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    • The Wages Of Embarassing Elites Are Death
      Everyone remember the Panama papers? A leak of bank records showing that the ultra-rich are hiding massive wealth, tax-free and often breaking the law to do so? A rather weak set of laws designed to allow tax avoidance by rich people, at that. Found out the other day that the reporter who broke the Panama Papers story was killed by a car bomb. Coincidence, n […]
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Violet’s take on female self-defense mechanisms

She totally wants it.

Violet Socks at Reclusive Leftist comments on Todd Akin’s assertion that womens’ bodies can deal with unwanted intercourse. Akin said, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down”

Violet speculates on the ideal rape self-defense mechanisms women might have developed:

So, presumably, he thinks that God Himself specifically equipped women with the magical, hitherto unknown superpower ability to “shut that whole thing down” so as not to get pregnant from rape. But why only that? Why didn’t God go further, and give us the superpower ability to, I don’t know, secrete a toxin that would instantly dissolve the human penis that’s being forced into our bodies? Or maybe the superpower ability to cause the owner of said penis to keel over and die? Or even better, perhaps we could have the superpower ability to detect a potential rapist before he even gets started, and then emit a fantastically noxious pheromone that would knock the fucker over and render him senseless.

Funny what you can come up with when you let your imagination and righteous indignation roam without supervision.  Violet’s talents are wasted on a blog.  I’d read any science fiction she wants to write.

I don’t know whether the absence of these built in self-defense mechanisms is more evidence that God doesn’t exist or that rape is evolutionally favorable.  Depressing.

Still, Akin might have saved himself a lot of ridicule and consternation if he had just taken the trouble of reading up on the women who were systematically raped in Bosnia and Sudan in the recent past.  Akin just felt the truthiness in his gut.  Either that or there is no such thing as rape.  All women secretly want it.  That’s why they let their shields down and get knocked up.

What’s really amusing is that Claire McCaskill was trailing this braintrust.  Well, it *would* be funny if there weren’t so few women in Congress and McCaskill wasn’t such a craven Obama fangirl who doesn’t want anyone to know she’s a Democrat.  It makes me feel sorry for Missouri’s children.  They didn’t choose to be raised and educated in Missouri.

Pre and post 2008

Violet Socks has been on a roll the last couple of days.  She lives in Virginia where the state legislature has passed the vaginal ultrasound before abortion bill.  There’s no reason why it has to be vaginal.  It could have been done the normal way with that jelly stuff on the abdomen.  In fact, it didn’t have to be done at all.  No one who wants an abortion is going to be the least deterred by this.  But the humiliation is revolting.  On top of everything else, you’ve got to put up with a probe for no reason except sheer meanness.

And then there is the Santorum donor’s comments today:

FRIESS: On this contraceptive thing, my gosh, it’s so inexpensive. You know, back in my days, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.

Cheap? Yes.  Effective?  Well, there’s plenty of walking, talking data on the efficacy of this method.

What puzzles me is WHY you would want to go back to that or have anyone else go back to that if you lived through it the first time.  It makes no damn sense.  It especially makes no sense if you know it didn’t work the first time around and that even the threat of infection, infertility and death didn’t deter anyone.  Think about that.  The death penalty is supposed to be a deterrent but it doesn’t have much effect on people who are determined to have an abortion and it doesn’t stop them from having sex.  There’s nothing a religious person can do to change that.  Nothing.  A religious person can only make it more dangerous.  These are well known facts that history has proven for thousands of years.  Birth control and safe abortions were improvements on this history.

The religious can get all pissy and prudish and insufferable to be around about it but this is something they are going to have to face at some point.  Their crusade against sex is going to fail.  It’s going to fail as sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.  They’re only going to feel rage and frustration from failing to get all of the women in the world to exercise self-control because it is never, ever going to work.  Just like the Rapture is never going to come.  Wishing does not make it so.  Your blood pressure will go down once you stop obsessing about premarital sex because there’s not a thing you can do about it without going all Taliban and Old Testament.  And the Taliban *still* catches people having sex when they aren’t supposed to.  Even the strictest religion in the world and the harshest abortion laws on the books will not stop this.  It doesn’t even matter if you don’t believe in evidence or data or reality.  People are going to continue to have sex and get pregnant unintentionally and there’s not a damn thing the country’s Christians can do to stop it.  Not a thing.

There’s no point to the intrusiveness of the religious unless they like to be mean and judgmental and if their religious convictions give them a sense of power and superiority that they can’t get any other way.  They’re not doing it for OUR benefit.

Anyway, I keep saying that the election of 2008 let all of the worms that lurk in the mud hatch out without any kind of restraint.  Misogyny was given free reign and those of us who were paying attention (that would not include Amanda Marcotte or Naomi Wolf or the leadership of NOW, Emily’s List and NARAL) were alarmed that no one was held accountable.  It was bound to turn out badly.  The past four years has been one relentless campaign against women in the doctor’s office, in the White House conference rooms and in the workplace.  Did anyone notice that two of the biggest stories about women in 2011 were about women who were tried for murders but were really convicted of being pretty, and sexually unrepressed?  It was a shock to my system that a murder could be pinned on Amanda Knox in the most lurid, outlandish way because she was having fun in Italy.  And Casey Anthony, whatever you think about her role in the crime, was viciously smeared by cable news people for being an unrepentant barroom floozy. In Anthony’s case, the sexy dancing and drinking was the bigger crime and should have been enough to get her the death penalty despite the lack of evidence.

How did we get to the place where we are so totally divorced from reality?  I’m disappointed and angry that my daughters will grow up in a country where they will have fewer options and get even less respect from their workplace peers than my generation did.

Women were their own worst enemy in 2008.

Here’s how Obama *should* be handling women’s reproductive health:

See?  What was so damned hard about that?  This is not a trick question requiring political polling firms.

Oh, well, Amanda et al, can always invest in aspirin.

“He seemed like Cream of Jesus on Toast”?

(“Cream of Jesus on Toast” is Violet Socks’ invention.  Read it all here.)

Why don’t we take a stroll down memory lane and revisit February 2008. That was when we found out that Barack Obama was not even original, let alone likely to be audacious:

In FEBRUARY 2008, we knew that he was “just words”.  The last time a US presidential candidate used someone else’s speeches and passed them off as his own without attribution, he was disgraced and had to quit running.  But you guys were cool with Obama doing it because he was such a big CHANGE! agent.  He was going to save the world.  He was The One.

And look what I found yesterday in Will Bunch’s Twitter stream:

@Will_BunchWill Bunch
Then do something!! RT @BarackObamaDeeply disappointed GOP senators prevented Paycheck Fairness Act from being brought up for debate, vote

All of you guys who are now screaming for him to “Do Something!” were, and still are, screaming “Racist!” at us back then for not buying the hype harshing your mellow.  Gee, we’re sorry.  What were we thinking?

Only that the country was on the brink of disaster and that Obama did not understand the mechanisms of government well enough to fix whatever Bush left in his wake.  We needed an engineer, not a dreamer.  But now that he’s wasted the tremendous opportunity he had, something we warned you he was going to do, he is shrugging off his responsibility and telling fibs about the true audacity of FDR.  Anglachel has the rundown in A Hundred Days:

The combination of Hoover, FDR and Obama as a focus of analysis appears to be catching on. I just read Thomas Ferguson’s post The Story Behind Obama’s Remarks on FDR on New Deal 2.0. He starts with a quote from a transcript of remarks Obama gave to “liberal bloggers”:

“We didn’t actually, I think, do what Franklin Delano Roosevelt did, which was basically wait for six months until the thing had gotten so bad that it became an easier sell politically because we thought that was irresponsible. We had to act quickly.” – President Obama

There are two things that jump out at me from this quote, regardless of the context.The first is the self-exculpation – we didn’t get all we wanted because we took a bolder path than FDR, so don’t criticize us! – and the breathtaking erasure of history.

Um, helloThe First Hundred Days of FDR? The stuff of Democratic legend and the bane of Republicans to this day? FDR moved on the FIRST day of his presidency and did not stop for 100 days, passing legislation that would become the most stunning reimagining of American society since Lincoln and possibly since the founding of the nation.
Both of these actions are part and parcel of the movement style campaign politics Obama favors and which is so beloved of the righteous Stevensonians. It is narcissistic and a-historical  (We are the one’s we have been waiting for), refuses to acknowledge politics as they are, and antithetical to mundane, interest-based transactional  governance. It doesn’t want responsibility, only obedience and adulation, and so refuses to take it when things go belly up.

Deep down, you knew.  You had to know.  You screwed us and the rest of the country over anyway.  You ruined the party and its primary election season.  You helped dismantle the left and left yourselves and us weak in the face of Republican winner-take-all political scheming.

We told you that nothing good ever comes of a bad seed.

If you don’t like the fruit, don’t forget that you were the ones who planted the tree.

Hate NBC Olympics coverage? Blame merger mania.

Watch the snow and imagine Vonn skiing through it

Violet Socks is not the only person PO’d with NBC’s coverage of the Olympics. (There are plenty of complaints here and here.) Violet can’t see coverage in real time and she apparently works from home.  I can’t see it at all at work, not even with my dual recording DVR because there’s nothing to record in real time that I want to see.  NBC is even time delaying their broadcasts to the west coast.  That’s right, if you live in Seattle, you can’t see what’s going on in Vancouver, just up the road a spell, until 8PM when NBC, who has exclusive broadcasting rights in the USA, will turn to its marketing department to determine what you want.  If you are an American, NBC will presume that you don’t give a rat’s ass about the rest of the world’s athletes.  You will get highlights of events where Americans are expected to medal (or is that podium? ).  Interspersed with your carefully selected and edited sports niblets will be a ^&*(load of commercials and some nauseating human interest stories of determination and perserverence triumphing over heartbreaking personal loss and devastating injury.  (yeah, right, Lindsey Vonn’s shin injury was catastrophic.  Tell it to the podium)

It’s like getting dial-up Olympics coverage from AOL in a gigabit ether world that exists but that your municipality has forbidden you to get.  (No, I’m no bitter at all that I’m stuck on sucky DSL because my only other option is Comcast).

Why should you care?  Oh, I dunno.  I guess it’s because showing the games in real time should be a no brainer.  It’s not 1972 anymore and this is not the Wide World of Sports where, by the way, I think they showed every skiier from every country in their coverage of skiing.  This is 2010 where we *should* have instant access to everything.  If NBC is giving us sh^&&ty coverage, we should be able to turn to online sources for events in real time, that is, if they weren’t blocked by American IP address.  We should be able to go to a Canadian or European broadcaster for our downhill fix.

So, what’s going on here?  Ok, as  professional merger survivors, let me and my friends hazard a guess as to why NBC is failing to live up to our expectations.  Right now, Comcast and NBC are trying to merge.  Here’s how that goes: the first day that a merger is announced, all work comes to a screeching halt.  Formerly productive people spend their time speculating on the political chess game that is going on in their departments.  Who’s in, who’s out.  Projects are put on hold pending further review.  Projects that are going gangbusters prior to a merger announcement slow down to a trot.  People twiddle their thumbs while their overlords stab each other in the back, swing their dicks around and use their prodigious MBA’s to implement the idiotic plans of the consulting group they just hired to “transform” the place.  Then, because “we are too menny“, there must be layoffs.  The formerly productive workers cancel their living room furniture purchases and concentrate on getting their houses ready for a quick sale.  They spend hours grooming their resumes and making calculations of their gross yearly income based on the severance package that the company beancounters have sent out.  They sweat and worry and make appointments with their doctors to get the old bods in good working order while they still have health insurance.

Und zen zey vait.

How long will it take before all of the alpha males (and they are ALWAYS male) decide that they have strutted and preened enough to satisfy the shareholders, taken their cut and skeedaddled before everyone can get back to work?  Eventually, it happens.  Everyone is now one big happy company with values like “innovation!” and “Creativity!”.  But by that time, creativity has taken a backseat to survival.  When the Olympics roll around, the creative, innovative departments look around at their reduced headcount and their devastated budget and the even more manipulative and controlling overlords and they punt.  Just do it the way you did it last time.  Forget that there is new technology.  You don’t have the time, manpower or money to do it better.  Yeah, the shareholders (and you are probably one of them, which gives “conflict of interest”a new meaning) won’t get their bang for their buck but they won’t notice for at least another quarter.  And by then, your management will be looking for new “opportunities”.

Creativity?  Innovation?  Pleasing your customer base?  Who the f&*( has time for that when you’ve just kept your job by the skin of your teeth and the Idiots in Charge are too impressed with their business school credentials to listen to you anyway?

So, Comcast/NBC, when they finally merge, will push out content in time delay, like they do now, like it is 1972.  Only a few voices will stand up and call them on their borg like “You will be assimilated.  Resistence is useless” attitude.  We will fall farther and farther behind our Canadian, Asian and European counterparts.  We will have a free market, laissez faire, anything goes market place in the US where no one benefits but the consultants and the people who jettison at the last minute with golden parachutes, leaving everyone else with the bag and the blame.

So, what to do?  Well, we can’t prevent every merger but Al Franken is working on preventing Comcast/NBC.  Imagine if every innovation was given the same short shrift if the Comcast/NBC merger goes through.  Your cable company will control the horizontal and the vertical and you’ll NEVER see Lindsey Vonn ski in prime time- ever.

Ain’t America great?

To contribute to the only loud mouth in the Senate willing to stand up for us against the borgs, click here.

Now’s your chance to put your foot down and say “NO!” to more mergers, less freedom of speech, less control over content, less innovation.

Monday: Feminism’s Lack of Leadership

Alegre gives us a heads up this morning about the Fem2.0 conference going on in Washington DC this week.  Feminism’s lack of leadership is on her mind this year:

We met for coffee this morning and spent 3 hours talking about the lack of leadership from the folks in the women’s rights movement.  The fact that none of them have taken the White House to task for that stunt of theirs last week regarding the Medicaid funded reproductive health services…   Silence is one thing, but when a group ignores this sell-out by entirely re-writing the story of what went down it’s quite another.

Kim Gandy from NOW will be there.  Ooohh, to be a fly on that wall.  Go get’em, Alegre!  Someone needs to ask these women what they got for their endorsement of Obama when a woman was running who would have met all of their needs.  And if the answer was they were afraid she couldn’t win, then they need to have their feminism credentials stripped.

Lest we need more proof that Obama has no intention of listening to women, a new “special interest group” that comprises 51% of the population, check out this little bit from Jodi Jacobsen of RH Reality Check (H/T Lambert):

Apparently, bi-partisanship and the new politics means never having to have your own House Majority Leader’s back and that the White House spends more time making “common ground” with Republicans than figuring out what they stand for with their own party.

The White House signals they are ready to take the contraceptive piece out.  Because it is all about bipartisanship, right? This will get them the votes to do “more important things,” right?

Phone calls placed to the White House Press Office Monday night are not returned.

OK, to recap: Barack Obama is not a liberal or a Democrat.  Barack Obama is a political opportunist.  His principles operate on a sliding scale and he signaled *during the primaries* that everything was on the table with his post-partisan shtick.  His campaign made a big deal about abortion rights but the people actually running the party, ie Obama’s people, made sure that most downticket Democratic candidates scrubbed any mention of reproductive rights and abortion from their web sites.  And if you weren’t on his Blackberry contact list before the election, there is absolutely no reason to expect him to want to hear from you now.

This should have been pretty clear to the feminist leaders out there.  There was no excuse for everyone caving to Obama without extracting one concession- publicly and loudly so that the whole country could hear it.  Without that, you got nuthin’.

As far as I’m concerned, feminists HAVE no leaders.  We have a few promising ones emerging, like Amy Siskind of The New Agenda and Heidi Li Feldman of 51%.  And we have some very talented writers like our own madamab, Reclusive Leftist’s Violet Socks** and action powerhouse Darragh Murphy of PUMAPac.  We’re out here and we are keeping things together.  Had I known about this conference, I might have gone down there myself to give the a leaders piece of my mind and a dope slap or two. Leaders LEAD.  They don’t ask for someone to pass the Kool-ade.

Snap out of it, women.  Four years is a long time.

** Whoo-hoo!  Violet has a hair singeing rant from yesterday that shouldn’t be missed.

Here’s what I’d like to do to the *leaders* who sold us out:

Saturday: Matt Continetti Comedy Gold

Some Obots are taking to stand-up.  In this video clip of Blogging Heads TV at The New Republic, Matt Continetti does a brilliant parody of an Obamaphile who has finally come to grips with the fact that Obama is not a liberal and instead puts all of his eggs in the basket of the liberal paradise that is the new Congress.  He’s hillariously funny when he enthuses about how now that Nancy Pelosi is the Speaker of the House, she is going to get those new Blue Dog Democrats to roll over just like she did last session.

Eve Fairbanks plays the cynical smirker as Matt tells us all about Liberalism on Steroids.  I don’t know who wrote this material but it’s brilliant!

What’s that?  Not a parody?  REAlly?

Nevermind.

Other curiosities:

  • The ugly truth hatches out about the recent economic collapse.  Amity Shales in the WSJ takes on Krugman in The Krugman Recipe for Depression.  What was it about The New Deal that drives capitalists absolutely nuts?  It’s the effect it had on labor.  Yeah, with Social Security insurance and strengthening of the country’s labor laws, workers had greater autonomy.  They started getting paid real wages and had health insurance too.  I’m of the opinion that those New Deal fixes lead to one of the greatest periods of entrpreneurial spirit and prosperity that the country has ever seen. Well, Shales will have none of that.   Shales believes that a job, ANY job, is preferable to a job with insurance.  I’m not sure about that.  I’m listening to Timothy Egan’s book, The Worst Hard Time, on the Dust Bowl of the 30’s and he tells the story of one schoolteacher who worked in Oklahoma for a whole year without pay.  Yep, the school district offered her a warrant that she was supposed to be able to redeem for cash at the local bank.  Except the bank wouldn’t accept it.  Niiiice.  What Shales seems to be missing is that the reason so many people are defaulting on mortgages or are in debt up to their eyeballs is because real wages have actually eroded over the past 40 years.  The social safety net of the New Deal is in tatters.  And when people fall through it, they can’t pay their  bills.  It’s really very simple cause and effect, Amity Shales.  If there is a solution to this current morrass, it *has* to have a strong labor component.  We are the bulk of the taxpayers in the country and if there is no taxbase, there is no recovery.  It’s really too bad this doesn’t fit with Amity Shales worldview but this is America.  Love it or leave it.
  • Dr. Violet Socks’ brilliant compilation  of the consequences of electing Barack Obama is reprieved in #13 from early November.  Keep this in mind when you hear more about Hillary, Samantha Powers and Christina Romer.  But I think her recent post on taxation is something we should all be asking ourselves.  We have taxation without representation.  Our votes for Hillary last year during the primaries were completely disregarded.  What is the meaning of suffrage if your vote doesn’t count?  And why are we paying taxes into a system where our representation in the general population is greater than 50% but our representation in elected office is only 17%?  It’s just nuts.
  • Murphy at PUMAPac pointed me to this article in the NYTimes by Alex Kuczinsky about her struggle with infertility and her hiring of a surrogate in Her Body, My Baby.  Unlike a lot of the commenters on this piece, it doesn’t bother me that she paid for the treatment or the surrogate instead of adopting.  The money she threw into the system is benefitting someone.  It’s her money and she has the normal reasons for doing IVF- eleven times.  And I think the pictures are a hoot!  Only the most arrogantly unaware wouldn’t see the unsubtle classist overtones.
    Alex and Max....and the baby nurse?

    Alex and Max....and the baby nurse?

    No, what strikes me is the incredibly cold account the author gives of her relationship with her surrogate.  Cathy Hilling, the vessel, loses her identity as soon as she gives birth to the author’s nearly 11 lb baby.  As Murphy notes, enough of the nurturing, mother stories already.  It’s a part of life but not the only meaningful part of a woman’s life.  But the story as written shows Alex Kuczinsky as probably one of the most selfish, insensitive, catty, snobbish, pseudo-intellectual and heartless women I’ve ever read.  Nature unfortunately didn’t bless her with a working uterus.  It’s doubly unfortunate that she seems to be missing a soul.  Pray for the poor kid.