Thursday, August 30, 2007

I'm gonna be a supermodel. I know this isn't the sort of thing I usually post, but I had a fashion crisis this morning and the advice actually worked. It was so miraculous, I had to share.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

He's got a love song that he made. I'm skeptical, but historians now claim that there is evidence of gay civil unions 600 years ago. Apparently in Medieval Europe, people had more important things to worry about than with whom or what their next door neighbor was having sex. Think of it as an older, muddier form of the Boston Marriage.

Monday, August 27, 2007

He was a missionary man. I love Ted Haggard. Whenever he shows up, I just know something magical is about to happen. Whether it be in The Protocols of Zion where, upon meeting a Holocaust survivor, he says, "Aww, God Bless You" with the same tone you might use to congratulate a 4th grader on winning the local spelling bee or in Jesus Camp where he spews his sugar-coated invective, I always cheer with Schadenfreude-induced glee. There's nothing better than a hate-monger receiving his gay-prostitution-and-crystal-meth-flavored comeuppance. Good riddance.

However, he's at it again. Old Smoosh-Face wants you to send him and his family money so they can minister to halfway house residents while studying at the University of Phoenix. In his fundraising letter, Haggard thoughtfully provides information for you to donate to his "mission" through the not-for-profit organization Families With a Mission, which turns out to be run by a registered sex offender. Man oh man, Ted Haggard is the gift that keeps on giving.

I have a proposal for all you True Christians out there: Donate to me. I quit my job and moved across the world to help victims of rape and incest. I will soon be applying to graduate school to earn an incredibly helpful masters of public health. I have never committed a crime. And I have not nor will I ever be a solicitor of prostitutes, user of crystal meth, or supporter of pedophiles. If you invest in me, you truly will be investing in a hard-working individual who will dedicate her life to making the world a better place. I'll even set up a foundation at my own expense so that you can write-off your donations. Come on, Religious Right! Put your money where your mouth is and support someone who isn't a hypocrite.

(Side note: Did anyone else think that Levi from Jesus Camp was hilarious when he said that meeting non-Christians gave him the willies? I mean, kid, where do you think your Bible comes from? I'll tell you. It comes from JEWS! And where do you think your name comes from? A Levi is a High Priest in the Hebrew Temple. Your whole identity is full of big fat JUDAISM! Read a book!)

Bigmouth strikes again. Today is a beautiful day, my friends. First Karl Rove, now Gonzales. The only dark spot is the threat of Chertoff taking his place. Haven't we suffered enough?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I hate to sleep alone. It's been a while since I posted a pearl of Dan Savage wisdom, but this week offers a truly wise nugget. I offer it as an addendum to this post from several years back. Luckily for me, some things have changed. Unluckily for the rest of the world, most men have not:

What's a good response to the extremely trite, cliched statement, "I'm not good at commitment?"

"Commit to pulling your dick out of me, then commit to getting the fuck out of my apartment."

Monday, August 20, 2007

The trench is dug within our hearts. If you do a Google search for the words "Israel" and "Darfur," you will find a plethora of links all leading to this article detailing how evil Israel turned away 50 Darfur refugees who illegally entered the country from Egypt. "Israel turns away Darfur refugees" the headline screams. That evil, despicable Israel. What a den of compassionless sin! Apparently, genocide is bad, but Israel is worse.

What these headlines don't tell you is that Israel already has accepted 1,500 refugees with 1,500 more waiting entry (in prison, unfortunately). I've actually seen some of them as they spent shabbat with us in my boyfriend's village. These headlines also don't tell you that the refugees are fleeing Egypt because they are being harassed and, in some cases, murdered.

Let me get this straight. The fact that Israel turns away 50 refugees warrants a CNN News Alert, but the fact that the same people are being murdered in Egypt doesn't warrant coverage? And how come other countries such as the United States aren't volunteering to take in refugees or working with the surrounding nations to iron out a solution if they are all so concerned?

I'm not saying it's a good thing for Israel to turn away refugees. Clearly there needs to be new government policy designed to deal with this situation (and as someone who has spent the last several months working closely with the Israeli legislative process, I will say that you might be waiting a long time for this to get sorted out). Let's put the blame where the blame is due. Israel's refusal to accept 50 illegal immigrants (remember how much we love those in America?) does not a genocide make. And besides, Israel is a tiny country that's trying to work out its own rather hefty problems. Let's see a country with some global muscle do something, and stop blaming the underdog!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

What a wookie. Inexplicably, I have had several discussions about FGM lately, and it seems that the media is following suit. Despite banning the practice nine years ago, Egypt witnessed the second death in three months due to complications arising from FGM surgery. This only underlines my consistent point on the subject: I don't care how culturally sensitive you are or unwilling you are to judge foreign social constructs, FGM is bad.

As much as I disagree with female circumcision, the male version doesn't bother me as much because male circumcision has proven medical benefits. Last fall, reporting on a randomized controlled trial in South Africa, scientists found that circumcision reduced female-to-male HIV transmission by 60 percent because of the susceptibility of the foreskin. "Male circumcision provides a degree of protection against acquiring HIV infection, equivalent to what a vaccine of high efficacy would have achieved," they wrote. It was, they observed, "the first experimental study demonstrating that surgery can be used to prevent an infectious disease." Using the new data, scientists estimate that over the next 20 years, circumcision in sub-Saharan Africa could prevent 6 million infections and 3 million deaths [Source].

Hilariously, anti-circumcision advocates refuse to acknowledge the health benefits of male circumcision, blindly calling the practice barbaric. The most hilarious, in my opinion, is Jews Against Circumcision. After perusing their website for information as to why I should refuse to circumcise my (as-yet unborn) sons, I could find no legitimate medical reasoning to support their claim. I was, however, awarded with this juicy tidbit: "[Circumcision] sets off a ripple of hormonal changes that wire the child's brain to cope with a malevolent world. Males are violent due to circumcision. It is usually boys who go to school and kill people; they are violent since their brains are wired for violence from infancy." So, if circumcision makes men violent, how do you count for all the millions of men who were not and are not circumcised but who are violent? For example, the Crusaders, the Khmer Rouge, and the Nazis have no history of circumcision yet were remarkably violent, arguably more so than Jews. According to their website, Jews are some of the smartest people in the world, holding 33% of awarded Nobel Prizes. Apparently, these people aren't those types of Jews.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The blindest of the blind. Dear Readers, I pose to you the following question. I received the following CNN News Alerts today. One of these was sent to me simply as an article of interest and the other as a Breaking News Alert, ideally reserved for the most pressing of events. The first discusses a newly-created Hezbollah video game in which children gain points by kidnapping and killing Israeli soldiers. The second, ostensibly more important Breaking News Alert informed me that President Bush's idiot daughter is engaged. Now, Readers, I ask you, do you see these designations of the importance of current events as accurate? Is Jenna Bush's impending marriage (to Karl Rove's ex-assistant, no less) really more important than the brainwashing of children?

This is example #865 of the stupidity of America.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Promiscuous girl, you're teasing me. If you're like me, and you find those surveys reporting that men have twice the average number of sex partners in a lifetime as women somewhat disconcerting, your suspicions have been confirmed. This somewhat hilarious piece from the "New York Times" claims that those studies which report that men have a median of seven female sex partners while women have a median of four male sex partners are mathematically impossible. It's pretty logical, if you think about it. I mean, what happened to those three extra women the men reported sleeping with? Does the average man buy prostitutes or sleep around? Or are men and women just using the "Rule of Three" so expertly explained in American Pie 2?

When asked, Ronald Graham, a professor of mathematics and computer science at the University of California, San Diego, positied that "Some might be imaginary. Maybe two are in the man’s mind and one really exists." I told you this was vaguely hilarious.

It's calling out to idiot America. You'd hope that this little controversy would have settled down by now, but apparently Cleavage-Gate is still well under way. Commentators are hypothesizing that Hillary Clinton did this "on purpose" to "soften" her image and up her sex appeal. A candidate as poised as Clinton doesn't slip up and flash Congress by accident.

Why does Hillary Clinton need to defend her womanhood? She's clearly a woman. She clearly gave birth to a daughter. Hell, she went to a women's college. So why does Bill Clinton need to tell "Good Morning America," "I don’t think [Hillary’s] trying to be a man." Yet the media seems to be more and more obsessed with candidate fashion, pointing out the replacement of Hillary's trademark black pantsuit with softer pastel shades! I don't know a thing about her stance on health care or the Middle East Peace process, but at least she's wearing lavender. I'm so relieved!

According to the Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University, male candidates receive about 5 percent more issues coverage than do females because of this preoccupation with appearance. Research has also shown that winning women candidates are "typically those who are best able to balance stereotypically masculine and feminine images and issues, posing with children as well as in formal suits, and discussing both health care and defense. Those who are seen as too feminine tend to lose races, while those who are seen as 'too hard' work frantically to soften their images." [Source] Basically, the ladies have to prove they are tough enough to go to war but not too tough so that they won't bake you cookies. We don't really care what they have to say; we just care about how they make us feel.

Let's put it this way: Almost every country in the developed world has been represented by women. Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Israel, Norway, France, Finland, Iceland, and New Zealand (to name a few) have all had female heads of government and even more have had female heads of state. Hell, even countries the United States paints as hopelessly backwards such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Haiti, Indonesia, Senegal, and Rwanda have had women heads of government. Americans have the opportunity to support a strong, intelligent woman who is an exemplary candidate, yet they can't stop arguing about two centimeters of boob long enough to actually judge her by her merits. We are a nation obsessed with image and incapable of intellectual analysis. This really burns my toast.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game. We know that presidential candidates like to skirt the issue, but, as this points out, they're avoiding topics we didn't even notice they were avoiding!

I especially enjoy this observation about the United States' "bloated military budget:"

Home of the brave, my ass. What kind of a country needs to spend more money on "defense" than all the other nations on earth combined and is still as collectively paranoid as a cuckolded husband in the throes of an amphetamine psychosis? A huge Military-Industrial complex overcharges taxpayers on a scale that makes the pharmaceutical industry look like Robin Hood. It's the biggest financial scam in human history, but no serious candidate dares to say peep, less he or she be seen as unpatriotic.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Thank heaven for little girls. I really can't take this crap anymore. This isn't an Amish or Haredi company, either. Oh no. This is a company that seeks to bring back traditional "modesty" by bringing back 19th century swimwear. Apparently this makes us "wholesome" instead of "insane."

Look, I understand why you might want to wear an oversized T-shirt over their bathing suit at the beach. I mean, I hardly ever think I look good in my bathing suit, either. But to bring back this antiquated need to cover women in the name of modesty is just... bizarre.