Thursday, December 24, 2009

Oh joy, just what we all needed: PUMA 2.0

aka: "Shut up, Hamster."

Srsly okai.

Or, I guess, I had a long sit, as my partner drove. I read Deoliver47's post about 'Ms. Hamsher' and it rather annoyed me. I've lived for most of my life amongst those people who now go by "tea baggers" (their own moniker) and I knew that no matter what happened in politics, I could never accept an alliance with such hate-filled individuals and I couldn't understand a progressive that might advocate such a move. Then I read a diary that said Ms. Hamsher had gone on Faux and Friends to appeal to their audience to 'kill the bill'. It wasn't much of a diary (sorry diarist!), so I checked the Fox site itself and damned if it wasn't true. Not only had she gone on Faux, she'd not even asserted herself to decry what the party of "no" had done to decimate the hcr bill. She talked about how the bill would increase costs to the middle class and would effect your current coverage and "causes it to be worse"; it sounded like right-wing talking points.

So, despite my struggle to remain objective, I was getting a lil subjective. When I logged on tonight, the first diary I saw was about Ms. Hamsher joining forces with Grover Norquist to force Rahm Emmanuel to resign. Grover Norquist? Really? I'm sure readers here know who Norquist is...founder, supported by President Reagan, of American's For Tax Reform; opposition of President Clinton's attempt at health care reform; Contra and North supporter; co-author, with Messr. Gingrich, of the "Contract with America; Abramoff aficionado; supporter and promoter of President G. W. Bush. Need I say more? That sort of perked my ears.

But it wasn't until a poster noted that Ms. Hamsher had tweeted about Senator Bernie Sanders losing his seat unless he killed the bill. Losing his seat. The only self-professed socialist in the political spectrum. Losing his seat because he wasn't progressive enough? Bernie Sanders, promoter of single-payer health care? That guy who passionately argued for, and offered an amendment that would provide health care and dental coverage for every American? I almost couldn't believe it. But I clicked the linky, and sure enough...there it was, in all its glory...


Grover Norquist is a lifelong Right-Wing warrior. Destroying all progressives and any progressive/liberal agenda is his life’s work. He is very good at and has been finding useful idiots to help him divide and conquer progressives for over thirty years.

Norquist started this work with Jack Abramoff at his side. One party rule has always been their goal and Democrats and liberals have always been their blood enemies. Destroying progressives and everything we believe is their life's work. It is what they do.

Grover is deeply connected to Abramoff. Perhaps nobody goes back as far with Jack as Norquist...

...These two created Ralph Reed and inflicted him upon the world and they spawned a host of other lobbyists, activists, media whores, think tankers, staffers and politicians that make up the extreme conservative movement in America. Jack Abramoff’s ability to lobby and be successful as the point of the spear for the K Street Project depended upon Norquist and his weekly gathering of DC conservatives (Jack’s in jail, but these weekly meetings go on—perhaps Ms. Hamsher will be Grover’s featured guest at a future meeting). The sweatshops, sexshops, human trafficking and systematic labor abuse on the Marianas Islands have Grover Norquist to thank for their protection by Republicans just as much as they have Abramoff to thank (and Jack kicked back funds to Grover as part of the circle of "thank yous"). Norquist should be in jail, but he was protected by McCain, Rove, Bush and Congress. Now he is still out on the streets of DC and making fresh "alliances" with gullible and foolish people within the progressive movement. Sadly, Jane Hamsher is one of those foolish people.

...And the heart of her alliance with Norquist is the fact that she is lending her support and credibility to the conservative conspiracy theory that the financial meltdown was caused by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae lending money to poor people through the Community Investment Act and Community Banks. It is an article of faith among conservatives that Rahm Emanuel, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama forced Freddie and Fannie to engaged in risky loans and that these two mortgage giants forced the big banks to do the same. And then the system crashed. See, in wing-nut world everything bad that happened to the economy was caused by poor people taking advantage of the system. This is a scandal that the wing-nuts want exposed just like they want that whole birth certificate thing exposed, and the ACORN thing exposed, and the death panel thing exposed, and the government’s dirty hands on your Medicare thing exposed, and the socialist takeover of America exposed, and the...

...If you want to fight with Rahm Emanuel, fine. If you want to pretend that he is your chosen personification of evil on this earth, go ahead. Whatever. But, if you decide that your hatred of Rahm is stronger than common sense, if you decide that you must join Jane Hamsher in making common cause with a shitbag like Norquist to attack Democrats, the President and his agenda, well then—and I mean this in the most civil way possible—go to hell. You have let your anger and your desire to piss farther and harder than you think Rahm can piss cloud your judgment.

Honestly? I'm listening to people on the left who are against the hcr bill as it stands now, even though I'm leaning toward the "hold your nose and support it, after making it as good as possible till the very end, because whatever that is is as good as we're going to get." But, joining up with Grover "drown the vulnerable anyone who gets in my way the government in a bathtub" Norquist to try to unseat Bernie Sanders because Sanders isn't progressive or aggressive enough in upholding progressive values. Because the guy who's been actually doing work, even brought up a bill for single-payer, has said this bill is worth supporting; and you think you know better, so you're gonna go side with the people who don't think we should have health care (reform) *at all*. Ooooookayy.

As for Obama and (some of) the Congresscritters supporting this bill (Lieberman can also be devoured by roving wolverines, yes, that goes without saying):

Listen, if I'm going to be supporting actual moderate-to-conservatives/self-aggrandizing cynical corporate sellouts going under the progressive flag whose "help" in this case not only doesn't much but may (*may*) even make things worse, I'm at least going to stick with the ones who aren't complete fucking boneheaded losers. That would be the ones who got elected into office, have some proven ability to find their ass with both hands, and are at least *trying* to make some kind of useful policy that will *help* *some* actual people be better able to not, you know, die. Hint: P.R. disasters like the Lieberman blackface stunt do not count as "progressive activism." They do count as "boneheaded loser moves."

p.s. how the hell did I get on Hamster's mailing list, anyway? No, I'm not signing your stupid petition. GOE AWAY.


p.p.s. This, dammit.

If anyone thought that Obama's language about bipartisanship and compromise were just a ploy to get elected, and the fierce passionate liberal would then pull away the mask, they were deluded.

To me, Obama's open, bipartisan and cross-ideological tone was never just a pose. It was how he intended to govern, defining a mild, modified liberalism as centrism and putting the opposition on the defensive. A fierce, aggressive liberalism, the counterpart to the high point of conservative exercise of institutional power in the middle of this decade, was not going to succeed. Recall, that such an approach ultimately failed conservatism.

However, Republican senators' refusal to participate in any meaningful way in the health-care conversation, with the small and notable exception of Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe's single, hesitating vote when the bill was before the Finance Committee, is a painful revelation that Obama can't govern the way he campaigned. And that revelation is in itself a kind of cost, a useful illusion now lost. As recently as a few weeks ago, every savvy Hill insider would tell you that health reform might get 58 votes and fail, or it might get 61 or 62 votes. But it wouldn't, couldn't get exactly 60 votes, just because some Democrats -- Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, Mary Landrieu -- would insist on Republican cover. The biggest surprise of the last week is that health reform had to hit that target 60-vote target exactly, and that it did.

Health care's passage shows exactly how small the target is for any future Obama initiative, from cap-and-trade to financial reform. With no room for bipartisan compromise, and also no room to tell Joe Lieberman what everyone surely wants to tell Lieberman, the path forward is hard to see. As long as Republican opposition holds, even with the occasional press-release exception such as Sen. Lindsay Graham on cap-and-trade, there will be no room to the right and even less room to the left..

Friday, December 11, 2009

Yes, that'll work.

Maggie Gallagher of NOM! sez conservatives should have Moar Babeez in order to stave off gay marriage.

Which will totally work, because if there's one thing that never happens, it's the children of right wing conservative homophobes growing up to be Teh Gay. Trufax.

Of course, none of this has anything to do with any -other- right wing Population Anxiety...


See what The Nation had to say about this, two years ago:

“The real root of racial tensions in the Netherlands and France, America’s culture warriors tell anxious Europeans, isn’t ineffective methods of assimilating new citizens but, rather, decades of “antifamily” permissiveness–contraception, abortion, divorce, population control, women’s liberation and careers, “selfish” secularism and gay rights–enabling “decadent” white couples to neglect their reproductive duties. Defying the biblical command to “be fruitful and multiply,” Europeans have failed to produce the magic number of 2.1 children per couple, the estimated “replacement-level fertility” for developed nations (and a figure repeated so frequently it becomes a near incantation). The white Christian West, in this telling, is in danger of forfeiting itself through sheer lack of numbers to an onslaught of Muslim immigrants and their purportedly numerous offspring.”

"'No' to the notion of Bilerico"

On edit: You may want to start here. Or, for a more charitable view, here.*

*a follow-up, less charitable view by the same author

Otherwise, here's the direct link:

And no, Bil, it's not good because it's (ffs) "controversial," already. You get a modest increase of hits now, because people rubberneck at the transphobic fail. You -lose- readers after the initial flurry of outrage, because, well, see above re: fail. And any readers you -gain- from this are not people any self-respecting "LGBT" advocate, no matter how notional the "T", wants to have.


p.p.s. THIS. **

Q: What are the sources of transphobia? Is it best combatted by telling it to go away?

A: Its source is not mere prejudice, but old and complex power relations that must be changed, a task that is neither quick nor easy, and is not accomplished by adding a letter to an organization's name. It is based in heterosexism and heteronormativity masked as "radical" critique...This needs to be called out and addressed by the gay community. It should not be up to the transgender community to battle alone, thus furthering the divide.

...By arguing that those born male must retain identification with maleness, even if not with masculinity, his critique lags well behind the radical curve, and begins to merge with the opinions of conservative traditionalists. At one time the use of bronze tools was the latest in technology. To advocate their use today would be silly.

Gold's opinion isn't silly, however, because it is still held by many. It is a hateful ideology. It is alive and well today and often deployed against the trans community. We may yet see it rear its ugly head in the ENDA wars of 2010. I pray that we do not.

**yes, it's also on Bilerico. I appreciate not wanting to give the blog as a whole any more traffic. I felt a bit weird-since I was already sending them traffic-not even at least linking to one of the follow-ups by trans contributors, not to let Bilerico off the hook but because this is a much better post, and honestly I don't think it necessitates Gold's bilge for posts like this to be on their front page in the first place, especially AT Bilerico, which seems to be one semi-apologetic argument ("it's an ill wind..."). That said, I'm resuming my policy of not reading/linking to them after this. I like a lot of the individual contributors there, but it just doesn't even feel like Bil sees what the damn problem is, even now. The suggestion of having trans editors would help, I expect...then again I apparently missed a bunch of other fail as well (Polanski apologism, too? -LeVay- apologism? Seriously? Argh)

ETA Better. (removed Gold as well as the O.P.) It'd be nice to believe that this is happening because it's really understood why and to what degree this was problematic, not just because the wheel finally squeaked enough to get some grease and the bottom line looked like it might be in danger from this one, after all.

ETA again: if you missed the original fail, a lot of it is cached in fisk form at Autumn's post at PHB. Wherein it is also speculated (not the only place by any means) that it is by the way rather interesting timing considering ENDA is up again and apparently so is the possibility of once again throwing trans folk under the bus.

Also, via a commenter from one of the above-linked posts (Angela Brightfeather):

...We need to be on the offensive with Mr. Gold and tonight while driving home and listenting to Michaelangelo Signoreli's radio show on OutQ radio, he announced that due to all this fuss on Bilerico, he will be talking about Mr. gold's post next week on his show. I immediately called him and told him that I object to giving Mr. Gold any airtime on his show and would consider it an insult to myself to let his kind of non-thinking comments be given any air time at all.

So be ready folks. This isn't over yet and I fully expect that while Mr. Gold will not make a personal appearance on the show, I am sure that there will be any number of gay men calling in about those whinning Trans folks who are such a problem to deal with.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Quote of the day, 12/9/09

Speaking of love, one problem that recurs more and more frequently these days, in books and plays and movies, is the inability of people to communicate with the people they love: husbands and wives who can't communicate, children who can't communicate with their parents, and so on. And the characters in these books and plays and so on, and in real life, I might add, spend hours bemoaning the fact that they can't communicate. I feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up.

—Tom Lehrer, That Was The Year That Was

Sunday, December 06, 2009

On female socialization and grimly logical conclusions

Read this post by fugitivus.

If women are raised being told by parents, teachers, media, peers, and all surrounding social strata that:

it is not okay to set solid and distinct boundaries and reinforce them immediately and dramatically when crossed (“mean bitch”)
it is not okay to appear distraught or emotional (“crazy bitch”)
it is not okay to make personal decisions that the adults or other peers in your life do not agree with, and it is not okay to refuse to explain those decisions to others (“stuck-up bitch”)
it is not okay to refuse to agree with somebody, over and over and over again (“angry bitch”)
it is not okay to have (or express) conflicted, fluid, or experimental feelings about yourself, your body, your sexuality, your desires, and your needs (“bitch got daddy issues”)
it is not okay to use your physical strength (if you have it) to set physical boundaries (“dyke bitch”)
it is not okay to raise your voice (“shrill bitch”)
it is not okay to completely and utterly shut down somebody who obviously likes you (“mean dyke/frigid bitch”)
If we teach women that there are only certain ways they may acceptably behave, we should not be surprised when they behave in those ways.

And we should not be surprised when they behave these ways during attempted or completed rapes.

Women who are taught not to speak up too loudly or too forcefully or too adamantly or too demandingly are not going to shout “NO” at the top of their goddamn lungs just because some guy is getting uncomfortably close.

Women who are taught not to keep arguing are not going to keep saying “NO.”

Women who are taught that their needs and desires are not to be trusted, are fickle and wrong and are not to be interpreted by the woman herself, are not going to know how to argue with “but you liked kissing, I just thought…”

Women who are taught that physical confrontations make them look crazy will not start hitting, kicking, and screaming until it’s too late, if they do at all.

Women who are taught that a display of their emotional state will have them labeled hysterical and crazy (which is how their perception of events will be discounted) will not be willing to run from a room disheveled and screaming and crying.

Women who are taught that certain established boundaries are frowned upon as too rigid and unnecessary are going to find themselves in situations that move further faster before they realize that their first impression was right, and they are in a dangerous room with a dangerous person.

Women who are taught that refusing to flirt back results in an immediately hostile environment will continue to unwillingly and unhappily flirt with somebody who is invading their space and giving them creep alerts.

People wonder why women don’t “fight back,” but they don’t wonder about it when women back down in arguments, are interrupted, purposefully lower and modulate their voices to express less emotion, make obvious signals that they are uninterested in conversation or being in closer physical proximity and are ignored. They don’t wonder about all those daily social interactions in which women are quieter, ignored, or invisible, because those social interactions seem normal. They seem normal to women, and they seem normal to men, because we were all raised in the same cultural pond, drinking the same Kool-Aid.

And then, all of a sudden, when women are raped, all these natural and invisible social interactions become evidence that the woman wasn’t truly raped. Because she didn’t fight back, or yell loudly, or run, or kick, or punch. She let him into her room when it was obvious what he wanted. She flirted with him, she kissed him. She stopped saying no, after a while.

...Women are taught both that these rules will protect them, and that disobeying these rules results in punishment.

read the rest

Also see.

Off that latter, and the "how hard this also makes dating/hooking up," which should not be the first consideration but is still a consideration, I just wanted to add:

As someone who got more or less the standard female socialization + introvert + no real incentive to go after men in any case (usually):

Fucksake, it's not like I don't fucking get how hard it is to meet people, -women-, hello. Women who "just want to be friends;" women who stand you up; women who huddle together with cliques of their friends in the bar all night, all with their backs turned outward; women who give you the runaround because they, too, have the socialization that you recognize oh so well of "never say no directly, because that would be too confrontational, and smile harder to make up for it." And yes, the mixers and such can be extremely forced feeling and dorky. I KNOW.

Yes, I sometimes talk to strangers, the ones -I- want to talk to (and who want to talk back). Yes, I don't live in a hole, thank you, and believe me, it's damn hard to drag myself out of one a lot of the time, what with the chronic depression/anxiety and shit. Yes, it's frustrating as all hell.

And somehow, I do all this -without- all of media and social/cultural expectations drumming it in that my desires -should- be catered to, that they're normal and appropriate, even necessary to grease the wheels of society.

Top that off with the het men in question continuing to pull the same bullshit on me as any other woman because no one is exempt, really, and it's not like the assholes listen to what you want anyway, and it's generally safer to -not- go "actually I'm a dyke" to such people because hey! whole new level of potential shit! and you know something? My sympathy, it is limited.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

And now, a spoonful of kitteh

to make the ughsome go down.

(h/t Ethyl)


Sure thing, Joan Kelly, will do.

Re this post and the preceding ones.

Yeah, enabling Howly Blog does put you beyond the pale. I'm afraid so. I mean, truthfully, personally, I never cottoned to you much anyway, so no great loss. But, seriously? You are sucking up to a couple of vile trolls who would basically be Fred Phelps with a couple of small adjustments. Glad to see you've found a "spine" of some sort, though. It does take guts to "agree to disagree" about blatant hatemongering, fuck knows.

And, for the record, the tu quoqueing you've been doing? Yeah, those women (yes, women) are *also* toxic hateful assholes. Amazingly enough, the existence of some assholes doesn't excuse vile bigotry, which is, let me repeat, exactly what you are oh so magnanimously choosing to ignore as "disagreement." Let's not even get into the "what? I'm not saying I -like- infanticide, I'm just saying it beats the alternatives."

So, yeah, posting this will no doubt feed the martyrdom complex as well as the vomit monster machine, and, yeah, I keep swearing I'm giving up the dwama, but you know, I can live with it. Because, wrt the whole "if you don't like them, just don't read them?" You're full of shit. They post flaming gauntlets like that and especially leave hatespoor trackbacks to any trans blogger post they find for a reason. They wanted a reaction. They got it. And now, so have you.