- Liquid water has been discovered extraterrestrially.
- Bill O'Reilly gets his ass kicked on climate change.
- You are evolution in action.
- Hey Mars! Show us your tits! Wait...what?
Friday, November 30, 2012
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Yahoo Chief Executive Office, Marissa Mayer, is a new hire who just had a baby and then went back to work less than two weeks after giving birth.
OK, that's a bit of a story. No, not really.
What it is is a myth. It is an attempt to sell you and me on the idea that women can have it all. They can have work, they can have family, they can have God and football, too.
Mayer can, because Mayer pulls down a six or seven figure salary plus bonuses and undoubtedly stock options. She's set for life. Mayer can have it all because SHE CAN AFFORD IT ALL!
She's not concerned with making the mortgage payment. She's not concerned with getting daycare for her kid. And she's definitely not concerned with what happens if her kid gets sick: who will take care of the baby, or how will Mayer afford the doctor's bills?
WHY IS THIS BEING SHOWN TO AN AUDIENCE THAT'S RUSHING TO FEED THE KIDS BREAKFAST, TOSS THEM IN A SCHOOL BUS OR THE MINIVAN, THEN RUSH OFF TO WORK?
"You can have it all"? No. You can't! And any attempt to say otherwise by some corporatist elitist smacks of vanity of the worst kind.
It's like the old Steve Martin joke about making a million bucks tax free. That joke starts, "First, get a million bucks."
Good fucking Lord, what has this nation become????
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
PARIS—Former prime minister Francois Fillon, outraged at losing a chaotic internal leadership vote marred by irregularities, announced Tuesday that he and his followers are splitting off from France’s main conservative party and forming their own parliamentary group.
Fillon said the breakaway faction could return to the mother party, the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), if a new leadership election were held within three months. But his victorious rival, Jean-Francois Cope, has already rejected that proposal, suggesting that France’s right-wing conservatives are likely to remain in disarray for some time with two hostile political figures each claiming to be in charge.
Sarkozy's success in winning the Presidency of France papered over a much deeper rift between the two factions, who kept silent in order to maintain party unity behind Sarkozy.
Well, now it's "Partie unité, mon coule!"
And yes, the split involved immigrants and Islam, at least partly. Fillon, to his credit, repudiated scare tactics like this in the heat of the campaign to re-re-elect Sarkozy.
And that's when things fell apart for French conservatives.
I raise this article because of the interesting dynamic we are starting to see in America. Support for Grover Norquist, the unlikely tax cut Svengali of an entire national party, has been eroding quickly in the face of the wholesale repudiation of the electorate of the politics of anger, fear, and greed.
Meanwhile, a ludicrous, even silly, movement to force secession into the national dialogue has fertilized the ground for a fracture of the Republican party.
Make no mistake about it: the Republican hierarchy is dismantling, and what then do the Teabaggers (Les Sachetiers de Thé) do about it? They do not have the numbers for a full-scale takeover of the GOP, and while they may have the resources to finance a third party, it will be a humiliation for them except in places like the Plains states and deep, deep South.
You see, people are generally civilized, which works against Baggery.
Eventually, the moderate...and I used the term advisedly...Republican hierarchy, the one that values power over ideology -- particularly when the ideology can be written in crayon -- will stomp a mudhole in the Baggers. They know a losing hand and while it worked in one election and could be deployed in 2014, for national election years, it's a no-win proposition. They cannot juggle the feelings of the far right with the lust for power.
So keep an eye on France. This could be interesting, in a Chinese way.
Monday, November 26, 2012
The two-state solution is supported by all the major international players, including the US, the UN, the EU, and the 22 countries of the Arab League. It’s also, officially at least, the stated policy of the current Israeli government and the internationally recognised Palestinian leadership.
What’s more, it’s repeatedly been backed in principle by majorities of ordinary Israelis and Palestinians.
When the sides last sat down to try and reach a deal – at Annapolis in 2007 – their respective proposals turned out to be surprisingly close (take a look here and here). In fact on the issue of borders they were able to agree on how to divide all but around 250 square kilometres of land – or 1 per cent of the total area of Israel-Palestine.
These facts need pointing out because Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists the conflict is "insoluble", and that aiming for two states is unrealistic.
250 square kilometres. Say, you know what might work there? How about calling it, ohhhhh, I don't know...a de-militarized zone? An international city-state? You know, a solution nobody likes and therefore is perfect in keeping everyone honest. We can freeze populations in those regions at some agreed-upon point in time and be done with it. Throw some UN peacekeeping forces in there just to keep a presence.
So why is this so difficult, apart from Netanyahu's intransigence? Granted, the division of Palestine into two non-contiguous states is a bit of a hang up, but it's not like we don't have nations made up of physical islands, so how hard is it to have one made up of political ones?
The real difficulty is what we can call "good faith". The Middle East question centers around a giant, dangerous game of Steal the Bacon. Both sides warily circle the solution, both sides express interest in the solution, but both sides believe the other side is just waiting to take the whole slab and knock off the other party.
Netanyahu, in this instance, has been a far bigger distraction from peace than I think he is ready to admit, and I'm pretty sure that Hamas is quite happy to play along, since it guarantees funding from Syria and Iran. If you view the recent assassinations of Hamas leaders such as Ahmed Jabari through this lens, you begin to see a conflict of convenience, rather than necessity.
Let's put this into domestic terms: if abortion in the United States was suddenly outlawed, the GOP would lose a major funding source, and the Democrats would gain one. Meanwhile, dozens of people die each year in the conflict, mostly abortion providers and sympathizers.
And we're a nation at peace. The GOP has a vested interest in keeping an abortion ban tantalizing in view but out of reach.
Likewise, Likud and Hamas have vested interests in keeping peace on the table, but keeping war at the door.