understood that a program working was more than just how much of a tangible improvement it made to the economy. He was very aware of how much fear and insecurity played a part in the worsening of the economy and in the creation of war. He was working to make everyone free from fear and free from want. That he was doing anything at all to help the millions that were ignored by Hoover went far in improving prospects.
So we know that for 16 years Hillary has been championing one of the rights that Roosevelt laid out in his second bill- universal health care. She's always pushed for more access to education and to for greater economic opportunities for everyone. But it is with her little gas tax holiday that we truly see her Roosevelt side.
It's not a huge, long lasting program to make to gas prices cheaper. It is a short term fix meant to whip the oil companies in line with a windfall profit tax (something Roosevelt did with war profiteers) and to give the American people hope that someone is trying to help them out. It is a sample taste at Costco of the better things to come if we buy the whole package.
And speaking of war profiteers, I was struck by Roosevelt's absolute disgust over them. He could not tolerate people turning war into profitable business and selling out their fellow citizens for easy money. This is such a marked contrast to the five years of war brought to us by Haliburton and KBR and other military contractors that think milking the American public for all they're worth is a right and proper response to wartime and the friendly executive branch that is so willing to overlook millions (billions?)in over payments and shady invoicing.
And I have to wonder, will Obama, with all his talk of unity, be willing to go after the war profiteers who are so firmly entwined with the Republican party he wants to placate with appeasement?
I don't think he will. He has proven that he is not a fighter for the American people. He is no Roosevelt. And he is certainly no Hillary Clinton either.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Are they expendable if their support becomes too controversial too?
But Jeff has thrown his hat into the "Why won't that stupid bitch quit" already ring.
He couches it in kindler, gentler terms so us dumb girls don't catch that he's really saying "Either take your boobs and go home or play nice. Like a good girl. And stop with the meanness". Or as one commenter at Shakes said "She can stay in the race as long as she's not trying to win it"
Lemme point out a few things.
No other candidate with this many delegates has ever been put under the same kind of pressure to quit.
No other candidate who polls so well in the national election and keeps winning swing states has been under this much pressure to quit.
But she's a girl. And the Precious doesn't want to compete with a girl anymore. He won't debate her anymore. And she is looking at a couple of major wins in the next round of primaries. And Florida and Michigan want their votes counted too. It's just too much for the Precious to endure.
But according to Jeff, if Hillary wants to stay in the race she totally can. As long as she avoids any mention of her opponent. Or his flaws. Or his lack of experience. Or his sexism. Or the fact that the working class doesn't trust him.
Wait- you know what. Hillary has been avoiding that kind of talk. She's talked about policy and issues, how she would solve the serious problems of this country and how she really does care about us "bitter" little people.
We, the people, have talked about his lack of experience, his sexism, the fact that we just don't trust him.
HE had to read it so now you do too
Assumptions about power
A good friend once said to me "Economics is the math of self-fulfilling prophecies". Since she can't remember saying it (blames red wine) I am stealing it for myself.
Maybe a better way of explaining it is that economics is all about assuming that all actors start from a completely equal place and that all actors follow all the rules all the time.
Tell me, where in history have people ever actually acted like that? Can you? No, because people don't act like that and people don't start from the same equal playing field. There is no "law of gravity" when it comes to people's behavior.
In economics when exceptions start pilling up to disprove a theory (like "trade benefits everyone") instead of rethinking the theory economists will say "they weren't following the rules". But not following the rules is exactly what happens when power is concentrated. Look at any human system- be it politics, education, sex and relationships, employment, sports- anything where there is section of people with enough power (financial, physical, whatever) to alter the rules to their benefit- they will. Women live under the daily fear of rape from all men(when statistically is a small number of men who do most of the raping), employees (who massively outnumber employers) have little ability to alter their pay or benefits on their own, politicians are much more easy influenced by powerful lobbies than individual constituents, sports stars get away with rapes and murders- etc (but not with dog fighting- cause dogs have so much more social capital than women these days).
So a better way of saying "trade benefits everyone" is saying "trade benefits the more powerful actors in a situation". That is decidedly different from everyone.
I'll give you an example using corn- my favorite to pick on subsidized crop. We subsidize the hell out of corn, that's why in America everything is sweetened with corn syrup instead of sugar cane and why ethanol additives in gasoline are from corn products instead of some other plant. Under NAFTA we were going to start shipping out super subsidized (and therefore super cheap) corn to Mexico. Now Mexico is not a corn-free country. You might have had these things called corn tortillas- they come from Mexico, and tamales, also Mexico. For a good chunk of the population, corn is a staple food and a staple crop. But it is not subsidized by the Mexican government. Corn farmers in Mexico do not have a giant agri-business lobby. They are mostly small family farms, the kind we romanticize, but filled with brown people who speak Spanish instead of white people in Iowa.
So the Mexican government agreed to import the subsidized corn as long as the US agreed to pay tariffs on the corn for several years so that corn farmers in Mexico would have a chance to transition to some other form of employment. That's nice, a little band-aid for the family farms.
But that's not what happened. Instead Mexican ranchers that wanted cheap feed, tortilla factories and businesses that wanted to switch from locally produced, unsubsidized sugar cane to cheap corn sweeteners got the Mexican government to ignore the tariffs as soon as NAFTA went into effect. Mexican corn farmers were reduced to subsistence farming.
Now an economist would say- they weren't following the rules (either by subsidizing the corn in the first place or by ignoring the transition tariffs) except that is how most international trade agreements end up. Rules that are meant to protect those with less power are ignored while those with more power benefit. Actually, that phrase right there sums up our entire social structure.
There is an old joke about a chemist, an engineer and an economist stranded on a dessert island with one can of food. The chemist creates a solution that will open the metal of the can. The engineer builds a contraption open the can. The economist says "Assume there is a can opener".
By making assumptions of a perfect world in order to study economics, we are trying to open a can with an imaginary can opener. There are too many exceptions to economic rules. That is why "math of self-fulfilling prophecies" is so fitting. In math or any other branch of science, if your results didn't match up to your theories, a new theory would have to be created. In economics, when you results don't match up to your theories, you can simply discard the parts that don't fit by claiming they didn't follow the rules. Therefore all your theories will match your findings regardless of the actual outcome.
UPDATE: After thinking about it some more I really think it should be "Economics is the science of self-fulfilling prophecies" since economics is a social science and is supposed to follow the scientific method (you know, until you start throwing everything out because it didn't follow the rules).
And my famn damily (namely my brother) is taking his own sweet time getting back to me about helping keep the power on. If I know him, we'll go a few days with no lights so he can feel righteous before he helps. Or he just won't help. Wev.
And the Obamabots may have rigged the vote in Gary, IN. And Donna Brazile doesn't think the Democratic party needs white working class voters or latinos (or women by the way we've been treated).
I'm going to bed. Wake me when the revolution starts.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
p>From the Charlotte, N.C. Field Director Jason Green:(Cut for brevity- the whole thing is at No Quarter)
And to do that we need your help. We need more of your blood, your sweat, and your tears. This weekend our Charlotte organization knocked on an incredible number of doors – but there are still many doors to knock, more stories to hear, more voters to inspire. So please join us as we knock on your neighbors doors and bring Senator Obama’s message of hope, unity and change. There is nothing more effective than connecting with another voter and expressing your story. Only you can do that. You know how important this is! I know I don’t have to ask, but I will one last time – please join us tomorrow. Call in sick if you have to and help us all day by canvassing or offering rides to the polls.
Tomorrow we will be canvassing at 9am, 1pm and 4pm (and whenever else you can join us)! There are offices all over Charlotte but our greatest priorities are at 1520 West Blvd and 7935 N. Tryon St. People need to hear your story – hear why you know Barack will make a great president and how his message has touched your life. Join us tomorrow in making history!
Between now and 8pm tomorrow evening, when polls close, we each have to do all in our power to ensure that Barack Obama is victorious. Now is our opportunity to not only change politics, but how Americans view and respect one another. The responsibility is ours.
Jason G. Green
Regional Field Director, Charlotte
1523 Elizabeth Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28204
Okay kids- what is one of the huge, giant differences between the Obamabots and well, just about everyone else?
Can you guess?
It's part of the class divide thing.
The Working Class doesn't get paid sick days. Actually, we are more likely to be fired for getting sick than to be paid of taking time off.
Now in my particular job, I have lots and lots of time off. I only work 36 weeks out of the year. What I don't have (after five long years) are any paid sick or vacation days, eligibility for unemployment (because of how they classify my job) or the health and retirement benefits that nearly all other state employees get. I don't even qualify for the reduced tuition that state employees are supposed to get. All I get is a reduce priced bus pass.
And I work with a whole lot of those creative class (cough) intellectuals. And they get all those things listed above.
How on earth can we expect a campaign that clearly has no idea how "the other half lives" to be of any use to us in the White House?
I also generally don't go trolling right wing sites, MRAs (except that one time as a special request to a dear friend who I would take a bullet for), fundies or anyone else I consider to be an unstable nutbag.
See- I am not a masochist. And fighting unstable nutbags gives me a headache. And headaches mean pain.
So please unstable nutbags (YES THIS MEANS YOU PEOPLE WITH THE KOOLAID AND UNITY PONIES) go home. Have some manners. Do not comment where you're not wanted. Or I will make fun of your penis. Cause so far- not a damn one of you nutbags has been a girl.
Apologies to anyone who may have clicked through to there.
Monday, May 05, 2008
And BTW, after the whole "morans" picture I would have thought that the anti-immigrant wingnuts would make damn sure that future pictures of racist language purists would at least have signs spelled correctly. Now I am not a grammar or spelling nazi (cause hell, I don't get paid to blog and people who are paid to write have editors to check that shit) but I am also not bitching that everyone should learn English.
Well after going without power for nearly 2 weeks in January (you all remember hot water bottle babies) Seattle City Light dug up a seven year old bill and attached it to my current bill. It would have been illegal for them to try and collect it in just a few weeks, but since they have attached it to my current bill and told me to pay in 2 days or go (again) without power, they will get their fricken money.
In the meantime, Soopermouse tells me it is illegal to shut off someone's power in England. And that every weekend in May is a 3 day weekend because of bank holidays.
And gay marriage is legal.
So I proposed.
That is the real threat to hetero marriage in this country- Seattle City Light. Now you know.
And no- I did not fill them up with my own brand of Unity Koolaid. (Though I could totally make it, I go the skills)
No, I simply used the HopeandChangers own words against him. Once my dear female friend heard about "some control" she was done.
Once a younger, male, arms get tingly when I hear Obama speak, student who came over to watch bad sci fi heard me give direct Pony quotes, he has shocked.
When he said he couldn't vote for Hillary because if he was going to vote for a woman he's vote for a real woman, I kept my growly anger in check and just flat out said- give me a reason that's not loaded in sexism and I'll argue it. She is a real woman. He got it (I did mention he is young- it took him a sec but he got it). And he couldn't give me a non-sexist reason.
I know our caucus (least democratic thing in the world) is over, but come November I've got two new voters.
Maybe we should, since you blame Hillary for Bill's infidelity. Or maybe we should blame you for his loss in PA. It must be because you're an uppity woman (huhm, it isn't nice to have someone else's failings laid on, you is it.)
And should we be surprised that you parrot that same old misogyny line for your hubby's benefit. Oh Michelle, it's not cute when Ann Coulter plays sexist exceptionalist. Why would you think you can get away with it?
Or maybe I am tacking the wrong tack here. Maybe, since the press (Hello dimwitted sod from the Nation) likes to blame Hillary for everything that has come out of Bill's mouth ever, we should blame Obama for everything that comes out of your mouth. Which isn't really that much of a stretch. While Hillary and Bill do seem to have entirely different opinions on many things, it is clear that in your addled brain your husband's misogyny is right in line with your own.
You know what they say about people in glass houses. Now that you've basically told every woman who ever had a man cheat on her that it was her fault, how long before your dear hubby does the same to you? You've just given him the perfect excuse. It's all your fault.
Sunday, May 04, 2008
1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. No cheating!
2. Find page 123.
3. Find the first five sentences.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.
Mine is after the jump
From Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People by John Conroy
We kidded around, saying he'd gone off for a haircut and had his hair colored." At forty-two, Sean McKenna was the oldest of the hooded men. During one of the interrogation sessions he had forgotten the names of his children.
It should be noted that I have quoted this book more than any other in every college paper I ever wrote. Yes, I keep a book on torturers and torture techniques near my desk all the time. But there is a wee bit of hope at the end of the book. There is a small section on the types of personalities that work against torture. They are usually from an outsider group (like Huguenots in Catholic France), the had one morally idealistic parent who held them to strict standards, and they have a sense of adventure.
If you like, either leave your's in comments or leave me a link to your post.
You would think that there are only three demographics in this race, white men, old white women, and blacks. Oh wait, there are some younger women too, but they are confused little flowers who can't pick sexism out for themselves but know it feels icky.
This craptastic piece goes through extraordinary lengths to paint the Clinton campaign as directly racist.
Yet there is no mention of the obviously sexist trope that has come out of Obama's own mouth.
I think someone drank the Unity Pony koolaid, but wants to still look "fair and balanced".
It's not fair and balanced until you talk about how Obama thinks women should only have "some control over their own bodies", or about how he's for parental consent laws for abortion, or how he likes to use sexist dog whistles in campaign speeches. You don't have to tie yourself in knots to see the sexism there. It comes straight from the Unity Pony's mouth.
Pay attention to the end where she talks about the rainbow. My favorite anthropology professor has been saying forever that the idea of a middle class is false. We are all at the bottom of the heap. But we keep this ideal as a way to separate and elevate ourselves into those that have nothing and those that have little. Humans like their hierarchies.
But we, the poor, are not so different from you. We are just luckless.
And no one knows that better then Obama and his supporters.
Everyday I become more disenchanted with the entire Democratic party. I know it's politics and politics are dirty. But we are selling out our most basic ideas for political gain, instead of using politics to further those basic ideas.
We are Democrats. We count votes. We count all the votes. Disenfranchisement is a Republican tool. Bullying, intimidation, and election fraud are Republican tools. But we are keeping two large states from having their say in the election and there are repeated calls to end the process when NO WINNER CAN BE CHOSEN TILL THE SUPER DELEGATES DECIDE.
The basic premise of the Democratic party is that everyone, regardless of race or class or sex, counts. What I have seen in this campaign is women being thrown under the bus, the poor and working class thrown under the bus, the old thrown under the bus. That is not the Democratic party.
I have been told repeatedly that by refusing to vote for Obama, I am handing the election to the McSame.
But I am starting to see little difference between the two male candidates. Neither thinks women should have complete control over their own bodies. Both have been known to use misogyny to control women around them. Both pander to the wealthy while ignoring the majority of the country. Neither would guarantee healthcare for everyone. Neither has a solid plan for fixing the economy. Neither gives a rat's ass about the poor.
Sure, Obama says he's more anti-war than anyone else, though in his very short Senate career he has yet to prove it.
I have been a member of the Democratic party since forever. I chose this side because I believe in working to make things better for everyone. I do not believe wealth proves people to be more ethical or intelligent, and I do not think poverty is a moral failure of the people who live in it. And I cannot vote for someone who does believe those things, even if he is a Dem.
The Democratic party is about to change. Either it returns to a basic platform of equality and access for everyone, or it will fracture. And I know what side of the break I'll be on.