I’m dispensing advice to the blogosphere. You’re welcome.
1.)To Digby, Corey Robin, et al, regarding whether the recent set backs in the rights of women in America have something to do with protecting the influence of the traditional hierarchy in the home, you’re not quite seeing the whole picture. The backlash against women started about the time that more women were moving into the workforce, competing with men who used to get all the good jobs, frequently with little more than a high school diploma. This was also about the same time that african americans were moving into the middle class. It also roughly corresponded with a lag in wages compared to productivity. We should do more research to find out if there is a correlation and what it is.
I think the push to put women “back in their place” has less to do with protecting the home than to protecting the traditional privileges of the workplace. How can we decide which is the case? We can look to countries with better and worse gender equity scores than the United States and do some comparisons of what cultural and legislative changes they have made in the past 100 or so years. My gut feeling is that we are experiencing a backlash because we have rewarded the persons who promote it via their outsize representation in the media and through their culturally protected religious affiliations. It is OK these days to say racist things and insult women by referring to them as sluts. No harm done, says Limbaugh and the Fox News team. There’s no law against being an ignorant bigot.
In other words, the language is being used in the service of the previously privileged. It was and always will be the economy, stupid. When money gets tight, women should get the f^&* out of the way and go home. Making it hard for her to get out of the house when she’s tied to babies and lacks good childcare serves the guys very well indeed. They’re just all hoping it’s the next guy who has to put up with the domestic situation, not them. It’s purely opportunistic.
2.) Countries that have had a history of secret police and neighbors spying on neighbors in a manner that lead to mass murders and ruined careers tend to have a negative reaction to their allies spying on them for unknown purposes. It’s just freaks them out in a way that Americans cannot fathom (yet). Think twice (or thrice) about doing it.
From the NYTimes article on the expulsion of US spies from Germany, we get this nugget and advice from Angela Merkel:
As is usual with intelligence matters, the United States Embassy had no comment on the expulsion request. But in a statement, the embassy also said it was essential to maintain close cooperation with the German government “in all areas.”
“Our security relationship with Germany remains very important,” the embassy statement said. “It keeps Germans and Americans safe.”
Ms. Merkel, speaking two hours before the expulsion request was announced, said in response to reporters’ questions that spying on allies was “a waste of energy.”
“We have so many problems,” she said. “We should focus on important matters.”
Waste of energy indeed, not to mention money. Money that could be used on mass transit and infrastructure improvements that the Republicans seem to think are unnecessary. I guess it’s OK if New Jersey looks like Mississippi. Mississippi might be what America looks like to Republicans and NJ is just being uppity. How would they know the difference? Come to think of it, I’m tempted to start a “…You might be a Republican” thing. Like, If your friends would describe you as a greedy old prick, you might be a Republican. Or If they would describe you as a grumpy old prude, you might be a Republican.
Wait, I’m getting off topic.
Yeah, don’t spy on your friends. It’s unnecessary.
3.) With tensions and rockets flaring in Israel, be prepared for your local fundamentalist Christians to be almost ready to pee themselves with delight at the impending rapture.
4.) To the Republicans who are itchin’ to impeach the president- DO IT! Yes, by all means, find something to nail on him. Tie him up with congressional hearings. But please, do it Blitzkrieg style, ok? Don’t waste any time drawing the whole procedure out. Wrap it up quickly. Better yet, take Biden down first. Then we can appoint Hillary to VP while you guys go for the jugular. Then when Obama is forced out, Hillary can step up to the presidency. It will save us a lot of money in 2016. And it’s what everyone wants anyway. You’d be doing us all a big favor. Oh sure, we’ll have to put up with your nonsensical grandstanding and foaming at the mouth over a guy who is mostly ineffectual rather than criminal but when has reason ever curbed you and your destructive waste of legislative privilege? Just do it and make it quick.
5.) When you’re planning your next kitchen renovation, do yourself a favor and pick the refrigerator first. Make sure that the one you want will fit through your doorways and won’t bang into the expensive teak cabinets you just had to have above the refrigerator. Because once those cabinets are up and you’ve spent thousands of dollars getting the look you want, you are going to have a hard time taking them down to accommodate the behemoth refrigerators that appliance makers are manufacturing these days. If you have a small kitchen made smaller by those annoying cabinets that are only good for seasonal ice buckets and Rubbermaid containers, you should know that appliance makers don’t really make a lot of nice refrigerators in the small to medium category. Yes, they are still living in 2008. Adapt accordingly.