Monday, August 31, 2015

Bad Ads - Herbal Essences

How many levels of approval does an ad have to get through before it makes it on the air?

The whole point of this ad seems to be that it's howlingly funny that this man:

 . . . who is supposed to be, what, Yanomami? Guarani? anyway it's apparently supposed to be hilarious that this guy can speak proper English. This guy who is painted up like an extra from one of the Road movies, speaks like an intelligent, educated person and that's just supposed to funny? How is that not racist?

Who thinks that's funny?

Friday, August 28, 2015

Flashback Friday - Gang of Four

Gang of Four were probably the greatest band to emerge from England's late-seventies "post-punk" scene. They made music with a mix of funky beats and angular jarring guitar lines that influenced a ton of bands that could never duplicate their sound. In the early 1980's, they became more dance-oriented and accessible with fairly big hit songs "Is It Love?" and "I Love A Man In A Uniform," the latter of which was banned by the BBC for its anti-war sentiment.

Their debut album "Entertainment" is one of my favorite records of all time, and the entire LP is worth a listen, but I've included a few highlights here, along with a couple other later songs.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Do your fucking job!

Whatever happened to resigning in protest?

Kentucky Clerk To Ask Supreme Court To Keep Same-Sex Marriages On Hold

In the wake of June’s Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality, Davis has argued that she has a religious objection to same-sex couples’ marriages such that she should be exempted from having to put her name on those couples’ licenses.

Look, we get it. You're morally opposed to same-sex marriage. That's fine. You have every right to your beliefs. But you still have to do your job. If there are parts of your job that you can not, in good conscience, perform then you resign your position and send an open letter to your local paper explaining why. Or Facebook or whatever you kids are using these days with your long hair and your crazy rock and roll and getting all potted up on the weed and whatnot.

You want to make a courageous stand for your moral code? Great. Good for you, you do that. But why would you think that there would be no consequences? I'm no fancy big-city theologian, but I don't think that the Bible ever said that standing up for your beliefs was supposed to be easy.

Matthew 5:10-12 New King James Version (NKJV)     10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Luke 21King James Version (KJV)

12 . . . they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.
16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.

So, according to Jesus who was rather an authority on the ways of Christianity, standing with Him can and will result in persecution, imprisonment, and possibly death. But hell no, I'm not gonna let you lose your job just because you refuse to do it.

You should absolutely follow your moral principles, but if that runs you afoul of actual United States laws, you face the consequences. It's called civil disobedience and it's not supposed to be easy. It's supposed to be an act of courage. It's supposed to be you standing tall and saying, you can throw me in prison, but you'll never make me go against my beliefs! It's not supposed to be you saying I'm standing up for what I believe and there's nothing you can do about it so ha ha ha. Because if it was that easy, everyone would do it. I would suddenly discover a religious principle that says I am forbidden from any heavy lifting. I'll do the other parts of my job, but not that. Oh, and God doesn't want me to empty the trash either.

And, ya know, you'd think it was just this one nutty lady who thinks she can refuse to do her job and not face any repercussions because she's so righteous and holy or whatever, but no. This is Kentucky, after all.

Defiant Kentucky clerk says he’s wiling to die for his right to tell LGBT people they’re going to Hell

Travis Gettys

27 Aug 2015 at 07:33 ET     

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday slapped down the latest challenge filed by the Rowan county clerk, with help and encouragement from the conservative Liberty Counsel, ruling that county clerks are obligated to follow the law and not their personal beliefs.
Davis disagrees, saying his religious beliefs are more important than U.S. or state law.

He argued that the U.S. Supreme Court lacked the authority to overturn Kentucky laws that were approved by a majority of voters — and he said he was willing to become a martyr over this “travesty.”

Um. . . what? The Supreme Court lacks the authority. . . you know they've overturned a hell of a lot of state law2s in our 200+ year history, and no one has ever argued that they lack the authority since Marbury v. Madison. Oh, but I'm sure the county clerk of Butt Crack County knows more about Constitutional Law than every judge, lawyer and law professor of the last 212 years.

But at least this guy is willing to face the consequences of his actions, although he has a wildly inflated notion of what those consequences might be. Pretty sure that refusing to do part of your job is not a capital offense, even in Kentucky.

“Our law says ‘one man and one woman’ and that is what I held my hand up and took an oath to and that is what I expected,” Davis said. “If it takes it, I will go to jail over — if it takes my life, I will die for because I believe I owe that to the people that fought so I can have the freedom that I have. I owe that to them today, and you do, we all do. They fought and died so we could have this freedom and I’m going to fight and die for my kids and your kids can keep it.”

No, seriously, you won't. I promise you that you are not going to be called upon to sacrifice your life for your stupid bigoted principles. You might get fired, you might have to pay a fine. There's not going to be a standoff with the S.W.A.T. team.

“When you stand for what’s right and when you tell someone of the danger that they are in, and I think that when a person lives a lifestyle of sin whether it’s homosexuality or drunkenness or drug addiction or adultery or thievery or any kind of sin that you continue in or live in, you are endangering yourself of spending eternity in Hell,” Davis said. “So in my view of what the Bible says, when you’re truly loving someone, you stand and you lovingly tell them, ‘This is not the way to Heaven, this is not the way of right.’”

Yes. This being America, you have every right to say that. On your own time. You don't get to say shit like that when you're on the clock. Especially when you are being payed by the government which is Constitutionally not allowed to spew any religious doctrine, even if it wasn't bigoted and stupid.

He said Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear should meet with the families of slain service members and then call a special session of the State Legislature to vote on whether he should be obligated to follow court orders.

Um, let me save you a little time. Yes. Yes you are. That's why they are called court orders and not court suggestions. Don't bother the governor with this nonsense, I'm sure he has bigger fish to fry - oh, right it's Kentucky . Go right ahead.

Also, what the hell do the families of slain soldiers have to do with marriage equality?

 “Sit down with a man and a woman who sent their child off to war alive, hugged their neck, told them they loved them and brought them back in a pine box and get them to tell me what the price of freedom is,” Davis said.

Oh. . . I see, it's. . . no, wait. Still don't get it.
You know, maybe those dead soldiers died fighting for the freedom of same-sex couples to marry the person of their choice? Maybe some of them died fighting the Taliban and might not appreciate you adopting some of the Taliban mentality here at home?

Davis said the Bible was the ultimate authority on all matters, and he said the Book of Genesis defines marriage from the beginning. . . “Where is Adam and Eve’s marriage license recorded at and who did they go get them issued by? I’ll tell you, God issued them, God ordained it,” Davis said.

Um, I don't think marriage licenses were a thing back then.
Also, if there were only two people in the entire world, then of course those two were going to end up together. 
They don't even have to like each other.

It's not as if Adam wanted to marry Brandon, but God told him "no, this license, which is totally a thing that exists in 5000BC and not something that some county clerk in Kentucky just made up, only entitles you to marry Eve. Sorry, Eve, but hey, at least he'll probably go shoe shopping with you!"

The county clerk said the court ruling that essentially legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states had made him and other Christians victims of religious persecution.
“I think that this is a war on Christianity, I think same-sex marriage just simply brought it to the surface, but it is a war on Christianity,” David said.

 Sigh. . . of course you do. Of course you think that.

He told the radio host that he should be allowed to defy the law because God’s laws “supersede” U.S. laws.
“God’s placed me here so that I can tell people, ‘Hey there is a higher power that we need to answer to, and it’s not people who wear black robes, it’s the one that wears the white robe,’” Davis said.
Really? Coooooool!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Anchor Babies

Oh, JEB. You're so pathetic. If you're going to use an offensive term like "anchor babies," just fucking own it. Don't try to back-pedal. Mostly because you're even worse at backpedaling than you are at forward-pedaling.

Former Florida Governor and Republican candidate for president Jeb Bush greets supporters at a VFW town hall event in Merrimack, New Hampshire, August 19, 2015.  REUTERS/Dominick Reuter

Have you ever seen a picture of this guy where he doesn't look like he's saying "hunh?'

"My background, my life, the fact that I'm immersed in the immigrant experience, this is ludicrous for the Clinton campaign and others to suggest that somehow I'm using a derogatory term," said Bush, whose wife was born in Mexico and who answered some questions in Spanish, "What I was talking about was the specific case of fraud being committed where there's organized efforts - frankly it's more related to Asian people coming into our country, having children in that organized effort, taking advantage of a noble concept, which is birthright citizenship," he said.

I didn't mean to say anything offensive about the Mexicans. I meant to say something offensive about the Asians!

Of course, JEB wasn't the only one to weigh in on this non-issue:

Immigration experts: Jeb Bush had a point on anchor babies
Politico - 1 hour ago

No. No he doesn't. There is no such thing as an" anchor baby." I can tell you from personal experience that having a baby born on US soil does not provide you with an "anchor" to stay here. My nephew was born in the US. He, like his father, is an American citizen. That did not prevent his mother from being deported. There is NO SUCH THING AS AN ANCHOR BABY.

Not that that's going to stop Republicans from trying to use it as their newest racist bogeyman.

"I'll use the word anchor baby. Excuse me. I'll use the word anchor baby", said Trump.

Republican presidential candidate and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) told Fox News on Thursday that he's "happy to use" the term "anchor babies" to describe children who were born to noncitizen mothers and granted citizenship by birthright.

Oh, sure. Like you mean someone whose parents were here on student visas and had a baby who was granted US citizenship due to his having been born on US soil, even though neither of his parents were Americans or even permanent residents? Like, say, oh, I don't know. . . you?

You know,  outreach to Hispanics really involves more than just saying "we're reaching out to Hispanics."
Same goes for outreach to women.
Fortunately, it doesn't look like Republicans are going to learn either lesson anytime soon.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Wait, Trump supporters are racists?

Donald Trump may have to hold his next rally in Nuremburg.

Trump Supporter Screams ‘White Power’ At Mostly-White Alabama Rally

With Trump’s outlandish claims that Mexicans are criminals, threats against a black civil rights movement, and unapologetically bigoted attitude, it was bound to happen – someone in the audience screamed “White Power” about 7 or 8 times.

The reason I was even aware that Trump was having a rally in Alabama is because the restaurant we were in on Friday had CNN  playing in the background and they were covering this white-shoed clusterhump the way ESPN covers the fucking Superbowl. There was no other story, just breathless "oh my Gawd, Trump's almost here" fanboy masturbation and interviews with random Trump fans occasionally interrupted by promos for the upcoming interview with Trump himself! He couldn't have paid for more fawning coverage.

 But anyway, one of Trump's supporters started chanting "White Power" so I'm sure Trump will be called upon to "refudiate" this guy just as strongly as he did the two volunteer Brown Shirts who beat up a Mexican man in Trump's name.

“It would be a shame. . . . I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.”

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Stupid is as stupid says

Well, the 2016 presidential campaign is still in its infancy, but I'm pretty sure we already have a winner for dumbest thing said by any candidate this round.

Donald Trump Claims 14th Amendment Is Unconstitutional: ‘It’s Not Going To Hold Up In Court’

An amendment to the Constitution is "unconstitutional."
I can't even come up with an analogy for how absurd that is.
I got nothing.

Oh, wait. Huckabee might have just topped him!

Huckabee: Martin Luther King Would Be ‘Appalled’ by #BlackLivesMatter

Okay, first of all, fuck you, Huckabee.

Fuck you for invoking Rev. King to try to discredit black activists. And second, fuck you in general.

Seriously, though? Dr. King would be "appalled" by people who share not only his goals but his commitment to non-violence? How do you figure that?

Never mind, please don't answer that.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Conservatives and Child Abusers

(Trigger warning: child sex abuse)

Remember Justin Harris? He was the Arkansas state representative or whatever who adopted a couple of little girls, then decided that parenting is really hard, so he gave them away like kittens to a man who sexually abused them. Or, as he put it, he "re-homed" them, because their behavioral problems were obviously the result of demon possession and he ain't no exorcist.Oh, and he blamed DHS for not letting him return the two girls, even though he kept the receipt. Because none of this could possibly be his fault.
Anyway, you'd think that after this whole sordid tragedy became public, Harris would have slunk away into anonymity. Maybe even stopped being the proprietor of a goddamm pre-school. But, no. You have under-estimated the courage of Justin Harris.
Courage? you might ask, through rage-clenched teeth, courage?

Justin Harris Getting “Courage” Award Tonight From Ted Cruz After Rehoming Adopted Daughters With Rapist

Which just goes to show ya, for righties, it doesn't matter what you do, as long as you say the right things, hate the right people, fight for the right team. Whatever horrible deeds you may have committed can be forgiven, justified, rationalized, or overlooked as long as you condemn the misdeeds of others. Especially misdeeds committed by anyone on the Left.

Need another example?

Jim Bob And Michelle Duggar Want To Personally Counsel Sex Abuse Victims In New Reality Show

AUTHOR:  AUGUST 18, 2015 4:04 PM

You'd think that they would shun the public eye after admitting that they helped cover up their son's sexual abuse of their daughters. Or at least, you'd think that sexual abuse would be the last topic they would want to address. But no. They've actually found a way to try and turn this sick moral cesspool  into a new revenue stream. And a way to keep being famous!

Counseling sex abuse victims? Where the hell do they get the balls? And I shudder to think of what kind of "counsel" they would be dishing out, seeing as how the advice to their daughters consisted basically of "look on the bright side," "maybe pray?" and "snitches get stitches."

There is no low to which you can not sink and still be treated as positive role models by someone like Mike Huckabee. As long as you are on the Right, it doesn't matter what you do, only what you say.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Bad Ads -- Food Sex

It's becoming a disturbing trend.

Carl's JR/Hardee's has been doing it for years.

Trying to make the eating of a hamburger into an act of unbridled eroticism. Which must be working, because they've been doing this for years. I have to imagine that a lot of teenage boys are getting very disappointed when they bite into a burger and find it to be nearly entirely unlike sex with Kate Upton. ( I assume.)

And the green M&M has been around for a while.

But it seems to be getting worse.

Recently, Payday candy bars started running ads implying that their peanutty treats have genitalia.

And that they want to engage in some mutual exhibitionism with you.

Then there's this Klondike Ice Cream Kandy Bar ad which. . . well, see for yourself.

I don NOT want to think about the food I'm about to eat having sex with other food. How is that not creepy? And you're eating their baby? The Klondike guy and the candy bar lady get it on and then she gets pregnant, delivers a half-ice cream / half chocolate bar baby and you eat that?

Then there's this:

They're just coming right out and saying that a chicken fucked a box of french-fries and the abomination of "chicken fries" is the unnatural, ungodly bastard offspring of this coupling. And you should eat it.
Well, no thank you.
I don't want to think about the chicken I'm eating maybe having had sex with another chicken, let alone the level of depravity with which this hen hath debased herself. - conceiving the spawn of, not just another species, but a different classification of nature, a plant which is, by the way DEAD! It's been chopped up and fried. And she has lain down with this tuberous corpse and produced its ungodly spawn? She should be burned at the stake! Or at least on a rotisserie, maybe with a nice garlic and sage rub, after being brined overnight? Mmmmmmmm. . .

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A few Thoughts

So I heard the audio of the Republican debate (the big-boy debate, not the junior varsity debate).  The Majority Report did a sort of Mystery Science Theater thing with the livestream on the podcast which made it bearable.

 So. . . couple things.

First off, sorry Republican Party, but the only one on that stage who made any impression at all was the buffoon Donald Trump. It's honestly hard to remember anything any of the other candidates said.

And speaking of Trump, this thing with him and Megyn Kelly is kinda odd. First of all, Megyn Kelly took him to task over his sexism, which is good, someone should. But a few minutes later, she was busting chops on some of the other candidates for not being sufficiently anti-choice. So it's unacceptable to say bad things about women but perfectly laudable to actually legislate against them?

And then Trump gets dis-invited from the Erick Erickson ass-jamboree because his comments about Kelly were just beyond the pale. And they were, no doubt. But Erick Erickson is the man who called a justice of the Supreme Court a "goat-fucking child molester," and he gets to pretend to be offended by Trump's comments?

Oh, and by the way, congratulations Republicans. This is your party. All your top presidential candidates flocking to Georgia to kiss the ring jammed onto the porcine hoof of a man who coined the slur "Abortion Barbie" to describe Wendy Davis. And also called a Justice of the Supreme Court a "goat-fucking child molester." You must be so proud.

Also, it's amazing how glib Trump is about his role in government corruption. He proudly boasts about how he gives money to all kinds of politicians because when he needs something from them, they're there to help him. And when he talks about giving money to candidates in order to buy favors from them, I heard a few of the other candidates say "well, I hope you'll give to me!" as if he wasn't talking about legalized bribery. And then he says that this shows that the system is broken. Well, truer words were never spoken, but how is it that you can just stand up there and say "I'm a big participant in this corruption, vote for me and I'll put an end to it.?"

And of course, they all agree that the "system is broken," but none of them have a single word to say about what they would do to fix it, besides cutting taxes and regulations. Not a single mention of Citizens United. No one says the words "campaign finance reform," but they all pretend like they're just soooo disappointed with how the "system" is "broken" The system that has allowed most of these guys to hold political office at one time or another.

And it's the same thing with "Obamacare." Everyone says that we must "repeal and replace" it, but not a single word about what they would replace it with. Except from Trump, who surprisingly admits that single-payer works well in Canada and Scotland and then bizarrely claims that it would have worked well here several years ago, but not now. (???) And then says he prefers a "market-based system" which is pretty much another name for Obamacare.

Ben Carson gets the award for most bizarre suggestion of the day, as expected. He proposed a flat tax, which is nothing new, but his flat tax would be 10% across the board BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT GOD REQUIRED FROM THE ISREALITES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT!

And it doesn't seem to occur to him that God doesn't have an army to run, or schools to fund, or roads to build, or really He has pretty much no overhead at all, which is why the ancient Isrealutes could take their tithe and burn it on the altar because God doesn't actually need any money whereas governing a nation is fucking expensive. And no one laughed at him. No one said that there's no fucking way that you can run a modern superpower on a 10% flat tax and the Bible is not an economics textbook and the Bible doesn't even claim that the tithe was keeping the Kingdom of Israel in the black because the King was definitely collecting taxes from his subjects, and slaughtering a calf in the Temple ain't going to keep Solomon's 700 wives in gemstones and fancy underpants.

John Kasich says he attended a gay wedding. Wow, that must have been awkward! He is on the record opposing marriage equality, but says basically that he has to accept that the Supreme Court has made it legal, and oh, congratulations Jim and Bob! I'm thinking both grooms or both brides were having a long "I thought you invited him. Me, why would I invite that dick?" kind of conversation.

At the end, they actually asked each candidate whether God had spoken to them to tell them what to do as President. As if this were a legitimate question to ask people. Unless maybe it was meant to weed out the schizophrenics? Anyway, after a couple candidates answered, someone must have been screaming "abort, abort!" in Megyn Kelly's earpiece because she suddenly made up a phantom audience member who wanted to ask about veterans. I'm sure any veterans in the audience must have been honored to have been included as an afterthought.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Two Headlines

Headline #1:

Scott Walker cuts $250 million from public universities

Scott Walker cuts $250 million from public universities
 Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s recently signed a state budget that included $250 million in cuts to the state’s university system

Headline #2:

Scott Walker Plans to Approve NBA Arena With $250 Million in Taxpayer Money

Funny how no one brought this up at the debate.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Flashback Friday -- J Church

J Church was a Sna Francisco band started in the early 1990's. The name comes from the J-line streetcar that runs down Church street, right past the house we lived in when we lived in SF. Oddly, despite seeing their name in the "alternative weekly" papers a lot, I never actually heard them until I stumbled on to their "Nostalgic for Nothing / Singles Going Shitty" cd in a record shop in Seattle. Anyway, J Church did some of the best garage/indie rock songs of the 1990's and somehow never got on the radio or had any commercial success, even during the flood of post-Nirvava soft/loud/soft bands, most of whom could only dream of frontman Lance Hahn's songwriting chops.

Tragically, Lance Hahn died in 2007 at the age of 40 from kidney failure. This world didn't deserve him.

In case you were wondering. . .

Republican Presidential Debate Taking Place In Gun-Free Zone

Yep. The Republicans managed to hold their debate in one of this country's dreaded "gun-free zones."

Image result for count floyd scary 

Somehow, they all managed to survive the evening despite the lack of good guys with guns to protect them. And, honestly, I don't even think they seemed scared, even though, as we all know, a gun-free zone is basically just an invitation to any would-be mass-murderer to come and find easy targets. 

But they courageously threw caution to the wind and with heroic disregard for their own safety would not let anyone bring guns in to the place they were going to be.

Oh, you know where else you can't bring a loaded gun? 
NRA conventions.

So, yeah. In case anyone was still wondering, the answer is yes. Yes, they do know exactly how full of shit they are about guns. They know and they don't care. They don't want their followers being armed anywhere in the vicinity of where they are, but they have no problem with the rest of us having to hope their isn't an angry inbred with a small penis toting a goddamm machine gun when we walk into Target.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Remamber when Time Magazine used to be a legitimate news publication?

I suppose the downhill slide really became an off-the-cliff tumble when they declared that the "Person of the Year" was YOU!

But this might take the cake:

Image result for time magazine logo


Netflix’s New Parental Leave Policy Could Make Things Worse for Women

Yeah. They're giving a forum to self-loathing female misogynist Suzanne Venker who is, I believe a relative of mummified hate lizard Phylis Schlafly.

So how is Netflix's new parental leaver policy going to somehow make things worse for women? I mean, generally Venker insists that the best thing for women is to stay home with their kids, so how is a policy allowing women to stay home with their kids going to be harmful? Well, let's see:

The needs of children don’t end after one year

No doubt people are dancing a jig with Netflix’s announcement Tuesday that the tech company will allow its employees to take unlimited maternity or paternity leave during the first year after their child’s birth or adoption—while earning their normal pay.

Okay, we're starting out with snide sarcasm. That's the hallmark of good journalism.
And I think maybe I figured out why Venker has a problem with this policy. It's not because new mothers are allowed to stay home with their babies. It's because they're still getting paid while staying home with their babies. Like most conservatives, Venker is driven by a pathological fear that someehwre, someone who is not her is getting over.Someone who is not her is getting money they don't deserve, or getting some kind of special treatment and this just infuriates her.

“We want employees to have the flexibility and confidence to balance the needs of their growing families without worrying about work or finances,” said Tawni Cranz, Netflix’s chief talent officer. “Experience shows people perform better at work when they’re not worrying about home.”

Okay. Sounds good. But is it? Or is it in fact bad? Very, very bad?
Could there be problems with this new policy? Even several problems? 

 There are several problems with this new policy. First, offering an unlimited leave policy in the first year to new moms and dads means the remaining employees who don’t fit the bill will be left to pick up the slack. This will likely, in turn, strain relations among co-workers and make the workplace environment less effective.

Oh, sure. I'm sure a tiny little inexperienced mom & pop startup like Netflix probably has no idea how to make a workplace more effective. I would think that someone like Venker, with her vast experience typing on a laptop in her bathrobe probably has a much better handle on corporate efficiency.
Also, the remaining employees have always had to pick up the slack when someone goes out on maternity leave. Or on vacation. Or gets the flu. Or injured. And yet, somehow companies manage to stay in business somehow.

Second, it isn’t fair to babies. By encouraging mothers, who are the still the primary parent at home, to bond with their baby for a long period of time with the expectation they’ll return to work at the end of the year means the baby will become even more attached to his mother, and separation may become intolerable.,fl_progressive,q_80,w_636/pbzvklb2od7dikktyzhl.jpg

Oh my God! Do babies not normally bond with their mommies? Is this going to be some new thing where babies don't like being separated from their mamas? And it takes an entire year for this bond to form? With a normal maternity leave of, what, 6 weeks, the baby is all "Have a nice day at work, lady. See you tonight!"

Same goes for the mother. Her attachment to her baby, or her re-thinking of her priorities during this time, may make her even less likely to return to work—thus negating the whole point of the policy, which is to get her attention back on work and off of baby.

 So, shouldn't that make you happy? Mothers deciding to leave their jobs and be full-time mothers? Isn't that what you've been preaching all this time?

Finally, being home with one’s baby doesn’t mean a parent’s worry will magically vanish. Most parents, mothers in particular, do worry about what’s going on at home in their absence. That’s the point. Most women change when they become mothers. They aren’t the same people, let alone the same type of worker

Right. Worries won't magically vanish. Got it. No one's saying that they will, but whatever. . .
And of course, as is the right wing's response whenever a solution is proposed, Venker goes with the tried and true "it won't solve everything so we should instead do nothing."

Solar power can't completely replace every drop of fossil fuel? Then fuck solar, let's do nothing.
Gun control laws won't prevent every single crime in America? Then we should just do nothing about guns! And so on.

Offering new parents full pay for up to one year is akin to putting a band-aid on a gaping wound. The needs of children are huge, and they do not end at one year. On the contrary, they just begin. Taking a year off of work to meet those needs merely scratches the surface.

So, instead we should do nothing?
Since a year off of work is not enough, Netflix should offer their employees 10 minutes with the baby and then back to the salt mines? What exactly are you suggesting? What's your better alternative?

No company (or government) policy can possibly solve the work-family conflict. The needs of children undermine the needs of employers, just as the needs of employers undermine the needs of children. As Katharine Hepburn once said about why she never had children, “Well, I’m not dumb enough to think I could have handled that situation. If your mind is on something else, you are useless. If someone needs you, they need YOU!”

So. . . women should just stop having babies altogether? Since the work-family conflict is totally insolvable?

None of this is to suggest that women can’t have it all over the course of their lifetimes. It’s only to say that choices and concessions must be made. 

Um, you do realize that if one is making concessions, one inherently is not having it all, right? I mean, that's kind of what "concessions" means. 

It’s also to say that no parental leave policy, even the one at Netflix, can possibly solve a problem as monumental as the anguished pull parents feel between home and work. It could potentially make it even worse.

So. . . companies should have no parental leave policies? What exactly is the thesis of this article? If you're going to say that this policy is so awful, shouldn't you suggest a better alternative? Otherwise, what's the point? Anyone can find fault. I can say my car's not fast enough or too loud, but unless I have an idea for improving the performance of the engine, I'm just being a malcontent. It's a perfectly good car, the fact that it isn't perfect doesn't mean I should have it towed to the scrapyard.
And just because Netflix's family leave policy isn't a cure-all for all of society's ills doesn't mean it isn't a good policy. 
Do you have a better idea? We're all ears!


Great job, Time Magazine. Hell of a hire. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

So, Martial Law as a Campaign Promise?

No wonder you're polling at six and a half percent!

Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said at a campaign stop on Thursday that he would consider sending federal troops or the Federal Bureau of Investigation to stop abortions.
“I will not pretend there is nothing we can do to stop this,” Huckabee said. When a reporter asked if hew would use federal troops or the FBI to this end, he said, “We’ll see if I get to be president.”


The Supreme Court has ruled that abortion is perfectly legal. You don't like that. So you're toying with the idea of sending United States troops on to American soil to prevent women from accessing this perfectly legal procedure? And that's a selling point?

How in the hell would you justify this?

Huckabee said he would “invoke the 5th and 14th amendments for the protection of every human being.” The Fifth Amendment states, “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger.”

So. . .  the 14th . . . the equal protection under the law amendment? So you figure that as long as martial law was applied equally to everyone? That would pass Constitutional muster?

Also, you are familiar with the Posse Comitatus Act, right? You're not allowed to use US troops to enforce the law. You know that, right?  Although, I guess in your defense they wouldn't actually be enforcing the law, they would be doing kind of the opposite. Preventing the law from being enforced and . . .HOW THE FUCK ARE WE EVEN TALKING ABOUT THIS????

So I assume that the other Republican candidates have all been called upon to "refudiate" Huckabee's terrifying statement?


Haha, of course they haven't. Huckabee is only a former governor and FOX tv host who's currently polling fifth in the Republican primary race. It's not like he's Sister Souljah!

Uh-oh. It's learning.

It's learning.

“Real-estate mogul Donald Trump said Monday that he is in favor of Republicans moving to shut down the federal government in the Planned Parenthood funding fight.
“I can tell you this: I would,” the presidential candidate said when asked by conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt whether he supports shutting the government down in the fight.”

He's learning how to pander. Because you know Trump doesn't give a shit about Planned Parenthood or aborted fetuses. He's never been a "family values" guy. 

Trump only cares about two things:
1.  Being rich and famous
2.  Getting richer and famouser.

That's it. So the only reason that he's talking about this is to shore up his support with the Religious Right. For some reason, they've taken a shine to the thrice-married libertine, but anything less than full-throated opposition to reproductive freedom could cost him some votes with the Bible-thumpers, and, contrary to what I was sure of a few weeks ago, Trump may actually be in this to win it.

I assumed he was running as a publicity stunt, a chance to try and garner some adulation from the rubes before returning to his game show hosting gig, but suddenly he found himself leading in the polls. And having spent a lifetime surrounded by sycophants and yes-men, he may actually have started to believe he can pull this off. But if he was going to make a serious run, he had to learn to pander. He seems to be learning.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Far Country

I hadn't ever heard of this movie until a couple days ago when I saw that Encore was running a "six-gun salute" to Jimmy Stewart. Jimmy Stewart being one of my favorite actors, I set the DVR to record it.

It's not he greatest western ever made, but it's not bad. But what struck me about this movie is that I'm fairly sure that, 50-some years before "Brokeback Mountain," this movie featured a couple of gay cowboys.

Jimmy Stewart and Walter Brennan speak often about their plans to buy a little house in Utah and "settle down" together.  Stewart's character has a bell on his saddle that Brennan's character bought for him, planning to hang it on the door of their house to let them know when visitors arrive. "It's a pretty small bell" says Renee (One of two women in love with Stewart) "Well, it's gonna be a pretty small house." answers Brennan.
At the end of the movie, when Renee leans in to kiss Jimmy Stewart, and the music swells dramatically, Stewart turns away, walks over to his horse and wistfully fiddles with the bell given to him by the now-dead Walter Brennan. He's clearly heartbroken and not at all interested in making kissy-face with Renee, or with Ruth Roman, from whom he also walked away when she tried to kiss him. 
That's right. THIS did not impress him!

Plus, three times in the movie, Jimmy Stewart reaches into Walter Brennan's pocket, pull out his pipe, puts it in Brennan's mouth and lights it for him. It's a very loving gesture, especially when, as he is doing this, he says to Brennan "I can take care of me. And in a pinch, I can take care of you, too." 
It's much more romantic than it looks in this picture.

The screenplay was written by Borden Chase and the film was directed by Anthony Mann. I can't find a whole lot of biographical information on either of them, so I don't know if either or both were gay or not, not that that would necessarily matter, I mean, I don't think Ang Lee is gay either.

Anyway, if anyone has seen The Far Country, I'd love to know what you think. Were Stewart and Brennan acouple, or am I just reading too much into their friendship? Because if I'm right, this film would be pretty groundbreaking and it's definitely not getting any credit for it.