Check out Neil Sinhababu's Six Reasons Why Clinton shouldn't be Obama's VP over at Cogitamus. Speaking personally, I thought a joint ticket was a pretty good idea until reading this. Hmm. (Great discussion, worth price of admission.)
Also: I need to calm down (formerly known as Vox Ex Machina) writes about Racism in the Voting Booth.
A Very Public Sociologist reports on the Gender, Law and Sexuality postgraduate symposium at Keele University (UK). Feminist researcher Wei Wei Cao's presentation was especially interesting:
Where bioethics are concerned feminism opposes legal obstacles placed in the way of women's access to (reproductive) medical services. But, Cao argued, there has been a tendency for feminism to place emphasis at different times on legal arguments, and at others ethical arguments, instead of a more coherent approach. This failure to combine them effectively can lead to the enshrining of progressive legal rights on paper, but in practice, serving to perpetuate the patriarchal structures they aimed to combat. For example, in Cao's native China, abortion law is very liberal. But far from enhancing women's reproductive rights, it has strengthened patriarchy's hold over women's fertility by "encouraging" the abortion of female foetuses, particularly in rural China. Taken with the one child policy this has resulted in there being somewhere in the region of 50-60 million more (mainly young) men than women.~*~
And as we know, in the more liberal societies of the West, abortion is still taboo. Many women who undergo the procedure often have to deal with the difficulties of doing so in silence.
Therefore, Cao suggests that while the fight for reproductive autonomy remains a key feminist objective it needs to be more sensitive to women's experience.
As I have stated before, my favorite author and the greatest living genius of our age, JG Ballard, is very ill with late-stage cancer. BALLARDIAN offers us a Spring 2007 interview in an unnamed German scifi publication, titled “I really would not want to fuck George W. Bush!”: A Conversation with J. G. Ballard, conducted by Werner Fuchs and Sascha Mamczak:
Ballard: I’m very interested in social pathology, in what really drives us on in our everyday lives. My newest novel Kingdom Come raises the question of whether the consumer thinking of the present day might not at some point suddenly turn into fascism.~*~
A very trenchant thesis.
Yes, but just take a look at what’s going on in these huge shopping malls. Evidently not much more than shopping is left for us. That and sport. That’s where we get our kicks, those are the new religions. I already believe that one of these days we could end up in a kind of leisure-time dictatorship.
But don’t events like the attacks of the 11th of September or the catastrophe in New Orleans remind people of the hard facts of reality?
I’m not so sure about that. I think it was difficult for many people to distinguish the picture of the collapsed World Trade Center from all the other images they know from Hollywood. It’s such a binary matter: real, unreal, real, unreal… And as for whether the current American administration finds itself brought down to reality or not, I very much doubt it. No, I think we live in dangerous times.
Left: A boy and his dog, outside the Greenville County Library yesterday.
From the Roanoke Times, comes another puppy mill conviction. And once again, no time will be served. (Why do they bother?)
This one is notable in that Carroll County (VA) animal rights activists intervened and alerted authorities:
700+ dogs were rescued. The Humane Society has called it the largest canine rescue operation in the USA.
Junior Horton, who operated Horton's Pups in Hillsville where more than 1,000 dogs were discovered in November by local authorities acting on a tip from the Virginia Partnership for Animal Welfare and Support, had been charged with 14 counts of animal cruelty, 25 counts of animal neglect and one count of failing to obtain a license tax for 125 unlicensed adult dogs.
Veterinarians working with the animal welfare advocates filed reports to the office of Carroll County Commonwealth's Attorney Gregory Goad. The charges accused Horton of depriving dogs of necessary food, drink, shelter or emergency veterinary treatment, and of failing to adequately house, feed, water, exercise or care for animals in his possession.
And finally, this just in--by way of Renegade Evolution. Pornographer Nina Hartley was hacked by some Islamic extremists. As reported by Ernest Greene on The Blog of Pro-Porn Activism (you've been duly warned as to content):
Nina.com was hacked by a couple of young guys in Turkey who characterize themselves as "Islamic cyber-warriors." They've hacked hundreds of other sites all over the world that they regard as suitable targets for their jihadist fury for whatever reasons and make no secret of their intention to go right on doing so. Indeed, for a couple of days after the fact, they were all over Turkish media trumpeting their great triumph at shutting down the site of the "Jew whore" Nina Hartley. And they got pretty far with that too, even making it onto the TV news back home. This will get them more views for their clumsy gangsta-rap vids on youtube (you can see their collection of laptops in the background as they bust their moves) and presumably sell more of the malware they peddle on their own site. Great heroes of the coming caliphate are these two twenty-nothings. May they be welcomed into paradise by those 72 virgins at the earliest possible date. Given the TNP's impatience with swaggering braggarts who like to stir up trouble, that date may come rather sooner than they expect.Indeed.
But those of us over here are stuck with some troubling questions whatever fate may hold in store for these pathetic low-lifes. The unpleasant fact remains that the hate they feel for Nina and all she believes is shared in equal measure among right-wing Christian evangelicals, left-wing anti-porn feminists and their fellow Islamic fundamentalist fanatics all around the world. Even though these extremists all despise each other, they agree on something basic about human nature - their deep-seated distrust and dislike for it. Where they find common ground is in their abhorrence of personal freedom and individual liberty.
Listening to: The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema