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      The calls are coming in. Assuming they are correct, I think this vote is a mistake, and I note that having been given a clean vote to leave and a chance to live their own values, but having given in to fear; for me, at least, Scottish complaints about privatization of the NHS and other [...]
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Monday: Weiner, Massa and Vitter

Anthony Weiner has offered to seek professional help. This is probably a good idea. democratic congressional leadership has generally been supportive of members seeking therapy. Remember Patrick Kennedy’s addiction to sleeping aids and his bizarre behavior behind the wheel? That was ok, we understood. Take some time off, Patrick, get your act together. We still love you.
With Weiner? Ehhhh, not so much. Maybe it would have been better for him if he had claimed to have strutted his stuff while on ambien. Anthony wasnt thinking ahead.
So, now Steny Hoyer is on the warpath and wants him out, out, out! He’s cranking up the ethics committee. There will be investigations and accusations and crippling legal bills. This is not going to be pretty. Funny how David Vitter didn’t have to run this gauntlet. I guess those good Christian Republicans are just a lot more forgiving,
But more than that, this frenzy of the Democratic leadership reminds me of last year’s piling on of Eric Massa. The details of Massa’s indiscretions always did seem a little sketchy to me. And it was the usual suspects, Nancy and Steny, who seemed desperate to completely ruin the man’s reputation in order to force him to resign. Let’s not forget that Massa was a liberal hold out who wasn’t going to vote for the health care insurance reform bill. He was a real obstacle to the vote counters who wanted to give Obama a win.
Anthony Weiner may be a guy with a masturbation problem but if he hasnt broken any laws, let the guy get some help and show some compassion. The fact that compassion is in short supply on the Democratic side of the aisle and the continuing presence of david Vitter in the Senate suggests that the leadership of both parties protects who it wants to protect and gets rid of the people who stand in the way of the agenda. What makes me think this is more than a sex scandal is that when it happened to Massa, the ethics committee investigation disappeared the minute he resigned.
So, what is it Steny wants that a strong liberal might stand in his way of getting?

As a followup to yesterday, the youtube blogger, Mompetition, shows us what its like to live in Soccer Momville when you have a brain of your own. It’s not pretty but it is damn funny:

and this one is for Atrios:

be afraid, be very afraid

Sunday: Suburban Soccer Mom Values

I’m about to offend a lot of people.  Be forewarned.

I hate living in the suburbs.  No, really, I hate it with a white hot passion.  It’s because of the soccer moms.  Of course, not all moms in the suburbs are soccer moms.  Some of them are into LaCrosse.  They might be working or stay at home.  They run around in plush minivans and Lexus SUVs.  I don’t get the Lexus SUV.  If I were going to get a Lexus, the last thing I’d want is to haul kids around in it.  It’s even more puzzling when the neighbors in my townhouse development get one.  It’s like, “I can’t afford a single family home but gosh darnit, I’m not going to let the PTA know that.  I’m getting a Lexus SUV.”  The Lexus is the sign of “good people”.

Those minivans (but not the Lexus SUVs) are frequently plastered with soccer ball bumperstickers or banners that read, “Proud Parent – Smallville Honor Student” or “My Kid Can Beat Up Your Honor Student” or the epitome of smug, religiosity, “If you think you’re perfect, try walking on water”.  That last one really bugs the shit out of me.  Who are these people who feel the need to make you feel sorry for being able to read a bumpersticker?

The suburban soccer mom loves her children.  She let’s you know this in many ways.  She doesn’t let them play outside on sunny days because they might get snatched.  She sends her daughter to your house to play with your daughter, after you’ve been thoroughly vetted and after she has cross checked your name against neighborhood convicted sex offenders.  (Yes, I know you did this.  You know who you are.  Whoa!  Look at that! Never so much as a speeding ticket. What am I hiding?)  But she can never be too sure.  So, just to be on the safe side, she sends her bratty, noisy younger son to accompany her daughter to your house.  That’s so the two girls can’t play with their carefully selected, safe, non-agressive and educational American Girl Dolls together without his loud and whiny outbursts and thumping around with his too big for his body feet while you’re trying to relax on the weekends.  After all, you may be a predator who hasn’t been caught yet and with the little brother around, there’s at least one kid able to escape your perverted clutches and run home to tell mommy what you’re doing with the girls chained in the basement.  Bwah-ha-ha-hahhhh!

But they show their love in so many other ways.  Like, if their kid waits to the last minute to do their social studies project, not to worry, mom will drive them to the library and do the project for them.  You sit in the corner and read a book while your unloved child races through the stacks and does her own research.  The other mothers are busy at the tables lovingly working with the construction paper and the glue and the sheets of neatly typed text to paste in just the right places on the poster board whispering sotto voce, “Go sit over there with your brother, I’m almost done.”  Well, it’s a major project.  Don’t you care about your daughter’s grades??

And their children must stay protected from the elements.  They must all get buses to school.  Some crazy driver might mow them all down if they had to walk on the sidewalks of the neighborhood they chose for its quiet, privacy and safety.  You never know and wouldn’t it be better to be safe than sorry?  You’d kill yourself if something ever happened to them.  Like rain.  Yes, rain happens.  That’s why we must have a bus to take the kids from one school to the adjacent school in the afternoons where there is more space in the annex.  Oh, sure, there is a 500 ft walkway between the schools that is not anywhere near the street and skims the playgrounds between the two schools.  But if it rains, they might get wet while they are walking, in a group, with their teachers.  It isn’t safe and the threat of unpredictable atmospheric conditions is too risky.  We need a bus.  Nevermind that school budgets are finite and we might have to cut the late bus for kids in extracurricular activities who have irresponsible, uncaring mothers who work and can’t pick them up but send them home to a dark, unsafe house after school.  Safety comes first.

Children must be walked to the bus stops.  Even if they are only a few dozen yards down the street to the corner.  Mothers must accompany their children up to the age of 13.  No gender is safe from predators.  Do not let your children roam the neighborhood unattended to look for acorns for her latest art project.  Your neighbor will not approve and will call the police and you will have to answer for why you let a ten year old out of the house to steal windfall acorns from the common area.  Don’t you know how unsafe that is?  And never let a child go to the bathroom by themselves.  Boys over the age of 8 will be accompanied to the ladies room by a responsible, pre-vetted and fingerprinted, designated mother.  Best to take them in groups.  That way, they can inconvenience all the girls and women who have to dance and squeeze the pee in while they wait for the boys to get out of the stalls.  Because, you know, there are just so many open stalls in a woman’s bathroom that we must share them with the boys.  No, no, we *enjoy* waiting in line until our bladders burst.  It’s what we live for.

Soccer moms reserve the right to rescind the invitation to a birthday party that they sent to your daughter.  Yes, the present is bought and wrapped and your kid is bouncing with anticipation, invitation clutched in her sweaty, plump, paint smeared hand.  No, no explanation is given- although, she shouldn’t have said some other little girl was “dumb” two weeks ago.  Sorry, your child will be blacklisted for 2 or 3 years.  At some point in time, the soccer moms will review your case and *may* allow limited reintegration into society.  Meanwhile, your child will live in a suburban black hole.  Children may surreptitiously smile and wave to her when their mothers, who for some reason, can’t look you in the eye, have their backs turned.  Expect no further interaction.

You are a bad mother if you do not schedule your children for 5 different activities during the week, forbid your child from making her own friends, let her play outside at the playground without a security guard or don’t make sure her homework is done (just do it for them, you dunce, it’s how the game is played).

The latest no-no in the suburbs is the game of “assassins”.  This is where high school students run around the neighborhood with super soakers and try to take other students out.  This is forbidden.  Actually, I have to agree with this.  High school students are too old for this game.  12 year olds?  Ok.  But shouldn’t juniors in high school be hanging out at the mall or playing chicken in a pool with their bikini clad girlfriends on their shoulders (wait, that might be dangerous) or making a road trip to the shore with their friends on the weekend after their part time jobs at the bagel shop?  You know, sort of Beach Blanket Bingo meets Jersey Shore without the fake tans, funny hair poofs and tasteless behavior?  These are suburban kids after all, not a bunch of guidos and guidettes.  But, no, expect to get a recorded message from the principal of the high school telling you that “assassins” is a “dangerous game” played with “real looking weapons” of mass water inundation.  Police could mistake their actions as serious threats to other children and take them out.  Do you want your kid to be shot by some hypervigilant cop who can’t tell a super soaker from a Glock?  Well, do you???  Violators will be severely punished and may face expulsion, even if they are not playing this childish and irresponsibly “deadly” game on school property.  Don’t even think about it, kid.

So, I am not at all surprised that the Democratic party Congressional leadership is calling for Weiner’s resignation.  The guy is an exhibitionist.  He’s got problems.  His REAL problem, I suspect, is that he has been insufficiently conditioned to prevent acting out his mastabatory fantasies.  ({{snort}} I see the male readers squirming)  I don’t know what will come out next and I really don’t care.  To each his own.  I still think David Vitter’s indiscretions were more serious.  If Weiner was into talking about sex with what he thought (mistakenly or not) were receptive women, well, that makes him not a whole lot different than many other people, male and female.  The nice thing about the internet is that if someone makes advances to you of this kind, you can choose not to accept them.  You can dump their junk in a spam filter, you can block their tweets, you can stop frequenting where they hang out.  That’s the power and the glory of the internet.  You are not a passive victim.  I’ve been on the internet for years, decades now and I rarely encounter porn of any kind.  Maybe that’s because I’m on a Mac but it seems to me that if I want to get into bulging underwear, I have to actively search for it.

And 17 year old girls have been conditioned by their suburban upbringing to avoid like the plague places where porn might be found on the internet.  Thou shalt not go into chat rooms unattended.  If someone makes an online pass at you, report them immediately.  Yeah, right.  Even the most thoroughly indoctrinated teen has urges.  Yes, girls too.  I was a girl once.  I remember.  You guys have no idea.

Is it wrong for an adult male to talk to a girl of 17 on the internet?  A suburban soccer mom will tell you yes.  Unequivocally.  It is wrong for anyone who the parent does not personally know to talk to their children.  About anything.  Even the weather is off limits.  “It’s really hot today” is just a prelude to the cheezy porn movie music played just before the gardener trims a lovely young bush.  You can’t even be in a park eating a donut unaccompanied by a child without being ticketed for suspicious behavior.  Anything you say or do can and will be used against you in a court of suburban public opinion.  You can not win this one.

Yes, it’s paranoid, alarmist, indiscriminate, narrow minded, conformist, intolerant, nonsensical, frequently stupid and sometimes cruel.  The only reason why suburbanites put up with each other is to avoid being ostracized.  Where else are you going to go?  And, yes, the media tends to blow things up to the nth degree and feed the overprotective parental frenzy.  Cable news is chock full of stories about abducted and murdered children and their non-conformist sociopathic parents.  After Weiner’s sexting escapades, prepared for the Good Morning America piece that will discuss what you should tell your 17 year old daughter about texting and tweeting strangers on the internet with some child psychologist or criminal behavioral specialist.  The world is fraught with dangers for your innocent young teen who will never emerge from her Freudian sexual latency period unless provoked by some sleazy adult figure.  And you don’t know who that person could be.  It could be your neighbor or the postman or you congressman.

Women, no matter what age, will always be the victims of men and their base desires.  This thought is *not* incompatible with feminism.  Why are you saying that??  Men are always predators.  Girls do not have sex drives.  Women of all ages are helpless sheep before wolves, they are babies, BABIES, I tell you, even when they are not.  They are powerless to defend themselves against the onslaught of disgusting and depraved attempts to converse with them even when they are full grown adults and are no longer virgins.  Women are always seduced and powerless to the male sex drive.  They are always Tess of the D’Urberville, never Moll Flanders.  (How conveeeenient)  They have no ability to tell the pervert to back the fuck off or block their tweets or threaten to expose them.  They are tabula rasas who must be guarded like Spanish senoritas behind high wrought iron internet gates with the constant vigilance of their duenas.  I would like to thank my sister feminists for their efforts to protect me and my daughters but I do not care for their mass infantilization of women on my behalf and must decline.

Oh, please, Nancy.  Lay off already.  Haven’t you done enough damage to women by tolerating the disgusting and over the top misogynism of the 2008 presidential campaign?  Please, don’t do us any more favors.  The suburban security frenzy is way out of control and ruining our children’s childhoods.  Don’t add more fuel to the fire with these ridiculous calls for Weiner to resign.  He’s an immature guy who needs some behavioral modification.  He’s not a fricking predator.

Get a fricking grip already and ignore those damn Lexus SUVs.

For more outrages from the trenches, check out Lenore Skenazy’s documentation of the atrocities at Freerangekids.com.

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