Quote Of The Day.
Thursday, February 28, 2002Capitalism and Charity. Capitalism, aka the free market, is the best assurance of individual and societal prosperity. Turns out, capitalism is also the best spur towards charity and generosity to the less fortunate. People are most generous to others when their own needs are secure. Capitalism provides the economic security necessary to inspire charity. The cold-hearted businessman is a tired Marxist myth.
posted by Lee Ann on Thursday, February 28, 2002 | link Splash. That is sick. Truly sick.
posted by Lee Ann on Thursday, February 28, 2002 | link entire run of Berkeley’s conservative newspaper has been stolen. This happens a lot at our universities. Wouldn’t want any of that free speech on campus. Could lead to a free and open debate. That might lead to dialogue and the rational discussion of ideas. Whew! Good Berkeley nipped this “free press” thing in the bud.
posted by Lee Ann on Thursday, February 28, 2002 | link
Wednesday, February 27, 2002THEM!!! You know them. The secret societies who really run the world. Conspiracy theorists have argued about who's the top behind-the-scenes string-puller. I say it's the U.N. and the E.U. Gena thinks it's the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (VRWC). We are both wrong. It's the Easier For Them Association. The EFTA! Of course. It all makes sense now. The Derb explains.
posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, February 27, 2002 | link
Furthermore, little miss feminazi, your ending paragraph pisses me off to an extent where you are lucky we don’t live in the same state. My mother is a housewife. She is the one “who cares deeply and principally about that home and the people who live in it.” She does, and has always done, the cooking, cleaning, laundry, diapering, chauffeuring and everything else that needed to be done. Far from being the mindless automaton that you accuse her of being, she is better informed, more thoughtful, and more engaged than the self-absorbed career women that you seem to prefer. God forbid a woman should be interested in her family. She, as well as every other housewife I know, is interested in the arts, literature, beauty, and everything that makes the world live. Housewives are lively, passionate, and energetic people. It’s just that they include their families in their joy while the egoists of Gena-land “forget” the school trip they were to chaperon, or are ”too busy” to feed their families anything other than Taco Hell, and leave women like my mother to pick up the slack. Don’t feel sorry for my mother, or any other housewife. They are not destroyed little untermensch. They have endless humor, mischief, and fun, mostly because they have families to share those qualities with.
Housewife is a feminist choice. Homemakers freely, willingly, and with great forethought devote themselves to their families. Nobody forces them, although I’m sure you would try to harass them into making a more “approved” choice. Housewives choose to live their lives their way, on their schedules, and on their terms. Their husbands and children not only don’t pity them, we adore them; cherish them; stand in awe of them. The greatest love is the love of the Other; the greatest gift is the gift of yourself.
From the housewives, househusbands, and the spouses and children of homemakers: Bite me Gena Lewis. You suck!
posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, February 27, 2002 | link Donald Rumsfeld closed, or at least says he closed, the office that was supposed to disseminate false information to foreign presses. The goal of this operation was the fostering of pro American sentiment. This really makes you wonder how Rumsfeld and others at the Pentagon view the "War on Terrorism." If it's really that great, why isn't the truth enough to convince the world to view America and its actions favorably?
posted by Gena on Wednesday, February 27, 2002 | link Now the Federal Constitutional Court could throw it out entirely. Let's hope it does.
posted by Gena on Wednesday, February 27, 2002 | link Caitlin Flanagan writes in this month's Atlantic that housework and that fabled thing "the home" should be the province of someone. Ah, the suspense. Who could she mean? To whom should such a lofty task be appointed? Duh. Leaving aside the question of whether it's in entirely good taste to write an article in which you constantly describe yourself as "affluent" and bemoan the fact you have so much stuff you don't know what to do with it all, the article itself deserves to be taken seriously. Some things deserve to be taken seriously because they're interesting, others because they're stupid and dangerous. Flanagan's article falls into the later category. Let's start with what's obvious.
Way back when in the good old days, according to Flanagan, before feminism sent everything to hell in a hand basket "affluent" women did all the housework themselves and scrubbing the toilet bowl was not "a bit of nastiness that" could "be fobbed off on poor and luckless enough to qualify for no better employment." To anyone who has ever seen a movie, this must come as a shock; for it is a commonly held belief, one played out by Hollywood, that rich people have always had servants. In fact, both my mother's parents grew up in homes where dinner was the province of the cook, and cleaning that of the maid. My mom was raised without the advantage of a cook, but there was still a maid. By the time I came along, there was neither a cook nor a maid, and the explanation for that is the obvious one - we weren't rich anymore.
Can this really come as a surprise to Flanagan? Can she really believe rich people farming out housework is a new phenomenon or a result of feminism? Or has she created a fictitious past and set of social relations in order to stack the deck in her favor and in the hope that people will be too stupid to see through her. Disingenuous or simply dumb, Flanagan is in any case someone whose writing skates along an incline. She says that housework is something women "are more willing to do," and that despite feminists' belief "that liberated, right-on men will gladly share equally in domestic concerns," the "legions of eligible men who enjoy nothing more than an industrious morning spent tidying the living room and laundering the dust ruffle have yet to materialize." In other words, for a woman to do housework, she must be "willing" to do it. Not so with men. A man must "gladly share in domestic concerns." In fact, he must "enjoy" housework. Housework for men is characterized not as a necessity or an obligation, or even as a matter of choice. For a man, housework is a preference; it is something he does gladly, something he actively enjoys. A man who does not enjoy housework is a man who cannot be expected to do housework. Since most men do not enjoy housework, most men cannot be expected to do housework; and thus the likely candidate for the job becomes the woman, the question of whose pleasure is irrelevant. She must only be willing.
Reading Flanagan's article, I thought of my car, of the books, papers, and old coats strewn across the back seat, of the unemptied drinks crammed into the cup holder, of the half eaten ham sandwich moldering on the floor atop the containers of takeout pasta from Fazoli's, beside my horse's carrots, my muddy shoes, and Dante's fluorescent pink leash. I'm a woman; I'm a pig; and in direct contravention of Flanagan's thesis I am not willing to clean.
What would induce me to change my mind? The suggestion that the man I love should be "someone who cares deeply and principally about that home and the people who live in it" would do it. Indeed, nothing would make me lunge for the broom closet faster than that. Why? Because our thoughts and our mental lives are to a large extent taken up with the things we are engaged in. A man whose days revolved around cleaning, laundering, cooking, changing diapers, and playing chauffeur would find not only his time, but also his thoughts occupied by those things. The question of how to get the pot roast on in time for dinner when the kids had to be at the soccer game at 8 would take precedence over Kant, and the home and the logistics of family life would gradually become not only the focus of his life, and the thing about which he knew most, but the thing he principally cared about. I would think of the man I once knew; an active, passionate, and engaged person, someone who cared about literature, music, ideas, and the world; someone with a sense of humor, of mischief, and of fun. I would miss that person. More than that I would feel a profound sense of guilt for having destroyed something so beautiful; for having reduced a person so fine to the barest version of himself. To avoid that I would gladly submit to a bit of clutter or even full-scale domestic disorder, and I would certainly pick up a broom and help. So much contemporary "feminism" makes me angry because it forgets or makes trivial something which is not: that individuals should be free to determine their lives, and that forcing people into categories and pre-ordained roles is an act of violence against the individual in that it restricts how s/he may think, act, and live. And it forgets that the greatest love and the greatest gift is the invitation to share someone else's life, to inhabit the complexity and the beauty that is someone else's world. We forget that at our own peril and at the peril of those we love. It is an argument which needs to be made.
All of which is to say: Bite me Caitlin Flanagan and the Atlantic Monthly. You suck!
posted by Gena on Wednesday, February 27, 2002 | link
Tuesday, February 26, 2002What you said made me think
Am I really right, or could it be left
To chance or to whim, of political affiliation am I to be bereft?
This seems a common malady, and me to instapudit does it link.
Big government is well and good, but that of course depends,
On what you mean by big. Capitalism is not democracy
And to say you're good but give no help to the poor or to the land is hypocrisy
But law and liberty there must be, and when there's not, freedom descends
Into tyranny. I favor regulation of the environment and of the economy
But think we must be careful too that government does not tread on you and me
And for that we must watch, and never allow
The windows to be painted over, or a guard to be posted at the door
Even in the name of National Security we must abhor
Such violence to our state, lest there be a time when we may not cry foul.
posted by Gena on Tuesday, February 26, 2002 | link
Monday, February 25, 2002Back to the Madrassa. Whoa, Gena, this brings me back to the good old days at the madrassa of comp. lit. I can hear it now, that overblown jargon substituting for original thought. Having to explain to a PhD that the social norms of 19th century Protestant Germany are useless when analyzing 18th century Catholic France. Dr. Eric D., with his degrees from Berkeley and Harvard, never realizing that Catholics and Protestants use the same words but mean different things (i.e. the meaning of the word “faith”), and thus his analyses of The Confessions was informed by the wrong religious terminology and traditions. This trip down memory lane is inspired by this story of a SUNY trustee pointing out the lack of intellectual rigor in the university’s black studies program and getting labeled a racist for her trouble. Said trustee wrote for the Chronicle of Higher Education on the harassment of traditionally religious students at some colleges, which is mentioned in the article but isn’t online yet.
posted by Lee Ann on Monday, February 25, 2002 | link Victor David Hanson, it’s the culture, stupid! This is an excellent essay on the cultural underpinnings of freedom and oppression. Well worth reading, printing out, and reading again. A sample:
“The fact is that democracy does not spring fully formed from the head of Zeus but rather is an epiphenomenon--the formal icing on a pre-existing cake of egalitarianism, economic opportunity, religious tolerance and constant self-criticism. The former cannot appear in the Muslim world until gallant men and women insist upon the latter--and therein demolish the antidemocratic and medieval forces of tribalism, authoritarian traditionalism and Islamic fundamentalism.
posted by Lee Ann on Monday, February 25, 2002 | link Thomas Sowell’s latest brilliant column takes on CFR. The most egregious abridgment of our First Amendment rights is headed towards the president’s desk. The major media companies and incumbent politicians are granted exclusive voter-lobbying rights during the crucial 60 days before an election. If GE wants to plug a candidate, they can do so with their NBC division. If you want to do so, you go to jail. If W. won’t veto the Shays-Meehan Incumbent Protection Bill, our only hope is that SCOTUS is willing to defend our constitutional rights. Let us pray.
posted by Lee Ann on Monday, February 25, 2002 | link
posted by Lee Ann on Monday, February 25, 2002 | link
Sunday, February 24, 2002Outraged limerick and hyperbolic haiku contest. I'm sick and am therefore taking an evening's hiatus from posting. That doesn't mean, however, that the multitudes of perfidious scoundrels I've discovered today can rest easy. On the contrary, they shall not only be slain in prose, but massacred in poetry as well - as Lee Ann says, "sometimes prose is not enough." To this end I am inaugurating the first ever Spinsters.com leftist poetry contest. Send me either:
Your best outraged limerick on any subject which reduces you to bug-eyed incoherent rage and inevitably leads to an attack of verse
Your best hyperbolic haiku about the great Administration/ Congress document heist
Entries should be received by Thursday of next week, and should be sent as text - no attachments, please - to:
posted by Gena on Sunday, February 24, 2002 | link The Washington Times reports that the FBI are close to an arrest. Seems the suspect worked at a U.S. government lab. The Guardian had this earlier, but this is the first I've seen of it in an American paper. There are accusations of foot-dragging by the FBI. Considering their recent scandals, I'm not surprised. I'd like to think that this is only them making sure they have a really solid case. I'd like to think that. I really would.
posted by Lee Ann on Sunday, February 24, 2002 | link lecherous baboon is getting the evisceration he deserves. While the media is putting out puff pieces in honor of Teddy the Hut’s 70th birthday, I will be hoping that someone leads this bloated, boozed-up circus bear back to his cage.
posted by Lee Ann on Sunday, February 24, 2002 | link Muslimpundit. He's out of England and has one of my favorite blogs. I check him as often as Instapundit.
posted by Lee Ann on Sunday, February 24, 2002 | link Child of the Eighties. This site is worth a lengthy peruse. The fact that he linked us is just gravy. Check him out. No, not that way.
posted by Lee Ann on Sunday, February 24, 2002 | link Spectator is worth linking. It has articles on the continuing saga of Bjorn Lomborg, nuclear power, and fashionable anti-Americanism. The article about the irregularities of the taxpayer funded BBC is right up your alley. Mark Steyn’s article is, as always, worth its own link. Here are some choice tidbits:
“Say what you like about those wacky Islamofascists but at least they revile America as the Great Satan. By contrast, to Europe, America is now and for ever the Great Moron.”
“The EU supposedly fears massive ‘destabilisation’ of the Muslim world. I say, bring it on, baby. If we don’t destabilise them now, they’re going to be destablilising us the day after tomorrow.”
There are plenty more great quotes, but you get the drift. He not only addresses your fears about Afghan civilian casualties, he quotes quotes Instapundit while doing it.
posted by Lee Ann on Sunday, February 24, 2002 | link the Chinese are proving this dictum true. Has Chinese communism become fascism? Ledeen makes a convincing arguement for "yes." This article is also notable for using the term fascism correctly.
posted by Lee Ann on Sunday, February 24, 2002 | link
posted by Lee Ann on Sunday, February 24, 2002 | link
posted by Gena on Sunday, February 24, 2002 | link Read this article. If you read nothing else, read this. All those people talking about the EU and it's lack of transparency. What the Hell?! Who bloody, freaking cares? Let the stupid idiotic EU be opaque, let it cover its windows with sack cloth, and implode into a heap of dust. Bugger the bloody Europeans! We're building a totalitarian state RIGHT here, and what are we talking about - Europe!!!! And all the while back at the ranch, you
can't go to the IRS reading room without being shadowed by a government employee; thousands of documents are disappearing; a bunch of idiot congressmen want to let industry do the same thing, destroy or hide documents that is - poor Enron collapsed too early, - and statistics about hazardous waste sites are no longer available to the public, all in the name of national security. Thieves. Defilers of the Public Trust. Bait for Carrion Crows and Incubators of Pests. Traitors. Infidels. Morons. Communists. Fascists. Diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiipwads. No transparency in government, no transparency in industry. Good-bye George. Hello Joe. Yes, I can feel it coming on, a censorship induced poetry attack.
Let us not to the meeting of true minds admit impediments
Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds
But it bends with the remover to remove
Oh, no it is an ever fixed mark
That looks on tempests and makes sure we're shaken
It is the stone to every wandering bark
Who's sunken fast before his height be taken
Love's not time's fool, though reasons just and dead pale cheeks
Within time's revealing sickle's compass come
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks
But bears it out, even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved
I never writ nor no man ever loved.
posted by Gena on Sunday, February 24, 2002 | link Poor Laura Sessions Stepp of the Washington Post is suffering from CDWDIS - Can't Decide Which Decade I'm in Syndrome. This is an increasingly common
malady among those who write about "women" - since after all women must have characteristics they all share, otherwise it would be impossible to write about them as a group. The question then becomes: what characteristics? And this is where female taxonomy really takes flight. The trajectory is, of course, quite simple. It starts off with chromosomes, gains altitude with chimps - or impalas, cats, dogs, Egyptian Crocodiles, really any animal species will do, - reaches its apogee with Greek letters, and ends up in the Land of Neither Here nor There, a fine though somewhat perplexing place where the inhabitants say things like:
"Along the way, betas may evolve into the third type of girl, a girl who rules based not on what she appears to be but on what she does. This girl isn't easily labeled because her role is changing as women's roles change. We'll call her a gamma...
Gammas start coming into their own in high school, and one of the first things they learn is that it's not easy to cultivate leadership and stay agreeable."
The Land of Neither Here Nor There is never hard to find. You can recognize it by the polish of the inhabitants and the confusion of the poor, benighted, country bumpkins who somehow end up there through a wrong click of the mouse and stand staring like startled owls at the rows of adolescent girls - their tee-shirts pulled tight over their corsets and tucked into the poodle skirts they wear over their jeans - neatly arrayed throughout haze.
posted by Gena on Sunday, February 24, 2002 | link
Saturday, February 23, 2002The Swimmer. Ted Kennedy.The Hero of Chappaquiddick. The Captain of the S. S. Oldsmobile.
How do I loathe thee; let me count the ways.
I loathe thee for thine drunkenness;
A monument thou art to the preserving power of drink.
Thy lecherous arms I do detest, groping maidens that do fly thee.
At Harvard didst thou cheat and carouse
‘Til expelled thou wert, tho’ thy father’s gold
Did purchase thy place anew.
Thou tax and spendest coin which is not thine,
Whilst weeping for those whose pockets thou hast picked.
Thy mistress Mary Jo thou left drowning in thy carriage,
Whilst thou thyself didst swim to shore,
Thine lawyers to consult and thine career to save.
How do I loathe thee, let me count the ways.
I apologize for this temporary outbreak of poetry. Mere prose was not enough. Sanity will resume immediately.
posted by Lee Ann on Saturday, February 23, 2002 | link Chuck Jones, creator of Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, and Daffy Duck, is dead at 89. His creations are brilliant. Modern cartoons can’t hold a candle to them. Jones and his comrades drew a world of wit, action and merriment. The didactic, hectoring, mushy, product-placement ‘toons of today pale in comparison. True genius is rare; losing true genius is tragic.
posted by Lee Ann on Saturday, February 23, 2002 | link crematorium scandal. I don’t know about Knoxville, but this is the only thing anybody I know has been talking about. There has to be some twisted psychological aspect to this situation that we have yet to be informed of. Wouldn’t it have been easier to cremate the bodies than to store them for a decade or two? Was Marsh some kind of body collector? Can you sell embalmed body parts? I know you can’t eat them. I think you really have to tap into a kind of primordial evil to be able to do something like this. This is one of the most viscerally disturbing stories I’ve come across in a long time.
posted by Lee Ann on Saturday, February 23, 2002 | link
posted by Lee Ann on Saturday, February 23, 2002 | link Monster's Ball tonight. It's a good movie, one I'd recommend. On the other hand, once, just once I'd really like to see a movie about the South where the majority of the characters were not poor, degenerate, white trash rednecks trying to cope with their poor, degenerate, black neighbors. I understand this would be pushing the artistic envelope and asking viewers to enter into that magic realist fantasy land where not everyone in the South is poor, stupid, and backwards, and apt to color code their associates. However, who says experimental film is dead?
posted by Gena on Saturday, February 23, 2002 | link
posted by Gena on Saturday, February 23, 2002 | link GAO. This seems to be an equal opportunity scandal, but that doesn't mean that the Administration didn't have its finger in the pie, just that everybody else did as well. This is no doubt why Cheney is reluctant to turn over the list - it's hard to look innocent when the jam is stuck to your hands. Pie? What pie? There's no pie here. Honest.
posted by Gena on Saturday, February 23, 2002 | link Lee Ann forwarded me the link to this story, and although there's no limit to the things I could say about it, I thought it would be best to leave the talking to a party directly concerned. I'm therefore yielding the floor to Dante - freshly washed, newly clipped, and mad as Hell.
"As a dog, I am shocked and horrified by the story of the Florida woman who after a fight with her boyfriend kidnapped his 12 year old German Shepherd, whom she then proceeded to have euthanized. I don't claim to be a St. Bernard; I'm far too small for that; however, I do hold firmly to the belief that the infliction of equal or superior damage upon those who harm you is ethically unjustifiable, and more than that that it leads far too often to the death or destruction of innocents - in this case the dog. And the willingness to sacrifice someone else's life in the service of your own agenda is something I find quite frankly appalling. A professor once insisted to Gena that the solution to the problems of the world would be for women to run it - since women, all women, were innately peaceful, loving, and good. I'd say, however, that the solution to the problems of the world would be for it to be run by people, men and women, who saw themselves and those around them as individuals with their own intrinsic and irreplaceable value, and who did not see others as pieces on a chessboard to be advanced or eliminated in the service of the advancement of their side of the game." -- Dante
I'd only add that Ms.Terrilynn Ellsworth-Wooten is an evil little slime who deserved much more than probation and community service. That court should have kicked her ass.
posted by Gena on Saturday, February 23, 2002 | link
Friday, February 22, 2002Fellow children of the Eighties . . . It has just occurred to me that we are very likely going to go this entire war without having to listen to the moronic blather of Michael Stipe. No rehashed Sixties platitudes; no stupid T-shirts. It is impossible to convey how happy this makes me unless you, too, grew up amidst the dis-stipe-als.
posted by Lee Ann on Friday, February 22, 2002 | link Man Dies After Falling on Coffee Mug.
Oh, the humanity.
posted by Lee Ann on Friday, February 22, 2002 | link this article. Honor? Since when is murder and mutilation honorable? I could not look at the pictures. I do not have the vocabulary to express the revulsion I feel.
posted by Lee Ann on Friday, February 22, 2002 | link censor alleged "hate speech" on the Internet. I suppose it would be gauche of me to ask who defines "hate speech" or "xenophobia." Does this mean that France will finally have to do something to contain the outbreak of anti-semitism sweeping across their fair plains? Will Gaul and Old Blighty take action against the violent Islamist rhetoric which is inciting violence in their inner cities? Will anti-white and anti-Christian hate speech be punished as severely as anti-minority and anti-Islamic speech? Of course not. This is just another power grab from unelected beaurocrats who refuse to do anything about the incendiary subversives that are live and in the flesh in their own countries. Methinks this law will be used to stamp out the growing right-wing dissent that is currently starting to flex its Euromuscles. Europe's fearless leaders are unwilling to take action to thwart the real dangers within their countries, but they will fight to the death to defend their subjects' virgin ears from any stray, unvarnished opinions.
posted by Lee Ann on Friday, February 22, 2002 | link
Thursday, February 21, 2002Remember the good old days when the Olympics were actually fun to watch, when from beneath that thin veneer of support for international peace, cooperation, and brotherly love the real spirit of the games revealed itself in swells of patriotic pride and cries of cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater? Well, the Russians and South Koreans are here to remind you. Whether or not there actually is a conspiracy - the controversy actually occasioned some discussion at last night's German table - at least we ancient pre-fall-of-the-wall Cold War kids can finally get our nostalgia fix. Go USA, win that hockey game in the name of freedom! Yeah, Baby, Yeah!
posted by Gena on Thursday, February 21, 2002 | link From the Big Brother is Watching You department. The Washington Post reports that over half of the world's major companies "monitor" employees' internet activity with software designed to watch for questionable phrases and content. According to the article, the technology is spreading to schools and universities, which begs the question: Where in the heck are the people standing up and screaming bloody murder. Anyone? Somebody scream!
posted by Gena on Thursday, February 21, 2002 | link rape-murders in the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez. The body count is somewhere around 270 since 1993. Activists are screaming for an Inter-American task force to tackle the case, and I whole-heartedly agree. Seems the local cops have been ignoring the problem for years. I recall reading somewhere else that the girls are stalked by rape gangs who organize for this specific purpose. The FBI (or the relevant U. S. law enforcement agency) should be called in, even if they technically have no jurisdiction. I think the Mexican police are hopelessly corrupt and incapable of handling this. The civilized part of me wants a full investigation, forensic analysis, and "Nuremburg" type trials. The uncivilized part of me says "Daisy Cutter."
posted by Lee Ann on Thursday, February 21, 2002 | link The Skeptical Environmentalist, aka Bjorn Lomborg. Lomborg is a statistician and former Greenpeace activist who was challenged to prove his environmentalist dogma. He found that the Earth is healthier, greener, and nowhere near collapse. He must be on to something because he has been denounced with an orgasmic hysteria by the greenies. If he were a crank, they would have just disproved his claims. Instead he has been insulted, demonized, and creamed with a pie at Oxford. Not bad for a guy who wrote a book with 2,930 footnotes and a 70 page bibliography.
The environmental movement has been left unscrutinised for far too long. They throw out reams of statistics that nobody in the media ever bothers to verify. This has allowed the enviros to get both cocky and sloppy. The rise of the Internet and the growing conservative elements in the media have led to the debunking of a number of enviro claims. The recent debacles regarding the Klamath water wars and Lynxgate have severely undermined the public's confidence in the environmental movement. Lomborg's book may be just the thing to get the enviro movement back to a solid grounding in reality.
In re your last global warming post: February has always been shorts and T-shirt weather in Alabama.
posted by Lee Ann on Thursday, February 21, 2002 | link alma mater charges rape victims with values violations and fines them. Seriously, 3 years ago a girl was raped on the bridge that connects the dorms to the main campus. She was too scared to press charges so good old Same-ford charged her with the values violation and fined her for sex on campus.
posted by Lee Ann on Thursday, February 21, 2002 | link detainees with that of their American guards. The European press is highly unreliable in their coverage of the A-stan campaign. They are hard leftists and all their stories about Gitmo abuses have been refuted by the Red Cross.
posted by Lee Ann on Thursday, February 21, 2002 | link
Wednesday, February 20, 2002In commemoration of the demise of my love life, I'm devoting this next post to the theme of love, specifically to Christina Nehring whose smack down of excessive sexual harassment laws and prohibitions against professors dating students deserves to be read (see below for a fine example why) and is one of the reasons that Harpers Magazine needs a web index. Fortunately, Nehring also writes for the Atlantic, which does have a web index. Her takedown of dating advice books is not one of her better articles, if for no other reason than she seems to think that Ovid was writing about Love - you know true, romantic love as opposed to bald faced seduction. She also fails either to pick up on or at the very least to point out the irony implicit in advising a woman to be passive by MAKING a man pursue her, and she seems to put a bit too much weight on women being romantically adventuresome. I have no doubt women are romantically adventuresome, but the question is still raised as to the ethics of taking someone else along for your romantic thrill ride. Maybe I'm just square and not any fun, but I honestly think that if you're looking for adventure, you should try an African safari, and I'm more than certain that Nehring would not want to be dragged along on some guy's jeep trip through the jungle. Though who knows. Everybody's different and you can never know who will be turned on by the prospect of a mouthful of leaves and a fiery crash into a tree. On the other hand, the article does do a good job of proving that if you're having trouble messing up your love life all by yourself, there are always others waiting to help.
posted by Gena on Wednesday, February 20, 2002 | link University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
"When a romantic or sexual relationship exists, both parties involved may be subject to disciplinary action. Both parties are equally responsible for reporting the existence of the relationship to the appropriate supervisor at the beginning of the relationship... Once the university administration learns of a romantic or sexual relationship, whether through self-reporting or otherwise, it will take immediate steps to eliminate the power or authority of the one individual over the other."
Ok, so the supposedly powerless student in the presumably exploitative relationship is subject to disciplinary action for being involved in the relationship outlawed for her protection. This makes a whole lot of sense to me. Guess I'm just not theoretically sophisticated enough to appreciate the nuances of this fine example of my empowerment. How sad that all those years of grad school didn't learn me a thing. Damn.
posted by Gena on Wednesday, February 20, 2002 | link "we're" using sensory deprivation against the prisoners in Cuba in order to break them before interrogation. The prisoners are also subject to indefinite detention, have no access to counsel or to their families, and it would seem are to be held without trial. One of the things I've always loved and admired about the US is its Constitution and its legal and judicial enforcement of the principle of basic human rights. By basic human rights I mean simply the principle that all people regardless of who they are or what they have done have a right to a basic standard of treatment, both in regard to each other and in regard to the state. The prisoners in Cuba may be terrorists, and they may be killers, but our treatment of them indicates something far worse - namely that we have thrown out our former definition of human rights for one that can indeed be summed up by George Orwell's statement, "all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others." Translated that means that rights are now to be granted on the basis of virtue and of citizenship, not on the grounds of simple humanity. This is dangerous and more than that it makes me sad.
posted by Gena on Wednesday, February 20, 2002 | link
Tuesday, February 19, 2002Yes! Yes!! Yes!!! This article on George Washington by Thomas Sowell finally says what I have never been articulate enough to say. This is why Washington is great. This is why Washington is my hero. George Washington, Father of Freedom. Without Washington there would have been no America, no real democracy, and no civil or human rights for us to argue over. The Revolution would have fallen apart without him. Europe would never (in fact, has never) come up with the truly representative government we enjoy. Everybody talks about freedom, but only George Washington did something about it.
posted by Lee Ann on Tuesday, February 19, 2002 | link Saudi lashing story you linked to earlier is worse than we thought. The woman who was sentenced to jail time and 65 lashes was raped. The court announced it had determined that the sex was not consensual (i.e. she was raped). The court sentenced her to jail and lashing for the crime of being raped. This is what Sharia law has been doing all over the Islamic world. How is this justice in any sense of the word? Sorry, all cultures are not equal. Cultures that sentence a rape victim to 65 lashes for being assaulted are far less civilized than cultures that don't. I try hard to be respectful and tolerant of Islam, but the Muslims aren't helping me any.
posted by Lee Ann on Tuesday, February 19, 2002 | link
Monday, February 18, 2002Dude!!! Granted Alice B. and I both have dogs, but therein end the similarities between us. Although imperialism is like feminism a word you can tack on to basically anything no matter how contradictory, and sailing down the hill about what it does or does not mean is therefore perhaps pointless, I for one would not say that occupying A-stan and installing a democratic system of government there would be imperialistic. To me, for something to be imperialistic it has to be economically and politically exploitative and detrimental to the welfare of the people of the country. Therefore, although I would consider the actions we took in Japan and Germany after WWII to be stringent and in the short term oppressive, I would not consider them imperialistic, since they were taken with the goal of ensuring that both countries developed into stable democracies, and more importantly accomplished it. Had we been less forceful, that is to say had we said, "Ah, let the poor, oppressed, war torn Germans and Japanese make up their own government," things might have been very different, and in fact they probably would have been, since it was the "bad guys" in both countries who were in the best position to take control.
My recommendation was that we do something similar in A-stan. That doesn't mean making it into the 51st state, nor does it mean that the people of A-stan have no right to rule themselves. What it does mean is that in the interest of America, the world, and the Afghans, the Afghans should rule themselves well, and we should make bloody certain that they do so - both by regulating who can hold what position (like we did in Germany), by making sure that there is public order, and by rebuilding the country physically, economically, and institutionally. My complaint was that we don't have the presence on the ground to do that, nor have we made the monetary investment rebuilding the country would take. Yes, that's nation building. Yes, it's imposing our values on other people who might not share them. On the other hand, we've done it before and I honestly don't think either the Germans or the Japanese would say that it would have been better if we had left them to their own devices with a provisional government and a peace keeping force.
posted by Gena on Monday, February 18, 2002 | link Britain Apologizes for Accidently Invading Spain
How do you accidently invade another country? Uh, Mom. I was out with Gena and, well, we only had one drink each I swear but there was this amphibious assault vehicle and we just wanted to see how it handled . . .
No wonder we act unilaterally.
posted by Lee Ann on Monday, February 18, 2002 | link
posted by Lee Ann on Monday, February 18, 2002 | link casualty reports you cite are not quite accurate. Experts now place the number of Afghan casualties somewhere in the mid-hundreds. Seems the Taliban used their total control of the Afghani media for propaganda purposes. They forced the media to report Al Qaeda casualties as civilian ones and altered press releases to support their propaganda efforts. Casualty numbers were also too high because journalists would interview bombing survivors and tally up the dead, all the while neglecting the fact that the witnesses were describing the same incident. This is called ''double counting''. It is also called sloppy journalism.
posted by Lee Ann on Monday, February 18, 2002 | link
Sunday, February 17, 2002The Atlantic also has a collection of articles dealing with the conflict between security and civil liberties. I haven't read through them yet, but they should be interesting.
posted by Gena on Sunday, February 17, 2002 | link number of civilians killed during the war in Afghanistan exceeds the number of people killed in the Sept. 11 attacks. It's a short piece and not very well sourced - at least it doesn't appear to be - but since I'm against war in general and think this one a disaster, I'm including the article anyway. Why do I think the "war" has been a disaster? Well beyond the most obvious reasons that "we" didn't catch bin Laden, and don't control the ground - by controlling the ground I mean controlling it the way the Allies controlled say Germany after WWII where it's your troops who are holding the fort (all of it) and it's your rules which are running it - I think
the war has left Afghanistan highly unstable, and likely to remain so; since we fought the war mainly by proxy and the people who fought it for us are now in control. Perhaps the Northern Alliance has changed over the years into a kinder, gentler, better organized, and more democratic Northern Alliance, but if they're anything like they were before, then they're a disorganized, power grubbing bunch of bandits; and if this is the case, then delivering the country from chaos and banditry will mean trying to oust the NA, probably militarily. Maybe I'm blind, but I don't see any signs that George would be willing to do that, especially since it would mean committing large numbers of American ground troops. This is only one of many reasons I think the war - if you can call it that - was an extremely bad idea to begin with, and has not been a rousing success, but since it is one of the ones touched upon in the article, I thought I'd elaborate.
posted by Gena on Sunday, February 17, 2002 | link From the Spiegel) .
posted by Gena on Sunday, February 17, 2002 | link SCLS. The civil rights group just elected a new leader. Oops, he's white. Now there is a big scandal and the race hustlers are protesting that they don't want to be led by a white guy. Isn't the point of the civil rights movement to see people as people and not as skin colors? What happened to ''the content of our characters?''
posted by Lee Ann on Sunday, February 17, 2002 | link
posted by Lee Ann on Sunday, February 17, 2002 | link article in the Spiegel (in German) the oceans are rising and the polar ice caps are melting faster than at first thought. This makes sense to me since everyone here in Knoxville is talking about the lovely, sunny, and unusually warm weather. I mean this is great and all, but it's freaking February and people are wearing short sleeves. There's something profoundly wrong about that, and even though I'm all about the ocean, I'm still not sure I'm ready for my front yard to be a beach and Texas to be a swamp. Pass the sunscreen.
posted by Gena on Sunday, February 17, 2002 | link
Saturday, February 16, 2002I hope the spook will pardon our absence from our wisdom dispensing duties. This next bit is worth the wait. In the latest issue of Vogue there is a most insightful interview with Sarah Jessica Parker, that slut from Sex and the City. In said article, SJP describes working with Bob Hope at the age of 12, saying, ''It was kind of exciting, but even then I knew he was a Republican.'' Hello! Hold on, Miss Slutgirl is trashing an entertainment legend because he's a pubbie. Ignoring the fact that Bob Hope will be a legend long after SJP is an obscure answer in Trivial Pursuit, she does said trashing after congratulating herself on her thorough-going liberalism. I guess she thinks appreciating artistic excellence and respecting the political rights of others aren't liberal values. Yeah Bob, boo SJP.
posted by Lee Ann on Saturday, February 16, 2002 | link
Wednesday, February 06, 2002Well, well. Right off the bat we get a Walmart vs.Target smackdown. The Tar-jay people called the Walmartians ''vicious predators.'' I will have to side with Wally-world on this one. They both have too much stuff made by Chinese slave labor, but a gal could wander the aisles for days in Walmart.
posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 | link
posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 | link
Tuesday, February 05, 2002This is a test link
posted by Gena on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 | link
Monday, February 04, 2002Greetings and Salutations.
Welcome to the first ever post by the soon-to-be-infamous Spinsters.
posted by Gena on Monday, February 04, 2002 | link