Friday, November 23, 2012

Norway Tidbit

"In my country there are not really any stay at home moms.. we stay home the first 1-2 years .. part time dad does, part of the time mom does.. Its our culture.. equality among genders is big for us.. also in men having the right to be equal ;) .. like equal rights to parenthood =)"

--Norway business owner, 33-year old female.

A friend said this today to me online, when I asked her if she was a stay-at-home mom.  I was really impressed by the answer.

Dear USA, why can't we be more like this?

"Norway has been, in many regards, an early adopter of women's rights, minority rights, and LGBT rights.  For example, in 1990 Norway was the first country to recognize the ILO-convention 169 on indigenous people, and in 1913 became one of the first countries to grant women universal suffrage (without conditions on civil status). It was also the first independent nation to allow women to run for elected office." (from Wikipedia)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Holy Bishop Glass Ceiling, Britain!

Many Christians were disappointed today when the Church of England voted to keep Bishop a male-only position.  Female priests currently account for 1/3 of clergy members in England, but they are still barred from higher offices in the church, like Bishop, Cardinal and Pope.

"More than 70 percent of the 446 synod votes on Tuesday were in favor of opening the church’s episcopacy to women."  But because of the way the synod is divided into voting blocks, and each block requires a 2-thirds majority to pass the vote, 6 votes in the "laity house" block kept this vote from passing.  The "laity house" is made up of non-clergy churchgoers, voted as local representatives by their home church.

The Church clergy has not expressed much support for this vote outcome, stating "We have, as a result of yesterday, undoubtedly lost a measure of credibility in our society." So it may be that the churchgoers are more against women bishops than the church leaders.

In response, a petition has started circulating, asking for the governing seats that the Church Bishops hold in the British House of Lords to be removed.  If Bishops can only be men, they they have no place in government council seats, seems to be the idea behind this petition.
Well, at least the next time someone says, "we don't need feminism anymore, men and women are clearly equal!" you'll have a nice retort.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Obama "Thanks" His Supporters

So, having recently won a second term in the US Presidential office, Obama made a hearty speech today, thanking all the voters who supported him and promising to stand up for their values.  Given that our country has sunken into deeper economic decline during his first term, and important social programs like Medicare & Social Security are on the chopping block, while we continue to spend billions of $ expanding our wars abroad, it's good to know the President is ready to fight for the American people:

"The president, speaking from a White House phone, cautioned listeners to expect disappointments during his second term. As he has in the past, Obama warned that he was prepared to swallow some bitter pills during the negotiations, including some that would agitate the base."

Shortly after this "thank you" speech, Obama ran off to meet with "a cadre of corporate discuss their budget ideas."

Do you think he also told these CEOs to "expect disappointments" and "swallow some bitter pills?"  Somehow, I think not.

I guess Obama-voters should be glad they got at least 1 week after the election to feel fuzzy and good, before he crushed their hopes and dreams with brutal honesty.  "Thanks for your votes, guys, but now I'll be thanking my REAL supporters."

I mean, Obama just has his priorities straight.  Sure, votes are good, but he couldn't have possibly won that election without campaign financing.  There will always be American citizens wanting "change," but you can't convince them that you are the change they want without a really good PR campaign!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Master Debaters Arrest Jill Stein

Poor Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate who tried to get into the debates Tuesday night and was arrested for "blocking traffic."

I mean, a third party candidate should know better than to try to get any airtime. That is reserved for serious individuals only, who can talk about women in binders and how much to fund Sesame Street. Actually, it's a good thing Dr. Stein didn't get inside or Romney probably would have captured both her and her running mate, Cheri Honkala, to put them away in his binder where they would never be seen again. Maybe if she had a man on her team she would have had better luck.

Not only is Jill Stein foolish enough to get arrested, she actually thinks the government can create jobs, which thanks to Obama we know is a total falsehood. Her plan to "directly provide 25 million green jobs in sustainable energy, mass transit, sustainable organic agriculture, and clean manufacturing, as well as social work, teaching, and and other service jobs" is clearly some libtard dream that will only destroy our entire country, and turn us into socialist zombies and trigger the Mayan Apocalypse End of the World in 2013.

The only thing more offensive than this incident are the comments below the original article, "WoodworkerWill" who hates Jill Stein because her Jewish "name says it all" and she has too much "chuptza" or "Mohammad A Da," who hates Obama for being a secret Muslim. And these were just the first two comments I read.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Why is College so Expensive? (USA)

Davidson College has recently made waves in the USA by claiming its students gradute debt-free.

The truth is, only a small percentage of its students are given free tuition. Middle-class students still have to take out loans, and with tuition around $35,000 a year, this often results in significant debt. It's great that valedictorians with low income can attend Davidson for free, but why should middle-class students with the same achievements have to graduate with $60,000+ in debt? It's not like the degree is going to allow them to make back that kind of money anytime soon.

Davidson College has a much smaller endowment than most Ivy Leagues, and 45.1 % of its students are receiving free or discounted tuition right now. These tuition discounts are funded by its endowment, so there's no reason other schools with much more money couldn't follow suit.

Why don't elite universities make more room for students who can't afford $30,000 a year tuition? Why don't they just make tuition cheaper overall, and cut out this whole grant-giving process?

Well, college isn't really the stepping-stone that we pretend it is, in America. Admissions data at the richest colleges in the nation suggest that these schools are only increasing the income gap, not helping bright students make the best of themselves. Schools with the most money admit MORE underachieving students, but only if these students are rich and white. Back in 2008, "15 percent of freshmen enrolled at America's highly selective colleges are white teens who failed to meet their institutions' minimum admissions standards." So, the schools that could afford to admit the most students in need, are instead choosing to give those spots to privileged young people who have already squandered many of the advantages life has offered them.

Way to go, American dream.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Happy Labor Day, America!

To celebrate, let's read this comic from Questionable Content:

Damn. I'd better get back to reporting on this stuff. Or else that bird is going to steal my job from me, but he'll make it depressing instead of fun.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Housing is Too Good for Arizona's Prisoners

Jails overcrowded? No problem, just start putting the prisoners outside. In tents.

That's seriously what Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio is doing right now, in Phoenix, Arizona. And it seems most of the prisoners chosen to live in the "tents" are Hispanic and nonwhite citizens.

The sheriff has said that he doesn't see any problems with housing inmates in tents because "some members of the U.S. military live in tents."

Some members of the U.S. military also have to fight in deadly combat and get killed by enemies of the state. I suppose sending our prisoners to do this is the next step when we run out of room in the tents?

This Tent City Jail also forces its inmates to wear pink underwear and sells guided tours so that paying citizens can come gawk at the prisoners.

Tonight, there will be a rally for the closing of the tent city, led by the immigrant rights group Puente Arizona and the Unitarian Universalist Association, a national church group.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Did you Know? Amphicars!

An interesting tidbit from the National Park Service:

the Amphicar: the only car that ever was a BOAT!

Built in Germany from 1961 to 1968, the Amphicar is the only civilian amphibious passenger automobile ever to be mass produced. A total of 3,878 vehicles were produced in four colors: Beach White, Regatta Red, Fjord Green (Aqua), and Lagoon Blue--the color of President Johnson's Amphicar.

President Johnson enjoyed surprising unsuspecting guests when taking them for a ride in his Amphicar.

The President, with Vicky McCammon in the seat alongside him and me in the back,was now driving around in a small blue car with the top down. We reached a steep incline at the edge of the lake and the car started rolling rapidly toward the water. The President shouted, "The brakes don’t work! The brakes won’t hold! We’re going in! We’re going under!" The car splashed into the water. I started to get out. Just then the car leveled and I realized we were in a Amphicar. The President laughed. As we putted along the lake then (and throughout the evening), he teased me. "Vicky, did you see what Joe did? He didn’t give a damn about his President. He just wanted to save his own skin and get out of the car." Then he’d roar. --Joseph A. Califano, Jr
So, our former President tricked his passengers into thinking they were about to die, just so he could see how loyal they were? That's either the most brilliant people skills ever, or sadistic torture. Maybe, it's both.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Stop Blaming Testosterone

Today, we have some feminist critique of the viewpoint that men "can't help" oogling women. Inspired by the trendy article, "5 Ways Modern Men are Trained to Hate Women," and it's scathing response; "Mysogyny isn't caused by male horniness."

Even after reading this critique, which makes a great point that hey, maybe women and men don't act differently just because of biology, but because of what society teaches us, some guy still found the need to cry out (comment #265: mcguinty):

You’ll also notice that I never said the average male traits make the average male better than the average female. I just said it makes the average male different from the average female. Personally I would like to be able to have some of the average female traits: better social intelligence, better empathy, and so on. But I can’t because of my biology.

O. M. Gee.

Our response:
Dear @mcguinty. by assuming these male SOCIAL traits are biological, you just spit out a whole bunch of disabling sexism. " I would like to be able to have some of the average female traits: better social intelligence, better empathy, and so on. But I can’t because of my biology." What the hell? ANYONE can have better social intelligence and better empathy, all you have to do is make an effort and try to LEARN.

Women are told from day 1 that they must consider other's feelings in everything they do, and give up their own needs to support others. This is why women have these traits in wider abundance than men, not because it's "biological." You using biology as an excuse as to why you don't have them, is just making a lame excuse to justify your continued behavior as a selfish, offensive asshole. Biology is not an excuse to treat women badly, or act like an asshole in general. That is is the whole problem with this cracked article, and this why it DOES matter if men's different behavior is based in biology or not.

If it was really based in biology, then it could not be changed. (If that was actually true, then I think all men should be imprisoned and removed from all positions of power, since they "naturally" are inclined to hurt women.) But if macho, objectifying, tit-gazing behavior is LEARNED, then we can UNLEARN it, which would be a HUGE SOCIAL IMPROVEMENT. We need to stop blaming biology and recognize the social conditioning that is all around us.

So. Why is this so hard to understand? Because I have heard men who claim to be "progressive" blame their biology all the time. You almost might think, that they don't want to understand it..

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Religion Not Involved in Repeal of Prop 8!

In an amazing upset this week, Prop 8 was overturned, and the ruling judges never even mentioned religion in their decision! Right, I control+F-ed (searched) through 128 pages of statement and only civil marriage was mentioned, but never the word "religion," nor "discrimination," anywhere that I could find. How politically correct!

Yes, I'm really impressed by the court that recently declared Prop 8 unconstitutional. Yes! The way they worded the decision was so beauuuuuutiful;
Although the Constitution permits communities to enact most laws they believe to be desirable, in requires that there be at least a legitimate reason for the passage of a law that treats different classes of people differently. There was no such reason that Proposition 8 could have been enacted.

Interesting, right? It was only unfair because, there was no "legitimate reason" that Prop 8 should ever have been enacted. But if there was, then it would have been okay? I guess it's okay because our government can carry out the "passage of a law that treats different classes of people differently." Hmmmm. Are gay people even a class? I guess they are now a different class, because the court said so. I guess, the court could have recognized that gay people are just, you know, people, and not even a legitimately different social class, who should ever be separate from other people in the law's eyes, but, that would have been addressing a "broader issue," and;
Broader issues have been urged for our consideration, but we adhere to the principle of deciding constitutional questions only in the contest of the particular case before the Court.

So, they couldn't ever decide that gay people deserve all the same rights as non-gay people, UNLESS there was somehow a "particular case before the Court." What would that case look like? It would have to be about someone claiming it was unconstitutional to treat gays as a separate class of people, right? Maybe because they were unnecessarily denied something given to other people?

Hmmm, it's too bad we don't have any cases like that for them to give a decision on! Maybe, one day...