October 8th, 2011





A Message to the 53 Percent

Congratulations on successfully mastering a condescending tone. I have some news for you, though: you are part of the 99 percent. I am part of the 99 percent. My neighbor in his brand new Prius is part of the 99 percent. Our grievances are wide-reaching. Our stories and backgrounds are vastly different. [more]

A great take on this.

from PP’s post below the fold:

“The richest 5 percent of households obtained roughly 82 percent of all the nation’s gains in wealth between 1983 and 2009. The bottom 60 percent of households actually had less wealth in 2009 than in 1983, meaning they did not participate at all in the growth of wealth over this period.

This is the problem with the “53%” tagline: they don’t realize just how badly they are being fucked.  If the distribution of wealth in this country were more equitable, you wouldn’t have to work as hard.  How is it rational to simply be complacent when we know from historical data that it doesn’t have to be this way?

This is my main issue with Conservatives who seem to believe that greater effort in one’s affairs, much like tax cuts, will always solve your problems.  The answer always seems to be “work harder.”  Really?  What intolerable ignorance.  There is currently 1 job open for every 5 job-seeking individuals.  Everyone who is newly unemployed since 2008 had a job before the recession hit.  These individuals are not unemployed because they choose to be.  

And 100 hour work-weeks?    Great for you.  I’m sure every American would be proud to work 100 hours a week without complaining, right?  That’s entirely reasonable.  I mean that’s medically healthy, right?  I mean, this country didn’t literally have extended periods of labor-related violence over work conditions of that nature, right?  And when it comes to starting a small business, surely anyone can start a business when banks aren’t willing to loan you capital, right?  But of course, to start a small business, you should probably learn how, meaning going to school, and taking on student loan debt, which will count against you when you go to take out a business loan, making banks even LESS likely to loan you capital to start a small business, right? 

People living in hunterer-gatherer societies don’t even have to work this hard to survive.  If you have to work 100-hour work weeks to make ends meet, you’d literally be better off stripping naked and running into the woods to live among the wolves.  To be complacent in that sort of situation, and expect others to be as well, is self-defeating and absurd. 

None of these protesters are complaining about a 60-hour work week; I’m sure many of them would view such a commitment as onerous, but I haven’t seen a single sign that says this is one of their central issues.  I haven’t met anyone that supports these protests who feels you shouldn’t be willing to work more than 40 hours/week to be successful.  They’d probably be happy to just find a job that paid them enough to make ends meet.  And that’s why the sort of hyperbolic nonsense on display here completely misses the point.  These so-called “99%” aren’t complaining because they’re not willing to work hard.  They’re not complaining because they’re just “sitting on their ass.”  They’re complaining because they played by the rules, and now they can’t make ends meet.  They’re complaining because the same system under which they have tried to make a life for themselves seems to benefit some people much more than others.  If you’re working 60-100 hours a week at a middle-class salary, do you honestly feel that a Corporate Executive who makes $10’s of millions of dollars a year is working harder than you? The attitude which says “there’s nothing wrong with this, suck it up,” is not only patronizing to people who want to work hard but can’t find work; it’s outright irrational and self-destructive.

(Source: pantslessprogressive)

October 5th, 2011
“I haven’t made it my practice to listen to the cheers and the boos and try to correct the people on their expressions of their view,” Romney said in a video clip from Think Progress, seeming to issue a new personal policy on what he will and won’t do during debates.

Romney on Booing: Audience Was Expressing Its View | News | The Advocate

Mitt Romney doesn’t think he should tell the audience not to boo the gay soldier…

(via cornachio)

Cool story bro, you sound like a stellar commander in chief. 

(via thegeniuswaitress)

Flawless gif. Flawed candidate.

(via stfuconservatives)

(via stfuconservatives)

September 25th, 2011
Rereading the transcript of last night’s debate, I am struck that Rick Santorum did not thank Stephen Hill, a gay soldier in the U.S. Army currently in Iraq, for his service. Nor did anyone else on that stage. Whatever you think of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ or homosexuality, Hill is risking his life on behalf of his country. It is troubling, and revealing, that Santorum’s answer entirely defined Hill as a gay man first and as a soldier second, if at all,
Jim Geraghty, demonstrating some unusual sanity at NRO. (via letterstomycountry)

I have become used to hearing gay people and our lives either ignored or stigmatized or demonized in Republican debates. It is a function of a political party becoming a religion. And so my skin is pretty thick at this point, and my outrage button eroded by two decades of learning to ignore this stuff and focus on the positive arguments we have to make. It’s not that I didn’t react at the time

But as I went to bed last night, the scattered boos for an American soldier in the field at any debate began to sink in. And Santorum’s despicable lie in response - that repealing DADT somehow means license of gay sexual misconduct in the armed services - was intended to reduce that soldier, his life and work, to Santorum’s obsession: the intrinsic evil of gay sex. Again, this is usual. Gays are used to being reduced to sexual acts rather than being seen as full human beings, like straight people, with sexuality sure, but a whole lot of other things as well.


But somehow the fact that these indignities were heaped on a man risking his life to serve this country, a man ballsy enough to make that video, a man in the uniform of the United States … well, it tells me a couple of things. It tells me that these Republicans don’t actually deep down care for the troops, if that means gay troops. Their constant posturing military patriotism has its limits.

The shocking silence on the stage - the fact that no one challenged this outrage - also tells me that this kind of slur is not regarded as a big deal. When it came to it, even Santorum couldn’t sanction firing all those servicemembers who are now proudly out. But that’s because he was forced to focus not on his own Thomist abstractions, but on an actual person. Throughout Republican debates, gays are discussed as if we are never in the audience, never actually part of the society, never fully part of families, never worthy of even a scintilla of respect. When you boo a servicemember solely because he’s gay, you are saying he is beneath contempt, that nothing he does or has done can counterweigh the vileness of his sexual orientation.

And then I think of all those gay servicemembers who have died for this country, or been wounded in battle, or been on tours year after year…

and the fury builds.

(Source: letterstomycountry)

September 24th, 2011

“Tea Party Debate.”


“Tea Party Debate.”

(Source: diadoumenos, via thereisnogod)


Disgusting.  This is why I don’t actually watch the GOP debates.  The audiences at these debates attract such fringe batshit-crazy diehard backwards people, to the point where these alleged Conservatives have the audacity to cast aspersions on a soldier serving in a war zone from the comfort of their auditorium seat, on no more impressive basis than the fact that he is a homosexual.  Ignore too the fact that the guy is a beast.  Look at those arms.  Don’t tell me he can’t regulate on the battlefield.

In fact, I’d love nothing more than to witness a physical confrontation between that soldier and the parochial stooges in that audience who had the audacity to denigrate him.  I imagine the result would be, to borrow a phrase from Dave Chappelle, Splendiferous.

I’m not one to advocate for violence.  But this episode is simply that upsetting to me.

September 23rd, 2011

If those who are anti-science in the US are allowed to carry the day it will ultimately hurt the American economy. The best scientists will head for the established leaders of science, such as the UK and emerging powerhouses such as China and India. But beyond that it will damage the US’s standing in the world. Who will be able to take its leaders seriously? They may not care, but they should.

Science is worth fighting for. It helps us understand the world and ourselves better and will benefit all humanity.

We have to hope that the people of the US will see through some of the nonsense being foisted on them by vocal minorities. It is time to reject political movements that reject science and take us back into the dark rather than forward into a more enlightened future.

(Source: jtotheizzoe)

September 20th, 2011


Republicans on Sunday decried the notion of a new minimum tax rate for millionaires as “class warfare,” saying the proposal by President Obama may be intended to portray Congressional Republicans who resist it as being callously indifferent to the hardships facing many Americans.

Okay, GOP, let’s clear up what qualifies as “class warfare,” shall we?

These are just a few examples of the class warfare being waged today. President Obama’s tax proposal? That’s more like deploying one infantry unit against a fleet of drones. And of course Republicans aren’t callous, don’t be ridiculous. Both they and Democrats keep themselves soft and smooth - just the way CEOs like their bedmates.

(Source: theflaminglabia, via geekvariety)

September 19th, 2011
September 16th, 2011

University of Minnesota bioethicist Steve Miles is now offering $1,000 if the woman Bachmann described comes forward with medical proof that her daughter was left mentally disabled because of the vaccination. Art Caplan, director of the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics and Miles’ former boss at the U, went further — offering $10,000 if the woman’s claim is verified. “These types of messages in this climate have the capacity to do enormous public health harm,” Miles said of why he made the offer. “It’s an extremely serious claim and it deserves to be analyzed.” Miles and Caplan said they are prepared to pay should the medical records be released.

(Source: letterstomycountry)