Our Delight in Destruction
2 hours ago
Thanks to them, the Rand Experience is no longer limited to those who have read the books. It's metastasized. You, me, all of us, we're living it. Because it's the ARA Army of antigovernment-antiregulation puritans who have spent the past three decades gleefully pulling the cooling rods out of the American economy. For a while, it got very big and very hot. Then it popped. And now the rest of us have to spend the next decade scaling the slippery slopes of the huge suppurative crater that was left behind.Anyway, some pack of adolescent Rand disciples is trying to find a way to criticize Obama for the screw-ups of BP, and this is the shit they come up with. Hey, bc3b, why don't you take the advice of your hero and check your premises?
Folks know a government-run option would result in tens of millions losing insurance they have with their employer now and millions of Americans losing their jobs, and the idea now that piling on top of all that big government takeover of health care are going to be tax increases on businesses and employees is just astonishing. . . . Republicans are coming together around conservative values. We need the American people to ride to the rescue. We can stop this government takeover of health care, and we request demand this Congress take action that will get this economy moving again.Months later, Pence is changing his tune. "The American people deserve to know why the administration was slow to respond, why necessary equipment was not immediately on hand in the area and why the president did not fully deploy Cabinet-level federal officials" to the Gulf Coast until April 30, Pence recently said.
The Gulf region, ravaged five years earlier by Hurricane Katrina, was on the verge of a second ecological disaster. Would there be a repeat of the bureaucratic bungling that marked President George W. Bush's response to the hurricane?Lemme guess, Republican, the reporting of the Associated Press suffers from liberal bias, right?
While the Obama administration has faced second-guessing about the speed and effectiveness of some of its actions, a narrative pieced together by The Associated Press, based on documents, interviews and public statements, shows little resemblance to Katrina in either the characterization of the threat or the federal government's response.
At a 2005 workshop, a senior official in the U.S. government's Minerals Management Service raised concerns about ultra-deepwater drilling and included the bullet point, "Few or no regulations or standards." Within two years, Jim Grant left his post as chief of staff of the government's Gulf of Mexico region to take a job with BP PLC – one of the companies his former agency regulated in its oversight of offshore drilling.For someone like me, this is disturbing. But haven't Republicans and ARA's wanted to deregulate the private sector and get government off the backs of corporations so that they could make more money? Sorry, assholes: you can't on the one hand insist on deregulation, and then fault Obama for regulatory failure.
Grant's change is one example of the revolving door between the Interior Department's MMS and the oil industry, which increasingly has the attention of Congress, the Obama administration and watchdog groups after the disastrous BP oil spill at an ultra-deepwater rig in the Gulf of Mexico.
Just this week, a government report said drilling regulators have been so close to the industry they've been accepting gifts from oil and gas companies and even negotiating to go work for them.
I admit that when she tweeted that a new article at The Daily Beast, on Rand Paul no less, was forthcoming, I giggled with schadenfreude-y anticipation. I knew it would be snicker-worthy and I wasn’t disappointed. The only problem is that when I read her reputed writing, I hear things like “ZOMG! Why all the H8rs!!111 Oh, look! Cute shoes!”From Lori Ziganto's Twitter Feed:
@MelissaTweets I have to take 2 advil *before* I go to Walmart as a preventative measure. The aggravation and the lights bother me.
3:34 PM May 19th via Endless Tweets in reply to MelissaTweets
@JennQPublic Under a girls 14, yes. But girls 14 and 16 are good length. I was wearing high wedgies that day, too. I'm only 5' 5"
3:33 PM May 19th via Endless Tweets in reply to JennQPublic
@BigDaveP I can imagine! She must have been thrilled to find one! :)
3:31 PM May 19th via Endless Tweets in reply to BigDaveP
@CorinnaBeck Old Navy! Forgot about them, thank you! They sometimes have great clearance prices.
3:31 PM May 19th via Endless Tweets in reply to CorinnaBeck
@MelissaTweets Yes, it is. In my 20s,probably would have thought it awesome (the girls sizes) At 39? Not so much. Heh. Oh well. C'est la vie
3:30 PM May 19th via Endless Tweets in reply to MelissaTweets
@MelissaTweets Yes, some of Target's Juniors stuff works. Today, made mistake of trying to buy pair at Walmart (was there for kids shoes)
3:28 PM May 19th via Endless Tweets in reply to MelissaTweets
@MelissaTweets Yep. Ticks me off. I mean, GIRLS clothes; that's pitiful. My Mom has opposite problem and hard for her to find clothes too.
3:24 PM May 19th via Endless Tweets in reply to MelissaTweets
@JennQPublic Hee hee. It's just that the cheap stores do the vanity sizing really bad and don't have below a size 4. Cracker discrimination!
3:21 PM May 19th via Endless Tweets in reply to JennQPublic
@MelissaTweets That's actually my complaint.The cheap stores, that I can afford, don't have small women's clothing. Only fancy stores do
3:19 PM May 19th via Endless Tweets in reply to MelissaTweets
@MelissaTweets Oh! Oh, no. Those are super cute, but way too pricey for me. #poor
3:18 PM May 19th via Endless Tweets in reply to MelissaTweets
@JennQPublic Ha! No, it's not a plus. Bad enough having to buy trampy juniors clothes (have you SEEN that section) but now girls? Not. Fair.
3:14 PM May 19th via Endless Tweets in reply to JennQPublic
@MelissaTweets I don't know that store. There's a store called 7? #unhip
3:13 PM May 19th via Endless Tweets in reply to MelissaTweets
@MelissaTweets Plus, only at cheapie stores like Walmart and Target. It's like they are discriminating against the scrawny! I must protest
3:12 PM May 19th via Endless Tweets in reply to MelissaTweets
@MelissaTweets It's annoying! I don't want to MATCH my 7 year old!
3:10 PM May 19th via Endless Tweets in reply to MelissaTweets
On the plus side, this means I can now get jeans on clearance for like 3 bucks. #silverlining
3:09 PM May 19th via Endless Tweets
Due to the insane vanity sizing of clothes nowadays, I just had to buy GIRLS size jeans. At 39 yrs old. #somecrackersareskinny
3:07 PM May 19th via Endless Tweets
[I]t strikes me as intuitively obvious that in order to succeed in a white man's world, women must learn to see both sides in ways that men do not. If that is true, it just might make them "better" judges, at least in some circumstances.Why would women be better than men at seeing both sides? Researchers have studied a phenomenon known as imaginative identification:
[I]n order to get ahead in the world, you learn to see life through the eyes of those who have already succeeded. According to at least some anthropologists, women have had to get awfully good at understanding what it would be like to be a man.Then what makes Sotomayor's ethnicity relevant? I like to present the following thought experiment to the people I know: all else being equal, who is more likely to have a better understanding of the lives and experiences of African-Americans, Barack Obama or George W. Bush? Common sense tells us that the correct answer is Obama. Obama has an insight into the African-American experience that George W. Bush very likely does not have, simply because Obama has lived the life of an African-American man. Now, I don't claim that a white person could not gain such insight; I just claim that such insight is much harder to come by for whites.
There was something distasteful about Sotomayor’s being lectured on civil rights by the likes of Senator Jeff Sessions, of Alabama, whose own retrograde views on race back in 1986 led to his being rejected for a federal judgeship by the very committee on which he now serves. (One of the more cringe-worthy moments of the hearing was Sessions’s expression of incredulity that Sotomayor might disagree with another judge on her court even though he was also Puerto Rican.)And, speaking more broadly, we have the reprehensible Glenn Beck claiming that Barack Obama hates white people. (And why wouldn't Obama hate white people? Just look at the man!) The hateful prejudice behind both these comments and the aforementioned assumption is thinly veiled. Those who accept the assumption also assume that those who are white possess an inherent ability to be impartial. This belief in an inherent difference between white men and all others is as reprehensibly mistaken as can be. If one denies that others lack this ability by virtue of their ethnicity or sex or what have you, then there is obviously every reason to think that whites are similarly impaired.
is no more of an empirical question than whether she is Jewish. We know she is Jewish, and it is a fact simply and rightly put in the public square. If she were to hide her Jewishness, it would seem rightly odd, bizarre, anachronistic, even arguably self-critical or self-loathing. And yet we have been told by many that she is gay ... and no one will ask directly if this is true and no one in the administration will tell us definitively.Sullivan is right.
In a word, this is preposterous - a function of liberal cowardice and conservative discomfort. It should mean nothing either way. Since the issue of this tiny minority - and the right of the huge majority to determine its rights and equality - is a live issue for the court in the next generation, and since it would be bizarre to argue that a Justice's sexual orientation will not in some way affect his or her judgment of the issue, it is only logical that this question should be clarified. It's especially true with respect to Obama. He has, after all, told us that one of his criteria for a Supreme Court Justice is knowing what it feels like to be on the wrong side of legal discrimination.
No one person, judge or nominee will speak in a female or people of color voice. I need not remind you that Justice Clarence Thomas represents a part but not the whole of African-American thought on many subjects. Yet, because I accept the proposition that, as Judge Resnik describes it, "to judge is an exercise of power" and because as, another former law school classmate, Professor Martha Minnow of Harvard Law School, states "there is no objective stance but only a series of perspectives -- no neutrality, no escape from choice in judging," I further accept that our experiences as women and people of color affect our decisions. The aspiration to impartiality is just that -- it's an aspiration because it denies the fact that we are by our experiences making different choices than others. Not all women or people of color, in all or some circumstances or indeed in any particular case or circumstance but enough people of color in enough cases, will make a difference in the process of judging. The Minnesota Supreme Court has given an example of this. As reported by Judge Patricia Wald formerly of the D.C. Circuit Court, three women on the Minnesota Court with two men dissenting agreed to grant a protective order against a father's visitation rights when the father abused his child. The Judicature Journal has at least two excellent studies on how women on the courts of appeal and state supreme courts have tended to vote more often than their male counterpart to uphold women's claims in sex discrimination cases and criminal defendants' claims in search and seizure cases. As recognized by legal scholars, whatever the reason, not one woman or person of color in any one position but as a group we will have an effect on the development of the law and on judging.
In our private conversations, Judge Cedarbaum has pointed out to me that seminal decisions in race and sex discrimination cases have come from Supreme Courts composed exclusively of white males. I agree that this is significant but I also choose to emphasize that the people who argued those cases before the Supreme Court which changed the legal landscape ultimately were largely people of color and women. I recall that Justice Thurgood Marshall, Judge Connie Baker Motley, the first black woman appointed to the federal bench, and others of the NAACP argued Brown v. Board of Education. Similarly, Justice Ginsburg, with other women attorneys, was instrumental in advocating and convincing the Court that equality of work required equality in terms and conditions of employment.
Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O'Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure Justice O'Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes that line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life.
Let us not forget that wise men like Oliver Wendell Holmes and Justice Cardozo voted on cases which upheld both sex and race discrimination in our society. Until 1972, no Supreme Court case ever upheld the claim of a woman in a gender discrimination case. I, like Professor Carter, believe that we should not be so myopic as to believe that others of different experiences or backgrounds are incapable of understanding the values and needs of people from a different group. Many are so capable. As Judge Cedarbaum pointed out to me, nine white men on the Supreme Court in the past have done so on many occasions and on many issues including Brown.
However, to understand takes time and effort, something that not all people are willing to give. For others, their experiences limit their ability to understand the experiences of others. Other simply do not care. Hence, one must accept the proposition that a difference there will be by the presence of women and people of color on the bench. Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see. My hope is that I will take the good from my experiences and extrapolate them further into areas with which I am unfamiliar. I simply do not know exactly what that difference will be in my judging. But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage.
Want to go to college, but there is a pesky baby growing inside of you? Abort! A life is far less important than your co-ed fun and career plans, right? Your dreams are all that matters, baby be damned. Can’t let that get in the way! Follow President Obama’s thinking and don’t let yourself be “punished with a baby!”The careful reader will notice that Ziganto resorts to the straw man fallacy. Again. According to Ziganto, pro-choicers believe that abortion is justified whenever completing a pregnancy is inconvenient. Now, inconvenience is what one might call an elastic concept: what one person considers inconvenient might not be considered inconvenient by someone else. But it's clear from the tone of her rant that Ziganto would perhaps never consider completing a pregnancy inconvenient. And she also seems to think that pro-choicers would always find completing a pregnancy inconvenient. To Ziganto, women who abort are sociopathic narcissists.
Jessica Valenti called the abortionchangesyou.com ad “heinous.” Do you know what she said about the defaced ad promoting abortion for convenience? She called the vandal a “pro-choice hero” and then said:
Love. It.Loves encouraging abortion for convenience. Loves encouraging abortion because a baby, a human life, doesn’t fit in with your super fun college plans. Denies the trauma that abortion may cause to the woman, but rejoices at the thought of killing a baby who isn’t timely.
But you want it to be safe, legal and rare? Baloney. Willy nilly matters of convenience are not part of that definition. You have devalued life to the point where *convenience* over-rides a life itself, in your minds.
That is heinous.
Women give many reasons for having an abortion; the most frequent are that having a child (or another child) would interfere with their ability to care for their existing children, their work responsibilities or their education, and that they cannot afford a baby right now. . . . Women’s reasons for ending a pregnancy have been consistent over time and often focus on their responsibilities to the children they already have and considerations for the children they plan to have in the future.Now, one might argue that I've been unfair to Ziganto. Perhaps I have. She doesn't believe that women who abort are sociopathic narcissists, some might say; rather, given that abortion ends human fetal life, which is a very serious matter, abortion could only very rarely be justified. Wanting to go to college and fulfill one's dreams certainly wouldn't justify abortion.
“There is a misconception that women take the decision to terminate a pregnancy lightly,” says Finer. “Women’s primary reasons for making this difficult decision are based on a lack of resources in light of their current responsibilities. Typically, more than one reason drives the decision, and these reasons are frequently interrelated.”
While [you feminists] were busily pant-suiting yourselves and trying to become men, other women were out there raising families and learning through actual living. You old school Feminists forgot (or chose to ignore; y’all are big on paying lip service to “choosing”) the greatest thing that sets us apart. Being a Mommy.As I have said before, I am a feminist, and I have nothing against the choices Ziganto has made. I only hope that she made those choices autonomously. But the important point of feminism is that women have in the past been expected to make the same choices Ziganto has made. Women haven't always enjoyed the freedom that Ziganto now enjoys, and Ziganto enjoys that freedom thanks to feminism. Ziganto appears to be completely oblivious to that fact. Ziganto further reveals her obliviousness in this rant against liberal feminist pro-choicers:
The fact that you care more about my uterus and its “rights” than I do is kinda gross. Why the heck are creepy, middle-aged men and militant lesbians so obsessed with my reproductive rights? I have never, not once, woken up thinking “Gee, I hope my reproductive rights are protected today”. What are reproductive rights anyway? Wouldn’t that mean the right to reproduce?(Note Ziganto's implicit identification of liberal feminists and militant lesbians.) The reason Ziganto does not wake up worrying about her reproductive rights is that feminists have fought to ensure that she has those rights. Those rights guarantee (within reason, for no right is absolute) not only the right to reproduce but also the right not to reproduce. Ziganto's ignorance about this point is, I believe, feigned: her column is a celebration of the freedom to be a non-autonomous bimbo, after all, and she's trying to play the part. (Perhaps she thinks that certain men find that attractive, for one of her workaday concerns appears to be increasing the likelihood that men fantasize about copulating with her—as if her feelings of self-worth depend on it.)
[W]e’ve all known for some time that while the left trots out the For The Women ™ meme constantly, they are anything but. The same way that self-avowed modern day feminists are anything but feminist. In fact, they are diametrically opposed to feminism, by it’s very definition, because their entire agenda is actually harmful to women. This is why I now call them Femogynists and I’m taking the term feminist back.Ziganto calls liberal feminists "Femogynists" (surely intending a similarity to the word "misogynist") not only to distinguish between her view and liberal feminism but also to poison the well while she's at it. I am a liberal feminist, so I was rather surprised to hear that I am also anti-women. Why does Ziganto make such a surprising, counter-intuitive claim?
We are tired of femogynists claiming that they speak for us. We are tired of being sneered at as gender traitors for not toeing the faux feminist line and by daring to be pro-life. We are tired of the attempts to diminish Motherhood. We are tired of women being painted as perpetual victims by the left, in need of Big Daddy Government to save us.And you know what? I can dig this. I really can. Motherhood and child-bearing is perfectly compatible with feminism, or at least with the kind of feminism I endorse. To say that I am a classical liberal feminist is probably roughly correct. I merely insist on the legal and moral equivalence of the sexes, except in those few possible cases in which sex is morally or legally relevant. I demand only that women have the same rights and privileges that men have. For me, the key is that women who choose to be mothers have the opportunity to do so autonomously. So I naturally abhor certain right-wing pro-lifers who try to prevent women from having abortions by deceiving and coercing them.
[T]he highest quality studies had findings that were mostly neutral, suggesting few, if any, differences between women who had abortions and their respective comparison groups in terms of mental health sequelae. Conversely, studies with the most flawed methodology found negative mental health sequelae of abortion.("Sequelae" is the plural of "sequela," which is defined as "an aftereffect of disease, condition, or injury.") According to Reuters,
A team at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore reviewed 21 studies involving more than 150,000 women and found the high-quality studies showed no significant differences in long-term mental health between women who choose to abort a pregnancy and others.Now, I'm sure that Ziganto and Stanek find the stories of individual women who have been traumatized by their abortions compelling. Anyone who attends to them would. But to infer from such anecdotal evidence that post-abortion syndrome is a real possibility is to commit the "I know a person who" fallacy. And don't we also find compelling the stories of people who had many other kinds of medical procedures that unexpectedly produced undesired outcomes? Are we to ban the practice of medicine altogether in order to prevent these outcomes? Any medical procedure involves risk. A patient must be given information about those risks so that they can decide for themselves, autonomously, whether to assume those risks. Instead, conservatives would rather have the government regulate the flow of information from doctor to patient in order to manipulate a woman's choice.
"The best research does not support the existence of a 'post-abortion syndrome' similar to post-traumatic stress disorder," Dr. Robert Blum, who led the study published in the journal Contraception, said in a statement.
"Based on the best available evidence, emotional harm should not be a factor in abortion policy. If the goal is to help women, program and policy decisions should not distort science to advance political agendas," added Vignetta Charles, a researcher and doctoral student at Johns Hopkins who worked on the study.
Perhaps the essence of the Liberal outlook could be summed up in a new decalogue, not intended to replace the old one but only to supplement it. The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows:
- Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
- Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
- Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
- When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
- Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
- Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
- Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
- Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
- Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
- Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool's paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.
"A Liberal Decalogue" is from The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell, Vol. 3: 1944-1969, pp. 71-2.Source: http://users.drew.edu/~jlenz/br-decalog.html
I believe that it is time that we stop demonizing those with whom we disagree and discuss our disagreements in a rational and respectful manner, though I also believe that those who willingly employ irrational means of persuasion in such discussions deserve no respect.I believe that I have just shown that Ziganto indeed employs irrational means of persuasion and is therefore deserving of the abuse I have heaped on her. She may be a perfectly pleasant and decent human being, but as a blogger she has not earned my respect.
[T]he event further discredits the Dick Cheney-Newt Gingrich view of terrorism—that it's "an act of war" and that, therefore, fighting it as if it were a "criminal act" is foolhardy.
We don't yet know whether Saturday night's car bomb was the work of a one-off loner or a terrorist organization. But, in one sense, that's the point: Regardless of who tried to bomb Times Square, the New York City police (and, presumably, much more behind the scenes, U.S. and allied intelligence agencies) would be doing exactly the same thing that they're doing in response—scouring the forensic clues, scrutinizing video footage, questioning witnesses and the usual sources, double-checking electronic intercepts, and all the rest.
Terrorism, in some of its forms, may be a campaign of war—but it manifests itself in criminal acts. And while the military has a role in combating terrorist organizations (see the war in Afghanistan, the drone attacks on al-Qaida leaders in Pakistan, etc.), the acts are often best pre-empted, foiled, and punished by the routine procedures of a well-trained police force and intelligence organizations.Read the rest of Kaplan's piece here.
I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.I saw them talking about it this morning, with text along the bottom of the screen implying that Obama is making war on capitalism itself. Think about that. What would Fox "News" have you believe? This: the claim that some amount of money is enough for an individual is antithetical to capitalism. Which is to say that no amount is ever enough. Not one million dollars, not one billion, not one trillion. All the money in the entire world isn't enough for a single person. Is this even plausible? Does it even make sense?
We had a system where some on Wall Street could take these risks without fear of failure, because they keep the profits when it was working, and as soon as it went south, they expected you to cover their losses. So it was one of those heads, they tail -- tails, you lose.
So they failed to consider that behind every dollar that they traded, all that leverage they were generating, acting like it was Monopoly money, there were real families out who were trying to finance a home, or pay for their child’s college, or open a business, or save for retirement. So what’s working fine for them wasn’t working for ordinary Americans. And we’ve learned that clearly. It doesn’t work out fine for the country. It’s got to change. (Applause.)
Now, what we’re doing -- I want to be clear, we’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that's fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money. (Laughter.) But part of the American way is you can just keep on making it if you’re providing a good product or you’re providing a good service. We don't want people to stop fulfilling the core responsibilities of the financial system to help grow the economy.
I’ve said this before. I’ve said this on Wall Street just last week. I believe in the power of the free market. And I believe in a strong financial system. And when it’s working right, financial institutions, they help make possible families buying homes, and businesses growing, and new ideas taking flight. An entrepreneur may have a great idea, but he may need to borrow some money to make it happen. It would be hard for a lot of us to buy a house -- our first house, at least, if we weren’t able to take out a mortgage.
So there’s nothing wrong with a financial system that helps the economy expand. And there are a lot of good people in the financial industry who are doing things the right way. And it’s in our interest when those firms are strong and when they’re healthy.
But some of these institutions that operated irresponsibly, they’re not just threatening themselves -- they threaten the whole economy. And they threaten your dreams, your prospects, everything that you worked so hard to build.
So we just want them to operate in a way that’s fair and honest and in the open, so that we don’t have to go through what we’ve already gone through.Now, to any rational person whose thinking has not been distorted by extremist thinking, these are hardly the remarks of someone making war on capitalism. Why didn't Fox "News" bring any of the following statements to the attention of their viewers?