filkertom: (whodoyouthink)
Dunno why everybody's so shocked, shocked! that a 67-year-old duck call maker from the backwoods spouts racism and homophobia.

Nor am I surprised that Rush Limbaugh defends him on the grounds of FREEDOM OF SPEECH!

I'm not even piqued by the stance of the rest of his clan, that their fatigues-and-whittlin' Simple Country Honesty™ cannot possibly move forward without their patriarch.

However, I am slightly annoyed that Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) is jumping on the FREEDOM OF SPEECH! bandwagon. But then, he's only supposed to be one of the new breed of conservative intellectuals (which I'm sure we all remember from his Mr. Rogers-style SOTU rebuttal in 2009).

And I'm rather annoyed, and simultaneously bemused, at the FREEDOM OF SPEECH! outcry from the same people who boycotted the Dixie Chicks for saying they were embarrassed to be from the same state as Pres. Bush, the same folks who followed Ari Fleischer's despicable lead in warning people to "watch what you say".

Let's remind everyone, especially Jindal and Rushbo, of a little basic law: The First Amendment, guaranteeing freedom of speech, does indeed guarantee anyone the right to say anything (within the obvious limits of "fire" in a crowded theater, etc. Let's not cloud the argument with bullshit). This even extends to outright lies -- goodness knows enough of them have gone unchallenged.

And it guarantees that the government cannot legally suppress your speech.

It does not guarantee you an audience.

And, if you are a representative of a private company -- in this case, the A&E Network -- it does not guarantee you a job if you say shit that said company thinks is damaging to their image.

You'd think that someone who started from nothing and built his hand-carved duck calls into a fairly big corporation and a reality TV show would have people to mention these things to him. At least someone in his immediate family.

Ah well. I'm gonna continue to stay off his lawn.
filkertom: (ThumbsUp)
For those who've been wondering when, or if, Dragon*Con would ever separate itself from its controversial co-founder, Ed Kramer... done and done.

Now Kramer can go to, bluntly, whatever merciful oblivion may have him, and the rest of us can get on with the damn con.
filkertom: (cookie_wth)
Every once in awhile, we are reminded that the law is not perfect. Today we have an excellent example:
A California appeals court overturned the rape conviction of a man who authorities say pretended to be a sleeping woman's boyfriend before initiating intercourse, ruling that an arcane law from 1872 doesn't protect unmarried women in such cases.

A panel of judges reversed the trial court's conviction of Julio Morales and remanded it for retrial, in a decision posted Wednesday from the Los Angeles-based court.

Morales had been sentenced to three years in state prison. He was accused of entering a woman's bedroom late one night after her boyfriend had gone home and initiating sexual intercourse while she was asleep, after a night of drinking.

The victim said her boyfriend was in the room when she fell asleep, and they'd decided against having sex that night because he didn't have a condom and he had to be somewhere early the next day.

Morales pretended to be her boyfriend in the darkened room, and it wasn't until a ray of light from outside the room flashed across his face that she realized he wasn't her boyfriend, according to prosecutors.

"Has the man committed rape? Because of historical anomalies in the law and the statutory definition of rape, the answer is no, even though, if the woman had been married and the man had impersonated her husband, the answer would be yes," Judge Thomas L. Willhite Jr. wrote in the court's decision.
Okay, first things first: If you have to lie to someone about who you are to have sex with them, DON'T HAVE SEX WITH THEM.

If someone drunkenly thinks you're their S.O. and you're not, DON'T HAVE SEX WITH THEM.

If you are in the legislature or judiciary, and you have this sort of law end up in front of you, STRIKE IT DOWN OR CHANGE OR NEGATE IT. Declare it unconstitutional. There are plenty of reasons why, the first and most obvious being privacy rights and discrimination based on marital status. Don't just say, "Well, gosh-darn it, the law as written gives the guy a loophole on this." NO, IT FUCKING DOESN'T. If you can talk yourself into that, you do not deserve to be in the legislature or on the bench. (And, [personal profile] scifantasy, [profile] admnaismith, [profile] old_fortissimo, my friends, who know the law better than I do, I'll fight you on this one tlll the sun dies, and I may not be correct but by damn I'm right.)

If you are in the legislature or judiciary, and you have, y'know, interns whose job it is to review laws on the books to see if they're outdated, MAKE THEM DO SO.

filkertom: (cookie_wth)
Hostess Brands is going out of business.

Utterly stupid. The company would literally rather kill itself off than give their workers a break. They wanted "major wage and benefit concessions". Don't they always?

What's your favorite Hostess brand? Mine's the Snowball. Fortunately, I only have 'em a couple of times a year.
filkertom: (jawdrop)
Jeez, get off the internet for a couple of days, and you miss all kinds of WUT I DON'T EVEN:
Rep. Todd Akin, a tea party candidate who is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in the closely watched race, was asked in a local television interview about whether he supports access to abortion in the case of rape.

"If abortion could be considered in case of, say, a tubal pregnancy [which threatens the mother’s life], what about in the case of rape?" asked KTVI host Charles Jaco, in a clip that was disseminated by Talking Points Memo. "Should it be legal or not?"

"It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare,” Akin said, referring to conception following a rape. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something, I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child."

According to a 1996 study by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, an estimated 32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year. The journal put the national rape-related pregnancy rate at 5% among victims age 12 to 45.
It's so insane and offensive and flat-out stupid that the Romney campaign has already rebuked it.

We keep coming back to this again and again and again: I have no idea how some people think. It's such an alien way to look at the world, such an utterly different set of priorities, that I'm stunned.

I'll see if I can make it easier for Mr. Akin. I'll likely be clumsy about it, but it has to be said.*

Rape is primarily an act of violence and control and selfishness taken to the extreme. Sex is not so much the point of the exercise as the medium by which control is established and violence and selfishness are satisfied. Rape is a violation of a person, not merely of their genitals.

There is no circumstance in which rape is "legitimate". And I feel there is truly something wrong about a society that values an embryo or fetus over the woman carrying it.

* The original post said, "this sort of thing should be said by a woman, of course, but I don't know if he'd listen to her, 'cause that's just how he rolls," and [personal profile] pocketnaomi pointed out in comments that, while I was trying to make it clear I didn't speak for all or even any women, it's as much the duty of men to speak out against this bullshit as it is the duty of women.

ETA: Akin's non-apology (he "misspoke"), and Romney seriously distances himself from Akin.

ETA2: A little clarification on my posting this.

ETA3: Sorry, but Akin is indeed not out of step with the Republican party on this.
filkertom: (dont_be_a_dick)
So the CEO of Papa John's pizza is threatening to raise prices because of Obamacare.

It's one of the coldest, most blatant pitches I've ever seen -- "vote for Romney or we'll charge you more".

Nearly all I might have to say on the matter is said at the Daily Kos diary linked above, but there is one more thing that occurs to me: If the price increase is (depending on, I dunno, somethin') between eleven and twenty cents a pizza... does he really think anyone is going to care?

"If we have to pay for health care for all these people, I'm gonna charge you an extra couple of dimes per pizza" seems like a very reasonable trade.

ETA: Yep, that seems to be a common reaction.
filkertom: (speechless)
Sadness, and anger and disgust.

To quote this article:
A woman collided with a car as she tried to cross a street outside San Diego Comic-Con today in a bizarre accident that took the Twilight fan's life.


Apparently she ran out into the street, saw oncoming traffic, tried to stop and tripped, fell or stumbled into the passenger side of a car.
The woman, Gisela Gagliardi (TwiFanG), suffered severe head trauma and died at the hospital.

My god, what a horrific tragedy. Condolences, hugs, gentle songs to Ms. Gagliardi's family and friends (and that includes all the other people at SDCC who saw the accident which killed her). The movies' producers have released a statement, and they will remember her this weekend.

I wish to FSM I could just leave it there.

Every single news item on this has in the headline that she was a Twilight fan. As if that makes a difference.

Except, to a fair number of people, apparently it does. Specifically, the commenters online. The ones who are saying things like
  • There is a thing called self preservation and she failed to have it. Zero sympathy from me.
  • Bit of a reach to try to apportion some of the blame to securiy officials. I'm guessing these Twilight fans are, by definition, a bit kooky and short on common sense.
  • It's a twilight fan she deserved to die. Don't need those idiots and freaks polluting the world.
And that's just from the story I linked to at the top.

I've known for a very long time now that comments on Teh Intertubes tend to be... what's the word? Foul. As in vile. Also as in chicken, as in cowardly. Commenters hide behind their veneer of anonymity, and pontificate on things as if they had The Last Word... and that last word tends to be at best appalling, and at worst actionable, with a heavy trend towards reprehensible.

And I realize I'm preaching to the choir here. But... jayzus, Humanity, could you please not be hideously offensive and stupid just once in a while? A human being died today, and you're making good-riddance jokes because of the books/movies she liked.

Rest in peace, Gisela, TwiFanG.
filkertom: (dont_be_a_dick)
Ratza fratzin -- if I didn't kinda need the stupid account, I'd deep-six it in a hot second.

Facebook seems to have an unhealthy obsession with letting people's data alone. The newest example: I bet you didn't know that, currently, your primary, indeed only listed, FB email account is [username], didja?

All part of the service. Fuckers.

What customer "service" horror stories rile you the most? They don't have to be yours -- link up if ya got 'em. I'm continually fascinated by companies that seem to think the best way to treat customers is like dirt.
filkertom: (toolate)
Holy vagina-ing vagina.

The offensiveness outrage is, of course, intended to not only (literally) quiet the opposition, but to distract from this utterly stupid and unnecessary law.

I live in a state where the legislature and the governor apparently do not give a shit about the people, no matter what they say. There are endless examples of this. But this... this is over the top even for them.

(The Detroit Free Press article about this from yesterday has a truly amazing comment section, which basically consists of a whole bunch of rational people offended that the legislators in question were censored, and two or three guys who just keep bringing the same spurious trollness to the table. Car-wreck fascinating.)

Again, again, again, again, again: Women's bodies, women's choices, and especially women's reproductive health choices are their own. Not yours, not mine, not the Michigan legislature's, their own. Their bodies, their choices, and a full-grown woman trumps a fetus. Period.

And: Bringing out the fainting couch because someone used a medically acceptable term for a procedure, or a body part, you're trying to regulate... simply demonstrates you aren't qualified to regulate it.
filkertom: (dont_be_a_dick)
And on the other end of the spectrum we have Rush.

I've been joking for years that something has to be surgically removed from those wishing to advance in the Republican socio-political-economic power structure: irony, self-awareness, compassion, empathy, something.

This is one of those times I wonder if the joke is on me.
filkertom: (jawdrop)
I must remember that the Washington Times is owned and operated by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, and he and his employees are fuckin' insane:
The Obama campaign apparently didn’t look backwards into history when selecting its new campaign slogan, “Forward” — a word with a long and rich association with European Marxism.
No, really. Tell me more.
Many Communist and radical publications and entities throughout the 19th and 20th centuries had the name “Forward!” or its foreign cognates. Wikipedia has an entire section called “Forward (generic name of socialist publications).”

“The name Forward carries a special meaning in socialist political terminology. It has been frequently used as a name for socialist, communist and other left-wing newspapers and publications,” the online encyclopedia explains.

The slogan “Forward!” reflected the conviction of European Marxists and radicals that their movements reflected the march of history, which would move forward past capitalism and into socialism and communism.
Get outa town.

Just read the rest of the excerpt that the Washington Monthly has on its site (at the link above, obviously). It's boggling. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll kiss our civilization goodbye.
filkertom: (jawdrop)
I mean, how can you not marvel at the audacious imagination to come up with this:
Medical examiners in Los Angeles are investigating the possible poisoning death of one of their own officials who may have worked on the case of Andrew Breitbart, the conservative firebrand who died March 1, the same day Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced probable cause for forgery in President Obama’s birth certificate.
I am in awe.

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