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    • Rationality Is A Process, Not A Conclusion (Nuclear Weapons Edition)
      A lot of mistakes come from assuming rationality means “thinks the same way I do” rather than “reasons from premises I might not share.” Left than 1/1000 economists predicted the financial collapse, because they reasoned from assumptions like “the market is self-correcting” or “housing prices never go down.” (Sometimes both at the same time, which is rarely […]
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Let’s Stay Focused

Heidi Li linked to this video in a discussion thread last night, asking who was the most pitiful bigot. 

I responded that I couldn’t watch the whole clip, because I have a low tolerance for those staged arguments, but I told her it seems to me that Left Blogistan is angrier at Rick Warren than they are at Obama for inviting him. 

Rev. Rick-Roll is who he is, a religious fundamentalist, a homobigot and a sexist.  We have lots of those in this country, and he’s actually a relatively benign example of the species.  There are many of his ilk that are far worse, but hatred is hatred, even when it wears a smiling face.

I don’t waste too much time worrying about bigots just because they’re bigots.  Because of the “free country” thingie that’s part of our political philosophy, we have to tolerate the presence of haters and other undesirables.  We let Nazis, Klansmen and anti-semitic groups exist, along with cults, lawyers and mimes.  Like cockroaches, we’ll never be rid of them completely.

Obama is the one everyone should be angry at, because he’s the one giving Warren the high profile platform.  By doing so, he is tacitly endorsing the bigotry that Warren preaches from his Saddleback pulpit, as if it were nothing more than a difference of opinion on tax policy.  Despite all the talk about being inclusive, I doubt that Obama has invited any representatives from NAMBLA or the Ku Klux Klan.

The way you deal with bigots is to ignore them.  Oh, you may want to keep a watchful eye on them in private, but you don’t reward them with what they crave most, which is public attention.  This kerfluffle is giving Warren lots of attention, and it’s raising his prestige among the fundie crowd, and most likely his income too.

Anyone who thinks it’s going to help advance LGBT rights or end sexism is smoking too much hopium in denial.  The way to end homobigotry and sexism is to repudiate them, remove them from the protection of law, and make them socially unacceptable like we did with racism.

Racism, homobigotry and sexism are all separate and distinct from each other.

Separate but equal.

Facebook Bans Breastfeeding Photos

36_breastfeeding

From the New York Daily News:

A minirevolt is underway at Facebook after photos of mothers nursing their babies were removed from their personal pages.

More than 58,000 people have joined a Facebook group called “Hey, Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!” to complain about the censorship.

Organizers will conduct a cyberprotest Saturday, asking every supporter to change his or her profile picture to an image of breast-feeding.

“We need to take our bodies back,” said mom Stephanie Muir, one of the group’s administrators.

Facebook is very concerned about *The Children.*

A Facebook spokesman said it removes photos only if the entire breast is exposed.

“These policies are designed to ensure Facebook remains a safe, secure and trusted environment for all users, including the many children [over the age of 13] who use the site,” said Barry Schnitt.

I share the outrage these women feel, but where was the mass protest when Jon Favreau and friend groped a lifesize cutout of Senator Hillary Clinton and posted it on Facebook? In fact, the disgusting Jon Favreau group grope photo is still posted on Obama’s favorite speechwriter’s fan site. Why no *concern* from Barry Schnitt about that?

So, according to Facebook, children must be protected from seeing women nursing their infants, but the President’s speechwriter groping the future Secretary of State is just fine?

By the way, why hasn’t Jon Favreau been fired yet? And even more outrageous, why has Jon Favreau been named one of the six “Bostonians of the Year?”

Finally Some Outrage is Building–But Not From the National Organization for Women

Republican Andrew Breitbart, writing at Real Clear Politics:

At the exact moment Jon Favreau is receiving high praise in pre-inaugural media puff pieces, the 27-year-old chief speechwriter for President-elect Barack Obama (not Jon Favreau, the Hollywood actor/ director) finds himself in a minor mess over a photo from a recent private party showing him groping the breast of a cardboard cutout of Hillary Rodham Clinton as an unnamed pal wearing an “Obama staff” T-shirt kisses and feeds her beer.

If you haven’t seen it, imagine the early stages of the barroom rape scene of “The Accused” with Jodie Foster. Or think prosecutor Mike Nifong’s graphic (though false) descriptions of the Duke lacrosse party. Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson danced to a similar tune at the 2004 Super Bowl.

Fraternities have been closed for less.

Breitbart cannot understand why there isn’t a “groundswell of feminist outrage” yet. Concerned, he contacted the National Organization for women for a reaction.

The National Organization for Women, which last struck issuing news releases on why Sarah Palin isn’t a real woman, refused to comment on the Obama speechwriter incident.

When NOW’s press secretary Mai Shiozaki was reached Friday, she first claimed not to have seen the Favreau photograph. But when called later, she offered two reasons for not weighing in: “I haven’t looked into it” and “I have a 5 p.m. deadline. … I am already late.”

Continue reading

Oh my. Obama’s head speechwriter and his friends have been busy!

That guy on the left is one of the young people who provide the words for Barack Obama to read off his teleprompter. That’s Obama’s head speechwriter Jon Favreau groping Rachel Madnhow’s breast. John Favreau’s “friend” is pouring beer down Rachel’s throat while he pulls her head back by the hair. The other Obama speechwriters are Ben Rhodes, Adam Frankel, and Sarah Hurwitz. Are they the other people in the picture?

Rachel Madnhow (photoshop by Swanspirit)

Rachel Madnhow (photoshop by Swanspirit)

UPDATE: This just in. Favreau and his pals have now given Campbell Brown something to complain about.

campbell

How about that, Campbell? Now you can talk to Barack about it yourself. You no longer have to wait for Hillary to do it for you.
And what have we here? Nancy and Fav just having a little frat-boy fun!

nancy-and-fav2

Who’s up next? Claire McCaskill looks like she’s having a good time!

clair-and-fav

Tsk Tsk Tsk! Is This Really the Next Junior Senator from New York?

How do you like this photo, Barack?*

How do you like this photo, Barack?

Note: Thanks to Katiebird for the photo(shop).

This is an open thread.

Update: Obama thought this one was really hilarious (h/t Sugar, posted in comments yesterday).

I wonder if he’ll like the one Murphy posted?

Open Season On Women

sittingduck

misogyny, misogynic, misogynous:
1. A hatred of women.
2. In psychiatry, when the hatred of women is part of a morbid mental state, it may be associated with a wide variety of nosologic entities. The most common explanation for the condition has to do with the events of childhood, particularly those relating to the parents.

Via Murphy at Pumapac, last night Lynette Long and three of her friends were attacked with misogynistic language while waiting for a table in a popular Washington, DC restaurant. One of the women was brutally assaulted and dragged by her hair across the floor.

When I arrived my friends were already there. One was sitting at the corner of a packed bar while the other two were standing behind her. Beside them three guys would not release two seats they were saving “for friends” for at lease 30 minutes. When I arrived, one of my friends eager to find me a seat, tried to take one of the seats held by the guys, saying she would be happy to return the seat once his friends arrive. He pulled the seat back and yelled, “You are just a bunch of C****.” What??? Haven’t we seen that word emerge during the very recent Presidential Campaign? I was flabbergasted. I have never in my life heard a woman called the C word. Ouch.

Continue reading

My Voting Strategy: A Long and Winding Road

The only real valuable thing is intuition.
— Albert Einstein

I feel there are two people inside me–me and my intuition. If I go against her, she’ll screw me every time, and if I follow her, we get a long quite nicely.

— Kim Basinger

If I had to summarize my voting strategy for Tuesday in one word, it would be “Intuition.” I’m going with my gut. And my gut tells me to vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin. I can hardly believe that I wrote that! For months, I’ve said that I would decide whom to vote for when I got into the voting booth. I could leave the top of the ticket blank or vote for Nader or McKinney. It has truly been a long and winding road that has led me to this decision.

I began to think of myself as a Democrat in 1960 when I was 12 years old. That year, I fell in love with politics while following the campaign between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon. Everyone I knew at school and most of my relatives were supporting Nixon. I felt strongly attracted to Kennedy–his youth and vitality, his eloquent speeches, and the fact that, if elected, he would be the first Catholic President. I’ve always been a bit of an nonconformist, and this time I followed my intuition. Finally, I “came out” as a Kennedy supporter. There were only two of us in my entire junior high school! On election night, I stayed up with my parents to watch the returns. We didn’t know until very very late that Kennedy had won–probably with a little help from his friends in Chicago. Continue reading

Wednesday: The “R” Word vs the “C” Word

I received a very interesting email from Lori, the producer of the film The Audacity of Democracy.  She’s been googling some research:

I was googling tonight and discovered something interesting. In the six weeks that Palin has been in the public eye, she’s been a called a cunt online almost half as many times as Obama has been called by the N word in the past  TWO YEARS. Unbelievable. Totally unscientific but revealing nonetheless.

The search Palin + cunt gives us 308,000 hits:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=palin+cunt&btnG=Search

Then I checked out Hillary and Cunt – 984,000 hits. Interesting.
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=hillary+cunt&btnG=Search

Well, I had to do the obvious. I googled Obama and the N word. 578,000 hits. In a few weeks, Sarah has hit more than half of the name calling that obama has received in two years.
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=obama+nigger&btnG=Search

How does this happen in progressive circles? It’s just staggering. and that flaccid little putz of a Democratic candidate hasn’t attempted even once to put a stop to it.

Thank you, Lori, for the term flaccid little putz of a Democratic candidate.  I will be sure to add it to my lexicon.

Lori’s got a very good point.  How is it that the sexist references about Palin have spiked in the past 6 weeks while the racist references to Obama have more or less plateaued in the past 2 years?  We’ve always suspected that the pearl clutching over perceived racism was a overblown.  There certainly *is* racism and there is no doubt in my mind that some voters will go to the polls to vote against Obama just because he has a surplus of melanocytes and no other reason.

But I suspect (and I only speculate because I have no way of knowing) that for some of these people who take color into consideration, Obama really has transcended his race.  When you reach the heady atmosphere of presidential politics, it is assumed that your political abilities, experience and hard work are responsible.  At the pinacle, color is not important.

Or is it?

Could it be that some of our fellow Democrats protest too much?  Maybe they are looking at Obama and his fellow presidential candidates and assessing him in this frame and found that he is lacking in political abilities, experience and hard work and can’t figure out how he got there.  But there has to be *some* explanation for why he is at the top of the food chain when he doesn’t measure up to his competition.  How else would he have gotten so far?  Maybe the fact that corruption and his willing participation in it is so unsettling to some of our friends that they don’t want to think about it.  Maybe they just want a Democrat so badly that they are willing to overlook this unsavory side of Obama.  So, they might be susceptible to the suggestion that those of us who are screaming our heads off about that very same corruption must be racist lunatics, emphasis on racist.

It doesn’t help that the campaign itself seems to wield racism as a weapon against its enemies.  It’s part of the corruption to turn its base against itself and to shame its enemies.  A corrupt organization doesn’t particularly care if real people are hurt by it, especially the people who are the true victims of racism.  When the real thing rears its ugly head in the future, we aren’t quite so likely to get incensed by it.  Our arousal level will have been conditioned to not react to the word.  In a similar fashion, we will become inurred to sexism of all kinds.  If anyone wants to see where that may lead, I recommend watching a few episodes of Mad Men.  The thought of going back to that era sends a chill up my spine.  The women of the 60’s fought and struggled so hard for respect and independence.  To see all of that hard work thrown away by this corrupt, untrustworthy and ruthless nominee and his campaign enrages me.

So, I am calling on the Obama campaign to put an end to it.  It is time for David Axlerod and Barack Obama and all of their surrogates to stop undermining the fabric of society with these destructive accusations of racism.  I am asking for Barack Obama to rein in his hooligans and tell them to stop using sexism against women who are fighting their way to the rarified atmosphere at the top of the food chain, especially when they get there by their political abiliies, experience and hard work.  Senator Obama, stop trying to cover up for your lack of qualifications by demeaning theirs and stop calling us racists.

The Week That Was Lipstick On A Pig

There has been much tragedy this week, and we honor and send out blessings to all.

Politically, in case you were in a rabbit hole — I wasn’t, just occupied — and missed what Obama handed us in lieu of practical statements about how he plans to save the country, let’s just say he’s up to par, and following in his own silent footsteps. His followers have been begging him to carry a big stick, but really Obama doesn’t need any prompting from them. In fact, he’s been serving up pigs on a stick all year.

Whereas Obamabots see hopenchange, I see kvetching. He doesn’t like this. He doesn’t like that. Oy! You know what? That never worked when my family did it to me. I’d just shut them out, and my ears would go mute. My kids hated it when I did it to them, too, although I swore I’d never act like my parents. (R U laughing yet?)

When I got older and a little wiser, I learned that people grow with the touch of encouragement. That’s how all my favorite teachers inspired my creativity. Predictably, you know where I’m going: that’s what Hillary had — a plan or a program to nourish each facet of our society and nix what might be holding it back.

To me, Obama’s way of kvetching, even with a wink and a smile, reminds me of how I felt when treated that way: doesn’t work for me. I don’t feel inspired. In fact, I see his style as a direct extension of the practices in his church. Although he didn’t hear anything for twenty years, he might have absorbed the approach anyway. It posits that: if we put others down, we’ll all be the better for it. Actually, Senator, that’s been bothering me during your entire campaign. What’s new about put down politics? That way of operating certainly goes against the change I’d like to see in the world.

My approach to religion — whether in temple, visiting a church, or sitting with a group in meditation — is to raise myself up high enough to be able to change whatever is not working in my life, instead of trying to debase others whom I could falsely blame. Sure, I falter, but I try.

Where’s the part where you talk about what you will do to help our struggling nation, Sen. O? Raise taxes, give another rebate, re-up the faith-based initiatives? That’s it? All I can remember are the smears. That’s right, Senator, keep hitting harder, as your bots say. It’s bound to inspire.

.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

Obama’s Lipstick Smears on the Mirror:

My List of What’s Wrong with America, from My Speeches

  1. Clingy, bitter folks with guns or religion
  2. Small town Pennsylvanians or Mid-westerners
  3. Canada’s NAFTA
  4. 1 leftover fleck of dandruff on my suit
  5. Non-French speakers
  6. Gucci-loafer wearers
  7. Under inflated SUV tires
  8. Using heat not sweaters at home
  9. Mayors
  10. African American deadbeat dads
  11. Hillary makes my nose itch
  12. Parents don’t read to their children
  13. Seniors lack computer skills
  14. My low pay grade

.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

Internal List of WWWA

  1. Gay-rights friendly SF mayor
  2. Candidates want to debate me
  3. US Constitution and Bill of Rights
  4. Bill Clinton was POTUS
  5. Bill Clinton was a popular POTUS, especially with African Americans
  6. McCain’s female staffers earn more than mine
  7. A confounding number of states
  8. Like I’m supposed to say know ? when life begins
  9. Foreign countries’ size to threat ratios
  10. White women think they’re entitled X that, the preachers said it
  11. Women keep stealing my spotlight
  12. Pit bulls and pigs are related?
  13. Soccer moms
  14. Fake columns

.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

I think we can all rest assured that the Dem’s selection, Barack Obama, is the guy who can best answer those 3am phone calls. Don’t you agree?

In this latest of Obama’s backtracking incidents, we all heard him claim that he was talking about Senator John McCain’s policies in his “lipstick on a pig” remark at a campaign event. After watching Gov. Sarah Palin make her enormously popular debut and acceptance speech during the Republican National Convention, where she extolled the tenacity of soccer moms in her joke about lipstick and pit bulls, I got Obama’s meaning. It was unmistakable and immediate. Just like when he gave Hillary the nose finger, the audience laughed, so they heard him loud and clear, too.

I heard, “any woman but that one.” Palin’s initial popularity is the direct recipient of Hillary Clinton’s years of hard-fought work, and being used as a target in this campaign and throughout her many years of service. You might have just as well plastered the face of Sarah over the Hillary punching bag and said, “hit ‘er, boys!”

Not to get off topic, but I’m angered and ashamed when my feminist friends still imply “anyone but Hillary,” or that “she’s still pissed at Bill and should have left him.” Who are they to judge? Why do they lose their sense of sisterhood, and think it’s funny to put other women down — women of compassion and accomplishment — to say they’re evil or conniving? It feels downright cruel.

I’m not stupid, I get the policy differences, but when did they even try to help out Hillary? She’s the champion of “women’s rights are human rights.” She’s the one who would have really hit it home for women. Now that they’re Roe v. Wade scared, they care? Where were they when real change was possible?

I always thought that Dems were the party of compassion, but this year Republicans learned from their opponents’ mistakes. Democrats thought they were helping themselves to the Republicans’ game by learning to hit harder and avoid another Kerry wimp out. Instead, McCain/Palin and their Party’s down-ticket candidates will reap a harvest from the Democrats’ toss away of their real winner — a lady. Repub women and men stepped forward in defense of their own and said, “we’ve got your back,” and “sexist attacks will not stand,” and they benefited in the polls. Well, what d’ ya know!

While helping to propel a revolution, progressive women in the sixties still often felt undervalued in their roles, as if, “get me more coffee, will you, hon? I’ve got lots of work to do.” That’s what I hear when I listen to Obama, and it’s a mystery to me that my longtime feminist friends don’t.

Here’s the link to SNL’s hysterical Palin/Clinton 9/13/08 skit (sorry about the commercial.) Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t let me embed it, and NBC nixes all YouTubes for copyright infringement. I think it’s the perfect dessert for this post, as the Tina Fey/Amy Poehler parody illustrates my point perfectly. Enjoy!

[cross-posted from Lady Boomer NYC]

Why would a Hillary supporter endorse McCain?

From Newsweek via the comments:

John Coale, a prominent Washington lawyer, husband of Fox TV host Greta Van Susteren and a supporter of Sen. Hillary Clinton, announced today that he was supporting John McCain for president. Coale, who traveled with Sen. Clinton, President Clinton and her family through out the primary season, complained of sexism, and said the Democratic Party is “being taken over by the moveon.org types” in an exclusive interview with Newsweek.com’s Tammy Haddad.

I can’t embed the video but here’s the link.

I promised myself after Kerry dumped Ohio in 2004 that I wasn’t going to hold my nose for a vote again. And as hard as Obama supporters are trying they still haven’t convinced me to vote for McCain (voting for him would make my nose bleed). But, I’m very interested in hearing how one Hillary supporter made the switch.

And I had no idea that Greta’s husband was so involved in Hillary’s campaign.