Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Quick Hit

First....I am still alive, just very busy, as well as being emotionally and intellectually engaged elsewhere right now. As my 3 year-old would say "I can't tell you about that right now." Which really just means "I don't want to tell you about that right now."

Second, This is definitely worth checking out: Knocked Up and Knocked Down. If there's any doubt what impact the war on reproductive choice has, this oughtta lay it to rest. As predicted, the whittling away of affordable access to reproductive health services is resulting in a higher birth rate among poorer women, which feeds into a cycle where they become poorer, and thus less likely to have access to birth control or abortion services, and therefore at higher risk of unplanned pregnancies and birth, which makes them even poorer, etc.

On the other end of the spectrum, wealthier women are having fewer kids. Perhaps because our system makes it so very very difficult for women to parent and enjoy professional success at the same time. So it turns out a larger number of them are foregoing the whole mommy-track thing altogether. Which is a totally rational ( read here as "unfeminine") thing to do. Let the conservative handwringing commence.

And I have an adorable 3 year-old, a good movie, and a margarita waiting for me. Gotta go. See ya around.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Miscellanea

In a breathtaking display of the power of industry lobbying, Obama Administration Abandons Stricter Air-Quality Rules. Because what's a little (or a lot of) asthma in the general population compared to the money you can make when you're free to do...whatever?

In a downright shocking turn of events, the vast majority of welfare recipients who were forced to undergo mandatory drug testing in Florida (thanks Tea Party!) tested clean. Now the tax payers get to pay for a whole lotta drug tests. Now there's small government for ya: Not Druggies After All: 96 Percent of Florida Welfare Applicants Pass Tea Party Governor's Drug Test. The thing is, this wasn't about small government or anything like that. It was about sending a message to those on public assistance that we think they're inferior, lazy schmucks that need to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps already. Or something. And from that perspective, this testing program was a marvelous success. Well done, Tea Party.

Slate has an interesting piece about a woman who's following all the Biblical commands concerning women to the letter: A Year of Biblical Womanhood. It turns out that Rachel Held Evans' project demonstrates some facts that your more conventional (by which we mean male, of course) evangelicals don't want you to know. The scriptures that churches choose to enforce (like all that stuff about women being submissive and remaining silent in church) are carefully selected by those who will benefit from maintaining the subordinate servant class. However, all the other stuff it says that doesn't exactly benefit the dominant group just kind of falls by the wayside and gets forgotten. If the scriptures were really being adhered to in a complete and unselective way, men wouldn't get to have sex with their wives during her period or for 9 days afterward. That's like half the month, every month. Who the heck wants to enforce that kind of scriptural command?

Mother Jones ran a piece about The Teen Suicide Epidemic in Michele Bachmann's District, which has pretty much been ignored in mainstream media outlets. I would be interested in hearing what Ms. Bachmann has to say on the topic, but I doubt I'll be hearing that anytime soon.

In the New York Times Amy Schalet has an interesting piece about The Sleepover Question in which she discusses parental attitudes toward their teenaged children's sexuality.

According to the Institute for Policy Studies, CEO salaries have increased dramatically, while the taxes their corporations pay have shrunk continuously. Executive Excess 2011: The Massive CEO Rewards for Tax Dodging lays out the trend, in which the pay gap between what CEOs and average U.S. workers bring home rose from a ratio of 263-to-1 in 2009 to 325-to-1 in 2010. At the same time, CEOs don't appear to be doing anything that actually benefits shareholders (and their employees are certainly not benefiting either). In fact, the only thing they actually do seem to be accomplishing is driving down corporate taxes. Ya know, so they can get a bigger piece of the pie while everyone else's piece either stays the same or decreases. Gotta love 'em.

In a totally not surprising turn of events, Scientists Discover That Antimicrobial Wipes and Soaps May Be Making You (and Society) Sick. Yep. I think we already knew that. At least us health-nut conspiracy theorist freaks. What took y'all so long to figure that one out?

And finally, I cannot tell you how much I love this post: The Busy Bee Garden Project. It just makes me happy. What can I say?

Have a great weekend!