• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    William on Pornhub Category: White H…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Pornhub Category: White H…
    Sweet Sue on Pornhub Category: White H…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Pornhub Category: White H…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Pornhub Category: White H…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Trump Recruited for his S…
    bellecat on Trump Recruited for his S…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Trump Recruited for his S…
    William on Trump Recruited for his S…
    William on Trump Recruited for his S…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Trump Recruited for his S…
    bellecat on Trump Recruited for his S…
    William on Trump Recruited for his S…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Trump Recruited for his S…
    Ga6thDem on Trump Recruited for his S…
  • Categories


  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    February 2010
    S M T W T F S
    « Jan   Mar »
     123456
    78910111213
    14151617181920
    21222324252627
    28  
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Scenarios For America’s Political Future
      Let’s run thru the most likely possible victories in the upcoming federal election and consider what they mean for America’s future. Put them in 4 baskets. Trump wins. He does more bad stuff, situation continues to get worse, American post-WWII style multilateral hegemony and trade order takes huge hits. Biden or Harris win. Harris will […]
  • Top Posts

  • Advertisements

Tiger Woods Shows Us: There is Something Very Wrong with our Society

(WARNING: Some content below may be offensive to the Self-Righteous!!!)

Interesting Fact: Before Thanksgiving 2009, if I had been at a party in search of a booty call and Tiger Woods had walked up to me and suggested we mess around, I would have accepted.

Like most folks, I think it is trashy, counter productive and despicable to get involved with a married person unless I am getting paid to do so. But prior to Thanksgiving of 2009, I didn’t even KNOW Tiger Woods was married with children. I obviously don’t give a shit about sports, but getting hit on by a multi-million dollar Golfer is pretty flattering. How many girls can say they hooked up with Tiger Woods? (A lot.)

Of course, bragging about a star studded sexcapade to your friends is a lot different than talking about it on Oprah. But in hindsight, I can see how some of Tiger’s mistresses were so willing to tell their stories after having CNN dangle big fat checks in front of their faces.

Tiger Woods is an athlete. He is famous for being able to hit a little white ball into a hole with a stick. Like most athletes and movie stars, he contributes absolutely nothing useful to society, save for a tiny, obligatory portion of his millions to some causes and charities.

But unlike movie and porn stars, athletes do not have the luxury of being able to date other athletes, assuming the majority of them are heterosexuals, because there are no famous female athletes that aren’t tennis players. In fact, athletes, besides being mostly male, sell their bodies to large multimillion dollar Corporations. We tut and cluck our tongues at porn stars, hookers, strippers, and models for doing exactly the same thing, and yet athletes are like modern day Gladiators. They are paid obscene amounts of money to play games that are sometimes violent, and we tell our children to look up at them as heroes so that they too can one day be rewarded the equivalent of the budgets of some small countries to jump on each other and chase around pig skins. (And really, if your child is looking up to athletes instead of you, than you’re doing something wrong. Yeah, I said it.)

So why the Hell does anyone CARE that Tiger Woods got caught cheating with practically every woman in the country (I mean, really, how do you know I HAVEN’T slept with Tiger Woods? You don’t know me like that!)?

Joseph Cannon said something about this earlier that I think bears repeating:

“But he represents…” Bullshit. Don’t bother trying to finish that sentence.

Nobody “represents” anything. Not even royalty and presidents. We’re all just people. As Robert De Niro said in The Deer Hunter: “This is this. This ain’t somethin’ else: This is this.”

Much of our low media infrastructure — Jerry Springer, the tabloids — has existed to humiliate people for unapproved sexual activity. But why do we care about the private kinks, errors, oddities, unconventionalities, betrayals and ecstasies of others? Are our lives really so small?

Its John Edwards, Mark Sanfords, Ted Haggards, Larry Craigs and George W Bushes of the world–those who bathe themselves in hypocrisy while fancying themselves more than just human beings, those men who believe themselves to be Gods and use their positions to claim moral superiority, justifying their own errors by condemning the mistakes of others and passing sexist and homophobic laws that keep those of us who are self aware on our knees– those are the men that deserve our attention and our scorn.

But lets look on the bright side: Tiger Woods’ sex scandal has been thoroughly entertaining. (Thanks to him, I now know that there’s someone out there with just as many sexual fetishes as me.) Most athletes behave the same way he does, they just don’t get caught. I live in Cleveland and LeBron James is like the second coming of Christ around here. But I know of a lot of women who have had less than fortunate encounters with him and other Cavs players, and I hope he crashes and burns. Yeah, I said it. And really, why would anyone even WANT to marry an athlete? You’d have to sit there and listen to them go on and on and on about twenty yard lines and bogeys and three pointers and other endlessly boring crap, and as a trade off they probably wouldn’t even be faithful. Lets hope Elin’s learned her lesson.

This can also teach us a lesson about the undeserved importance our society gives sports. We can not only talk to our children and remind them that pitchers and quarterbacks and point guards are just as lame and ignorant as the rest of us, we can also take the time to break it to them that the likelihood of them become professional athletes are slim to none: Daddy got that football scholarship a long time ago, and he’s not going to get it back by trying to live vicariously through them.

PS: And you know what? Tiger’s squeeze was right. Those golf balls were offensive.

UPDATE: Pandagon also has a wonderful, highly recommended post about this:

But my frustration with this is about more than just that. And it’s about more than the fact that there’s a double standard being employed in this—be it because Woods is an icon, or because of his race, or because of whatever—where he was singled out for a “scandal” for behavior that is more typical than not of golfers and athletes in general. It’s that holding Woods out to be a freak show implies that his behavior is unusual, and that his attitudes are freakish works to conceal the larger cultural support for his behavior and attitudes, especially in sports. But I would argue he’s typical, with the attitudes he almost surely has about women to inspire such epic cheating on his wife and apparent disregard for the well-being of his other partners. I’m not saying most or all men have his attitudes, of course. But a big enough chunk of them that it’s a joke to pretend that Woods’ behavior was anything to write home about.

Advertisements

Does Digby have Stockholm Syndrome?

Not Digby


Stockholm Syndrome:


In psychology, the Stockholm syndrome is a term used to describe a paradoxical psychological phenomenon wherein hostages express adulation and have positive feelings towards their captors that appear irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims.


A while back I asked Who Kidnapped Digby? Today I saw this over at Hullaballoo:

Everybody knows that Tbogg is a very funny guy. This is a classic. So’s this. And those are from just this week. But no offense to da man, I have to point out that Tbogg readers are actually the funniest people in in the blogosphere. if you read no other comment section, read that one.

Plus there’s adorable basset dog on basset puppy (with a tramp stamp) action.

“Everybody knows that Tbogg is a very funny guy?” Who is this “Everybody?”

If you think Tbogg is funny you are either a misogynist or you have never read any of his posts about Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin or PUMA. He even mentioned us during last year’s Wonktard War:

It’s worth mentioning that The Confluence is a PUMA blog which means that Jim Newell is spending precious moments of his life arguing with people who still think it would have been fairer for Hillary Clinton to have been allowed to play from the ladies tees during the primary season. And if you think that groups like the Susan B. Anthony List or the CWA are detrimental to the feminist movement, you’ll have to admit that The Confluence is really pulling out the stops when it comes to reconsidering that whole women’s suffrage thing.

Of course he was tipped off to the whole thing by his good pals at Blogstalkers.

Hey Digby, here’s a clue: “Tramp stamp” is a misogynist term. It refers to a tattoo on a woman’s lower back as an indication she is a “slut.” Or according to Urban Dictionary:

“Those chicks with tramp stamps are the kinds of girls you take home to bang. Don’t get into relationships with them because they are often immature gold digging sluts who sleep with everyone. Oh yeah, make sure you use a rubber because you don’t want to end up with chlamydia trachoma (which 1 in 20 women have between the ages of 14-39 according to the center of disease control… probably much higher if they have a tramp stamp considering the scientific coloration [sic] between sluttiness and tramp stamps). Also, if they pop out a baby (which they often do), they may have issues getting epidurals through their tattoos in the lower back.”

Real funny. As for Tbogg’s readers, here’s a sample of the comments in the link Digby recommends:

I can’t help but comment on the Michele Bachmann ads on the right. Call me strange, but I find her somewhat attractive. That is, if you could get past that look in her eyes. You know, the look that says her stuffed animal collection probably reflects her forays into home taxidermy.

Neighbor: “Why does Ms. Bachmann put cat food on her front porch every night? They don’t have any pets. By the way, have you seen Puffball or Mr. Snuggles recently?”

Seriously, the look in her eyes is usually accompanied by a jacket that fastens in the back.


Well, it looks like a certain Colored Woman needs to commence with some cleanin’, don’t it? And while we’re at it…. Boy! Get yur feet off’n our furniture!1!

Sweet Jeebus, make it stop…..


Since mentally they’re still functioning in the good old days when “darkies” weren’t allowed to read or write, they’re probably offended that the Obama’s have any books at all.


{{headdesk}}


Ambivalence Revisited

Yesterday, I talked about the recent upsurge in interest in the “Public Option” (Bad News and More Bad News) and my mixed feelings about the whole thing. Well, I’m inspired by Lambert to revisit this topic:

Who kidnapped Paul Krugman? Partial truths, false statements, bad writing… It’s almost like he’s turning into an access blogger!

I read Paul Krugman’s piece yesterday with some interest ::

Here’s the story: About 800,000 people in California who buy insurance on the individual market — as opposed to getting it through their employers — are covered by Anthem Blue Cross, a WellPoint subsidiary. These are the people who were recently told to expect dramatic rate increases, in some cases as high as 39 percent.

Why the huge increase? It’s not profiteering, says WellPoint, which claims instead (without using the term) that it’s facing a classic insurance death spiral.

. . .

Now, what WellPoint claims is that it has been forced to raise premiums because of “challenging economic times”: cash-strapped Californians have been dropping their policies or shifting into less-comprehensive plans. Those retaining coverage tend to be people with high current medical expenses. And the result, says the company, is a drastically worsening risk pool: in effect, a death spiral.

. . .

Finally, there have been calls for minimalist health reform that would ban discrimination on the basis of pre-existing conditions and stop there. It’s a popular idea, but as every health economist knows, it’s also nonsense. For a ban on medical discrimination would lead to higher premiums for the healthy, and would, therefore, cause more and bigger death spirals.

So California’s woes show that conservative prescriptions for health reform just won’t work.

And Krugman goes on to discuss what he believe WOULD work. And his discussion made me so uncomfortable, I blocked the whole thing from my mind ::

And if you put all of that together, you end up with something very much like the health reform bills that have already passed both the House and the Senate.

Because if Krugman thinks those bills are actually going to “work” — that they’re more than just fragile baby-steps that start us on the path to doing something serious some day — well, I didn’t know what to say about that.

When he says, “Finally, there have been calls for minimalist health reform that would ban discrimination on the basis of pre-existing conditions and stop there.” I guess he’s right.  But, what about the other calls — for Single Payer (Medicare for Everyone) — Krugman doesn’t mention this possibility at all.

And how about the possibility of letting the Death Spiral for the Health Insurance parasites continue to it’s logical conclusion ::

But the main point is this: California’s death spiral is a reminder that our health care system is unraveling, and that inaction isn’t an option. Congress and the president need to make reform happen — now.

CRAP — I’m such an idiot. It’s been obvious for almost a year (the second we started talking about Health Insurance Reform instead of Health Care Reform) that we were heading toward a bailout of the insurance industry. But, I thought it was just because there was no way WE were going to get bailed-out :: why isn’t Krugman writing about the death spiral that PEOPLE are in over a lack of health care?

I didn’t realize that the insurance industry was in a death spiral and that they can’t survive without the bailout. What would letting the death spiral play out mean to us?

My ambivalence has just about melted away . . .

Lazy Saturday Morning Incoherent Ramblings

Good Morning Conflucians!! I’m being lazy again this morning. I’m trying to shake off a cold, and I’m moving more slowly than usual. I’ve been falling asleep at 9PM and then not wanting to get up in the morning. Today I got up at 6:00, but here it is 9:15, and I’ve wasted more than 3 hours just surfing around the ‘net. Here are some of the things I’ve been reading about.

This story really startled me: Only 21% Say U.S. Government Has Consent of the Governed

The founding document of the United States, the Declaration of Independence, states that governments derive “their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Today, however, just 21% of voters nationwide believe that the federal government enjoys the consent of the governed.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 61% disagree and say the government does not have the necessary consent. Eighteen percent (18%) of voters are not sure.

However, 63% of the Political Class think the government has the consent of the governed, but only six percent (6%) of those with Mainstream views agree.

Seventy-one percent (71%) of all voters now view the federal government as a special interest group, and 70% believe that the government and big business typically work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors.

I can’t help but feel we are headed for civil unrest if the Obama administration and Congress don’t start doing something about jobs and the disastrous economic situation that the bottom 90% of the people in this country can see, but those at the top either can’t see or don’t care about.

In my spare time I’ve been reading a book called It Could Happen Here, by Bruce Judson, who is a “Senior Faculty Fellow” at the Yale School of Management. Judson argues that economic inequality in the U.S. has reached the point where we are very close to meeting all the historical markers that lead to the overthrow of governments.

Judson writes that the disparity between rich and poor is now the greatest since the early 20th century, and most of this disparity has built up over the last 30 years. From the book (no link available):

The top earning 10 percent of U.S. families receive 49.3 percent of all U.S. household income, including capital gains. By comparison, this top 10 percent received a substanially lower 34.2 percent of the nation’s total household income in 1979. The comparison is far starker for the super-rich, the top 1 percent….In 1979 the top 1 percent of American received 10 percent of the nation’s total income, by 2006 this figure had more than doubled, to over 22.8 percent. The top 1 percent of American families now take home one-quarter to one-fifth of all of the household income generated by society.

Judson says that “extreme economic inequality ultimately leads to political instability and often revolution.” He says that historically revolutions have been set off when the middle class begins to feel that government no longer serves their needs. As long as a society has a thriving middle class, it is protected from such upheavals.

Now we have the case of Joseph Stack, who flew his private plane into a government building, claiming he was acting out of desperation. Will we see more such incidents as the middle class continues to suffer and the super-rich continue to be propped up by our government with our tax money? Yves at Naked Capitalism asks whether this is the beginning of a “violent backlash.” I was struck by this exchange she had with a commenter on her post:

Brian says:
February 18, 2010 at 8:03 pm
Your post seems unnecessarily partisan and mean-spirited. Do you find it ironic that you are contributing to the general level of anxiety and anger? The pitting of the people against each other using generic labels to divide and conquer?

Reply
◦ Yves Smith says:
February 18, 2010 at 8:14 pm
Wake up and smell the coffee. We’ve had 30 years of stagnant real worker wages, rising levels of consumer debt to cover that fact and buy social assent, and a grotesque increase in income inequality (our income distribution is now the most extreme of any advanced economy).

If the folks at the top of the food chain were suffering along with the general populace, it would be a completely different story. To pretend that people are not angry, and worse, to pretend that the anger is not justified, is wrongheaded. Saying that does not constitute support for random acts of violence. But a normally complacent American populace is increasingly roused by the spectacle of continued, unabashed looting.

Judson also points out that collapse doesn’t have to come from revolution. If we continue spending all our money on wars and letting our infrastructure deteriorate and our industrial base be destroyed, we may still collapse like the Soviet Union did or we could end up in a dictatorship as Germany did after the country was devastated by World War I.

Judson started a website, Americans for Economic Equality to support the information in his book with background information and links to new articles that related to the case he is trying to make. From what I can tell, it appears that Judson is no liberal–he is trying to warn the powers that be that they are headed for a fall.

At this link you can listen to an interview with Judson on NPR’s On Point, and here is a Huffpo piece by Judson in which he includes a transcription of a part of that interview.

I didn’t read Stack’s suicide note until yesterday, so I had gotten an impression that the guy must have been mentally ill. When I read what he wrote, I wasn’t so sure. I didn’t really think he sounded “incoherent” and “rambling,” as so many reports were claiming.

There have been a number of interesting reactions to Stack’s manifesto. Lambert had an interesting take on it. I liked Glenn Greenwald’s piece on it also. Like me, Lambert and Greenwald didn’t find the manifesto incoherent–Greenwald called it “perfectly cogent.”

This morning I came across this piece in Slate by Dave Cullen, who spent years researching the Columbine massacre: Seven Deadly Traits – Decoding the confession of the Austin plane bomber. Cullen finds similarities between in Stack’s manifesto and that of Eric Harris, one of the Columbine shooters; he also finds differences between the two suicidal killers:

I’ve spent 11 years studying routes to mass murder, in particular for a book on the Columbine school shootings, and it’s startling how similar all the manifestos sound. Many of Stack’s passages were practically lifted right out of the diatribes of Eric Harris, the Columbine mastermind. Yet while the notes are the same, the tune is not. Harris was a textbook psychopath, and Stack doesn’t read that way at all. Stack has more empathy, less callousness, and none of the vicious desire to torment others for enjoyment. There are echoes of Virginia Tech killer Cho Seung-Hui here, but Stack forms coherent thoughts and speaks rationally. He gives no indication of insanity. Instead, Stack shares Oklahoma City bomber Tim McVeigh’s disgust with intrusive government and Unabomber Ted Kaczynski’s angry frustration at “the system.”

Each of those killers were [sic] driven by different motives. Yet they shared hallmark traits of a man headed off the rails. I spoke with several experts in mass murder Thursday, and we identified seven deadly traits of impending danger in Stack’s manifesto.

In the end, I’m not sure that all these “scientific” classifications of people’s motives will matter. If we get enough of them, we will be in the state of social unrest that Bruce Judson warns of. And then what? We could get a violent crackdown by the government. We could get a new new Deal {dreaming….}. We could get governmental collapse. We certainly do live in interesting times.

So what are you all reading this morning? Please share in the comments.

AND HAVE A STUPENDOUS SATURDAY!!!!!!