Friday, July 08, 2011

That's funny, he's usually so in favor of increasing executive power

at least when it comes to declaring war on Libya and ignoring human rights.

But when it comes to the debt ceiling, not so much.


I can't say it any better, really

More evidence that YOU don't understand 12 dimensional chess

Count me among the big-stupid heads who don't understand politics.

It's Friday! Let's drool!

It's also Harry Potter weekend. Harry Potter is the reason Kid decided to learn to read. We've seen all the movies and Kid has a MAJOR crush on Luna Lovegood. I respect the Kid's taste.
Though I am all about Matt Lewis, the guy that plays Neville Longbottom (doesn't he look like Clive Owen's younger brother? DAMN.)
Here's one more
So peeps, who's got your blood pumping? They don't have to be Potter-affiliated. Just delicious.

Friday music

To cap off a week from hell I offer up the Bellrays' opinion of bureaucrats, technocrats and kleptocrats and their respective stooges, lackeys, and toadies.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

The Patriarchy Has No New Tricks

So I'm reading this interview with Noorjahar Akbar, a college student and activist in Afghanistan. She's awesome, btw. And it's amazing how the patriarchy is the (same kind of) suck EVERYWHERE. Street harassment! It's women's fault. Rape! It's women's fault.

But that's not all that's the same. Who said:

“Gender issues are going to have to take a back seat to other priorities. There’s no way we can be successful if we maintain every special interest and pet project. All those pet rocks in our rucksack were taking us down.”

Was it:
A)An anonymous senior official at USAID talking about Afghanistan

B) A Republifucker in any flyover state justifying cutting off planned parenthood

C) A White House spokesperson

D) Any member of "liberal" blogosphere, including but not limited to Cheetoh Eaters

I know, it's so tough. It could be any of them. All of them. Why do they all sound so fucking alike, the douchenoodles of the world?

(The answer is A. Though I am pretty damn sure I remember Obama making similar comments during the Stupak Healthcrap Brouhaha).

No New Tricks. Not a one.

Everyday Activism

I've noticed that my music playlists have veered hard towards the skinny, white boys in tiny pants lately. That happens sometimes with books and movies too. It's so easy to be swayed by cultural hegemony. It's everywhere. You don't have to look hard. It requires no effort.

So I try to pay attention and be more inclusive when it happens. It is the tiny steps, the little additions of voices and words of people who normally aren't heard from, of being an activist to my core. If the only messages I ever allow into my world are from a privileged point of view, how can I ever understand the unprivileged?

It is so easy to say "I'm not a (insert oppressive group here)". But without action to follow that up, the statement is empty. "I'm not a racist" (but I wouldn't watch a tv show about the dating lives of black women). I'm not a sexist (but I find that all the bands I listen to are men-only). "I'm not a homophobe" (but I'm not watching any of that gay shit).*

Yes, looking for media that includes voices of the others takes a bit more time. It's not easy to find (or make, for that matter) because it doesn't reflect the values and ideas of the dominant class. ON PURPOSE. It's not just a matter of listening to/watching/reading what's good (or considered good- think how many people still read the Big Orange Cheetoh or the apologist farm known as HuffPo).

And let it never be said that I am bossing people into doing things that I am unwilling to do. (Fuck that shit, I'm not bossing anyone. Either you get it or you don't. I ain't here to hold your hand and pet your head and make everything nice for you.)So here's Rye Rye doing a song that has had me sofa-dancing all week.

* All things I have specifically from people claiming "I'm not....."

Who's Surprised

That President Never-Met-A-Republifucker-Idea-I-Don't-Like Obama is willing to cut Social Security?

Anyone? Anyone? Oh yes, well of course the blogger boyz are SHOCKED. But this is totally in character for Obama and not a surprise to those of us who didn't get tingly-leg crushes on the asshat during the election. 

Planned Parenthood Stories- A Carnival Repost

This is a reblog and expansion of something I wrote when the first rounds of defunding Planned Parenthood happened. The original is here. The carnival is brought to you by Shakesville and What Tami Said.

Since Republifuckers are so damned determined to lie about what Planned Parenthood does, and since so many of us have used their services, I think we should tell our stories. So here's one (of many) that I have.

When I was a wee unmarried lass of 19 I confirmed that I was pregnant for 10 bucks at PP. But I didn't just pee in a cup. They did a full exam and and then gently asked me if I knew what my options were. I knew from the second I thought I might be up the stick that I was keeping the Kid. When I told the doc, she didn't lecture me about my age or state of non-marriage (as other doctors and nurses would later). She gave a prescription for prenatal vitamins, and told me the possible due date (which would later be nearly a month off because it's not as an exact science as we'd like to believe AND the Kid was, as is his style, 2 weeks fucking late).

She gave me information on how to apply for Medicaid, including the actual forms, so I could get prenatal care straight away and she gave me a paper proving a positive pregnancy test result to include with the forms to speed up the process. At the bottom she scrawled 'Elizabeth has decided to parent'. And that is the moment where I realized the enormity of the CHOICE I made. I decided to parent.

That choice is not often celebrated when the one making it is poor, young, unmarried, not white, diasbled or not neurotypical. Planned Parenthood is the only national organization that I can think of that does the boots on the ground, doctors in the clinics, actual support of women no matter what their choice is. All the feminist theory in the world and theoretical arguments don't amount to jack shit when you don't actually a safe, clean, staffed clinic for poor women and girls (and men and boys) to go to.  Choice doesn't mean anything without that.

More carnival stories here.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Assinine Treatment of Poor People, Not Just for Red States!

I've spent the last hour on hold with DSHS. I did the same thing last week. Apparently it's time for my review! Of course, since I moved 2 months ago I had sent in all the review information already (twice, since I didn't get confirmation after sending it in the first time) but I still needed to be reviewed, again.

But I have a crappy mail carrier and never received the review request. I received the notice that I had failed to turn in my review. So I sent in (another) round of review information. And called to make sure everything was kosher. Had a phone interview. Sent in proof of income. Did everything, again, that I was supposed to.

And since it's been a week and I haven't heard anything, I called to make sure we're still getting food stamps on the 8th (otherwise we are FUCKED). First round of phone calls, get hung up on by automated system. Second round of phone calls, get condescended to by call center asshole who doesn't know jack about what she's talking about but does know how to be extra shitty. Finally, get passed on to a supervising case worker who tells me my paperwork has been lost in the ether. She's nice, at least, but we aren't getting food stamps on Friday. She doesn't know when we'll get them. "Sometime, maybe. In the mean time, try a food bank. You've done everything you're supposed to do."

I'm going to go curl up in a ball and sob for a bit.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Indispensable hygiene product

for those of us in thrall to the alcohol-industrial complex: Anti-hangover shower gel. It's wide-awake mornings at Elizabitch HQ from now on.

Dennis Byrne burps a truth

Dennis Byrne, in an anti-gay marriage op-ed in the Chicago Tribune, accidentally blurted out a truth:

[M]arriage, among other things, seeks to protect the lives and rights of women and children in a historically patriarchal society.

Dennis! Yes! You see the light! You're tired of being the asshole who's unfit for mixed company, right? Can we count on your help to dismantle the patriarchy? Sign right here! Hey everybody, good news, we signed up a conservative white guy!

Wait! Dennis? Dennis...?

Oh, hell.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy July 4th

Here's everything you ever wanted to know about America in one interaction (story shamelessly stolen from a Dear Friend)

Dear Friend now works as customer service for a cruise company after 3 years of unemployment/ temping. She makes less than a living wage and decidedly less than she did pre-layoff. But it's full-time, permanent, with benefits. It's a unicorn job.

Customer is worrying that they will be "stuck on a boat with nothing to eat but soup and bread for a week". Dear Friend is eating soup and bread, because that is what she can afford for lunch. She eats soup and bread a lot. Soup is cheap. You can make buckets of it and the liquid makes you feel full even if there isn't a ton of calories in it.

America* is a land where rich people complain to poor people and poor people have to listen and respond with cheerfulness. "Of course, you (great pimple on the ass of society) won't be stuck eating just bread and soup. That would be awful".

*I am sure that's true in just about every country. But we like to pretend all our poor people are lazy, government-teat sucking layabouts, not full-time workers.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Quotations of Chairman Mom

Upon obliging son with iffy aim to clean up around the toilet seat: "If it comes out of your penis, it's your problem, you deal with it."