'But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked. 'Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat. 'We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.'


I came across this gem yesterday, in which the author says, yes, men behave badly, but really, isn’t it the women involved that are at least half to blame? Aren’t we missing the point, she posits, that without evil temptresses these men would behave as the little angels their true selves wish to be? 

Some observers have offered a “boys will be boys” explanation, suggesting that cheating is just something men have always done. It’s true that many of these men seem to think sexual improprieties are part of their job description — and as political leaders they have no shortage of opportunities to act on their desires.

Still, we’ve been much too quick to ignore the role that women — and modern feminism — have played in setting the stage for many of these infidelities … for every disloyal and lewd male lawmaker, there’s a woman (or two, or three, or more) who is all too willing to enable his behavior.

Enable? Oh! “Boys will be boys” because women enable it! Apparently, ladies, you really shouldn’t be on twitter or have email accounts; some dude could send you inappropriate pictures & you’d be enabling such behavior. Ergo, it’s totally your fault. After all, if you stayed in your appropriate domestic sphere, you wouldn’t be so crass as to use the internet at all, and then, these men would be cured of their evil ways by the absence of an outlet. That makes so much sense.

But wait, it’s feminism’s fault! Fighting for equality of the sexes is the culprit of these wily enablers: 

More important, more and more men — and women — have forgotten what a healthy relationship (let alone marriage) looks like. For decades, modern feminists have undermined the idea of marriage,

We have? You mean, undermined the idea of marriage with traditional gender roles, and the idea that women should stay in abusive or otherwise bad marriages? You mean the idea that women don’t have any real options other than to marry whatever comes along & stay with that no matter what? Why yes. Yes we have. But the idea of marriage in general, as an equal partnership through life? Um, no. Not so much. You’re confusing us with the GOP.

discouraged romance and courtship, encouraged a laissez-faire sexual culture,

Ohhh right, the “no romance” and “loose morals” definition of feminism. The whole Egads! Women are acting like romanceless undiscriminating sexual beings, like men! How crass! twist.

No, feminism is not encouraging women to denounce romance and embrace casual sex; rather, it is encouraging society not to reward men and punish women for the same behavior but instead to regard such behavior as people’s personal choices. Feminism fights the double-standard. Women are no worse than men for engaging in said behavior. How is this concept difficult, again?

and done everything in their power to eliminate gender roles.

Um, yes. And?

Add to this the academic and professional opportunities available to women today,

Oh NO! Not academic and professional opportunities for women! Where is this world going? 

and the access to affordable birth control,

Such a terrible thing, reproductive health and autonomy. 

and it’s clear that it’s much easier for women to participate in our “no strings attached” sexual culture than ever before. But this freedom, which has benefitted women so much, doesn’t come without consequences — namely, that it has allowed so many women to think it’s permissible to have an affair with a married man.

Anyone knowingly pursuing a relationship with a married or otherwise committed (in a relationship, not a mental institution, to clarify, although…) person is not exactly acting at the height of morality, but isn’t it the person that’s actually in the committed relationship that’s mostly to blame there? 

But wait! An Adam Sandler movie has a ridiculous premise in which a dude poses as a married man to get dates! AND he gets dates! In a scripted movie! It’s like art imitating life! Solid societal evidence of her argument! After all, Adam Sandler is a renowned sociologist and the movie industry in general is known for it’s accurate portrayals of society in a non-stereotypical way. 

Clearly, this lady knows what she’s talking about. 

Oh, and then there was this bit in the Huffington Post about how Weiner’s wife should have known better than to marry a hot man, because hot men, especially hot rich men, as a rule, don’t make good husbands.

A) Anthony Weiner is hot? Really? 

B) My eyes rolled too far back into my head to bother countering this one. Have fun laughing at the absurdity on your own. 


Never forget



On Monday, ThinkProgress noted that Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) was using state funds to pay more than $81,500 a year to Brian Deschane, a 26-year-old son of a major campaign donor with no college degree and two drunken-driving convictions. The job involved overseeing state environmental and regulatory issues and managing dozens of Commerce Department employees.

Yesterday, after the media reported on the hiring, Walker abruptly reversed course and removed Deschane from his position. Despite calling Deschane a “natural fit” just last week, Walker spokesman Cullen Werwise said Tuesday that the Governor decided “to move in another direction” after learning of the details of the appointment.

Yet, Deschane will still serve in the Administration, returning to his previous job where he made $64,000 a year. Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D) says he continues to be “concerned about whether [Deschane] was hired properly under the civil service system.”


Oh, to be a millionaire’s spawn, to not need or deserve a fat(tish) government paycheck but to have one nonetheless.

(via corruptpolitics-deactivated2011)

What are you, malicious five-year-olds? You’re screwing around with people’s livelihoods, considering a government shut-down just another strategic political maneuver. Oh, and, conveniently, YOUR substantial paychecks will continue to steadily line your already substantial accounts, just a little bonus for your congress games.

All of you are a disappointment of gargantuan proportions.

(Hey, we need to cut $33B in the next 6 months? Did you know we spend $10B a month in Afghanistan alone? But no. You’d rather the people that voted you in go hungry, wouldn’t you.)

Grow up and get your act together. Find something to compromise on. That’s what WE are paying YOU to do. Stop acting like a bunch of whiny brats. I know of no other job that would tolerate such behavior. So shut up, quit bickering, and do your JOBS, or we’d better have enough good sense to FIRE the whole lot of you.



365 plays



Common People — Pulp

I’m not saying this is the most important song. I’m saying it might be the only important song.

Agreed. Pulp… swoon.
Republicans appear to believe that the women of America have wildly mismanaged these uteruses in the four decades since the Supreme Court gave them control over them — and now that Republicans have even a little bit of power, they’re going to bring this reign of female tyranny over uteruses to an end. After all, the Republican House speaker, John Boehner, has identified limiting women’s access to abortion and contraception as a “top priority” — this with the economy is in tatters and the world in turmoil. Boehner’s and the GOP’s abortion fixation raises an obvious question: Why now, when there are so many other pressing issues at stake?

Today, all 47 Senate Republicans introduced a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget. Full text available here. Presumably, this is the amendment that Republicans plan to demand as their price for increasing the federal debt limit. Of course, simply refusing the raise the debt limit would balance the budget overnight — the nation would default on its debt and we would be plunged into the worst fiscal crisis in history, but the budget would be balanced. I have previously explained the idiocy of right wing advocates of debt default (here and here) and the idiocy of a balanced budget amendment (here and here)….

In short, this is quite possibly the stupidest constitutional amendment I think I have ever seen. It looks like it was drafted by a couple of interns on the back of a napkin. Every senator cosponsoring this POS should be ashamed of themselves.

Bruce Bartlett, Republican economics expert and formerly of both the Reagan and Bush administrations.

(Via Ezra Klein.)


(via thenelsontwins)

So I went for a run today. It was a cool 30 something out. Nice for running.

Only… my house key fell out of my pocket. Which, of course, I did not discover until I got home. The light was fading. The temperature dropping. And I had already cooled down so I was getting a little chilly… 

I had to retrace my steps to find it. Just as I was calling for “back up,” I spotted it. Somehow. Without my glasses. About half a mile from home.

Lesson learned: Do not put your house key in the same pocket as your iphone. You’d think I would have known this already. And I did. Unfortunately, my mind was absent. Clearly.


Over the last few decades many Buddhists and quite a few neuroscientists have examined Buddhism and neuroscience, with both groups reporting overlap. I’m sorry to say I have been privately dismissive. One hears this sort of thing all the time, from any religion, and I was sure in this case it would break down upon closer scrutiny. When a scientific discovery seems to support any religious teaching, you can expect members of that religion to become strict empiricists, telling themselves and the world that their belief is grounded in reality. They are always less happy to accept scientific data they feel contradicts their preconceived beliefs. No surprise here; no human likes to be wrong.

But science isn’t supposed to care about preconceived notions. Science, at least good science, tells us about the world as it is, not as some wish it to be. Sometimes what science finds is consistent with a particular religion’s wishes. But usually not.

Despite my doubts, neurology and neuroscience do not appear to profoundly contradict Buddhist thought. Neuroscience tells us the thing we take as our unified mind is anillusion, that our mind is not unified and can barely be said to “exist” at all. Our feeling of unity and control is a post-hoc confabulation and is easily fractured into separate parts. As revealed by scientific inquiry, what we call a mind (or a self, or a soul) is actually something that changes so much and is so uncertain that our pre-scientific language struggles to find meaning.

Buddhists say pretty much the same thing. They believe in an impermanent and illusory self made of shifting parts. They’ve even come up with language to address the problem between perception and belief. Their word for self is anatta, which is usually translated as ‘non self.’  One might try to refer to the self, but the word cleverly reminds one’s self that there is no such thing.

by David Weisman, SEED Magazine

(via thenelsontwins)


On today’s Fresh Air, political scientist Marc Lynch explains why the future of Libya has become a key part in the rapidly changing transformation of the Arab world: “If Gadhafi survives, it sends a message to every dictator in the region that force pays — that the way to stay on the throne is to shoot your people if they protest and the international community really won’t do anything about it. And that sends a powerful message both to the dictators and to the people.”

Awesome. Um. Great. Not like I live right there, or anything.