rants in the void

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here

Here there be monsters

98 notes

Conservative fears of nonexistent or overblown boogeymen — Saddam’s WMD, Shariah law, voter fraud, Obama’s radical anti-colonial mind-set, Benghazi, etc. — make it hard not to see conservatism’s prudent risk avoidance as having morphed into a state of near permanent paranoia, especially fueled by recurrent “moral panics,” a sociological phenomenon in which a group of “social entrepreneurs” whips up hysterical fears over a group of relatively powerless “folk devils” who are supposedly threatening the whole social order…

Consider the recent wave of hysteria over Central American children turning themselves in at the border. There were the hordes of angry demonstrators protesting busloads of children, like it was Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957. There was the congressman/doctor Phil Gingrey’s warning letter to the CDC, claiming that the children might be carrying the Ebola virus — a disease unknown outside Sub-Saharan Africa. There was the ludicrous myth of the “$50 million illegal alien resort spa.” But above all there was the most basic, fundamental fact that the children were turning themselves in at the border — it was anything but a failure of border protection, although that’s what the right-wing hysteria portrayed it as.

Put simply, none of what conservatives have been doing in the recent “border crisis” moral panic makes any sense in terms of pragmatic problem-solving. But it all makes perfect sense in terms of expressively defending a threatened group identity — and that is very much in line with what researchers have found to be the defining characteristics of conservatism.

Secrets of the right-wing brain: New study proves it — conservatives see a different, hostile world (via smdxn)

(via dendroica)

377 notes

At age 18, every American man gets a card in the mail from the federal government notifying him of the requirement to sign up for the Selective Service—commonly known as “the draft.” Women have always been excluded from this rite of passage, but New York lawyer Roy den Hollander is on a mission to change that. Hollander, a self-described “anti-feminist” lawyer, is planning a class-action lawsuit to force the federal government to include women in mandatory draft registration. The only problem is that Hollander can’t find any women to join his lawsuit. For the past year, Hollander has been trying to find a female plaintiff between ages 18 and 25 to act as the lead representative of his case. “It’s kind of like dating,” he explained in an interview. “First they say yes, then no, then maybe, then no.” In response to a reporter’s observation that women’s groups do not seem to like him very much, Hollander responded, “I think that might be the problem.” Hollander has made headlines by filing challenges to things such as ladies’ nights at bars, arguing they amount to gender discrimination. “There’s no justice for guys in this day and age,” Hollander, 67, said after a court threw out his case alleging age and gender discrimination because a New York nightclub forced him to buy bottle service to enter while allowing young women to walk in for free. An appeals court threw out two of his other lawsuits to halt federal funding of Columbia University’s feminist studies program. Hollander argued that feminism constitutes a “modern-day religion.” In a follow-up email to the Washington Free Beacon, Hollander sent along a list of the kinds of women he has attempted—and failed—to recruit for his case. The extensive catalogue included entries such as “Girl rugby players,” “Sororities,” and “Prof. Camille Paglia.” “Even [novelist] Erica Jong dissed my efforts,” Hollander wrote.

Anti-Feminist Lawyer Plans Lawsuit to Force Women to Register for Draft | Washington Free Beacon

I’ll just… leave this here.

(via bulletinaweave)

What.

(via cognitivedissonance)

He should talk to me. I’m pro-equality when it comes to the draft. Either women SHOULD be on it, or there should be no draft at all. Call me up. The military is one of the few places women are paid equally, have healthcare, have paid maternal leave etc. It’s far from perfect though. 

(via mpreg-tony)

I think that’s a terrible opinion for lots of reasons.

(via theroguefeminist)

Women more often than not don’t even support war, let alone mandatory draft registration

(via stfueverything)

I don’t believe anyone should have to register for the draft.

(via mommapolitico)

First of all, no one gets a letter from Selective Services anymore. Secondly, this asshole should check how many women in the military are raped.

(via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)

3 notes

Voter Caging In Wisconsin

crooksandliars:

Voter Caging In Wisconsin

Voter caging is a dirty little trick that the Republicans around the country have been using for over half a century to purge voters - mainly African Americans - from voting lists. Here’s how it works:

Voter caging is a practice of sending mass direct mailings to registered voters by non-forwardable mail, then compiling lists of voters, called “caging lists,” from the returned mail in order to formally challenge their right to vote on that basis alone. Other methods, such as database matching, have been used more recently to compile voter caging lists. The practice is used almost exclusively by officials or members of the Republican Party, local and national.

Wisconsin has not been spared from this crap.

In 2010, One Wisconsin Now broke the story of how Republicans, Americans for Prosperity and other Tea Party groups were conspiring to commit voter suppression - complete with a recording and transcription of their meeting discussing exactly how they were going to do it.

read more

114,954 notes

fuckyeah-nerdery:

i-come-by-it-honestly:

John Scalzi gets it.

John Scalzi isn’t just an awesome scifi writer, but an awesome person in general.

There’s a rape every 30 seconds in this country. A woman is beaten every 10 seconds by her partner. 75% of Americans know someone in an abusive relationship. So, yeah, the vast majority of men in this country are the problem or, at least, part of the problem. It isn’t “all men”, but it sure as fuck is FAR too many of them!! And every one of the men who say “it isn’t all of us”, need to step up and do more to make sure it isn’t ANY of us!

(via cognitivedissonance)

3,017 notes

Why did Affleck get so much attention for calling out Maher’s leftwing flavored Islamophobia? Reza Aslan, Rabia Chaudry and others have publicly discussed Maher’s beef with “the Muslim world” – why were Affleck’s comments the firestarter?

The simple answer: because Affleck isn’t Muslim. He is considered, in popular consciousness, to be “neutral” in this issue, so his impassioned defense against stereotyping resonated more powerfully. More people were inclined to listen when it comes from Affleck.

Celebrity activism is moving away from the publicity-focused photo ops as we see more celebrities get involved with causes on an intimate level. Instead of just joining an established charity, more and more stars are starting their own foundations and NGOs to address complicated issues.

But the sad reality is that attention still follows a script in our society: white men are encouraged to champion anything and everything, while women and people of color are encouraged to discuss issues that are closer to their gender and racial identity.

Latoya Peterson, "Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio, and the cult of the white male celebrity activist" (via wolfcola)

Really?! STFU!!

(Source: creatorbreakdown, via cognitivedissonance)

40 notes

demnewswire:

The Relentless Lies of Gov. Sam Brownback
All politicians spin. They exaggerate and make selective use of facts and data. These are tricks of the trade.
But I have never seen a public official lie as easily and as relentlessly as Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.
That sounds harsh, and it is possible that Brownback actually believes his own mythology. But much of what he has told the citizens of Kansas is flat out wrong.
Brownback has lied about the fiscal conditions he inherited. He spins a fantasy about a low-tax utopia even as his state is exhausting its budget reserves, staring at more cuts in education, and not experiencing the promised economic rebound. He has salted his administration with sycophants who tell lies of their own.

demnewswire:

The Relentless Lies of Gov. Sam Brownback

All politicians spin. They exaggerate and make selective use of facts and data. These are tricks of the trade.

But I have never seen a public official lie as easily and as relentlessly as Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.

That sounds harsh, and it is possible that Brownback actually believes his own mythology. But much of what he has told the citizens of Kansas is flat out wrong.

Brownback has lied about the fiscal conditions he inherited. He spins a fantasy about a low-tax utopia even as his state is exhausting its budget reserves, staring at more cuts in education, and not experiencing the promised economic rebound. He has salted his administration with sycophants who tell lies of their own.

(via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)