No Excuses

Shots were fired today at the US holocaust museum in DC. Right now, Fox News is reporting that 3 are wounded and police have caught the gunman.

We don’t know yet who it was. We don’t know yet why he did it.  There’s simply no excuse for it. None.

I write that now because someone’ll be sympathetic to the gunman.

LATER: I’m not going to update this regularly to keep the most up to date information in the post. There are better people doing  just that and we’ve got a huge storm bearing down on us right now. I’ll weigh in when we have the whole story.

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The War Is Here

Think that the war for Palestine couldn’t ever come here? Think again.

That’s Minnesota. Scary stuff.

[Via Hyacinth Girl.]

Goodwill Gone

I woke up this morning all full of goodwill toward my fellow man. I was ready to put the bitter hatred of the past eight years behind me. I was feeling rosy and cheery and almost happy that at least I wouldn’t have to hear the lamentations about W that I’ve been tortured with for the past eight years. I didn’t exactly support Obama, but I didn’t want him to fall flat on his face.

That’s changed a bit now. You see, now I realize the kind of people to which we’re going to be subjected for the next four years.

Obama’s inauguration was full of attacks on his predecessor.  His supporters jeered at W as the Bush family left to go home to Crawford.

W has been nothing but gracious to the incoming administration. Can the supporters of the incoming administration have a little grace in their win? Hell, can the new president have a little grace in his win? Apparently not.

Motherfuckers.

So earlier I was every bit “let’s be nice” and “let’s not wish Obama ill.” Fuck that. That bastard is going down. What makes it so sweet is that he’ll do it to himself.

Can’t wait to watch the carnage.

SIDE NOTE: W was not the monster the media made him out to be. Finally, there’s a rational look at W’s presidency. [Via Cranky-D.]

Why Bother?

Alternate Title: How Commenters Can Ruin a Perfectly Good Blog.

So there’s this political blog I like. It’s a strictly political blog with a libertarian bent that appeals to me. I used to comment a lot, but not so much now. (The blog in question isn’t on my blogroll anymore. And I’m not writing this to start a blog war. So no revealing the blog name for me.)

The trouble isn’t the blog or the blogger; it’s the commenters. Their responses to my comments are irrational. I comment A in response to a post; they argue like I wrote B. It was frustrating. I’d explain over and over that I meant A, but it didn’t seem to matter.  They’d respond over and over that I really meant B when I wrote A.

So I got into the habit of only commenting once in response to a post, no matter how later commenters reacted. It was still frustrating for me because I’d read how the other commenters would twist and turn my one comment. Over time, I found that I commented there less and less.

Now, I’ve resolved not to comment there at all. There will be no links to there from here now, either. And like I wrote earlier, I’ve removed them from the blogroll. This isn’t the first time I’ve stopped visiting a blog just because of the commenters.

The whole problem illustrates the importance of having good moderators (or at least a good troll policy involving deletion). When irrational commenters/trolls attack, they don’t do so with an intent to debate the subject. They do so with the intention of disrupting the conversation and stopping it from reaching any meaningful conclusion. 

It can kill a blog.

Few people visit blogs to only read what the blogger wrote. They visit blogs to read what the blogger wrote and converse in the comments about what they’ve read. When you shut down that conversation, little incentive remains for people to continue visiting the blog.

If a blogger wants traffic in any long-term way, they need to find a method to control the comments. There’s no way of sustaining high traffic without it.

The Price of Feminism

Rebecca Walker’s article in The Mail Online has received a bit of attention in blogs. Rebecca Walker is noted feminist Alice Walker’s daughter. (Credit: I found it first at Dr. Helen’s blog.)

I’m not a feminist. And there are many reasons why. This is one. From the article:

My mother’s feminist principles coloured every aspect of my life. As a little girl, I wasn’t even allowed to play with dolls or stuffed toys in case they brought out a maternal instinct. It was drummed into me that being a mother, raising children and running a home were a form of slavery. Having a career, travelling the world and being independent were what really mattered according to her.

According to the strident feminist ideology of the Seventies, women were sisters first, and my mother chose to see me as a sister rather than a daughter. From the age of 13, I spent days at a time alone while my mother retreated to her writing studio  –  some 100 miles away. I was left with money to buy my own meals and lived on a diet of fast food.

But the truth was I was very lonely and, with my mother’s knowledge, started having sex at 13. I guess it was a relief for my mother as it meant I was less demanding. And she felt that being sexually active was empowering for me because it meant I was in control of my body.

Oh, I don’t believe that all feminists are as cold as Alice Walker seems to be in this article. But I do think that one of the underlining principles of feminism is that motherhood isn’t important, that women can ignore and shove aside their biological clocks without consequence. Rebecca Walker says it well in her article:

Then there is the issue of not having children. Even now, I meet women in their 30s who are ambivalent about having a family. They say things like: ‘I’d like a child. If it happens, it happens.’ I tell them: ‘Go home and get on with it because your window of opportunity is very small.’ As I know only too well.

Then I meet women in their 40s who are devastated because they spent two decades working on a PhD or becoming a partner in a law firm, and they missed out on having a family. Thanks to the feminist movement, they discounted their biological clocks. They’ve missed the opportunity and they’re bereft.

Feminism has betrayed an entire generation of women into childlessness. It is devastating.

In college, I was like the 30-something women described above. I thought I had years and years of time, that modern medicine would allow me to have children whenever I wanted.  That, of course, is a lie. And it’s a big one perpetuated by the “you can have it all” faux miracle mentality espoused by feminists. Modern medicine, as great as it is, can only do so much.

The entire article is good, and quite a bit longer than I’ve quoted here. It’s worth a read.

Hello, Soap Box: It’s ignorant and downright arrogant to assume that you can have it all. I’ve learned that the best things in life, the worthiest things in life, have to be worked for, sacrificed for, and sweated over. You can’t just shove one aspect of your life aside and assume you can just easily pick it up later when it’s convenient. Life doesn’t work that way: Nothing worthy is easy. And there’s no way to have everything you want of worth. There are always sacrifices. Telling women that they can have it all is a betrayal of the women who sweated, worked, and sacrificed for something worthy. It’s negating their hard work by selling fast and easy to a gullible audience all too willing to believe in faux miracles.