because I said so

telling it like I think it is: sunili’s blog

Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Palin sucks

fun links to keep the masses occupied

with one comment

Gah, it looks like I may have called an end to my hiatus too early. But we did have a good couple of weeks up-til now, so I’ll count that as a blessing.

Until I have time to pull together all the notes scattered through my several Moleskines (I try to be organised, but I think I am a scatterbrain at heart) into real blog posts, here are some fun things for y’all to read:

If you think that’s special, then think about this. Pfotenhauer said that she lives in a place called Oakton, Va. Oakton is located in Fairfax County. Pfotenhauer implied that the country was part of “real America” because it was open to the possibility of electing John McCain. Here’s the problem: Fairfax County, like its neighbors, are in the process of turning colors. (We can detect this with a special version of a mass spectrometer called a “ballot box.”)

Like regular charges of left-wing bias against the ABC, the moral panic evident in submissions to the Senate inquiry rests on a certain implicit, though questionable, assumption – namely, that only deviation from prevailing orthodoxy constitutes bias.

Conventional views are presumed neutral, and the possibility is never entertained they may be invisibly, systematically biased in the other direction. It follows that the regular complaints of bias and proposed remedies are a form of harassment designed to maintain doctrinal conformity.

However, the highest educational ideals require precisely the reverse attitude – that is, encouraging the exploration of alternatives to preferred, taken-for-granted views. As Bertrand Russell remarked, education should make students think, not to think what their teacher (or government) thinks.

Found any good web-treats recently? Please share!

Love,
Sunili xoxo

Written by Sunili

20 October 2008 at 6:02 pm

Rupe’s Troops Rally for the Cause

with one comment

So I gave up reading news.com.au because it is like 99.6% tabloid crap, but The Australian is starting to piss me off again.  I can’t remember why I quit it last time, and I don’t know why I went back again this morning. A ‘comment’ piece in the flashing Opinion widget at the top of the site got my attention, though:

To what extent is the Democratic presidential nominee still in thrall to extremist friends, asks Mervyn Bendle?

The online copy editors @ News Ltd really need to get off the crack and actually read the articles before writing the subhead/dek.

One assuming this piece is going to be a considered analysis of the totally ridiculous (and totally refuted) claims about Obes Pallin’ Around With Terrorists, which one should expect in a country in which there are unlikely to be many swing/undecided voters, would in all likelihood be confused to find themselves reading propagandist drivel that reads like a stump speech delivered to rednecks who will respond with “Terrorist!” and “Kill Him”.

Merv, who is apparently a “senior lecturer in history and communications at James Cook University”, apparently also wants a job as She Who Will Not Be Named’s speechwriter.

Because why else will some bogan from a Queensland uni care to spout out random facts and 40-year old soundbites about The Weathermen, select snippets from Obama’s books about his influences and then make ominous warnings about What American Voters Really Need to Think About (dun dun dun):

The question that the American people may have to ask themselves is how much this extremist milieu still drives Obama’s political outlook and how much it will guide his decisions, policies and appointments throughout the federal government system as the next president of the US.

Don’t it just fill you with fear and trepidation? Don’t you hear the call to arms to ring up your friends Nelly-May and Billy-John who live in some Red State and warn them of the imminent danger of That Radical Extremist*?

Aside from the lame/misleading technicalities, why the eff is this article even in The AUSTRALIAN?

Yeah, ok, people are allowed to have their opinions, and WTF-ever, Rupert’s editorial cronies are allowed to print whoever’s opinions they want, but seriously, how is propaganda for the US election worthy of publication in this country’s national paper?

Sigh. I don’t know why I even bother.

Aside: not to get too nit-picky, or nothin’, but do you think McCain knows that a press release listing big donors who support him includes Leonore Annenberg, chief of protocol in the Reagan White House, the president/chair of the Pennsylvania-based Annenberg Foundation and the widow of Walter H Annenberg, the late publisher, philanthropist, ambassador, and founder of the  Chicago Annenberg Challenge (that being the nasty “radical” organisation that indelibly taints Obama with horrible, evil, lefty-terrorist-scumness)? The Republicans are a fricking joke.

* From the Devil’s Republican’s Dictionary/Thesaurus

Radical Extremist“: (n) 1. generally, a coloured person; or a white person who may like coloured persons. 2. Terrorist. See also: Socialist; Gun-Hater (But Bombthrower); Baby Killer.

Written by Sunili

13 October 2008 at 6:18 pm

Olbermann: It’s Palin doing the pallin’ around with terrorists

with 3 comments

This is my last and final post on Sarah Palin. I mean it.

Because MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann has set out everything that ever needs to be explained about the Republicans’ Vice Presidential candidate role in the 2008 US Presidential election.

This is “the be all and end all”.  This is it.

The video is some 11 minutes long (the transcript is 2 pages), but bear with it.

Because after that, there is nothing more to be said (or read) about the distraction that is Governor Sarah Palin, and everyone can get back to the real issues that matter to America (and the rest of us…).

read more | digg story

Written by Sunili

7 October 2008 at 11:05 am

Posted in politics

Tagged with ,

women in “power”

leave a comment »

Following up from my anti-affirmative action rambles, just a quick thought about how the glass ceiling is so totally *not* broken…

There was an interesting op-ed from Michelle Gratton in the Sydney Morning Herald over the weekend which pointed out that, like Palin, both Julia Gillard and Julie Bishop are the Deputies in their respective parties.

I wish to comment on just this little bit for now:

While Julia Gillard apparently made a no-comment on her personal opinions on Sarah Palin, Julie Bishop said she watched the debate and was rather impressed:

“She’s [Palin] succeeded in life with strength while retaining her femininity. But she doesn’t trade on her challenges in life or on her femininity,” Bishop said.

I am not surprised Bishop reckons Palin’s femininity makes up for the fact the Alaskan Governor comes across as a complete airhead.

But let me try to figure out what the Shadow Treasurer meant… she likes that Palin succeeded through bullying, while staying “hot”?

And, even though she didn’t trade her lipstick and pitbull behaviour, she did trade, judging by her performances over the last, “what, like, five weeks?” *wink”, all reason, rationality, intelligence, logic, and other such qualities we no longer need in our leaders?

Psh.

(See this excellent Newsweek story: “Yes, she won the debate by not imploding. But governing requires knowledge, and mindless populism is just that—mindless.“)

While I don’t have a problem with femininity, I seriously have a problem with “women in power” who use that trait, instead of brains and good ideas and reasoned arguments, in order to get where they are.

But, on the other hand, Gratten included an observation that “Gillard can mix it with the boys. Bishop can’t. Gillard can cope in a man’s world. Bishop is operating in a man’s world”.

Most will probably know about the brouhaha over Gillard’s boring suits/haircut and lack of children/flowers on her kitchen table.  Does that make her more suited to cut it in a “man’s word”?

I long for the day when women can succeed in a “man’s world” without having to either be:

  1. an air-head pretty-girl/hockey-mom;
  2. knocked for not having flowers on one’s kitchen table; or
  3. the daughter/wife of an assassinated sub-continental leader.

Because until then, it’s still a man’s world, and until it stops being a man’s world, we’re still suffocating in the glass house.

But at least there’re pretty flowers in here, right? Right? We need those for the kitchen table…

Written by Sunili

6 October 2008 at 6:46 pm

when affirmative is a negative

with 4 comments

I alluded to Sarah Palin the other day, and despite the fact I’d kinda made a promise to myself to not *actually* blog about her, I don’t think I can contain it any more.

Sometimes she’ll make me laugh, which is nice, but then I’ll realise the possibility of her being the next Dick Cheney, heck, the next Dubya, and I get freaked out.

Gah.  Do people not remember that Geena Davis show where the VP, who just so happens to be female, has to be the President because the actual president carked it?

You guys, that show GOT CANCELLED!!!!

And that was EVEN WHEN the VP/Prez was Geena Davis. WHO IS AWESOME.  But now, it could all happen IN REAL LIFE, but not with someone cool like Geena Davis, who was even in the Olympics, but with THIS PERSON:

ZOMFG!!!

We can’t just expect the programming executives to JUST CANCEL REALITY IF IT SUCKS and replace it with a better show!! If that was possible, it would have already happened, like 7.6 years ago!!!!

[break for Sunili to go and get a drink and maybe slam the door to the cabinet where all the tea is.]

Ok you guys.

I am going to try to not get angry.  This post is gonna be hard, but I just HAVE to say some stuff about affirmative action, and I know I could wait ’til I can blog about it without reference to her, but this is the perfect effing example of What Not To Do when you’re trying to do affirmative action.

“Affirmative action” is generally about positive steps taken to increase the representation of women or minorities to increase that particular group’s opportunities in employment, education, business or politics — you know, areas from which they have been historically excluded.

Stanford Uni’s Encyclopedia of Philosphy says, however, that:

When those steps involve preferential selection—selection on the basis of race, gender, or ethnicity—affirmative action generates intense controversy. …

The affirmative action debate throws up many ironies but one in particular should be noted. From the time in 1973 when Judith Jarvis Thomson conjectured that it was “not entirely inappropriate” that white males bear the costs of the community’s “making amends” to blacks and women through preferential affirmative action, the affirmative action debate has been distracted by intense quarrels over who deserves what. Do the beneficiaries of affirmative action deserve their benefits. Do the losers deserve their loss?

I want to leave those debates out of this for now.  I want to talk about just one practical thing that has been bugging me.

First of all, in case you don’t know me, let me say this: I am a brown woman.  Theoretically, I should join the Affirmative Action Fan Club. Because — again, theoretically — it should help me cruise through life.  If I (heaven forbid) one day end up in a wheelchair, I would be a DIVERSITY GOLD MINE.

But I just do not like the idea of getting picked for something simply because I am a women, or because I am an immigrant.

I would MUCH RATHER get the position because I was the best PERSON to fill that role. I would not want to be chosen to work as a Whatever Officer for Whatever Corp Pty Ltd simply because I was a brown woman, when there was a white guy, or a white woman who would be a much better Whatever Officer.

Similarly, if I was applying for a job where like, because of some special, inherent genetic trait, the person had to be a brown woman, I would apply knowing that in the selection process, they were looking for the best brown woman, who had the best genetic qualities and skills required to operate the XX-Melanin Machine owhatever.  If I didn’t have those skills or capabilities, but I got selected because I have the longest eyelashes, and that was important to diversity or some shit, I would totally be putting myself in a bad position.  What if I blew the XX-Melanin Machine??

Anyway. That was probably a shit analogy, but I hope you still get my point.

So let’s talk about Sarah Effing Palin, shall we?

We ALL KNOW she was only picked because she was a woman. There must be THOUSANDS of people better qualified to be the Vice President of the United States than she is.  The only thing she has going for her? She’s a woman.

Now, I know people will say that oh, if McCain wanted a women, there are heaps of other women he could have picked, so clearly she had something else going for her.

To those people I ask, honestly, truly, because I want to know: Like WHAT?

What, other than the twinkle in her eye and tattooed lipliner and that folksy accent, does she have that qualifies her for that job? “Executive experience”? Give me an effing break.

Someone in the Grand Old Party (thanks Loobie!) had the BRILLIANT idea that if they picked a woman, the could get all the Hillaryites to vote for a woman.

Do you know what Sarah Palin represents? She epitomizes everything that goes wrong when you pick someone for a role because you need to tick a box. For whatever reason, be it for legal requirements, to feel self-indulgently good about supporting minorities, or for a callous marketing decision, when you just pick a person because they are the Right Type of Person, but not the Right Person For The Role, you totally fuck it up.

You get someone totally effing horrible for the role.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I do think there is a place for affirmative action.  You simply cannot deny the sociological truth that there are groups of peoples in communities and countries all over the world who have historically been marginalised, and that there needs to be measures put in place to redress that marginalisation.

But it does NOT improve the status of women to put a completely unqualified person in a position like candidate for Vice President of the United States of America.  For heavens.  If she gets it, they’re not going to let a woman run for an office like that FOR YEARS.  It’s going to take us like 50 years BACKWARDS!!

Or, for a more serious explanation than a LOLcat photo, from The Guardian:

At least three times last night, Sarah Palin, the adorable, preposterous vice-presidential candidate, winked at the audience. Had a male candidate with a similar reputation for attractive vapidity made such a brazen attempt to flirt his way into the good graces of the voting public, it would have universally noted, discussed and mocked. Palin, however, has single-handedly so lowered the standards both for female candidates and American political discourse that, with her newfound ability to speak in more-or-less full sentences, she is now deemed to have performed acceptably last night. (via karion)

Sure, get girls or and Indigenous kids or heck, little white boys who grew up in a trailer park into targeted educational programs and whatnot to give them the OPPORTUNITY TO GOOD ENOUGH TO BE PRESIDENT.  That, my friends, is what affirmative action is SUPPOSED TO DO.

But no sane person would just stick some random African American there to prove that the country isn’t racist anymore.

Obama? Yeah, he’s black. But did he just get the Democratic Party’s nomination for Presidential candidate because he’s black? NO. He proved, through that gruelling and heart-wrenching primary process, that he was the BEST PERSON TO GO FOR THE JOB out of everyone that was running.

I supported Hillary Clinton in the primaries.  At that time, I thought that she was the best person running.  I totes respected Obama and thought he was great, but I was of the opinion that Hillary could continue the work she started while First Lady.  She didn’t get it and that’s fine.  I was disappointed but that’s the way it works.  Now I think Barack Obama is the best person to be President of the United States. Because, John McCain?

Do people in America want this guy to be around the Big Red Button for the next four years?

Really?

Oh gods.  Should I just start learning Chinese and Russian now?

“Look at moiye…”

leave a comment »

Apparently there’s an American Kath & Kim coming out in a couple of days. The producers must’ve been shirted off that they didn’t get Sarah Palin to star as Kath… I can kinda imagine her and Bristol shopping at Ice-Fountain Gate, and her accent has the perfect comedic effect.  But maybes that’ll be something for Tina Fey to do on SNL when the McCain camp admits that letting her do interviews with Katie Couric was a Really. Bad. Idea?

ANYWAY. What was I going to say? Oy. Stream-of-consciousness blogging was probably a bad idea.

Oh yeah, so.  During my “hiatus” (or, more actually, last night, when I couldn’t sleep. Again) I was thinking that I need to define this blog properly.  ‘Cause seriously. WTF am I doing here?

Rogue Ink’s impending-relaunch post yesterday got me thinking about defining a blog’s purpose and existence and stuff. I did the break, I even sneakily changed the layout (like, three times) but then I just came back (mainly because I just had too much to say) without actually thinking about what exactly I am trying to do here.

So here I am, thinking aloud (in the sound of typing?) and having a good, hard look at my blog.

I mentioned that this was supposed to be for “serious” posts and stuff… but, in all seriousness, what do I think this is? Time/The Economist? Pssh.

It’s not like I rely on SEO (oooh! Fancy Geeklish!) or hits or getting/keeping readers to earn a living. I just have shit to say, and here, I don’t get offended if nobody reads it.  Mainly because I have low expectations.

While I always have something to say on things like politics and media, there is this overwhelming tendency for me to relate how I feel about an issue and, since this is MY Blog I can’t see why I need to pretend to be serious.

I can be serious at work and stuff (like, if I want to submit serious articles to other serious places) but this is my me space.  And I’m usually not very serious.

So that’s that.  I’m not going to self-censor myself and cut out the self-indulgent rambling that I may/will want to, from time to time, indulge in for the sake of pretending that this blog is serious.  All you readers are hereby warned.

There’s just this one caveat: I promise I won’t turn this into my LiveJournal. We’re well over the early Noughties, so that’s that.  I will at least try to relate the incessant me-rambling to serious-ish issues, even if the effect is not so serious.

In the immortal words of Heath’s Joker, “Why So Serious?”.  (That quote would have probably been a better choice for title to this post. Meh.)

Written by Sunili

2 October 2008 at 7:33 pm

101* things I missed blogging about over the last few weeks

with one comment

(*note: number may or may not refer to actual count of items in the list below, and most likely refers to the number of posts in this blog so far):

Right, that’ll do. I’m not going to count those things, because I suck at counting, but, I hope y’all enjoy those links til I find time to get back to seriously writing about stuff… hopefully not too long now!

Until then, in the words of Gossip Girl,

you know you love me
xoxo