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Tuesday Morning Warmup

I could be writing all day.  There’s a huge post in my head about Karen Ho’s book but I have to read Matt Taibbi’s piece in the Rolling Stone before the last piece slides into place.  But in the meantime, I wanted to post about the stupidest headline I’ve seen so far today and it’s early.

Here it is:

Bubba Watson’s courage, creativity made Masters win happen

Yes, it takes courage and creativity, not natural or practiced hand-eye coordination, to knock a small spherical object into a tiny hole in the ground.  That’s the kind of courage and creativity that ends wars, cures cancer, and gets you an invitation to join an exclusively male country club where you and your other rich and powerful male buddies can make plans to influence the lives of the everyone else in the country, including the 53% of the population who can’t possibly overhear or join in on your conversations on the back nine.

Bubba deserves a call from the President where they can talk the manly man talk and maybe even get an invitation to PBO’s next golf outing (which was only integrated with women after they made a big stink about it).

Well done, sir. Well. Done.


Remember a few weeks ago when I said that Republicans would go after the Family Leave Act and a bunch of you rolled your eyes (I know you did) and said to yourselves that RD was one tin foil hat shy of a full conspiracy?  Well, take a look at this post by Digby.  Scott Walker in Wisconsin has signed a bill repealing the state’s Equal Pay Enforcement Act.  If the Family Leave Act doesn’t start getting some attention soon from  the wingnuts as some kind of hostage for a budget deal, I’ll eat my blog.  It’s perfect.  I can almost hear the arguments now.  Unemployment is high and employers, I’m sorry, JOB CREATORS, need the flexibility (this is an important word.  Pay attention) to hire when they have a position open.  Why are we holding these empty positions open while women are on maternity leave when they could be filled by men who need jobs to feed their families?  And Rush will probably start telling everyone that we are paying these women to sit on their asses all day eating bon-bons for 6 months.

Repeal it or no raising the debt ceiling/extension of unemployment benefits/free lunch program.

You know it’s coming.  And I’m not entirely sure that Republicans are going to lose this battle.  They’re certainly going to get the attention of white males who are struggling to support their families on one income.  Plus, they get the added bonus of watching Obama twist himself into knots trying not to piss off his Wall Street crowd who think anti-discrimination laws get in the way of doing business while keeping women on his side by being “not as bad as Republicans”.  That should be interesting.  Anyone want to make a bet about just how finely Obama is going to try to thread this needle?  Let me guess: the laws will be attacked and he’ll have to disapprove but sign and then he’ll make some teensy squeak of support for women’s aspirations or some such bullshit.

BTW, has anyone noticed that atheists, the 99% and hoodied people all have marches and rallies to show their voting strength and solidarity but women are conspicuously absent with their own zillion females on the mall event?  What’s up with that?

25 Responses

  1. RD, have you heard about this: Scientists boycott academic journals to protest the high cost of paywalls

    So, in January this year, Gowers wrote an article on his blog declaring that he would henceforth decline to submit to or review papers for any academic journal published by Elsevier, the largest publisher of scientific journals in the world.

    He was not expecting what happened next. Thousands of people read the post and hundreds left supportive comments. Within a day, one of his readers had set up a website, The Cost of Knowledge, which allowed academics to register their protest against Elsevier.

    The site now has almost 9,000 signatories, all of whom have committed themselves to refuse to either peer review, submit to or undertake editorial work for Elsevier journals. “I wasn’t expecting it to make such a splash,” says Gowers. “At first I was taken aback by how quickly this thing blew up.”


    Despite the recession, these charges have helped academic publishers operate with profit margins of 35% or more in recent years, while getting their raw materials and the work of thousands of taxpayer- and charity-funded scientists free.

    The big three publishing houses – Elsevier, Springer and Wiley – own most of the world’s more than 20,000 academic journals and account for about 42% of all journal articles published. And, even as library budgets over the past few years in the UK and North America have been flat or declining, journal prices have been rising by 5-7% a year or more.


    Even if a paper is made available on university repositories, though, often the copyright restrictions are so draconian that the research cannot be used in any subsequent scientific inquiry without prior permission.

    This has profound implications for the ability of scientists to use modern techniques to get the most out of published research, which grows at the rate of more than 1.5m new research articles every year.

    Text mining, for example, is a relatively new research method where computer programmes hunt through databases of plain-text research articles, looking for associations and connections – between drugs and side effects, for example, or between genes and disease – that a person scouring through papers one by one may never notice.

    • Most of the papers I read are heavily referenced. You can’t do research without citing other people’s work. But I would never lift whole passages from other people’s papers. Not sure who actually does that.
      Sequences are in public databases like PubMed. Structures can be found in the RCSB.
      I think it is assumed that if you publish your research, other people are free to use it and reference it as long as they cite it. Maybe they are referring to wholesale copying without attribution and even I would have a problem with that.
      But yeah, the cost of papers is crazy. My name should be on a couple soon. Not sure where the principal authors are submitting to.

    • Here’s another good quote that sums it all up:

      It is easy for most research scientists to remain oblivious to the high cost of journal subscriptions, because they are not usually the ones having to negotiate with publishers, says Sir Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust.

      As an active researcher, he had easy access to all the papers he wanted and only became aware of the costs involved, he says, when he arrived at the trust and tried to read a paper that had been produced as a result of a research grant from the charity, only to be faced with an article charge of £25. “Not surprisingly, I felt somewhat resentful about it,” he says.

      This is what has happened to me and all of my former colleagues. I can’t even download any of my own papers without paying $30/copy.
      I don’t think it’s correct to say that most scientists weren’t aware of the cost of the licenses that their former companies were paying. I’ve been aware since about 1990 when I went to a user group meeting in New Orleans and ran into CAS representatives who knew exactly what they were doing with their curation of scientific literature for exorbitant prices. It’s only gotten worse over the years because most corporate libraries don’t have hard copies of the journals anymore. Everything is online. So, the publishers don’t have to pay for the content or the paper to print it or the typesetters anymore but they are raking in huge profits. In fact, when you send in papers, they’re already formatted and the most the publishers have to do is gussy it up or split the sucker up for their own format.

      What drives me nuts is that these publishers haven’t gotten it into their thick heads that those of us on the outside of companies now, which means nearly all of us, can’t afford these prices. I mean, the publishers are utterly clueless. When it takes a dozen papers to start a project from multiple journals, it’s just impossible to pay for that when you don’t have any money. Why should the publishers get to sit on this information that they got for free??? You’d think they’d switch to a iTunes model or offer bulk pricing or something but their business model hasn’t changed at all. It’s like they are still expecting poor scientists to pony up hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for access to journals and papers that they probably don’t need in order to get to the hundreds of papers that they do need. Think about it. If I need to download a hundred papers a year (I’m being conservative), I could end up paying over $3000 for that. Just me. Now, multiply that by all of the out of work scientists out there, hundreds of thousands of us.
      No wonder scientists are walking away from science. You can’t even read papers without sacrificing your kid’s food budget.

  2. wholesale copying? I missed that.

  3. Wisconsin, the first domino?

    The unintended consequences of voting for a misogynist?

    • I think there is a method to the madness and it just might work for Republicans. Women may walk away from the Republican party but more men might be attracted to them. Meanwhile, the passivity of the Democrats in this situation is going to start driving women crazy, depressing turnout for Democrats. Democrats are not banging the drums and getting all outraged and blocking these bills with their bodies, which is close to what women need at this point. They are just sitting back singing “Time is on my side” by the Rolling Stones. Obama and the Democrats are just assuming that they are going to reap the benefits but if women don’t see them standing up for them, they’re going to wonder what they’re going to get after the election. Democrats are not holding the line.
      That makes us want Hillary Clinton even more because she doesn’t shrink. And Republicans will *love* that because they know that there is a cadre of privileged white male dudes in the Democratic party who think it’s all about the war or some “creative class” bullshit who have been brainwashed about the Clintons who won’t let Hillary (or maybe any other woman) anywhere near the levers of power- ever. Go read the comment threads at Reclusive Leftist. I think they are on to something here. There is a class of Ezra Kleins that will absolutely thwart Hillary for reasons that are of no interest to women in general. They’re more interested in the wars, as if the rest of us aren’t. but they fail to acknowledge that Obama hasn’t ended them. It’s so bizarre I almost feel like I’m in Wonderland sometimes. These dudes are standing in front of us and allowing the erosion of our rights and that is ok with them because we all must have a teachable moment about war.
      What a bunch of jackasses. If women walk away from both parties it will be because of these guys.

      • If women walk away from both parties, that could be spectacular. I’m not generally optimistic, but I can’t help but consider the possibility. Were it that 50% of the population decided to rally around a third party or individual and the remaining half was split between the two legacy parties, the scales of power would definitely shift (though not without blowback, obstructionism, etc.). Possible, but not probable…

  4. Come on – we all know that Bubba’s “Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” was the reason he won. (I think he’s auditioning to replace Tim Tebow).

    • No. He won because he has a pink driver, loves his wife and newly adopted baby, owns General Lee, and has never had a golf lesson.

  5. Please help get the word out about Anita Fnlays’ new book, DIrty Words on Clean Skin, about the sexism in the 2008 primary. It sounds very well researched and has some great reviews. We who read and post on this blog know what happened but the majority of Americans are clueless. Order extras to share!


  6. gotta have that book. 🙂

    • Sorry I messed up the email a little bit. She discusses her work in the comments on hillary is 44 and she is a regular poster at No Quarter.. Says there are over 300 pages of footnotes so very well documented, and I think she names names of those who should be held to account. I gotta have it too but bracing myself for a painful read . . .just something I think I will never quite get over.


      • Ehhhh, I’m not a No Quarter fan. Sorry. There’s plenty of evidence that the primary votes were doctored and that misogynism was used extensively. You’d think women would have been all over this by now but they’re not. We’re tainted sources.

        • I read some of it, it’s good not your typical NQ stuff. It’s a well documented book about the sexism during the campaign and I welcome it. I think the more books the better! With all the shit conspiracy books against the Clintons and the flimsy flamsy Ms Magazine women who tried to write wishy washy books about the sexism during the campaign it’s nice to have someone who is taking a direct punch at the media, the democratic party and the O campaign.

      • I’ve downloaded (for free) and read the 1. chapter and liked it a lot. Not only is she a good writer but reading her account is also just like I remember it.

        Made me want to get hold of and read the whole book.

  7. That pay gap reasoning is so stupid. If you are part of a M-F partnership and ONLY one of you can actually make progress salary-wise by working like a crazy person but the other one will still be under-paid… it makes economic sense to have the underpaid or lesser paid partner be “on point” for taking kids to doctor or using more sick days, or whatever.

    Yes, lets just force women to carry the burden though rigging the economic structure.

    I completely agree that Family Leave is going to be in their sights so companies can go back to firing pregnant women – freeing up those positions for “hard working men”. I love how this + legalizing discrimination in pay + lowering access to birth control or family planning services legislates 2nd class status.

    You know, because the forces of sexism just aren’t quite enough.

  8. Very irritable today. I just had a draw some session with what must have been the stupidest person in social media. She drew a red round blob with a black squiggle on it. It could have been an apple, a cherry, a worm in a cherry, worm in an apple, a mutant ladybug. It was a pepper and I only figured it out because there was a surplus of p’s and e’s. It looked NOTHING like a pepper. Then I practically drew the frigging map of Europe and labeled everything but the green island next to England/Scotland. She had no idea it was Ireland. I’ve used that map with other players and no one has ever failed to get it. I felt like I was playing against miss south Carolina. This is the first time I’ve deleted a player for being dumber than a box of rocks but she was only giving me 1 point words and she couldn’t even do that well, while I gave her 3 point words and she was hopeless. I think my other players have spoiled me..

    • What are you playing!!?

      • Draw Something. It’s like pictionary. You pick a word to draw out of a choice of 1, 2, or 3 point words. The higher the number, the harder to draw. The plyer has to guess the word and use Only the letters on the screen to guess it. Sometimes, the letters help rsmove ambiguity but sometimes, they don’t. I’ve had some pretty good players who are regulars for the past couple of weeks and they are challenging but detailed. It seemed to me like we were trying to help each other guess the pictures. But I tried a couple new players today and they seem determined to give as little detail as possible. You are given 5 bombs that will get rid of some extra letters so you can figure out what the picture is but in two cases today, I had no fricking clue what the player was trying to draw and the letters were no help. One of them drew a grid with orange lines. He didn’t fill in the grid or provide any other detail. I had to use a bomb to reduce letters until I solved it. It was a waffle. Why couldn’t he have attempted some perspective? Why not put it on a plate? Why not draw a fork? A bottle of syrup? It looked nothing like a waffle.
        These people irritate me.

  9. What did Bubba do? Play in a thunder storm? I can’t imagine what courage has to do with golf.

  10. I’m curious what you think about last month’s (3/21) decision by the Supreme Court to void a portion of the Family and Medical Leave Act?
    This all reminds me of how women were pushed out of the workforce when WW2 ended. As the labor force continues to shrink, I expect women’s rights and opportunities will regress. That has been the pattern.

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