Friday, July 23, 2010

Rush, "Witch Hunt"

Strike three, asshole.

Andrew Breitbart has changed his tune. Again.

At first, he said the video of Shirley Sherrod was evidence that a Federal employee was preaching racism. It is now clear that Breitbart's allegation, repeated ad nauseam by Fox "News," is patently false. Then, he claimed that Sherrod's speech was an endorsement of racism, when in fact it was the very opposite. Now, Breitbart is claiming that the audience's reactions to Sherrod's speech is evidence of racism in the NAACP. But this new accusation is also patently false, as Slate's William Saletan shows. Read about it here.

Strike three, asshole.

In related news, Ann Coulter is coming to the defense of Breitbart. According to New York Daily News,
"The whole key to this story is that Andrew Breitbart was set up," the fiery right-wing writer told Sean Hannity on Fox News on Wednesday.

She argued that the conservative blogger was the victim of a "fraud" by the person who sent him the edited video.

"The person who sent the edited tape has to know what the full speech said," she argued, noting that Breitbart should "reveal his source."

"He was set up," Coulter said. "This was a fraud."
You see, for the conservative sleaze merchant, when liberals make mistakes, there is no excuse. But when conservatives make mistakes, someone else is always responsible. If Fox "News" and Breitbart want to be considered news organizations, they have to start acting like news organizations. Breitbart and Fox are ultimately responsible for what they publish and air and what they make of it. Had they been legitimate news organizations, the first question they would have asked upon seeing the edited video would have been, "Where is the rest of the video?" But they were so intent on defending the Tea Party against charges of racism and creating a shit storm among Democrats and the NAACP that they didn't. They didn't because Fox "News" and Breitbart are not news organizations. They have zero credibility, and Coulter's lame attempt to make an excuse for Breitbart simply advertises that lack of credibility.

Anyone who is still interested in what these right-wing hacks have to say is a dupe.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The sociopathic wing of the Republican Party does it again

Confused by the coverage of Shirley Sherrod's resignation from USDA and the reasons for it? Perhaps that's because the story was completely fabricated by Fox "News" and Andrew Breitbart and now you're trying to separate truth from fiction. Let Rachel Maddow help you sort it out.

And if fabricating a story weren't bad enough, when the truth about Shirley Sherrod came out and it was revealed that Sherrod was not a racist working in the Obama administration but was rather a person who learned almost a quarter century ago that all the poor deserved her help, Fox "News" attacked the Obama admnistration for "railroading" an innocent person. This again proves that the people at Fox "News" and other assorted conservative thugs have a sociopathic disregard for the truth and that their only goal is to do whatever they can to bring down the Obama administration.

Everyone at the White House needs to grow a pair.  They must not capitulate to the reprehensible machinations of conservative thugs like Andrew Breitbart, Sean Hannity, and Megyn Kelly any longer. The gutless Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack actually asked for Sherrod's resignation before the truth about this smear could surface. This must end. Everyone working for President Obama must stand up to these thugs and make people see them for what they are.

Of course, they have done more than see to it that an innocent person lost her job. As a result of this deception, they have put Vilsack in an embarrassing position, they have turned Sherrod against the NAACP, and they have kept liberals occupied with this shit storm when they could have been talking about important issues, like jobs. It's all in a day's work for the sociopathic wing of the Republican party.

Update: William Saletan's piece for Slate on this mess is well worth reading.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Porcupine Tree, "Way Out of Here"

Congressional Republicans have souls?

Here is what Rep. Alan Grayson had to say about Republican efforts to block the extension of unemployment benefits to more than 2.5 million people out of work:

According to Arthur Delaney of the Huffington Post, Rep. Steve King responded by saying that by passing the extension, we'll be borrowing from the Chinese to "pay people not to work."

Let's say this once again, for the benefit of Republicans in Congress: people aren't working because there are no jobs. Businesses are not hiring. We have been in a recession. Where have you idiots been the past two years? If you're against borrowing money from China, stop trying to borrow money to pay for tax cuts for your wealthy friends.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A few tweets for Sarah Palin to consider

You've probably heard of plans to build a mosque a few blocks from Ground Zero in New York City.

Palin and her cabal have decided to get involved in this controversy.  They have chosen to announce their intention in the form of tweets on Twitter, which read thus:
Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in interest of healing
Peaceful New Yorkers, pls refute the Ground Zero mosque plan if you believe catastrophic pain caused @ Twin Towers site is too raw, too real
These tweets come a mere five days after the posting of Palin's Facebook note, "The Charge of Racism: It’s Time to Bury the Divisive Politics of the Past." In that note, Palin makes the following rather surprising announcement:
Like President Reagan, Tea Party Americans believe that “the glory of this land has been its capacity for transcending the moral evils of our past.” Isn’t it time we put aside the divisive politics of the past once and for all and celebrate the fact that neither race nor gender is any longer a barrier to achieving success in America – even in achieving the highest office in the land?
What would make Palin think that we have moved beyond racism and sexism? 
It seemed that with the election of our first black president, our country had become a new “post-racial” society. As one writer in the Washington Post stated: “[Barack Obama’s] election isn’t just about a black president. It’s about a new America. The days of confrontational identity politics have come to an end.”
An appeal to the authority of Ronald Reagan also helps:
President Reagan called America’s past racism “a legacy of evil” against which we have seen the long struggle of minority citizens for equal rights. He condemned any sort of racism, as all good and decent people do today. He also called it a “point of pride for all Americans” that as a nation, we have successfully struggled to overcome this evil. Reagan rightly declared that “there is no room for racism, anti-Semitism, or other forms of ethnic and racial hatred in this country,” and he warned that we must never go back to the racism of our past.
Now, how are Palin's tweets and Palin's Facebook note related? 

The citizens of New York have unfortunately been subjected to many moral tests recently, and they are being subjected to another one now. When we had an opportunity to prove that our political ideals were not mere words and try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other 9/11 plotters in New York City, we succumbed to our irrational fears. And it's happening again, right now. We have no more to fear from a mosque in New York City than we do a Christian church, for Christianity has been the cause of as much violence, suffering, and evil as any other religion has. What better symbol to the rest of the world of the moral superiority of the United States and its institutions than a thriving mosque a short walk from Ground Zero?

For whatever reason, many Americans are less interested in their ideals than they are their fear. Whether intentionally or not, Palin and others are exploiting this fear. For all I know, Palin is as afraid of Muslims as are the voters to whom she panders, and the tweets are not part of some cynical political calculation. In either case, though, Palin is appealing to the worst of our natures and thus making efforts to radicalize young Muslims that much easier.

But how could Palin even hope to capitalize on this issue politically if the United States truly were beyond the "ethnic and racial hatred" of its past? The fear behind the campaign to kill the mosque project is grounded in the worst kind of prejudice: it is grounded in the belief that the 9/11 hijackers and members of Al Qaeda are representative of Muslims everywhere, when that is simply false. (And if anyone is looking for proof of the heterogeneity of Islamic political thought, you may find it here.)

It is ironic that Palin insists on the moral uprightness of the Tea Party at a time when Mark Williams and his Tea Party Express has been expelled from The National Tea Party Federation for publishing a disgusting satirical letter from NAACP leader Ben Jealous to President Abraham Lincoln. If you're not convinced that it's disgusting, you can read more of it here; the entire letter can be read here. Whether his target was the leadership of the NAACP or African-Americans in general, it's still disgusting and perhaps even racist.

Palin and other conservatives hope to convince Americans that we are beyond racism, sexism, and other evils simply by insisting that we are. But we clearly are not, as I have argued elsewhere. Those who insist that the Tea Party movement is racist are very likely wrong (though stories like this suggest otherwise). But in defending the Tea Party against charges of racism, Palin's words sound rather dismissive of the concerns of those who struggle against racism and sexism every day. According to Palin, women and minorities who complain that they have been victims of unjust discrimination are simply engaging in the divisive, confrontational identity politics of the past. Palin's words are a big "Go fuck yourselves" to all of them. But as we all know, women and minorities who seek equality are not in Palin's target audience.

The irony of all of this is that by participating in opposition to the New York City mosque, Palin is practicing the very divisive, confrontational identity politics of the past she claims to abhor.

Even though I have no interest in having a Twitter account, I close with the following tweets, complete with Palinesque abuse of the language: 
Peace-seeking Muslims, New Yorkers refuting Ground Zero mosque plan don't understand how opposition stabs hearts; please be patient with them
Peaceful New Yorkers; do not refute the Ground Zero mosque plan; the pain you add to the catastrophic pain caused @ Twin Towers site is too raw, too real

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Few important videos from The Rachel Maddow Show

Here are two videos, both from an episode of Rachel Maddow's show that I watched last night.

Remember how outraged conservatives were about some alleged wrongdoing by ACORN a while ago? As it turns out, the whole thing was made up by Fox "News," and the actual wrongdoers were the two people who made the ambush video.  Here it is: 

Surely you've heard about how Republicans have become deficit hawks now that the other party is in the White House. And they're willing to deny unemployment benefits to those who can't find jobs unless those benefits are paid for and don't add to the deficit. As it turns out, Republicans aren't worried about the deficit at all, since they are willing to add to the deficit to pay for—you guessed it—tax cuts. Here it is:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

One more time

Lori Ziganto has devoted her latest post to a commentary on a story by Salon's Stephanie Hughes, "It's off to feminist summer camp: Forget canoeing and roasting s'mores -- this retreat is all about learning how to become a women's activist."  Go ahead and read it and Ziganto's post, in that order.

I'll try to keep my criticisms brief. Ziganto continues to make the same errors I've been criticizing for months now, so I won't mention those. If you're interested, you can search my blog. Ziganto's not interested; her case is hopeless.

The title of Ziganto's piece is "Hey, Remember That Time at Summer Camp? Now With Abortion Workshops!" But Hughes's story doesn't mention anything about abortion workshops. Characterizing it as such is therefore obviously misleading and unfair.

Ziganto writes that feminists are "weaseling their way into the realm of summer camps." There is nothing wrong with this, unless you have already shown that there is something wrong with feminism. (Her readers probably think that there is, so they won't challenge her on this point.) Religions have been weaseling their way into summer camps for years. Most people probably don't have a problem with this, but I think it's wrong to indoctrinate children into religion when they are intellectually vulnerable and defenseless. At least the attendees of feminist summer camp are adults. Ziganto suggests that they have been indoctrinated into the feminist cause anyway. Well, of course they have: they disagree with Ziganto, after all!

Ziganto quotes the story as saying that the young women go to camp "to learn how to be a feminist." Ziganto says that the kind of people who choose to attend the camp "actually choose to label themselves and . . . take some sort of strange pride in being a part of an irrelevant and self-diminishing group-think." Ziganto thus leaves the impression that the attendees are being indoctrinated. But that's not what's happening. According to the story,
Activists Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards started the program for college students after visiting university campuses around the country and realizing that lots of women’s studies students wanted to work as feminists, but didn't know where to look for jobs. They planned the week in order to introduce the campers to as many different feminist organizations as possible: They vary from the Guttmacher Institute, which collects statistics about things like the number of abortions performed each year, to Babeland, a female-friendly sex toy shop. 
Hughes also writes that the camp included "a mixer for bigwigs of the feminist movement," and one attendee "came to the camp to learn skills that she can apply to her work at the YWCA back home." So it appears that the camp was intended for women who were already feminists and wished to network and learn skills useful in activism. It is in this sense that they went to the camp to learn how to be a feminist. Ziganto deceptively made all of this sound sinister. That's a form of lying. I would also point out that conservatives have their own camps. Should we avoid them so as not to diminsh ourselves in exercises of groupthink? Is it wrong to be a conservative activist?

Hughes writes,
When Sara Myles, a student at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, has trouble launching herself onto a trampoline, she shouts to rev herself up. "I can do this. I'm a feminist!" That declaration is one of the overarching themes of feminist summer camp: declaring one’s feminist status proudly, and then figuring out how to put that pride and energy to use. 
Ziganto's advice for Sara? "Hey, here’s an idea. How about being proud of yourself as, you know, a person?" Ziganto completely misses the point here. There is no tension between taking pride in oneself as a feminist and taking pride in oneself as a person; they're not mutually exclusive. In addition, it is because of people like Ziganto that "feminist" has become something like a dirty word; if people like Ziganto did not abuse feminists so gleefully and relentlessly, taking pride in oneself as a feminist might not require such effort. Finally, feminism is all about achieving social, political, economic, and legal equality with men. Declaring oneself to be a feminist is to announce to the world that you will no longer settle for oppression at the hands of people who have told you all of your life that you cannot do this or that simply because you are a woman. Perhaps Ziganto was never the victim of sexism in her life; perhaps she was but didn't recognize it as such. If the former, she should stop assuming that her experience in (what I take to be) her middle class ivory tower * is typical. Ziganto has been so effectively indoctrinated into conservative anti-feminist group think that she can't even understand what feminism is actually all about. Perhaps she went to a camp for that.

Ziganto writes, "Work as feminists? That’s an actual job now? Well, I suppose we should be grateful that they are finally admitting that. It is a job; feminism is a cottage industry that has nothing to do with actual women." Here's the crucial question: what is wrong with feminism being a cottage industry? Again, there's nothing wrong with that unless there's also something wrong with feminism. I've read a lot of Ziganto's stuff, and I'm not aware that she has made a convincing case that there's anything wrong with feminism. Conservatives have their own cottage industries: should we shut those down or something?

Ziganto writes, "Good old 'sexual empowerment' is covered as well via the workshops on sex toys. Either that, or the camp counselors are pervily hoping to see young women at slumber parties having pillow fights in their panties – now with 'appliances'!" From the fact that attendees were introduced to the organization "Babeland, a female-friendly sex toy shop," Ziganto fallaciously infers that there was a workshop on sex toys at the summer camp. What is Ziganto imagining here, exactly: a room full of women arranged in a circle pleasuring themselves with dildos? (Come to think of it, what exactly would be wrong with that?) Wouldn't Voyeur in West Hollywood be a more appropriate venue for that sort of thing? Does anyone really need instruction in this area? Think about it. Ziganto is clearly deceiving her readers. If only Ziganto had more respect for her readers than she does for feminists. If Ziganto really wanted to talk about perverts, she wouldn't need to look any further than those who share her conservative point of view.

I have discussed the material in the final paragraphs of her post repeatedly here at Your Analytic Analeptic.

Update. I posted a comment to Ziganto's post at her blog, directing interested readers to this reply. My comment was gone within 15 minutes time, I estimate. That speaks volumes, doesn't it? What are you afraid of, Ziganto? An actual conversation, rather than the usual obsequious rubbish you're accustomed to? Life is good for you in the conservative echo chamber, isn't it? Unwilling to mix it up with the "idiots" who don't share your view of things from your ivory tower? * Don't want your readers to know about my criticisms of your posts? I guess groupthink is good after all, as long as it serves the interests of Lori Ziganto. If it doesn't, then it's bad. Bad! If anyone wants an example of epistemic closure, Ziganto is Exhibit A. Hogan is Exhibit B.

* Notice how I used one of Ziganto's favorite propaganda techniques here: I used a word to refer to something other than its customary referent. According to Merriam Webster, one meaning of "ivory tower" is "an impractical often escapist attitude marked by aloof lack of concern with or interest in practical matters or urgent problems." That describes Ziganto and her fantasyland belief in the political, social, economic, and legal equality of the sexes perfectly.

Chad Strawderman's "The Deep End" 18

This is the final post in the series. I hope that you've enjoyed it.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Q: Where are the balls and brains behind snark and boobs? A: Nowhere.

I haven't responded to any of Lori Ziganto's posts in a while.

It is abundantly clear that Ziganto is a bullshitter. By "bullshitter," I mean someone who makes claims merely to achieve a particular effect and has no regard for or concern about the actual truth or falsity of those claims. And I'm not simply name-calling: I have proved that she is a bullshitter in almost a dozen posts here at Your Analytic Analeptic. And I am going to do it again.

But fighting the good fight is difficult, for a number of reasons:
  • As will become clear by the end of this post, Ziganto is either ignoring my criticism or she doesn't understand it. She refuses to step up her game or she is incapable of it. I can't be sure which. But she probably thinks she has absolutely nothing to learn from me, since I'm a liberal and I therefore must be completely evil. That's too bad, since responding to criticism can actually make one better. 
  • It is a lot easier to shovel bullshit than critique it. My job is far more difficult than hers. For example, I try to find sources of information that Ziganto's readers would find acceptable; Ziganto uses whatever sources she wants, many of which are obviously biased and unreliable. 
  • She produces so much bullshit, she's swimming in it. How can I keep up? 
  • Her readers probably have no interest in what I have to say, so I can't help them, either. Most of them read her blog because it comforts them to read something that confirms their beliefs, which they don't want to subject to any critical scrutiny anyway. 
  • Why do conservatives vilify well-educated types like me, including those who, like me, have been trained to evaluate arguments and evidence? Because they do not want their arguments and evidence subjected to critical scrutiny. Their abuse of intellectuals is self-serving: if you're unable to respond to criticisms, vilify those who are criticizing you so that your audience will ignore them.  
And besides all of this, Ziganto offers absolutely nothing in return except the same bullshit. One doesn't have a conversation with her: one can either agree with her or be abused by her. I disagree with her and abuse her on occasion, but I do try to clearly explain to her where and how she goes wrong. All I have learned from Ziganto are different bullshitting techniques which I have been cataloging piecemeal here at Your Analytic Analeptic. So I'll probably look for a more constructive use of my time and skills in the future, if I'm smart.

Anyway, let's get to one of Ziganto's latest posts. This one is again about feminism, and I'll quote it at great length, with her italics removed (emphases mine):
I generally ignore the irrelevant bint known as Miss Gloria Steinem, but Katie Couric interviewed her on Tuesday and thrust her back into the mock-worthy spotlight.  Plus, I’m sick fed up with her and “feminists” like her. The emergence of conservative women to the forefront recently has made them particularly unbearable, as they strive to, in every repugnant way possible, diminish said women. [1] This is just the latest from one of them, Miss Gloria Steinem, who unfortunately resurfaced from whatever Birkenstock-clad, soy latte drinking ivory tower she was hiding in . . . 
Firstly, good grief, Katie Couric. What an inane question: “Can you be a conservative feminist?” As if conservatives women are some odd, only woman-like creatures. Miss Steinem’s response? You can’t be a feminist if you oppose legal abortion. Can’t be one. That’s crimethink! [2] She caps it off with the utterly ridiculous statement that one in three women need an abortion. Now, it’s not the nebulous “choice,” it’s an actual need? Because it never really was about choice, was it? They strove to make abortion the default option.
Well, guess what, [3] Stepford Steinem Feminists? We don’t care if you don’t consider us a part of your cultish club. You see, [4] we have minds of our own. And, unlike you, we respect women and don’t think that they are too stupid to handle life on their own, nor do we think that women are perpetual victims who must be saved from things like “inconvenient” motherhood. We are also tired of your bastardizing the term feminist beyond any recognizable meaning. You are antithetical to feminism and can no longer claim that term as your own. We are taking it back. Not to use, as it’s unnecessary; [5] we know that we have equality already. But, only so that you can no longer use it as a way to promulgate lies in order to further an agenda harmful to all, but particularly to women.
Recently, another Stepford Feminist, Amanda Marcotte, claimed that Sarah Palin – and every other Pro-Life woman – thinks that women are stupid and doesn’t want to offer them a “choice.”  She based this on an honest statement that Palin made at a Susan B. Anthony dinner, wherein she openly and honestly stated that the idea of an abortion had fleetingly crossed her mind. She then said this:
"So we went through some things a year ago that now lets me understand a woman’s, a girl’s temptation to maybe try to make it all go away if she has been influenced by society to believe that she’s not strong enough or smart enough or equipped enough or convenienced enough to make the choice to let the child live. I do understand what these women, what these girls go through in that thought process." 
To the agenda tunnel-visioned like Marcotte, that meant that Palin thinks women are dum-dums and she then asserted this:
"I’ve seen everything from mild cases of morning sickness to months confined to bed in service of bringing a baby into the world, and these kinds of sacrifices should be freely chosen out of love instead of foisted on the unwilling. To suggest that all women are equipped to make these sacrifices at any point in time is to insult those who take on the burden because they want to, not because they have to."
[6] Oooh, the terrible sacrifice of morning sickness. Yeah, avoiding that is way more important than, you know, a life.
What’s insulting is that Marcotte and Steinem and other Stepford Feminists believe that women are incapable of being responsible for their own actions. That if they have the simple human emotions like fear of the unknown or self-doubt, then they should be relieved of that icky burden immediately because surely they can’t handle it. Motherhood is a punishment and a burden that only certain women can be expected to handle. Some aren’t “equipped” to do so, you see.
[7] They are also the ones who want to hide information from women, for fear that women are too stupid to handle the truth; they don’t even want women to see ultrasounds before aborting their children. They have so little respect for women, that [8] they deny the very existence of post-abortion syndrome. To them, it’s inconceivable that any woman would actually feel remorse or be racked with guilt, her entire life, after having an abortion. She got rid of that pesky, burdensome, “just a clump of cells”,  inconvenience! If she doesn’t feel joyful relief, she can’t be a “real” feminist-y woman! 
I now comment on each of the numbered passages so we can see where Ziganto goes wrong. Each numbered comment below corresponds to a numbered passage above. I know, Ziganto probably has no interest in any of this, but for those of you who do, allow me to bolster your intellectual defenses. And by the way, nothing I'm about to say presupposes the falsity of Ziganto's pro-life position. Nothing. Those of you who are pro-life can also agree with the correctness of my criticisms.
  1. Note how Ziganto subjects Steinem to abuse. She says that Steinem hides in some "Birkenstock-clad, soy latte drinking ivory tower," where they might have taught Ziganto to write better sentences. (How many soy lattes can an ivory tower drink?) Why would she do that? Well, her readers are likely to agree with the characterization, but they are also more likely to disregard what Steinem has to say if she is characterized in that manner. Ziganto is simply following the play book conservatives have been using since Nixon first used it in the '60's. Ziganto's move here is a fallacious ad hominem
  2. From Steinem's claim that some women need abortions, Ziganto infers that Steinem believes that abortion isn't about choice but should rather be the default option. This is a bit vague, but Ziganto clearly means to imply that Steinem thinks that women ought to be forced to have abortions. Now, perhaps some women believe that, and perhaps even Steinem believes that. But Ziganto's inference is a obviously a pile of shit. From the fact that someone needs something, it doesn't follow that they ought to be forced to choose that thing. I think Ziganto needs further education, but I also believe that that is her choice to make, and no one else's. Her readers aren't likely to notice Ziganto's sleazy move: they, like Ziganto, probably believe that Steinem is evil, so they won't cause trouble. But surely Steinem meant to say that some women ought not to complete their pregnancies because it is worse for them to do so, all things considered, than abort. You might disagree with that, but that doesn't sound evil. More on the issue of inconvenience later. 
  3. Ziganto loves to use words in unexpected and perhaps even incompetent ways. This whole business about taking the word "feminism" back is an example. She claims that the people who call themselves feminists aren't actually feminists, and that people like Ziganto, i.e., people who are opposed to everything feminists traditionally stand for, are the real feminists. Is that clever, or merely idiotic? Anyway, she does it here again. The term "Stepford wife" was taken from a 1972 novel and was used to refer to women who were unusually submissive to their husbands, i.e., just the sort of thing a feminist would caution against. So applying the term "Stepford" to feminists is unexpected. She wants you to believe that feminists are mindless, I suppose. This dovetails with the conservative idea that liberals are mindless idiots (unlike conservatives, who have "minds of [their] own"). Her readers won't object, but Ziganto is obviously bullshitting at this point. There are stupid feminists, but there are some highly intelligent feminists also. 
  4. Here, Ziganto claims that, unlike feminists, conservatives "respect women and don’t think that they are too stupid to handle life on their own, nor do we think that women are perpetual victims who must be saved from things like 'inconvenient' motherhood." It isn't at all clear that conservatives respect women, and I'll return to that point shortly. But here again she is simply mischaracterizing feminism. Feminism is about empowering women and achieving social, economic, political, and legal equality with men. Ziganto implies that feminists want to infantilize women and make their decisions for them. That is the very opposite of feminism. Ziganto will pound her little fists on the table and insist that she's right about this, but she is simply wrong. Either she doesn't know what the fuck she's talking about, or she does know but doesn't care because she is shoveling the bullshit. In either case, trusting in what she has to say about this is foolish. (Ziganto loves to write silly little screeds about the president's alleged incompetence, by the way, but she may be projecting.)   
  5. Ziganto cannot know that women have equality already, because one can know only what is true, and it just ain't true that women have equality already. According to the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report of 2007, the United States ranked 31st in gender equality; that result indicates the existence of significant gender inequality. I've got a scholarly report to back up my assertion: Ziganto has nothing. Except bullshit. 
  6. Here, Ziganto mischaracterizes pro-choice arguments and therefore commits a straw man fallacy. Marcotte is right: the inconvenience of completing a pregnancy can be much more serious than enduring morning sickness. Ziganto appears to have a daughter; would she honestly claim that her daughter would at 12 be just as psychologically equipped to complete a pregnancy as Sarah Palin was to bring her running mate Trig into the world? And if so, wouldn't that indicate that Ziganto is out of her fucking mind? Either that, or again merely bullshitting. The costs of bringing a new being into the world are considerable, and Ziganto's continued attempts to downplay the sacrifices of women everywhere to complete their pregnancies merely to attack feminists is appalling. She is either out of touch with reality, or she is willing to ignore the sacrifices of real women everywhere who are "raising their families and learning through actual living," merely to score points against feminists and pro-choicers. Ziganto claims to know "the unwashed masses" a lot better feminists do, and yet Ziganto is the first to distort their experiences for her own selfish political purposes. What a bitch
  7. Here, Ziganto claims that feminists "want to hide information from women, for fear that women are too stupid to handle the truth." Her evidence for this claim is that feminists "don’t even want women to see ultrasounds before aborting their children." There are two problems here. First, as usual, Ziganto's argument is a pile of shit. Ziganto offers no evidence for the claim that feminists think that women are "too stupid to handle the truth." She simply made it up. Why? Because feminists = liberals = members of the intellectual elite = people who allegedly have contempt for voters to whom the Republican Party panders at election time. Ziganto borrows from the same old Republican play book once again. In addition, feminist opposition to recent anti-abortion law is not motivated by a desire to keep information out of the hands of women; rather, it is motivated by a desire to keep government out of the doctor-patient relationship, as I have previously shown. Second, Ziganto's argument is hypocritical. It is people like Ziganto herself who do not trust women to make their own decisions and seek to control the information available to them. Check out this article by Dahlia Lithwick of Slate. According to Lithwick, "[W]hile the GOP position on abortion doesn't treat teenagers as grownups, it does show a growing inclination to treat grownup women as little girls. As important as the decision to end a pregnancy is, the matter of who gets to decide may be even more important. And that decision is increasingly being taken out of the hands of women and put into the hands of strangers." Go ahead, read the whole thing, if you have the guts. 
  8. Here, Ziganto claims that feminists "deny the very existence of post-abortion syndrome. To them, it’s inconceivable that any woman would actually feel remorse or be racked with guilt, her entire life, after having an abortion." This is completely inaccurate. To deny the existence of post-abortion syndrome is to deny that women who have abortions are at significant risk of mental problems as a result of aborting. As I have previously argued, there is no scientific evidence that post-abortion syndrome, so defined, exists. I'm with the scientists on this one, not some hysterical bullshitting conservative blogger.  But even if it doesn't exist, it doesn't follow that no one feels guilty about having an abortion. Surely many women experience post-abortion feelings of guilt. But that alone doesn't establish that the syndrome, so defined, exists. Notice what the evidence for the existence of the syndrome is: those who believe it exists claim that they know people who have experienced feelings of guilt after abortion. This is the fallacy of anecdotal evidence. I could just as easily argue that post-abortion syndrome does not exist because I actually know women who have had abortions and experienced no guilt feelings as a result. This is inconceivable to people like Ziganto, of course, since she and others like her are pro-life. But why would someone who is pro-choice feel guilty about having an abortion? Pro-lifers can only respond by insisting on the existence of a syndrome that does not in fact exist. The moral of this story is this: if you are pro-life, don't have an abortion; other than that, mind your own fucking business. 
Ziganto does not respond to any of my criticisms, either because it interferes with her bullshitting mission or she simply doesn't have any response except to agree with all of them. I don't expect her to respond to this one either. There's remarkably little in the way of balls or brains coming from the woman behind snark and boobs.

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It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. ---W.K. Clifford

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear. ---Thomas Jefferson