Friday, July 31, 2009

Odds and Sods - Hotter than July edition

Table Rock (and all other photos below) from my Flickr page.

Everyone's feeling pretty
It's hotter than July
Though the world's full of problems
They couldn't touch us even if they tried

The American right-wing is having a meltdown. Their carefully-constructed pretense of patriotism-at-all-costs, is crumbling right before our eyes. Politico reports:

Screaming constituents, protesters dragged out by the cops, congressmen fearful for their safety — welcome to the new town-hall-style meeting, the once-staid forum that is rapidly turning into a house of horrors for members of Congress.

On the eve of the August recess, members are reporting meetings that have gone terribly awry, marked by angry, sign-carrying mobs and disruptive behavior. In at least one case, a congressman has stopped holding town hall events because the situation has spiraled so far out of control.

“I had felt they would be pointless,” Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) told POLITICO, referring to his recent decision to temporarily suspend the events in his Long Island district. “There is no point in meeting with my constituents and [to] listen to them and have them listen to you if what is basically an unruly mob prevents you from having an intelligent conversation.”

In Bishop’s case, his decision came on the heels of a June 22 event he held in Setauket, N.Y., in which protesters dominated the meeting by shouting criticisms at the congressman for his positions on energy policy, health care and the bailout of the auto industry.

Within an hour of the disruption, police were called in to escort the 59-year-old Democrat — who has held more than 100 town hall meetings since he was elected in 2002 — to his car safely.

“I have no problem with someone disagreeing with positions I hold,” Bishop said, noting that, for the time being, he was using other platforms to communicate with his constituents. “But I also believe no one is served if you can’t talk through differences.”

Bishop isn’t the only one confronted by boiling anger and rising incivility. At a health care town hall event in Syracuse, N.Y., earlier this month, police were called in to restore order, and at least one heckler was taken away by local police. Close to 100 sign-carrying protesters greeted Rep. Allen Boyd (D-Fla.) at a late June community college small-business development forum in Panama City, Fla. Last week, Danville, Va., anti-tax tea party activists claimed they were “refused an opportunity” to ask Rep. Thomas Perriello (D-Va.) a question at a town hall event and instructed by a plainclothes police officer to leave the property after they attempted to hold up protest signs.
Why is no one calling these trouble-makers insurrectionists, wingnuts and psychos, as lefties have always been called?

Time to call them what they are: dangerous, anti-American wackos.


Apologies for being slack last month and overlooking the Carnival Against Sexual Violence, as well as Caroline's wonderful Feminist Carnival of Sexual Freedom and Autonomy (NSFW).

Lotsa good feminist reading for everyone!


Pretty echinacea, to cure what ails you. (Photo taken at Table Rock, above.)

Also required reading is Dw3t-Hthr's Some Things They Don't Mention About Pregnancy:
*Trying to get a ballpark figure for an appropriate amount of weight gain during pregnancy from the internet is not a good idea.

Take all of the crazy, interfering, I-know-better-than-you stuff that gets directed at pregnant women.

Take all of the crazy, interfering, I-know-better-than-you stuff that gets thrown around about weight and health issues.


Or hit yourself in the head with a brick a few times. It's faster, and just as informative.

* Moods are not unstable. Moods are turned up to eleven.

Instead of "cranky" I was achieving "kill it and devour its heart that its lifeblood might sustain my offspring."

Instead of "I don't want to deal with this" I was achieving "I need to go live in a cave and contemplate the hopelessness of human interaction."

* Childbirth classes with any sort of natural bent will spend at least a quarter of the time in class talking about how to protect yourself from hospitals.

This is epically fucked up. Completely, totally, epically fucked up. Legalhusband and I would leave our childbirth class every time, exchange glances, and then he'd say, "I'm so glad we're not planning on a hospital birth. I'm so glad we don't have to go through that."

And this ranges from stuff like the friend of mine who went in for a post-term ultrasound to doublecheck that everything was okay and had the administering nurse lie to her in an attempt to panic her into admitting herself to be induced immediately to horrifying shit like a woman having her baby taken away because she refused a C-section.

They will lie. They will not talk about the risks of epidurals. They will insist on putting an IV shunt into your vein "just in case" and not mention that it's possible to refuse. They will pressure. This is why people hire doulas - when they can afford them - to help protect their families from the crushing stress and pressure. This is insane.

Ohhhh, hell yes it is.

Awesome writing and women's truth, read it all!


They want us to join their fighting
But our answer today
Is to let all our worries
Like the breeze through our fingers slip away

If you are up for a post with 68 comments (mine got 2 thumbs-up and 1 thumbs-down), check out Restructure's interesting conversation: Libertarianism is rational for rich white people only.

And while reading, always keep in mind John Scalzi's Law of Internet Invocation: If you name them, they will come.

So yeah, the Libertarians are present and accounted for.


Old railroad trestle is from West Greenville County, SC.

One of my least favorite subjects, one that makes me want to scurry away and hide, was addressed in a round-about way earlier this month, on a vibrant and interesting Quaker blog: Anti-Christianity and where it comes from.

Usually, it comes from us. (The Christians, I mean.)

Alice Yaxley at Quaker Quaker asks: How should Quakers deal with members who are openly hostile to Christianity?

She also poses this as a generational question, which is fascinating, also:

What do Friends have to teach me about how to deal with people at Quaker gatherings who are openly hostile to christians? I've encountered some of it in the most liberal Quaker gatherings I've been to. It's not ok. I know that some liberal Friends groups in their lack of openness attract some people who are really spiritually wounded.

How do we make such people welcome and address their fears whilst at the same time not tolerating hatred of Christ or people who follow him? It's not a loving favour to indulge the spiritually wounded. Our indulgence of each other is spiritually dangerous and I believe I have seen it pretty much kill the spirit of a Meeting. How do we challenge wounded people to heal?

I care about this because it's not just about sucking up the persecution. It's about whether liberal Quakers get to keep a whole load of smart committed highly motivated christian young folks who may already be bored to tears with boomer wooliness. This is a key issue for people in liberal meeting to address. I think lack of toleration for open hostility to Christ needs to be the very least we can expect, otherwise what on earth are we doing?

Her post was the catalyst for a thoughtful discussion about WHY people are hostile to Christianity in the first place. And yeah, I already know why, but I always force myself to read the gory details.

Betsy Blake comments:
Alice, it is soothing to me, to hear you address this. I have done intensive Quaker intervisitation work for 14+ years. I am a Jesus-loving FUM Quaker. I identify with traditional Christian language. I didn't learn until college (at a liberal Quaker school), that even if you have the best of intentions and are as grounded in love as one can be, it still hurts people just to say the very words that are associated with this past hurt. This in turn can trigger swift attack.

I really, really, struggle with this.
Yes, me too. And I identify as a dissenting Catholic, not even one of the cool-liberal hippie Quakers.

Blake adds:
My question is--do people WANT to be healed?
Hmmm. Good one.

I often believe they do not.

Bill Samuel, another commenter:

Some meetings seem full of sick people not wanting to get well. Healthy people are viewed as sick. What happens when good Christians stay in such meetings? Well, a variety of things, but one thing I've noticed is that they tend to take on some of the illness. I'm not sure it's healthy to stay.

Does it have to be like this? The faith community I'm in now (I resigned from a liberal Friends meeting in 2005) also attracts lots of people who didn't fit in typical evangelical, Catholic, or whatever churches. But our community focuses on discovering what it really means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, not on rejecting Christ because others have distorted him badly
And then there was this comment, from Algirdas Davidavicius:

I guess on the level of interpersonal relationships with such "hostile" people one good Christian Friend can always keep in mind, that the hostility in question is not because Christ nor His message, but because some painful, rejecting experience these people or their important ones once have from institutionalized, formalized or self-proclaimed "christians", hence they are making this projective, negative blanket-statement, discounting everything "christian". This is not problem, solution is always to listen and inquire directly persons experiences, feelings behind those "anti-" statements, which are only kinda cries for positive affirmation and, actually, truly christian acceptance of anyone as possessing indelible "that of God in us".

Hold Thee in Light -- Algis, Lithuania (Eastern Europe)
I'll try, man, and thanks for that reminder. I needed it, today.


Yall knew I couldn't get through a post this size without AZALEAS, right? :)

Claire Hoffman's in-depth Rolling Stone coverage of Michael Jackson's last days, really brought me down. I shouldn't have gone there, but the lifelong scandal-monger in me simply couldn't resist. I wanted to know: how bad was it?

I guess I didn't fully realize that his entire nose was GONE.

GONE, a hole in the center. (He was wearing a prosthetic nose.) Didn't any surgeons wonder if he was able to give "informed consent" for that? Evil, money-grubbing greedheads; I guess if he wanted to destroy his nose, they were glad to do it for a hefty fee.

Likewise, the pharmacy bill totaling (!) over $100,000 in a year's time. Holy shit, people.

This brings to mind an AA discussion, back in the day...John Belushi died about 6 weeks into my sobriety, and I owe him for that. John Belushi died for my sins, right about the same time I was starting to dangerously waver and reconsider the whole sobriety enterprise. And then he died, and I thought, ohhhhh.

The AA-meeting question after his death: Is it worse to be a rich addict or a poor addict?

Everyone agreed: A rich one.

Sycophants, groupies, hangers-on and various assortments of fellow-travelers and dealers, will fuck you up. By contrast, when you're a poor addict, people rapidly desert you in droves. You are out in the cold and you have no choice but to clean up. No job, no money, no lovers, no place to go. There it is, cold hard reality, staring you in face. All your goofy, drug-addled ideas (like destroying your nose) can never really come to fruition. They become the stuff of mindless junkie-talk, pipe dreams and nonsense-blather.

And a good thing too, or you might have had the power and money to do something insane, like destroy your nose.

Michael, we hardly knew ye...


And finally, a Dead Air tradition at the end of July... he really needs NO introduction!

When you're moving in the positive
Your destination is the brightest star

Stevie Wonder - Master Blaster (Jammin')

[via FoxyTunes / Stevie Wonder]


Rachel said...

I had NOT heard that MJ's entire nose was missing. That breaks my heart.

sheila said...

I've heard about the nose but I wasn't sure if it was true or How aweful.

As for the republicans? lol.
They don't realize what we all endured, the pain the agony for 8 lonnng years of having an idiot at the helm and their ridiculous policies.

It just cracks me up. Now they're all like 'moral' and stuff. It's stunning. Too bad it's only an act.

Gettysburg Mom said...

About the child birth in hospitals thing- when I had my last daughter, I thought the nurse was going to explode because I refused to follow a few of her standard protocol things and (ready, big GASP) dared to ask questions along the way.

Really? A clean catch urine sample when I'm in transition labor at 8 CM? I just don't think that's necessary. Really.

jovan b. said...

Speaking of wackos, the Augusta Chronicle is full of them. The Chronicle is now telling bold-faced lies on the pro-choice movement in order to prevent people from knowing the truth about the anti-choice activists' hostility to children. We cannot let the Chronicle get away with it. Call them out!

Here is the most offensive editorial of the year:

Doc Anchovy said... says "not" to the missing nose scuttlebutt.

snobographer said...

Yeah I don't believe MJ's nose was gone. That would have messed up his voice entirely. I think the prosthetic nose rumor started with that court pic where he's wearing a bandaid over his nose and there's some residual melanin his vitiligo hadn't destroyed on the tip.
That pic was doctored and circulated in the tabloids and it became this "OMG his nose is destroyed!" thing. He certainly did too much to it, but he was clearly still in possession of a nose.
Someone in the commemorative Rolling Stone also said something about him bleaching his skin, which is also untrue.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Doc, do you have a link? Nobody seems to know for sure. I didn't think RS reported mere rumor as fact, particularly at the fees they pay writers!

One of my (African American) customers with vitiligo told me that her dermatologist said that after 80% of the skin is involved, bleaching the remainder is recommended. It isn't as drastic as it sounds, if the vitiligo is extensive.

Still, would like to know the FACTS! -harumph-

Rachel said...

this is the thing doc refers to.