Horde Weekend Open Thread at anibundel’s place!

Should be open at 4:00 pm, EST, and if I know my ani, it will be open at 4:00 pm, EST on the dot: http://anibundel.wordpress.com/ Have a lovely, long weekend, y’all!

Not getting peanuts thrown at you — white privilege, part the many.

I’m sorry, I just can’t get over how utterly and entirely fucked up the following is.

You may recall that on the first day of the Republican National Convention, two white people threw peanuts at an African American. Here’s how that went down, in case you’ve forgotten:

An African American camerawoman for CNN who suddenly found herself assailed by peanuts at the Republican National Convention Tuesday reacted as many would. “What are you doing? Are you out of your damned mind?” she said, according to a friend.

“Here’s some more peanuts,” responded one of two “older-than-middle-aged white men,” the friend, Jamila Bey, told Journal-isms by telephone on Wednesday. “This is what we feed animals,” they said.

The woman in question, Patricia Carroll, later reported that she had not been handling her camera at the time, and that the peanut-throwers “didn’t know what I was doing. I happened to be standing there.”

And all of that is fucked up. Like, whoa.

But here’s the really and truly fucked up part, the part that should be in the Fucked Up Hall of Fame:

Patricia Carroll, the CNN camerawoman who was assaulted with peanuts and called an animal by two attendees at the Republican National Convention, told Journal-isms on Thursday that “I hate that it happened, but I’m not surprised at all.”

Carroll, who agreed to be named for the first time, said she does not want her situation to be used for political advantage. “This situation could happen to me at the Democratic convention or standing on the street corner. Racism is a global issue.” 

She wasn’t surprised. “At all.”

This American woman, a professional doing her job, was “not surprised at all” to have peanuts thrown at her and be called an animal. “This situation could happen to me at the Democratic convention or standing on the street corner.”

It’s not like I didn’t know that racism — real racism, of the kind that limits and delimits and takes lives — is still very much among us in these United States, and that it cares not for your achievements or position. I knew that.

But the fact that I am shocked and horrified that this woman wasn’t at all surprised to be treated like filth in a public setting, right there in front of God and everybody, is a little insight into just how little I really know.



What is white privilege.

John Lennon, Rick Perry and words that are not ours.

White Americans really need to shut up and listen.

“Destroy them, God, obliterate them from the face of the earth.”

Pop quiz: What religio-political leader said the following, about which nation?

Do good, God, wipe them out, kill them…. Destroy them God, obliterate them from the face of the earth.

If you said Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, head of Israel’s Shas Party and one of the country’s ultra-Orthodox kingmakers, and further guessed that he was talking about Iran—please take a seat at the head of the class….

…Yosef also mentioned Hezbollah (“when we say that our enemies, foes and anyone who desires to do evil to us should be cut off, we should have in mind Hezbollah and Iran”), but even having said that, I’m finding it hard to see a real difference between these statements, and statements so like them that emanate from Iran.

In both cases, men who consider themselves, and are considered by legions of followers, to be exemplars of their faith communities, leaders with direct insight into the heights and depths of their religions’ teachings and traditions, are calling on the Almighty to do what they genuinely believe the Almighty already wants to do: Destroy the other guy.

When such things are said in Persian, Jews around the world rightly react with some alarm.

To read the rest, please click here to go to Open Zion/The Daily Beast — but don’t click too hard! You want to read it, not obliterate it.

Why do black folks vote for Democrats?

Ok, so yeah. The African American community votes pretty solidly for Democratic candidates — this we know. The Washington Post decided to poll folks, asking why they think this might be so.

Hereunder the results of that poll (but note first that an accompanying article stated that the most common answer, from either side of the aisle, was “I don’t know,”  and that the numbers listed aren’t percentages but raw counts, from a poll done of 1,020 adult respondents, using both cell and land lines):


So, yeah. Even taking all the caveats into consideration, I still think the results are pretty striking: The vast majority of Republicans polled who think they know why blacks vote for the other party think it’s because African-Americans either: take/want government hand-outs; have been socialized into being Democrats; or are just plain ignorant.

It’s a wonder the GOP hasn’t won over more people of color. An absolute mystery.

Apparently three would be TOO MUCH – an open thread.

Two days in a row, there were OTANs at the mothershipReal OTANs!! The kind that are AN and everything!

Alas, today you’re stuck with me.

Standard FYI clause: I generally wait about 2 hours after Ta-Nehisi would typically open a thread (roughly noon, EST, back when such a thing was typical…!), and if none is forthcoming, I put one up here.

On right-wing extremists and reducing all of Judaism to one thing.

I think you can’t really tell just from reading the below at this point, but I was nearly pulsing with rage while writing this, my latest at Open Zion/The Daily Beast. I had to keep hitting delete, and it’s a wonder the backspace button didn’t just fly off at some point. Anyway, here’s the top – the rest of the rage can be found by clicking here.

Who We Push Beyond the Pale

We’ve reached the point—or perhaps we’ve long been here, and I’ve long been in denial—where a very loud subsection of the Jewish community has boiled 3500 years of faith, of sacrifice, of tradition, of prayers and visions and holy words, 3500 years of culture, of language, of humor and literature and joyful celebration, down to a single, paper-thin definition of authentic Judaism:


People like neocon William Kristol, Jeff Dunetz at Big Government (Andrew Breitbart’s organ), and Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor have decided that if we Jews—Israeli or Diaspora; clergy or lay; Jews who’ve fought in the conflict and/or Jews who have lost loved ones—are not sufficiently afraid of the Palestinian people that we would deny them their human rights and worth—we are simply not good enough Jews.

Or, at least, not good enough Jews to be trusted with an opinion on Israel. Because, it would seem, the single most important question we can ask about a Jew is: Does that Jew support an endless-war vision for Israel in which Israel is always right and Palestinians (or Iranians, while we’re at it) can never be trusted?

If the answer is no, then clearly we’re not afraid, or loyal, enough to have a say in the future of our people, our families, our own lives. We dare not represent ourselves as Jews, and indeed, if we continue to try to end the endless war that has for decades drained our people’s lifeblood and perpetuated a vicious, dehumanizing hatred—we might be anti-Semites.

Last week, Kristol and Dunetz smeared a group of American rabbis who have the temerity to serve on the Rabbinical Council of Jewish Voice for Peace….

To read the rest, please click here.

What’s that you say? Firefly’s 10th anniversary is coming up?

What I want:



What I might be getting (and which has just been made available for pre-order):

“But it ain’t all buttons and charts, little albatross. You know what the first rule of flying’ is? Love. You can know all the math in the ‘Verse, but take a boat in the air you don’t love, she’ll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down, tells ya she’s hurtin’ fore she keens. Makes her a home.” – Mal Reynolds


The problem being that the former costs one hundred American dollars (I’m sorry: ninety-nine American dollars and ninety-nine American cents) and the latter, while a little pricey but not prohibitively so at $19.95, comes with a $9.60 shipping charge. And that just ain’t right. (For the record: I’m pretty sure that the $100 to-scale Serenity model is worth every penny. It’s just a lot of pennies).

I will say this though: Whether or not I decide to abuse my poor, post-bar mitzvah bank account for some sweet Firefly swag, I have a date marked (quite literally) on my calendar: November 11, the date of SyFy’s Firefly reunion special (“Browncoats Unite,” or some such) and day-long series marathon.

Do I own the series on DVD? Sure do. Could I stage a day-long series marathon all on my own if I wanted to? Sure could. But will it be better knowing that I’m watching with all the other Browncoats and awaiting the crown jewel that will be the special? Hell yeah! That will not only be shiny – it will be the shiniest. (No, I’m sorry. “The shiniest” would be: New episodes. “The second shiniest” would be: A second movie. Doing what I just described will be the third shiniest. Just so’s we’re clear).

Maybe I could dress like Zoe for the event!

I’m not sure I could carry off the look, though.


I’m nice, but I’m no big damn hero.


OMG arglebarglelkgfiu…ok, crying nao: Super Dad is super.

Nils Pickert’s five-year-old son likes to wear dresses.

This post is lifted entirely from BuzzFeed, which lifted it from this translation of the original German:

My five year old son likes to wear dresses. In Berlin Kreuzberg that alone would be enough to get into conversation with other parents. Is it wise or ridiculous? “Neither one nor the other!“ I still want to shout back at them. But sadly they can’t hear me any more. Because by now I live in a small town in South Germany. Not even a hundred thousand inhabitants, very traditional, very religious. Plainly motherland. Here the partiality of my son are not only a subject for parents, they are a town wide issue. And I did my bit for that to happen…

I didn’t want to talk my son into not wearing dresses and skirts. He didn’t make friends in doing that in Berlin already and after a lot of contemplation I had only one option left: To broaden my shoulders for my little buddy and dress in a skirt myself. After all you can’t expect a child at pre-school age to have the same ability to assert themselves as an adult. Completely without role model. And so I became that role model…

Being all stressed out, because of the moving I forgot to notify the nursery-school teachers to have an eye on my boy not being laughed at because of his fondness of dresses and skirts. Shortly after moving he didn’t dare to go to nursery-school wearing a skirt or a dress any more. And looking at me with big eyes he asked: “Daddy, when are you going to wear a skirt again?”…

To this very day I’m thankful for that women, that stared at us on the street until she ran face first into a street light. My son was roaring with laugher. And the next day he fished out a dress from the depth of his wardrobe. At first only for the weekend. Later also for nursery-school.

And what’s the little guy doing by now? He’s painting his fingernails. He thinks it looks pretty on my nails, too. He’s simply smiling, when other boys (and it’s nearly always boys) want to make fun of him and says: “You only don’t dare to wear skirts and dresses because your dads don’t dare to either.” That’s how broad his own shoulders have become by now. And all thanks to daddy in a skirt.


“That how broad his own shoulders have become by now.” Oh, man. If that’s not a parenting goal, I don’t know what is. Now excuse me, I have to go blow my nose. – elh

Dear World, Re: the start of the school year.

Just, FYI: Not every parent loves it when their kids go back to school.

Every single year (indeed, after just the two weeks of winter break, or even the week of spring vacation), I miss my kids when they go back. I know this is what we do, and it’s ok, and we get into a rhythm and I would never even consider home-schooling because that wouldn’t work for us on any level — but, just, you know. I hate that people act like I should be giddy to have them out of the house.

I miss ’em, I truly do.

PS On a not entirely unrelated note: Spend enough time looking at the word “school” and it just starts to look weird, mirite?

An open letter to Conservative men about rape.

I am a Progressive, a Liberal, a Democrat, a left-winger, an Obot — whatever you want to call me, go ahead. I’ll own it. Hell, I’m a borderline socialist.

And in the course of my gig as an opinion writer and left-wing activist, I write a lot about “the GOP,” often in a fairly condemnatory tone.

And even so, I try to make a very careful practice not to write about “Republicans,” because what I take issue with is the party itself, its current leadership, and its official platform/policies.

I am very, very much aware that there are a lot of folks out there who identify as Conservatives or Republicans with whom I probably am in agreement on many issues, and from whom I could probably learn a thing or two. There are a lot of arguments that we could have, too, but that’s the way it goes in a democracy. We’ll part ways at the ballot box, and that might create some hard feelings.

But at the end of the day, there are some things that are not (should not be) partisan. Some things are right, or wrong, and we should be willing to cross the aisle to say so. Taking sexual assault seriously, treating it as the horror and the scourge that it is, is one of them.

Rapists don’t care what your politics are. They don’t care what your education is, how much money you make, or what your stance is on the Bush tax breaks. Rapists are criminals who cause grievous bodily harm, and far too often mental and emotional anguish. More often than not, they know their victims, and far more often than we’re willing to admit, are in fact in an intimate or familial relationship with their victims.

If you are a living, breathing adult, you know people who have been sexually assaulted. Maybe some have never told you, maybe a few have, but no matter the extent of your personal knowledge of the individual facts, the singular fact remains that someone — female or male — is sexually assaulted in the United States every two minutes. And you know some of them.

When representatives of the party we vote for say and do things that are wrong — say and do things that hurt people who have already been hurt or are already vulnerable — it is our responsibility to stand up and say “That’s wrong.” I have done this before, and I will do so again — the Democratic Party is not a collection of angels, after all. It is a collection of human beings, some of whom are exceptionally ill-informed or insensitive, and if I want the party to truly represent me and my values, I need to make my voice heard.

I doubt I’m going to reach many Conservative men with this open letter — this blog is tiny, and it’s pretty firmly ensconced on the left hand side of the blogosphere — but if you are a Conservative man, please take to task those in your party who have recently made exceptionally ill-informed and insensitive comments about women and rape.

There is no room for parsing what is and is not “legitimate” or “forcible” rape, and there is no room for mealy-mouthed apologies that try to escape responsibility for using those phrases in the first place. There is no room for likening rape to other “methods of conception.” There is no room for comparing a pregnancy resulting from rape to a pregnancy resulting from consensual sex in an unmarried relationship.

Please talk to your daughters, your sisters, your wives, your mothers. Find out what has happened to them in the course of their lives, and the lives of the women they know. Read the stories told here, sit with this information — with the knowledge that the fact of rape and the threat of it serve to shape and guide the lives of 50% of the human population — and then, please: Say something.

Say something to your party. Say something to your friends. Say something on Twitter, on Facebook, on your blogs, in your articles. Please.

Think about the women you love, and say something.

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