Friday Night Fun and Culture

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Tears of Niobe: GOP candidate sorry comparing gay marriage to marrying a table makes her look like a moron

Edited to show subtext

From Raw Story:

By Eric W. Dolan
Friday, October 29th, 2010 — 9:43 am

The Republican Nazi candidate for Wisconsin lieutenant governor is apologizing for saying during a recent radio interview that gay marriage is like marrying a table, clock or a dog.

During an interview with WVCY Christian(Taliban) radio, Kleefisch said (While saying I’m sorry if my being a bigoted idiot offends anyone) extending domestic partner benefits to state employees was “a slippery slope.”

“In addition to that at what point are we going to be okay marrying inanimate objects? Can I marry this table or this, you know, clock? Can we marry dogs?”

“This is ridiculous,” continued Kleefisch. “And biblically, again, I’m going to go right back to my fundamental Christian ( Christo-fascist) beliefs marriage is between one man and one woman.”

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I am sick and tired of Nazi bigots invoking invisible imaginary magic sky daddies as justification for being hateful scum.

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Catholic schools cannot refuse to hire gay teachers, says Brussels

EU Observer:


28.10.2010 @ 19:52 CET

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – The European Commission has said that Roman Catholic schools in Poland or elsewhere in the EU cannot refuse to employ gay teachers.

EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding said on Wednesday (26 October) in a written statement that EU law on non-discrimination in the workplace allows religious outfits “to take a person’s religion or belief into account, where necessary, when recruiting personnel and to require their personnel to show loyalty to that ethos.”

But she added: “While it is difficult to make a statement about a hypothetical case, the commission fails to see how a teacher’s sexual orientation could reasonably constitute a genuine and determining occupational requirement.”

The remarks come in response to formal questions by two MEPs, British centre-left deputy Michael Cashman and Spanish Green member Raul Romeva i Rueda.

The questions arose after a Polish junior minister in charge of equality, Elzbieta Radziszewska, said in an interview in Catholic daily Gosc Niedzielny in September that Catholic schools can exclude openly gay teachers and that the EU’s 10-year-old anti-discrimination directive gives them a special exemption to do so.

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Lawyer at Center of Robo-Signing Scandal Sees ‘More of the Same’ From Banks

From Pro Publica:

by Marian Wang
ProPublica, Oct. 28, 2010, 12:21 p.m

Despite banks’ assurances that they’re fixing foreclosure documentation problems and that the crisis may amount to a “blip in the housing market [1],” the lawyer who helped spark the foreclosure furor [2] said that the banks’ solutions to the problem have so far been inadequate and don’t address the underlying structural deficiencies that plague the foreclosure process.

Banks have defined the problems as procedural errors that “can be fixed in the near term [3]” and did not lead “to foreclosures which should not have otherwise occurred [4].”

But Thomas Cox—whose deposition [5] of GMAC robo-signer [6] Jeffrey Stephan brought fresh scrutiny on the foreclosure process—told me that in Maine, where GMAC has resumed foreclosure sales, the fixed and re-filed documents he’s seeing are “more of the same, cheap stuff.”

“There’s a structural mess in their departments that they’re not fixing,” Cox told me. “[Banks] refuse to organize their servicing departments in a way that would produce accurate results. There’s a foreclosure department that doesn’t talk to the department handling modifications.”

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Obama says his stance on same-sex marriage is evolving

Screw Evolution.  How about a little bit of revolution?

It is unconscionable to tell LGBT/TQ people that they have to wait for an evolution on the part of politicians before they can have equality.  Substitute the name of any ethnic or racial minority group for LGBT/TQ and it becomes clear as to why it is unconscionable.

From 365 Gay:

By Sterling Wong,
10.28.2010 5:30pm EDT

In a question and answer session with progressive bloggers on Wednesday, President Obama said that his opinion on same-sex marriage was evolving, and that “the arc of history” was leading towards increased acceptance of same-sex marriage, reports The Hill.

Obama, who has been an advocate of civil unions but not of same-sex marriage, said that he was not prepared to change his position, but said that his position on the issue was “evolving”. “I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage. But I also think you’re right that attitudes evolve, including mine,” said Obama, according to the official transcript published by AMERICAblog’s Joe Sudbay, who represented gay interests.

“It is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents.

And I care about them deeply. And so while I’m not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it’s fair to say that it’s something that I think a lot about.”

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Coming Later Today: Some Thoughts on the death of Sonia Burgess

We are taking a sanity break and going to a show at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth this afternoon.  A show of some 60 Ansel Adams prints is closing soon and there is a show of photos by Berenice Abbott, Margaret Bourke-White, and Walker Evans.  Three highly influential documentary photographers work from the Depression era.

I haven’t posted anything so far because so much seems unclear.

The war on WikiLeaks

From Socialist Worker:

Nicole Colson reports on new revelations about the U.S. war machine in Iraq–and the attempt by politicians and the media to deflect attention from the real crimes.

October 28, 2010

TORTURE, BRUTALITY and civilian deaths. That is the legacy of the U.S. war on Iraq, according to nearly 400,000 secret U.S. military field reports recently released by muckracking Web site WikiLeaks.

But once again, U.S. political leaders and establishment media outlets are trying to shoot the messenger. Not only have the media tried to spin the reports to make the U.S. look better, but politicians are denouncing WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange for publishing the material.

The same people who cheered on these wars in the first place–from government officials who jumped on the Bush administration bandwagon to invade, to a mainstream media that mindlessly parroted the case for war–are now trying to downplay what WikiLeaks has revealed, while smearing Assange for good measure.

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Attack-Ad Spending Floods Pro-Choice Candidates

The Taliban Christians and their terrorist cohorts are stepping up their attacks on Women’s rights to reproductive choice.

From Women’s E-News:

By Sharon Johnson

WeNews senior correspondent

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pro-choice Sen. Boxer’s re-election campaign in California has been hit by $4 million in attack ads in the past two months, making her race appear one of the most affected by the Supreme Court’s January decision to lift campaign financing restrictions.

(WOMENSENEWS)–The Supreme Court’s January decision on campaign financing has helped make this the most expensive midterm election in history, with $3 billion spent, according to the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit organization that tracks election spending.

Since corporations, unions and individuals now enjoy a First Amendment right to anonymous and unlimited campaign financing, it’s hard to know who’s spending what money on which races.

But the nail-biting race in California between Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, who is trying to defend her seat against Republican challenger Carly Fiorina, the billionaire anti-choice former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, is attracting some of the biggest money.

From Sept. 1 through Oct. 10, business groups and conservative organizations spent more than $4 million on round-the-clock TV ads and mailings attacking Boxer’s support on everything from the federal stimulus program to environmental restrictions on oil companies.

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Why the Politicians with the Most Dangerous, Wrong Ideas Are Probably Going to Win the Congress

From Alternet:

Shaken by an assault on their assumptions, many Americans become more adamant in defense of discredited ideology.

By David Sirota

October 28, 2010 |

Redistributionist — as epithets go, the moniker is so mild, so…2008. Today, we’re hammered by screeds against Democrats’ alleged socialism and President Obama’s supposed Marxism. The class war is clearly on — the paranoids and royalists of the world have united, seizing the means of propaganda production in these waning days of this year’s election campaign.

The onslaught, of course, is predictable. After all, this is an election season — which inevitably evokes redbaiting crusades by the plutocrats. Less predictable is this crusade’s traction. As Wall Street executives make bank off bailouts, as millions of Americans see paychecks slashed and as our economic Darwinism sends more wealth up the income ladder — it’s surprising that appeals to capitalist piggery carry more electoral agency than ever.

What could cause this intensifying politics of free-market fundamentalism at the very historical moment that proves the failure of such an ideology? Two new academic studies suggest all roads lead to ignorance.

The first, by Harvard’s Michael Norton and Duke’s Dan Ariely, finds that Americans grossly underestimate how much inequality our economy produces. Among the survey respondents, the vast majority said they believe the richest 20 percent own 59 percent of the wealth, when, in fact, that quintile owns 84 percent of the wealth. In other words, in spite of the data, many believe our system produces the moderate equality we desire, which means many see efforts to better spread wealth as a confiscatory overreach.

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Michael Moore on The Rachel Maddow Show

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Death penalty for gays will be law soon, Ugandan lawmaker says

From Raw Story:

By Daniel Tencer
Thursday, October 28th, 2010 — 9:37 pm

The Ugandan cabinet member who introduced a bill last year that would see gays executed in some circumstances says the bill will become law.

David Bahati, Uganda’s minister for ethics, told CNN he believes the bill will become law “soon.”

“We are very confident,” he said, “because this is a piece of legislation that is needed in this country to protect the traditional family here in Africa, and also protect the future of our children.”

Bahati and his boss, Ugandan President Yoweri Kugata Museveni, are reportedly members of the American Christian group The Fellowship, also known as The Family.

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The curse of Barbie is alive and well in children’s cinema

For all the assumptions about how innate “gender” is people seem to put an awful lot of energy into programming proper gender behavior in children based on what’s between their legs.

It seems to me that a great deal of gender is pretty unnatural given how much effort is put into telling people what is the correct “gender behavior”.  I was working retail until very recently and I saw the effort people put intoinsuring little boys were macho tough guys and little girls were princesses with the little boy wearing t-shirts that said stuff like “Here Comes Trouble” etc and little girls wearing “Princess” and “Born to Shop” t-shirts.

Granted this is Texas but this sort of thing seems universal at least in certain lower middle working classes.

I’m on the mailing list: Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and I got pointed to this.

The Independent UK:

Continued use of distorted female stereotypes as ‘eye candy’ blamed on male-dominated industry

By Susie Mesure

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Blockbuster movies are perpetuating negative female stereotypes, according to a new study that shows women barely get a look-in on the world depicted in children’s cinema.

Men, or male characters, dominated the 122 biggest-grossing family films released in the three years to September 2009, American researchers found, prompting campaigners to warn that children are getting a lopsided view of life at an impressionable age.

In the male-centric universe of the silver screen, a woman’s role is as “eye candy”, where her looks, age or what she is wearing matters more than what she does, the report found. Geena Davis, the actress who campaigns for gender equality, said she was shocked by the findings. “Zero progress has been made in what is specifically aimed at kids,” she said. “What children see affects their attitudes towards male and female roles in society. And, as they watched the same shows and movies repeatedly, negative stereotypes are imprinted over and over again.”

From the young, blonde and beautiful Alice, in the 1933 animation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, to the slim and busty Princess Fiona in Shrek the Third, wasp-waisted female characters have long landed all the big parts in Hollywood. Even the summer hit Toy Story 3 was branded “carelessly sexist” for its negative depictions of women in the film and prevalence of male roles: for every seven male characters, there was just one female.

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