Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Banned book project

via Sarah J, coupla months later, mostly because this is exactly the sort of thing that I can focus on right about not.

How it works: these are the 110 top banned books. Bold what you’ve read, italicize what you’ve read part of. Read more.

#1 The Bible
#2 Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
#3 Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
#4 The Koran
#5 Arabian Nights
#6 Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
#7 Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
#8 Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
#9 Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
#10 Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
#11 Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
#12 Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
#13 Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
#14 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
#15 Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
#16 Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
#17 Dracula by Bram Stoker
#18 Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
#19 Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
#20 Essays by Michel de Montaigne
#21 Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
#22 History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
#23 Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
#24 Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
#25 Ulysses by James Joyce
#26 Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
#27 Animal Farm by George Orwell
#28 Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
#29 Candide by Voltaire
#30 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
#31 Analects by Confucius
#32 Dubliners by James Joyce
#33 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
#34 Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
#35 Red and the Black by Stendhal
#36 Capital by Karl Marx
#37 Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire
#38 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
#39 Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence
#40 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
#41 Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
#42 Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
#43 Jungle by Upton Sinclair
#44 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
#45 Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
#46 Lord of the Flies by William Golding
#47 Diary by Samuel Pepys
#48 Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
#49 Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
#50 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
#51 Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
#52 Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
#53 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
#54 Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
#55 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
#56 Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
#57 Color Purple by Alice Walker
#58 Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
#59 Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
#60 Bluest Eyes by Toni Morrison
#61 Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
#62 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#63 East of Eden by John Steinbeck
#64 Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
#65 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
#66 Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#67 Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais
#68 Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
#69 The Talmud
#70 Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#71 Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
#72 Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
#73 American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
#74 Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
#75 A Separate Peace by John Knowles
#76 Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
#77 Red Pony by John Steinbeck
#78 Popol Vuh
#79 Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
#80 Satyricon by Petronius
#81 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
#82 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
#83 Black Boy by Richard Wright
#84 Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
#85 Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
#86 Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
#87 Metaphysics by Aristotle
#88 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
#89 Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin
#90 Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
#91 Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
#92 Sanctuary by William Faulkner
#93 As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
#94 Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
#95 Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
#96 Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
#97 General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
#98 Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
#99 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
#100 Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
#101 Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
#102 Émile by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#103 Nana by Émile Zola
#104 Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
#105 Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
#106 Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#107 Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
#108 Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
#109 Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
#110 Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Mind you, how many of these I can -remember- more than vaguely would be a different question.

I'm still boggling over "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble." WTF? Someone has a problem with donkeys? Pebbles? Picnics?

Monday, May 26, 2008

And in the spirit of symmetry, or something

although I really am gonna need that intervention stat...

so, I finally steeled myself and started looking at the progboy blogs, hoping maybe I could lift & riff off someone else's homework on McCain, you know, McCain (with appropriate credit, *ahemkoffsomepeople*).

first link I hit is called "Old Man McCain," which may have some useful shit, but I was distracted, unfortunately, by the current top entry (of course they're quoting fucking Aravosis):

From McCain's recently "disclosed" medical records:

McCain's most recent exams show a range of health issues common in
aging: He frequently has precancerous skin lesions removed, and in
February had an early stage squamous cell carcinoma, an easily cured
skin cancer, removed. He had benign colon growths called polyps taken
out during a routine colonoscopy in March.

Americablog has questions:

Anybody else troubled that candidate McCain was running for the
GOP nomination, went for cancer surgery, and didn't bother telling
anyone? What else isn't he bothering to tell us, and won't he tell us
in the future? If this is McCain's standard for disclosure about his
medical condition, we'd need weekly document dumps of his medical
files because McCain clearly has a policy of hiding his true medical
condition while running for president.

Considering that John McCain has had bouts of skin cancer for the past
15 years, it will take a lot more than a three-hour peek at his
medical records to assure Americans that he is healthy enough for the
job. This so-called disclosure of his medical records is absurd.
Either McCain is hiding something, or he is acting like somebody who
is hiding something. Why not give the press unlimited access to these
records, if there is nothing to hide?

And why is McCain refusing to release his psychiatric reports? If
anything, his mental deterioration is even more worrisome than his
physical ailments.

and, well, No. Just: No.

Hi, I'm less than half his age and I've had a (early stage knock wood thank fuck) skin cancer removed, a melanoma, in fact (and am going back for more surgery for another suspicious mole tomorrow, always fun, hence my eye getting caught by this). Squamous cell cancer is a lot less serious and a lot more common. It's not like going in to have a brain tumor removed or something. See above re "easily cured?" Even melanoma is if you catch it early enough. A -lot- of people have frigging skin cancer these days, you know it? And there'll only be more as the ozone continues to thin.

As for the psychiatric records: you know what, actually, no, we don't need to look at those, in fact. By their deeds you will know them. Bush has probably never been to a psychiatrist or other mental health worker in his life; does that make him mentally healthier? PTSD is just -normal- for people who've been through a goddam war, hi, the point isn't the diagnosis, the point is, how well does this person function? how does he behave? Which is perfectly observable from his record, public and offstage.

You know, it really isn't any port in a storm here. That kind of shit hurts a lot of other people far more than it does McCain. This is playing on the same ageism, stigmatization of mental illness, and even ffs cancer that enables the craptastic health insurance system we have now, not to mention all kinds of ableist/discriminatory fun.

Really, I hope nothing ever happens to this blogger, you know? Or, rather, it won't, probably, because getting sick isn't just a potential liability in a presidential frontrunner whose veep we may not want as president instead; it's a moral deficiency, clearly. Getting old, too, for that matter.

I mean, this is MCCAIN, for fuckssake: isn't there enough else to target with this neocon, reactionary-right kowtowing sellout ratfucker without counting his -benign skin lesions-, his rectal polyps fercrissake, and demanding his psychiatric papers?

And so then, I go to this -other- blog, and well, first of all, do not go here during work, because halfway down the front page is a nice big pink picture of a woman's vulva.

-Why- is there a seemingly completely gratuitous crotch shot on this blog called "The Truth About McCain?" Well,

I apologize in advance for this graphic image of female anatomy, but
I just can't think of another way of dramatizing the shock I feel that
John McCain called his wife a "cunt" in public, in front of reporters.

uh. maybe think harder.

I mean, appreciate the viva la vulva sentiment and all? but, well, "shocking" is really fucking boring. Just post the damn quote, you know? -I- hadn't heard it before, it would've been plenty on its own. Really. I wasn't looking to have my bourgeois epatéd; I was looking for -useful- shit. and: JiSM? the name of your blog is "JiSM?" (John Sydney McCain, geddit?! HAW HAW) Really? god, I'd almost forgotten why I'd been avoiding all this shit for so long...

Really, though, Beavis: wtf? Who is your intended audience here, and what is it you're trying to communicate? Serious question.

also, per the euphemism:

"if you're posting the picture, you really ought to be able to type it."

it's not C$%t. It's CUNT. mkay?

He (allegedly) called his wife a cunt, as an insult, in public, for teasing him about his hair. This would make him a mean, abusive, sexist (not to even mention racist-slur-throwing and gay-baiting and...) jerk with anger management issues and a bad tendency to gratuitously alienate and repel people, even the ones that are on his side. It sort of writes itself, really.

...seriously, it's not -that- hard, people, is it? -Is- it...?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

In which the author humbly requests that someone stage an intervention, or, um, something.

No, I mean for me, actually, though it might appear--stop me before I post this, I--





Dear Violet, and no doubt a bunch of other similarly inclined people that I don't "know" as well, by proxy more or less:

You know, I know it's been a hell of a long time since we've really been on speaking terms, and I realize we disagree on, well, a whole shitload of things.

It's just, well, I kind of had this idea that whatever else, you were always kind of ironically self-aware. Level headed. Wry. With a sense of humor, and proportion, and stuff.

So, well, I, I, I just don't really know what to make of, say, this entry:

I still don’t have regular internet access and I don’t watch TV, so
I’m out of the loop. But I hear things — weird, disturbing, almost
unbelievable things — and so I’m grabbing a few minutes here on my
Dad’s computer before a family birthday party for this brief announcement:

When I wrote this post on Democratic party history back in April, I was not calling for the assassination of Barack Obama. Just thought I’d get that out there now before the Gestapo shows up at here at the house.

Sorry to post and run, but I’ll leave you with something to think
about: if the collusion between the Obama campaign and the media
continues like this, will that pose the most severe threat to free
speech in this country since a) the Alien and Sedition Acts, b) the
1917 Espionage Act, c) the McCarthy era, or d) the Patriot Act of
2001? Discuss amongst yourselves.

Update: Over at the Mighty Corrente Building, FrenchDoc is facing a
fork in the road:

"There is no question that a line was crossed yesterday, by the
media and the so-called progressive blogosphere. Personally, it has
put me on the fence: if Senator Obama becomes the nominee, do I take a
break from politics until November or do I actively campaign against

I’ve been wrestling with the same issue, but I know now what my answer
is. Barack Obama has run the dirtiest, most dishonest campaign I’ve
ever seen from a Democrat on the national level. His mob-like
supporters terrify me. And his media enablers are catastrophically
dangerous. They must be stopped. Must be.

You know, and it's not as though the "media enablers" aren't also getting a tad, shall we say, melodramatic. Admittedly the only one I just really paid attention to is/was Keith Olbermann, who is also beginning to wear on my nerves, something I never thought I'd say--all RIGHT, we GET it, it was a stupid fucked up thing of her to say,** we're all vicariously cringing and were already beyond sick of the whole goddam thing, really, and yeah, I'm sure not exactly what either the Obamas or the Kennedy family really needed to hear, not to mention the rest of us; still, considering a) Obama himself just basically said 'let it go,' as did whichever the hell youngish Kennedy's still out there, I can't keep track b) she herself didn't actually KILL anybody, can we maybe stop with the Hercule Poirot GOTCHA routine?

...But, really. "They must be stopped?" THEY MUST BE STOPPED?

"...but how?" -bites knuckle-

I mean, fuck knows it's not like we had craptacular sensationalistic media before, EVER. Damn you, Barack Obama!

Okay, so at this point I realize that my little "y'know, there's this other dude McCain, and actually some of us think his presidency WOULD be more "dangerous" than that of Obama, even though I get that the latter seems suspiciously charismatic and that's automatically a Very Bad Thing and so on, well, I think basically at this point those who have ears to hear, you know. You'll live and die for Hillary (or Obama), for to save us from those other fanatics, yer fighting tooth and claw to the bitter bitter end; okay, I get it, wouldn't try to say you nay. Mostly because I'm on my very last pair of eyeballs, I don't get another prescription till next month.

But would it be too much to ask for people to, I don't know, consider getting a petit grip?

Just asking.

I mean, I understand, really. Well, sort of. God knows I've had plenty of rants, for far less than this, even, that probably led a number of people to the conclusion that I'm basically Time Cube guy at a John Birchers convention.

And having said that (I am large, I contain platitudes), I hereby request of all concerned friends and loved ones, that if I ever end up getting quite this um well apocalyptic about an electoral campaign, particularly a bleeding primary in which it's blatantly obvious to most of the non poliwonk-as-football-fan world that there's really not all that much difference between the candidates in question? that they beat me about the head and shoulders with a wet halibut until I damn well come to my senses.

Thank you.

**ETA and then, too, there is also this (thanks, Kevin):

I was not alive when Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968. Yet, when I hear the words “1968″ and “assassination” in the same sentence, I cannot help but to think of Martin Luther King, Jr. I cannot help but to think of the racial unrest of the period. I cannot help but to think of the struggles that my people have had to undergo in order for a black person to be seriously considered for the Presidency of the United States of America. I cannot help but to think of the numerous civil Rights leaders slain.

This is my history.

And let it be known that this is not solely the history of black folks. People of Color across the board share this history in the United States. We may be invited to the dinner table now and again, but don’t even think we will get anything until the establishment has had their fill.

I don’t think that Sen. Clinton’s statements can be divorced from several events that occurred in 1968:

The assassination of Robert Kennedy.

The Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The riots at the Democratic National Convention.

Maybe it’s just me, but when I learned of her remarks (which she has made before, but I was unaware of), that’s what came to mind. It was offensive to the Kennedy family, especially given Ted Kennedy’s illness (Sen. Clinton did apologize for that, however). It unnecessarily brought up the specter of black folks getting killed for being black and standing up for their humanity; and it also, for me at least, brought up the 1968 Democratic Convention riots, given all the talk these days about a “civil war” at the Convention, talk that I’m sure she is aware of.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

My (zzzzz) hero. or whatever.

Went to see "Indiana Jones" last night. Tell me, was there like a, a blue light special on “jaw-droppingly offensive portrayals of ‘primitive savages’ with weird grayish body paint menacing the white adventurer heroes” in Hollywood this last, umm, while? I mean, not that racism in the Indiana Jones franchise is exactly a deep shock or anything, um hi, kind of built right into the premise, but you’d think with that many years under the bridge that at -least- Spielberg might be able to go, you know what, maybe we have enough with the snakes and bugs and aliens and nuclear bombs and Commie Supravillains and shit, at least empty ruins isn’t quite as OVERTLY offensive; but, no. I guess he figured, hey, if it was good enough for Peter Jackson and Mel Gibson, by golly…

of course, that’s not the only aspect that could be umm deconstructed, there, but it was far and away the most “no, you didn’t really go there, did you? oh right, of course you did…”

Also, it just plain sucked. No, seriously: even on its own terms, i.e. big dumb movie that you can't look at the plot or logic too closely, let alone really REALLY problematic not so subtext, without a concussion, but hey! car chase! things blowing up! SCARY!: didn't work. You could tell it wasn't just us: the theatre was full of extremely erm rowdy younguns, and they barely laughed or screamed or reacted for most of the flick. The part that by far got the biggest reaction was when the projector shut off and the house lights came back on, briefly. Someone's heart wasn't in it, I think. (ETA: I feel vindicated).

The only good thing about it was Cate Blanchett, who at least seemed to be having some fun with the whole “get moose and squirrel” routine (and is quite hot in leather gloves). Not worth the $11.50 and incredibly dismal setting though (would it -kill- large institutional theatre owners to shampoo the carpets or clean the bathroom every ten years or so?) Much as it does bring a goddam tear to my eye to finish a rip-roaring chase through the jungle with a happy ending of the hero marrying the heroine (which, btw, no one remembered who the hell she was, clearly, cause they hadn't been born when the last one came out, I think) in a church fulla white people in New Haven. Oops, did I give it away? Awful sorry. I R Asshole Today.

Friday, May 23, 2008 Really?

Sun screen lotions used by beach-going tourists worldwide are a major cause of coral bleaching, according to a new study commissioned by the European Commission.

Coral reefs are among the most biologically productive and diverse of ecosystems, and directly sustain half a billion people. But some 60 percent of these reef systems are threatened by a deadly combination of climate change, industrial pollution and excess UV radiation.

...Chemical compounds in sunscreen and other personal skin care products have been detected near both sea and freshwater tourist areas. Previous research has shown that these chemicals can accumulate in aquatic animals, and biodegrade into toxic by-products.

Researchers led by Roberto Danovaro at the University of Pisa in Italy added controlled amounts of three brands of sunscreen to seawater surrounding coral reefs in Mexico, Indonesia, Thailand and Egypt.

Even small doses provoked large discharges of coral mucous -- a clear sign of environmental stress -- within 18 to 48 hours. Within 96 hours complete bleaching of corals had occurred.

So, basically, pollution makes us more and more susceptible to cancer-causing UV rays, which makes it more and more necessary to wear sunscreen, especially at the beach of course...which, along with the pollution, fucks up the coral reefs.

le sigh.

I'll just never go outside again, okay?

Still more on McCain: "It's the economy, ____" edition


McCain, small-c conservative (i.e. "fiscal"), which one assumes means "friend of the working Joe."

Well, probably it won't come as a surprise that he's not backed by the Teamsters, first of all; still, for those Dems or independents or "other" still thinking there's no difference between him and Their Favorite Candidate:

Both McCain and Bush support anti-union laws that make it harder for workers to unionize. They want to privatize Social Security. They have no meaningful plan to deal with our country's health care crisis. And they dismiss the good-paying manufacturing jobs we lost due to NAFTA with no plans to replace them. In January, McCain even said that "there are some jobs that aren't coming back to Michigan."

...Unfortunately, many Americans share our woes in Michigan. Since Bush took office, not only are we working harder for less, but 2 million more of us are out of work and 11 million more lack health care insurance. We have had slow wage growth, skyrocketing costs for gasoline and health insurance, and four straight months of job losses. Foreclosure is a looming possibility for millions of families.

Yet McCain believes we don't need to significantly change course. He credits Bush for overseeing "great progress economically," but he fails to mention that for the first time since World War II, we have experienced sustained national economic growth while personal incomes have dropped. McCain's economic stimulus plan is based on increased deregulation, slashing corporate taxes from 35 percent to 25 percent, and making permanent the Bush income tax cuts, which disproportionately benefit the wealthy.

The tax cuts illustrate how McCain has turned his back on working-class Americans' problems. In 2001, when the cuts were debated in Congress, McCain was one of just two Senate Republicans to oppose these taxes due to concerns that turned out to be accurate—increased budget deficits, unanticipated defense costs and a costly Iraq war. He has switched to court the divisive supporters of President Bush.

Unlike the Democratic presidential candidates, McCain is opposed to renegotiating the so-called free trade agreements that have resulted in 3.7-million U.S. manufacturing jobs being lost in the past 10 years—a major factor in Michigan being one of only two states to lose jobs in the same period. These are the same pro-business policies that have helped make it so difficult for working-class Americans to make a living...

Okay, so granted, not everyone is exactly down with Jim Hoffa either. Say one takes a more business-minded view of things. At random: Forbes magazine, for example, offers this assessment:

A UBS analyst said Wednesday the policies of Sen. John McCain would benefit restaurant and packaged food companies more than those of one of his Democratic rivals, Sen. Barack Obama.

...which sounds good. I mean, if you're a restaurant or packaged food company.

The candidate's tax platform - including lowering corporate tax rates and removing the alternative minimum tax - would also help pad margins and boost consumers discretionary spending if those changes were enacted, Palmer said.

In terms of health care legislation, the effect of a McCain presidency would be mixed for restaurants and food companies. Palmer said companies would be worse off if McCain were to require them to contribute to a national health insurance plan.

Earlier this week, McCain unveiled a plan that would propose offering tax credits to individuals and their families so that people will buy health insurance on their own rather than through an employer.

Obama, meanwhile, has called for a national public health insurance program that would require companies to provide coverage for all employees or contribute to the public plan.

...which presumably means companies would be even more worser off if Obama's plan were enacted.

Which is something to take into consideration, because corporations are people too.

Of course, some might consider this stance a tad, well, elitist.

If you're receiving veteran's benefits for having served in the military but vote against others getting benefits, then it's probably a safe bet that you're an elitist.

If you're getting great government health care as a Senator but block underprivileged kids from getting it, then you may be an elitist.

If you own half a dozen or so houses and insist on blocking folks from mortgage relief while using tax dollars to bail out banks and mortgage companies who made questionable loans, then you just may qualify as an elitist.

If you and your wife are worth millions and intend to make permanent tax breaks that greatly benefit only the wealthiest, then some might regard you as the elitist candidate.

Of course, as we all know, that's not elitism; this is real elitism:

"Here's how it is: In a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, people have been beaten down so long. They feel so betrayed by government that when they hear a pitch that is premised on not being cynical about government, then a part of them just doesn't buy it. And when it's delivered by -- it's true that when it's delivered by a 46-year-old black man named Barack Obama, then that adds another layer of skepticism."

...You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them.

"And they fell through the Clinton administration and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are going to regenerate and they have not," he went on. "And it's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

...And so people don't vote on economic issues, because they don't expect anybody's going to help them. People are voting on issues like guns, are they going to have the right to bear arms. They vote on issues like gay marriage. They take refuge in their faith and their community and their families and the things they can count on. But they don't believe they can count on Washington."

I mean, it might be true? but it's outrageous to SAY it. Actually, if you don't say it, it won't be true. Certainly it's wrong to suggest that people are (rightfully) cynical about previous government administrations, or that y'know, some people might be blaming the wrong people/factors for the economic depression.

"It's a remarkable statement and extremely revealing," McCain adviser Steve Schmidt said in a statement. "It shows an elitism and condescension towards hardworking Americans that is nothing short of breathtaking, it is hard to imagine someone running for president who is more out of touch with average Americans."


ETA: O lookie here, though, this just in, he just finally rejected the endorsements of Hagee and Parsley.

Which leads one to wonder who's ultimately going to have more staying power here: McCain, or Parsley.

Let's hope it's the beginning of the end of an era for both.

Belatedly: Third Feminist Carnival of Sexual Freedom and Autonomy

up at whatsername the Jaded Hippy.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Quote of the day, 5/20/08


(getting up from a deckchair and screaming with indignation and rage:
he has a knotted handkerchief on his head and his trousers are rolled
up to the knees)

Well I, I think that, er, nobody who has gone abroad
should be allowed back in the country. I mean, er, blimey! Blimey! If
they're not keen enough to stay here when they're 'ere, why should we
allow them back, er, at the tax-payers' expense? I mean, be fair. I
mean, I don't eat squirrels do I? I mean well perhaps I do one or two
but there's no law against that, is there? It's a free country.

(enter a knight in amour)

I mean if I want to eat a squirrel now and again,
that's me own business, innit? I mean, I'm no racialist. I, oh, oh...

(The knight is carrying a raw chicken. The man apprehensively covers
his head and the knight slams him in the stomach with the chicken)

--Monty Python (what else?)

I've been avoiding writing about this

worthless evil ratfucker who killed a sex worker, stuffed her in a trunk, and got off on what is it now? self-defense? Twinkies? anyway: go read these other people on it.

I'd comment further on it, but, um, it's just...I kind of can't right now. or on a number of other incredibly fucked up stories this past...while; like this one, (trigger warning) or this one, (ditto); and that's without even, y'know, oh, 40,000 people dead + 5 MILLION homeless after China's earthquake, and another 133,000 dead + millions devastated after the cyclone in Burma, and, well, shit that's honestly sort of beyond my scope at the moment. Whatever it says. So, just: here're the links, and no comments, I think; and probably the next post here will be about puppies or memes or something like that.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

What a -radical- idea, yes.

From Lina at Uncool:

Cos, right - here's a radical thing - if you get raped, it's the man's fault. A man fucks you without your consent - that's not porn's fault, that's not your top's fault, that's not your skirt's fault, that's not a prostitute's fault. It's the man's fault. Cos he's a scumbag. And some men are scumbags and some men will do that to you and they deserve to have their fucking bollocks cut off. And he can blame your top, your skirt, the porn, his bitch mam, that prostitute or whatever, but the fact is, you've probably walked past a million men wearing your skirt and top and those men who've looked at you and thought, "Wow!" watch porn, have dreadful mothers, live in a society where prostitution actually happens and think that that top you're wearing makes you look like Mz Berlin or Darenzia or Marilyn Monroe or whoever floats your boat. But they aren't raping you. So why did the other fucker?

Friday, May 16, 2008

"...was accused of doing inappropriate things to a quokka"

They really do have more interesting scandals in Oz. From Rebecca at Burning Words:

Just when one thought Western Australian state politics couldn’t get any weirder.

After a couple of weeks in which Opposition Leader Troy Buswell has been widely derided and mocked for sexually harassing a staffer by crawling around on the floor, making sexual noises, and sniffing her chair, and somehow managed to prevent a leadership spill on Monday, it gets worse…

He’s now been accused of doing inappropriate things to a quokka. (For the Americans, a quokka is a small furry animal native to WA)

I have no words.

Um, me neither. It is a -great- catchphrase, though, one to ring off pub rafters down through the ages, I've no doubt.

and, no, I don't know what -which- inappropriate things, or what WOULD be appropriate things to do to a quokka. And, I don't want to know, and you can't make me.

Go Cali go!

For once, some good news: CA Supreme Court overturned the ban on gay marriage. 'Ray my once and future (quite soon!) home state.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

More on McCain, then.

To wit, no, he is NOT a "moderate," yes, he IS substantially worse than either Obama -or- HRC, and yes, even if this doesn't turn out to be the very last free democratic election in the U.S. or anywhere ever -either,- it -does- matter, and it -will- be more than bad -enough- for way too many people if he wins. Part one of a probably continuing series.

To begin.

From Mother Jones: an article on McCain's "spiritual guide," Rod Parsley, who is worth a post or twelve in his own right. Here is a taste, though, to get you started, on THAT guy. (MoJo article continues below vids).

Senator John McCain hailed as a spiritual adviser an Ohio megachurch pastor who has called upon Christians to wage a "war" against the "false religion" of Islam with the aim of destroying it.

On February 26, McCain appeared at a campaign rally in Cincinnati with the Reverend Rod Parsley of the World Harvest Church of Columbus, a supersize Pentecostal institution that features a 5,200-seat sanctuary, a television studio (where Parsley tapes a weekly show), and a 122,000-square-foot Ministry Activity Center. That day, a week before the Ohio primary, Parsley praised the Republican presidential front-runner as a "strong, true, consistent conservative."

...McCain, with Parsley by his side at the Cincinnati rally, called the evangelical minister a "spiritual guide."

The leader of a 12,000-member congregation, Parsley has written several books outlining his fundamentalist religious outlook, including the 2005 Silent No More. In this work, Parsley decries the "spiritual desperation" of the United States, and he blasts away at the usual suspects: activist judges, civil libertarians who advocate the separation of church and state, the homosexual "culture" ("homosexuals are anything but happy and carefree"), the "abortion industry," and the crass and profane entertainment industry. And Parsley targets another profound threat to the United States: the religion of Islam.

In a chapter titled "Islam: The Deception of Allah," Parsley warns there is a "war between Islam and Christian civilization." He continues:

I cannot tell you how important it is that we understand the true nature of Islam, that we see it for what it really is. In fact, I will tell you this: I do not believe our country can truly fulfill its divine purpose until we understand our historical conflict with Islam. I know that this statement sounds extreme, but I do not shrink from its implications. The fact is that America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed, and I believe September 11, 2001, was a generational call to arms that we can no longer ignore.

Parsley is not shy about his desire to obliterate Islam. In Silent No More, he notes—approvingly—that Christopher Columbus shared the same goal: "It was to defeat Islam, among other dreams, that Christopher Columbus sailed to the New World in 1492…Columbus dreamed of defeating the armies of Islam with the armies of Europe made mighty by the wealth of the New World. It was this dream that, in part, began America." He urges his readers to realize that a confrontation between Christianity and Islam is unavoidable: "We find now we have no choice. The time has come."

...Parsley, who refers to himself as a "Christocrat," is no stranger to controversy. In 2007, the grassroots organization he founded, the Center for Moral Clarity, called for prosecuting people who commit adultery. In January, he compared Planned Parenthood to Nazis. In the past Parsley's church has been accused of engaging in pro-Republican partisan activities in violation of its tax-exempt status.

Why would McCain court Parsley? He has long had trouble figuring out how to deal with Christian fundamentalists, an important bloc for the Republican Party. During his 2000 presidential bid, he referred to Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell as "agents of intolerance." But six years later, as he readied himself for another White House run, McCain repudiated that remark. More recently, his campaign hit a rough patch when he accepted the endorsement of the Reverend John Hagee, a Texas televangelist who has called the Catholic Church "the great whore" and a "false cult system." After the Catholic League protested and called on McCain to renounce Hagee's support, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee praised Hagee's spiritual leadership and support of Israel and said that "when [Hagee] endorses me, it does not mean that I embrace everything that he stands for or believes in." After being further criticized for his Hagee connection, McCain backed off slightly, saying, "I repudiate any comments that are made, including Pastor Hagee's, if they are anti-Catholic or offensive to Catholics." But McCain did not renounce Hagee's endorsement.

A bit more on Hagee, if you haven't been following, the -other- scary paleolithic right-wing religious zealot McCain endorser:

and a compare-n-contrast with the Obama/Wright business from the Sable Verity:

It took more time than it should have, but on Tuesday Barack Obama firmly rejected the racism and paranoia of his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., and he made it clear that the preacher does not represent him, his politics or his campaign.

Senator Obama has had to struggle to explain this relationship ever since a video surfaced of Mr. Wright damning the United States from his pulpit. Last month, Mr. Obama delivered a speech in which he said he disapproved of Mr. Wright’s racially charged comments but said that the pastor still played an important role in his spiritual life.

It was a distinction we were not sure would sit well with many voters. But what mattered more was the speech’s powerful commentary on the state of race relations in this country. We hoped it would open the door to a serious, healthy and much-needed discussion on race.

Mr. Wright has not let that happen. In the last few days, in a series of shocking appearances, he embraced the Rev. Louis Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism. He said the government manufactured the AIDS virus to kill blacks. He suggested that America was guilty of “terrorism” and so had brought the 9/11 attacks on itself.

This could not be handled by a speech about the complexities of modern life. It required a powerful, unambiguous denunciation — and Mr. Obama gave it. He said his former pastor’s “rants” were “appalling.” “They offend me,” he said. “They rightly offend all Americans. And they should be denounced. And that’s what I’m doing very clearly and unequivocally here today.”

He said he was angry that Mr. Wright suggested that he was insincere when he previously criticized the pastor’s views. “If Reverend Wright thinks that that’s political posturing, as he put it, then he doesn’t know me very well,” Mr. Obama said. “And based on his remarks yesterday, well, I may not know him as well as I thought either.”

...Senator John McCain has continued to embrace a prominent white supporter, Pastor John Hagee, whose bigotry matches that of Mr. Wright. Mr. McCain has not tried hard enough to stop a race-baiting commercial — complete with video of Mr. Wright — that is being run against Mr. Obama in North Carolina.


So, the latest with Hagee is, he's apologized for the Catholic-baiting.

John Hagee, an influential Texas televangelist who endorsed John McCain, apologized to Catholics Tuesday for his stinging criticism of the Roman Catholic Church and for having "emphasized the darkest chapters in the history of Catholic and Protestant relations with the Jews."

Hagee's support for McCain has drawn cries of outrage from some Catholic leaders who have called on McCain to reject Hagee's endorsement. The likely Republican nominee has said he does not agree with some of Hagee's past comments, but did not reject his support.

In a letter to William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights, Hagee wrote: "Out of a desire to advance a greater unity among Catholics and evangelicals in promoting the common good, I want to express my deep regret for any comments that Catholics have found hurtful."

Which is great, if you're William Donohue, apparently (remember him?)

Donohue, one of Hagee's sharpest critics, said he accepted the apology and planned to meet with Hagee Thursday in New York.

"I got what I wanted," Donohue said in an interview. "He's seen the light, as they like to say. So for me it's over." know, this William Donohue.

William A. Donohue, president of the conservative Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, has made 23 guest appearances on TV news programs in 2004. Donohue uses his appearances primarily to attack gays and progressives. He has referred to the "gay death style," remarked, "God forbid we'd run out of little gay kids," claimed that Senator John Kerry "never found an abortion he couldn't justify," and claimed that "Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular ... Hollywood likes anal sex."

... although Hagee's not yet seen fit to apologize for such gems as

"[Gay marriage] will open the door to incest, to polygamy, and every conceivable marriage arrangement demented minds can possibly conceive. If God does not then punish America, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah."


"The Quran teaches that [all Muslims have a mandate to kill Christians and Jews]. Yes, it teaches that very clearly."


"Only a Spirit-filled woman can submit to her husband's lead. It is the natural desire of a woman to lead through feminine manipulation of the man...Fallen women will try to dominate the marriage. The man has the God-given role to be the loving leader of the home."


It was the disobedience and rebellion of the Jews, God’s chosen people, to their covenantal responsibility to serve only the one true God, Jehovah, that gave rise to the opposition and persecution that they experienced beginning in Canaan and continuing to this very day.


How utterly repulsive, insulting, and heartbreaking to God for his chosen people to credit idols with bringing blessings he had showered upon the chosen people. Their own rebellion had birthed the seed of anti-Semitism that would arise and bring destruction to them for centuries to come.

So, McCain's officially said he's not on board with everything Hagee says, to wit:

Reporting on a New Orleans campaign event at which Sen. John McCain's "carefully scripted imagery was interrupted by a voter's question about Pastor John Hagee," CNN's Dana Bash aired a clip of Hagee -- who has endorsed McCain -- saying of Hurricane Katrina, "What happened in New Orleans looked like the curse of God." But Bash did not air the portion of Hagee's comments in which he reaffirmed his previous assertion that Hurricane Katrina was at least in part the result of "sin" that Hagee identified as "a massive homosexual rally." CNN's John Roberts and Kyra Phillips similarly noted that Hagee said that "Katrina was God's punishment for sinful behavior in New Orleans" without mentioning that among the "sinful behavior" Hagee referenced was the gay pride parade.

... McCAIN: When someone endorses me, that does not mean that I embrace their views.

BASH: And, on his bus, a dig at [Sen.] Barack Obama.

McCAIN: I didn't attend Pastor Hagee's church for 20 years. And there's a great deal of difference, in my view, between someone who endorses you and other circumstances.

... McCain called Reverend Hagee's comments, quote, "nonsense," but didn't reject his endorsement.

O.K., so let's go with, Hagee's just this one guy who endorses him, kind of embarrassing, that McCain has to sort of tolerate, perhaps, nod nod wink wink. This is either a sign in his favor or...not, depending on where you're coming from. Certainly McCain's had an uneasy relationship with the extremist theocratic right in the past. And some of the key leaders still don't really seem to trust him.

April 3, 2008 12:10

...James Dobson, the head of Focus on the Family, struck out against the candidacy of John McCain, in a statement sent to the Wall Street Journal. "I have seen no evidence that Sen. McCain is successfully unifying the Republican Party or drawing conservatives into his fold. To the contrary, he seems intent on driving them away," he wrote.

As for Rod Parsley,'s an interesting take on that relationship.

No one believes, of course, that McCain, an Episcopalian-turned Baptist-of-convenience, looks for spiritual advice from Ralph - er, Rod Parsley. Long coveted by Republican politicians, Parsley, a Pentecostal, tongue-speaking, faith-healing Bible college drop-out, is not sought after for his theological acumen. He's been on the Republican radar screen since the mid-1980s, when he first began building a national audience through his daily TV programme, Breakthrough. Starting with, he claims, a backyard following of 17 people, he has built a 12,000-member church and a television empire by peddling the idea that if you give him your money, God will bless you a thousand times over with financial abundance. "Sow a seed," Parsley preaches, and "you will reap a harvest."

Parsley didn't invent this formulation, known as Word of Faith, a Christian movement with roots in post-World War II revivals, which has grown like wildfire since the advent of Christian television in the 1960s. Parsley is part of a movement that includes names like Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar, who have been in the news for their defiance of a Senate investigation (led by McCain's fellow Republican Charles Grassley) into possible abuse of their churches' tax-exempt status by diverting donations for their own profit. It includes Parsley, McCain endorser John Hagee, and thousands of others like them, who pastor churches in big cities and small towns, raking in tithes and offerings by peddling the idea that God will bless you with financial rewards if you line your preacher's pockets.

...If you were to look inside the founding documents of Parsley's church and talk to a few people, you'd find his church was set up by a lawyer - later disbarred for helping another pastor fleece his flock - who thinks that the Bible shows that the pastor should be "the highest paid person around" and identifies government as the beast in the Book of Revelation. You would find that this lawyer created an authoritarian structure for Parsley that named him pastor for life. You would find that no one has the right question Parsley or to see the church's finances. If you made a trip to the local courthouse, you would find that Parsley's been sued three times - twice by family members - but that gag orders shield the settlements from public view.

Perhaps McCain might claim his error is a failure to vet Parsley, as he recently maintained he neglected to vet Hagee, Parsley's friend and ally. But Google, Amazon and television offer all the vetting you'd really need. McCain's sin is not a failure to vet Parsley, but his enthusiastic participation in the enterprise he once condemned: the Republican scheme to monopolize the ballots of "values voters" by propping up leaders whose own values are dubious at best.

In other words, as I read all this, at least: McCain's not really a theocrat in his heart, no; but he's totally willing to play (along with) one on TV as far as he has to, if the backroom deals cut with high-profile snake-handler-oil salesmen help get him into power.

And this would be a good, for anyone except the backroom dealers in question, how?

I mean, the prevailing view more or less has been that McCain is a "moderate," a "maverick," even, goes his own way, doesn't owe his soul to anyone, good old fashioned salt of the earth old-school small-c conservative.

And one could, I suppose, try to make the case that somewhere under all the current posturing and posing and pandering with people who sound like they're straight outta the Handmaid's Tale when they don't sound like bargain basement Elmer Gantries, the "real" McCain is still in there, and will return once he's safely in office. (Apart from of course he's still a Republican with the legacy of eight years of Dubya already firmly in place). Well, it can't be -too- bad, right? Maybe? Say, who -is- the real McCain, then, anyway, assuming he doesn't have to dance too much with the ones like Hagee and Parsley what brung him? What are his positions -now-, as opposed to ten or twenty years ago? What's his actual voting record? What could we reasonably expect from a McCain presidency?

ETA: Very briefly, and once again, here's a hint of what we might expect from McCain wrt reproductive rights:

Voting Record
# Supports repealing Roe v. Wade. (May 2007)
# Voted YES on defining unborn child as eligible for SCHIP. (Mar 2008)
# Voted YES on barring HHS grants to organizations that perform abortions. (Oct 2007)
# Voted YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Apr 2007)
# Voted YES on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. (Jul 2006)
# Voted NO on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives. (Mar 2005)
# Voted YES on criminal penalty for harming unborn fetus during other crime. (Mar 2004)
# Voted YES on banning partial birth abortions except for maternal life. (Mar 2003)
# Voted YES on maintaining ban on Military Base Abortions. (Jun 2000)
# Voted YES on banning partial birth abortions. (Oct 1999)
# Voted YES on banning human cloning. (Feb 1998)

# Rated 0% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record. (Dec 2003)

which, in case you were wondering why NARAL just endorsed Obama, well, it's because if you put him up against McCain rather than HRC, which, like it or not, it looks like NARAL has decided is realpolitik, the contrast is rather stark:

# Rated 100% by NARAL on pro-choice votes in 2005, 2006 & 2007. (Jan 2008)
# Voted against banning partial birth abortion. (Oct 2007)
# Stem cells hold promise to cure 70 major diseases. (Aug 2007)
# Trust women to make own decisions on partial-birth abortion. (Apr 2007)
# Extend presumption of good faith to abortion protesters. (Oct 2006)
# Constitution is a living document; no strict constructionism. (Oct 2006)
# Pass the Stem Cell Research Bill. (Jun 2004)
# Protect a woman's right to choose. (May 2004)
# Supports Roe v. Wade. (Jul 1998)
# Voted NO on defining unborn child as eligible for SCHIP. (Mar 2008)
# Voted NO on prohibiting minors crossing state lines for abortion. (Mar 2008)
# Voted YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Apr 2007)
# Voted NO on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. (Jul 2006)
# Voted YES on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives. (Mar 2005)
# Sponsored bill providing contraceptives for low-income women. (May 2006)
# Rated 0% by the NRLC, indicating a pro-choice stance. (Dec 2006)
# Ensure access to and funding for contraception. (Feb 2007)

**** Rated 100% by NARAL on pro-choice votes in 2005, 2006 & 2007. (Jan 2008)****

to be continued.

ETA: btw, you know what else about Rod Parsley?

Some analysts credit Parsley for helping President George W. Bush win Ohio in 2004. As pastor of the 12,000-member World Harvest Church, Parsley used his platform to campaign for a state ban on gay marriage. When those he rallied entered the polling booth, most also pulled the lever for Bush, who won the state by only two percentage points.

Parsley has ambitious goals for the November election, which features hard-fought Ohio gubernatorial and Senate races that could also shape the presidential election in 2008.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A clarification.

Wrt the "open letter" post. Perhaps I did not communicate my thesis as well as I might have done. Let me try to explain more clearly and succinctly:



I don't actually hate Hillary. I don't -know- Hillary. That's kind of, you know, the point. She's not my bestest buddy. She's not gonna get me a job or a girlfriend or a golden ticket through the glass ceiling to the top of the heap. She's not my fairy feminist godmother, gonna wave a wand and make my (for I am, indeed, Every Woman) life all better. NONE of the candidates are. We know this, as nice sensible rational non-sheeple, kee-rect?

I mean, this is why, when I go to read a nice, sensible person who's very concerned about the impending crypto-fundie-fascism of the "Obamabots" (yes, I'm sure they're really terrible TOO, I don't CARE, I didn't even mean to look THIS far, and Tom? so gonna KICK YOUR ASS for making me look)--she has this list, right, wherein she says,

The seeds of the new progressive blogosphere

A list is taking shape of those political bloggers who are either pro-Hillary or at least fair in their coverage of the candidates — in other words, bloggers who aren’t raving Clinton-hating Obamabots. Versions of this emerging blogroll are popping up here and there; the one below is cobbled together from lists at Tennessee Guerilla Women, The Hillary 1000, and a couple of other places.

Why does this list matter? It’s not merely a question of knowing where to go for misogyny-free political commentary. These are the seeds of a new progressive blogosphere in the making. The Obamabots are poisoning the original netroots, transforming what used to be an arena for progressive politics into nothing more than a rabid, mindless He-Man Woman-Haters club. The Democratic Party — or at least the high-visibility Obamabot segment — is morphing into the Young Republicans: all the misogyny and callowness and ignorance and blind hero-worship of the old GOP, but with a self-congratulatory aura of imaginary cool to make the YouTube generation feel at home.

And where does that leave the women of America?, I click at random on a link from the list, right, and this is what I immediately run into:

This is my blog on campaigning for and supporting Hillary Clinton for President! I firmly believe she is the most intelligent, qualified, and experienced "person" running and the fact she is a woman is just icing on the cake!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Last night, Hillary won Indiana where Obama won North Carolina. Indiana was a state his campaign predicted they would win by at least 7 points. Well, because Hillary only won Indiana by 2 points, the pundits and media have AGAIN COUNTED HILLARY OUT AND LEFT HER FOR DEAD!!!! They are saying the nomination is over and Obama will be the nominee. He may well turn out to be the nominee, but this is at least the 4th or 5th time throughout this campaign, that Hillary's political demise has been delivered!!! Today George McGovern who supported Hillary early on in the campaign, for him both Bill and Hillary campaigned for him for president in the 70's, has now called on Hillary PUBLICLY TO GET OUT OF THE RACE and he has switched his support to Obama!!! I am SO ANGRY; I AM SEETHING!!!!!

Hillary is the most admirable woman in the world!!! As this campaign has progressed, my admiration and love for her as deepened day by day, month by month. After being counted out time after time, she STILL GETS UP EVERY DAY and goes out there and campaigns. This is a woman who has again lent her campaign another $6 million so she can be competitive with Obama!! Doesn't the fact she has loaned her campaign over $11 million already, and is willing to give more, SHOW HOW PASSIONATE SHE IS TO HELP THIS COUNTRY?????

I just made by upteenth call to the DNC. I told them how ANGRY I was; how I was SEETHING!!! I said Hillary won Indiana last night and all I'm hearing is how she should get out of the race; the race is over, "she's toast", etc. I told them that I had said all along that I WOULD NEVER VOTE FOR OBAMA BUT THAT I WOULD WRITE IN HILLARY'S NAME, but I have gone one step further. I am SO ANGRY that I have decided if Hillary does not get the nomination which she deserves and has earned, I WILL VOTE FOR MC CAIN!!!!! And that goes against everything I believe in, but at least I RESPECT MC CAIN! I DO NOT RESPECT OBAMA!!! I DO NOT TRUST OBAMA!!!! I THINK OBAMA WOULD BE TERRIBLY DANGEROUS FOR THIS COUNTRY!!!

In both states last night, 50% of Hillary's supporters said THEY WOULD NOT VOTE FOR OBAMA!!! They will either vote for McCain or not vote at all. I am not giving up yet. Hillary is a FIGHTER and she might still have some tricks up her sleeve. I PRAY SHE WILL STILL WIN THIS NOMINATION. I want to vote for the person I believe in!! I want to vote for the person who will be great for this country!!! I want to vote for the person who will be a GREAT PRESIDENT!!! I WANT TO VOTE FOR HILLARY CLINTON!!!!!!!!!!!


I'm not sure, but I think she's saying that she's for Hillary, there.

"Where does this leave the women of America?"

Well, I can't speak for the rest of 'em, but THIS woman is left rolling her eyes so hard they've fallen down the back of me.

Jesus fuck, can't these people indulge their passions in something -healthy-, like, I don't know, Harry Potter fandom or something? This person is 55? and she sounds like a rabid Harmonian (no, don't ask me how I even know about this shit, really).


I mean, I -was- going to say something a bit more in-depth about, well...back to Violet, because there's some shit to unpack that I find interesting, here:

Well, first of all, she links to this endorsement of Obama, with the following accompanying photo:

And, well, yeah, that is rather creepy. At minimum: seriously naff. Vote for Obama and Thomas Kincade will give us all a unicorn? What? And as the first commenter notes:

The only problem with the picture you have of Obama is that he is not walking on top of the water.

So, Violet has some commentary, and some of it I do agree with, in fact, this bit:

Barack Obama is not a creep or a vicious little man. He is, however, a canny politician, and not even a particularly honest one. He’s a product of the Chicago machine, and he’s played as dirty as anybody. His whole career, going back to the moment he graduated from Harvard Law, has been focused on one thing: his own advancement. The elaborate advertising campaign that’s selling him to the gullible masses as some kind of savior is just that — an advertising campaign.

Agreed. He's a canny politician, for better or for worse. It's looking increasingly like he just might be even cannier than Hillary, and this is why, in fact, he's edging her out. It may or may not be that he's the better candidate. Me, I still think in a number of ways it's a coin-toss. Depends on the issue, what time of day you ask me, and how arsed I can be to actually go know what the fuck I'm talking about.

As for "not particularly honest:" well, again, haven't been following the play by play much this time so can't really comment, but I will say with some rather glibly cynical confidence that "___ is not a particularly honest politician" is a truism on the level of "the Atlantic is not a particularly dry ocean."

What I -do- think is

a) either one of them is way WAY better than McCain, and I still will vote for whoever actually wins the nomination, assuming this ever fucking ends

b) neither one is exactly ideal and both have made me :headdesk: a number of times

c) actually? a little canninesss and charisma are not, perhaps, such bad things, in a politician. I mean to say, it'd be a refreshing change from our current dumbass arrogant motherfuckers, who simply rode as far as they could on nepotism and deluded arrogance and Rovian levels of dirty fuckery, and simply -bludgeoned- the rest of their way, Vogon-like, as far as they could go, domestically -and- internationally; and, well, check out the results. "We're soaking in it."

Hell, it's why I supported Clinton's husband in the damn first place. Rather eerily similar mix of personal charm, either inspiring or nauseatingly saccharine, depending on your purview, appeals to "hope," apparent genuine better-than-the-other-guyness and disappointing sellouts; and, yep, canny, even oleaginous, as all fuck, no doubt. It's what made him good at what he did, see, in large part: charm and canniness HELP when you're trying to persuade people to pass your bill or put down the large nuclear weapon. It -can- be used to get people to drink the Koolaid or join the Hitlerjugend too, yes. But it doesn't have to be. And without it, well,'re Ralph Nader.

There was, for me, with Bill, a tipping point where I just couldn't muster up any enthusiasm anymore--this was well into his actual tenure--but I never had any illusions that he was, y'know, Holy Savior On A White Unicorn. And if anyone -really- did, to the point of actual -worship-, well...more fool they, I suppose.

That said, though, well: okay. We're not just rolling our eyes at this pic, apparently, we're supposed to, what, see this kind of generic poli-fanboy kitsch as a threat to humanist democracy, because:

Obamamania gives liberals the opportunity to surrender to the same mindless hero-worship as Republicans. That’s really the deal. George W. Bush is, in actuality, a creep. A vicious little man. But he was marketed as a Man of Honor, a Man of God — and people fell for it. Because they wanted to, because they were ripe for that kind of pseudo-religious surrender.

...We are a nation of consumers, of believers, of dupes. Maybe we don’t deserve democracy anymore.

You know, there's more to say about the not-so-subtext--there's an actual texty quote I had to this effect, by someone else of similar politics, elsewhere--about this tendency about let's say a certain demographic of people, I think more on the more or less "traditional" left, perhaps, to look at anything smacking of actual religion/faith with deep suspicion, how it ALL must be scary fundieism; and how indeed this fear of fundamentalist demagoguery ties into the mistrust of, well, again, charisma.

But it's more than my frazzled attention span can manage at the moment, it's a longer post than I've already got here anyway. Besides, the conclusion I'm stumbling toward, i.e. actually "the spirit," let's say very generally, is a GOOD thing, a HUMAN thing, and if the left doesn't acknowledge this um...well, what -are- we talking about? appeal to faith, hope and charity? theatre and spectacle and ritual and all things associated with religion as well as humbug? the wisdom of crowds?...but rather insists we must do away with it altogether, well, THAT'S when you get your Hitlers and other false prophets. It's not a question of needing to believe so and so really IS the Messiah; you're right, literally putting that on any human being IS a bad thing, that's what fundamentalism IS, the over-literalization of all...this; it is however a question of, no, we're -not- all just-the-facts-ma'am, it's not how we're built, and it's better to work with it consciously than rail about what stupid unevolved sheep we all are...something like that.

...anyway, well, let's just say the -philosophical- tone I was gonna take with -that- post, which is indeed a separate post I think, much less "why yes, having faith in -something-, especially one's fellow human critter, is a -good- thing in a leader and a political movement," sits rather uneasily with my current mood of FUCK ALL Y'ALL, YOU'RE ALL TERMINALLY ANNOYING MYOPIC BASTARD PEOPLE AND I HATE YOU SO BAD.

It'll pass.


So let's just take this thesis of Violet's on its face for now, okay, that Obama-Kitsch-person is a representative of all that's bad and scary about THEM, you know, the Obama people, and we must turn to the sane sober -smart- people who are NOT prone to mindless worship to save us from ourselves, i.e...the Hillary supporters.

Like this person.

Hillary is the most admirable woman in the world!!! As this campaign has progressed, my admiration and love for her as deepened day by day, month by month. After being counted out time after time, she STILL GETS UP EVERY DAY and goes out there and campaigns. This is a woman who has again lent her campaign another $6 million so she can be competitive with Obama!! Doesn't the fact she has loaned her campaign over $11 million already, and is willing to give more, SHOW HOW PASSIONATE SHE IS TO HELP THIS COUNTRY?????

Well. Okay then!! I'm convinced!! Sign me up for my full quota of exclamation points!!!!! -thumbs up-

Did I mention the part about oh GOD will the LOT of you SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY? I may have, once or twice.

And finally, here's the part which really fucks me off, okay:

These people who are all like, nnnghh rrrggghhh HILLARY (or OBAMA I suppose, someone must be doing this somewhere, NO don't show me) OR BUST n i'll VOTE FOR THE REPUBLICAN or stay home and BITE MY PILLOW! ?

are, in many cases the VERY SAME PEOPLE who four years ago (remember?) were all like,


Remember this?

And you know? I kind of bought it, for a while. Maybe I was right to, even. I mean, we DO live on a Hellmouth, more or less; we just kind of, what, get used to it? Something. Fuck knows there are a bunch of people in the Middle East who are a lot more dead than they probably would've been if someone who wasn't totally in bed with the neocons, the theocons, and their daddies' pals in the Awl Bidness had been in office. (Which is not to say that there still wouldn't have been a body count; yes, I am well aware Bill Clinton was not exactly a bomb-free gift to the Iraqis or a bunch of other people either, yes) Plus a bunch of other -specifics- that I'm too lazy and shallow to get into at the moment, but hey join the club there. And fuck knows Nader sucks, yes.

And yet. So now, though, here we are again, four years later, and YEAH, for a lot of people the world DID end, same as it always has cause garsh, there's more to U.S. policy and politics and well LIFE than you imagined, Horatio, and more people in the world, too, but well never mind;

But fact is, the world still continues to turn, more or less, against all odds, and now oh look just in time for election season (which I KNOW some of these same people screaming about their primary candidate now were swearing upndown we'd never have one again at ALL after '04), it's yet ANOTHER fucking crisis.

No, the world won't even probably end as such if McCain wins either, or not -just- BECAUSE McCain wins instead of the Democrat. Although I DO think it'll be pretty bad for a lot of people in ways that it wouldn't be otherwise, yes, and I plan to write more about this henceforth. And no, it won't be all roses for everyone if either HRC or Obama wins either. Absolutely.

But. Here's the point: whom do you imagine is most going to feel the immediate impact of the -actual policies- enacted by the -actual whoever is voted in, o flag-waving peanut gallery? You? I wonder. Because, well, four years after the last OMG THE SKY IS FALLING, well, here you all are again, more or less, gearing up for the NEXT test match, threatening imminent doom and/or hara-kiri if your candidate doesn't WIN DAMMIT, all sound and fury and signifying not a whole fuck of a lot, quite frankly.

Which leads one, finally, to the question:

Why get all het up over the CANDIDATES so much more than the ISSUES? (whatever they were again?)'s more fun and it's sexier, and fuck knows it's -hard work- to pay attention to the issues. Hey, guilty as charged right here.

But for the love of little plastic baubles, do NOT try to sell me YOUR political fandom as the ONE TRUE SHIP while at the same time handwringing about all those OTHER terrible people who just don't -understand- what's at stake here, unlike you, o enlightened, -serious- person.

As for this?

Maybe we don’t deserve democracy anymore.

Speak for your damn self. And, piss off with the damn Twilight of Western Civ elegies, T.S. Eloise, I -hate- that shit. Include me out with your -we-, and don't tell me what I -deserve-.

I don't know -what- "we," or even I, deserve, to be perfectly honest. I know what I -want-, but that may not be what I -deserve-. And to some degree, well, karma will wreak its justice, and them's the breaks.

What I -can- control, however, is whether or not I continue to hurt my brain by tuning into this crap.

I don't -think- I deserve it (glares at Tom). I know I don't -want- to.

So, I...won't.

Off to cultivate my garden, or some goddam thing, at least till the next outrage I get caught up in (checks watch)


ETA: Let me be a little clearer about one last thing, also. I am not actually saying she should drop out before the last few primary state elections straggle to the end, no. Not at this late date. That would not be reasonable.

What I AM saying is, the suggestions that at the end of those, even if she's in the red in delegates, superdelegates, AND money, she's still gonna plug away at Michigan and Florida and maybe fuck me dead even run as an independent after the nomination (no, I don't think she'd go that far, but there WAS fucking Lieberman, not the same I know, but...)

Again. The last. fucking. thing. anyone wants. is to have a prolonged drag out fight. over a technicality. in FLORIDA.

Please, God? Please? PLEEEASSSEEEEE

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Friday, May 09, 2008

An open letter to HRC

This is one of my -very- few commentaries on this sorry clusterfuck of a primary season. Please Maud it will be my last.

Dear Hillary:

I totally, totally hate you. Please go away now kthxbai.

And you know what the bitch of it (something not even -remotely- Freudianly suggestive of internalized sexism) is? I -didn't- particularly hate you before. Was (ETA AND STILL AM IF BY SOME MIRACLE OF MAUD YOU ACTUALLY TURN THIS THING AROUND, I JUST DON'T THINK YOU WILL, OKAY) ready to get behind you or whoever won, albeit without much enthusiasm. Have not been much of an Obama supporter; I voted for him at the last minute, but that was about it. Did not pass go, did not collect my brief flaring of passion for the guy wayyyyy back in '04, did not join the campaign or even write or read more about him. Just went right back to dumb-as-shit blogwars where at least I can engage/spar more or less -personally- with the dumbasses in question; and picking dandruff off the cat; and y'know, generally, my own life, such as it is. No more rah rah goDemsgo for me, thanks.

"I've been hurt before."

Mostly, this round, I've been trying to -ignore- -all- of your sorry asses, and the even dumber and more hateful arguments among your various supporters. All the race-baiting, and the what-trumps-who, and the number-crunching, and the backseat pollstering, and the posturing at great length which we all know perfectly well will mean precisely nothing as soon as victory's in your or anyone's hot little hand, and the fucking FUCKING mass emails and dead trees jamming up my mailbox and the -phone calls-, oh GOD the PHONE calls, how many different ways are there to tell someone you've never met "no, I am not giving you any money, now will you PLEASE take me off your list now PLEASE?"

And no, I can't even reference the latest oh-Christ-what-the-fuck-did-they-do-NOW except in the vaguest of ways, the headdesky racist phone calls in whosit, the dumbass public remark or staff gaffe du jour. Never even mind hahaha the ISSUES. I mean, the difference between your positions and Obama's and how exactly you're each pinky swearing no one's gonna pull away the football THIS time and who probably means it slightly less? Does anyone even know what they -are- anymore? Does anyone care? Do you? Fuck knows I barely do at this point. -trudges off to do quick refresher course, grinding teeth-

-That- bit's my own fault, I admit it.

The bit where I've been too disgusted and jaded to even -bother- paying attention, because I know that once I start I can't avoid an earful of the really hateful, -stupid- shit, plus I don't trust any of you lot as far as I can throw you at this point anyway so I feel like it barely matters? YOUR fault. Among others', -yes-. No, sharing the blame doesn't get your ass off the hook. No, I do not want to hear about your -platform- now, much less how "we can do it! chirp!!" Shut up. YOUR FAULT. (Did I mention the part about 'I hate you?')

ETA: YES, already, if the positions were reversed, I would be addressing this letter to Obama. Hey, I'll even put it in for the hell of it, I'm sure I'll be thinking it again before long.

Dear Barack: I totally, totally hate you and I hate your ass face (actually I kind of do, he physically kind of reminds me of my arch-nemesis at the Dwama School, not his fault, but it doesn't help matters), shut UP shut UP shut UP.

Would be the gist of my appeal, if he were the one losing at the straggling end of this loooooooong ass primary but still plugging away. But...he's not. That simple.

Lookit: It's MAY. McCain's been the Republican nominee for how long? Over a third of a YEAR, you say?

See, if you bunch of sorry-assed Beltway mofos HAD to imitate the Republicans in ANY way, the ONE way you SHOULD be doing it is of course the ONE way you -don't-. To wit:

When it's obvious it's either you or the Party, it's time to finally sit your ass down.

And, like so -many- other people, believe me, of -course- I don't give a fuck about the -Party.- What I do give a fuck about is NOT having THIS guy win, okay:

McCain, whose six years of captivity and torture in Vietnam made him a national celebrity, negotiated (in September 2006) a compromise in the Senate for the Military Commissions Act of 2006, suspending habeas corpus provisions for anyone deemed by the Executive Branch an "unlawful enemy combatant" and barring them from challenging their detentions in court. Coming on the heels of a Supreme Court decision adverse to the White House, McCain's compromise gave a retroactive, nine-year immunity to U.S. officials who authorized, ordered, or committed acts of torture and abuse, and permitted the use of statements obtained through torture to be used in military tribunals so long as the abuse took place by December 30, 2005.[11] McCain's compromise permitted the President to establish permissible interrogation techniques and to "interpret the meaning and application" of international Geneva Convention standards, so long as the coercion fell short of "serious" bodily or psychological injury.[12] Widely dubbed McCain's "torture compromise", the bill was signed into law by George W. Bush on October 17, 2006, shortly before the 2006 midterm elections.

...In October 2007, McCain said of waterboarding that, "They [other presidential candidates] should know what it is. It is not a complicated procedure. It is torture."[14] However, in February 2008 he voted against HR 2082, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, which included provisions that would have prevented the CIA from waterboarding prisoners.

...In a major economic speech on April 15, 2008, McCain proposed a number of tax reductions and backed away from his pledge to balance the budget by the end of his first term, saying it would take him eight years. His speech focused on cuts to corporate tax rates and the extension of the Bush tax cuts, and also called for eliminating the alternative-minimum tax and doubling the value of exemptions for dependents to $7,000, This is in contrast to McCain's historical emphasis on deficit reduction over tax cuts. [42]

...The Washington Post noted that "much of what he detailed was a corporate special pleader's dream: a cut in the corporate income tax rate, from 35 percent to 25 percent, a proposal to allow businesses to write off the cost of new equipment and technology from their taxes, a ban on Internet and new cellphone taxes, and a permanent tax credit for research and development."...

McCain is against publicly-funded health care, universal health care, or health coverage mandates, instead favoring tax credits of up to $5,000** for families that get health insurance.

**(had to pay any health care costs out of pocket lately? -major- health care costs, like surgery and longterm hospital stays? basically, this will get you something involving a can opener, some string, and maybe a bottle of duty-free vodka for anaesthetic. never even mind chronic conditions like cancer or lupus or...)

you know, THIS guy:

# Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. (Jun 2002)
# Voted YES on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping. (Oct 2001)
# Voted NO on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. (Jun 2000)

...Rated 0% by the ACLU, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record.
# Rated 33% by the HRC, indicating a mixed record on gay rights. (Dec 2006)
# Rated 7% by the NAACP, indicating an anti-affirmative-action stance. (Dec 2006)

...# Voted NO on repealing tax subsidy for companies which move US jobs offshore. (Mar 2005)
# Voted YES on reforming bankruptcy to include means-testing & restrictions. (Mar 2005)
# Voted YES on restricting rules on personal bankruptcy. (Jul 2001)

...# Voted NO on $52M for "21st century community learning centers". (Oct 2005)
# Voted NO on $5B for grants to local educational agencies. (Oct 2005)
# Voted NO on shifting $11B from corporate tax loopholes to education. (Mar 2005)
# Voted NO on funding smaller classes instead of private tutors. (May 2001)
# Voted NO on funding student testing instead of private tutors. (May 2001)
# Voted NO on spending $448B of tax cut on education & debt reduction. (Apr 2001)

...Voted YES on $75M for abstinence education. (Jul 1996)

...I support the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war. (Jan 2006)

...and so on. Compare and contrast, if you please, with Obama's positions and record. Might as well start, because he IS the presumptive candidate. Which brings us back to our thesis here, i.e. go away now plzkthxBAI.

What's that you say? But, but but BUT, but...where's my sisterly solidarity? The First Woman President! It had -such- a nice ring to it.

Listen up, because I'm only gonna say this once more: I. Don't. Care.

That's right. Do not care. Don't care if you have EIGHT vaginas. Don't care if you have endorsements from Early Money Is Like A Yeast Infection [ETA this does make me wince on reread, strike one for internalized wotsit] and Ilse Muttersdottir the First Matriarch AND Asphalta the Goddess of Parking Spaces. (ETA: Yes, I know "eight vaginas" and the rest of this bit ISN'T FUNNY AT ALL. I -have- eight vaginas. Damn right it isn't funny. -You- try going to the ob/gyn with...) See this? This is my not bothered at ALL at this point what goddam gender the next President is face, okay. And you want to know cause why?

1) at THIS point, whatever symbolic significance there is in having a woman break that last glass ceiling, and I will admit there is -some-, pretty much we've had it already. It's like the Oscars: the important part is the nomination. Yeah, yeah, I know, no one who's up for one REALLY believes it, and you've been SO ready for your closeup for SO long. Nonetheless. I'm sure the -next- female candidate who -isn't- a total plonker will be indebted to you, as are we all, really. Brava. However, this is a separate question from your PERSONAL ambition, I am afraid, and THAT, well, really not caring about. Like, at all. Sorry.

2) also? If you have to become more and more like Maggie Thatcher to win this thing? Don't want you -anyway.- And say-hey, ever since Maggie lo these couple of decades or so ago, why, there's no more sexism, legally OR culturally, in the UK, right? Right...?

3) yes, we know, there's been really rancid sexism in the media aimed at you. It sucks. We've discussed this. Thing is, of itself, not really enough to make me support -you-, as opposed to simply noting "gorram, those people are sexist fuckstains." What's more, they can and will continue to be sexist fuckstains quite happily with OR without your continued candidacy. It's just how it goes. And, we can attack them for being sexist fuckstains without having to add the obligatory "even though I don't particularly like Hillary herself...", really, we can.

4) -snaps fingers- oh yeah! Womens' RIGHTS, as in what affects the REST of us who AREN'T you and have OTHER primary concerns besides YOUR PERSONAL CAREER.

Well, now, let's see. Here's McCain on reproductive rights.

# Supports repealing Roe v. Wade. (May 2007)
# Voted YES on defining unborn child as eligible for SCHIP. (Mar 2008)
# Voted YES on barring HHS grants to organizations that perform abortions. (Oct 2007)
# Voted YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Apr 2007)
# Voted YES on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. (Jul 2006)
# Voted NO on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives. (Mar 2005)
# Voted YES on criminal penalty for harming unborn fetus during other crime. (Mar 2004)
# Voted YES on banning partial birth abortions except for maternal life. (Mar 2003)
# VVoted YES on maintaining ban on Military Base Abortions. (Jun 2000)
# Voted YES on banning partial birth abortions. (Oct 1999)
# Voted YES on banning human cloning. (Feb 1998)
# Expand embryonic stem cell research. (Jun 2004)
# Rated 75% by the NRLC, indicating a mixed record on abortion. (Dec 2006)
# Rated 0% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record. (Dec 2003)

I am pro-life and an advocate for the Rights of Man everywhere in the world, because to be denied liberty is an offense to nature and nature's Creator. I will never waver in that conviction. Our liberty will not be seized in a political revolution or by a totalitarian government. But, rather, as Burke warned, it can be "nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts." I am alert to that risk and will defend against it, and I will be encouraged in that defense by my fellow conservatives.
Source: Speeches to 2008 Conservative Political Action Conference Feb 7, 2008
# Rated 0% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record. (Dec 2003)

I have stated time after time after time that Roe v. Wade was a bad decision, that I support the rights of the unborn.

Q: If Roe v. Wade was overturned during a McCain presidency, and individual states chose to ban abortion, would you be concerned that, as you said, X number of women in America would undergo illegal and dangerous operations?

A: No, I would hope that X women in America would bring those children into life in this world, and that I could do whatever I could to assist them. Again, that conversation from 1999, so often quoted, was in the context of my concerns about changing the culture in America to understand the importance of the rights of the unborn.
Source: Meet the Press: 2007 "Meet the Candidates" series May 13, 2007

On the issue of nominating Supreme Court justices based on an abortion litmus-test, �McCain has said that he will nominate justices based on their experience, and those who share his values,� said a spokesman.

and here's Obama:

* We can find common ground between pro-choice and pro-life. (Apr 2008)
* Undecided on whether life begins at conception. (Apr 2008)
* Teach teens about abstinence and also about contraception. (Apr 2008)
* GovWatch: Obama's "present" votes were a requested strategy. (Feb 2008)
* Expand access to contraception; reduce unintended pregnancy. (Feb 2008)
* Rated 100% by NARAL on pro-choice votes in 2005, 2006 & 2007. (Jan 2008)
* Voted against banning partial birth abortion. (Oct 2007)

* Stem cells hold promise to cure 70 major diseases. (Aug 2007)
* Trust women to make own decisions on partial-birth abortion. (Apr 2007)
* Extend presumption of good faith to abortion protesters. (Oct 2006)
* Constitution is a living document; no strict constructionism. (Oct 2006)
* Pass the Stem Cell Research Bill. (Jun 2004)
* Protect a woman's right to choose. (May 2004)
* Supports Roe v. Wade. (Jul 1998)
* Voted NO on defining unborn child as eligible for SCHIP. (Mar 2008)
* Voted NO on prohibiting minors crossing state lines for abortion. (Mar 2008)
* Voted YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Apr 2007)
* Voted NO on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. (Jul 2006)
* Voted YES on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives. (Mar 2005)
* Sponsored bill providing contraceptives for low-income women. (May 2006)
* Rated 0% by the NRLC, indicating a pro-choice stance. (Dec 2006)

* Ensure access to and funding for contraception. (Feb 2007)

Q: What us your view on the decision on partial-birth abortion and your reaction to most of the public agreeing with the court's holding?

A: I think that most Americans recognize that this is a profoundly difficult issue for the women and families who make these decisions. They don't make them casually. And I trust women to make these decisions in conjunction with their doctors and their families and their clergy. And I think that's where most Americans are. Now, when you describe a specific procedure that accounts for less than 1% of the abortions that take place, then naturally, people get concerned, and I think legitimately so. But the broader issue here is: Do women have the right to make these profoundly difficult decisions? And I trust them to do it. There is a broader issue: Can we move past some of the debates around which we disagree and can we start talking about the things we do agree on? Reducing teen pregnancy; making it less likely for women to find themselves in these circumstances.
Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007

Yeah, there is also this.

"In the Illinois state legislature, Obama voted 'present" instead of "no' on five horrendous anti-choice bills."
--E-mail from NOW attacking Sen. Obama's record on abortion issues.

The National Organization for Women has strongly endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. A chain e-mail denounced Obama's record on abortion, citing his "present" votes on a succession of bills sponsored by anti-abortion activists.

The Facts: Under the rules of the Illinois legislature, only yes votes count toward passage of a bill. Planned Parenthood calculated that a 'present' vote by Obama would encourage other senators to cast a similar vote, rather than voting for the legislation [and asked Obama to vote 'present' as a strategy]. NOW never endorsed the Planne Parenthood strategy of voting 'present,' saying "They were horrible bills, and we wanted no votes." Illinois NOW and Planned Parenthood had different voting strategies on the abortion issue. It was impossible for Obama to satisfy both groups at once.
Source: GovWatch on 2008 NOW pro-Clinton campaign literature Feb 6, 2008

You may or may not agree with this spin on his decision. Personally? On the whole, he rides the fence too often for my tastes, yes, on a number of things. Definitely do not love his lip service toward "abstinence" in public school education, although his actual voting on any such isn't clear from that. (We won't even get into the "yay, giant useless expensive fence along the Mexican border which no one including his co-sponsor McCain actually thinks will do any good at all." See above re 'actually, I hate you all and I hate your collective Ass Face.') And yeah, of themselves, the quotes on abortion being a moral issue and so on? Sure, they grind a lot of peoples' teeth. But... look at how he -did- vote, -when- he did.

Now look at McCain. And well--look at you. Are you "better" when it comes to reproductive rights? Well, depends on your perspective, obviously. But assuming one takes the position that "my body, my choice" is sacrosanct, -even if- this were the Most Important Issue Ever: if you -are- better than Obama in this one regard? at this point, by my lights it's not enough to justify your plugging away and risking McCain instead. (Are you listening, Phyllis Chesler?)

Obama: 100% rating by NARAL. McCain: 0% rating by NARAL. Y/N?

Oh, right, okay, but: still, it's been a close race, you're a fighter, yadda yadda. Yes, up to a point. But, the diva, she has -sung-, geddit? He's -ahead-. He's -been- ahead. There's just not that much more to say, and you can't close the gap. And if you're counting on Florida and Michigan, -all- I have to say is: NOW you want to go to the mat over a technicality in fucking Florida rather than concede? NOW?? FUCK YOU.

At this point it's not even about Obama or you. No one wants a gorram intraparty repeat of 2000 here, understand? You're not worth it. Seriously, just...go. Have some damn dignity. Go build houses with Jimmy Carter or something. And, hey, look on the bright side: if Obama wins, and he turns out to be as much or more of a plonker as you, well, hey, at least you won't be the one who's totally, totally hated.

It'll mean less glory too, yes.

You'll live.

And that's all she wrote, folks.

ETA: Let me be a little clearer about one last thing, also. I am not actually saying she should drop out before the last few primary state elections straggle to the end, no. Not at this late date. That would not be reasonable.

What I AM saying is, the suggestions that at the end of those, even if she's in the red in delegates, superdelegates, AND money, she's still gonna plug away at Michigan and Florida and maybe fuck me dead even run as an independent after the nomination (no, I don't think she'd go that far, but there WAS fucking Lieberman, not the same I know, but...)

Again. The last. fucking. thing. anyone wants. is to have a prolonged drag out fight. over a technicality. in FLORIDA.

Please, God? Please? PLEEEASSSEEEEE