Pinky Links


can this “anti-government” lambasting be directly harmful? ~.m. by maria b.

i would argue yes, but not just in the sense of all these right-wing militias springing up.

count me among the people who were truly saddened to hear that the four missing miners from the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion last week were found dead. like a lot of people, i was really hoping for a miracle and that those four men would somehow be found alive (there were numerous references to the airtight safety chambers in the mines that had food and water in them.) it’s a scary enough thought thinking about working in such a dark, dirty and foreboding place for 40 hours a week, walking in tunnels miles and miles long over 1,000 feet underground. add to that all the health problems that can accompany this job–from a relatively mild vitamin D deficiency to the infamous Black Lung. sure, these people do alright financially, but even if they have health insurance and other benefits that come with the job, it is far from a stable occupation. having health insurance doesn’t prevent these workers from having health problems (unlike most other occupations, this one causes health problems.) and once the mining company decides that there is no longer a large enough payoff in working the mine, they close it up and the jobs are gone.

add to this situation, then, the fact that these mining companies, including Massey Energy who runs the Upper Big Branch Mine,  are actively and vocally opposed to government regulations to better ensure the physical safety of the men who work in the mines. it’s not enough that these mining companies speak and work against rules to improve mine safety, but they have found loopholes in the system whereby they can basically indefinitely avoid paying the monetary penalties–usually no more than several hundred thousand dollars–and avoid having to change anything about the way the mine functions (they appeal the citation/violation and it is hung up in court for years.) mining companies are very reluctant to close down a mine because it costs them a lot of money to shut down, fix the problem and then start up from a dead stop. purely a profit motive–risk the lives of the people in the mine to save a buck. so that means that, in places like the Upper Big Branch mine, despite the hundreds of safety violations the mine was cited for, the company can choose to simply pay no fine and nothing about the state or function of the mine changes. this, i would argue, then directly contributes to the mining disasters we’ve seen all too often in the past few years.

note to energy and mining company CEOs (like Don Blankenship) about government regulations: they are having to write these regulations because YOU are not doing enough to ensure the safety of your employees.

note to others who have problems with the government regulating industries: this system of capitalism focuses on monetary profits, NOT on quality of life improvements; it rewards the people who can get the most out of their employees for the least money, NOT the people who work more than 40-hour weeks. and, historically, if it had been left up to private companies and businesses to regulate themselves, we would have no weekends, no limit to how many hours an employer can ask us to work, no minimum wage, employers would be able to discriminate based on whatever basis they chose, the list goes on and on.

instead of Don Blankenship railing against the government and saying (ever so disingenuously) that it’s ridiculous to say that the government cares more about worker safety than he does, he should put his money where his mouth is. he should work WITH the government to establish standards, systems and rules that do a better job of ensuring the long- and short-term health and safety of the people who work the mines instead of allowing the effect on their families and physical well-being to be a crapshoot.

on a final note, i’ve never seen a person more brazenly motivated by money than this man–his political positions are based solely on his job and what political rules (or lack thereof) will make it easiest for him to make a profit, and that’s it. he’ll throw the environment under the bus (like so many, unfortunately), but he’s also willing to risk the lives of the people who work for him. so i completely disagree with him–the government NEEDS to get involved. the system NEEDS to be changed to shift the economic incentive to match up with the action that will best care for the mine employees.

Don Blankenship says that “politicians get emotional” about disasters. fuck yes, anyone with a soul would be emotional about the senseless and PREVENTABLE deaths of 29 people, the soulless fucktard who cares more about his profits than the loss of family members sees it as an inconvenient glitch in his mine’s production.

Advertisements


did he just say that. ~.m. by maria b.

timothy mcveigh. timothy mcveigh the guy that blew up the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City and killed or wounded more than 800 innocent people and caused more than $652 million worth of damage timothy mcveigh? timothy mcveigh who was found guilty of this and put to death for it in 2001? timothy mcveigh whose crime was, until September 11, 2001, the most significant act of terrorism on American soil timothy mcveigh? timothy mcveigh who did all that to revolt against what he considered to be a tyrannical federal government? timothy mcveigh who railed against taxes and called them  “a joke”? timothy mcveigh who said at Waco in 1993 that “I believe we are slowly turning into a socialist government. The government is continually growing bigger and more powerful and the people need to prepare to defend themselves against government control”? that timothy mcveigh? you consider him a patriot? what fucking universe are you living in where killing innocents is an honorable thing? if that’s how you feel, then you are no better than the religious radicals you purport to consider evil, and you are a hypocrite.



UPDATED: American democracy is fucked. and so are we. ~.m. by maria b.

i couldn't find a picture with all the crooked conservative justices in it, so i picked the one who is the most intellectually and morally corrupt.

so, the conservatives and “moderates” on the SCOTUS can lick a sweaty, hairy scrotum. they’ve just fucked the election process for the country, and, indirectly, all of us. in rare bipartisan fashion, both republican and democratic leaders are denouncing the decision. i need to move to Norway. i’m no constitutional scholar, but i fail to understand how a corporation’s First Amendment rights were being impinged upon by making them separate corporate profits from political monies. but, then again, i don’t consider a corporation to be a person, either. the majority opinion is a bunch of horseshit that goes against several precedents (aren’t conservatives the ones who are always railing against judicial activism??), and the effects of their decision will play out in the midterm elections this fall.

i’m too furious about the whole things to talk straight about this mess, but i’ve read and seen a couple things that explain why this decision is wrong-headed and bad for the country and its political process. this is the best one, but my new second-favorite senator (to Russ Feingold (D-WI)) Alan Grayson (D-FL) started working to counteract this decision before the Supreme Court had made its official ruling on the case. but an AP article published last week talks about a letter from 40 CEOs that are sick of being harrassed for campaign donations by Congressmen/women for money–and this was BEFORE this last SCOTUS decision on corporate political donations. ugh, i’m absolutely irate. and don’t even get me started on health insurance reform.

alito.

also: i’m really disappointed in Obama.

UPDATE: the folks over at Jezebel are just as worried about this SCOTUS decision as anyone, especially considering the implications it has on how the court might rule in a Roe related case. Justice Kennedy, what say you?



i’m getting really sick of this mainstreamed misogyny shit. ~.m. by maria b.

a.k.a. the GOP

so, i understand that misogyny is a part of American culture, as much as i detest it (and sometimes, admittedly, find funny.) but i didn’t understand that it was a part of our fucking government. jesus christ, are these guys for real??

rep. pete sessions (r-tx) said in a Rules Committee meeting this past Friday that healthcare coverage for women (“female-related conditions”) was like healthcare coverage for smokers. from Politico: Continue reading



This Put My Life In Perspective. -Z- by -Z-

Dallas Cowboys DeMarcus Ware should officially not be allowed to make this face.  After signing a contract for 78 millies, ESPN has  created a tragic fun salary cruncher that puts normal human salaries in perspective. 

In light of being in the midst of negotiating my own salary during a recession, I thought this was an appropriate, albeit tear inducing post.

Gah!



One Fifth Grade Teacher’s Quest to Help Me Find Jesus & Love Patriarchy by -Z- by -Z-
god-hates

I am at least 15 out of 38 of these delectable Devil-Loving types of people. What's with the IST'S as opposed to ISTS? Not the point of this post, but I'm just saying.... Sport's Nut's?

 Several weeks ago on Fuckbook, I posted the following quote as my Fuckbook status:

“I call myself a feminist. Isn’t that what you call someone who fights for women’s rights?” ~Dalai Lama

I got some little “Like This” thumbs-up signs and the following comments:

Yeah, more people would be willing to acknowledge/label themselves as feminists if more would be aware of its actual meaning and purpose… Sadly it’s a horribly misinterpreted and distorted term.
-Z-‘s Fifth Grade Teacher
Thanks to many of the feminists in the past who gave it a very bad connotation because of their radical agenda at that time. It wasn’t just about women’s rights, like voting, but distorted family and motherhood, in the process and was demeaning to many women, too.
Sometimes you have be ‘radical’ to shake people up and take notice.
I’d be interested to know what you are referencing when you say “distorted family and motherhood” and how feminism has demeaned women, Fifth Grade Teacher.
-Z-‘s Fifth Grade Teacher
I’m working on your answer!
A couple weeks later, and lo and behold, THE ANSWER pops up in my Fuckbook Message Inbox. 

THE ANSWER after the jump! Continue reading



yet another reason to detest john boehner (like you needed one.) ~.m. by maria b.
durrrr....

durrrr....

every time this waste of organic matter opens his mouth my blood pressure rises to the point that you can see the veins in my forehead. my fists clench, my jaw tightens, my pupils dilate, basically my entire sympathetic nervous system goes bat shit. i cannot STAND this guy. how he’s held office in Ohio for more than a term is  waaaayyy beyond me. seeing him tromp around behind dubya and parrot everything the bush administration had to say was just gross. and now he’s basically taking the opposite position of Obama on every single issue, just to be contrary and show how “Christian” and “Conservative” he is. he doesn’t work for the American people, and certainly not for Ohioans.

he’s against doing anything about America’s energy policy (besides offshore drilling and more subsidies for oil companies), about tax loopholes and subsidies for huge banks in the financial system, about lobbyists (shocking!), about improving America’s foreign relations and foreign policy, and now we can tack on HATE CRIMES legislation to that list.

that’s right, boehner is opposing the inclusion of the victims of violent crimes committed because of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability (protections are currently extended to victims of crimes based on race, color, religion and national origin.) when his office was questioned about WHY on earth you wouldn’t want to protect people who are targeted based on sexual or gender identity, his spokesman responded that Boehner “supports existing federal protections (based on race, religion, gender, etc) based on immutable characteristics…He does not support adding sexual orientation to the list of protected classes.”

that’s right! WHY would you base any of your political stances on SCIENCE??

so, recap: boehner believes that RELIGION is not a personal choice of a person, but that SEXUAL ORIENTATION is. this guy is so backwards i’m surprised that he’s not aging like Benjamin fucking Button. holy christ.