Some parts of this blog may contain adult-oriented material. (It is NOT porn or erotica, but some of the content is inappropriate for children). If you are under your country's legal age to view such material or find it to be "objectionable", please leave this page now. Reader discretion is advised...but if you couldn't infer from the title that this may be an adult-oriented blog, then you shouldn't be on the Internet at all.

Everything on the Evil Slutopia blog is copyrighted by the E.S.C. and ESC Forever Media and may not be used without credit to the authors. But feel free to link to us as much as you want! For other legal information, disclaimers and FAQs visit ESCForeverMedia.com.

September 30, 2008

Joe Biden Feminism Watch: The Debbie Smith Act

Joe Biden Feminism Watch #2

Last week, the Senate passed the Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act of 2008. The original law, authored by Senator Biden, was set to expire next year. The law "standardizes the evidence collection of kits for sexual assaults, making it easier to enter the information into state and national databases" and provides funding to forensic labs to "process the DNA evidence and compare the DNA samples with those taken from criminals". From the statement released by Senator Biden:
It is estimated that 40 percent of the unsolved rape cases could be solved by taking the DNA sample collected after a sexual assault and comparing it to the existing DNA databases of convicted felons and rapists. The U.S. Department of Justice has estimated that there are at least 221,000 rape kits currently on the shelves in evidence lockers, untested and gathering dust. The Debbie Smith Grant Program has helped alleviate some of the backlog and has expanded testing to solve more crimes, but much more needs to be done.

"If there's a rape kit left sitting on a shelf, there's a victim without justice. This program must be kept alive until the backlog numbers total zero," said Senator Biden. "It is unconscionable that we have the ability to solve these crimes and hold the perpetrators responsible, but because of red tape and lack of funding, the criminals are free and their victims continue live in fear. In the past five years, we've made headway in the backlog, but we still have a long road to go before it is eliminated."

After holding Judiciary Committee hearings on the backlog of rape kits waiting to be tested, Sen. Biden introduced and Congress passed the Advancing Justice Through DNA Act in 2004 to help states eliminate their DNA backlog and allow law enforcement greater leeway to indict unnamed individuals using their DNA profile.

The bill was named for Debbie Smith, a Virginia woman who was raped near her home in 1989 and lived in fear until a crime laboratory discovered a DNA match between the rape scene evidence and a State prisoner's DNA sample. That match gave Mrs. Smith her first moment of real security and closure, and since then she has traveled the country to advocate on behalf of assault victims and champion the use of DNA to fight sexual assault.

When the Debbie Smith Act was first introduced in 2003, the Lifetime TV network collected more than 110,000 signatures on a petition in support of it, which was delivered to Congress by Debbie Smith herself. Smith was attacked in her home by a rapist who threatened to come back and kill her if she told anyone what had happened. Although she followed all of the proper procedures and had a rape kit done right away, she had to wait six years for her rape kit to be analyzed. When it was finally processed, DNA evidence from the kit led to the conviction of her rapist, who was already in prison for another crime.

"Each one of these stalled cases represents women's lives," says Debbie Smith. "Many women are paralyzed after an attack because their rapist is still out there, and you never know if he's going to come back." Smith's emotional testimony moved many Washington lawmakers to tears — and action...Today, Smith travels the country lobbying for the use of DNA-matching technology — and the law created in her name. She wants other women to experience the closure she has spent so many years working toward. "Whenever I have to deal with my attack again, I know that I'm going to have [another] nightmare," she says. "I know this is never going to be OK and I'm never going to forget, but at least I know I'm making something good out of something so terrible."

Here are the specifics on what the Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act of 2008 contains:

  • $151 million per year for the Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Grant Program to eliminate the current backlog of unanalyzed DNA samples in the nation’s crime labs. This money will provide federal grants to state and local governments over the next six years for DNA analysis of unprocessed evidence in rape cases

  • $12.5 million per year for the DNA Sexual Assault Justice Act help local law enforcement agencies put the DNA profiles of convicted felons into state and national databases. It also provides training grants to help ensure that nurses, police and paramedics know how to best collect and preserve DNA evidence in sexual assault cases; and

  • $30 million per year for the Sexual Assault Forensic Exam Grants to ensure that there are trained and equipped personnel to assist with the treatment and examination of sexual assault victims, including Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) and Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFE).

Providing funding for rape kits? Making programs that combat violence against women a priority? There's definitely only one VP candidate you'll hear that from in this election. And on that note, we'll end with a quote from Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a strong supporter of this law, who also released a statement last week on the reauthorization:

"I want to make one point on the issue of rape kit testing, which this legislation does so much to promote and which Debbie Smith has worked so hard to make available for all victims of horrendous attacks. No victim should ever be required to pay the cost of a rape kit. Collecting and testing evidence from serious crimes is a responsibility our government and our community bears, and it should never be seen as a revenue source for cities and towns. It appalls me that any official in any community would condone such a practice, and I hope it will stop."

September 29, 2008

The Grand Old Party Party?

Here's a fun lawsuit! Washington state Democrats went to court to try to force Dino Rossi, Republican candidate for governor, to identify himself on the ballot as "Republican". Instead, Rossi has listed himself as representing the "GOP Party". The judge ruled that although the party listing is confusing, it's technically within the law and since early voting has already begun, should stay on the ballot.

State Democrats sued last week, saying Rossi was trying to hide his party affiliation because of low approval ratings for the party nationally. They cited a recent poll that showed some voters don't know what GOP means. "The use of the term 'GOP' by Dino Rossi to try to cloak his membership in the Republican Party, we think, is a tactic that shouldn't be allowed to be used," said Kevin Hamilton, an attorney for the Democrats. Republicans and the Rossi campaign argued that Rossi has used the term "GOP" for years and that voters know what it means.

The state, arguing against the Democratic Party's lawsuit, said there wasn't time to reprint thousands of ballots that already have been readied for the November election. More than 2,000 military ballots have been mailed, and almost 150 have been completed and returned, according to the Secretary of State's Office. "I'm not sure the extent to which all of the parties to this litigation get the fact that the general election is already under way," said Katie Blinn, the state assistant director of elections.

Much of Friday's hearing was spent discussing the administrative hassle that would come with reprinting ballots. But Judge Richard Eadie said it came down to two state statutes: one that says candidates can list their own party affiliations, and one that says the affiliations should be listed the same way on both primary- and general-election ballots.

"It seems to me some confusion is unavoidable — inevitable," Eadie said. But he felt it was better to take the chance some people might be confused in the governor's race than to have two different ballots being used in the same election. "I think going out and changing the ballot now ... would open the door to any number of issues about the finality of this election," he said.

The Democrats pointed to a Sept. 19 letter indicating that Republican leaders, too, have been concerned about polls by local pollster Stuart Elway showing that as many as 18 percent of Republicans didn't know that GOP and Republican are synonyms.

We get that the Democrats lost the lawsuit because there's nothing in the state election laws that forbids what Rossi did, and because it would have been a big inconvenient mess to reprint all of the ballots that have already been printed this close to the election. But we still think Rossi was stupid to list his party affiliation that way - ballots should have correct party names, not nicknames. Sure, most people probably know that GOP is a nickname for the Republican party, but not everyone does, so referring to your affiliation that way on a ballot can only cause confusion. Why is that necessary? Does Rossi just love the nickname GOP so much that he can't stand to ever refer to his party by its proper name? Surely he couldn't possibly be trying to distance himself from the unpopular Bush administration in what's generally considered to be a blue state, right? That can't be it.

If you're so ashamed of your party that you need to try to hide behind a potentially confusing nickname, you need to change your party affiliation, not your listing on the ballot.

Here's Rachel Maddow's take. The GOP Party - double the party, double the fun! We love her.

September 28, 2008

The Joe Biden Feminism Watch

Sexism watching has been a popular pastime during this election, partly because there has been no shortage of material. Hillary Clinton sexism watches, Michelle Obama racism/sexism watches, and now the Sarah Palin sexism watch. With the VP debate between Palin and Senator Joe Biden coming up later this week, we thought we'd turn the tables a little and start a Joe Biden Feminism Watch, with some highlights of Biden's record on feminist issues and some coverage of what he's been saying to and about women on the campaign trail.

To kick it off, here's a clip from the Women's Rally For Change in Sterling, VA, where Senator Biden introduced the women in his life and went on to talk about the problems women are facing in this country today.

"You can tell whether or not a man was raised with and surrounded by strong women...The women in my life have been strong and independent and tough and they have been people who when everything gets down - and we've gone through, like all of you, some tough times - there's more backbone in the crowd you just saw than in any 40 men I've hung out with. So I just want you to know, all kidding aside, it's a big deal."

"When the economy goes south, who are the first people who get hurt the most? It's women."

"[The Violence Against Women Act] was not only morally right, it was necessary." (John McCain voted against it.)

Biden also points out that McCain has voted several times against raising the minimum wage. The majority of workers earning the minimum wage are women, and if it was as low as McCain wanted it to be it would be pretty damn hard to live or successfully raise a family. Well, except that it's already pretty damn hard, so it would be more like impossible.

"Let me tell you what we value. We value the right of women to be protected in their own homes against abuse. We value a Supreme Court that recognizes the right to privacy. We value equal pay for equal work. We value a minimum wage that allows people to at least get by to the next day. We value a family, which means that we value people getting paid leave to care for their sick child, to be able to go to the parent/teacher meeting. I love these guys who say 'take more responsibility'. How do you get to your parent/teacher meeting in the middle of the day? How do you show up, like when my son, when I was a single parent, and they called and said he dislocated his hip? Guess what, I showed up on the playground, because I had no boss. But what would happen if I worked for a large corporation? What would happen if I worked for a small business? I wouldn't have been able to go. So don't tell me about what you value, John. Tell me about what you're going to do about what you value."

You can keep up with Senator Biden on the campaign trail by following Joe Biden News on Twitter or checking out the official Obama/Biden campaign YouTube channel. And we'll have new installments of the Joe Biden Feminism Watch all week.

September 26, 2008

The John McCain Time Out Technique

So, the McCain campaign was totally suspended for a minute there. Sure, a list of talking points about the suspended campaign came out, which I guess they needed since McCain advisers were all over TV talking about the suspended campaign and bashing Obama in the process. Oh, and McCain campaign ads never stopped running. And the campaign offices across the country stayed open. But it was suspended. Really. McCain also wanted tonight's debate to be postponed, because obviously you can't debate during a crisis like this. (Of course, Bush and Gore debated in the wake of the USS Cole attack in 2000 and a Reagan/Carter debate in 1980 went ahead during the Iranian hostage crisis. And Congress probably won't be negotiating at 9:00 on Friday night, and even if they were they probably could live without Senator McCain for a few hours, especially when you consider that he is the most absent member of the 110th Congress, even beating out a senator who missed several months after suffering a brain hemorrhage.) After all, being president doesn't require multitasking, handling multiple important issues at once, or being accountable to the American people. Rock on with that whole "country first" thing, Senator McCain.

All sarcasm aside, we think McCain was really on to something with this "time out" strategy to the campaign and the debate. Rather than give up on it, he should just consider experimenting with it in other political areas. A few ideas:

~Let's ask all the terrorists around the world to take a time out for a little bit so that we can focus on the economy without worrying so much about national security issues. They'll understand. And then our troops around the world could get a time out too! Bet they wish they could do that.

~We should really get pregnant women to time out their pregnancies while we sort out this whole Roe v. Wade thing.

~If McCain gets elected, maybe he could get major gatherings of world leaders, like the UN and the G8 Summit, to agree to time out when it's time for his afternoon nap.

~McCain could ask Spain to take a time out while he figures out which hemisphere they're in.

~Since the president can't actually fire the chairman of the SEC, even though McCain claimed that's what he would have done if he were president right now, maybe he could compromise by asking him to just take a time out instead.

~Obama should take a time out for a little while to give McCain a chance to catch up in the polls. It would be the polite thing to do.

~The media should just time out until after the election. Enough with all of the tough questions and demanding access and interviews! Running mate Sarah Palin has already tested the 'media time out' strategy and it seems to be working out for her.

~At age 72, maybe he can strike a deal with God/Father Time/The Fates/The Flying Spaghetti Monster/etc. to time out his aging process for a few years.

We're open to other suggestions. And we'll be back with coverage of the debate itself, and more fun stuff on the election...as soon as we sober up.

Related Posts:

September 25, 2008

More Fun with Fiorina

Carly Fiorina, we miss you. Please convince the McCain campaign to let you start doing interviews again so that you can say some more stupid things and give us more material.

John McCain senior advisor Carly Fiorina dismissed suggestions Sunday that women supporters of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (R-N.Y.) will turn away from Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) because of her anti-abortion rights views.

“The Democratic party has done a disservice to women by trying to hold women hostage to the issue of Roe v. Wade,” Fiorina said on CBS’s Face the Nation. “The truth is the most important issue to women, all the polls say this, is the economy. Women are not single issue voters.”
Democrats believe in each woman's right to choose what is right for her life, her family, her circumstances, and her health. Republicans believe in limiting options and making choices for women. If women are "held hostage", it is not by the party that believes we deserve the freedom to control our own bodies, to take advice from our doctors rather than our Senators, to have access to accurate information to help us in our decisions, and to have affordable health care and support so that we can truly plan our families in the best way possible.

There is only one candidate in this race who holds the belief that women and girls who are victims of rape and incest should be forced to carry any resulting pregnancies to term. I imagine many victims in that situation would feel like they were being "held hostage" by the men who raped them. And Sarah Palin's not on the Democratic ticket.

It's true, Carly. Women aren't single issue voters. That's why so many of us will be voting for the Democrats in November - we don't want to be held hostage by anti-woman policies for four more years.

Related Posts:

September 23, 2008

Sarah Palin: Not a Feminist

I've seen and participated in some conversations over the last few days, both online and in person, about whether Sarah Palin could ever be considered a feminist. I've been surprised to see quite a few people arguing that she can be, and I have to disagree. For every article or blog we can find sharing our opinion, there's another (usually written by someone who has no idea what feminism actually is) praising Sarah Palin's for being a feminist".

Being female, does not automatically make you a feminist. Benefiting from feminist, does not automatically make you a feminist. Feminists advocate equality for women. Sarah Palin... does not. Feminists are concerned with women's rights. Sarah Palin... is not. Feminists stand up for human rights and civil liberties. Sarah Palin... does not.

So I'd just like to do a quick review of my reasons why Palin is not a feminist.

~She has an extreme anti-choice position. She opposes the right to choose, even in cases of rape or incest. She also opposes the use of public funding for abortion. She has praised her daughter Bristol for choosing life, however she would like to deny every other woman in America the right to make that choice. I don't think we need to elaborate on this one, because it's pretty clear why this is an issue.

~She supports abstinence-only sex education. She has been quoted as being in favor of public schools teaching abstinence-only sex education. When asked if she would "support funding for abstinence-until-marriage education instead of for explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics, and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?", Palin said that explicit sex-ed programs "will not find my support." She later 'clarified' (um, backpedaled) that she is "not anti-contraception" but I'm not completely convinced. I don't know what she means by explicit sex-ed, but it's not as though high schools are showing children pornography. Generally, use of the term "explicit" (which is a highly subjective term) when applied to sexual education classes, means "comprehensive", medically accurate, age-appropriate information. It's sort of hard to be pro-contraception if you're against funding programs that would teach students how to use said contraception.

Let's just look at the high school in Wasilla, Alaska (the tiny city where Palin was Mayor and where her daughter Bristol attended classes)... They have an abstinence-based sexual education curriculum and are barred from distributing contraception.

~She is on the ticket with a man who "certainly does not want to discuss" the issue of Viagra/BC/insurance. I don't see how a feminist (who's also allegedly "pro-contraception") could support this:
Question: "Earlier this week Carly Fiorina was meeting with a bunch of reporters and talked about it being unfair that insurance companies cover Viagra but not birth control. And- "

McCain: I certainly do not want to discuss that issue".

Question: "But apparently you’ve voted against-"

McCain: "I don’t know what I voted-"

This is an important issue for women both in terms of equality and fairness and women's health, but it's also an economic issue, since that birth control costs money. And obviously there's been a lot of debate around this issue, but how fair is it to women for a candidate to say they can't even be bothered to discuss it? We have discussed this issue ad nauseum here, here, and here.

~She is on the ticket with a man who opposed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. John McCain opposed the Act, the purpose of which was to protect women and racial minorities from pay discrimination by making it easier for them to pursue pay discrimination claims. He actually went so far as to claim that the Act would not do anything to help the rights of women. (Except, you know, getting them fair wages and all that silliness).

~She is on the ticket with a man who has repeatedly voted against legislature that would benefit children and/or working mothers. McCain was rated by the Children's Defense Fund Action Council as "America's worst senator for children".
When President Bush vetoed legislation that would expand SCHIP (the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides health insurance to families with children that were unable to afford insurance, but technically don't qualify for Medicaid), McCain said it was the "right call".

In 1993, he attempted to weaken the FMLA (the Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows an employee to take unpaid leave due to a serious health condition or to care for a family member).
While John McCain supported tax cuts for the wealthy, he opposed many programs that would benefit working families and also opposed programs that would've benefited children's schools.

~She is on the ticket with a man who voted against the Violence Against Women Act. John McCain twice voted against VAWA, which provides federal funding for sexual assault and domestic violence prevention and treatment programs. (He also employed a staff member, arrested more than once for domestic violence. Not that that really matters to his campaign, but it's still an interesting tidbit of trivia).

~She cut funding for sexual assault victims and made them pay for their own evidence testing.
Alaska has the highest rape rate per capita (more than 2.5 times the national average) and the highest rate per capita of men murdering women. It's unclear if Governor Palin has done anything to address this issue, other than cutting the funding of its victims. While Mayor of Wasilla, Sarah Palin supported a police chief's decision to charge victims of rape for their own rape kits because he didn't want to "burden" taxpayers. We don't bill other crime victims for the costs of gathering evidence (such as fingerprinting the crime scene), so why should rape victims be any different just because the evidence may be found on their bodies? The kits can cost between $300 and $1,200, but without them it can be much harder to make an arrest or conviction. Currently most of the funding Alaska receives for sexual assault and violence against women programs come from the federal government and under VAWA, states that receive funding are barred from charging rape victims for their own sexual assault tests (so it wouldn't have actually been as much of a "burden" as they claimed).

Palin fired the former police chief because she didn't have his "full support" (which I suppose, includes counting the cost of rape kits in his budget requests). And although it's been speculated that she fired the former Public Safety Commission over a dispute about her ex-brother-in-law (in what is now known as Troopergate), Palin maintains that he was fired over "budget disagreements". New reports are suggesting that these budget disagreements may have also been related to rape; it may have had a lot to do with his unapproved request for federal money from Washington to fund a specialized sexual assault department (sorta like Law & Order SVU, Alaska-style). Sure we understand that he didn't have permission, but um, is she that much of a control freak that she'd actually have a problem with some federal funding to help investigate and prosecute one of Alaska's most prevalent crimes? If it means the state would have to pay for rape exams and if those exams included "Plan B" emergency contraception (which isn't technically an abortifacient, but that's not stopping the Bush administration from saying it is), maybe she would.

It's also interesting to note, that the commissioner she originally appointed to replace him, resigned after his prior sexual harassment claim went public.

~She slashed funding for a home for teen mothers. During her tenure as Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin vetoed funding for a state program for Covenant House Alaska, a mix of programs and shelters for trouble youths, and reduced their funding more than 20 percent. Included in the programs, was Passage House, which describes itself as a transitional home for teenage mothers that helps them "gain the necessary skills and resources" to "become productive, successful, independent adults". Guess the only pregnant teenager who deserves a chance is Bristol Palin.

~She is on the ticket with a man who opposed allowing women to serve in combat roles in the military. In 1991, during a debate over women pilots, John McCain said that the purpose of the military is to "defend the nation's vital security interests" before ensuring equality, which basically is a big slap in the fact to all the capable female soldiers who he feels aren't able to "defend the nation" well enough. He also said "some of the people that might capture them can be pretty mean" (because they'd be super nice to the men they captured) and "at no time in the history of our nation have women been in combat roles". Of course, a lot of things in the history of our nation have been pretty messed up. Our history includes slavery, segregation, denying blacks and women the right to vote... Just because it's in our history, doesn't make it right. What if when women were fighting for suffrage, we decided against it because at no time in the history of our nation have women had the right to vote? McCain is old fashioned and out of touch, but Sarah Palin doesn't seem to have a problem deferring to him.

~She is on the ticket with a man who has a history of sexist comments. John McCain has joked about rape, called a teenage Chelsea Clinton ugly, laughed when Hillary Clinton was called a bitch, called his own wife a cunt, and so much more. McCain has made so many sexist, offensive, and politically incorrect jokes and other inappropriate comments in his long lifetime. And while I'd never consider "lipstick on a pig" to be a sexist phrase, since McCain/Palin's campaign keeps insisting that it is, then I suppose McCain was being sexist too when he said it to refer to Hillary Clinton's health care plan.

~She only calls out sexism when it benefits her. She stood by and laughed while another woman was called a "cancer" and a fat jealous bitch. She said that Hillary shouldn't even mention the sexism that she faced because of the "perceived whine" and that Hillary should just work twice as hard to prove herself. Now that she's the one in the spotlight, it's suddenly okay not only to mention sexism, but to claim that any and all questioning and criticizing of your background is just sexist.

I don't agree with all of the stuff that's been said about her - for example, the rumor that she had an affair - but it's not really much worse than what they've said about male candidates in the past. (I mean, what politician hasn't been accused of an affair?) Of course, the sexism about how she is so hot isn't that great, but she doesn't seem to mind that so much. And the sexism about how she's awesome because she's just a hockey mom of five... She's guilty of that one herself. But questioning her actual qualifications? Not okay according to the Republicans.

It's interesting to note that many feminists have defended Sarah Palin against the actual sexism she's faced, despite disagreeing with her on most issues.

~Actual feminists strongly oppose her and her policies. Gloria Steinem, founder of Ms. magazine and one of the most famous feminist icons ever, called her the "wrong woman". Eve Ensler, playwright best known for the Vagina Monologues, referred to Palin's beliefs and practices as "antithetical to Feminism". Jessica Valenti, author of Full Frontal Feminism and executive editor of Feministing, wrote that Palin is "disastrous for women's rights" and "as anti-feminst as they come". Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority, called her personal positions on women’s issues "extremely negative". A press release from the National Organization of Women proclaimed that Palin "opposes women's rights".

~She has garnered the support of notoriously anti-feminist people. Ann Coulter - who once said that "it would be a much better country if women did not vote" - thinks that Sarah Palin "finally gave Republicans a reason" to vote for McCain. Phyllis Schlafly, one of the leading opponents of the Equal Rights Amendment, has reportedly praised Sarah Palin as being "right on every issue". (However, it is interesting to note that she doesn't consider Palin a feminist either - although perhaps, for different reasons than ours - she said that she "doesn't have any of those attributes of feminists"). Even Mike Huckabee likes her! He claimed she "got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, than Joe Biden got running for president of the United States." (Of course, that's completely untrue: Palin got 616 votes in 1996 and 909 in 1999, while Biden got over 70,000 votes in 23 states before dropping out of the race after the Iowa caucus. Apparently Huckabee is as bad at math as he is at science. One thing we know he has no clue about is feminism).

We recently blogged about how much more of a feminist Joe Biden is. I think his record shows an interesting contrast to the record of Sarah Palin.
I think the criteria for what it takes to be a "genuinely pro-woman politician", as laid out on The Feminist Underground makes this point very well:
  • A pro-woman politician must actively defend women's equality.
  • A pro-woman politician must defend the rights of diverse types of women.
  • A pro-woman politician works to ensure that women are protected from violence, assault, and hate crimes.
And I agree with the author that Palin doesn't fit the pro-woman criteria. The question was asked "is supporting a woman candidate an inherently feminist act?" No. In this case, it's pretty clear that the most pro-woman candidate really is a man this time.

September 22, 2008

I'm Never Leaving the House Again

Okay, so we thought the spy phone was creepy and stalkerish enough, but then we found this GPS Tracking website. Wow. It is the ultimate source for all your stalking needs. They don't just deal with general vehicle, they sell full-on spy gear and even have subsections on their website for 'teen tracking' and 'spouse tracking'.

In addition to the actual GPS tracking systems available on the website, you can also purchase keyloggers for the computer, phone taps, a cell phone spy data extractor (that can even read deleted text messages), mini/hidden cameras, a super-cool voice changer, drug testing kits, sex kits (basically they test for semen), a portable lie detector, lock-picking tools, actual spy sunglasses (!!!) and even x-ray spray (no really, it lets you see through paper, sweet!) Oh and of course, they have a bug detector, in case one of your enemies also shops there.

For the record, they do have some semi-normal stuff, like alarm systems, safes, baby monitors, test-kits to avoid lead poisoning, self-defense tools (okay, I guess having your own taser isn't that normal) and some pretty cool emergency survival kits that you hope you'll never ever need... but the creepy stuff is so much more fun to talk about.

I'm not sure how I feel about tracking - or otherwise spying on - my loved ones. It feels sort of lousy to have such a lack of trust in someone that you would need to go to such extreme measures. We already know that it's become common to microchip household pets, but it's still a little scary to think of bugging your kids or your significant other. Personally, I think if your relationship has gotten to the point where you need to tap their phone and GPS their car in order to trust them, then there's something wrong besides just infidelity. However, I can think of some legitimate uses for these products. For instance, if you know your spouse is cheating but just need evidence for divorce proceedings... that makes a little more sense.

Also, the website has it's own section on Child Safety. In this day and age, it's scary to let your kids play outside unsupervised or accompany you to a busy, crowded public place. I can see how a small wearable tracking device would put a parent's mind at ease, especially if you're dealing with children who are prone to wandering off. Actually, I recently heard about the parents of an autistic child (who was prone to running away) using a similar locator, worn on the child's wrist. According to the website, their device can also be used by the child as a panic button in case of emergency.

Additionally, I could see using such a device for an elderly or senile family member. And having a GPS tracking system in the vehicle of your elderly (or teenage) family member, can also be an extra safety measure. I think it's completely acceptable to track a company car and while I'm a little uncomfortable with the idea of infiltrating an employee's email or phone usage, I think it's fair to expect your workers not to be dealing with personal matters or inappropriate behavior while on the clock.

I don't really approve of parents going through their children's belongings, but if they do find an unusual substance, I suppose it's nice to be able to determine whether or not it is drugs by using one of the drug testing kits. I can also see how a kit like that would be helpful to someone who purchased an illegal drugs and wants to protect themselves by making sure they got what they think they got. One drug test that I noticed was missing from their website (but that the ESC would like to recommend) is a portable test for date rape drugs, such as rohypnol. I know I would feel much better being served a drink at a crowded bar or party if I could ensure that it wasn't spiked with something else.

While I can definitely see some realistic (and also unrealistic) applications for these products, it still scares me a little bit to think of anyone uses them on me. Knowing that for a few hundred dollars someone could track where I'm going, who I'm talking to (and more importantly, what I'm saying), if I'm lying, and whether or not I've taken drugs or had sex... it just makes me afraid to ever again have sex, or have a conversation, or even type ever again. So on that note, I better get offline... of course, I'm scared to leave the house too, so I'll probably just sit around silently, in the dark.

Related Posts:

September 21, 2008

Republican Roundup: It's All Dumb!

Let's get to it, we've got a lot to cover.

~Bill O'Reilly recently talked with Vogue contributing editor Rebecca Johnson, who wrote a profile of Michelle Obama for the magazine.

O'REILLY: How did you find her in person? Was she engaging?

JOHNSON: I found her lovely, actually, very bright, very thoughtful and, you know, an impressive person, intelligent. She was great. I was impressed.

O'REILLY: Now, I have a lot of people who call me on the radio and say she looks angry. And I have to say there's some validity to that. She looks like an angry woman. Did you ask her about that?

JOHNSON: Don't they say that about you, too?

It goes without saying that Bill is a moron for pushing the old "angry black woman" stereotype here. As the segment went on he continued to push the issue of whether Michelle might be angry. But our favorite part has to be "did you ask her about that?" Johnson had just finished saying that after spending half a day with Michelle Obama, she found her to be "lovely", "great", and "impressive". So why would she have asked about Michelle's alleged "anger" when she clearly didn't perceive Michelle as angry? And even if she had perceived Michelle that way, she wouldn't necessarily have asked her about it, both because that might be kinda rude and also...well, does every person who interviews Bill O'Reilly inquire about his pompous douchebaggery? Sometimes these things just don't come up.

~The McCain campaign has already received complaints from several musicians, including Heart, who have requested that the Republicans not use their music at campaign events. But this week the campaign received a cease and desist letter from an unlikely source: Fox News. A recent McCain web ad contained an audio clip of a comment made by correspondent Major Garrett and Fox News wants Garrett's voice removed: "We demand that you immediately remove Mr. Garrett's voice from this ad. As Mr. Garrett is a nonpartisan news correspondent covering the Obama campaign for Fox News, it is highly inappropriate, among other things, of your campaign to use him in your ad." The McCain campaign replied that they will not honor the request, but Fox News had the last laugh when they were able to get the video removed from YouTube with a copyright claim. Fun!

~Fox News host Sean Hannity has forgotten one of the most important rules of this campaign, which is that family is off-limits! During his interview with Sarah Palin, one of the first things he asked was how her family felt about her being chosen by McCain and whether they all had a "hockey team meeting" to discuss it. Okay, I guess we can give him a pass for that one - it's a fairly standard and generic question and it's not like she'd have to go into a lot of personal details to answer it. But later, Hannity starts talking about Palin's son Track, who is in the army and is about to be deployed to Iraq.
Hannity: "You just said goodbye to your son, who is off, he's going to serve in Iraq. First, on the personal side, what did you say to him as he was leaving for Iraq, and what did he say to you?
Uh, Sean, isn't the "personal side" also the "private side" which is also supposed to be the "off-limits" side? Isn't the answer to a question like this supposed to be "none of your business, Sean"?
Palin: Well, as a mom, you know, he's heading to Iraq taking a fifth of my heart with him, you know? And I'm just so extremely proud of him - he's independent and he's strong and he's serving for the right reasons. I'm just as proud of every man and woman in uniform serving our country and trying to usher in democratic values to the rest of the world, protecting our freedoms. Very, very proud of these guys and these gals. They are America's finest and I think that, you know, the Army is lucky to have my son.

What my son said to me, though, was — it was an awakening for me to realize that he knows what he is doing in this and he knows that he has chosen the right reason to serve. I was just being mom to him just a few weeks ago — no V.P. talk even then — but just as mom I was probably getting on his nerves, asking him a whole lot of question about the deployment and about he and his Stryker brigade, what his job will be and he's like, Mom, I belong to the Army now. I belong to America.

She keeps saying that her son is serving "for the right reasons". We'd love hear more of her thoughts on what the "right" and "wrong" reasons are to serve in the military.

Hannity: He said that to you?

Palin: He did. And he was telling me, Mom, it's going to be OK and I've chosen to do this. And you know, I'm like, man, thank God for this voluntary military that we have with America's finest. These young men and women, they just — they just make me so proud.

We're a little confused by all of this. Why does Bristol Palin have an absolute right to total privacy, to have no questions asked and no judgments raised about her, but her brother Track doesn't have that same right? It certainly can't possibly be because Track's military service is "noble" and a plus for the campaign, while Bristol's teenage pregnancy is "shameful" and a potential minus, right?

~Republican Senator Elizabeth Dole is running for re-election in North Carolina this year against Democrat (and Emily's List candidate) Kay Hagan. One of the criticisms of Dole is that doesn't actually spend much time in North Carolina and is out of touch with the people of her state and what they want and need. She attempted to dispel that criticism by talking about her deep ties to the state, including the business that she owns there, which she could barely remember the name of.

Dole (while laughing): I think (Hagan) has indicated many times that I'm from Kansas. But my roots are very deep in North Carolina. Very deep. Here, I grew up in Salisbury, went to the public schools, spent 11 years on the Duke board after I graduated from Duke, own a home there. I own a business in North Carolina, for goodness sake. My family roots go way, way back.
Reporters: What business do you own?
Dole: We had a family farm, which was turned into a real estate development. And it's just outside of Salisbury. It's just a beautiful development.
Reporters: What's the name of the development?
Dole: [10-second Pause followed by nervous laughter] Well...
[Another pause]
Reporters: It's fine if you ...
Dole: I have to stop and think for a moment. [Brief pause]
Reporters: If you can't think of it, it's fine.
Dole: I'll get it for you. I will.
Reporters: Well, I also wanted to ask you about the tone of the race and your opponent's ...
Dole: It's Forest Glen. That's right. Because it's right in the forest where my dad had a little cabin and built a little pool for us as children. That's right. Forest Glen.
Another Dole fun fact - she was the only woman senator of either party to vote against a nonbinding resolution affirming Roe v. Wade.

~During an appearance on a radio show, McCain campaign advisor and former CEO of HP Carly Fiorina said that Sarah Palin would not be capable of doing her old job.

"Do you think [Sarah Palin] has the experience to run a major company, like Hewlett Packard?" asked the host.

"No, I don't," responded Fiorina. "But you know what? That's not what she's running for."

During an appearance later in the day on MSNBC, Fiorina added, "Well, I don't think John McCain could run a major corporation. I don't think Barack Obama could run a major corporation. I don't think Joe Biden could run a major corporation."

Well, if anyone's an expert on being incapable of doing this particular job well, I guess it would be Fiorina. But it does beg the question - if Fiorina doesn't judge McPalin capable of running a large corporation, why is she confident in their abilites when it comes to running the country? Especially since, as the events of the past week have shown, it's a job that requires quite a bit of knowledge about how corporations work and what their relationship with the government should be. Guess Carly will have time to ponder all of these issues during her McCain campaign mandated media time out.

~More fun from the Hannity/Palin interview!
Hannity: Let's talk about Senator Biden, your counterpart. He's spent over 30 years in the Senate. He's been on the Foreign Relations Committee. One might even wonder if Barack Obama would want to debate him. That is going to be your task. How big of a challenge do you view the upcoming debate with Senator Biden?

Palin: Senator Biden has tremendous amounts of experience. I think he was first elected when I was like in second grade. He's been in there a long, long, long time. So he's got the experience. He probably has the sound bites. He has the rhetoric. He knows what's expected of him. He is a great debater, also. So yes, it's going to be quite a task in front of me.

Ah, the backhanded compliment. That Joe Biden, he sure is old and he's been in the Senate forever and he's probably in a bunch of old boy's clubs and stuff, right Sarah? (For the record, Palin is 44 and Biden is 65. He's been a Senator for 35 years, having started his Senate career at the minimum required age of 30.) We know that Palin only met John McCain once before he picked her, but she has hung out with him quite a bit since then, so surely she's noticed that McCain is old (72, which is seven years older than Biden!) and has been in the Senate forever (21 years, plus a couple of terms in the House before that). She is right about one thing - the debate is going to be "quite a task" for her. We'll definitely be watching.

September 20, 2008

The Post thinks Dog Shit is Front Page News!

The New York Post is complete... crap.

Normally I do not allow the New York Post in my home, but today I had a guest at lunch and he had brought over a copy. It's not as though I had ever given the Post any sort of credit as a legitimate news source... but today they really reached a new low. One of their cover stories today was about P-Diddy stepping in dog shit. No, really. It was apparently important enough news, that it not only graced the cover but got a full page spread on page three! (Note, the other cover story, about the federal plan to save Wall Street, started on page four).

Since when is a celebrity stepping in doggie-dookie considered news? This of course, called for some text message commentary among evil sluts...

The New York Post is such garbage! The cover story is about PDiddy stepping in dog shit. For real. WTF?

I'm sure the soldiers dying in Iraq and the people losing their homes and jobs appreciate their dedication to real journalism.

What there wasn't something better to cover? There's an election, a war, lots of stuff going on with bills being passed, and financial institutions being bailed out...

Well a 'trillion dollar rescue' story shared the cover. Apparently the post thinks it is of equal importance to P Diddy stepping in dog shit.

It's like one cover representing everything that's wrong with the country.

Well both instances are the direct result of stupid Americans
This only confirms that the Post is not a paper, but a tabloid. I mean, even if this was an actual event that people wanted to read about, does anyone really want to view pictures of dog shit on the streets of Manhattan?

The article itself was just... ridiculous. And totally not news-worthy.

by David K. Li

You can call him Poop Diddy now!
Or maybe P. Doody?
Hip-hop mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs really stepped in it this week - literally.
Strolling alongside his hired muscle and fawning entourage, Combs didn't look down before he found himself sole-deep in a dog's leftovers on West 44th Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues.
Combs, carrying a CD in his left hand, couldn't believe his bad luck at the sight of his soiled gold-colored sneakers.
Diddy has a studio in the neighborhood, and office workers on the block rushed to their windows when they heard the booming car-stereo bass coming from the maestro's Jeep.
"He stepped right out the Jeep and right into it, and he wasn't happy," said a worker who witnessed the Diddy-on-doody incident. "It was hysterical."
Combs learned firsthand that not all New Yorkers are following Health Code Section 161.03 and Public Health Law Section 1310, which require everyone to pick up after their four-legged pals.
A violation is punishable by a fine of at least $100.
After spotting lensmen snapping photos of his embarrassing predicament, Combs asked them not to publish their shots.
It's been a rough few weeks for the hip-hop mogul. Diddy recently admitted that the country's economic downturn and high fuel prices have grounded his private jet.
Shockingly, Diddy has been forced to roll on commercial flights.

(After reading the article, I don't feel so bad for Diddy. Poor guy can't fly his private jet. Boo hoo, poor baby. Meanwhile people are losing their fucking houses, you Post-assholes).

Related Posts:

September 19, 2008

The ESC's Guide to Election-Season Drinking

Yeah, so we're all a little depressed about this whole Sarah Palin thing. And if she and Senator Maverick McSuckage, actually make it to the White House, we can expect even more ill feelings. The ESC is prone to drowning our sorrows with alcohol and we know a lot of our readers feel the same way, so before we write anything else... we'd just like to take a moment to advise everyone to DRINK RESPONSIBLY!

We figured we'd start our guide off with a list of awesome gifts each other in order to help survive the election season. We found some swank looking gift baskets from GiftTree.com including some wine baskets (like the "Compassionate Collection" sympathy basket or the "Champagne & Chocolate" celebratory basket - you know, depending on what happens and how you feel about it).

Of course, there's also paraphernalia, such as a "Community Organizers" beer stein, a set of "Lipstick? Still Not Voting For Her" coasters, Bill Clinton corkscrew... or even just a shot glass that shows off one of our favorite constitutional rights...

In case you want to get a little creative with your cocktails...

Or take a different angle and try to be a little classier... (The ESC isn't exactly the classiest group of ladies out there -shocker! - but we really want to learn to become a little more proper before Rock of Love: Charm School starts).

I wonder if they address that whole Creationism/Evolution issue in The Wine Bible? I know that if McCain/Palin messes with the separation of church state, I'm going to want to partake of the "blood of Christ" with something like this:

"Wine Retreat" gift basket from gifttree.com

We already invented the Rudy Giuliani drinking game during the primaries... but we're sure the candidates will give us plenty of ammunition for a new game. Maybe take a shot every time someone mentions "change" or "lipstick" or "maverick". Or just replace your standard dart board with one of these terrifying John McCain stand-ups:

John McCain

And I don't know... maybe we found our Halloween costumes for this year...

We're either going as that or... this?

Related Posts:

September 17, 2008

Stupid Protest: Special Raz Guest Blog!

One of our most favorite evil slutty friends, Raz, brought this "stupid protest"(if you can even call a one-man crusade a protest) to our attention. Seeing as the Evil Slut Clique feels very strongly about access to affordable contraception, about supporting Planned Parenthood, and about there being cool places to go for live music and/or alcohol... obviously we were very interested. A lot of our readers may already know Raz - she is quite infamous in her own right and has given us a lot of free publicity - so we felt who better to explain how fucking stupid this "protest" is than Raz herself!

So the ESC is pleased to present Raz's very first Evil Slutopia guest blog! (That means she also gets her very own "raz" tag on the blog. Oh the excitement!)

Over the years that I have worked for The House of Bricks, a lot of people have attempted to boycott the live music venue for a lot of reasons. I may not always agree with their issues, but I can at least understand the concept. This time I am astounded and amused.

The House of Bricks is currently under attack for advocating free birth control provided by Planned Parenthood. By “under attack” I mean one person has declared a boycott via the live music forum I administrate and by “advocating free birth control” I mean posting a MySpace bulletin.

The bulletin in question, posted by House Of Bricks owner, Nancy Wilson, via The House Of bricks MySpace page:
From: The House of Bricks
Date: Sep 4, 2008 5:58 PM

Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa is providing FREE Implanon implants (goes in your arm and lasts for 3 years) and IUDs (goes you-know-where and lasts even longer).
Act now! Schedule Your Appointment for FREE Long-acting Reversible Birth Control

Plan your future by taking part in PPGI's FREE long-acting reversible birth control promotion! Join the more than 2,100 Iowa women who have already received their free IUD or ImplanonTM. Call 1.800.230.PLAN (7526) by September 30 to schedule your appointment (insertion to take place in September, October or November).

Call or go to www.ppgi.org for more information.

(Note that she included a link for more information about both forms of birth control. If you are responsible enough to seek birth control I hope you are also responsible enough to find out what it is and how it works.)

The boycott proposal, posted by “Chris Hansen” who has posted on the board for years under various names:

“You guys advocating political candidates now too? I don't care whether your [sic] for or against abortion- it seems highly inappropriate for a BUSINESS like the HOB to be playing with said fire. Keep your personal shit/agendas to yourselves you dumb c.unts [sic]. I will persuade all the bands I know to NOT play at the HOB- as there are PLENTY of other venues in town now. Shouldn't affect the HOB too much- seeing as how they have the same five bands play every month anyway.”

(The word cunt had to be typed that way because our word censors currently edit "cunt" when typed correctly, to say one of his pseudonyms. That’s what happens on my board when you call me a cunt.)

In the original myspace bulletin, there is no mention of political candidates or abortion (and if there were it would still be within her rights). Abortion and birth control are both completely legal services. The House Of Bricks is a privately owned business. The owners do not have to keep their “personal shit/agendas” to themselves any more than CH does.

Nancy heard about the"boycott" and responded:
“I will advocate whatever I want on my myspace page because it is my business. You seem to forget that mine is not a publicly held office. If because of that post, one woman gets an IUD instead of getting pregnant with an unwanted child AND you're going to personally avoid the HOB, I win twofold. Everyone, tell your friends and wives and girlfriends (and daughters if you choose) about this promotion. Birth control is expensive. Pills and patches can run around $50 a month.”
The thread has currently reached 4 pages with no sign of support for the boycott.

When CH’s abstinence-only policy proved unpopular, he then changed his tactics and tried claiming that the venue was being irresponsible to support the use of Progesterone. None of the methods mentioned actually use Progesterone, but rather progestin, a synthetic progestogen that is also used to treat conditions such as endometriosis.

“You're advocating use of steroids- Progesterone. Which is fine and dandy, but maybe you should discuss some of the issues that arise when using hormones/PH too.”
There is a link at the bottom of the bulletin which takes anyone interested to the Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa’s website, which explains in simple terms how both methods work.

“Like several other methods of birth control, such as the birth control shot, Implanon releases a hormone — progestin. Hormones are chemicals made in our bodies. They control how different parts of our bodies work.”
“Both the ParaGard and the Mirena IUDs affect the way sperm move, preventing them from joining with an egg. If sperm cannot join with an egg, pregnancy cannot happen. Both types also alter the lining of the uterus. Some people say that this keeps a fertilized egg from attaching to the lining of the uterus. But there is no proof that this actually happens.

The progestin in the Mirena IUD helps prevent pregnancy. Progestin works by keeping a woman's ovaries from releasing eggs — ovulation. Pregnancy cannot happen if there is no egg to join with sperm. Progestin also prevents pregnancy by thickening a woman's cervical mucus. The mucus blocks sperm and keeps it from joining with an egg.”

ParaGard would clearly be a better choice for someone not wanting to use Progestin. Under both methods it also suggests talking with your health care provider about what is right for you and your body. Again, I hope if you are sexually active and using birth control you are also doing so responsibly. Research anything you put in your body, from penises to pills, you deserve information.

I also want to stress the fact that Planned Parenthood is not an “abortion clinic”. Abortion is only three percent of all PP health center services provided each year. They help prevent over 642,000 unintended pregnancies each year and provide 1 million Pap tests and more than 880,000 breast exams yearly, as well. They also provide tests and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases and educational programs.

Of course, CH could not be bothered with these facts. What else would you expect from someone who refers to a condom as a top hat?

"If you're getting a PENIS in your VAGINA- and said penis isn't wearing a top-hat, I can't imagine it's really all that unexpected."

So we suppose the conclusion is: CH is a tool, Raz is awesome, and you should support both Planned Parenthood and the House of Bricks. If you are in the Des Moines, Iowa area - please stop in and have a drink, listen to some live music, and tell Raz and Nancy that the ESC says hi! (And if you're in need of an IUD or something, you know who to call).

While we're on the subject of the HOB - we'll take an opportunity to do a little early promotion for a good cause. Every year the HOB hosts Breastival, a Breast Cancer Awareness benefit with live music from local bands, door prizes, a silent auction, and "beautiful breastival babes"! This year's event is scheduled for October 25 and we hope that you will support this important issue. If they're lucky and we can afford it, they may even receive a (very small, very inexpensive, but totally cool) gift donation from the Evil Slut Clique.

Related Posts: