Friday, October 16, 2009

Rachel and the Parasite

Rachel Maddow to the President of "Americans for Prosperity" (aka Rich People Against Health Care Reform).

"I personally think that you and the folks who do what you do are a parasite who gets fat on America's fears."


(I think she may have just blown her chance to host Meet the Press someday, but I think it was almost worth it.)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Resentment of Ressentiment or Entitlement in the Extreme

In response to Leftist Ressentiment in the Extreme also discussed by Belledame.

In the interest of fairness, I should begin by saying I'm a lefty-leftist-leftooya, or as my dear SO would say, a pinko commie. As such, I choose to believe that all human beings, even the despicable ones who choose to do bad things to others, are (frequently to my chagrin) human beings and deserving of some minimal amount of "respect" and having some value. I also believe that "morality" aside, no one person has more value than any other person. So, I deny from the outset the ego driven bullshit philosophy of Nietzsche's superman. There is no superior person, no ultimate expression of humanity, no golden idol of awesome for us to worship or attempt to emulate. We are all just humans wandering about somewhat aimlessly with too much intelligence for our own damn good.

So, you want to argue the assumptions, there they on to the substance.

Entitlement in the Extreme

I can't stand self-satisfied, privileged sociopaths. It drives me to drink. So all you sociopaths out there listen up:

1) While the world may in fact revolve around you, it isn't because you deserve it. You can reach your stove, access computers, access books, sit in a chair at a restaurant, etc because the world is made mostly for you, by accident of birth and presumably a good bit of luck. You are not responsible for that accomplishment. It doesn't reflect on your value or your usefulness. You won the genetic lotto without even choosing to buy the ticket.

So when someone says that it isn't fair that the world is constructed for your use rather than theirs, realize that they are speaking truth. Both of you are equivalent in value. For the same actions, you received a benefit, they received a cost. Your benefit is to their detriment. It isn't fair. If they ask for assistance to create a more equitable arrangement, you owe them that assistance because you accept the benefits.

Please learn to cultivate an attitude of humility for this "gift" and consideration for those who didn't receive it, rather than being a pompous ass who thinks the universe is owed to them and they owe nothing to those around them.

My first message to sociopaths: you are not more valuable than others, get over yourselves.

2) Moderating your tone for other people rarely fulfills any purpose. The tone argument is fallacious for reasons that have been discussed previously and ad infinitum. You reveal your logical deficits when you pull out hackneyed arguments in support of your position. You also add to my suffering in the process.

My second message to sociopaths:
find better arguments, these are old.

3) Let people breathe, for the love of humanity. People are free, even to do the wrong thing. The only way you can make people conform to your view of the world is if you place microchips in their brains and have Butter control their every action. The urge to control is so strong in sociopathic people.

My third message to sociopaths: learn to let go.

(What? There's too much irony in complaining about how other people complaining is controlling. I couldn't come up with anything funnier...its like Sarah Palin and SNL...I just read the lines, the snark makes itself.)

4) Lastly and most importantly, do not try to use some bs ethical theory to somehow underpin your own cruelty to other human beings. Look outward for a moment, and ask yourself what kind of person tells another person to shut up about their pain, because hearing about someone else's pain makes them uncomfortable. Don't try to flee from that self-judgment by looking solely inward like the narcissist you are. It's okay, you're allowed to consider other people. I know empathy is foreign to you, but turn your self-aggrandizing inner dialogue off for a minute and know that you are being a complete shit.

My fourth message to sociopaths:
all the time you spend thinking solely of yourself could be spent cultivating empathy and consideration for others.

Breathe, sociopaths, breathe...or don't because while I consider you human beings, and thus having equivalent value, I'm not sure the world wouldn't be better off without you.

Hugs and kisses...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Per Belledame's request, we have puppy pictures.

As history...

Here is Abbie when we first got her from the animal shelter. As you can see, she was very, very skinny. About 11lbs, and that was after the shelter had been fattening her up for a week! [She arrived there at 7lbs, she's now 16lbs.]

She soon settled into the family, learned that she was safe, learned that her food would not magically disappear from her bowl and that there would be more later. Then, her natural instinct for cuddling came to the fore. If there was thigh, she would snuggle it. If there was a lap she would wiggle into it. No one was immune to her pleading looks and polite paw nudge to make some space on the sofa, the bed, or even the floor.

And then, she discovered the joys of romping and playing with other dogs. Particularly if other dogs were willing to run.

But eventually, winter came, and she hadn't put on enough when it was cold she didn't like to go out and play as much. So we had a coat made for her by the lovely people at Blue Willow who did a fantastic job. And thus winter was saved.

Time passed and Abbie became the star pupil in her daycare (okay, that's not really what that means, but we're going to pretend it is).

She put on a few healthy pounds and became secure enough in her food source that she would discriminate between organic and non-organic foods.

With the liberal use of chicken, she's learned how to not be frightened of other people, strange dogs, loud noises, plastic bags, cars, shadows, her pillow if the light changed...Instead she has become a wonderful family member who approaches life with such joy and abandon that spending time with her can't help but lift your heart.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"Beating the homeless is cruel, not cool"

Did this need to be said? Was there some indication that beating vulnerable people is fun?

Apparently yes. From CNN:

The August issue of Maxim, a youth-oriented magazine targeted at college-aged males, joked about last weekend's National Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa, in a blurb titled "Hunt the Homeless." The journal quipped "Kill one for fun. We're 87 percent sure it's legal."

As if we didn't need enough reasons to avoid Maxim.

Maxim...not just about sexism any more...

The scary thing (okay, so there are many scary things here, but one scary thing) is that 58 percent of these attacks are committed by children. Children for christ sake. Children are seeking out more vulnerable people to commit violence upon.

Which makes me think of this from bell hooks recently quoted by Ashley in a beautiful post about Love on Feministe particularly salient:

The first act of violence that patriarchy demands of males is not violence toward women. Instead patriarchy demands of all males that they engage in acts of psychic self-mutilation, that they kill off the emotional parts of themselves. If an individual is not successful in emotionally crippling himself, he can count on patriarchal men to enact rituals of power that will assault his self-esteem.
Is this violence by young (for the most part) men part of that psychic self-mutilation? Do they need to assert their dominance in a patriarchal world so badly that they seek out vulnerable people to prove their physical superiority? And what is making these manlings so desperate for dominance that they would brutalize another human being?

Do we have to mandate humanity training in schools along with PE and reading?

Honesty at Last

Re: The health care astroturf protests

One protester commented:

"“This isn’t just about health care,” said Carolyn Doric of Harrisburg, “it’s about political power and a means to regain political power.”"

From the NYT "Senator Goes Face to Face with Dissent"

Just sit there and ponder that for a moment. A moment of pure honesty.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Domestic Violence & Victim Blaming

So there was a post at Ren's that made my head explode and she decided to shutdown comments (understandable since was a derail in the first place), so I thought I'd continue here and everyone can feel free to be angry and vitriolic on my time.

These issues have been talked about elsewhere, so I'll start with that....

The reason "Why didn't she leave" is victim blaming - See La Lubu's comment here

"Why, on even feminist blogs, do people assume the victim to have a major flaw, rather than as a person with few resources attempting to fend for herself? Police go in with cadres of armed companions when confronting violent criminals—yet we expect DV victims to “just leave”."

A good explanation of why many victims don't file criminal charges - From DOJ

"The period between arrest and trial can be an especially dangerous and intimidating time for victims in cases of intimate partner violence. It is also a time when the criminal justice system’s legal control over defendants is limited. In most jurisdictions, defendants are released on bail while awaiting trial. And despite the court’s imposition of “no contact” conditions of bail for a majority of defendants..., experience has shown that the pretrial phase (between arrest and the trial) is the time when an accused person is most likely to try to influence the victim’s testimony and the outcome of a case. Some attempts to influence victims appear to be desperate pleas for forgiveness; others clearly involve threats of physical harm or death."

Yeah, so in short:

(1) Asking why she doesn't just leave or why she puts up with it is victim blaming because it focuses on what she should have done rather than on the actions of the abusers. It makes her responsible for what happens.

(2) It's dangerous to get a TRO or to file criminal charges. They don't just lock the abuser up immediately and throw away the key...there are things called bail and whatnot...I know...shocking.

Collection of Useful Links

For all manner of derailing -

The "Tone Argument" -