Friday, March 26, 2010


I had this argument with Wonder yesterday, and I keep having these arguments with people I love and respect but am often totally exasperated by, so for the sake of efficiency I'm just going to lay down a few things here so that I don't have to keep repeating them over and over and over.

1) I don't give a flying fuck what the rethuglikans are up to now. They are going to eat themselves. They have always been obstructionist assholes. Criticizing them for continuing to be assholes is a bit like being pissed off when pop stars wear skimpy clothing and lip synch. We all know they are assholes. Shooting fish in a barrel is both boring and pointless. The are in the minority. They don't matter politically. They are not the reason our president and congress suck. Stop using them as an excuse. It's just as bad as when rethuglikans blame 911 on Clinton. We're in power, we have to take responsibility for that.

2) Someone, anyone, tell me when we have enough Democratic support to enact Democratic policies, real ones, not relabled moderate rethuglikan ones. The Dems under Bush said we have to have a majority in Congress before we do anything. Then we had to have a majority in the Senate. Then we had to win the White House. Then we had to be filibuster proof. Then we had to deal with our own assholes. We have a majority everywhere. We have popular support according to the polls. Why do our policies look so much like compromises then? If anyone can tell me what the magic fucking pony line is for Dems acting like Dems, I will throw myself into it whole heartedly and work for it until my dying breath. But that line keeps moving.

What is the magic pony line? What is it? And why does our magic pony line have to be so much farther away then rethglikans magic ponyline?

3) Speaking of lines that keep moving, if Dems are way less likely to use a filibuster when they are in the minority, why don't we eliminate it? Now some would say that it's better to have the option, I suppose.


Let's spot the pattern, shall we?

Lieberman makes nicey nice with rethuglikans, doesn't lose a damn thing for it. He even backed McCain in the election. Doesn't lose a damn thing for it. Threatens to block health care reform, doesn't lose a damn thing for it. But healthcare reform moves decidedly closer to insurance company interests.

Stupak threatens healthcare reform, in exchange for his vote he gets the president to executively declare that lady parts have no business in government funded healthcare. Insurance companies now have it written into law that they don't, as a matter of fact they can't, cover certain aspects of women's healthcare. But there is nothing in the bill that says that insurance companies must lower women's premiums by such and such a percent to make up the difference of what they now will not be required to cover.

Nelson actually gets the anti-lady bits language into the bill.

These are all Democrats.

Dems don't go nuclear on the filibuster because it gives the party as a whole a way to cover the fact that they are the party of corporate welfare by letting the DINOs of the party move policy to the far right under threat. It is in their best interest to do so, and they get to maintain the illusion of being, you know, Democrats. There will always be some new excuse for why they can't do the right thing right now. The next places that the Dems will fail to be able to do the right things despite a majority and a big "win" on healthcare are: unemployment/labor and reform of banking and finance. Oh and watch out for Social Security to be put on the chopping block too. Social Security can only be killed by a Democrat, and we may just have the president to do it.

4) This brings me to the tittle of this post. I get the fucking politicking. I understand it completely. See above. Did you perhaps wonder why the Dems were being so squeamish about eliminating a tool that has been used against them more often than for them? Did you shake your head in wonder at how JOE FUCKING LIEBERMAN STILL HAS ANY SWAY. I didn't. I am not in awe of the game playing. To those who think I am ignoring it. Yep- because the process is so fucking obviously corrupt. Marveling over the minutia of the political machine is like thinking you can win a shell game and I don't waste my time on it. There is no way to win by picking either of the dominant parties. There are a few moments of actual progression from some of them sometimes, but even super progressive Dennis Kucinich voted for the healthcare bill.

5) I would never ever tell someone under some kind of oppression to suck it up in some way, for example by saying things like "yeah it really sucks that Obama signed the executive order, but it doesn't really change anything". I would never advise patience or calmness or use patronizing "I'm sorry your right to control your own body just got shit on but look on the bright sides". Nope. Not. Gonna. Happen. And I do not understand people who think it is okay to tell someone who is oppressed to be patient. I wouldn't do that. I'd say "fuck that shit, let's go fight that right now". And I have said that. Over and over. Next person who says something like that to me gets stabbed with a fork. Period. Human rights are not negotiable. Period. I'm not fucking kidding person who knows who they are. Not negotiable. Not okay.

6) While having this fight with Wonder about my "negativity" I said "It's like I'm fucking Noah and it's gonna flood and everyone keeps pointing to the sky where the sun has peaked out for a second from behind the clouds to show me just how wrong I am about this flood thing". 10 minutes later and it started to pour rain. I may or may not believe in a supreme being, but thank you universe for emphasizing my point. I also understand just a wee bit how climate scientists feel when faced with global warming deniers.

(FTR- Wonder and I are fine. We've been working our asses off this week and are both tired and bitchy and hurty which contributed to the argument.)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This is why I'm not doing a happy healthcare dance

Look peeps, I kinda hate the I told you so racket. I told you so about Obama. I told you he was a corporate shill. I told ya he didn't think women have the same rights as men. I told ya he was wishy washy on DADT and DOMA. I told ya he was not the "anti-war" candidate that we were looking for.

And I was right. But instead of gloating, (because truthfully I'd rather be wrong wrongity wrong about him) I just want to point that out so I can maybe get a wee bit of credit on healthcare. Just a little is all I want, just enough to make you think about the craptastic "reform" that was just passed.

First- go read this handy chart at Reclusive Leftist


No cost controls, no public option, no anti-trust measures, no premium or OOP (that's out of pocket for you non health care wonks) caps. But us super poor folks are going to get coverage through medicaid. I could just say "hahah suckers, I got mine" but that would make me a TeaBagger and I am not one of those. I am a progressive, I want progress for all of us.

So what will happen in say 2014 when all these measures have been enacted?

Well premiums and OOPs are going to skyrocket for anyone not poor enough to be on Medicaid or old enough to get Medicare. And from personal experience I know exactly who is going to get the blame for that. Not insurance companies and their grubbing greedy hands, but fat people and poor people and brown people and and and.

Reforms to the reforms will be called for. Cuts to Medicaid will be demanded. Rethuglikans will be screaming "See this is what socialism booga booga does". And any hope we ever had of real universal single payer coverage will be gone forever. Poof.

So I am not doing a happy dance because this bill is the death of universal care. It's not "a good start" or "universal care with some kinks". It is the most fucked up way to get people to think that universal care means skyrocketing prices for the middle class and freebies for the poor. It is a way for the elites to piss off the have-lesses by offering crumbs to the have nots so they can keep their shiny pile of gold plated medical care to themselves.

Fuck that.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's funny cause it's true

This is probably my favorite Monty Python bit ever. I love it more than fish slapping, spam and sperm songs.

this reminder of the inherent violence of the system is brought to you via Stump Lane the Lesser

Monday, March 22, 2010

Proud Moments In Feminist Parenting

The boy child, oh my how he makes me proud. And often in ways I totally did not expect or plan for.

He came out to me as straight at 8, which was just too cute for words (and would have been just as cute if he'd came out as gay) and boggled my melon for a bit. My awesome therapist explained that it is totally normal for kids raised in either gay or gay friendly households to announce their sexuality once they've got the grasp of it.

There is the fact that he's been bugging me to dye a pair of pants pink for him for months. My 15 year old is "comfortable enough" in his manliness to want to wear the oh so girly color. He's a teenager. He should be mortified by his peers and trying desperately to fit in, and he couldn't care less what they think of him.

Which leads me to the most recent super proud but surprising moment of feminist parenting yet. For the Kid's bday, my Auntie, having noticed that the Kid was very interested in my late grandmother's china doll collection, got his about half a dozen china dolls of his own. And he's over the moon about them. I sat through a doll display show last night where he showed me which ones were his favorites and how cool is this one that looks like a chibee of the big one and so forth.

I am the proud mother of a white, het, teenage boy child who loves dolls. I think I just won the feminist mommy lottery. Holy shit, all those years of work actually paid off.

(The pointing out of Kid's sexual orientation is not to privilege het, but rather to show that the normal stereotyping of a kid like mine is that he must be gay. Perhaps there are more straight boys in the world who would like to collect dolls too, but because of social restrictions they have to make due with action figures instead).

Comments on this will be very closely monitored. You talk smack about my kid in any way and I will not hesitate to put a giant pile of whoopass on you, including but not limited to publishing of private contact information. He's a kid, and he's happy, and he doesn't give a damn what you think. But I'm his momma and I will gut you like a fish for looking at him sideways.

You say depressing, I say liberating.

MsExPat at Corrente finds this depressing. We stand on the cusp of one of humanities most dangerous moments.

We stand on the cusp of one of the bleakest periods in human history when the bright lights of a civilization blink out and we will descend for decades, if not centuries, into barbarity. The elites have successfully convinced us that we no longer have the capacity to understand the revealed truths presented before us or to fight back against the chaos caused by economic and environmental catastrophe. As long as the mass of bewildered and frightened people, fed images that permit them to perpetually hallucinate, exist in this state of barbarism, they may periodically strike out with a blind fury against increased state repression, widespread poverty and food shortages. But they will lack the ability and self-confidence to challenge in big and small ways the structures of control. The fantasy of widespread popular revolts and mass movements breaking the hegemony of the corporate state is just that – a fantasy.

I do not. I find it liberating. I don't know about you all, but I am sure as shit tired of bumping my head against immovable power structures that just don't seem to break. I am tired as all get out of the circle jerk that modern politics. I am liberated by the thought that my job isn't to fix a broken system, but to contemplate what next.

Our little system of democracy has broken down into the oligarchy deemed as inevitable by Michels as gravity. I find myself wondering daily if a lottery wouldn't be a better way to choose our politicians.

I've been reading a lot of modern art and design blogs and getting way more positive philosophy there than I ever could on most political blogs. I'm thinking about things like production processes that take the eventual discard/disuse of the item as part of the creation of the product and a changing the way we make things to include the end life of a thing. I'm thinking about all the little crafters in the world making some money on Etsy doing old school things in modern ways like knitting and pottery, things that used to be considered purely decorative arts and the realm of women (and not of serious, read male, artists).

And thinking about making things safer and greener and better, or just making things, makes me happy. We can't actually cease all consumption as a species, but we can seriously change our philosophy when it comes to stuff we consume. And that skips all the eco bullshit that is really just a way to wrangle women back into unpaid labor under the guise of protecting the environment (go google femivores to see what I mean) by putting the onus of sustainability on the creator and not the discarder.

And I'm thinking about things like darknet economies as ways to, as the author of the depressing post says, keep the humanity of humans alive in the coming chaos. Hey, if these little words that I write on this screen inspire some random searcher a hundred years from now to think past the horror and into the possible, yippy. But in the mean time establishing little trusted circles of social interaction in the internet world maybe the modern equivalent of a cloister.

This is, of course, not to say that I won't still be sending the occasional douchebag email to members of our government or throwing tantrums when they do yet another stupid thing. It's just to say that I have given up hope of fixing it and would much rather concentrate on how to build a better mousetrap next time.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Human rights are not a commodity

They are not something to be bought and sold, bartered or traded, earned or won. They are fundamental and eternal. They are always true, even when they are not practiced or acknowledged or even legal. They are true even if we don't know they are true yet. 50 years from now, clean water may be the human rights fight of the moment, or technology access, or the right to worship or not worship our robot overlords. Hell, we might even get around to realizing that drug use is a human right. You have a right to control your own body, even in unhealthy ways. It's yours, I don't care what you put into your body or take out of your body so long as you get to choose it.

What human rights boil down to is the right to self. The right to control over your own body, your own mind, your own opinions, your own needs, wants and desires (provided those needs, wants and desires don't interfere with someone else's body). That's it. It's basic. It's simple. It's not special rights to let lgbts marry or serve openly in the military or get or stay employed or housed. It's not special rights to allow women and girls access to much needed medical care, including abortions. It all falls under the right to control your own body.

Human rights are not something to be patient for, to wait for. Telling someone who doesn't have these rights to hold on for a bit is like telling someone to hold their breath. Selling the human rights of women to the lowest bidder in order to pass a craptastic healthcare bill is not okay. It's not politicking finery. It's a human rights violation. Period. We have just been told that our right to our own body is up for sale, and the only people on the market are powerful men in tacky blue suits.

Don't let anyone sugar coat it for you. Don't let them tell you how this isn't really about rights, but about votes and federal dollars and blah blah blah. The government spends money on shit we morally object to all the time, like say killing families in Afghanistan or paying Blackwater, KBR et all to rape and pillage. This little bit of politicking is just one more of the thousand paper cuts which will just as surely kill us as a full sweeping no abortion ever bill would. And it's been brought to you by Democrats, the party made mostly of women but run mostly by men.

Now if you have the time, I recommend you watch this movie on Hulu, Rain Without Thunder, about a future society where abortion and birth control have been slowly but surely outlawed. And then try to tell me how very little Obama's fucking executive order is going to matter to us living, breathing, human women.

Yes, I just used the word douchebag in an email I sent to the president

And I am not ashamed.

Text below:

Thanks for using my right to adequate and comprehensive healthcare as a bargaining chip with the Stupaks.

I really really love when a bunch of douchebag men in tacky blue suits pat each other on the back for once again trampling all over women's bodies. It makes me really proud to be a democrat.

Oh wait, no actually. The green party sure is looking good to us democratic women. We're only 60 percent of the Dem party to begin with. How many of us do you think you can loose? Do you think that maybe not acting like republicans might, I dunno, keep us from running away. Even if we don't vote third party, if we just kept our votes and cash and volunteer skills out of elections totally, do you think you could even win a city council seat?