Smart people saying smart things

danah boyd: “What Anti-Trafficking Advocates Can Learn from Sex Workers: The Dynamics of Choice, Circumstance, and Coercion”

What sex workers see can be of great value to combating sexual exploitation, but leveraging this knowledge requires collaborations between unlikely parties. My hope is that anti-trafficking advocates and sex workers can find ways to work together to combat commercial sexual exploitation. They have a lot to learn from one another about the complexities of the issue. When it comes to sexual exploitation, pro-sex advocates are not at odds with anti-trafficking organizations. They may see the world from a different perspective, but both groups want to end exploitation.

Of course, this all presupposes that the goal is to actually combat commercial sexual exploitation, change structural conditions to minimize oppression, and otherwise address the crux of the issue. Which, I admit, is a bit optimistic given the highly political nature of all of this.

Maria Mazzenga: “A Tale of Two Ryans”

Many of those protesting Paul Ryan’s budget measures cite the name of another Ryan in their arguments. In Catholic circles, the name Ryan in relation to the economy usually brings to mind another important figure: Monsignor John A. Ryan (1869-1945), arguably the most influential American Catholic social and economic thinker of the twentieth century. Monsignor Ryan provides an illuminating comparison with the young congressional representative. He and Paul Ryan have much in common besides the same last name: both hail from the upper Midwest and from Irish-American families, both have a penchant for number-crunching, and both have sought to reconcile their ideas about economic policy with their Catholicism. But in terms of their interpretations of Catholic social doctrine, perhaps there is no starker contrast than that between the two Ryans.

George R.R. Martin: “Show Us Your Papers”

It is one thing to attempt to win elections. But trying to do so by denying the most basic and important right of any American citizen to hundreds and thousands of people, on entirely spurious grounds… that goes beyond reprehensible. That is despicable.

It would really be nice if there were still some Republicans of conscience out there who would stand up and loudly denounce these efforts, a few men of honor and integrity for whom “win the election” does not “win the election at any cost.” There were once many Republicans I admired, even I disagreed with them: men like Everett Dirksen, Clifford Case, Henry Cabot Lodge, William Scranton … yes, even Barry Goldwater, conservative as he is. I do not believe for a moment that Goldwater would have approved of this, any more than Robert A. Heinlein would have. They were conservatives, but they were not bigots, nor racists, nor corrupt. The Vote Suppressors have far more in common with Lester Maddox, George Wallace, John Stennis, and their ilk than they do with their distinguished GOP forebears.

The people behind these efforts at disenfranchising large groups of voters (the young, the old, the black, the brown) are not Republicans, since clearly they have scant regard for our republic or its values. They are oligarchs and racists clad in the skins of dead elephants.

 

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  • Satchel

    It would really be nice if there were still some Republicans of
    conscience out there who would stand up and loudly denounce these
    efforts, a few men people of honor and integrity for whom “win the election”
    does not “win the election at any cost.” There were once many
    Republicans I admired, even I disagreed with them: men peoplelike Everett
    Dirksen, Clifford Case, Henry Cabot Lodge, William Scranton …

    FTFY, George.

  • http://thisculturalchristian.blogspot.com/ michael mcshea

    John Ryan’s Catholicism is my grandfather’s Catholicism.  Paul’s Ayn-Ryan hybrid Catholicism is an evolutionary fish of a different hoof.

  • Lori

    Ryan’s former priest has some questions about Ryan’s Catholicism too. Which I strongly suspect is why he’s Ryan’s former priest.

    … Ryan’s interpretation of Catholic teaching in national budgetary matters and his prospective vice presidential role have him “worried.” Father Stephen Umhoefer told the Center for Media and Democracy that he supports a role for religion in the public square, but that Ryan‘s  austerity budget  and proposed steep cuts in social programs are inconsistent with the Catholic teachings that Ryan cites to justify the policies. “If he is following his conscience, he is doing the morally correct thing. But he shouldn’t wrap himself in Catholic teaching because he is not using that [teaching] in what I would say is a balanced way,” said Umhoefer.

    Umhoefer, 72, has led the church since 2002 and was the Ryan family
    pastor until the family left for another Janesville parish a few years
    ago. Ryan’s current parish is led by a priest who teaches on the diocese
    faculty under the deeply conservative Madison Bishop Robert Morlino,
    who characterizes Ryan’s judgment as “in accord with all the teachings
    of the Church.” 

    http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/paul-ryans-former-pastor-ryan-plan-he-shouldnt-wrap-himself-catholic-teaching

  • IpsilateralTontine86
  • Lori

    The Almighty is concerned that the GOP is not getting His message:

    “I promised Noah I would never again flood the entire world,” said the
    Creator of Heaven and Earth. “But that doesn’t mean I can’t send a
    hurricane wherever that Limb of Satan called the Republican Party plans
    to meet. I did it four years ago,
    and hoped they’d get the message. But their hearts are harder than
    Pharaoh’s, so now I’m spelling it out for them. And if water doesn’t
    work, there’s always fire: ask the Men of Sodom what happens to those
    who oppress the stranger and the poor.”

    http://www.samefacts.com/2012/08/religion-and-politics/this-just-in-god-warns-gop-of-the-fire-next-time/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+RealityBasedCommunity+%28The+RBC%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

  • AnonymousSam

    If he is following his conscience, he is doing the morally correct thing.

    Wait, whether or not something is morally correct depends upon the individual’s conscience? That seems questionable. I know plenty of people (myself included) whose conscience is a thing not to be trusted.

  • Lori

    Catholic teaching allows for Catholics to follow their own conscience in disagreement with official doctrine*. I think the assumption is that your conscience is in working order and has been properly informed by Catholic teaching.

    * At least from the outside the actual application of this seems to be 
    rather convenient. Ryan himself was all about agreeing to disagree when a group  of Bishops wrote an open letter condemning his war on the poor budget plan, but he certainly doesn’t have that attitude about abortion. AFAIK he’s never admitted to having that attitude about birth control either, although the fact that he and his wife have only 3 children leads me to strongly suspect that he (conveniently) does.

  • EllieMurasaki

    My first thought was he’d done the same thing my mother did, namely married someone whose religious beliefs don’t forbid contraception and pretended the contraceptive use was all the spouse’s idea, but the Internets assure me that Mrs. Ryan is also Catholic. Though that doesn’t preclude the possibility that she’s decided that what the Pope and her husband don’t know won’t hurt them.

  • Lori

    If the GOP’s Great White Hope isn’t smart enough to figure out that his wife is using birth control when child# 4 fails to materialize then they’re in bigger trouble than I thought.

  • EllieMurasaki

    True.

  • Carstonio

    In fairness, he could have assumed that three was all the children their god was going to bless them with, or that the lack of more children was a punishment for being insufficiently devout. Or on a more practical level, that his wife had become infertile due to age. Because of course it couldn’t be him who was infertile…

    Aside – Ryan is four years younger than I am. That just seems wrong. I’m still adjusting to the fact that Obama is only five years older than I am. Almost like I had my shot at being president and I blew it. Plus, Ryan was born after Woodstock, which makes his social attitudes seem even more atavistic, like he had never listened to, say, Guns ‘n’ Roses.

  • Lori

    Ryan is four years younger than I am. That just seems wrong. 

    He’s 5 years younger than I am and yes, that’s just wrong.

    like he had never listened to, say, Guns ‘n’ Roses. 

    Given his (ironic or appalling, depending on how you look at it) fondness for Rage Against the Machine, I don’t think it really matters what music Paul Ryan has or had not listened to. He doesn’t get it, so it’s all just noise.

  • Kiba

     Holy crap, he’s five years older than me…for some reason I thought he was older than that.

    To me Ryan just seems to be the embodiment of the quintessential 80s yuppie. 

  • Lori

    Yuppies never went away, we just sort of stopped calling them that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marc-Mielke/100001114326969 Marc Mielke

    Given his favorite band is Rage Against the Machine, I’d assume Ryan is one of those people who never listen to lyrics. I’ve always thought there was something wrong with people who don’t pay attention to lyrics. 

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     (shrug) As the husband of one of them, my inclination is to disagree with you. OTOH, I suppose there’s something wrong with pretty much everyone, so I guess it’s technically true.

  • Lori

    He claims that he likes the music, but not the lyrics. Which implies that he listened to them and then simply opted to ignore them because he liked the “sound”.

    I also have a mild distrust of people who don’t pay attention to the lyrics, if for no other reason than that it leads to epic stupidity like Reagan using Born in the USA as a campaign song. I think hearing them and choosing to ignore them is worse though. Especially when you’re talking about a band like RATM that was actually saying something.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    John Howard, our former conservative Prime Minister, said that his favourite musician was Bob Dylan “except for the lyrics”.

  • AnonymousSam

    Who says he’s intimate with his wife? Sex outside of deliberate intent to procreate is regarded as a huge no-no in a lot of religious circles.

    Besides, he’s a politician. That’s why they have bathrooms and secretaries!

  • Lori

    This is a fair point. I don’t know anything about Paul Ryan’s sex life and I don’t want to.

  • AnonymousSam

    Not even to contemplate whether he knows anything more original than missionary position, man on top, getting it over quickly, and never satisfying his wife (with or without orgasm, although neither of them would admit it either way)?

    I always get a grim feeling of schadenfreude knowing that the stigma against sex tends to mean sex is atrocious when it does happen.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I really don’t like thinking like that. A person who helps reinforce sexual stigmas may well be fine in bed, because it’s an “approved” activity within an “approved” coupling (i.e. opposite-sex marriage).

  • AnonymousSam

    Sex is like any other physical activity and can only improve with practice. Some people are naturals, but it’s more likely that their lack of experience and social conditioning inform them that even bad sex is The Best Sex Ever (whether they even enjoyed it or not).

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    I get what IN is saying though. It’s pretty common for people to make an argument that is or sounds like, “If you’re a bad person, you must be bad in bed” or “If you’re a bad person, it’s because you don’t have sex often enough”.  There are a lot of problems with this, since there are a lot of reasons why people don’t have sex that have little to do with their personalities or politics, and I hardly think that anyone thinks that every evil person who has ever lived was a virgin until they died.

  • EllieMurasaki

    A person who helps reinforce sexual stigmas may well be fine in bed,
    because it’s an “approved” activity within an “approved” coupling (i.e.
    opposite-sex marriage).

    Women enjoying sex isn’t approved, though. And there are many ways for a man to enjoy het sex that don’t involve connecting a vagina and a penis, none of which are approved. So, yeah, I think someone who’s reinforcing those stigmas is probably not good in bed. Also not someone I’d want in bed even if I had magic to guarantee me that the sex would be fantastic, but.

    Agreed on the second paragraph, mostly. Somebody (most likely a male somebody) who reinforces sexual stigmas and who prides himself on how much and/or how good sex he gets, he could probably do with being told that he’s not a sex god for reasons including his attitudes toward most sex acts and towards people (especially women and gay men) who like them.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    True, but how many times have you heard nasty cracks being made about “not getting any” about all kinds of people? I really don’t think that’s right, and that’s part of what needs to change about the dialog of sexual feeling and expression in the USA and Canada.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marc-Mielke/100001114326969 Marc Mielke

    I’m a pretty far-left, sex-positive person and don’t personally get any myself due to extreme social phobia. So yeah, bad sex as a metaphor for being a right-winger kind of sticks in my craw. 

  • vsm

    Women enjoying sex isn’t approved, though

    Isn’t that changing, though? Abstinence discourse emphasizes the idea of married sex being better for both the man and the woman, so they’re at least giving lip service (I’m truly sorry) to women’s enjoyment as well.

    Personally, I find sex kind of ridiculous.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Hadn’t heard that…but I suspect the proper female attitude toward sex is still that sex is a chore, it’s just that now she’s being assured that it’s not meant to be an unpleasant chore. And if it is unpleasant, it’s her fault for not being a proper female, rather than being the fault of whoever gave her the idea that she can’t say ‘no sex tonight’, or the fault of whoever failed to make sure she and her partner knew how genitals work and what most people find sexy and how to experiment to determine what their personal kinks and hot buttons are and how to make sure ‘what if a baby happens’ is never a concern unless they’re actively trying for a baby, or the fault of whoever told her the sex would be better if her first sex was married sex (which isn’t to fault anyone who chooses to wait till marriage, not at all, it’s just that by most non-romance-novel accounts, if it’s somebody’s first time, it’s not gonna be great sex), or the fault of nobody whatsoever because she’s asexual.

    Or alternately, depending on how one defines ‘better’, having married sex and only married sex is better for the woman because that way all the bits of herself she gives away every time she has sex go to someone who’s guaranteed (because of course divorce is Not Approved) to stay with her, rather than some going to her high school sweetheart and some to her college sweetheart and whatever.

    Know what would be really nice? If we could collectively decide that whether and with whom someone has sex is important to that person and that person alone, and that no significance attaches to having had no partners or more than X partners, for whatever value of X.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Fertility Awareness methods work well enough for some people. If you’re a hard-right anti-gay-rights, pro-family republican, it works especially well, since there’s less impetus to stretch the rules, what with the husband not caring about the wife’s desires, and having the option of anonymous men’s room sex for his own.

  • http://twitter.com/TaoChapter40 Ethan Johnson

    Minor detail: That’s “danah boyd”, lower case.

    There was an internet kerfluffle about people ignoring that, and we don’t want to re-live that nightmare, do we?

  • http://thisculturalchristian.blogspot.com/ michael mcshea

    Considering the twenty seven years difference in ordination dates of old school Catholic Rev.Stephan Umhoefer and Rev. Randy Timmerman, Ryan’s present pastor at St John Vianney parish in Janeville WI, there is more like a generational gap in the functioning RCC than a schism on social teaching? Charity these days is perhaps more like the difference in perception between old fashioned in your face cold hard cash and the modern virtual safe distance provided by credit cards?

    http://www.madisondiocese.org/Vocations/OurPriests/ActiveClergy.aspx 

    (reply to Lori)

  • Lori

    Considering the twenty seven years difference in ordination dates of old
    school Catholic Rev.Stephan Umhoefer and Rev. Randy Timmerman, Ryan’s
    present pastor at St John Vianney parish in Janeville WI, there is more
    like a generational gap in the functioning RCC than a schism on social
    teaching?

    I thought about this a bit and the answer is IDK. It could be, but AFAIK Timmerman’s generation in general isn’t more mean and greedy than it’s forebears. Is there something special going on inside the Church that makes the younger ones meaner and/or more devoted to the seriously old and mean at the top? Maybe some form of careerism or something? IDK.

  • vsm

     The Vatican (and the current pope) clamped down pretty hard on liberation theology back in the eighties. Could that be it?

  • Lori

    That’s a good point and could certainly have a lot to do with it.

  • Albanaeon

     I think it’s the product of a generation of Reaganism, Thatcherism, Religious Right, and all the other wave of general ‘conservatism.’  It’s why we have apparent sociopaths in every level of life now.  They grew up and prospered under this paradigm and now run it because they are the elders and upstanding personages and they not only know the game, they invented it.

    That we get the pleasure of the whole movement derailing due to its success and who knows what happens now is just our luck.

  • Lori

    The thing is, I’m more or less the Reagan generation. He was president when I was in high school and college*. My friends and I aren’t like that. Some of our peer group certainly are, but there don’t seem to be an unusual number of them. Have I just been missing it? Are there really more horrible people in my generation than in previous or subsequent generations?

    *The single greatest factor in me being a lifelong Liberal.

  • Albanaeon

     Umm…  No I think the “Reagan Generation” wasn’t particularly stuffed with immoral people, but circumstances gave those who were greater opportunities than before.  It was okay to be a greedy selfish person.  It was even rewarded, encouraged.  Grab hold of the media to reinforce this message and you have people saying let’s not let our elderly starve being called “evil socialists.” 

    So I don’t think American character changed so much but that regressive forces have had a pretty long streak of wins that have changed our dialog to it’s current broken state and left progressives defending ever smaller pieces of territory.  It didn’t help that the media got seized in “fair and balanced” non-reporting, so the dialog of “center” got dragged off the deep end and left the “left” looking radical and moderates continuing to slide right along with them.

    It’s not hopeless by any means.  There’s a lot of push back coming out of the woodwork, but forty years of Reagan/Randians have  really seized a heck of a lot of power and this country has a pretty big struggle for its soul that’s going to be on going for a long while, I think.

  • http://thisculturalchristian.blogspot.com/ michael mcshea

    I may be butting into another conversation but few from a historic perspective understand how computers from the eighties onward multiplied the abilities of business to magnify profits, trading, mortgage processing not 10 or 100x but a thousand and ten thousand times. For those already in banking or brokerage it was if somebody gave them magic of lightning to manipulate and now steal it all from most of the rest of us. 

  • Albanaeon

    That’s very true, but I’d like to point out that it simply played into the ethic of maximizing profit that had come to dominate business these decades.  It wouldn’t have been too unlikely that under a different push those productivity gains could have been channeled into increasing pay and/or decreasing workload.

    It isn’t exactly the first time that something that increased productivity just funnels it into a small group of people.  It wouldn’t be too hard to describe the entire Middle Ages as that dynamic…

  • http://thisculturalchristian.blogspot.com/ michael mcshea

    But they didn’t have enough, ten trillion in computer generated profits. Why stop there? Why not, double or nothing, use the magic of the computers to empty the factory floors, back offices and export those jobs to Mexico, India and China. By the time the smoke and mirrors trick is over, the rubes are now a burden on the old “obsolete” social safety net trying to sponge off the new ruling class.   

  • Albanaeon

     Yep.  It’s NEVER enough for some.  Ever.  And every time we let them get the reins of power, we go through the same cycle.   We do a bit of fixing and then someone comes up with the “new” idea of there being a pyramid and they should be on top, convince enough that they are going to be on the top with them, and we repeat the same damn cycle.

    You’d think that we’d learn some way to realize that often the people who most want the power are the least suitable for having it.

  • Lori

    This is true. The computer age opened up all kinds of new forms of theft and certain people just couldn’t resist them. Frankly, most of them didn’t try.

  • Albanaeon

    Why would they? It was all legal.

    Mostly.  They think.  It’s kinda hard to tell with the Gordian knot that are our financial laws and transactions.

    Just ask Mitt Romney.  He’s pretty mostly sure that he paid ever penny that he was legally supposed to and if its half of what the rest of us have to pay well that’s  just SOL territory and we should have bootstrapped (read inherited) our own business to gazillionaire and bought enough lobbyists and politicians to make our Randian fantasies come true.

  • Lori

    They paid a pretty penny to get the laws changed to make it legal, but they still managed to break the law plenty. We’ve just collectively decided we’re not going to prosecute them for it because most of the people in a position to do so are either one of them, wholly owned subsidiaries of them or terrified of what will happen if we start pulling the loose threads on our financial sweater and  most average people have been convinced that it’s impossible to actually understand what they did.

    The part that really chaps me off is that they actually broke some laws that are fairly easy to understand. Fraud is not that tough to grasp. The details of exactly how they committed fraud are convoluted, but the fact that it was fraud is not tough to grasp.

  • Lori

    I agree that we’ve had a permissive atmosphere for greed and general vileness for quite some time now and that it’s effected how some people behave (much to society’s detriment). I’m just not convinced that it effected any particular generation more than the others. There were older folks who had always been lousy human beings and who were freed to act on that. There are younger folks who wouldn’t rip people off and oppress the weak even if everyone said that it was OK.

  • Albanaeon

    I don’t know.  I think cultural trends have a greater impact than simple population patterns, which I think in general remain pretty static.  But what is important is what is “valued.”  We are products of our culture (mostly) and if our culture has put more value on greed and success at all cost, then it’s going to be reflected in everything, from our highest leaders to how we interact with each other waiting at a traffic light.

    But if you’re referring to the US not being ever the angels we like to pretend we are, then I fully and completely agree with you.  It just seems that now we don’t do as much pretending as we used to, but that might be just me actually paying attention… 

  • http://thisculturalchristian.blogspot.com/ michael mcshea

    I think there is undelying root of poverty and need for a meal ticket career for the young who live in economic dead ends like rural Wisconsin.  There is a video testimonial of a Fr Bart Timmerman that previous link. Is he a relative, sibling of Ryan’s pastor of a same last name. He talks about his faith which is right and good but I hear a child that wants to go to a junior seminary and is fascinated in a limited faith IMO of the archaic RCC. They did away with the junior seminaries after V2 but they are back for the meal crowd like the Ratzinger Brother to name a few.  If your troops follow you blindly and you are only interested in power, perhaps greed, and not that intelligent yourself to begin with I begin to understand where all the present day wheat chaf bishops in the American Catholics were bred to take their orders direcly from the King of Rome and the directors of the Vatican Bank.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    “austerity budget”

    I do not think that phrase means what Rep. Ryan thinks it means.

    Please take note that it does not cut military spending.

    Austerity, fairly practiced, would take the biggest bite out of the biggest discretionary items first, working their way down to the smallest.

    I know “family budget” metaphors aren’t the greatest but let’s pretend anyway:

    A family can’t quite make ends meet. They’ve got two cars, two kids, a family dog and a nice  house. They owe on the cars and the house.

    What would they not do?

    Cut the kids’ allowances. That’s maybe $20-40 a month, max, if they really spoil the little tykes, and only if they’re teenagers even.

    What would they do, sensibly?

    Get rid of one of the cars. The government mileage payments are around 50 cents a kilometer, which means that the people who worked out that expense factored in an average fuel, insurance, and depreciation cost into compensating someone else for the use of their personal vehicle for government use.

    The usual average kilometer-usage on a car lease is something like 14,000 kilometers per year.

    So it costs $7000 a year just to keep your car going in terms of loss of replacement value, fuel, insurance and maintenance.

    Add on top of that the ~$200-500 a month in car payments and we’re talking some real money, all of a sudden. Call it $350.

    So that’s $4200 + $7000 = $11200 per year to run a car you don’t yet own.

    So getting rid of one car peobably frees up anywhere from 10 to 20% of income that can be used to help keep the rest of the family’s cost structure reasonably intact without inducing unnecessary belt-tightening.

    The “Ryan budget” is like keeping the two fancy cars in the house’s garage while nailing the thermostat to “off” and cutting off the allowances, and feeding the family on ramen noodles.

    It’s all about misplaced priorities and ensuring that the people who have the most to gain from austerity can keep showing off their status and power, while those who have the least to gain are the ones most harmed by it.

  • EllieMurasaki

    You’re making the assumption that the family doesn’t need both cars in order to get both its income-earners to their respective places of income-earning. There are other reasons to have more than one car per family (such as the stay-at-home parent needing transportation in order to accomplish things while other parent is working), but that’s the big one. I don’t want a car, I don’t like driving, everything you said about expenses, but when my mother was ferrying me to and from work and college, she was going batshit and didn’t have the time to do much of anything that didn’t involve driving somebody somewhere, and now I’m working four to midnight and it would really not be fair of me to expect anyone to come pick me up at midnight when everybody else in the house needs to be up at six.

    And ain’t nobody who’s enlisted US military is paid enough for what’s expected of them, and we don’t have nearly enough enlisted US military for what we’ve been putting them through last several years. Not that I agree with our sending anybody to Afghanistan or Iraq, but Jesus fuck people don’t be stupid about it, if you in-charge types value our soldiers as much as you say you do then you need to make it really fucking tempting to be a soldier, so that we have enough soldiers that we don’t need to send any on fourth combat tours. And let’s not even mention what happens after our soldiers are discharged due to combat-related injuries or psychological issues. (I’m an Air Force brat. It is ingrained in me to support the troops. Not necessarily their mission, not necessarily their commanders, but definitely the troops.)

    That said, can we at least stop building the war toys that the Pentagon has said several times they neither want nor need? Decommission some more nukes so that we can kill the whole world at most twice over? Stop sending our bravest out to get shot at when national security doesn’t ride on it? (Which it hasn’t, since we made it clear to the Afghanis that having the mastermind behind 9/11 on their payroll was Not Acceptable.)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I said the analogy was not totally perfect. It was meant as a comparison, highlighting the skewed nature of the “austerity” Ryan proposes, not as an absolute or even a set in stone recommendation.

    Also, the health care thing – as a Canadian I’m used to neglecting the cost of it as a factor the calculations.

  • Albanaeon

     Exactly.  The enlisted are always getting the short end of the stick, which only gets worse when they get out.  There’s an overworked VA that seems intent on running people in circles.  There’s the GI Bill that’s a great deal IF you can afford to basically get started on your own and get compensated later for EVERY SEMESTER.  And Ryan’s plan slashes VA benefits and continues to bloat a budget that’s devoted towards getting Generals their toys and fat contractors their easy money and never to raising pay so a lower enlisted can support a family.

    It’s just cruelty wrapped in a flag and carrying a Bible.

  • Lori

     

    And ain’t nobody who’s enlisted US military is paid enough for what’s
    expected of them, and we don’t have nearly enough enlisted US military
    for what we’ve been putting them through last several years. 

    Word

    if you in-charge types value our soldiers as much as you say you do  

    And therein lies the rub.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     There’s only one thing for it. We’re going to have to sell the children for medical experimentation.

    (The point of “austerity” is not to save money and it never has been. It is to PUNISH the poor for the audacity of thinking they deserve lives even slightly less than unbearable. The point of austerity is to *hurt* people, because it offends the wealthy that our poor don’t look like street urchins in a dickens novel.)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    There’s a really nice artwork from way back:

    http://grayee.blogspot.ca/2010/04/sacrifice-vote-labour.html

    I think it rather captures what people like Rep. Ryan mean when they talk of “austerity”.

  • Joe Smith

    Im disturbed that the idea of actually TALKING to the victims of the laws that are designed to rescue them is such a radical idea.  

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    OK, I have exactly zero interest in defending Paul Ryan’s awesomeness, but as a Catholic the assumptions and comments re birth control are making me really bloody uncomfortable. The individual guy being  a dickhead doesn’t require anyone to jump to the “stupid Catholics always have a million kids or else they’re lying” crap. Yes, ha ha, Catholics who use natural family planning are backwards morons and if you don’t have a gigantic family clearly you are hiding a secret from the Pope.


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