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April 30, 2009

Pro-Choice T-Shirt Week?

The American Life League has declared 4/28-5/4 Pro-Life T-Shirt Week... with a brand-new butt ugly t-shirt (see below) that claims that an embryo is a person. (It's not. Sorry, nope.) So we've decided that we need a Pro-Choice T-Shirt Week!

We are kicking off the totally made-up week with some great Pro-choice t-shirts including this awesome design from SomeofNothing.com that tells the truth: An Embryo is NOT a Baby.

Is an Embryo a Person? Nope! Not only is the slogan for the ALL's t-shirt inaccurate, but the picture is pretty damn misleading as well. By the time a fetus is that big it IS almost a baby, but SURPRISE, women aren't typically getting abortions at that stage of pregnancy! If that picture was actually "to scale" the "person on the inside" would be look like a little lima bean shaped dot... not a baby.

You can check out NPLTW.com for more information on National Pro-Life T-Shirt Week (if you need a good laugh - or cry).

We'd like to encourage all of our readers to buy and wear Pro-Choice t-shirts (we've compiled some of our favorites here) and to support Pro-Choice organizations, like Planned Parenthood or NARAL. But not just this week. All the time!

We've created a very special Pro-Choice T-Shirt Week Squidoo Lens for the occasion... so check it out!! It's full of awesome t-shirts, links to great organizations, etc.

And while we're here... a few of our favorite pro-choice themed blog entries:

On the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we answered the question: What is your top pro-choice hope for President Obama and/or the new Congress?

Depending on what state you live in, if you find yourself in need of an abortion you may very well be sat down to discuss the potential health risks associated, which is all fine and well... except when those 'health risks' aren't actual risks at all. In some states, these 'informed consent' policies include informing the patient that abortion may cause breast cancer. The only problem? It doesn't. Abortion does not cause breast cancer.

Neither the American Psychological Association nor the American Psychiatric Association recognize Post Abortion Syndrome (or "Post Abortion Stress Syndrome" or "Post Abortion Trauma") as an actual condition or mental disorder.
Myth: Abortion is a Lucrative Industry
The anti-choicers would like us to believe that abortion is a huge money-making industry and that women are manipulated into killing their babies just so abortion doctors can make the big bucks. It doesn't take an accountant to recognize that this is absolutely untrue. Abortion is not a lucrative industry at all, especially not compared to the rest of the medical 'business'. The cost of abortion has risen at a much slower rate than the majority of medical procedures.

Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew

It looks like Vh1 is getting ready to take on the important issue of sex addiction. And no, we don't mean that they've decided to do a very special season of Charm School. They recently announced a new show in development called Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew. Before you get too excited though, there's no mention of the show being celebrity sex rehab, as in Dr. Drew's previous Vh1 shows Celebrity Rehab and Sober House. (TMZ is claiming that cast members may include several porn stars, a director and producer, and a former Miss United States Teen who lost her title after appearing in Playboy.) But don't expect to see David Duchovny comforting Rob Lowe while Woody Harrelson looks on.

Here's the description:
Dr. Drew Pinsky is tackling a new yet very real addiction in Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew. In this eight episode one-hour series, Dr. Drew is turning his attention and cameras on a very widespread but rarely talked about addiction. Sexual compulsion afflicts roughly 6 percent of the American population and carries the same devastating consequences as any other addiction. For addicts, sex isn’t even pleasurable, but rather a way to escape the pain of past loss, childhood trauma, abuse and abandonment. Like many other addictions, their habits can cost them their jobs, their marriages, even their lives. Despite all this, the affliction is often dismissed because it’s not understood how something as natural and beautiful as sex can be an addiction. In this series Dr. Drew will treat a group of people in Los Angeles who are struggling with this disease while shedding some light on this oft-dismissed compulsion and all the destructive costs that come with it. The series is set to premiere in the fall of 2009. (Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew is executive produced by John Irwin and Bruce Toms for Irwin Entertainment. Dr. Drew Pinsky and Howard Lapides are also executive producing. Jeff Olde, Jill Holmes, and Noah Pollack are executive producers for VH1.)
We're kinda interested in seeing the show, but we're really interested in seeing the audience reaction to the show. Many people think of sex addiction as more of a punchline to jokes about how too much sex can possibly be a problem, rather than as an actual addiction like alcoholism or drug addiction that would require a similar kind of addiction treatment. We wonder if some viewers will have a harder time grasping something like this, and if there will be more judgmental commentary along the lines of "she's just looking for an excuse for being a slut" or "he just needs to learn to keep it in his pants" than there might be with the more common addictions that have been featured on Celebrity Rehab.

It'll also be interesting to see how the setup and the actual rehab process differs from Celebrity Rehab. One of the benefits of residential treatment is that you're supposed to be in a controlled and safe environment and away from temptations. Seems like that might be harder to accomplish when you've got a group of sex addicts living in close proximity to each other. Also, since sex addicts sometimes display other addictive behaviors also, do addicts who are in rehab for other addictions commonly try to turn to sexual compulsion because other temptations have been removed and they are in such close proximity to other addicts? There are some rehab facilities that are for women only (although it would be pretty heteronormative to suggest that as a perfect solution) and most, if not all, facilities have rules against sexual contact or relationships between patients, but as Daniel Baldwin taught us, stuff can happen. (I guess this is why there are so many different types of treatment centers with different areas of specialization.) We're not worried though, because we're sure Dr. Drew is going to answer all of our questions.

These rehab shows also always bring me back to the issue of channels like Vh1 encouraging certain behavior on one show and then showing the potential negative consequences of it on another. They provide lots of alcohol to contestants on shows like Rock of Love and I Love Money because they know that drinking brings out the dramalicious and often destructive behavior that the producers of those shows are looking for. (At the reunion show recently , a couple of the Rock of Love girls admitted to seeking treatment after watching their own drunk behavior on the show.) And then those shows are aired back to back with a show about addicts trying to get control of a disease that has screwed up their entire lives. Do Vh1 executives ever think about the disconnect there? Or do they just view it as squeezing drama and "entertainment" (and ratings) out of both sides of the addiction coin?

April 28, 2009

Equal Pay Day 2009 Link Roundup

Today is Equal Pay Day! Why today? Because Tuesday is the day when women's wages catch up to men's wages from the previous week, and because women have to work until April to match what men earned in the previous year. Yes, it's 2009 and this is still happening. Here are some great resources for more info:

~The National Committee on Pay Equity - NCPE is "a coalition of women's and civil rights organizations; labor unions; religious, professional, legal, and educational associations, commissions on women, state and local pay equity coalitions and individuals working to eliminate sex- and race-based wage discrimination and to achieve pay equity." They've got an Equal Pay Day kit that includes background info on legislation, sample op-eds and letters to the editor, suggested activities and more.

~Check out this piece from the May issue of Redbook, "Are Women Really Worth Less Than Men?" [via Writes Like She Talks]

~The Institute for Women's Policy Research has put out a fact sheet on The Gender Wage Gap By Occupation, and their website has lots more on women and work issues.

~AAUW (American Association of University Women) has lots of info, a resource kit, Equal Pay Day ecards, and a collection of Equal Pay Day events taking place around the country. You can also read the testimony from AAUW's Director of Public Policy and Government Relations before the U.S. Joint Economic Committee on the issue of equal pay.

~The National Women's Law Center tells you how to take action on the Paycheck Fairness Act. They've also got state-by-state data on the wage gap and a place where you can register to Blog for Fair Pay.

~The Center for American Progress Action Fund held a panel discussion on equal pay, which you can listen to by checking out their podcast.

~The Women's Rights blog on Change.org looks at the question of whether a woman's weight may also be connected to the wage gap.

~Moms Rising has some great blog posts on fair pay today, as well as a section on their site dedicated to the issue of realistic and fair wages.

~President Obama issued a proclamation today "call[ing] upon American men and women, and all employers, to acknowledge the injustice of wage discrimination and to commit themselves to equal pay for equal work."

~On Twitter, check out the AAUW feed and the #fairpay hashtag. You can also get a #fairpay Twitter widget from NWLC.

~The Women's Museum shows us what's at stake:

Or you can just let Batgirl explain it all:

April 27, 2009

How To Say That You Aren't Gay

I recently came across an interview with Hugh Jackman in which he addresses the gay rumors that have been spreading ever since he portrayed Peter Allen in The Boy From Oz. I think it might be one of the best responses that I've ever read:
“I’d be happy to go and deny it, because I’m not... But by denying it, I’m saying there is something shameful about it, and there isn’t anything shameful.”
It seems that very often celebrities (especially male celebrities) are so concerned with being called gay that they offer really offensive denials. Like Tom Cruise, who actually brought a defamation lawsuit against a magazine publisher, or Kenny Chesney, who bragged that he slept with over a hundred women because it's so horrible to be called gay:
“What guy who loves girls wouldn't be angry about that? I didn't sign up for that.”
So it was just pretty cool the way Jackman answered the question. And as much as I hate to say anything good about Pete Wentz ever ever ever... he also had a pretty good response to rumors that he was gay or bisexual:
"Our culture bombards us with this idea that you’re not that, and if you are that, there’s something wrong with you, and then we’re going to call you that, and then it’s an insult.”
“Whenever you say that homophobia is stupid, you just get called gay. There is a sense of self-empowerment or recapturing who you are by people calling you ‘fag,’ and being like, ‘Yeah, I am a fag.’ Even though you’re not. What does somebody respond?"

It's kind of sad that in 2009 people are still so obsessed with whether or not someone is gay. And it's even sadder that so many celebrities are so horrified by the possibility of being called gay. I really hope to see more and more responses like Jackman's and Wentz's in the future.

April 25, 2009

Cosmo Quick Hit: Sports Are Icky

I watched the NFL draft today. I watched it because I wanted to, not because I was with some guy who was into it. I'm also a woman. According to Cosmopolitan, this apparently makes me some sort of mutant. Here are two items from their May 2009 issue to illustrate what I mean.

The "Cosmo For Your Guy" section is the page that you're supposed to give to your boyfriend to read (no comment on that), so it has relationship tips for guys. This month it's "Small Moves That Score Big", and here's one of them:
Get Girlie With Her: Believe it or not, your girlfriend probably isn't sitting by your side watching SportsCenter because she's dying to see the highlights of the Bobcats/Thunder game. She does stuff like that because she wants to spend time with you...and she'd love it if you returned the favor. That means doing things like going shopping without pouting the whole time or dozing off in one of those massage chairs. "Making small sacrifices shows her that you're a team player and her happiness is a priority," says Carol Bruess, PhD, coauthor of What Happy Couples Do.
See, because women don't like sports. Not a single one of us. We only like to do Approved Ladystuff, like shopping! So if a woman is watching SportsCenter with her boyfriend, it's never because she wants to see who won the Yankees/Red Sox game or because they're both fans of the same hockey team. It's because she just loves spending time with him, even if he's watching yucky boy stuff on TV.

And in the "Love & Lust" section, there's a list of "Non-Mushy Moves He'll Dig":
Score Him Tickets: Surprising him with a chance to see his favorite team will make him as happy as you would be if he wrote you a love letter. Tell him you'll be going with him-just kidding! Let him give the other ticket to a friend and he'll think you're the coolest girl ever, suggests [Kimberley Dawn] Neumann. [Apparently she's the coauthor of a book called The Real Reasons Men Commit.]
You got us good on that one, Cosmo! Imagine pretending that a woman might ever want to go to a sporting event with her boyfriend. (The idea that she might want to go without him would be too radical for them to even comprehend, I imagine.) It's crazy to even suggest that her favorite team might be the same as his, or that some girlfriends would also enjoy getting tickets to a sporting event as a gift. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the idea of treating your boyfriend to a guy's night at a basketball game or whatever, I'm just annoyed by the fact that Cosmo apparently thinks that the concept of a woman enjoying sports is nothing but a hilarious joke.

Seriously Cosmo, can we please put to death this old and tired and idiotic gender stereotype about sports? Some men like sports. Some women like sports. Some women don't like sports. Some men don't like sports. I'm a sports fan. Lilith isn't a sports fan. My dad likes sports, my brother doesn't. The ESC has female friends who love sports and male friends who hate them, and vice versa. It's not a gender thing, and women who enjoy sports aren't unicorns. So can you give the crappy sports advice a rest, please? Stick to giving crappy advice about...pretty much everything else.

April 24, 2009

Glenn Beck Can Suck It

Our Suck It Series just wouldn't be complete without including the Fox News host who makes Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly look mentally balanced and reasonable by comparison: Glenn Beck.

Of course, you can find lots more items in our Glenn Beck Can Suck It cafepress store. (We'll also be adding the "suck it" series and lots of our other items to Zazzle soon, so keep an eye out.)

If you're lucky enough to be unfamiliar with Mr. Beck, let us give you a quick rundown of some of the reasons why he can definitely suck it. (Okay, it's not really quick. There's no way to make it quick. He's completely mental. We're sorry. And working on this has also made us mental, so if you feel like you're losing your grip on reality at any time while reading this, just email us and we'll let you into our therapy group.) Here goes nothing.

~"...this is horrible to say, and I wonder if I'm alone in this -- you know it took me about a year to start hating the 9-11 victims' families? Took me about a year. And I had such compassion for them, and I really wanted to help them, and I was behind, you know, "Let's give them money, let's get this started." All of this stuff. And I really didn't -- of the 3,000 victims' families, I don't hate all of them. Probably about 10 of them. And when I see a 9-11 victim family on television, or whatever, I'm just like, "Oh shut up!" I'm so sick of them because they're always complaining. And we did our best for them. And, again, it's only about 10." (His point was that he started to hate some of the victims of Hurricane Katrina faster than he started to hate the families of 9/11 victims.)

~Here's a fresh example: Yesterday afternoon on his radio show, Beck took a call from Tim the forest manager, who was "cutting down trees in celebration of Earth Day" according to Glenn. Tim explained that they were clearing out trees to create spaces where it would be easier for his "landowner" to hunt for deer. Here's Glenn's reaction: "This is like Nirvana here. This is not only going to hack off all the environmentalists, but all the PETA people too." Then he gets all excited and has to go to a commercial break when Tim offers to start up his chainsaw for Glenn to hear, saying that he wants to "savor the moment". He then tells his producer, "I need Barry White music. This is almost full-fledged, light some candles, this is eroticism." (We won't speculate on what went on during the break. Also, I only transcribed half of the clip and I feel like I need counseling.)

~Here are a couple of Beck's comments about Cindy Sheehan:

"Cindy Sheehan is a tragedy slut." [The Glenn Beck Program, August 15, 2005]

BECK: Honestly, who's a bigger prostitute? Heidi Fleiss or Terrell Owens? Who's the person out there -- who's the bigger prostitute: Heidi Fleiss or Howard Dean? No, not even Howard Dean. John Kerry. Who's the bigger prostitute? Who'll do anything for power or money? I mean, at least Heidi Fleiss -- this is saying something -- at least Heidi Fleiss will admit to being a prostitute. You know what I mean? At least she'll say, "Hey, I'm doing it for cash."


BECK: Cindy Sheehan. That's a pretty big prostitute there, you know what I mean? I mean, more of a -- Stu, what did we call her when she was in the news? Not a prostitute.

STU: Yeah, we eventually got to "tragedy pimp." Because we believe she's actually pimping the prostitute out.

BECK: Correct.

STU: Which I think is actually the most accurate description.

BECK: Pretty hard to beat prostituting your son's death. Don't you think?

~On the question of what people would do for $50 million: "Would you kill someone for that?...I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore...I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it,...No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out. Is this wrong? I stopped wearing my What Would Jesus -- band -- Do, and I've lost all sense of right and wrong now. I used to be able to say, 'Yeah, I'd kill Michael Moore,' and then I'd see the little band: What Would Jesus Do? And then I'd realize, 'Oh, you wouldn't kill Michael Moore. Or at least you wouldn't choke him to death.' And you know, well, I'm not sure." [The Glenn Beck Program, May 17, 2005]

~During his February 8, 2006 show, Beck repeatedly referred to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter as "a waste of skin", adding that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il was not a bigger waste of skin because "[a]t least evil is using that skin."

~In an interview with Rep. Keith Ellison, who had just been elected as the first Muslim in the U.S. Congress: "With that being said, you are a Democrat. You are saying, "Let`s cut and run." And I have to tell you, I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, "Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies. And I know you’re not. I’m not accusing you of being an enemy, but that’s the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way." [The Glenn Beck Show, November 14, 2006]

~On Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth:

"Al Gore's not going to be rounding up Jews and exterminating them. It is the same tactic, however. The goal is different. The goal is globalization. The goal is global carbon tax.…You need to have fear. You needed to have the fear of starvation. You needed to have the fear of the whole place going to hell in a handbasket. Which--do we have that fear now with global warming?…Then you have to discredit the scientists that say 'That's not right.' And you must silence all dissenting voices. That's what Hitler did. That's what Al Gore, the U.N., and everybody on the global warming bandwagon [are doing]." [The Glenn Beck Program, April 30, 2007]

~Another on Al Gore and the environment:

GORE [audio clip]: The Arctic is experiencing faster melting. If this were to go, the sea level worldwide would go up 20 feet. This is what would happen in Florida. Around Shanghai, home to 40 million people. The area around Calcutta [India], 60 million.

BECK: Stop. Just a second, stop. This is what would happen to Shanghai. Does anybody really care? I mean, come on. Shanghai is under water. Oh, no! Who's gonna make those little umbrellas for those tropical drinks?

~On Gloria Steinem's comment about how John McCain's story might have played out differently if her were a woman:

"Are you kidding me? If they would have shot down a female prisoner, do I need to remind you about the girl from West Virginia that the whole country stopped so we could go and save? Do you think it would be less? Do you think we would actually be sitting here? You pinhead. Do you think we would actually be sitting here going, "Well, look at the way she was dressed." If she were Joan McCain... stop it. You self-centered, self-righteous socialist, out-of-control, dangerous, man-hating bitch. Shut your mouth. We might have bought into this crap in the 1960s because too many people were doing LSD. We're not on LSD anymore. You need to start making sense." [The Glenn Beck Program, March 3, 2008]

~"Hey, does anybody notice this crazy thing that we’re on the road to socialism? I’m just saying. Wow. We got — we got the SCHIPs thing going for us. That’s great. There is the change that we were all hoping for, really, seriously. Hey, I got an idea. If we’re going down the road to socialism, I mean, why not really go for it, huh? Comrades, good news from the western front, our glorious revolution is starting to take hold. Oh, the revolution of change. Our fearless leader has just signed in SCHIPs, and earlier today, he spoke out against capitalism. Listen up." [The Glenn Beck Show, February 4, 2009. If you're not familiar with S-CHIP, it's the State Children's Health Insurance Program, because clearly there's nothing more evil than providing health care to children in need.]

~On President Obama overturning the ban on federally funded embryonic stem cell research:

BECK: So here you have Barack Obama going in and spending the money on embryonic stem cell research, and then some, fundamentally changing -- remember, those great progressive doctors are the ones who brought us Eugenics. It was the progressive movement and it science. Let's put science truly in her place. If evolution is right, why don't we just help out evolution? That was the idea. And sane people agreed with it!

And it was from America. Progressive movement in America. Eugenics. In case you don't know what Eugenics led us to: the Final Solution. A master race! A perfect person. .... The stuff that we are facing is absolutely frightening. So I guess I have to put my name on yes, I hope Barack Obama fails. But I just want his policies to fail; I want America to wake up.

~On Cecilia Fire Thunder, president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and opponent of the proposed South Dakota abortion ban, who expressed interest in opening an abortion clinic on the state's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation if the law were to go into effect.

BECK: Whatever happened to the Indians? You know, they were celebrating Mother Earth and Father Sky or whatever it is, and that was beautiful and special. Now, it's about gaming, alcohol, fireworks, and abortions. I mean, what happened to the proud Indian?...

...What fork in the road did Native Americans take? When did they decide, "Ah, crap, it's just not worth it any more. Why don't we turn our precious land into a place where we can build some slot machines?"


I mean, you know, I'm bringing this up not because I have, you know, huge opposition to keno -- casinos and Indian trinket shops; don't get me wrong here. I bring it up because, you know, the Indians are using the whole "You took our land [sobbing]." I think they're taking that a little too far, don't you? I mean, South Dakota about to pass the no-abortion thing, so the women in the tribe -- in fact, let me get this straight, the -- it's Fire Thunder, that's her -- I don't know whether that's her last name or her middle and last name. It's Cecilia Fire Thunder. So -- anyway, she says she wants to open up the abortion clinics on the Indians' land, and I mean -- how good do you feel about giving away the sovereignty now? I mean, when I say we gave them sovereignty, I mean it's, you know, more in a way like, you know, we took their sovereignty and then loaned them a little bit of it back, but you know what I mean. I hope that contract isn't iron-clad -- when are we gonna get out of that contract with the Indians?


But I mean, can you really set up anything you want now on these reservations? South Dakota really -- they have their hands tied, you know? Otherwise, the Indians will have found something that can be more profitable than casinos, and that's abortion clinics. And then, look out, man -- exploiting everything illegal for profit. That's what -- I mean, is that what the Indians have turned into?

"What happened to the proud Indian?" Wow, that's a great question, Glenn. You know, in a totally fucked up, incredibly ignorant, so-offensive-and-stupid-I-need-to-go-to-my-happy-place-to-forget-you-ever-said-it sort of a way.

~Discussing news that Zacarias Moussaoui requested a withdrawal of his guilty plea following his life sentence in connection with the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Beck responded:

BECK: Um, no, Zac, no, sorry to say you're spending the rest of your life in super-max [the maximum-security federal prison in Florence, Colorado, where Moussaoui will likely be sent]. You don't get to make, you know, sweet tender love to those 72 heavenly virgins. In fact, I'm going to go a step further. When you're involved in the deaths of 3,000 innocent people, you get this -- yeah, a three-way with Bea Arthur and Helen Thomas while David Hasselhoff sings. Oh, it's great. Didn't teach you that at terrorist school? Oh, that's too bad, what a shame.

As Beck spoke, on-screen graphic featured a photo montage of Thomas, Arthur, and Hasselhoff.

~BECK: All right, stop the music. I've got to talk. Stu, give me a topic, some butch topic I can talk about for a second, will you?

BURGUIERE: Blowing up Iran.

BECK: Blowing up Iran. I say we nuke the bastards. In fact, it doesn't have to be Iran, it can be everywhere, anyplace that disagrees with me.

~On the issue of a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq:
BECK: The blood of our troops will be on the hands of Congress soon.

Here's how I got there. The Democratic Party leaders are proposing a new bill, which calls for bringing the troops home from Iraq by early next year, then removing whatever troops remain by October 2008.


BECK: Here's what I don't know. How do these people in Congress, Democrats and Republicans, who want to have it both ways, how do you sleep at night? How do you do it?

If your bill goes through, I hope you can't go to bed any single night without the images of body bags of our American soldiers coming off those planes. I hope they dance in your head every single night, because you will be just as responsible for their deaths as anyone who has ever strapped a bomb to their chest and screamed, "Allah Akbar."

~On Hillary Clinton being too nagging and bitchy to become president:

BECK: I don't want to sound like the old ball-and-chain guy, but Hillary Clinton cannot be elected president because -- am I wrong in feeling, am I the only one in America that feels this way? -- that there's something about her vocal range. There's something about her voice that just drives me -- it's not what she says, it's how she says it. She is like the stereotypical -- excuse the expression, but this is the way to -- she's the stereotypical bitch, you know what I mean? She's that stereotypical, nagging, [unintelligible], you know what I mean? And she doesn't have to be saying -- she could be saying happy things, but after four years, don't you think every man in America will go insane? Is it just me? I mean, I know this is horrible to say, but I mean it not -- I would say this if she were Condi Rice and she sounded like that. Condi Rice doesn't have that grate to her voice. You know what I need to do? I need to talk to a vocal expert, because there is a range in women's voices that experts say is just the chalk, I mean, the fingernails on the blackboard. And I don't know if she's using that range or what it is, but I've heard her in speeches where I can't take it.


BECK: Am I alone? Dan [Andros, producer]? Have you noticed that about her?

ANDROS: Oh my gosh, she could be talking about how she's giving every American a million dollars, and I'm hearing, "Could you take out the garbage now, please?"

BECK: That really is what it is. I just, I don't -- I thought it was just me. And maybe it is.


BECK: I'm sorry for being such a pig. But please, America. Please. I don't think I could do it for four years. I mean, sure the country is going to go to hell in a handbasket, but could we make this about me for a second? I just don't think I could take it from her.

On another occasion, Beck remarked that Hillary Clinton's voice "makes angels cry". He has also referred to her as a "liberal fascist", and he thinks she just may be the Antichrist as well.

~On Dennis Kucinich and his wife:

BECK: OK, so I guess we did, you know, make that -- [unintelligible] sees the tongue ring. You see the tongue ring and, and then you're starting to think of things with Dennis, and I don't want to go there.


STU: She is very tall compared to Dennis.

BECK: No, Dan just said in my, in my ear, isn't she about eight feet tall? No, she's not about eight feet tall. He's two feet tall. He's Gollum. You take his shirt off and put him in a loincloth, and he's Gollum.

STU: She's probably only like three-foot-nine. But next to him, you know.


BECK: How did that happen?

STU: It might be part of the reason she looks good, too, because she's standing next to him.

BECK: You think it's dope?

STU: Do I think? I don't know. I don't understand the question.

BECK: I'm wondering if it's some sort of, some sort of, you know. What's that date rape drug? What is -- what's the one? What's --


BECK: Yeah, but it's not powerful enough to actually knock you out, but it's powerful enough to, like, make you think that you're not standing next to Dennis Kucinich and making out with him.

STU: I, maybe it's some other form of that.

BECK: What would be the -- what would be the drug that would be just powerful enough to not -- to make you not really realize that you're making out with Dennis Kucinich?

STU: That's called alcohol.

BECK: I was thinking cyanide. That would be the only thing that would really dull the senses enough. Even then, your dead body would be like, "Dennis Kucinich has his tongue in my mouth." I -- maybe it's just me.

STU: I'm sure they have a lovely relationship.

~On people losing their homes in the 2007 California wildfires:

"I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today.

There are a few people that hate America. But I don't think the Democrats are those. I think there are those posing as Democrats that are like that. But you don't come into the center. You have to stand up for what you believe in."

~On John Edwards:

BECK: All right. Peter. John Edwards, I listened to him last night give a speech, and, I mean, why not just start wearing the Soviet star on your head and the Workers World Party? Good Lord in heaven. Was it a mistake for him to go after her for crying and then also to join this great Soviet state?

~On progressive women being ugly, and some stuff that I could have edited but didn't because it reveals some of Beck's inner crazy:

BECK: BECK: Now, here's a story I found: "Surprising reasons you're not having sex." Here's the first one. Your bed isn't sexy anymore. We hear it over and over again the bed should be used for sex and sleep only. So why do we insist on bringing in third parties, laptops, PDAs, Law & Order, et cetera, et cetera. You know what, my doctor has actually told me that, under doctors' orders, nothing else in bed. He said just sleep. And I went, just sleep? And my wife said, "You heard him; just sleep." "Your meds are stealing away your sex drive." Whoa. Surprised by that one. Reason number 3 you're not having sex anymore. Your crazy, busy life.


BECK: I mean, here are some other reasons. "You're ugly." Hello! I'm not a sex expert but I'm -- you know, I'm thinking, you know, you're ugly and, you know, that's a tough one to overcome especially if you're a woman. If you're a guy, that's not hard to overcome. I'm sorry. That's just the way the world is. Have you -- how many ugly guys have hot wives? Take me, for example. I don't know why she married -- I think it was low self-esteem. I do. No, really I think it was low self-esteem. I got in -- you know, you buy when the market is low. You know what I mean? While everybody else is selling, you buy. And I think I got in there right at the right time. Low self-esteem, low, wait a minute, could go a little lower, she might come down to my price. Hang on, OK, sold! Now her self-esteem is going up. And if my income wasn't going up, she would have ditched me long ago. She would have gone, "Wait a minute, I think I was depressed when I married you." I'm just -- look. I'm not Tania, but I am a thinker. I'm on to you, Tania!

OK, so anyway, I was talking about ugly people. Ugly people, if you're a guy, you can get past it. I don't think you can as an ugly woman. I don't -- no, I don't. If you're an ugly woman, I apologize. Oh, you've got a double cross, because if you're an ugly woman, you're probably a progressive as well. Oh, jeez. I'm sorry. Today's just not your day. But you know what? If you believed in God, you'd know that there's going to be another chance for you. You don't have to be ugly in heaven. You're going to be your perfect self, and there will be another perfect somebody waiting for you on the other side. Until that time --

~Regarding the stimulus package: "It is the nanny state...it's slavery. It is slavery."

~In response to a guest from San Francisco who mentions his church: "First of all, I'm trying to get my arms around this - there's a church in San Francisco? ...who would have seen that coming?"

~Beck had Bill O'Reilly on his show and asked him a 'viewer question' about who was the "biggest pinhead" ever in world history. O'Reilly's answer is Hitler, to which Beck replies "over Jimmy Carter?" and everyone in the studio has a good laugh. Oh, Fox News.

~Enjoy Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck joking about Beck going to Steven Colbert's house to murder him.

~Regarding calls for him to run for political office: "Oh no, we'd run out of missiles. That would be the most overused phrase in my administration, 'What do you mean we're out of missiles?'"

~Explaining why he has all of the lights in his studio turned way up: "I am so tired, because it was Earth Hour over the weekend, and I spent so much time turning on all my - I mean off all of my lights...Just to show that I'm such a supporter of Earth Hour, and that I don't think that it's ridiculous, that I so believe in that whole global warming thing, I decided to put...hang on, I'm being told that the idea is to use less energy? Oh. Oh well, we're going to roll with this."

~"The government is a heroin pusher using smiley-faced facism to grow the nanny state."

~On the recent shooting in Pittsburgh and accusations that right-wing rhetoric about Obama taking away gun rights may have played a role in this or other recent shootings:

"Well, OK, look, if the president wanted to calm people down, but there's no reason to in the first place because what we're talking about is a crazy man on Saturday. But if he wanted to calm anybody who had any fears he would have said, 'This is such a tragedy and let me reassure, the 2nd Amendment is the 2nd Amendment, and I will not infringe on those rights in any way, shape, or form.' But he won't say that because he can't say that. Because he will slowly but surely take away your gun or take away your ability to shoot a gun, carry a gun. He will make them more expensive; he'll tax them out of existence. He will because he has said he would. He will tax you gun or take your gun away one way or another."

~Earlier this month, Beck did a demonstration where he poured fake gasoline (at least he claimed it was fake, who knows with him) all over some unfortunate guest to somehow represent the Obama administration, or something (again, there's no way to just feature the really crazy part here and edit the rest, because it's all the really crazy part):

From The April 9 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: And President Obama apparently feels like, boy, I'm pretty much done, not a lot more to do, you know? We got all those things done. You know what? Why don't I work on immigration reform? Later this year, he hopes to create a path for the estimated 12 million illegal aliens here in America to become legal. But yet, we haven't fixed the border and shut the water off. What a sweet, sensitive guy he really is.

Here is the one thing I think the media is missing. I don't know about you, but when I saw that story last night, I did this -- you got to be kidding me! I mean, let me -- let me just ask you a question. Maybe I'm alone, but I think it would be just faster if they just shot me in the head. You know what I mean? How much more can -- how much more can he disenfranchise all of us?

We have Bill Schulz here. He's from Red Eye. And I'm just going to demonstrate at least how I feel, all right? I feel -- when I read this story last night -- I don't know about you. Let's say Bill is the average American here and I'm President Obama. This is the way I feel. I feel like President Obama is just saying, you know what, I've got the $3.5 trillion budget that we're doing. You know, is it cold? Yes.

You know -- where the only fat they cut out is national defense. We have growing Social Security. We have Medicare, Medicaid obligations, right? Let me get some over here. And that puts us on the hook now for about $53 trillion.

Now, the worst is that we are buried under $1.25 quadrillion dollars in debt. Overseas -- Obama is apologizing to the Frenchy French for our arrogance. You know, he's bowing to the Saudi Arabian king. I don't know if you saw that one, OK?

Oh, I almost forgot. He's also closing Gitmo and letting the terrorists onto the streets.

And on the island of Cuba, the Congressional Black Caucus met with Fidel Castro to try to fix the U.S.-Cuban relations -- something that would give their tourism industry a billion dollar boost. It's no wonder that Illinois Democrat Bobby Rush said -- the meeting, he said, quote, "It was almost like listening to an old friend." They gazed into each other's eyes. It's been fantastic. By the way, under Castro, 93 percent of Cuban labor force works for the state. Sound familiar? Average worker -- making a whopping $9 a month there in Cuba. He's fantastic. We should buddy with him. What would it be like to work for $9 a month? Oh, we may all find out soon.

And also, according to the U.N., seven abortions for every 10 babies born in Cuba. Sure, sounds like a vacation in Disneyland to me.

But now, last night, I get there and I see, I get on the website, and I see that Obama wants to legalize the illegal aliens, you know, when unemployment is 8.5 percent and underemployment rate is 15.6 percent. You know, you're having a hard time finding a job, you know, without having to be forced -- do you have any matches -- forced to complete, you know, compete with a whole new crop of workers.

So what does Obama do, he says, boy, I'm not -- I'm just out of stuff to do. What else could I possibly do to the American people? President Obama, why don't you just set us on fire? For the love of Pete, what are you doing? Do you not hear -- do you not hear the cries of people who are saying stop? We would like some sanity in our country for a second!

We didn't vote to lose the republic. We didn't vote for any of this stuff. We voted for change. You know what that change was? The change we wanted was an end to the games! We wanted the games to be ended.

We want people to say what they mean and mean what they say. We want people just to be honest. We want the parties to actually stand for something. We want the spending that is out of control -- you're building bridges that lead to nowhere. You're spending money that leads only to slavery! We just want some common sense. That's all we want.

We can disagree with each other on policies, but Good Lord Almighty, man, please. Some of us don't agree with all of the policies. We'd like to have a country left in the end of four years. No need to set us on fire.

SCHULZ: I thought I was here to talk about Sex in the City.


BECK: By the way, I just want -- I just want to show you, kids, water, not gasoline. I was -- I was actually told by our legal department, "Glenn, you can't just do that, you've got to" -- I said, yeah, this is why our country is so screwed up if I got to actually say, that wasn't really gasoline, kids. Don't do that at home, that would be really, really bad. But since we're here -- you know, I'm a fan of 24, I think I've seen that scene on 24. If we're going to do 24" we might as well go all the way. Here, watch this.

BECK [video clip]: Hi. I'm Glenn Beck. And on today's show, we talked a lot about setting people on fire, but the real heat that we have to be worried about is global warming. Global warming is the reason it snowed yesterday in New York City, and it won't stop until all of that warming buries us under 3 million feet of ice. To get involved in your community, in the fight against global warming, get into your private jet and fly around the world and give some slide shows. Thank you -- from all of us on The Glenn Beck Program.

BECK: Am I the only one that -- those darn things make me crazy?

~I refuse to transcribe this bizarre segment where Beck claims that his "great-great-grandfather" was Thomas Paine and then has an actor pretending to...you know what, just watch it.

~Regarding the Iowa Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage: "I believe this case is actually about going into churches, and going in and attacking churches, and saying 'you can't teach anything else'. When you say 'marriage', civil unions is different, when you say marriage must be defined as this, then you also have to go into the schools. This has already happened. (The most shocking thing about this to me is that Glenn Beck actually supports civil unions.)

~"You can't convince me that the Founding Fathers wouldn't allow you to secede. The Constitution is not a suicide pact...People have a right to not commit economic suicide."

~"Why is the government and the teacher's union working together to wreck our children's education?"

~On the bank bailout situation: "Not comparing these people to the people in Germany, but this is exactly what happened to the lead-up with Hitler".

~Please enjoy Glenn freaking the fuck out about Earth Day and light bulbs and stuff:

~On how torture isn't really torture: "Whether or not you're morally in favor of waterboarding or not, it is a far cry from torture."

Really, this video from Media Matters sums it all up by diagnosing Glenn Beck with Obama Derangement Syndrome:

So yeah, what we're trying to say is, he can suck it. A lot.

April 22, 2009

Cosmo Will Keep You Safe

This piece on Glossed Over reminded us that we haven't tortured you with enough of our observations about the issues of Cosmopolitan that we took with us on our trip to Boston. The May issue has a piece called "Read This Before You Live Alone", which is basically about how living alone is a goal/wish/dream for many young women that will most likely end in disaster and/or tragedy...unless we follow Cosmo's helpful safety tips, of course!

First, they scare you into reading the whole article by opening with almost a full page on the brutal assault and murder of TV anchorwomen Anne Pressly in Arkansas last fall. Pressly lived alone in what Cosmo describes as "one of the most affluent and low-crime areas of Little Rock", not "a divey place in a borderline neighborhood". So the message is clear: read the rest of this article right now or it could happen to you too. (Of course, we're not at all trying to make light of what happened to Anne Pressly, just saying that between that opening and the giant headline over bright red-lit imagery of houses on the facing page, Cosmo was just a bit heavy-handed here.)

Now, the article does have some helpful advice and tips. For example, the section on checking out your neighborhood says that some police precincts have officers who will come to your home and give you a free security consultation, and that some research indicates that the chances of your home being burgled (love that word) are reduced if your neighbors have home security system signs or stickers displayed, even if you don't have one yourself. (Although I'll go out on a limb and say that it's probably a better safety move to actually have your own security system instead of relying on the ADT sign in the lawn across the street, but I get their point.) Good stuff to know. There are also some pretty standard safety and privacy tips about keeping doors and windows locked, having lights on a timer that will turn on during the day if you're not home, not revealing too much info about where you live on places like facebook, varying your routine so you're not always getting home at the same time, keeping curtains closed at night, etc.

Then there's the stuff that's a little more...Cosmo. There's a section on "elements of a safe bedroom", which lists stuff like securely locked windows and a landline phone with 911 on speed dial, because a landline call automatically gives the dispatcher your address. But also on the list is a watchdog, because burglars hate dealing with barking dogs. This strikes me as a little unfair to the dog, considering that dogs are living creatures and not objects to acquire and check off a list like phones and panic button alarms. Taking care of a dog is a big responsibility (setting aside the fact that many apartment buildings don't allow pets), so I don't get treating a dog like a safety accessory. I don't think it's horrible to suggest a watchdog, but to me it seems a little silly to include it in a special section on elements of a safe bedroom like it's a requirement. I'll also admit that my anti-dog bias might be influencing my opinion on this one. Maybe I can compromise and nickname my alarm system Rex or Fluffy or Sparky or something.

There's another separate section called "Dead Giveaways That You Live By Yourself", which covers the stuff about lights on timers, varying your routine, not putting your full name on a doorbell or mailbox, etc. Then there's this item:
Your voice on your answering machine. Never say "I" or give your first name. ("You've reached Sue. I can't come to the phone right now...") Just repeat your phone number - or get a male friend to record your message.
Okay, I see the logic behind this and I agree that it's not a good idea to reveal too much info in an answering machine message. Actually I've never recorded any greeting at all on my voicemail, so people just get the automated recorded voice thingy that just gives my phone number, but that's more out of laziness than a dedication to phone safety. But, I'm not ever going to ask some random guy friend to record my answering machine message for me. To me that seems like overkill, and I think it would also be confusing for anyone trying to call and talk to the people who actually do live in the house. Although it does sound like a great setup for sitcom style misunderstandings and wacky hijinks. Wait, I've got it! I'll record my own message, but have my watchdog barking in the background.

But I think this one is my favorite. This is a standalone tip, titled "Repel A Peeping Tom", in its own special red box:
Plant something thorny, like a small cactus or rosebush, in front of your windows to keep Peeping Toms or potential thieves at a distance.
A cactus. Who knew? Screw spending money on a home security system, because apparently all you have to do is embrace your inner gardener or Southwestern style landscape designer to keep potential peeping Toms or burglars away. There's an FAQ on this security system site that mentions a survey done a few years ago by the National Burglar and Fire Association which found that 90% of convicted burglars said they would avoid a home that had an alarm system. Sounds like pretty good odds to me. I wonder what the numbers were for cacti as a deterrent?

After you take care of your door locks, window rods, your doorbell and mailbox, your answering machine message, your curtains, the phone, the panic alarm, the security system, your facebook profile, the watchdog, the security consultation, the timed lights inside and motion detector lights outside, the moat and drawbridge, extra thorny roses, and the cactus, Cosmo has one last tip for you. "Don't drive yourself crazy." After all, you don't want to become paranoid or anything.

April 20, 2009

Biden Feminism Watch: VAWA 15th Anniversary

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, and this week Legal Momentum is pairing with The Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law to hold a symposium on VAWA. They're giving an award to Vice President Biden for championing and sponsoring VAWA in the Senate in the beginning and through its reauthorizations.



A Symposium Celebrating the
Fifteenth Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act
and Honoring its Champion
Vice President Joseph Biden

2009 is the fifteenth anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), initiated and championed by then-Senator Joseph Biden. Legal Momentum (then known as NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund) worked closely with Senator Biden, his staff and an array of organizations throughout the four-year struggle to pass VAWA and its subsequent reauthorizations. Although VAWA’s civil rights provision was ultimately struck down as unconstitutional, the many other sections of the bill have provided billions of dollars to the states, tribes and territories to prevent violence against women, serve survivors and improve the justice system’s handling of these cases.

At this symposium Legal Momentum and The Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law will bring together a remarkable group of individuals who have been, or continue to be, involved in drafting, passing, litigating and reauthorizing VAWA, to relate the law’s history and impact from their perspectives as key players in this historic legislation.

We will also honor Vice President Biden at the Symposium.

This event is open to the public, free of charge, but registration is required.

[Legal Momentum via the Awearness Blog]

For more info on the early development of the Violence Against Women Act, check out our Biden Feminism Watch post on the origins of VAWA.

April 18, 2009

Tea Party Protest Signs: Bad, Worse, & Ugly

I was reading through some of the coverage of Wednesday's tea party protests and I came across a post on BlogHer that made some statements that I found...questionable.

Since when did political dissent become unpatriotic?
Raise your hand if you just yelled some version of "during the Bush administration, of course!" at your computer screen. Guess it's okay when the people being labeled unpatriotic are people like, say, liberal anti-war protesters.

These protests are also not "hate Obama" rallies. Please. If you truly believe that we would not be in the streets if this were President McCain making these decisions and not President Obama, then I have a bridge to sell you. Seriously. You will never find another deal on a bridge like this.

...As for the every citizen, we hope that they realize that it is NOT unpatriotic to ask that government spend responsibly, that it's NOT hateful to criticize the president (I can guarantee you that you won't see the sort of offensive effigies and signs at these protests that we've seen at some anti-Bush rallies).

That last line's got to be my favorite. I don't know why anyone on either side would make a "guarantee" like that when it's so blatantly and demonstrably false. In this case it seems to be an 'our grassroots activism is better than your grassroots activism' sort of a thing, which is always helpful and constructive. I had already seen some pictures of protest signs that proved these statements wrong, but I decided to dig in and see just how wrong they were, and...well, see for yourselves.

Okay, I'm traumatized already. Can we leave Elmo out of this, people? Really now. [Photo from Wonkette]

Let's get the 'Obama = Hitler' stuff out of the way early. Godwin's Law in action!

This may be the winner for 'most offensive of the day'. Fuck this dude.
[Photos via Huffington Post]

[Photo via Teablogging]

[Photo via Huffington Post]

Because why should Hitler have all the fun?
[Photo via The Washington Independent]

One important thing I've learned from these protests is that paying taxes that you think are too high is just like being a slave. Also, President Obama is black. Put those two insightful observations together and you get some lovely slogans.

[Tax slavery via Wonkette, white slavery via Huffington Post, "chains" via ShortsandPants, "stimulus slave" from Reuters via Yahoo, and racism and ignorance via teabaggers coast to coast]

Okay, we fucking get it already, you're racist and you can't deal with the fact that the president is black. Enough.
[Photo via Huffington Post]

Nothing says 'we've got our finger right on the pulse' like an Urkel joke, right?
[Photo via Wonkette]

There are no words for some of these.
[Photo via Wonkette]

If this woman knows the term "d-bag", clearly she could have explained the whole teabagging issue to the protest organizers.
[Photo via Wonkette]

Next up, the religious stuff:

This sign is absolutely correct, in a completely wrong sort of a way.
[Photo via Jezebel]

OMG Muslim panic!!!!!!!!

["Jewels" and "Real Americans" via Huffington Post and "wake up America" via ShortsandPants]

By "we" I assume this guy is referring to deeply ignorant, bigoted morons who don't understand the Constitution or much of anything else.
[Photo via Talking Points Memo]

[Photo via dane101.com]

[Photo via dane101.com]

Of course we know that the only thing that equals religious panic for these people is The Gay Panic, so that crew showed up too.

Ah yes, because as any doctor will tell you, colonoscopy=sexytime, especially for the LGBT doctors, which is a group that does not include Barney Frank anyway so STFU.

[Photo via Wonkette]

Now this one's got to be a counter-protester being ironic...right?
[Photo via Talking Points Memo]

Here's a future Fox News show host.
[Photo via Wonkette]

Wipe the self-satisfied grins off of your faces, ladies. You're making light of rape, so you've got nothing to be proud of.

["Financial rape" via Teablogging.net and "freeloading illegal rape" via Huffington Post]

You know the anti-choicers were there, because they'll show up at any protest about anything as long as they can hold up signs about the babykilling.

[Photo via Huffington Post]

[Photo via Huffington Post]

Speaking of killing, this is just charming. Also, helpful hint to the maker of this sign - Hillary Clinton is now in the Cabinet, not in Congress, so you might want to cross her off and replace her with another evil liberal who you think deserves to be executed.

[Photo via Huffington Post]

And finally, some comic relief:

Dude, get a grip.

[Photo via Huffington Post]

In fairness, I do think that many of these photos represent a descent into something.

[Photo via Instaputz]

This woman has a point. I think it's time that all of us thought about renouncing our scholiast policies. Who cares about classical literature?

[Photo via Huffington Post]

So basically, make that bad evil non-white probably-Muslimish type guy go away? Got it, lady. (Don't you love the stream of consciousness style of signs? If you're going to take the time to make a sign, can't you take 10 seconds to figure out exactly what you want to say?)

[Photo via Huffington Post]

Yep, some people are actually still clinging to the birth certificate thing.

[Photo via The Washington Independent]

Liberal infiltrators via ShortsandPants.

No, we can't.

[Photo via Jezebel]

And finally, Our girl BlueGal took what may be the funniest and most misguided sign of the day, and made it a million times funnier and awesomer, which is why we love her.

[Image via BlueGal]