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Archive for February, 2007

This is great: Christian Right Labors to Find Right ’08 Candidate.

Many conservatives have already declared their hostility to Senator John McCain of Arizona, despite his efforts to make amends for having once denounced Christian conservative leaders as “agents of intolerance,” and to former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York, because of his liberal views on abortion and gay rights and his three marriages. Many were also suspicious of former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts; members have used the council as a conduit to distribute a dossier prepared by a Massachusetts conservative group about liberal elements of his record on abortion, stem cell research and gay rights. (Mr. Romney has worked to convince conservatives that his views have changed.)

Says Jen at Feministing:

Yes, it must be tough when you don’t have a dedicated puppet to force your hate on the American people from the White House … Even less well-known, more conservative candidates are not quite good enough. But never fear, insufficiently conservative candidates of the world. Grover Norquist has a solution for you. Secondary virginity.

Yep, that’s right — secondary political virginity. From the Times article:

Mr. Norquist said he remained open to any of the three candidates who spoke to the council or to Mr. Romney. He argued that with the right promises, any of the four could redeem themselves in the eyes of the conservative movement despite their past records, just as some high school students take abstinence pledges even after having had sex.

“It’s called secondary virginity,” Mr. Norquist said. “It is a big movement in high school and also available for politicians.”

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political writer gender gap

In the disappointing but not surprising category: Women writers still lacking at “serious” magazines.

Last year, an American website, http://www.WomenTK.com, began tracking the ratio of male to female writers in Harper’s, The Atlantic, The NYT Magazine, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair. Arguably, the ratio should be more or less one to one because that’s what life is like. As it turned out:

Vanity Fair 2.7:1.
The New Yorker 4.1:1.
The Atlantic 3.6:1.
Harper’s 6.9:1 (118 male bylines, only 17 female). Fully six of its 12 issues from September ’05 to August ’06 had one or no female writers.

Via feministe.

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I was at an America’s Future Foundation roundtable on “religion and the left” last week, and this guy suggested a novel reason why cloning is wrong: it leads to the “exploitation of women” because “poor black women” will be too tempted by the get-rich-quick potential of embryo donation and therefore donate embryos against their better moral judgment in order to make a buck.

It’s beautiful, isn’t it? The perfect trifecta of sexism, racism and nanny-statism, all there in one sentence! This guy really should get some sort of Perfect Neocon Douchebag award.

If we put aside the blatant racism (why would poor black women be more drawn to embryo donation than poor women of any other race?), we still get a lovely shining example of two other fun rhetorical tricks:

1) the couching-our-illogical-and/or-offensive-position-in-concern for women trick.
last seen: all sorts of anti-choice trying to adopt the language of pro-choice arguments about how they’re not against abortion because they loooove fetuses so much, or hate women so much, but because they looooovvve women so much, and that’s why they want to limit their options.
biggest offenders: Feminists for Life, etc.
why it’s stupid: well, it works under the assumption that women are too stupid to make their own choices

2) the if we paid people for doing something or otherwise made it too attractive, poor people would be disproportionately drawn to doing it trick
last seen: arguments against everything from markets in human organs to legalizing prostitution
why it’s stupid: because people should be able to weigh the benefits and potential risks/consequences of things such as selling their kidneys or exchanging sex for money (or donating their embryos for cloning research) for themselves. and not allowing them to do so, again, works under the assumption that people are too stupid to regulate their own lives, that they’re not rational agents capable of deciding what is the best for themselves under their own circumstances, and that someone else’s moral code should apply to everybody

Other than Perfect Neocon Douchebag, though, the panel was very interesting.

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Last week, Chris Clarke at Pandagon shared the funniest description of 1984*** I have ever read:

1984 was a book by George Orwell. 1984 describes an alternate history in which Oceania (Australia) is at war with Eurasia. It is a utopian book because it talks about a place where everyone is watched over by Big Brother, who makes sure people are doing what they are supposed to.The protagonist is Winston Smith. Thre is something about rats at the end, but it is confusing. The end is probably supposed to be ambigous.

*** it has since been changed

It’s from conservapedia (which Clarke refers to as a “wingnut pinata”). Conservapedia is, apparently, the “conservative’ answer to wickipedia, which conservapedia’s creators feel is too liberally biased. But, as the first commenter on Clarke’s post said:

Wait… is it an earnest but half-finished and inept attempt to create a conservative encyclopedia, or is it a snide anti-conservative joke? I really can’t tell.

I was confused at first, too, but I’m going to go with earnest, just because it’s really elaborate and I don’t think anyone would go to this much trouble for a little snark. And now that I’ve randomly declared it’s credibility, let’s have some Fun With Conservapedia!

Conservapedia has a list of 24 (and growing, it assures us!) examples of liberal bias in wickipedia, including: (more…)

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In a leaked in-house memo that came from the chairman of Starbucks stated a slight turn for Starbucks.

Starbucks has a plan to expand its menu to include things like hot breakfast sandwiches

While that does in fact sound tasty, Starbucks is out for you. In the midst of competition, Starbucks is going back to you.

However, the chairman of the company sent an in-house memo that warned Starbucks had moved too far from its roots. The memo called on stores to re-establish things customers are familiar with like the strong coffee-bean aroma in stores.

According to Forbes,

Some customers see the new stores as sterile, he said, without the soul the outlets used to have. Starbucks has become a chain, he said, and lost the “warm feeling of a neighborhood store.”

I’m not an enemy of Starbucks but I’m not obessed like my former co-worker. It seems there are lines drawn. There are those that search out Starbucks and those who have an utter hatred. (Yes, I know people fall in the middle, but Stabucks has a divide, or I should say that is my point.)

My former co-worker would drink five or six Starbucks a day. That alone is not too impressive but his utter hatred for anything besides Starbucks was slightly abnormal, or not. Starbucks has made created it’s brand on being able to get the same coffee anywhere. Impressive. It’s also tried to be the “around the corner” neighborhood coffee house. Impressive. So what went wrong? Too much expansion? At least that’s what they think for now. Maybe, it’s just cheaper competition.

Howard Schultz told executives in a memo last week that measures taken to fuel the coffee shop chain’s rapid expansion had led to a “watering down” of its iconic brand. —Agenda Inc

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America is so far behind in mobile technology. I just read this article over at Red Herring.

More and more Japanese are using mobile phones equipped with an electronic chip that lets them swipe their handsets over special readers to pay for train tickets and snacks at retailers.

One less thing to carry, one more opportunity to spend money I don’t have. Sweet!

And least we forget those fast food eaters.

Japan’s top mobile phone operator, plans to offer electronic payment services at McDonald’s Holdings Co. (Japan) outlets, with special promotions for some users.

The thought of never being without greasy food while out on a drunken night never felt so good.

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