Friday, October 31, 2008

Extending Feminist Carnival for Sexual Freedom and Autonomy deadline one more time, to November 3.

Both to give myself a chance to look over the current entries and give other people a chance to get in entries under the wire over the weekend. It'll go up on Monday (the 3rd).

General guidelines for this carnival here.

Some thematic suggestions (suggestions only) for this edition:

-Halloween: "Trick or treat," or "come as you aren't." Costume, role-play, illusion, trickery, sugar: what roles do any of these play in sexuality? Make it personal or political or both.

-Day of the Dead: The veils are thin this time of year. Connections between sex and spirituality, and/or sex and the transcendent, if you prefer. (they call it "the little death" for a reason). Dark or light or anywhere in between.

-Election season in the U.S. Specific electoral battles such as Prop K in San Francisco, or more broad-ranging political pieces.

Also particularly interested in pieces exploring intersectionality with sexuality, including but not limited to: being of color, being queer, being genderqueer, being trans, having a disability, body issues in general, class issues, cultural issues, religion. Again, both personal and political.

Also, too, U.S. election notwithstanding, looking for pieces from folks outside the U.S. and particularly outside other Anglophone countries as well (U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand).

Feel free to nominate your own work or someone else's. Multiple submissions are fine.

Send to:

belledame222 AT gmail DOT com

p.s. Happy Halloween!

Okay, this has just gotten embarrassing.

via here, wherein we also learn that

A local school district official confirmed after the event that of the 6,000 people estimated by the fire marshal to be in attendance this morning, more than 4,000 were bused in from schools in the area. The entire 2,500-student Defiance School District was in attendance, the official said, in addition to at least three other schools from neighboring districts, one of which sent 14 buses.

Seriously, it's not even sympathy, exactly, it's like the same sort of gut-wrenching vicarious embarrassment I get watching, I don't know, awful situation comedies where the gag depends on really socially humiliating mix-ups. "Three's Company" comes to mind. Or, no, more like, watching -really bad- live theatre, where the acting sucks, the script sucks, the directing sucks, and on top of it everything that could possible go wrong (missed cues, lighting failures, actor tripping over the set and forgetting half his lines), does. And you'd like to hoot and throw popcorn at them a la Rocky Horror, but you can't, because they take themselves seriously and half the audience seems to be taking them more or less seriously and it's almost over anyway but godDAM it's getting hard to watch and yet you can't really look away...

and, Joe the Plumber, -really-. You have nothing to say, you don't know shit about nothing, you aren't a (licensed) plumber, you're not in danger of getting your taxes raised -or- buying the company, your name's not even Joe; and now you -stand up- the guy who's made his (admittedly desperate, but still) campaign all about you, because you're--what is it now? talking about a -record deal-? going on Fox News to talk about being famous for not doing anything? Andy Warhol must be laughing his damn head off. -Please.-

My favorite bit is how the guy who elevated Mooselini -and- [Apparently Not] Being There to their fifteen minutes (and got kicked in the teeth for it in both cases, it looks like, poor lamb) is the one who was sneering at -Obama- for being an empty celebrity, not so long ago.

Well, no, my favorite bit is how this is going to be over shortly, really.

-Damn-, though.

ETA: Quoi?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New! Transgender Carnival

c & p'd from the website.

We are delighted to announce the official launch of the Transgender Carnival website today (22 October 2008); with the first Transgender Carnival itself scheduled to be hosted at Bird of Paradox on 16 November 2008.

The Transgender Carnival aims to recognize and celebrate the full spectrum of gender identities by providing a platform for all our voices.

The Carnival is open to transsexual, transgendered, genderqueer, nongendered, gender non-conforming people, and anyone working in solidarity with us.

The format is similar to that of other carnivals and each month a different blogger will host it. Anyone can submit a link to a piece for consideration for inclusion.

Posts should not seek to disseminate hate speech or oppression and nominations should be sent either directly to the host of the next carnival, or to

Schedule of Transgender Carnivals:

16 November 2008: Bird of Paradox

December 2008: Questioning Transphobia

January or February 2009 (to be confirmed): Sugarbutch Chronicles

The Transgender Carnival is currently accepting nominations for

(a) links to posts for inclusion in the first Transgender Carnival, and
(b) host sites for future Carnivals.

Please contact the organizers by email at

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dear Shepard Smith:

I realize that what with the economic situation and all, now is probably not the best time to bring this up.

Nonetheless, after reading this, (and watching the video above) I feel compelled to ask: is it possible that you're in the wrong job?



(thanks for the h/t, KM)

So, Joe The Plumber was out on the trail with John McCain today, apparently giving the thumbs up to someone in the crowd who felt that an Obama Presidency would bring about the end of Israel. From Raw Story:

The Ohio plumber, who has no license and is actually named Samuel Wurzelbacher, spoke at a McCain campaign event in Columbus Monday. A McCain supporter asked if "a vote for Obama is a vote for the death of Israel." JTP hardly batted an eye.

"I'll go ahead and agree with you on that," Wurzelbacher said.

...Anyway, five minutes with Joe The Plumber had Shepard Smith so frustrated that the Fox anchor felt compelled to issue a disclaimer, immediately following the segment, pushing back on any notion that Obama would mean the "death of Israel," saying: "I just want to make this 100 percent perfectly clear -- Barack Obama has said repeatedly and demonstrated repeatedly that Israel will always be a friend of the United States, no matter what happens once he becomes President of the United States. His words." Smith later added, "The rest of it -- man...some things -- it just gets frightening sometimes. We'll be right back." I haven't seen Shep this broken up about the state of the world since Katrina.

Meanwhile, let's remember that after a year of trying to figure out what their campaign is about, the McCain camp has basically pinned all their hopes to the avatar of Joe The Plumber, a random dude who says, "I know just enough about foreign policy to probably be dangerous...I have no idea where John McCain's position is...I honestly want people to go out and find their own reasons. I tell people not to listen to everyone else's opinion. I'm not going to have them start listening to mine." His words. Such as they are.

I don't understand what the problem is. Look! he's honest! honest and MODEST. That right there proves he's more qualified than all those out of touch Washington insiders to know what's right. He's REAL, man. Joe (or whatever his name is) the Plumber (well, more or less) for President (or something)! w00t

And anyway, he's right on this, as are John the McCain and Sarah the Palin. Any -real- American knows that. You don't want to TALK to these foreign dictators; they're DANGEROUS. Also, they might get ideas.

Oh well. Hopefully Shepard the Smith won't get into too much trouble with his bosses, there.

Friday, October 24, 2008

and now, a word from Memorex America

on the "s" word; it isn't "shoes," no.

I love the pretty, frilly, shiny items. I love designer shoes and handbags. I started my addiction for Lorac cosmetics back when I had money. I still have a once a year craving for a splurge at Sephora. I can't tell you how much I would love it for someone to come hand me $150,000 for a shopping spree. Although, seeing some of my friends and family barely holding on financially, I couldn't.

I sit and listen to Carly Fiorina define, out of a dictionary, socialism. Then goes on to say that Obama's idea for government healthcare is socialist. You know, there is a woman in my city who needs cancer treatment, it is experimental and stem cell based so the insurance will not cover it. The oncologist will meet her halfway and donate $100,000 of the treatment if she can raise the rest. So far, local fundraisers have brought her total to $33,000. Can you imagine? The only thing standing in the way of this woman raising her young daughter is half of Palin's new wardrobe.

I get so angry. The republicans are now talking about how spreading the wealth around would be a bad thing, after we have suffered such a bleed of wealth in the past few years that went straight to the top. Why wouldn't they want to fix that? Why wouldn't they want healthcare for single mothers who can't afford their cancer treatment? These people wave their wealth in our faces while we try to figure out how to stay alive.

We need community and compassion back. We need a responsibility to each other. We need to stop waging financial war upon each other. This money madness has to stop. Where has the compassion gone? How can the republicans believe what is coming out of their own mouths? How can they continue to support their words and deeds with a straight face?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Carnival of Feminist Sexual Freedom and Autonomy: submit!

So, yes, I'm hosting this next edition. The scheduled date is for October 27. Because I suck and let time get away from me & forgot I have a paper due this week, I'd like to give a little more time for people to get their entries in; so unless Lina or anyone strenuously objects, I'm going to say: carnival goes up on Friday the 31st, deadline for submission midnight Oct. 30.

General guidelines for this carnival here.

Some thematic suggestions (suggestions only) for this edition:

-Halloween: "Trick or treat," or "come as you aren't." Costume, role-play, illusion, trickery, sugar: what roles do any of these play in sexuality? Make it personal or political or both.

-Day of the Dead: The veils are thin this time of year. Connections between sex and spirituality, and/or sex and the transcendent, if you prefer. (they call it "the little death" for a reason). Dark or light or anywhere in between.

-Election season in the U.S. Specific electoral battles such as Prop K in San Francisco, or more broad-ranging political pieces.

Also particularly interested in pieces exploring intersectionality with sexuality, including but not limited to: being of color, being queer, being genderqueer, being trans, having a disability, body issues in general, class issues, cultural issues, religion. Again, both personal and political.

Also, too, U.S. election notwithstanding, looking for pieces from folks outside the U.S. and particularly outside other Anglophone countries as well (U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand).

Feel free to nominate your own work or someone else's. Multiple submissions are fine.

Send to:

belledame222 AT gmail DOT com

by October 30.

Good luck! Happy writing/reading.

PSA: Free Esha Momeni

via matttbastard:

Change for Equality:
Esha Momeni, women’s rights advocate and a member of the Campaign from California was arrested on Wednesday October 15, 2008, while on a visit to Tehran. Momeni who is a photographer and graduate student was arrested in an unusual and illegal manner after being pulled over on Moddaress highway, by individuals who identified themselves as under cover traffic police on the pretense that she had unlawfully passed another vehicle while driving. Esha was arrested and taken to Section 209 of Evin Prison, managed by the Intelligence and Security Ministry.

Prior to her transfer to Evin, security officials searched her home and seized property, including her computer and films which were part of her thesis project. The security officials had an arrest warrant and court permission to search the home and seize property.

While Esha’s friends and colleagues were insistent about announcing the news of her arrest immediately, based on requests from her family this news was announced with delay. Security forces had promised Esha’s family that she would be released quickly if news of her arrest was not published.

Esha’s parents went to the Revolutionary Courts today, on the fifth day of her arrest, to follow up on the case of their daughter. Court officials told the Momeni family that they should not come to the courts again, and that their questions will not be answered until the investigation of Esha’s case comes to a close.

Esha Momeni is a graduate student at the School of Communications, Media and Arts at California State University, Northridge. Esha had come to Iran two months ago to visit with her family and to work on her Masters thesis project, focused on the Iranian women’s movement. To this end, she had conducted video interviews with members of the One Million Signatures Campaign in Tehran.

Women’s rights activists object to the unusual manner in which Esha was arrested, as well as the irresponsible treatment of her family members by security forces. Further they strongly object to the unjustified and unwarranted arrest of this women’s rights defender.

A weblog in support of Esha pressing for her release has been established, which includes interviews with her professors. The weblog as well as the site of the Campaign, Change for Equality, will continue to provide news on developments about Esha’s case.

More details on the case, who to write to, and how, here at Amnesty International.

The Campaign for Equality, launched in 2006, is an Iranian women’s rights initiative composed of a network of women and men committed to ending discrimination against women in Iranian law. The Campaign gives volunteers basic legal training, and these volunteers travel around the country promoting the Campaign, talking with women in their homes, as well as in public places, telling them about their rights and the need for legal reform. The volunteers are also collecting one million signatures of Iranian nationals for a petition demanding an end to legal discrimination against women in Iran.

Dozens of activists and supporters have been arrested in connection with their activities for the Campaign for Equality, some while collecting signatures for the petition demanding an end to legal discrimination against women in Iran. As of October 2008, the Campaign’s website had been blocked by the authorities at least 16 times. Official permission to hold public meetings has frequently been denied, and Campaign activists usually hold their workshops in the homes of sympathizers, some of whom have then received threatening phone calls apparently from security officials or been summoned by them for interrogation. At least one such workshop was forcibly broken up by police, who arrested those present, beating some.

Take action now–please write to the following contacts:

* Leader of the Islamic Republic, His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, The Office of the Supreme Leader, Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran, Faxes: + 98.21.649.5880 / 21.774.2228, Email: / /;

* President, His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98.21.649.5880, E-mail:;

* Head of the Judiciary, His Excellency Mr. Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi, Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: +98.21.879.6671 / +98 21 3 311 6567 / +98 21 3 390 4986, Email: /;

* Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Mr. Manuchehr Motaki, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdolmajid Keshk-e Mesri Av, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98.21.390.1999, Email:;

* Director, Human Rights Headquarters of Iran, His Excellency Mohammad Javad Larijani, C/o Office of the Deputy for International Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Justice Building, Panzdah-Khordad (Ark) Square, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98 21 5 537 8827

* Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Chemin du Petit-Saconnex 28, 1209 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 7330203, Email:;

* Ambassador Mr. Ahani, Embassy of Iran in Brussels, avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 15 A. 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 762 39 15. Email:

Amnesty International recommends that all appeals:

- [express] concern at the arrest of Esha Momeni, and [urge] on the authorities to treat her humanely in detention, and protect her from torture or other ill-treatment;

- [ask] the authorities to ensure that while in detention she is granted immediate and regular access to her family, a lawyer of her choice, and any medical treatment she may require;

- [express] concern that her arrest was apparently in connection with her peaceful activities in support of equal rights for women in Iran and in the context of her graduate research;

- [urge] the authorities to release her immediately and unconditionally if she is not to be charged with a recognizably criminal offence and brought to trial promptly and fairly

Also see this article written by Momeni in 2007 on the 0ne Million Signatures Campaign.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

with a little help

Lisa of Questioning Transphobia is in need of some assistance (see details), and subsequently hit a further snag with the first round of donations because Paypal is Satan (see details). I can't resend my own for at least a few days due to my own Paypal issues, but there shouldn't be any trouble for people donating to her new account, so if you can help, please do.

also, Renegade is helping to coordinate assistance for a sex worker in MN, see details.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Unfortunately, not all election news is good news: CA's Proposition 8 (anti-gay marriage) is tied for "yes" and "no" right now.

via here: a statistical deadlock, with the "ayes" appearing to be slightly ahead.
SAN FRANCISCO—The red-hot issue of same-sex marriage continues to sharply divide Californians, according to a poll conducted last week. If a vote were held today on Proposition 8, a state ballot initiative that would reverse the decision of the state's Supreme Court earlier this year and eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry, 48 percent of likely voters say they would vote yes, supporting a ban, while 45 percent say they would vote to leave the law alone. Seven percent of voters remain undecided. The initiative, which will appear on the ballot in two weeks, requires a majority to pass.

Anyone who's in California and has time to spare, or knows someone who is/ does, they're doing (grunt, ugh, gah but I'm going to do it anyway goddamit) phone banking. Also blog about it, of course, pass it on.

It just sucks because it's so completely fucking gratuitous, and it'd be so simple to just let it -be.- Gay marriage is -already- a reality, as in actual same-sex couples are married in California right now, and somehow the world hasn't ended; and yet people are pouring money into taking it away again, and for what? Because it's -threatening-, even though they never can make a real case for -how- it affects -them-.

So, instead, they make shit up.

A Massachusetts couple is starring in a new Proposition 8 ad that taps into the fears of some Californians. They sued the state of Massachusetts and lost.

"We want every Californian to know it will happen. Gay marriage will be taught to the youngest of children," said Massachusetts father Robb Wirthlin.

There is nothing in California's education code that mandates schools teach anything about marriage. But the yes on 8 campaign is taking their message on the road, with a bus tour that brings them to the Bay Area on Tuesday.

The no on 8 campaign is firing back with its own ad, accusing critics of using scare tactics. A new anti-Proposition 8 ad also challenges the claim that churches could lose their tax exempt status...

**ETA: I've been out of the loop, but as it happens, today has been eight against eight" day (thanks, Miss Avarice: eight-day collaborative online fundraising drive to defeat Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that seeks to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in the State of California. See the project here.

To donate, CLICK HERE or scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the "Make A Donation" link. Even if you have already donated, please consider giving again. Every little bit counts. $5 here and $10 there will add up to a lot! Thank you again!

This November, Californians will be asked to vote on Proposition 8, a divisive ballot initiative that would take away the freedom to marry from loving and committed same-sex couples.

We've joined the NO on 8 campaign because we believe every Californian deserves the freedom to marry the one they love. Prop. 8 would create a separate set of rules for same-sex couples, treating them differently under law. Regardless of how you feel about marriage, it is a right that belongs to all of us, without exception.

Please join us in making a donation to NO on 8 - Equality California. Your generous contribution will help NO on 8 defeat this misguided measure. Thank you for standing with us to support freedom, fairness and equality.


Grace Chu and Grace Rosen - Grace The Spot
Lori Hahn - Hahn At Home
Kelly Leszczynski - The Lesbian Lifestyle
Dorothy Snarker - Dorothy Surrenders
Pam Spaulding - Pam's House Blend
Sinclair - Sugarbutch Chronicles
Riese - This Girl Called Automatic Win
Renee Gannon - Lesbiatopia

Sunday, October 19, 2008

WTF is this shit?

Charming new Pepsi ad as noted by Shakesville (rape trigger warning).

I'd really like to know who sits around and brainstorms for this sort of thing, and what sort of ideas ended up on the "discard" pile before they decided "that's it, this is the one."

ETA: o hay, lookie here: apparently it's -not- Pepsi behind this, after all.

Official Response from Pepsi-Cola Company:

Pepsi-Cola Company wants to assure you that there’s absolutely no Pepsi advertisement in circulation that even remotely resembles the creative in question. After investigating this matter further, we learned that an advertising agency developed this print ad on “speculation” and it inadvertently made its way to the internet.

Please know that we would never use this type of imagery to sell our products. We are not using this image now, nor do we have any plans to use it in the future.

We’re sincerely sorry that this has upset you and we’re grateful to have had the opportunity to set the record straight. If anyone following this topic would like to discuss this issue further, free to contact me at the email address listed below.

Bart Casabona
Pepsi-Cola Company

I followed up with Bart to verify that this is in fact an official statement. In his response to my email, Bart also expressed his respect and understanding for our offense at the ad and assured me that Pepsi would never choose to market their brand in this manner...

for one certainly appreciate that Pepsi took the time to look into this, and that their response not only denied but also denounced this advertisement. I think it’s very important for them to do so when these ads have been gaining traction in advertising circles (where I myself looked in attempt to validate them) as legitimate. The company may not have created the ad, but their branding is still on it; for that reason they needed come out against the values perpetuated in the image. And I very much hope that Pepsi will not be using the advertising agency that created this ad in the future.

As for the ad itself . . . I think that this whole thing has been a rather interesting if not particularly surprising experiment in rape apologism. I spent the weekend wading through, deleting and occassionally responding to large volumes of troll comments on two different blogs. In those comments, I was called everything under the sun and the outrage that many of us felt upon seeing this ad was harshly mocked. The complaint from every single one of these people was not that the ad was illegitimate, but that there was nothing wrong with it.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Dammit, Ren, you had to make me look.

Speaking of trainwrecks in progress...the whole tl:dr thing, no doubt, chock full o' erm erraticness, but I was particularly drawn by the touching advice of dear Satsuma in these troubled times.

(oh, follow the link from there)

...I’m from the tough love school for women. It is not popular to say that we are 100% in charge of our own destiny, because this makes women who have fallen through the cracks feel bad. Feeling bad won’t get you anywhere in life.

Women on this blog get mad at success or any woman who thinks this is exciting and challenging. What I have to say, is that my life is a testiment that if you APPLY the wisdom of radical lesbian feminism, and you don’t fall into the trap of ever living with men as an adult, and you throw your mind as far as it will go, you’ll actually have a much better life than all the women who think they need men to prosper. I’m saying you will be healthier and wealthier if you DON’T marry men, live with them or have children.

I’m saying brilliance and cleverness and excitement and accomplishment are what await a true radical feminist.

What pains me here is that women don’t believe this. I think there are a lot of women in the world who are truly afraid of being different. They struggle to fit in everywhere, instead of choosing to live by an inner guidance system or even an inner true light.

Women think other women should fail and suffer. I’m not from that school of thought. I know that education and study advance you, and I know you need no handouts, welfare bureaus or social service agencies to do this. When you leave behind the production machine of patriarchy — which is not factory work, but childbearing, you really are free from personally contaminating patriarchy.

It’s what I find so frustrating here at times, this head in the sand, I don’t give a damn attitude. It’s this worship of poverty and downward mobility, or the belief that a radical lesbian life will not cause you to be better off in the end.

There is nothing worse than reading about women who can’t afford dentists here. Somehow that gets to me the most. I meet women everyday who are already setting themselves up for this. If they have the good fortune of working with me, they’ll do a lot better...

Every time a woman marries a man and has children and quits work in the state of California, puts her at a greater risk than buying a financial stock right now. The risk is that she is throwing about 10 years away from retirement planning, and stands to get divorced at a 50-60% rate. That means she will probably be the sole support of children and her standard of living will drop immediately. This happens every day of the year...

...I found poverty actually dull, and thought that I could do a whole lot better than a lot of straight women out there and have a better life. I think heterosexual women often feel they are superior to lesbians, and think our ideas are utopian.

But I believed in the male free life, and I believed that lesbian feminism led to incredible personal, political and spiritual insights.

It’s what causes me to greatly admire ambitious women. It’s what makes me love gritty women like Sarah Palin, when feminists out there think she is the devil....

...I love smart ambitious women. And there is nothing smarter and more ambitious than women who win high office in politics, and nothing more threatening to women who haven’t risen this far. The irony is the old guard feminists get mad at the Sarah Palins, just because they have personal beliefs that don’t tow a party line. I don’t tow a party line that says be poor, don’t achieve, don’t make a lot of money, don’t have the best in life… that doesn’t go over well. But feminism frees all women, and it comes out looking rather odd. Sarah Palin is a feminist in my book, and she is a fundamentalist christian. How shocking! Maybe a lot of women here simply don’t know how caring and loving fundamentalist christians actually are. Perhaps they haven’t met fundamentalist christians who are lesbian accepting.

You can’t be both right? Well in my opinion, how can you be a free woman if you are living with men and having sex with them. Yuck!! But I am sure feminists here who do this would still think of themselves as feminists, right?

Men don’t trash Palin the way so many women feminists do.

So this contradictory belief may seem mysterious; a love of both Palin and Clinton. Something about their personal struggles I deeply identify with. Something about seeing a woman on stage accepting a VP nomination while her husband holds the baby is so amazing to me...

...I am not a leftist or even a rightist, I am a woman who really goes for it, and never contaminate themselves with men kind of feminist. I’m not the hippie sex drugs and rock and roll type person. I hated all that nonsense, just wasn’t me. Perhaps a lot of that leftie stuff just annoyed me and still does. Weirdly enough, give me a proper fundamentalist christian any day over a vulgar swearing sexualized lesbian.

-clap clap-

Sorry to get carried away with the C&P--tl:dr, that's still only like a third of her latest saga, never mind the surrounding shitstorm--but I'm sort of riveted. If it's performance art, it's frigging AWESOME. It's like the bastard child of Tony Robbins, Sheila Jeffreys, and Dawn Eden.

oh, and almost forgot this bit:

No I don’t want failure and poverty, and no I am not swayed by everyone else going nuts over a stock market that is quite predictable. The fortunes are made quickly after events like this, while everyone else is still in panic.

ETA: also, too, also, I need to say this, once and for all:

Toe the line. Toe the line. Not -tow-. TOE. There's a line in the sand. You're not supposed to step over it; you're supposed to -toe-. You can't -tow- the line, unless you mean you're physically moving the drawn line someplace else altogether.

"No no! THAT one is the scary one!! THAAAAT OOOOONNNNE..."

Yeah, I got nothin'. Else.

Actually, this is really all you need to watch.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Brie? Cheddar? Limburger? Perhaps some nice "Wiz du Fromage"

Just trying to think what might best go with this pungent little whine. lordies.

John McCain campaign senior strategist Nicole Wallace conceded Wednesday that the campaign “lost the spin war” by allowing Barack Obama’s campaign to brand the Arizona senator as a dirty campaigner.
“The truth is they play dirty politics, and maybe we haven't been quick enough. Maybe we don't have enough friends in the media to carry the message,” Wallace said on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" show. “

...Well, look, it's like running against God,” Wallace said. “You know, the media has anointed [Obama]. Many, many places in the media, present company excluded, and he's got more money. He opted out of public funds. No one cares about that.”

or about the sexism leveled against Palin, whereas the racism has gotten -so much more attention- and it's NOT FAIR because

“The truth is we've had a lot of thoughtful discussions about race in this campaign"

Okay. I mean, I didn't realize "I AM NOT A RACIST LIKE GEORGE WALLACE!! IT'S NOT MY FAULT! YOU MAKE HIM TAKE THAT BACK RIGHT NOW! p.s. stop insulting Obama by calling him an 'Arab,' though; he's scary but he's not THAT scary, plus also I don't actually want to be considered responsible if anyone actually goes as far as shooting him" constituted "thoughtful," but clearly in many ways we exist on different planets, there.

I -am- sorry about "not having enough friends in the media," though. Possibly the fact that your candidate is a total buttmunch who has a bad habit of calling people "you little jerk," cancelling appearances on late night shows at the last moment, and just generally being an ill-mannered troglodyte might have something to do with it. Oh, yes, and whining about how "the media is OUT TO GET MEEEE" is always a winner, there.

it -is- rather refreshing to hear what's essentially an admission of "I suck at my job" from a P.R. person, though. just keep right on -not- spinning, there, it's what you're good at...

So, yeah, about that spectre of racism, there...

So one thing that just now happened was this.

(the original post, which has a graphic of Obama next to a picture of a noose with the words: "asphyxiation: The Fucking Solution," has been removed: go here for a screencap of it).

I find the commentary of the website host interesting.

I wasn’t aware of this post until late this evening when another reader emailed me about its existence. The graphic was posted on my site, but I didn’t create it. I didn’t have any knowledge of it until tonight. And I do not condone it. Say Anything, much like Daily Kos and Red States with their reader “diaries,” has an open “Reader Blogs” section where any reader can put up their own posts. That is where this post appeared.

I have removed that post over the protestations of the author who has labeled me a “coward.” Unfortunately I did not take the post down before it was noticed by bloggers at The Daily Kos and MyDD (among other places) who are, humorously enough, now calling on John McCain to apologize for it.

Because apparently John McCain is responsible for what random internet nuts post on open blog forums.

They’re also submitting links to that post to places like Digg and Reddit in a vain attempt to use it as evidence to shore up the “sowing seeds of hatred” narrative they’ve been trying to manufacture these last few days.

Because they’d rather talk about that than Obama’s long-standing ties to terrorists and political extremists...

O.K. Spot the cognitive dissonance in those last two paras, shall we?

"sowing seeds of hatred" narrative they've been trying to manufacture these last few days

Obama's long-standing ties to terrorists and political extremists

"Sure, he's scary and dangerous and unAmerican 'pals around with terrorists,' oh and by the way his name sounds a LOT like "Osama" and he WAS a Muslim (although he's -not- an Arab, okay, PHEW) and by the way there's this great video you need to see and terror terror terror terror...but um, we mean it all in the most benign possible way, really. No hate here! Play nice! TRAITOR KILL HIM--no, dammit, I said -play nice.-" (finger wag)

meanwhile, also, too, not very far away, there is the charming Obama Monkey Doll Guy.

All that said, I agree with the author about one thing: graphic of a male arm punching a woman in the mouth, regardless of who the woman is? Also pretty fucked up. M-I-S-O-G-Y-N-Y, yes, duh?

I love my fellow creatures, I do...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Reaping the whirlwind

John McCain is booed by his own rabidly anti-Obama crowds for telling them that maybe they ought to put down the pitchforks and torches after all.

The anger is getting raw at Republican rallies and John McCain is acting to tamp it down. McCain was booed by his own supporters Friday when, in an abrupt switch from raising questions about Barack Obama's character, he described the Democrat as a "decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States."

A sense of grievance spilling into rage has gripped some GOP events this week as McCain supporters see his presidential campaign lag against Obama. Some in the audience are making it personal, against the Democrat. Shouts of "traitor," "terrorist," "treason," "liar," and even "off with his head" have rung from the crowd at McCain and Sarah Palin rallies, and gone unchallenged by them.

...When a visibly angry McCain supporter in Waukesha, Wis., on Thursday told the candidate "I'm really mad" because of "socialists taking over the country," McCain stoked the sentiment. "I think I got the message," he said. "The gentleman is right." He went on to talk about Democrats in control of Congress.

On Friday, McCain rejected the bait....

Um, yay? Still three and a half weeks to go, though, and that Ayers ad...and there's still your charming assistant running around doing her best Anita-Bryant-at-Nuremberg impression...

Well. And now for your moment of WTF?

"I don't trust Obama," a woman said. "I have read about him. He's an Arab."

McCain shook his head in disagreement, and said:

"No, ma'am. He's a decent, family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with (him) on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign is all about."

Arab: decent family man. Arab: decent family man.

"He ain't Arab, he's my colleague..."

'k then.

But no, there's no -racism- here or anything, so -stop saying that.- I mean, we totally almost don't even mind that he's -black.- What more do you want, for heaven's sake...?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

"That one."

ETA: teh remix (thanks, trin)

So basically what we have here is Archie Bunker without the charm.

This is what’s really unsettling: you take into account this is him on his -best behavior.- I mean he’s actively trying *not* to come off like a racist, condescending prick, on account of he must know that whatever he thinks in his pebbly little heart o' hearts, no one -actually likes- a racist, condescending prick, and he's trying to win an election here, not demonstrate How To Lose Friends And Alienate People--With John McCain! (part XXVII). I think.

I mean, not that I -actually- think a guy who thinks "gooks" is a fine and dandy word to keep on using no matter what people say, or who repeatedly voted against recognizing Martin Luther King Day and then later showed up to apologize for it whilst having a black man hold an umbrella over his head might -actually-have any kind of problem with the ol' racism. (Or sexism, and/or homophobia, for that matter). Nonono. I'm sure he doesn't have a bigoted bone in his body. So few people -really- do, you know. Also, too, he's another uniter-not-a-divider, is John McCain.

But I think people are picking up on what poor self-control this shows, which is -really- worrying even to people who aren’t that moved by the idea that he’s racist. How frigging hard is it to remember to look someone in the eye and call him by his name ffs? Can’t he even manage -that-?

Or...maybe he thinks it’s a sign of weakness to meet the bare minimum of civility; certainly his labored incredulity at the idea of zomg sitting down and -talking to- The Enemy as a part of (shudder) -diplomacy--–yeah, it fits. "Leadership" as brittle alpha-male posturing and ego-wanking, yeah, fuck knows we haven't had enough of -that- these past eight years. I don’t know who he thinks he’s impressing in the debate there, though. No one who wasn’t already at least as big an asshole as he is, and that lot, I don’t think he needed to worry about losing their vote to Obama to begin with.

What was that about -character-, again?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

What, us torture?

Sickened but not surprised:

Documents say detainee near insanity

By PAMELA HESS, Associated Press Writer 47 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - A U.S. military officer warned Pentagon officials that an American detainee was being driven nearly insane by months of punishing isolation and sensory deprivation in a U.S. military brig, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

While the treatment of prisoners at detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and in Afghanistan and Iraq have long been the subject of human rights complaints and court scrutiny, the documents shed new light on how two American citizens and a legal U.S. resident were treated in military jails inside the United States.

The Bush administration ordered the men to be held in military jails as "enemy combatants" for years of interrogations without criminal charges, which would not have been allowed in civilian jails.

The men were interrogated by the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency, repeatedly denied access to attorneys and mail from home and contact with anyone other than guards and their interrogators. They were deprived of natural light for months and for years were forbidden even minor distractions such as a soccer ball or a dictionary.

"I will continue to do what I can to help this individual maintain his sanity, but in my opinion we're working with borrowed time," an unidentified Navy brig official wrote of prisoner Yaser Esam Hamdi in 2002. "I would like to have some form of an incentive program in place to reward him for his continued good behavior, but more so, to keep him from whacking out on me."

("whacking out on me")

So. Anyone planning to ask Senator McCain about this tonight? I mean I'd really like to hear what he in particular has to say, all things considered.

Carnival of Feminist Sexual Freedom and Autonomy

up at XXBN.

Next edition: right here! on October 27. See here for general information about the Carnival and how to submit entries. Guidelines/suggestions for this edition to follow; stay tuned.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Mind you, we -could- just slink back into the comforting miasma of xenophobic hate.

It's not that I don't -get- feelings of pessismism and loathing of one's fellow humans, you understand. Witness for instance this charming and under-reported story of children being gassed at a mosque in Dayton, Ohio., bizarrely entitled "No evidence of hate crime"

A 10-year-old girl sprayed in the face with a chemical Friday, Sept. 26, while at a local Islamic mosque was not the victim of a hate crime, police Chief Richard Biehl said.

The girl was watching children whose parents and relatives had gathered at the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, 26 Josie St., to celebrate Ramadan when she noticed two men standing outside a basement window about 9:40 p.m., according to police.

One of the men then sprayed something through the open window and into the girl's face from a white can with a red top, according to a police report. The girl said she immediately felt burning on her face and felt "sick to her stomach," the report stated.

Other children and a woman in the room felt affects from the chemical and the mosque was evacuated.

"The men didn't say anything to her (before she was sprayed)," Biehl said. "There was nothing left at the scene or anything that makes us believe this is a biased crime."

...Mosque board member Tarek Sabagh said many people within the mosque speculated that the incident was the result of a DVD about Islamic radicalism titled "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West" that was mailed to area homes by its producers and circulated as a paid advertisement with more than 70 newspapers, including the Dayton Daily News.

"We are not linking the two at all," Sabagh said.

Oh, yes, "Obsession."

(not hyperlinking)

Obsession - Radical Islam's War Against the West is a new film that will challenge the way you look at the world.

Almost 70 years ago, Europe found itself at war with one of the most sinister figures in modern history: Adolf Hitler. When the last bullet of World War II was fired, over 50 million people were dead, and countless countries were both physically and economically devastated. Hitler’s bloody struggle sought to forge the world anew, in the crucible of Nazi values. How could such a disaster occur? How could the West have overlooked the evil staring it in the face, for so long, before standing forcefully against it?

Today, we find ourselves confronted by a new enemy, also engaged in a violent struggle to transform our world. As we sleep in the comfort of our homes, a new evil rises against us. A new menace is threatening, with all the means at its disposal, to bow Western Civilization under the yoke of its values. That enemy is Radical Islam.

Using images from Arab TV, rarely seen in the West, Obsession reveals an ‘insider's view' of the hatred the Radicals are teaching, their incitement of global jihad, and their goal of world domination. With the help of experts, including first-hand accounts from a former PLO terrorist, a Nazi youth commander, and the daughter of a martyred guerilla leader, the film shows, clearly, that the threat is real.

A peaceful religion is being hijacked by a dangerous foe, who seeks to destroy the shared values we stand for. The world should be very concerned.

Yeah, probably. Probably so, at that. Although maybe not for exactly the reasons the authors of this...project think. Oh, they've been mailing it to peoples' homes, unsolicited. 28 million copies so far, apparently. (Oh, and only in the "swing states," curiously enough.) Thousands of which landed in Ohio residents' mailboxes the week before the gassing of the Dayton mosque.

I read the story as reported by the Dayton Daily News, but this was after I had received an email written by a friend of some of the victims of these American terrorists. The matter of fact news report in the Dayton paper didn't come close to conveying the horrific impact of this unthinkable act like the email I had just read, so I asked the email's author for permission to share what they had written. The author was with one of the families from the mosque -- a mother and two of the small children who were in the room that was gassed -- the day after the attack occurred.

"She told me that the gas was sprayed into the room where the babies and children were being kept while their mothers prayed together their Ramadan prayers. Panicked mothers ran for their babies, crying for their children so they could flee from the gas that was burning their eyes and throats and lungs. She grabbed her youngest in her arms and grabbed the hand of her other daughter, moving with the others to exit the building and the irritating substance there.

"The paramedic said the young one was in shock, and gave her oxygen to help her breathe. The child couldn't stop sobbing.

"This didn't happen in some far away place -- but right here in Dayton, and to my friends. Many of the Iraqi refugees were praying together at the Mosque Friday evening. People that I know and love...

The presidential campaign edition of the Obsession DVD, produced and currently being distributed by the Clarion Fund, carries the endorsement of the chair of the counter-terrorism department of the U.S. Naval War College, using the name and authority of an official U.S. military institution not only to validate an attack the religion of Islam, but to influence a political campaign. For these reasons, this endorsement has been included in MRFF's second lawsuit against the Department of Defense, which was filed on September 25 in the Federal District Court in Kansas.

My opinion as an individual and thoroughly appalled human being:

John McCain has a moral obligation to publicly censure the Clarion Fund; to denounce the inflammatory, anti-Muslim message of Obsession; and to do everything in his power to stop any further campaign activities by his supporters that have the potential to incite violence.

Which I'm sure he will, any day now, 'coz, you know, we're all about taking the elevated, bipartisan, non-hatin' tone these next few weeks.

And, it's perfectly understandable that people are reluctant to classify the mosque attack as a hate crime, or connect it in any way to a boogity-boogity-THE ISLAMOFASCIST HORDES ARE COMING FOR YA movie sent to a tenth of the U.S. population, including right there in the town where it happened. Or that the Islam-baiting is anything other than a perfectly rational response to extremist zealots who've already targeted us once, after all (which, we have none of our own, extremist zealots that is, or anyway those are worser, always), and has nothing to do with good ol'fashioned Fear And Hatred Of The Other, Especially When The Other Is "Swarthy" And Have Funny Names And Are Supposed To Be Doing Menial Tasks For Us Instead Of Being All Uppity And Shit.

Of course.

The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing was a racially motivated terrorist attack on September 15, 1963 by members of a Ku Klux Klan group in Birmingham, Alabama in the United States. The bombing of the African-American church resulted in the deaths of four girls.

- Wikipedia

I can’t remember a time when I really didn’t know about this story. About four girls whose lives were taken from them because of the color of their skin at a place of community, a place where above all they should have been safe. In short they lost their lives because of hatred a hate so strong that no where and no one is safe.

...Last night as I read the accounts of the gassing at the mosque in Dayton Ohio, last Friday, my mind continued to flash on the pictures of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing.

It is disturbing to read how Dayton Police could not think this was a hate crime. As if the perpetrators walked up to any random building, lighted, filled with people, with cars in the parking lot, then sprayed something in the windows was a normal occurrence. No, not targeted at a group for their beliefs, they merely mistook the irritant gas sprayed for a can of Glade Air Freshener...

yes, THAT, dammit.

On who "Joe Sixpack" really is.

See, JSP isn't referring to our rock hard abs. JSP literally means "the blue collar guy who picks up a six pack of cheap beer every night after work and goes home to watch Nascar (and probably beat his wife/kids and light a cross on the black neighbor's lawn but we won't say anything about that wink wink nudge nudge)." That is the message that they are trying to get across to America.

when in fact, Joe Sixpack IS the black neighbor, and he's having a Nascar watching party with his boyfriend and his sister and her girlfriend, and yeah, sure, they're drinking beer, only Joe's not having too much because he has to get up early to finish writing his sermon. Then they all play Scrabble and talk about trends in science fiction and Japanese horror movies for a while before putting the kids to bed. Guess how they all vote? Go on, guess.

And this bit, I really liked this:

I wish I were only talking to one camp. But I'm talking to my own, too. We "liberal elitists." Because we say the same kind of things when talking about "the average American."

...And that's kind of dangerous, and it's also kind of not true. Like I said, there are those people out there, and we know what camp they are in. But how many of us assumed "the average American" would say that Palin won the debate, because she didn't fall down and start speaking in tongues? And what are the polls saying? And hasn't our side also been moaning about how "Joe Six-Pack" wouldn't vote for a black man? Assuming "the average American" is that special demographic? Do we really think he did so well in the primaries because there's such a vast quantity of "intellectual elites" out there to compensate for all of the average people who'd naturally vote right wing? Come on, people...

(read the rest. Srsly, do.)

This. This. This is the problem I've been having with the lovely nihilism punctuated with spasms of GO TEAM!! all over way too many of the hardcore politicos, from mainstream horserace watching a la Kos down to the more esoteric branches of feminism and beyond.

Because, you know something: it's all too easy for a "the rabble is so easily swayed by this cheap crap, if only they were all as enlightened as me/us" to tip over into the sort of kitschy reactionary bullshit we're looking at right now. (Gerard Van der Leun, here's looking at you). All it takes is a jolt of fear in the right place and we're off to the bunker.

The problem isn't "intellectual elitism." The problem is people on either side of the aisle who're so busy congratulating our clever selves for not letting anyone put anything over on -us- that we forgot what we stood for in the damn first place.

I think, last I checked, it supposedly had something to do with "other people." Democracy, don't you know. The antithesis of "elitism."

You know, Joe and Jane Sixpack. All those zillions of -people- out there. Salt of the earth for sure, maybe, possibly; just don't trust them to find their own ass with a map and a flashlight, the dumbasses

Unlike,, who totally know what we're doing.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

One more on Palin

yes, exactly.

All the glaring defects so blatantly on display in her debate with Joe Biden -- and that make her candidacy so darkly comical -- would be the same if she were a hockey dad instead of a "hockey mom." In fact, the cynical attempt to foist Palin on the nation as a symbol of feminist progress is an insult to all women regardless of their political orientation.

...As Biden showed quite convincingly when he spoke about his modest background and his continuing connection with Main Street, perceptive, intelligent discourse is in no way identical with elitism. Palin's phony populism is as insulting to working- and middle-class Americans as it is to American women. Why are basic diction and intellectual coherence presumed to be out of reach for "real people"?

And why don't we expect more from American conservatives? Indeed, why don't they demand more from their own movement? Aren't they disgusted that their party would again nominate a person devoid of qualifications for one of the nation's highest offices? Some, like Michael Gerson and Kathleen Parker, have expressed discomfort with this farce -- and been subjected, in Parker's case, to abuse from many of the same numbskulls whom Palin undoubtedly delights.

The ultimate irony of Palin's rise is that it has occurred at a moment when Americans may finally have grown weary of pseudo-populism -- when intelligence, judgment, diligence and seriousness are once again valued, simply because we are in such deep trouble. We got into this mess because we elected a man who professed to despise elitism, which he detected in everyone whose opinions differed from his prejudices. That was George W. Bush, of course. Biden was too polite and restrained to say it, but the dumbing down is more of the same, too.

And then, too, of course: Sarah Palin, the Ultimate Right Wing Success Story

Palin likewise depended on the Religious Right in her run for governor: the “Alaska Family Council, a group that formed that year and is loosely affiliated with Focus on the Family, distributed a voter guide showing Palin's alignment with its ideology.” And when a GOP state representative prematurely left office last year, Palin used the opportunity to shore up her base:

Sarah Palin appointed Wes Keller, an elder in her church, to replace him. He introduced a bill to make the performance of intact dilation and extraction abortions – so-called “partial-birth abortions” – a felony, and…plans to introduce legislation mandating the teaching of intelligent design in public schools.

Palin’s rise from a small right-wing church in Alaska to a slot on a major party ticket gives lie to the notion that the Religious Right is fading away. Or as Goldberg puts it, “the Christian right often has its greatest triumphs just after it's been pronounced moribund.”

Friday, October 03, 2008

Yeah, sums it up as well as anything.

The Stump's take on the debate tonight, that is.

although frankly this was pretty damn prescient as well.

"You pucked with the wrong Ice President."

ETA: Also, too, also:

Sarah Palin's Soliloquy.

By liam - October 3, 2008, 12:07PM
I was a Barracuda of Wasilla yup when I put the lipstick on my mouth like the Hockey Moms used or shall I wear a red yup and how he vetted me under the Cindy scowl and I thought well as well never blink as another never blink and then I asked him with my winks to ask again yup and then he asked me would I yup to say yup my abstinence flower and first I put my maverick ways around him yup and he maverick and we mavericks he could feel my maverickness all bovine yup and his heart was going like mad and yup I said yup I will Yup.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Can't argue with that logic!

I'm only posting this because I was about to write something that approximated this level of incoherence by way of sarcastically exaggerating and conflating all the various anti-Obama narratives running around; but this person seems to have done the job for me, and serious, too (unless it's a troll, I suppose)

comment to this story on Palin:

The liberal media is foaming at the mouth at the thought of a woman VP and a War Hero in command of the government of our country!.....instead, their misogyny, sexism and white guilt remorse have pushed their clouded minds to support a young, naive individual that has no experience in governance or foreign affairs and his only strength is the skill of oratory.

The fact is, America still does not know who the real Barack Hussein Obama is, but Americans remember Obama’s 20 year close association and blood relationship with his religious leader, priest and father image, Jeremiah Wright.
Americans remember vividly the hideous videos of Jeremiah Wright's congregation which included Obama and Oprah, when they were celebrating in bombastic joy, the murderous attack on America on 9/11.

Americans that love our country and have always been proud of it, know Barack is a radical extremist and black supremacist that has a hidden agenda that is a serious threat to the American values we all treasure and cherish.

The sexist liberal media will not succeed in destroying the McCain/Palin presidential campaign the way they destroyed Hillary Clinton's effort, because Americans including all the democrats that supported Hillary Clinton will make the choice to put our Country First and vote for McCain and Sarah Palin.

Country First!
McCain/Sarah Palin

yeah, take THAT, you bunch of radical war-hero-hating sexist P.C. liberal fundamentalist Moslem Christians! Shame on you for trying to fob that young naive wily twenty-years' worth of indoctrinated rookie with a sinister hidden extremist agenda on us! Why do you hate America, why?...


...oh, God. Is this supposed to be one o' those PUMA people? Or are they just playing one on the Internets, or is there a difference, or does it matter? It's a bit of a Popular Peoples' Front of Judea POV at this point in any case, I realize, but...