Archive for June, 2012

Who needs feminism?

June 30, 2012

Okay, I don’t have a tumblr, but I wanted to answer this question:

I need feminism, because the popular conception of gender as a binary means that people are seen as “less than” if they are an emotionally developed person. Either less masculine, if he is capable of crying, or less feminine, if she is capable of asserting herself.

I need feminism, because some of the work that I see as being of the greatest value is usually valued less by society because it is seen as “woman’s work.”

I need feminism, because I want women to be just as safe as I am when they are (for example) alone, at night, being a pedestrian, or trying to relax.

I need feminism, because we are never going to have sensible policy making if we insist on pretending that women and men are so profoundly different that they might as well come from different planets.

Sokka Saturday

June 30, 2012

I’m not going to write much today.

That’s nice, human. I’ll let you know when I need something.

So, I’m going to post pictures of Sokka instead.

What was that?

Elasticity in demand for rich and poor

June 29, 2012

When a rich person gets richer- by having a tax break, for example- they don’t need to run out and buy anything. Their basic needs, and many not so basic needs are already met. So additional money to the rich is likely just to be salted away.

When a poor or middle class person gets richer- by getting paid closer to what their work is worth, for example- they do have things they need to buy. They have that operation they’ve been putting off because they had to make a choice between helping their kids pay for textbooks or getting their own hip fixed. They would rather eat some fresh food rather than frozen tv dinners. They want to move to a house rather than stay in an apartment. So money that a poor or middle class person gets above what they’re used to gets spent.

Nick Hanauer is a millionaire, but he gets it right in this interview with Jon Ronson:

There’s something unusual about Nick. For a multimillionaire, he doesn’t have your average multimillionaire view. In fact, he’s come to believe that the system he benefits so richly from is built on nonsense—specifically, the idea that “the markets are perfectly efflcient and allocate benefits and burdens perfectly efflciently, based on talent and merit. So by that definition, the rich deserve to be rich and the poor deserve to be poor. We believe this because we have an almost insanely powerful need to self-justify.”

And the biggest nonsense of all, he says, “is the idea that because the rich are the smartest, and because we’re the job creators, the richer we get, the better it is for everyone. So taxes on the rich should be very, very low because we’re essentially the center of the economic universe, the font of productivity.” Nick pauses. “If there were a shred of truth to the claim that the rich are our nation’s job creators, then given how rich the rich have gotten, America should be drowning in jobs!”

“So if the rich don’t create the jobs,” I ask, “who does?”

“The middle classes!” Nick roars. “A huge middle class will produce an unbelievable opportunity for capitalists.”

That’s exactly right. What we need is to make sure that people are well enough off to buy what they need and also invest in the future. That will drive our economy.
Found through Pharyngula.

Running Bain may result in habits unwelcome in a president

June 29, 2012

Do we really want someone in office who specializes in making money by putting Americans out of work?

Found through Political Irony.

Okay, on health care: breathe, and stop losing your minds.

June 29, 2012

The Affordable Care Act is not a tax-raising, deficit increasing, liberal takeover of healthcare, designed to kill people through death panels.

First, it doesn’t raise taxes or increase the deficit. It lowers taxes, and cuts costs through increased efficiency. This will lower the deficit.

Second, it isn’t liberal. It was designed by the conservative Heritage Foundation and their plan was tweaked by Romney more recently. If we were looking at a liberal plan we would not be talking about a mandate, we’d be talking about single-payer. Which I’d prefer, but still- well done, conservatives. Too bad it took a moderate to get it done.

Third, it isn’t a takeover of healthcare. It is insurance regulation. It regulates health insurance, not health care. Your doctor’s private practice remains a private practice, not a government office.

Fourth, death panels? Really? I just have no words for the depths of stupidity and fear which this reveals. The same people who use “Bleeding Heart Liberal” as an insult think we want to kill the elderly and infirm? And no contradiction is seen here?

This debate over healthcare brings up an important point.

June 29, 2012

So while students under 26 and anyone with a preexisting condition were jumping for joy today, Romney said this:

“Obamacare raises taxes on the American people by approximately $500 billion. Obamacare cuts Medicare — cuts Medicare by approximately $500 billion. And even with those cuts and tax increases, Obamacare adds trillions to our deficits and to our national debt, and pushes those obligations on to coming generations.”

How can you see that something involves a raise in taxes and a cut in costs, and think that will increase the deficit? And then I realized:

This is some sort of plea for better education:

Groups with national influence

June 28, 2012








One of these organizations has too much influence and in a state platform says this:

“Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”

The other has too little influence, and one of their values statements is this:

“We hold that all human beings are entitled to freedom from others’ religious ideologies in living their lives, engaging with service providers, and interacting with government.”

Is it too easy to guess which is which?

Found both stories through Friendly Atheist.

Happy Tau Day!

June 28, 2012

Emily and I simultaneously found and started playing this video on our respective electronic devices:

Emily found it at The Mary Sue. I found it at Friendly Atheist.

Mitt’s Mendacity- 23 volumes so far- by Steve Benen

June 28, 2012

What can I say? I am very impressed by Steve Benen’s work, and when he was at his previous site I had his high quality and almost constant posts on my RSS feed.

Now I find him again, and he is making a weekly series listing many of Mitt Romney’s lies.

Found through Political Irony.

Also, in case you want to do some checking up, Politifact.

An example of the economic harm caused by churches

June 27, 2012

Riverdale, Illinois is getting $50,000 a year in property taxes from an empty lot. That’s $50,000 dollars more than they will get if a tax-exempt religious institution builds in that spot. That means more taxes they will have to collect from citizens.

Now, remember that $71 billion spent to subsidize religious institutions in the United States? Want to guess where the funds would ultimately come from to build this nontaxable building?