December 17th, 2010

(no subject)

Those evil capitalists are at it again.

Mobile Phones for Women: A New Approach for Social Welfare in the Developing World

A 2010 report by London-based telecom industry advocacy group GSMA (for Groupe Speciale Mobile Association) and the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women found a "mobile gender gap" in low- and middle-income countries: women are 21 percent less likely than men to own a mobile phone. The rate is highest in Asia, at 37 percent. Once they get phones women nearly uniformly report feeling safer, more connected and more independent.

I'm sure this is just an insidious plan to keep women enslaved and make tons of money from them. Businesses never do anything to help people.

The assumptions we make about others

I am a volunteer for the NRA, (National Rifle Association for those outside the US) mostly I teach firearms safety and "man the booth" at events and competitions. On occasion I'll work the political angle, arguing against gun control. However, this post is not about gun control, it is about how we deal with others.

Recently a boardmember of the Violence Policy Center (the US' leading gun control advocacy group) posted this gem on her blog.

It's just natural to want to shoot someone when you don't agree with them or have a beef or you're drunk and can't quite think straight.
-Joan Peterson

Leading to Why are anti-gun activists so violent? as a running meme on several US gunblogs. and me re-asking a question raised by malasadas a few weeks back.

Are we all just pigs?

I have been in some heated political discussions, and even when drunk, I never felt the urge to attack the person I was disagreeing with. Am I unusual in this respect?

If I am, than I have to thuroughly re-evaluate my position.
Godzilla, default

Boobs, Racism, and improper use of apostrophes:

Greetings, O pundits of Talk_Politics. I now bring you news of a certain gentleman's club in Tennessee whose owner both little understands the concept of a grocer's apostrophe and more egregiously has a sign that belongs in such unenlightened and savage decades as the 1920s and 1940s:

This is a sign that is located, for yourself:

Now, I'm going to ask a simple question. Given things like this, the emphasis among certain wings of US conservative movements that the US President is not a US citizen (because he's black, natch),  that the President is the Antichrist-Caliph Nyarlathotep, that the President was simultaneously killing too many and too few terrorists, that he's a complete incompetent one minute and the US Stalin the next, the idea of Rand Paul that racial segregation in the sense referred to by this sign is permissible under the 1st Amendment, by what possible means of honesty and decency is it that those same wings say the only racism that exists in the USA today targets white people?

And tell me, should we leave it to the invisible hand of the market to protect civil rights for everyone or should we live in the real world and accept that the government sometimes has to limit the market to prevent chicanery like this in the first place?
Christmas - Walken

Jon Stewart blasts Senate Republicans for filibustering 9/11 responder bill, and then blasts media

Senate Republicans filibuster the Zadroga bill, but pass tax cuts for the wealthy, which is great news for firefighters who make over $200,000 a year.

Jon Stewart blasted two Republican senators for holding up passage of the Zadroga Bill, which is meant to help first responders with medical coverage for illnesses related to the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attacks. The bill is funded by apparently closing a business tax-loophole, but some Republicans still have some funding issues on the measure and are blocking a straight up-and-down vote. Stewart was unrelenting in his criticisms of the press, and in particularly with Fox News's ignoring the issue, which is ironic, since Fox News bases so much of its content on 9/11 "outrage." Speaking of irony: the one network that has sympathetic and extensive coverage for the 9/11 rescuers is Al Jazeera. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs substantiated Stewart's claims in a press conference today, noting that he has not been asked about the bill by any media outlets.

The video clip is viewable here. Later in the show, there was also an extensive interview with some of the 9/11 rescuers, and you see their reaction to Senator John Kyl (Arizona - R) whining because he thinks it's unfair to have to work the week between Christmas and New Years, to which the firemen and police officers noted that they gladly serve and do their duty through the holidays, why can't Congress? In a later interview, Mike Huckabee (former Republican governor of Arkansas and a Fox News personality) also blasted the two Republican senators blocking the bill, noting that a personal friend of his is dying from a 9/11 related illness, and has no medical coverage. Governor Huckabee also suggested that Senator Kyl should work through the week, since Congress already has taken too much time off the job.