Monday, November 28, 2005

The Invisible Pink Unicorn



Blessed be her holy hooves.

Religious relics! Read about The Holy Sock of Bob.

Summary of the Major Articles of Faith


Our Lady Unicorn is Pink and Invisible.

She prefers Pineapple and Ham Pizza to Pepperoni and Mushroom. The latter is said to be eaten only by followers of the despicable Purple Oyster (of Doom). [cf]

The Followers of the IPU have more Holy Days than those of all other faiths put together, as any Holy Day of any faith is automatically an IPU Holy Day. Holy Days are used by the Faithful to sow seeds of doubt and uncertainty in the minds of addicts of other religions. The Holiest Day of the Year is April 1st. It is the day on which the She suggests we find a religious nut and say "There is as much evidence for the existence of your god/gods as there is for the Invisible Pink Unicorn, why don't you check out her web-site, maybe you'll learn something?"

A significant number to followers of the IPU is 42. It is the answer to the question, "What is the meaning of life, the universe, and everything?" Importantly, if you add together the digits of the year in which she was revealed, (1+9+9+4) you get 23. If you add 4 (for Her hooves), add 2 (Her ears) add 2 (Her eyes) add 1 (Her Horn), add 1 (Her tail) then add 9 the result is also 42. This proves the significance of Two Score and Two.

Certain chosen followers of the IPU are blessed with visitations, shown with signs in their laundry. See the Revelation of The Lost Prophetess of AOL for more details.


The New Revised Amalgamated Standard Creed


We believe in One Unicorn, The Pink, The Invisible. Creator of Uncertainty, revealed to us in the alt.atheist usenet forum - She that Raptures Socks. She will smite those that mock Her brethren. Others believe baloney, we too will join the feast. We shall eat our fill, yea every belly shall be full of ham and pineapple pizza. Her Revelations show us the folly of all Religions. Spread Her Word.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Pre-adolescent girls forced into marriage

Story at the NYTimes

Of course it's time-honored tradition in village society to sell your daughter off to an old man.

The evolutionary psychologists try to claim that women have a sexual preference for older wealthier men.

Of course most of the evolutionary psychologists are older, wealthier men.

Friday, November 25, 2005

We need national health insurance now, says Paul Krugman

And he is right!

Wouldn't taxpayer-financed health insurance amount to a subsidy to the auto industry? Not really. Because most Americans believe that their fellow citizens are entitled to health care, and because our political system acts, however imperfectly, on that belief, tying health insurance to employment distorts the economy: it systematically discourages the creation of good jobs, the type of jobs that come with good benefits. And somebody ends up paying for health care anyway.

In fact, many of the health care expenses G.M. will save by slashing employment will simply be pushed off onto taxpayers. Some former G.M. families will end up receiving Medicaid. Others will receive uncompensated care - for example, at emergency rooms - which ends up being paid for either by taxpayers or by those with insurance.

Moreover, G.M.'s health care costs are so high in part because of the inefficiency of America's fragmented health care system. We spend far more per person on medical care than countries with national health insurance, while getting worse results

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Rightwing nutjobs gone wild

Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) shouted down on the House floor after slandering Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), a decorated former Marine.



Watch the video here

Red State Road Trip

Red staters are more stupid and ill-informed than you can possibly imagine.



Watch the trailer at truthout.org

Monday, November 21, 2005

Mighty Paul Krugman

Time to Leave

http://select.nytimes.com/2005/11/21/opinion/21krugman.html?hp

When Mr. Bush speaks of human rights, the world thinks of Abu Ghraib. (In his speech, Mr. Murtha pointed out the obvious: torture at Abu Ghraib helped fuel the insurgency.) When administration officials talk of spreading freedom, the world thinks about the reality that much of Iraq is now ruled by theocrats and their militias.

Some administration officials accused Mr. Murtha of undermining the troops and giving comfort to the enemy. But that sort of thing no longer works, now that the administration has lost the public's trust.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Dear Mr. Bush


Michael Moore responds to Bush's 'like Michael Moore' insult

Excerpt:

This week, when Republicans and conservative Democrats started jumping ship, you lashed out at them. You thought the most damning thing you could say to them was that they were "endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic party." I mean, is that the best you can do to persuade them to stick with you -- compare them to me? You gotta come up with a better villain. For heaven's sakes, you had a hundred-plus million other Americans who think the same way I do -- and you could have picked on any one of them!

But hey, why not cut out the name-calling and the smearing and just do the obvious thing: Come join the majority! Be one of us, your fellow Americans! Is it really that hard? Is there really any other choice? George, take a walk on the wild side!

Your loyal representative from the majority,

Michael Moore
www.michaelmoore.com
mmflint@aol.com

Friday, November 18, 2005

Cinco de Mayo

My song, not the date.

Created with GarageBand


Cinco de Mayo copyright 2005 by N. G. McClernan

The End of News?

The Right-wing Attack on the News

From the NY Review of Books

Last fall, when Wall Street Journal correspondent Farnaz Fassihi sent her friends a group e-mail that bluntly described the deteriorating security situation in Baghdad, right-wing bloggers accused her of bias and demanded her recall. The Journal quickly announced that Fassihi would take a previously scheduled vacation and so remain out of Iraq until after the US presidential election. (She has since resumed reporting from Iraq.) Earlier this year, when CNN president Eason Jordan claimed at the Davos summit that the US military was deliberately targeting journalists critical of the war in Iraq, bloggers exploded in outrage. Within days, a computer software analyst in Medford, New Jersey, had set up a new Web site, Easongate.com, to stoke anger against Jordan on the Internet. From there, the controversy jumped to TV, and soon after Jordan resigned.

Liberal bloggers have had some successes of their own. Partly as a result of their commentaries, for instance, the press has paid more attention to the so-called Downing Street memo of July 2002, in which Tony Blair and his advisers discussed the Bush administration's plans for war in Iraq. In addition to Daily Kos, prominent left-leaning blogs include Talking Points Memo, Eschaton, and, for commentary on Iraq, Informed Comment. While these sites are critical of the national press, their main fire is directed at the Bush administration. What's more, these sites are not supported by an interconnected system of talk radio programs and cable television commentary, and their influence therefore tends to be much more limited.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/18516

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Village Voice review of MoDo's monstrosity

Get it right here:
http://www.villagevoice.com/books/0546,press,69994,10.html

Joy Press is the author.

QUOTE

"Part of the problem is that Dowd's own gender politics are confused. She repeatedly announces that she was both too cool and too attached to being "feminine" to take part in the feminist revolution of the '60s and '70s. "I was more of a fun-loving (if chaste) Carrie Bradshaw," she writes of her college years. Hating the "unisex jeans and no-makeup look," Dowd left the struggle for social change "to my earnest sisters in black turtlenecks and Birkenstocks." First she reduces the hugely diverse women's movement to the most hackneyed stereotype: humorless, saggy-boobed ranters who wanted to be just like men. Then she disses contemporary young women for not heeding the very same feminist revolution that Dowd considered too dowdy to join. "

David Brooks - stupid or lying?



I say, why not BOTH?

And remember, Brooks is the original Dopey Smurf - Tierney's just a wanna be.

See the entire Tom Tomorrow cartoon at Working For Change

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Poi Balls are here

Just got my new poi balls from New Zealand.



I got them from Home of Poi.

Now I'm ready to do some spinning like the performers of Ngati Rangiwewehi.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The World According to Dowd

Katha Pollitt responds to MoDo's "What's a Modern Girl To Do?"

From the Pollitt column:

Dowd, for example, thinks feminism may be a "cruel hoax" because it keeps women single--men are scared of spunky, successful women. (In interviews Dowd denies she's attributing her own unmated state to her fame and fabulousness, but that's how she's been read.) Well, some men definitely want the young compliant type. But--anecdotal evidence again--most women in my circle are paired, and we are all feminists and really, really great. Men hold a lot of cards in the mating game, but fewer than they used to, and women hold more than before. There has never been a better time in all world history to be a 53-year-old single woman looking for romance. Besides, as ferocious young Jessica Valenti put it over at Feministing.com, "Feminism isn't a f***ing dating service." Out of the mouths of babes.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Poi - Ma Wai E



I became interested in the Maori thanks to reading Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel - see the book on Amazon and the PBS GGS website.

I found this incredible video of a performance of a poi song, Poi - Ma Wai E by Ngati Rangiwewehi at a festival in 1996.

I'm trying to find out who arranged the song, what the lyrics are and what the translation is.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

My response to Smurfette (Maureen Dowd)*

Maureen Dowd's article "What's a Modern Girl To Do?" can be read
here.

My response to various sections...

"I hated the grubby, unisex jeans and no-makeup look and drugs that zoned you out, and I couldn't understand the appeal of dances that didn't involve touching your partner. In the universe of Eros, I longed for style and wit. I loved the Art Deco glamour of 30's movies. I wanted to dance the Continental like Fred and Ginger in white hotel suites; drink martinis like Myrna Loy and William Powell; live the life of a screwball heroine like Katharine Hepburn, wearing a gold lamé gown cut on the bias, cavorting with Cary Grant, strolling along Fifth Avenue with my pet leopard."

Comment: even in her early years Dowd was a ninny. There was plenty of style and wit among those who wore unisex jeans and no-makeup. But if it ain’t upper class and Cary Grant, Dowd can’t discern the style and wit. I guess she thought the Beatles were absolute duds. Goddamn I loathe her prissy snobbery.

"I thought the struggle for egalitarianism was a cinch, so I could leave it to my earnest sisters in black turtlenecks and Birkenstocks."

Comment: Belittling caricature of 60s-70s feminists. And more evidence of ninnitude.

"Despite the best efforts of philosophers, politicians, historians, novelists, screenwriters, linguists, therapists, anthropologists and facilitators, men and women are still in a muddle in the boardroom, the bedroom and the Situation Room."

Comment: yes, because if women can’t achieve complete equality with men in 40 years, after only 40 centuries of absolute patriarchy, then surely feminism has failed.

"it was becoming increasingly apparent that many women would have to brush up on the venerable tricks of the trade: an absurdly charming little laugh, a pert toss of the head, an air of saucy triumph, dewy eyes and a full knowledge of music, drawing, elegant note writing and geography. It would once more be considered captivating to lie on a chaise longue, pass a lacy handkerchief across the eyelids and complain of a case of springtime giddiness. "

Comment: Is this sarcastic hyperbole or not? It’s hard to tell with Dowd.

"Today, women have gone back to hunting their quarry - in person and in cyberspace - with elaborate schemes designed to allow the deluded creatures to think they are the hunters. "Men like hunting, and we shouldn't deprive them of their chance to do their hunting and mating rituals," my 26-year-old friend Julie Bosman, a New York Times reporter, says. "As my mom says, Men don't like to be chased." Or as the Marvelettes sang, "The hunter gets captured by the game."

Dowd supports her point by citing her 26-year-old friend, her mom, and the Marvelettes!

"Helen Fisher, a Rutgers anthropologist, concurs with Julie: "What our grandmothers told us about playing hard to get is true. The whole point of the game is to impress and capture. It's not about honesty. Many men and women, when they're playing the courtship game, deceive so they can win. Novelty, excitement and danger drive up dopamine in the brain. And both sexes brag."

Comment: And now she cites Helen Fisher, an evolutionary psychologist who sometimes claims to be a feminist when she isn’t slamming feminists.

"After Googling and Bikramming to get ready for a first dinner date, a modern girl will end the evening with the Offering, an insincere bid to help pay the check. "They make like they are heading into their bag after a meal, but it is a dodge," Marc Santora, a 30-year-old Metro reporter for The Times, says. "They know you will stop them before a credit card can be drawn. If you don't, they hold it against you.""

Comment: her evidence: one 30 year old guy.

"At a party for the Broadway opening of "Sweet Smell of Success," a top New York producer gave me a lecture on the price of female success that was anything but sweet. He confessed that he had wanted to ask me out on a date when he was between marriages but nixed the idea because my job as a Times columnist made me too intimidating. Men, he explained, prefer women who seem malleable and awed. He predicted that I would never find a mate because if there's one thing men fear, it's a woman who uses her critical faculties. Will she be critical of absolutely everything, even his manhood?"

Comment: A "top New York producer." So chances are he’s over 50. That hardly tells us what young people who grew up with feminism are thinking.

"He had hit on a primal fear of single successful women: that the aroma of male power is an aphrodisiac for women, but the perfume of female power is a turnoff for men. It took women a few decades to realize that everything they were doing to advance themselves in the boardroom could be sabotaging their chances in the bedroom, that evolution was lagging behind equality."

Comment: more evolutionary psychology bullshit

"The hypothesis," Dr. Stephanie Brown, the lead author of the study, theorized, "is that there are evolutionary pressures on males to take steps to minimize the risk of raising offspring that are not their own." Women, by contrast, did not show a marked difference between their attraction to men who might work above them and their attraction to men who might work below them. "

Comment: yet more evolutionary psychology bullshit

"After I first wrote on this subject, a Times reader named Ray Lewis e-mailed me. While we had assumed that making ourselves more professionally accomplished would make us more fascinating, it turned out, as Lewis put it, that smart women were "draining at times." "

Comment: She cites that world-renowned expert on male-female relationships, “a Times reader named Ray Lewis.”

"Or as Bill Maher more crudely but usefully summed it up to Craig Ferguson on the "Late Late Show" on CBS: "Women get in relationships because they want somebody to talk to. Men want women to shut up."

Comment: Bill Maher is projecting his own misogyny here. So what else is new?

"With men and women, it's always all about control issues, isn't it?" says a guy I know, talking about his bitter divorce."

Comment: yet another stellar source. Anonymous bitter divorce guy.

"Or, as Craig Bierko, a musical comedy star and actor who played one of Carrie's boyfriends on "Sex and the City," told me, "Deep down, beneath the bluster and machismo, men are simply afraid to say that what they're truly looking for in a woman is an intelligent, confident and dependable partner in life whom they can devote themselves to unconditionally until she's 40."

Comment: well of course Bierko is an expert, he played Carrie’s boyfriend.

"A Harvard economics professor, Claudia Goldin, did a study last year that found that 44 percent of women in the Harvard class of 1980 who married within 10 years of graduation kept their birth names, while in the class of '90 it was down to 32 percent. In 1990, 23 percent of college-educated women kept their own names after marriage, while a decade later the number had fallen to 17 percent."
Comment: people who marry are traditionalists. Less traditional people are not getting married at all. So the greater percentage of traditionalists getting married is going to skew the sample.

"The Times recently ran a front-page article about young women attending Ivy League colleges, women who are being groomed to take their places in the professional and political elite, who are planning to reject careers in favor of playing traditional roles, staying home and raising children.
"My mother always told me you can't be the best career woman and the best mother at the same time," the brainy, accomplished Cynthia Liu told Louise Story, explaining why she hoped to be a stay-at-home mom a few years after she goes to law school. "You always have to choose one over the other."

Comment: Katha Pollitt and many many bloggers debunked this article. Which means nothing at all to the ever-gullible Dowd.

"Before (feminism) curdled into a collection of stereotypes,"

Comment: stereotypes which Down disseminates every chance she gets.

"While I never related to the unstyled look of the early feminists and I tangled with boyfriends who did not want me to wear makeup and heels, "

Comment: so Dowd wanted to look “stylish” so badly that she went against the wishes of her boyfriends who wanted her to look unstyled like early feminists. So who is on the side of feminism here?

"It was naïve and misguided for the early feminists to tendentiously... prognosticate a world where men and women dressed alike and worked alike in navy suits..."

Comment: Dowd is painting early feminists as complete freaks.


"It's easy to picture a surreally familiar scene when women realize they bought into a raw deal and old trap. With no power or money or independence, they'll be mere domestic robots, lasering their legs and waxing their floors - or vice versa - and desperately seeking a new Betty Friedan."

Comment: the problem here is that Dowd believes that feminism achieved victories through sheer force of will on the part of feminists. This is wrong. The infrastructural conditions were right for feminism by the 60’s and 70’s – easy birth control, cost-of-living increases requiring 2-income families and jobs for women. Those conditions probably won’t go away any time soon. That isn't to deny that 60s-70s feminists were pioneers and brave and smart. But the idea of equal rights for women had been around a long time - it wasn't lack of IDEAS that prevented feminist gains until the 60s-70s. It was infrastructural conditions.
Dowd is in her 50s, and in spite of the thin veneer of progressive thought she may have acquired as a "modern girl", I suspect that the model of male and female behavior that she uncritically absorbed as a child of the 1950s will always color her attitudes, and make her forever ambivalent about true socio-economic progress for women.
CONCLUSION: Maureen Dowd is a simpering, silly powderpuff. She's incapable of critical self-examination and so instead of looking at her own irritating personality for the answer to her lousy social life, she seeks to project her own failings onto feminism - always the convenient scapegoat for conservatives and the "modern."


* In the original Smurf hive colony there were only male smurfs who embodied various traits - Brainy Smurf, Dopey Smurf, Sleazy Smurf, etc. except the one lone female smurf, Smurfette, who embodied the trait of femininity - and with the most unflattering stereotypes of femininity. She was a whiney, shallow, high-heel wearing creature - in other words, very similar to Dowd.

Katha Pollitt indentified this phenomenon as "The Smurfette Principle" in her book Reasonable Creatures
The NYTimes op-ed section is a male-only enterprise except for the one female who must stand for all female-kind, Maureen Dowd. Obviously Paul Krugman is Brainy Smurfy, with a serious toss-up over who gets to be Dopey Smurf, David Brooks or John Tierney.

To get a good listing of Dowd's various other journalistic crimes and misdemeanors,
check out The Daily Howler (with search for MoDo)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Welcome to my new web site/blog

I'm still working out the kinks, come back later, it will be better. Thanks.