Some links Amp has read lately

  • Lots of great stuff on Ms. Musings (so what else is new?). Start with this post, collecting many good quotes and links about the politics of first ladies. There’s even a good piece from Andrew Sullivan, of all people.

  • Also on Ms. Musings, Sepp Blatter (what a name!) has recieved much well-deserved derision for his suggestion that professional women soccer players try to increase their league’s popularity by wearing skimpier uniforms. The sad thing is, this idiot is actually the president of the international soccer federation.
  • And again via Ms.Musings, three new (to me) blogs that seem interesting. Bloggers for Choice is pretty much what it sounds like. Rebel Dad is a blog by, and focusing on, stay-at-home fathers. And Respectful of Otters is a very well-reasoned political blog about “politics, HIV, health care, psychology, baseball, feminism, et cetera.”
  • In the Village Voice, Richard Goldstein discusses the election, Kerry’s cultivation of macho, and why people made such a big deal of Dean’s “scream” (which to me, watching the clip, seemed like nothing at all).
    Why was Dean’s performance so unsettling? The most common explanation’that it wasn’t presidential’doesn’t get at the gut-level distress even many of his supporters felt. No self-deprecating shtick can overcome this blunder. Dean still has the fans and the funds to be a player, but no matter how well he does in New Hampshire, he’ll be haunted by that manic moment for the rest of his political life.

    Dubya couldn’t remember the names of foreign leaders, but that didn’t ground him. No one ever lost macho points for being stupid. Male hysteria is another story. Most women recoil from it, and most men show contempt, which is why late-night comics (all of them guys) rushed to piss on Dean. In a more relaxed time, his performance might have been regarded as passionate and roguish. But in this anxious age, it tapped into one of the worst nightmares for many men: losing your grip in a clinch. For a wannabe dude-in-chief, that’s not just a sign of instability; it’s a violation of gender expectations.

    Via The Mahablog.

  • While I’m quoting Goldstein, this article on male opposition to gay marriage is good. (According to polls, men are more against gay marriage than women – even though women are more likely to be religious than men.)
    Submissive women and downcast gays were once living proof of straight-male supremacy. Now, both groups refuse to accept subordination, and it’s macho that stands to be stigmatized. Straight men still hold the lion’s share of wealth and power, but their prestige has definitely eroded. No wonder they have such strong feelings about gay marriage. It’s not a question of faith or preservation of the family. The real issue here is the “acceptance” of homosexuals, which, for many straight guys, represents yet another blow to their already fragile status.
  • Echidne is all over a Washington Post editorial praising the jobless recovery. (Gotta love that liberal media!)
  • Quote of the day, from my housemate Phil.
    You know the best part of owning a bubble machine? Setting it up in some not-too-visible place in the living room and then not turning it on until everyone is doing acid. Then, everyone would be like, “Where are all these bubbles coming from? They can’t be coming from the sky, we have a ceiling.” You know what would be even better than a bubble machine? A lizard machine.
  • Colorado University is using sex parties to recruit athletes. “They told us, you know, ‘This is what you get when you come to Colorado.” There have been at least two complaints of rape, but the University is going to continue the practice because they don’t want to lose their recruiting edge, according to a local DA. Via Frogblog.
  • Matthew Yglesias at (oddly enough) Crescat Sententia and Andrew Sullivan at (not so oddly) attack the latest anti-gay-marriage meme: that same-sex marriage has somehow caused a decline in straight marriage in Scandinavian countries. One big problem with this theory: They don’t have same-sex marriage in those countries. Whoops!

    Update: Gabriel Rosenberg has written an excellent response, too.

  • Arthur Silber correctly points out that the decision to invade Iraq – and to spin intelligence to make Saddam sound as dangerous as possible – were both policy decisions, and shouldn’t be fobbed off on “bad intelligence.” as he points out, the Clintonites had the exact same “bad intelligence” Bush did, yet they didn’t decide to invade Iraq.
  • The news from hell on earth - pardon me, I mean Florida:
    Prosecutors in Seminole County say they might ask a veteran judge to be removed from a rape case because of comments the judge made about the victim.

    Court records indicate Circuit Judge Gene Stephenson made the comment earlier this week while looking at a photograph of the victim. The record quotes the judge as saying, “Why would he want to rape her? She doesn’t look like a day at the beach.”

    They might ask him to be removed? Might? Jesus. I’d ask for him to be mauled by bears. Via Trish Wilson.

  • “The illiteracy level of our children are appalling.”George W. Bush. Attacking folks for gaffes like this is pretty unsubstantive, I admit, but he really asks for it, doesn’t he? Via Trish Wilson, whose new woodgrain blog design looks nice.
  • Common sense was deported long ago.
    Suarez, now 43, legally entered the United States from Mexico at the age of 16, only to be raped and beaten as the teenage sex slave of a man 55 years her elder. She was convicted of killing the monster, despite her claims of innocence, and finally won her parole last month after battling for years.

    Now she sits in another prison, awaiting a deportation hearing scheduled for today. Suarez is a permanent legal resident, but not a U.S. citizen, and immigration law says that, with an aggravated felony on her record, she is to be deported.

    “Justice,” Suarez said, “is so hard to understand.”

    The lady has a gift for understatement. Via TalkLeft.

  • New Scientist has an interview with Alexandra Aikhenvald, a linguist who specializes in documenting dying languages.
    Why is it important to preserve these languages?

    First, to learn about how people communicate and how the human mind works. What are the categories that are important enough for people to express them in their languages?

    If these so-called “exotic” languages die, we’ll be left with just one world view. This won’t be very interesting, and we’ll have lost a vast amount of information about human nature and how people perceive the world.

    I wish the interview were longer and more detailed, but what little there is, is interesting. Via Boing Boing.

This entry posted in Elections and politics, Iraq, Link farms, Same-Sex Marriage. Bookmark the permalink. 

9 Responses to Some links Amp has read lately

  1. 1
    Simon says:

    Not only did the Clinton administration have the same bad intelligence on Iraq that Bush did, but the Bush administration has actually been defending its actions by saying that the Germans and French also believed Iraq had WMDs. But, as someone on the Lehrer newshour pointed out a couple days ago, Germany and France didn’t unilaterally invade Iraq.

    “Straight men still hold the lion’s share of wealth and power …” It’d be more accurate, and more perceptive, to say that the lion’s share of wealth and power are held by straight men. Most straight men don’t have very much of that wealth and power at all, but they’re constantly being told (as in the above quote) that they should. So naturally they wonder where it went. And they foolishly blame the women, minorities, and gays who are loudly seeking power, instead of the few straight white men who are quietly hoarding it.

  2. 2
    Bob says:

    My blog keeps on getting posts that are related to Gambling, porn,satellite tv and pharmaceuticals,does anyone know why?

  3. 3
    rea says:

    “The illiteracy level of our children are appalling.” — George W. Bush

    I’d criticize his grammar, but I’m too busy trying to put food on my family. If only the pie were higher!

  4. 4
    Ananna says:

    Dear Bob,

    Apparently this isn’t an isolated occurrence. It is the newest form of spam, blogspamming. There are plug-ins for Movable Type that are a pain for posters, but can stop these spam robots, but sometimes it is people doing it, but I think it is usually robots that are spamming. I don’t know much more than that, other than I have read on other blogs that they have been seeing this happen too and have either been removing them by hand or finding technical solutions to the problem.

    Good luck with getting rid of it, it may just go away on its own, if it is hit-and-run, I’m not sure.

  5. 5
    Thlayli says:

    At the seeding draw for the 1994 World Cup, Robin Williams made several rather obvious jokes about Sepp Blatter’s name.

  6. 6
    Rivka says:

    Thanks for the kind words! I appreciate it.

  7. Pingback: Modulator

  8. 7
    Jake Squid says:

    You know what’s so mind-boggling about the shrub quotes? It’s that he was reading a prepared speech (though w/ some ad-libbing) and that all his mis-statements (and there are a lot) are faithfully recorded on the Official White House site.

  9. 8
    marketocrats says:

    Politically irresponsible, despotic, capitalist organisations now exert themselves to steal real power from democratic bodies elected by and for the peoples of humanity —the wild farcical exuberance of the electoral theft that occurred in the US in November 2000 being merely the most palpable instance of a coup d’État permanent. Such misanthropic conglomerates infest the Troika (Europe, USA and Japan) where local peoples undergo massive brainwashing, near-irreparable subservience, socio-cultural rape and identity loss. Capital and power concentration was rendered possible as a result of the recent IT revolution. It is going to be enhanced even further through human life merchandisation as the effect of human genome privatisation and human body patentability. “Market” absolutism has outsmarted fascism and communism. For “market” dictatorship is hard to sell even to ingenuous victims, marketocrats are wild about the globalisation buzzword —referring to a process that is, however, neither included in nor linked with marketisation as worldwide economic integration precedented “free”-“market” dogma.

    As the fantastic Iraqi imposture shows, ultraconservative economism is deception and thievery. The unmitigatedly anachronistic notion of colonial possession is overtly looked down on and substituted for an incongruous mix of compassionate, fuzzy, maudlin op-ed philippics spouted at home and coarse plundering on the spot. Marketocrats want to extirpate natural resources and deracinate popular culture from sovereign territories. Nature and culture are not separate spheres: mankind is their porous border. That comes out right ! Marketocracy have plans for them too: mass unemployment, underemployment, transient employability, precarity, overexploitation, exclusion and clochardisation. Even children are the object of much solicitude on the part of corporate advocates of global economic liberty: no less than 300 million minors are handed over to bestial greediness. For market ayatollahs, juvenile workforce is a simple adjustment variable. As is financial criminality caused by the business sector, big banks, tax heavens and mafias. Criminal economic “freedom” yields compassionately-conservative thugs a good trillion euros per year: more than the cumulative GDP of one third of humanity, more than 12 % of US GDP.

    The extravagant merchandisation of words and things, bodies and souls, plus nature and culture is leading to more discrepancies. In 1960 people living in the richest countries (20 % of world population) earned 30 times as much as did the 20 % poorest in the world. In 1995 the income of the highest 20 % of the same well-off group was then 82 times higher than the lowest 20 %. In more than 70 countries, the income per capita has fallen to what it was 20 years ago. Today 3 billion people (half humanity) live with less than 2 euros a day. Admittedly the current affluence of goods never happened before anywhere on earth. Yet homelessness and hunger are on the rise. One third of the 4 ½ billion people living in developing countries are not provided with drinking water. One fifth of children are not absorbing enough calories or proteins. Two billion people —one third of humanity— are anaemic. According to a study by the Organisation of the United Nations (OUN), a 4-% tax levied on the wealth accumulated by the 225 world-richest people would be enough to meet basic needs —food, drinking water, education and health— of the entire human population. Thirteen billion euros only are wanted to meet sanitary and nutritional needs of humanity. Every year, Unitedstatians and Europeans spend 13 billion euros in… perfumes.

    Even solid organisations such as states may be overthrown by marketocrats. The irony lies in the fact the removal of weakest states caused by marketocracy brings about the outbreak of religiocracy, a rival to ultraconservatism. Marletocrats and religiocrats want the same world. They are competitors, not enemies. Collective-imaginary metaphrases like bin Laden and Bush are quite interchangeable. Competition between “economic” and “religious” bigots has caused the proliferation of countless, ominous lawless areas. Novel ungovernable chaotic entities surface. Barbarous realities backfire to the detriment of the pseudo-postmodern sycophants of modelled economism. Ivory towers, too, can fall…