Monday, February 28, 2011
Republicans in the House of Representatives are mounting an assault on women’s health and freedom that would deny millions of women access to affordable contraception and life-saving cancer screenings and cut nutritional support for millions of newborn babies in struggling families. And this is just the beginning. The budget bill pushed through the House last Saturday included the defunding of Planned Parenthood and myriad other cuts detrimental to women. It’s not likely to pass unchanged, but the urge to compromise may take a toll on these programs. And once the current skirmishing is over, House Republicans are likely to use any legislative vehicle at hand to continue the attack.Once again, the Republican hypocrisy I wrote about recently is self-evident. On the one hand, legislation aimed at curtailing women's rights to an abortion is being discussed in a variety of states. The Republican majority in Congress states openly that it's main goal at this point is repealing abortion rights. (Jobs? What jobs? Who the hell cares about anything as ridiculously unimportant as that when you can rummage in a woman's uterus instead?). On the other hand, Republicans are trying to make sure that children who have already been born are deprived of health care and nutrition:
Beyond the familiar terrain of abortion or even contraception, House Republicans would inflict harm on low-income women trying to have children or who are already mothers. Their continuing resolution would cut by 10 percent the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, better known as WIC, which serves 9.6 million low-income women, new mothers, and infants each month, and has been linked in studies to higher birth weight and lower infant mortality. The G.O.P. bill also slices $50 million from the block grant supporting programs providing prenatal health care to 2.5 million low-income women and health care to 31 million children annually.After all this, how can anybody be blind enough to believe that the Republican anti-abortion frenzy has anything to do with "saving babies"? How can anybody be inhuman enough to support these cannibalistic measures?
I have always been fascinated - in the same way that one is fascinated with really nasty insects - with people who support Republicans. Anybody who has been graced with an ounce of brain matter can see very easily that this is a party that would rob everybody to benefit the tiny group of the extremely rich. That hates women to the degree of having a near epileptic fit whenever a woman tries to live her own life. That would gladly see children from poor families die out. That has come as near fascism as possible and is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to take the next step. How can anybody keep supporting them and still live with themselves? Isn't it obvious that these are vile creeps whose tenancy on the garbage heap of history has been guaranteed for a long time now?
Come on, people, try to forget about women's uteri for a while and concentrate on how many times the Republicans have lied to you. Weren't you told that their goal was to help you through this devastating economic crisis? Well, they lied as usual. Right now they are not only attempting to kill off poor babies but are also trying to destroy the housing rescue programs instituted by Obama's administration. There will be over 2,000,000 foreclosures this year.
Do you really hate women so much that you would keep voting for a party that is robbing you blind? Really?
Sunday, February 27, 2011
into English, Spanish
into French, Spanish
into English, French
Italian, Portuguese, Catalan
Everyone has already said everything I’m thinking….but I wanted to add that I’m one more person that loves you
Bless you sweetie!
I have no idea what’s going on here but I love ((((((you))))))
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Benito Jeronimo Feijoo, one of the greatest thinkers of the Spanish Enlightenment, did not write his famous feminist essay "In Defense of Women" because "his mother was nicer to him than other writers' mothers and she spent more quality time with him." Both Feijoo and his mother have been dead for centuries, and their relationship is neither interesting nor relevant.
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So today I put all of the papers I need to grade on the floor, and they reached higher than my ankle. I'm literally ankle-deep in grading. I need to get on this now, before I end up knee-deep in ungraded assignments.
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"That's strange," I said. "Is something wrong with the syllabus?"
"We have the spring break the week after next," students answered looking at me like I was retarded.
How is it possible to forget about a vacation? I understand forgetting about work but vice versa?
Friday, February 25, 2011
Dear Rep. Franklin,This is Rep. Franklin's contact info:
I applaud your efforts to support the rights of zygote citizens of Georgia by criminalizing miscarriages and investigating every instance of fetal death as a potential crime. The Georgia State Assembly knows that life begins at the moment of conception, and a fertilized egg death is a human death — a death that we should all grieve, and of course investigate to the fullest extent until we find the responsible party and bring them to justice (the death penalty, which your bill prescribes as the punishment for killing a pre-born Georgia citizen, is definitely appropriate here). I couldn’t agree more, and I would like to help.
As I’m sure you know, more than 50% of fertilized eggs –Georgia citizens! — naturally don’t implant, and are flushed out of the body during menstruation. I am personally concerned that my own murdering woman-body may have flushed out some human beings, and I may have flushed them down the toilet without knowing that I was disposing of Georgia citizens in such an undignified way. This must be remedied. I would like to be sure that I am not killing any more Georgia citizens — and that if I am, they are able to receive a proper funeral and not a burial at sea, and that our state police can dedicate valuable time and resources to investigating their deaths.
To that end, I attach a picture of my latest used tampon. I am preserving this tampon, as well as all of my other tampons, pads, feminine hygiene products and soiled panties from my current menstrual cycle, so that the Georgia State Police can come collect them as evidence. I would also be happy to drop the specimens off at your office, should you want to examine them yourself.
Please let me know if I can make an appointment to give you these items. Or, since I appreciate that you are a very busy man, please let me know when the police will be by my home to collect them, as my next cycle is rapidly approaching and they are starting to smell. I cannot keep them in my refrigerator for much longer.
Thanks for all the work you do to further the pro-life cause.
401 Coverdell Legislative Office Building
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
As a good '50s wife, she typed the 632-page dissertation in which Seymour traced baseball from a childhood pursuit of boys into a full-fledged business and American cultural centerpiece. Cornell University awarded him his doctorate in 1956, and the dissertation helped launch sports history as a legitimate scholarly pursuit. It grew into his first baseball history book, published in 1960.Dr. Seymour's wife knows now that she probably contributed more to that dissertation than the academic world would consider appropriate. In the preface, Seymour acknowledged "the help of numerous individuals and organizations."He did not mention Dorothy.Everybody knows that being the partner of a person in the throes of writing a doctoral dissertation is very hard. Those of who who suffered through the process of researching, writing, revising and going nuts over the dissertation know how much we owe to those people who were by our side and put up with us in the process. Seymour, however, felt nothing similar. A wife for him was not as person. She was a convenient object who was supposed to produce and shut up.
The most frequent argument male chauvinists use to disparage women is that the entirety of human civilization was created by men while women just sat there twiddling their thumbs and sometimes managing to look pretty which only served to distract men from their all-important endeavors. I wonder how many of the great works of literature and scientific advances owe their existence to the silenced wives who toiled in the background and whose input was never recognized.
Fellow blogger Izgad was kind enough to allow me to share with you this picture of a posting board that is located in the back of the college classroom where he teaches.
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York.In Richard III, Shakespeare presents Richard as a nasty, ugly, humpbacked character who compensates for his lack of male charms with an unquenchable thirst for power:
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun,
And descant on mine own deformity:
And therefore,--since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,--
I am determined to prove a villain,
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 by Henry Tudor who started the Tudor dynasty. His death is often considered to be the symbolic end of the Middle Ages in England. Richard has been accused (and this is very important) of murdering his two young nephews who were legitimate successors to the throne. Ricardians believe that Richard was unjustly accused of killing the boys. They have offered very strong arguments as to why it makes no sense to accuse Richard of killing the two young princes and as to who was the real murderer. I will acquaint you with the Ricardian version(s) of events little by little.
Now you might ask why I, who am neither a medievalist nor a scholar of English history, became so interested in Richard III. When I was 9, I discovered the story of Boris Godunov, the Russian tsar who, just like Richard III, rose to the throne against enormous odds and was accused of killing the little prince Dmitri who was a legitimate heir to the throne. There are two famous literary works in Russian literature that take competing positions as to Godunov's guilt in the murder of the little Prince. Pushkin, the greatest Russian poet, wrote a famed play called Boris Godunov that supports the version of Godunov's guilt.
A.K. Tolstoy (not to be confused with a much inferior Leo Tolstoy, the author of the vapid Anna Karenina and War and Peace), however, wrote a much better (in my opinion) play titled Tsar Boris where he suggests that Godunov was not to blame for killing the Prince. I was so impressed by these competing literary accounts that I wrote my first piece of literary criticism at the ripe old age of nine, comparing these two works of literature.
The myth of Boris Godunov, an upstart who ascends to the throne as a result of cunning and a murder of a prince of blood, is as much a mark of Russian bloody separation from the Middle Ages as the story of Richard III is of England's.
"Do we have any bread left, honey?" a teacher's partner asks her.
At a party, a well-meaning host often has to approach a teacher and tell her, "Sweetie, we are not in the classroom. It's OK not to answer every single question people ask of others."
My mother who was a teacher of mathematics in our country became very used to students greeting her entrance into the classroom by standing up (which is traditional in our culture.) The students don't sit down until the teacher tells them they may do so. One day, after teaching 10 classes in a row (which was a regular practice in the Soviet Union), she walked into a crowded subway car. there were no empty seats, so many passengers were standing. When she saw all those people standing when she walked in, my mother thought she was in yet another classroom.
"Good evening. Please be seated," she announced in a loud teacherly voice. The passengers regaled her with bewildered stares.
I recently learned my parents gave my younger brother $40, 000 so that he could buy part of a regional airport. These are the same parents who paid $50,000 less for my college education than they did for his, and who told me two years ago that there was no way I could live with them or borrow money from them since they didn't have any.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Unfortunately, the teaching loads of adjuncts and instructors are huge, while the pay is extremely low. As a result, they have to teach part-time at a variety of places just to make ends meet. Who has time and energy to think of research under those conditions? Prospective employers understand that and are unwilling to give tenure-track positions to people who have been in such jobs for a while. After I got the PhD, I knew that I had to do everything I could - and more - to get a tenure-line job. Or I would be out of academia for good. This is an extremely stressful situation to be in, but that's how things are.
People in general just don’t really understand how fantastically, insanely cheap bandwidth is these days. It’s so cheap imagine that if you went to the grocery store and your monthly food bill was a fraction of a penny. . . Yes, there does need to be equipment in place to support all the traffic. But I can buy and roll out enough equipment to provision a small country – say, 10 million people — with 100Mbs synchronous connections for not more than 100 million dollars. (Yep, really.)
I had absolutely no idea about this because this is not what we keep hearing about the pressing need to kill unlimited usage plans.
Today, I'm showing a movie in two of my classes. In order to ensure that the audio-visual equipment works well, I stayed until after classes ended yesterday and did a trial run of the DVD. I hate making students waste valuable class time while I fumble with the equipment. So I made sure that everything worked perfectly and left. Today, I come to class and discover that:
a) the person who taught before me didn't log off. Which meant that I had to reboot the computer. This operation takes at least 5 minutes since the computer is not extremely new.
b) the audio-visual equipment was disconnected. There is no legitimate reason why one would need to unplug the sound system and the DVD player that were turned off and weren't bothering anybody. But this is what the inconsiderate colleague did. So I had to crawl around on the floor for ten minutes, messing up my clothes, and letting the students experience the richness of my swearing vocabulary in Spanish while I connected everything back.
The next time I'm showing this movie today is 2 pm. I'm quite resigned to yet another inconsiderate person messing up the equipment yet again.
"Great!" the students responded. "What is the movie about?"
"It's about a grandfather," I explained authoritatively.
The students almost choked with laughter.
This does not bode well for the article I have started to work on and which will be based on this work of literature.
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Let me get to the other religion which is on my mind because I was more excited about the Arab revolution in the Middle East this week, before we heard the horrible news about Lara Logan and I looked at this: 94 journalists last year were killed - that's a lot - a 139 the year before. You know it's forget when you see what we consider tv stars cause there are anchor men and anchor women over there; it's not a reality show. This shit is really dangerous and we do not know the details of what happened there, but I think it's fair to say Muslim men have a bad attitude about women in general and I would just like to say to them, that you're never gonna have this revolution happen, unless there is also a sexual revolution that goes with it.In the ensuing discussion with Tavis Smiley, Maher admitted that he is judging other cultures and defended his right to do so:
I am saying, I'm not prejudiced. That's pre- judging; I'm not pre-judging, I am judging. I'm judging. They're worse, what's wrong with just saying that? You're a cultural relativist; it's not relative.(You can watch the relevant part of the show, read the transcript and see the criticism that has been heaped on Maher as a result of these statements here.)
You know what, when you tolerate intolerance, you're not really being a liberal.This statement could have easily come from Žižek himself.
Not so long ago, the average American man in his 20s had achieved most of the milestones of adulthood: a high-school diploma, financial independence, marriage and children. Today, most men in their 20s hang out in a novel sort of limbo, a hybrid state of semi-hormonal adolescence and responsible self-reliance. This "pre-adulthood" has much to recommend it, especially for the college-educated. But it's time to state what has become obvious to legions of frustrated young women: It doesn't bring out the best in men.
I don’t think that “extended adolescence” is entirely a fiction — the “drifting” phenomenon we see of young men who are waiting for some certainty to strike is real. It’s not in the bars of Manhattan that we have the problems. It’s on the couches and in the basements of much of the rest of the country, where we have an ever-rising percentage of young men hooked on pot, porn, and World of Warcraft, with mama still doing the laundry. It’s not feminism’s fault, of course — it’s the fault of a culture that refuses to believe in men’s capacity to self-regulate and to achieve.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Much of the legal landscape has changed in the 15 years since Congress passed DOMA. The Supreme Court has ruled that laws criminalizing homosexual conduct are unconstitutional. Congress has repealed the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Several lower courts have ruled DOMA itself to be unconstitutional. Section 3 of DOMA will continue to remain in effect unless Congress repeals it or there is a final judicial finding that strikes it down, and the President has informed me that the Executive Branch will continue to enforce the law. But while both the wisdom and the legality of Section 3 of DOMA will continue to be the subject of both extensive litigation and public debate, this Administration will no longer assert its constitutionality in court.
The name of the hotel is also hilariously funny but you have to be a Russian-speaker to get it.
Thank you, reader Michael, for sending this in!
Collective identity is something that somehow brings certain people together.
A Gaza rights group says the ruling Hamas militant group has barred male hairdressers from working in women's salons. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights said Monday that five male hairdressers were interrogated and forced to sign declarations that they wouldn't work in women's salons. Male hairdressers for women are rare in conservative Gaza where genders rarely mix in public. Hamas tried to impose a similar ban last March, but backed down after an outcry. It's the latest attempt by Hamas to impose its strict version of Islamic law on Gaza's 1.5 million people. The group took control of Gaza in 2007. It has also banned women from smoking waterpipes or riding behind men on motorbikes.So how ridiculous are the so-called liberals who claim they are feminist and militate for gay rights, while simultaneously thinking that handing over an entire region to anti-women and anti-gay religious fanatics is a wonderful idea?
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's deputy blamed Google Inc in an interview published on Tuesday for stirring up trouble in the revolution that ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak. "Look what they have done in Egypt, those highly-placed managers of Google, what manipulations of the energy of the people took place there,"Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin told the Wall Street Journal. Such strong comment from one of Putin's most trusted deputies is a clear signal of growing concern among Russian hardliners about the role of the Internet in the unrest which has swept across the Arab world. . . In contrast to state television, Russia's Internet is remarkably free and the home to often scathing criticism of Putin, President Dmitry Medvedev and the entire Russian elite. Russia has so far resisted placing restrictions on the Internet, but analysts say there are a group of hardliners close to Putin who would like to impose controls similar to China's.Putin, who made his career in the KGB during the Soviet times persecuting dissidents and working as a spy, cannot fail to hate the freedom to exchange information that the Internet offers. His attacks on Google are easy to understand for anybody familiar with how the majority of the people in Russia use the Internet. The greatest and most popular Russian search engine, www.yandex.ru, doesn't index websites in the same way that Google does (based on their usefulness and degree of popularity.) Yandex is controlled by certain political and financial groups that make sure, for example, that during elections an independent politician doesn't get his or her name listed in any searches.
One of Putin's main fears is that the Russian people will tire of Yandex's manipulation of information and will switch to Google. For now, this hasn't been happening because the Yandex format is still more familiar to the Russian people. Soon, however, they might start waking up to the idea that a search engine that restricts your access to information isn't worth using.
I'm just afraid that when the Russians finally awaken to Google, we will have already lost the last shreds of net neutrality, and Google will become exactly what Yandex is today: a convenient tool for corrupt politicians and the oligarchs who bought them.
You want to get married. It's taken a while to admit it. Saying it out loud -- even in your mind -- feels kind of desperate, kind of unfeminist, kind of definitely not you, or at least not any you that you recognize. Because you're hardly like those girls on TLC saying yes to the dress and you would never compete for a man like those poor actress-wannabes on The Bachelor.You've never dreamt of an aqua-blue ring box. Then, something happened. Another birthday, maybe. A breakup. Your brother's wedding. His wife-elect asked you to be a bridesmaid, and suddenly there you were, wondering how in hell you came to be 36-years-old, walking down the aisle wearing something halfway decent from J. Crew that you could totally repurpose with a cute pair of boots and a jean jacket. You started to hate the bride -- she was so effing happy -- and for the first time ever you began to have feelings about the fact that you're not married. You never really cared that much before. But suddenly (it was so sudden) you found yourself wondering... Deep, deep breath... Why you're not married.The rest of the article is just as priceless. I laughed until I almost choked. My students will be grateful to Patrick who helped me get into this great mood.
In case anybody is wondering, the reasons why this imaginary projection of the author's self is still not married are that she is a bitch, shallow, a slut, lazy, selfish, ruled by her hormones, and not good enough. then there is the regular patriarchal drivel about needing to lower one's expectations, thinking less about oneself, etc.
Welcome to the XXIst century, everybody!
"No!" they answered in unison.
"Yes, you do," I said. "You just answered a question in Castilian."
"Get out of here!" exclaimed one of the students in English.
I'm not sure how I would translate that response into Castilian in a polite manner.
What to do, though? How to relax and rest? So I go to the Amazon Kindle store and I discover that six more books by my favorite Ruth Rendell have become available on Kindle today. Of course, I read them all before but rereading Rendell's books when I'm too tired to read anything new is my favorite way of replenishing my energy levels. After I spend most of Wednesday doing this, I will be able to start working on a new article on Thursday.
And then there are still people who doubt the existence of God.
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I’m caught between looking out for her safety, and trying to loosen the leash a little.
This little girl, let’s call her Angie, is about a year older than Julia, and gives me a bad vibe. I know it seems ridiculous to get a bad vibe from a 7-year-old girl, especially when her mom is like the sweetest woman on the planet, as are her older siblings, but I can’t help it. First it has to do with the things I see her do when Julia’s not looking. She makes faces and rolls her eyes at Julia, and such. Then it’s the way she often checks to see if I’m watching. She makes me uncomfortable.
She has absolutely no idea that this girl isn’t her friend. None. And the really heartbreaking part is that if she were to discover that fact, it would devastate her.And the culmination of this ode to pervasive control:
It’s not enough for me to just tell her to trust her instincts, and to not let people fool her into breaking the rules, or doing something dangerous. She needed me to tell her she can’t walk on the handrails. Well who the hell would’ve thought she’d do that? I have no way of anticipating what the next little manipulator will try to get her to do. So, right this second I’m at a bit of a loss as to how to keep my girl safe, and still let her explore her world a bit.Is anybody wondering what it is that the little girl is escaping from through her autism? I know I'm not.
P.S. Please don't try posting anti-autistic crap. I will not let it through anyways.