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Friday, December 21, 2012

Morning News: We're Still Here I Guess

Posted by on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Mayans Lose Credibility: Never trust a Mayan, as my mother always said. Ah, well. I guess I have some Christmas shopping to do.

State Education Funding Earns a Scarlet "F." Again: The Washington Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the state legislature isn't making enough of an effort to fund K-12 education after their McCleary decision.

Fancy Pants Yancey Swears He's No Slumlord: Although he owes the city $1.76 million in fines relating to health and safety violations at two of his eight Seattle rental properties.

Progress for Elephants: The Seattle City Council has called for a task force to evaluate the health and welfare of our zoo's three aging elephants.

No Cocks in the Stew Pot: The city will begin hosting women-only swim times at four local pools in March.

Don't Wanna Get Raped, Ladies? Don't go out at night and carry chili powder with you everywhere, says an Indian police commissioner, responding to a horrific gang rape of a woman on a bus. Remember: If you're unarmed and you have a vagina, you're asking for it.

The Bigoted Specter of Todd Akin: "A defense spending bill set to become law contains a provision that could allow discrimination against gay and lesbian service members and other minorities in the military," warn legal experts. The measure stems from a proposal put forth by Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin. I bet he's a hoot at parties.

Marine Convicted of Corpse Urination: A US marine staff sergeant has been demoted and fined $500 after videos of four soldiers urinating on Taliban corpses hit Youtube and other video sites in January.

A Ban on Military-Style Assault Weapons: President Obama released a video this morning asking people to support his plan to ban the weapons, high-capacity ammunition clips, and requiring background checks for all gun purchases.

Suzy Favor Hamilton: The former Olympic runner was outed as leading a secret double life as an escort:

Soon after the story appeared online, Favor Hamilton released a series of tweets saying in part that she was "drawn to escorting in large part because it provided many coping mechanisms for me when I was going through a very challenging time with my marriage and my life."

Ugh: "An 23-year-old Argentine woman has agreed to marry the man convicted of killing her twin sister two years ago."

Finally, look at the tree! Look at the tree! Awwww, look at the tree.


Comments (38) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
I'd say it's every earthy-crunchy New Age nut who lost credibility this morning, rather than the long-dead Mayans.
Posted by NateMan on December 21, 2012 at 7:02 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 2
I do not see the connection between common sense crime/victim prevention techniques and saying that women are "asking for it."

Now, women should not have to be worried about being raped. But in our world, they do. It is just, very sadly, how it is. I should not have to be worried about getting mugged, but it happens, so I do not walk down dark alleys at night. Obviously, cases like the one above, and certain others can not be helped, as women need to walk at night, and take the bus on occasion.

No one says that police telling people to lock their doors is an admission that homeowners are "asking" to be robbed.

It is not fair that women have to live with this fear, but the world is not, and never will be fair. Until we figure out how to stop rapists from raping, or murderers from murdering, common sense prevention measures are the best we have. Of course, no victim is to blame for what happens to them.

Sad but true.

Posted by Theodore Gorath on December 21, 2012 at 7:13 AM · Report this
So when are the men-only swim times?
Posted by jzimbert on December 21, 2012 at 7:35 AM · Report this
Comments 2 and 3 following each other could not be more perfect.
Posted by goodjobguy on December 21, 2012 at 7:40 AM · Report this
John Roberts is my new favorite thing.
Posted by tacomagirl on December 21, 2012 at 7:46 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 6
When the right wing opposed lifting the ban on gays serving they claimed it would hurt "unit cohesion". When that didn't happen, they introduce legislation that does exactly that: hurt unit cohesion. What fucking scumbags the Republicans are.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on December 21, 2012 at 7:50 AM · Report this
'GOP Crazies' Save Progressives from Obama (Again)…
Posted by anon1256 on December 21, 2012 at 8:20 AM · Report this
seatackled 8
500 bucks for pissing on an "Arab" corpse? He's probably gotten ten times that in donations already to pay for the fine.
Posted by seatackled on December 21, 2012 at 8:22 AM · Report this
Ziggity 9
Choosing to ignore all the news and asking: is the dude in the video the voice of the mom in Bob's Burgers?
Posted by Ziggity on December 21, 2012 at 8:30 AM · Report this
What does one do with the chili powder?
Posted by aurora f on December 21, 2012 at 8:31 AM · Report this
Lissa 11
@1: How good of you to allow that women might need to ride the bus. You disappoint me.
@2: Whiner.
@3: Word.
Posted by Lissa on December 21, 2012 at 8:41 AM · Report this
seatackled 12

Add one to each.

Shorter #2: It's perfectly understandable that a woman would get raped.
Posted by seatackled on December 21, 2012 at 8:43 AM · Report this
Lissa 13
I'm sorry, my comment should be directed at 2, 3, and 4. I am on board with 1.
Posted by Lissa on December 21, 2012 at 8:44 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 14
RE: India rape.

They should institute a curfew on men. Men aren't allowed outside after 8pm or so, unless they have a legitimate reason (e.g., work) and a police escort. Violators should be jailed.

Might not solve the problem, but it could help.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 21, 2012 at 8:46 AM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 15
the Mayan calendar is in a 5000+ year cycle and in fact we have ANOTHER 5000 years of this shit! NO!
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on December 21, 2012 at 8:48 AM · Report this
"Remember: If you're unarmed and you have a vagina, you're asking for it."

I really wish people would quit repeating the ridiculous "asking for it" meme; no one cares about those sluts opinions.
Posted by Unfortunately, Someone Probably Believes This on December 21, 2012 at 8:49 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 17
@11, 12: Ok, so it is unacceptable to you that women are educated in ways to avoid rape, so what exactly do you suggest?

Or answer me this one question: why is it acceptable to teach the public steps to avoid all crimes except rape?
Posted by Theodore Gorath on December 21, 2012 at 9:05 AM · Report this
@17, Are you kidding me? Women have been the targets of rape prevention programs for decades. I'm pretty sure we've covered that ground. Ask any woman you know.

The point here is that women are inundated every goddamn day with how they need to prevent their own rapes from happening, but we have yet to address the issues of why they are taking place in the first place and why this behavior is continuing (helpful hint: "male nature" is not the answer).
Posted by goodjobguy on December 21, 2012 at 9:21 AM · Report this
@9 (Ziggity): Yes! It is! It's John Roberts, the unforgettable voice of Linda Belcher (Bob's wife) from Bob's Burgers.

How unfortunate that he shares his name with a dick on the US Supreme Court. Do a Wikipedia search, and you get the dick. You have to go to the disambiguation page to get the talent. On the other hand, I once met a grocery store manager named Charles Schwab who said that he sometimes got special treatment on airlines (free upgrades, champagne, etc.) because of his shared name. I hope the same thing happens to the good John Roberts.
Posted by PCM on December 21, 2012 at 9:31 AM · Report this
Lissa 20
(Double checks comment numbers...) 17 please see 18.
You live in a bubble if you are unaware that society has no problem what so ever informing women of the steps we should take to avoid rape. Over and over and over all of our god damn lives. We can't do what you take for granted, like taking the bus without having to remember that if we get raped, some how it will have been our fault.
Posted by Lissa on December 21, 2012 at 10:01 AM · Report this
Concerning the movie:

I have relatives on Long Island, and this video couldn't have been a more perfect representation of them in every possible way.
Posted by make dir on December 21, 2012 at 10:07 AM · Report this
Oh, pointing out sexism is whining now? Okay. Noted.
Posted by jzimbert on December 21, 2012 at 10:28 AM · Report this
Actually, the Mayan glyph language is one of the most advanced languages around, if one has any understanding of it. (Sorry, I haven't been paying attention to phony American propaganda hype on end-of-world new agey stuff, but below you'll find one illusion which is quite real.)

La Grand Illusion

The Divine Right

The Singular Cause of the Rise and Fall of Empires


There is but one cause, one reason for the endless strife, never-ending wars, religious turmoil and troubles, the historic battles between the religionists and the monarchies, the royalty and the people, the religionists and the bankers, the bankers and the royals and today, the bankers and the people.

The sole reason, the singular cause is the “divine right” to create money. It is truly that simple, although it exists as an abstraction difficult for most of us to grasp since we’ve been indoctrinated from birth to think and believe otherwise, to be confused and bewildered beyond belief!

This isn’t unique to America, but exists across many societies and many cultures.

That group which has seized that divine right of money creation: historically the kings, sultans and monarchs, the religious rulers, etc., and today the private bankers, enjoy special and endless wealth and power, for they declare themselves the recipients of free wealth from the rest of us!

They create the money or currency from nothing, by fiat as it were, and then receive wealth in the form of interest paid on that miraculously created money.

To increase their wealth, there must be ever greater debt created, for with more debt comes ever more interest payments --- hence the growth of empires!

These empires grow until overextended, of course, since phantom wealth creation --- and extraction (bleeding the masses dry) --- is their goal, and with overextending comes the predictable collapse of those empires, and all empires eventually collapse.

These obvious truths must forever be obscured and hidden: our so-called news cycles are filled with the same mindless and nonsensical drivel of constantly repeated memes: Mayan end of the world, and news on entertainment --- gun control after the most recent mass murder, and news on entertainment --- this fiscal cliff and that fiscal cliff, and news on entertainment.

There is no fiscal cliff, of course, just as there is a derivatives canyon --- the money lenders, or more accurately the money masters, have packaged that debt and sold it, then repackaged the debt from that and sold it, then repackaged the debt from that and resold it . . . . . (And that’s why we are experiencing the Great Deleveraging: the central banks have been buying up those worthless derivatives --- their own banks created --- further enriching the uber-rich while further starving the rest of us.)

Aren’t you the least bit suspicious when the spokesperson for the US State Department under a supposedly democratic administration, Victoria Nuland, is the wife of one of the founders of that most ultra-conservative of former rightwing groups, PNAC --- or the Project for a New American Century (Dick Cheney & Company)?

And that the supposedly democratic president, Barack Obama, has professed admiration for her husband’s writing?

If you aren’t the least bit interested or suspicious or wary, it simply indicates how well you’ve been indoctrinated.

It’s all staged, to keep us confused and bewildered!

Suggested links for further enlightenment:……

[Thus ends the Doom Chronicles......Sayonara!]
Posted by sgt_doom on December 21, 2012 at 10:31 AM · Report this
Lissa 24
@22: Pointing out sexism is not whining. What you did is.
Posted by Lissa on December 21, 2012 at 10:47 AM · Report this
seandr 25
The city will begin hosting women-only swim times at four local pools in March.

Sorry, but that's just fucking stupid. If your religion doesn't allow you to swim with men, women, blacks, Asians, infidels, or people wearing speedos, than swim in a private fucking pool or don't fucking swim.

@Lissa - You trolling, troll.
Posted by seandr on December 21, 2012 at 10:57 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 26
@18, 20, I hate to burst your bubbles, but not every person knows what you do, and there are new women being "made" everyday. Should we stop teaching AIDS prevention because we have been doing it for thirty years now? Like it or not, neither AIDS nor rape is going away in our generation. How do we protect people now?

I never even came close to suggesting that any rape is the fault of the victim, but that is the strawman that has been constructed. No answers to my questions though.

How about this: long ago, when I was a freshman in college, part of our orientation was being sat down in a room with a group of other freshman and a local cop. The cop proceeded to let us know the dangerous parts of town, and warned us against places we should probably not venture alone or after dark. The group was both male and female, and the crimes we were warned about ranged from mugging to murder.

Now, to be consistent in your viewpoints, you must think this was a horrible, patronizing injustice. And if you do not, why is this different from what we are discussing? Is it because there were both men and women involved? Was it because the crimes being discussed were not limited to rape?

I am genuinely curious.

Posted by Theodore Gorath on December 21, 2012 at 11:07 AM · Report this
Lissa 27
Theodore it is acceptable to teach public safety tips regarding all crimes including rape. Society has got that covered. You can rest assured on that point.
However, the list of proscribed behavior to avoid being raped is considerably longer, more restrictive and fungible than the list for say, being mugged.
No one will tell you not to ride the bus, and no one will blame you if your work requires you to do so after dark and you get mugged at the bus stop. The onus is on the mugger. No one would suggest that you should have made the effort to join a car pool because muggers gonna mug.
Posted by Lissa on December 21, 2012 at 11:39 AM · Report this
@26 - Do you know why that woman was raped on the bus in India? She was out on at night with a man that was not her relative or husband, so the attackers felt that she deserved to be taught a lesson.

Given this information, what do you think we should be doing to protect women from rape?
Posted by goodjobguy on December 21, 2012 at 11:52 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 29
@27: Since I never blamed anyone for being victimized in any way, I do not understand the argument, since you seem to now agree with me.

Funny story: I took a shortcut through a bad area once when I was in high school. Got smacked in the head by a brick, had my wallet stolen. Some people blamed me. Others did not. Some people said "hey, white kid walking through that neighborhood, who could blame [the mugger]? Easy target."

It was not my fault. But it was a bad idea to walk through that neighborhood. I can not deny that. I wish someone had warned me how many assaults happened there.

Things are not always as cut and dry as they seem, and the world is not limited to just your experiences.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on December 21, 2012 at 11:56 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 30
@28: Hmm...well I guess we would have to invade India and force them to change their culture. Or I guess we could try political and economic sanctions. It is hard to change the culture of another nation from outside of it, and impossible to change the behavior of disturbed and aggressive individuals.

The only thing to do in any nation is spending the time trying to slowly change the culture. The problem is the existing power dynamic of the genders, the root of sexism. However, this takes generations, and is slowly working. Violent crimes of all types are going down, and women are getting to have a more equal footing in the world. This is the long game. This is how we protect our grandchildren.

What to do now? The same thing we do to prevent any crime. The fact of the matter is, the individual is the only person that can protect themselves. So, they have to do everything they can to mitigate the risk. People need to report crimes, report suspicious circumstances, and defend themselves if possible, because the sad fact is, no one can protect you. Unless we want cops on every street corner, which is not possible. As a society, we need to do everything we can to strike down the victim blaming, and the stigma associated with sexual assault.

It is the only option we have: because muggers gonna mug, killers gonna kill, and rapists gonna rape. Our society has not grown out of these behaviors. Hopefully someday we will.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on December 21, 2012 at 12:08 PM · Report this
You think that an individual can mitigate risk, when the risk they are taking is being female. Not walking alone at night. Not being in the wrong part of town. Being a woman is the risk.

Did you know that the women who report crimes and suspicious behavior are often summarily dismissed for more "important" crimes, or ignored? Or that women that try to fight offenders are more likely to be seriously injured or murdered during their attack?

How would you have suggested that woman protect herself?

I'm not saying don't take precautions. I'm saying that yes, thank you, it's been heard, great advice since 1980 and before.
Posted by goodjobguy on December 21, 2012 at 12:42 PM · Report this
Lissa 32
@29: As 31 points out, the risk we run is that we exist in the world as women. For a woman it's not just in a bad neighborhood that we might be attacked. I live in a nice Eastside suburb. You could walk to the store alone at night without a second thought regarding your safety. I. Can't. Not even there.
I would love it if we could treat rape the same way we do other crimes against person or property, a world where safety tips would all be of equal weight. But society treats victims of sexual assault differently. The safety tips aren't just safety tips. Address the real problem, because I'm not being given "common sense advice" I'm being told that by just attempting to live my life in ways that YOU take for granted, that if I get raped I'm culpable. And that ain't right.
Posted by Lissa on December 21, 2012 at 1:34 PM · Report this
Bauhaus I 33
Don't like the idea of women-only pool times in public pools. We're supposed to be a secular society, and that means not catering to religion. And there is no comparison, like when pork-alternatives are offered. Orthodox women have private places to swim (women's gyms, YWCA). This is banning men from a public, tax-funded pool. Not a good idea.
Posted by Bauhaus I on December 21, 2012 at 2:07 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 34

You could start by not making excuses for the obviously misogynistic Indian police commissioner. He lives in a country where men think it's acceptable to rape women to teach them a lesson, and you are fucking stupid enough to give him the benefit of the doubt? Or maybe you're just a rank misogynist.

Take your mansplaining elsewhere, asshole
Posted by keshmeshi on December 21, 2012 at 3:01 PM · Report this
thatsnotright 35
For the record, the Maya are not gone. The Yucatan Penisula, Quintana Roo, Belize and large parts of Guatemala are still the homeland of living descendents of thriving Maya culture.
Posted by thatsnotright on December 21, 2012 at 3:46 PM · Report this
McJulie 36
@2 I do not see the connection between common sense crime/victim prevention techniques and saying that women are "asking for it."

Okay, I'll make the connection. You're thinking about this backwards, by conflating muggings -- stranger violent robbery -- with stranger rape. Muggers mug because they want money. They don't care where they get it. The money is the point. So they are like roving sharks looking for the easiest prey. A lot of crime prevention tips are about not being the easiest prey, or avoiding the waters with the most sharks.

Rape is not like that. Rape is a psychologically motivated crime. Violent rape of a stranger -- especially the kind of extremely violent gang rapes that article talks about -- is more like a hate crime. So the same sorts of "common sense" crime prevention tips aren't necessarily relevant at all. Hate crimes cannot be prevented by the victim, they have to be prevented by society as a whole.

Further, such "common sense" crime prevention tips -- don't go out alone at night, have a male companion with you -- actually can do harm, for this reason: one of the motivations behind rapes, especially in highly patriarchal cultures, is to punish women for stepping outside of social boundaries. By reinforcing the idea of such boundaries (women shouldn't go out alone at night, women shouldn't dress that way, etc.) you are subtly reinforcing the idea that it's "okay" for men to punish women who step outside them.
Posted by McJulie on December 22, 2012 at 7:01 AM · Report this
persimmon 37
@2 All women learn rape prevention techniques. We share it with each other, we're taught it as we grow up--these are things literally passed down from generation to generation, and shared between friends and colleagues. I have never offered to drive a friend to her car because she parked farther away from the bar and gotten a confused reaction. I have never not found another woman who didn't put keys between her knuckles in a dark parking lot. I don't like to say that something's a given, but anti-rape techniques are so embedded in women they're practically instincts. Most men don't know how much the fear of rape preoccupies a woman's mind, so that's rather an honest mistake to make; but, I assure you, we think about it daily. We don't need reminders from the police.
Furthermore, I don't find the mugging analogy to be accurate. When you go to the police station after being mugged, the officers don't ask you why you were walking alone. They ask you what he looked like and when it happened and in what direction the criminal ran off. That is not the case with rape. How would it make you feel if you reported a crime and got a lecture on what you did wrong?
Posted by persimmon on December 23, 2012 at 6:26 PM · Report this
persimmon 38
Also, what the hell is up with the ladies-swim-night? That's bullshit. I thought it was to give women a safe environment to swim in (I go to a private gym and I often avoid the pool when there are gentlemen who seem to be lingering there just for the view--it makes my skin crawl when they grin and leer at me like I'm putting on a show)--but it's to accommodate religious sex segregation? Fuck that. What's next? We start catering to white pride assholes who won't swim with black people?
Posted by persimmon on December 23, 2012 at 6:37 PM · Report this

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