Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
I just don't like grading students. It seems wrong. Back when I was teaching Latin, I had fewer issues, somehow, and I can't think why: I suppose because it was the test I was grading, and not the student, and the test was right or wrong, so who cared -- I was only deciding if they had learned Latin , nothing else.
Now, however, when it ought to be the same deal -- that is, I ought to only be deciding if it's the History of the English Language they have learned; or if they can construct an argument with good points and support those points with sufficient evidence, and that ought to be all that matters --well, I find myself thinking, no wonder this fella can't, he's a soldier, he comes here from the base, he's been up all night, he knows he's about to be shipped to Iraq, how in shit can I grade him the same as these six other students, living at home with their parents, with no issues on their minds but whether their Tivos are working?
If it's wrong to harsh on my soldier student, well, what about my single mother student, working the third shift at Wal-Mart, her with her two kids and her food stamps and her junker car that keeps breaking down? She's missing classes because her kids are sick so much and because that car won't start and because she needs to take extra shifts when she gets offered them -- is it fair, really, to hold her to the same standards as that nineteen year old honor student whose mama does his laundry?
Or the kid back in the corner, that manic-depressive who can't get out of bed half the time...what about him?
Or even if I don't fret about any of that, if I only grade their tests qua tests -- do they know the work or don't they -- well, another big section of my grade deals with squishier issues: a quarter of the grade is based on whether the student has been in class; and if he has not, if he's missed more than five classes in a given semester, I start docking his final grade, three points per missed class. I don't do this out of petty viciousness, but because my classes are highly interactive. We do a lot of work in the room, discussion in the literature classes, analysis in the grammar classes and the comp classes, work that can't be recreated or made up or done by one's self, at home, with a textbook. I explain all this early on and repeat it, more than once, as we move through the semester -- though, if you're missing lots of class, you might miss these tiny lectures.
Anyway: is it justice to penalize students for what some of them have difficultly helping? If it's not, should I then penalize anyone? (I can't penalize some and not the others, obviously.) If I can't penalize anyone, then I'm back where I was -- who will come to class? We get half the students not showing up on any given day. (Never the same half.)
Here, at Crooked Timber, we've got a post semi-related to this topic -- examined the great question of grade inflation, which has always gotten up my yak.
Grades in general, though: grr.
Montessori schools, btw, do not grade at all. One of the things I like best about the approach.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Shoulder guy promises a month of PT and I'll be zooming. I have my doubts.
He says this dizziness I've been having is from hitting the pain meds too hard. Too hard for what? I say. What is this language you are speaking?
Meanwhile, on other fronts, Laura, at the kid's school, this is one of the far-right Christians, the one who argued with the kid about whether Obama was a Christian (still does, in fact) tells the kid the other day that she "just can't" read the Tale of Despereaux because in the opening pages the mother mouse says she doesn't want to have anymore babies. Wicked, ungodly mama mouse! Wicked ungodly book!
This Laura is ten, have I mentioned?
"What?" I said, muzzled with Oxycontin.
"I told her if you just read past that bit," the kid said, "it's really good, but --"
"Hadn't she already had a lot of baby mice?" I said, struggling to remember, since I read through all of Kate DiCamillo's books a few summers ago after reading The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, having picked it up from the children's new book section because the title was so cool. "How many mice babies does the mouse Jesus require her to have?"
The kid was silent a moment. Then she said, "I'm not having any babies."
"That's up to you," I said, which is my standard answer to this declaration. "It's your body."
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
But they did their work, and they had immensely complex lives, due to the pressures their religion was putting on them, and when I was pregnant and in danger of miscarrying, and we had to move at short notice, one of my LDS students conscripted her husband and sons into moving my entire house for me -- I didn't ask her for this, she just did it -- and they would do things like that.
On the other hand: Proposition Eight. WTF?
Jesus' General speaks. And acts.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
There's a reason the Right is so far behind the curve when it comes to science and technology -- oh, not guns and not accounting: I bet they can multiple and figure their sales tax right sharp.
But give them something that requires critical thinking or knowledge of the scientific method? Hopeless.
I gave my freshmen two essays, both by conservative English writers (by which I mean from England), both dealing with, among other things, scientific studies (one on kids with ADHD, the other on prison populations and nutrition): they couldn't understand the arguments being made.
One problem, of course, was that when these students don't like a thesis they won't read a work, and the first essay was arguing that evidence exists that Ritalin helps children with ADHD. Well, my students know that's not true (how do they know it? They just do) so they flat out refused to hear or read any evidence to the contrary.
But they also just don't have the tools to understand scientific reasoning: their education has not prepared them for it. What's a blind study? (Shit, they don't even know what a scientific study is.) What's a placebo? What's a control group? What's empirical evidence? They have no idea.
This is why schools need to teach real science, not some "contraversy." Real science teaches what real evidence and real knowledge is. Without that, how are any of us here in America ever going to learn how to figure out what the right answer is?
Right now, here in Pork Smith, they're going on what their Bible and their Preacher tells them the right answer is. You see how well that's been working.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Whatever it is, it is, like so much of what's happening on the Right just now, it's astounding in its totally lunacy. I mean, for the past eight years we have watched them drift further from reality. Now they're totally into some sort of alt.world. (For another look at this, check out the blogs Dr. Helen or RightWingSparkle or Blog And Mablog.
(From the last:
But the laws they pass, and the laws they seek to approve, are not the central point. The central point is not Roe, but rather what Roe makes possible -- the actual shedding of blood. Abortion is one of the sacraments of the secular state, and sodomy is another. What matters there is not the perverse ceremony at city hall, but what that makes possible -- sodomy ratified, approved, and consummated. )
Anyway, here's P. J. Just bits of him, because that's all I can take, but here's the link if you want the Full Barking Lunatic Effect.
It should be especially easy to move voters to the right. Sensible adults are conservative in most aspects of their private lives. If this weren't so, imagine driving on I-95: The majority of drivers are drunk, stoned, making out, or watching TV, while the rest are trying to calculate the size of their carbon footprints on the backs of Whole Foods receipts while negotiating lane changes.
People are even more conservative if they have children. Nobody with kids is a liberal, except maybe one pothead in Marin County. Everybody wants his or her children to respect freedom, exercise responsibility, be honest, get educated, have opportunities, and own a bunch of guns.
The real message of the conservative pro-life position is that we're in favor of living. We consider people--with a few obvious exceptions--to be assets. Liberals consider people to be nuisances. People are always needing more government resources to feed, house, and clothe them and to pick up the trash around their FEMA trailers and to make sure their self-esteem is high enough to join community organizers lobbying for more government resources.
The left has no idea what's going on in the financial crisis. And I honor their confusion. Jim Jerk down the road from me, with all the cars up on blocks in his front yard, falls behind in his mortgage payments, and the economy of Iceland implodes. I'm missing a few pieces of this puzzle myself.
He rants on like this for pages -- contradicting most things he says within paragraphs of where he says them, as where he says the Right is in favor of the living, and then, two sentences later, he's getting snarky about how the poor need trailers (who was it didn't want to fund Katrina survivors? Was that the left?). And, again, after a few more paragraphs, he's on about how pro-life he is, except he wants to kill the "teen-age boys" who have gotten the teen girls pregnant (apparently he's not so clear on who really gets teen-age girls pregnant, usually). So he's pro-life, you know, and he likes people, except if they're the people he doesn't like? Like leftists and people who annoy him?
The Right has lost its grip.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
My goal with this essay is to teach them:
(1) how, when your thesis is a difficult one, as hers is here, your approach needs to be crafted with care (I think this essay fails because she takes the wrong approach)
(2) how the Rogerian method should especially be used when you have a difficult thesis: Angier, in this essay, mocks and derides those she should be reaching out to, the religious thinkers in her audience. Well, that's a problem, as I point out to my students -- or as I would like to.
Unfortunately, I can't get them beyond their fury that I have given them a text written by an evil atheist to read. They're certain I have done this in an attempt to convert them to secular humanism. "You won't make me quit Christ!" is the response, along with impassioned witnessing about Miracles I Have Seen.
Really not the point of this class, I say, shutting them off, at which point they sulk through the ensuing discussion.
I went meta on them this time: Why did I give you this text? I asked them. They glowered. Do you think I thought you liked atheists? I inquired. Hmm? Do you think I live in a cave?
I explained why I gave it to them. I explained what my pedagogical technique here was meant to be. They thawed, maybe 10%. I got them to look at the actual essay, a tiny bit.
But here's the interesting part: I was explaining the part where Angier shows why she wants her daughter to be an atheist -- one of the few parts where Angier supports her argument:
According to a recent CBS poll, 55 percent of Americans believe that god created humans in their present form...Only 13 percent of Americans say that humans evolved from ancestral species, no god involved. Only 13 percent. The evidence that humans evolved from prehominid primates, and they from earlier mammals, and so on back to the first cell on earth some 3.8 billion years ago is incontrovertible, is based on a Himalayan chain’s worth of data. The evidence for divine intervention is, to date, non-existent.
Yet here we have people talking about it as though they were discussing whether they prefer chocolate praline ice cream or rocky road, as though it were a matter of taste. To me, this borders on being, well, unethical. And to me, instilling in my daughter an appreciation for the difference between evidence and opinion is a critical part of childrearing.
I asked them what this meant: what Angier was on about.
They couldn't tell me. Well, they had heard of evolution, though, this being Arkansas, very few had studied it. But they didn't get the difference between the two approaches to knowledge she was discussing. So I outlined empirical evidence and recieved wisdom on the board for them, and discussed this, using my usual example -- how many eggs do blue jays lay and how we know this, why, we fund a multi-year study in which we go and look and keep meticulous records and do the math and that is how we know; and Aristotle's "knowledge" that women had more teeth than men, and my grandfather's utter certainty that women had one more rib than men do -- both of these last examples of received wisdom --
At which point I got stopped by the class.
See, women do have one more rib than men. They all knew this for a fact.
(No, well, not all of them. But I'd say at least a third of the class insisted to me that women have one more rib than men do.)
I stared at them. The fuck, I almost said, right outloud in class. See, because my grandfather, dead now 20 years, when I was 19, he and I had that fight. But he was born in 1914 and never got educated past the seventh grade, in a Kentucky hill school.
These are Arkansas kids from 2008.
"No," I said, carefully. "No, really...that's a myth..."
"No," one of them insisted to me. "Because God took Adam's rib in the garden, to make Eve. So men have one less rib than women do."
"Okay," I said. "No. And no. And go study some anatomy, because no."
O please turn my red state blue.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
The kid came home from school yesterday dejected: they had held a school election, and Obama had lost, 11-16 (McCain got 16 votes).
"Obama got eleven votes?" I said. "In Arkansas? Really?"
Granted, the Montessori School is the most liberal school in Pork Smith, but still...
Nevertheless, mr. delagar and I, like Rachel Maddow, were wretched balls of nervous terror until 10.00 p.m. central time when, while we were surfing channels, we heard John Stewart on Comedy Central call the race.
After that, we were just drinking heavily.
Oh boy, oh boy.
Did you hear that speech? Is that a President?
God, it's so splendid to be in a country that's doing the right thing again.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I'm always telling students in Arkansas that the U.S. really has two major competing religions, Christianity and Capitalism, which wholly contradict each other, and that this is why we're a fucked country, which is when they start howling at me -- nuh-uh, nuh-uh, we don't worship money, we don't, and anyway, it's nothing WRONG with being rich, God wants us to improve ourselves (cause getting rich is improving yourself, dude) --
Here is a quotation from the charming woman who called for Christians to pray at at the golden bull, btw, and save all of America's fatted money:
On September 29 last month, the US stock market went down 777 points in one day. Cindy says it was no coincidence that this happened on the first day of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah.
“This is so severe in the economic area because we are facing judgment from the actions, not only for our stance towards Israel, but our blatant sin against Him in passing laws such as the one allowing homosexual marriages,” Cindy said.
Well, okay then. So long as it's also about hatin on the Jews and the Gays.
Monday, October 27, 2008
And everything has to be documented.
And put in a binder, which requires operating a three-hole punch.
And tidy. I could be better at tidy.
And it's due November 1.
So I've been occupied.
But here is some good news I have found for you: although it did not look like good news at first, since you'll see at the opening that it confirms more Right-Wing Religious Parents indoctrinating their kids against science/evolution (evil-ution, as my students often spell it); but look how the instructors are dealing with the problem: wisely!
A few years ago, Pratt started holding meetings – open to parents, students, church members and others – to address their questions about evolution. She holds the annual session a few weeks before she begins the unit and gets about 200 people.
“It used to be that the whole unit was a struggle, and we were butting heads,” Pratt said. “This meeting helps everyone understand that science teachers are not the enemy. Now, the kids are showing up ready to learn about evolution.”
Other teachers said they try to fix students’ misconceptions. They explain how humans and apes share a common ancestor that no longer exists, not that humans and apes evolved from one another. They say that while “theory” may describe a hunch in everyday language, in science it is defined as an explanation supported by factual evidence to describe events that occur in our world.
That's how our side wins: enlightenment.
Their side has fear and ignorance. Our side has education. We will always win in the end. (Well, that's my hope, at least.)
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
"Why?" I asked.
I always ask this. I want them to think about why surface errors matter. "Certainly it matters if you have an excellent thesis and excellent arguments and you support those arguments with lots of solid sources. But suppose you do all that, and then your paper is riddled with lousy spelling and you've got two misconstructed sentences in the first paragraph and you can't manage to use semi-colons correctly. What happens to your reader? What's he do, twenty words into your argument?"
"He decides you're an idiot and quits reading," says my football player from the back row.
"Absolutely," I agree. "It's like if you show up for the job interview in cut off jeans and a nose ring and your hair stick up all over your head -- well, does it matter how many degrees you have or how qualified you are?"
My very intelligent but home-schooled student in the front row raised his hand. "How you explain, then," he asked, "how well John McCain is doing? Considering he's not that articulate, and he doesn't speak nearly as well as Obama? Why is he doing so well in this election?"
I stared at him, bemused. Then I glanced around the classroom. Then I looked back at him. "Well," I said, gently, "he's not, is he? The latest polls have him down what, fourteen points? He's at 38%? That's not so good."
He gave me the bemused look I had just given him. That couldn't be right, could it?
"Anyway," I said, "that's not really the scope of this class..."
And I moved them on.
But apparently, in the world these folk live in, McCain is doing well -- even winning the election.
It's that Republican Alt.world again.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Over at Ta-Nehisi Coates' blog (I don't know if you've discovered that blog yet, but you should), an embedded video shows more horrible racists -- except this time, they're confronted by their fellow McCain voters, who shame them into backing down, shutting up, packing up, and going away.
Further, they get called unAmerican by the other McCain voters.
Now that's the America I can get behind.
And in school yesterday, as has frequently happened over the past weeks, my daughter had to hear about how Obama wasn't an acceptable candidate because he wasn't a Christian.
She's ten, you know, and she's tough, but she's being driven to the brink: she shouted at the punk who came up with this argument that first, yes, Obama is a Christian, and that second, dude, not everyone in America is a Christian -- for instance, hey, Jew here?
Her friends supported her. They got told not to gang up on the poor punk.
Yes, see, because that's mean. That's persecuting the poor Christians.
We can't have that.
Monday, October 20, 2008
This one, I must admit, is partly for my brother who used to send me snide emails about how Democrats were no different from Republicans -- our party being funded by really rich tools, just like his, etc:
Barack Obama raised $150 million in September, the largest monthly total any candidate has ever raised for any office in the history of the United States. The previous record was Obama's haul of $66 million in August. The money came from small donors averaging less than $100 each. This approach--many small donors--represents a revolution in fundraising, where previously the goal was to tap a small number of rich donors with many rich friends who could be hit up for money.It's not just for him, of course. It's also for us -- America. Fifteen days out. Can it be that we might actually pull it off this time?
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Where was I?
Kid had an abcessed tooth, abcess under one of her many fillings, so I took her to the dentist at 7:00 a.m. this morning. Like most of the dentists in Pork Smith, this one is an Evangelical Christian. We love her anyway, she's a great dentist, great with the kid, who, as I might have mentioned, is just the smallest bit neutrotic, especially when it comes to matters of medical care.
Anyway, dentist talked her down off the ceiling and got the tooth out, it was practically painless.
BUT: while we were waiting in the waiting room and I was threatening the kid with baby Xanax if she didn't stop spinning in circles, the Christian radio station that is played over the sound system at the office broke off their inspirational songs for a moment ("Je-esus wilsave you! Hee --has the pow=r!") to give the weather and chat about the news.
"Now I didn't watch the debates," said male dj. "Did you, Honey?"
Honey hadn't watched the debates, either.
"But I keep hearing about this Joe the plumber. Who's the Joe the Plumber?"
Honey very sweetly says she has no idea.
Neither DJ is familiar with the operation of the Google I guess. They turn to a third expert, who has consulted some outside source.
"Well," he says, with the fatherly voice of one Who Knows All, "Joe was a concerned small business owner at an Obama rally. He was worried because Obama's tax plan is going to raise his taxes. Obama told him that it was better for everyone if we spread the wealth around, and McCain used this comment during the debate."
"Ah," said male dj. "Well, that makes things a lot clearer! From what I was hearing on CNN last night, I was thinking Joe the Plumber was made up! Like a unicorn that McCain kept under his bunk in a magic box!"
"Yes!" chirped Honey. "That's much clearer!"
Then they went to another song about Jesus.
Why is the Christian Right so ignorant? There you go!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Go see Steve Benen's Post at the Washington Monthly for a more substantive rebuttal.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
I keep having to stop reading it -- seriously, I have to put it down every day or two, it upsets me so much: maybe you know the movie Cool Hand Luke? Fun and games on the chain-gang, white boys eat eggs and be tough on the chain-gang? This is the reality behind that silliness. This is what got done to whole generations of black men in America so certain white men could maintain their dominance, and Blackmon will not let us look away. He lays out the evidence, also, that everyone knew: the courts knew, the towns knew, the owners of the businesses and corporations that bought the enslaved prisoners knew, Teddy Roosevelt knew: just as in Nazi Germany, when the people in the towns knew what was happening in the camps, everyone knew what was happening: well, in Alabama and in Georgia and in Mississippi and In Florida, everyone knew how those roads and levees were getting built. Everyone knew how those mines were being staffed, where those farm workers were coming from. No one acted. Why? Because to act would be to support black guys over white guys: can't do that. Even when the courts followed the law, and agreed that what was being done was wrong -- violated U.S. law -- they did not enforce their own sentences: did not stop the white guys from enslaving the black guys: in 1905, in 1920, in 1930 and 1940.
Here we are in 2008, and what is happening?
What is getting done by white men in power in this country?
What always gets said?
McCain's crew wants to claim you can't trust Obama. Why in shit should we trust them?
As mr. delagar likes to tell his classes, he loves black people. None of them ever started any concentration camps. None of them ever ran a pogrom. You don't see many black folks starting crusades or holocausts.
Trust McCain? Tell me why.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
This will give me something to regret next year, I tell him.
"Feminists for Obama," I said.
She gives me a piercing look.
"Well, what did you expect it to say?" I ask reasonably. "My kid has one just like it," I add, and move on with the lecture.
After class, she comes up to me and says, "Obama, huh?"
"Of course Obama. Jeesh."
"Well." She shakes her head, like I'm an idiot, but what can one expect from professors. As she starts to leave, she turns back: "But what about Sarah Palin? She's a product of feminism. You have to support that."
I have sworn -- I have promised -- hold me back --
I cannot keep it in my teeth. "Palin," I say, as reasonably as I can, "is not a feminist."
"I didn't say she was a feminist, I said--"
"She's an enemy of feminism," I interrupt. "She's not pro-choice, she made rape-victims pay for their own rape-kits, her position on equal rights is ridiculous."
"I didn't like the rape-kit thing," the student agreed.
"Also, she dangles her participles," I said, since I was getting a bit too fierce, "so, well."
The student smirked. "I won't comment on what Obama dangles," she said.
"Not his participles," I said. "I promise you that."
Since, I'll bet you six bucks to a quarter, she didn't have a clue what a participle was, this student had to leave my challenge alone -- but you know, even though I said I was going to shut up about Palin, her appalling grammar and Obama's perfect command of it, this does matter: it does tell us something about the two of them, the difference between the two of them. Not just the difference between their intelligence levels (I do think Obama is smarter than Palin, though people keep assuring me Palin is clever: I don't see it: no one that incurious about the world is clever, and it is not just her background. My students come from the same background, and plenty of them have plenty of intellectual curiousity.) It tells us that one of them got educated -- actually educated -- and one of them did the least she could, skated by, and will continue to do the least she can. She's that flashy student who thinks if she puts the essay in a pretty binder it will disguise the fact that she spent exactly three hours of the past three weeks working on it, and none of those hours involved research or proof-reading.
I'm shutting up on Palin now. I swear.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Because, you know, it's not just that I disagree with her -- though I do, on every bit of every single political issue she has spoken on so far, except, well, let me think here, what now?
Title IX: she spoke highly of Title IX. I give her props for that.
And from what I hear she was nice to the woman who cut her hair. (But OTOH that woman was a nice white Christian just like her.)
Where was I?
Here's my point. I also disgree with McCain on every one of these issues and he has not sent me into a gibbering fury of sputtering posts. Why am I off my leash over Palin and not him?
It's because she's a woman, obviously, because she got fed to us feminists as a woman and we're supposed to embrace her as our champion: but certainly I should be angry at McCain for that, not her?
I suppose I'm angry at her for going along with it. (Collaborator! Weasel!)
Still doesn't make sense. She's only the tool. He's the patriarchy, and those like him.
So I'm going to step back and shut up and try to get some balance here.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
We've been working on evaluating sources, which, yikes. First, I discover that the students don't know what a Leftist is. They're not kidding. We're reading an essay by Mike Males, it's published in Mother Jones, I tell them that this venue is a bit leftist.
"Leftist," one of them says. "What is that?"
"Like...liberal." I study them. "Progressive? To the left side of the political spectrum?"
Their eyes are blank as empty fountains, except for my older student, the one who has come back to school on a TAA grant, who looks faintly amused at my shock and horror.
The essay by Males talks about the root of violence in America, how violence doesn't come from kids watching violent TV shows or listening to rap music; violence is caused by violence being done to and around children. They get violent things done to them and they see violent things done to their siblings and parents, they'll grow up to act violently.
Anyway, of course this they could get a grip on: I had not mentioned, not had Males, their own parents beating the shit out of them with belts and sticks through all their childhood years, but their minds leapt there. Hands went up around the room: If you don't hit kids, then --!
"Well, have you ever seen a kid that don't get beat?" One student asked me. "Have you ever seen how those kids behave--"
I usually put forth my own child here, but I didn't have to this time: one of the students in the class raised her hand. "Me," she said.
They stared at her like she was a viper.
"My parents never hit me," she said.
I let that sit a moment.
Then I said, "You can raise children without hitting them. Other methods of discipline exist."
"Yep," the girl in the middle row agreed. It didn't hurt none, BTW, that she was smart, charming, outspoken, goodlooking.
"That's not really what we're doing here, though," I added, "looking at content -- remember? We're evaluating this as a source."
They burned. They seethed. They stewed. They had to prove to me that it was vital that children get beaten, that it has to be that way, that GOD WANTS IT THAT WAY.
And it can't be changed!!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Of concern to McCain's campaign, however, is a remaining and still-undisclosed clip from Palin's interview with Couric last week that has the political world buzzing.
The Palin aide, after first noting how "infuriating" it was for CBS to purportedly leak word about the gaffe, revealed that it came in response to a question about Supreme Court decisions. After noting Roe vs. Wade, Palin was apparently unable to discuss any major court cases.
There was no verbal fumbling with this particular question as there was with some others, the aide said, but rather silence.
She wants to be VP, and quite possibly President, where she'll be responsible for appointing Supreme Court justices, and that's the only court case she even knows.
Well, why would she know any others? Taking away the right of women to own their own bodies -- that's the only important fight on the table! Screw Brown v Board of Education, or Miranda v Arizona, or Hustler v Falwell (I like that one), or Lawrence v Texas....but you'd think she'd know, say, Boumediene v Bush? Given it's her party with its policy on the line?
Unless, of course, she really is fucking stupid?
(Question asked & answered, professor.)
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
What's the first thing greets my cheery gaze?
McCain has canceled what now?
I began laughing hysterically. Oh, boy, I bet he has.
What's the next announcement? Bush cancels election? Wouldn't be prudent! Not at this time!
(Also: See Dave. B/c McCain isn't ever done with the lying.)
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
I'm reminded of Sheriff Harry Lee, our guy in Jefferson Parish, who ordered his officers to arrest any black men who were seen on the streets of Kenner, Louisiana, on the obvious (to him) cause that no black man has any legitimate business walking the streets of that (mainly white) neighborhood. When he was called on the racism of this order, he said, "How can I be racist? I'm Chinese!"
There's one source, which you might have heard already, which says that Palin, having heard that Obama won the nomination, remarked, "So Sambo beat the bitch!" I've held off blogging about that one; but here's this one: Palin only has white folks on her staff (white folks she went to high school with, btw): when confronted with this?
While meeting with Black leaders concerning the absence of any African Americans on her staff, Gov. Palin responded that she doesn’t have to hire any Blacks and was not intending to hire any.
This makes me even more cranky than it might because I've been reading this book, Slavery By Another Name, which is utterly horrifying --Douglas Blackmon writes about what happened to the freed slaves and then black men in America after the Civil War, up to 1930s/1940s, which is, essentially, they were stolen from their communities, their jobs, their towns, convicted on invented charges (changing jobs without permissing, vagrancy, "loud talking") and then "leased" to mines, public works projects, U.S. Steel, along with various large landowners -- leased as in sold them as contract labor.
White-owned corporations, white landowners, white America, abetted by the white justice system, right up through the 1940s, profitted enormously off the stolen labor of black America: not black American criminals: black Americans that white Americans thieved into forced labor and then worked to death in a system as evil as anything the Nazis dreamed up (in the mines and camps of U.S. Steel and Tennessee Coal and Oil, as many as half the contract laborers died, according the meticulous records kept -- records, by the way, that record whippings given and feet and legs amputated due to the blood poisoning from the leg irons and various chain "punishments" inflicted on obdurated contract laborers.)
When I read this sort of thing, and this, where Brad Hicks talks about the real purpose of lynching (not to kill "uppity" black folks, but to terrorize blacks into selling their land to whites -- and yes, historical evidence exists to support this theory), and then I hear Palin and McSame and their crew, I don't have to hire any of them and I don't intend to, and when I look at this election, again? Again we're going to put these evil people in power?
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Her own fault, after all, for leaving the house while female. Who else should pay? The good pure abstinent Christian citizens? I think not!
Crap, I hope not. If this country is stupid enough to buy these lies one more time -- how can we be? I thought, no. Not after Bush. Not after Bush AGAIN. Not after Bush lied and tortured and destroyed their ecosystem and stripped away their civil rights and destroyed the economy and took their jobs and murdered their children and put them in a war which now even most of them can see is stupid and useless, not to mention criminal, now, I said, now, surely this time--
But no. Dance a shiny puppet in front of them who is spitting pretty words (Country first! America Great! Liberals Bad! You Rock!) and that's it.
You'll never go broke, as the man said.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Before she was elected governor, she was mayor of a tiny Anchorage suburb, where[...]she also sought to have books banned from the local library and threatened to fire the librarian.
Can't we declare this race over now?
(mr. delagar wonders when the naked photos of Palin will appear.)
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Here's a post on her actual positions, including that one.
(I suppose it could be possible that she's fine with her children using it -- she just doesn't want anyone else to have access to it. I've heard there are compassionate conservatives around like that.)
(This is OT, but also adorable. Someone tell me again how thoroughly McCain vetted this candidate?)