The Third Shift


  1. screwrocknroll:

    thethirdshift:

    (previous post of xkcd comic)

    Uh, what is this “cricket” thing I’ve heard about? Isn’t it a national obsession in the second most populous country in the world?

    No, never mind. Only Americans have unique culture. Thx, xkcd.

    a Twitter friend noted lack of NASCAR, hockey, and soccer type football from US side as well.

    but I’m just going to use this to comment on cricket because I’ve had two Indian roommates try to explain it to me and I still don’t fucking get it at all.

    I imagine trying to get me to understand cricket is like me trying to get my sophomore year roommate to understand American football.

  2. With Coke, Nike, Hollywood films and fast food, the US has many exports.

    As a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood – the oldest, largest and most trusted reproductive health provider in the US – I have one key message to Australians during my visit here: beware we don’t export the war that is currently being waged on women in my country.

    […]

    I encourage you to be watchful of policies in Australia that emulate those in America. The war on women is not an import the women of your country want or deserve.

    Leola Reis, “America’s war on women,” The Drum, June 8, 2012

    Lord knows I love Americans and think Planned Parenthood — of which Reis is vice president of external affairs — does invaluable work, but this is a rather repellent and narcissistic rhetoric on display here. Omitted by the ellipsis is an entire column explicating the basic points of the “war on women” in America, and, certainly, this is something I think Australians should be interested in and informed about. But Reis’s argument doesn’t treat Australia as its own country with its own politics and its own public debates. We’re just a mass she can use to decry things she doesn’t like about her own country. Don’t emulate America on gender issues, she warns Australia, but doesn’t even consider that Australian society has its own gender issues. For instance, Reis talks about American politicians trying to restrict access to abortion, but is apparently entirely unaware of the tenuous legality of abortion in most Australian states, or that Roe v Wade has given the United States a rhetorical and legal basis for pro-choice activism that isn’t available in Australia.

    I understand, too, that a writer feels compelled to relate an issue to a local audience. Telling that audience “Don’t do what we do” without reference to the concerns of that foreign audience is not how you do that. Leola Reis, we are a nation — one as complex and real and fully formed as your own. We are not a confession booth where you can atone for your country’s sins.

    (via screwrocknroll)

    I think this is part of where my fellow US lefties lose sight of the forest for the trees and thus find themselves on the losing end of their own rhetorical and emotional battle. One of the things I like to beat home about the weakness of our political positions and temperament is that quite often, the rhetoric used to advocate for a position is often more about the speaker than why the policy is beneficial to a larger group.

    In this context, Reis’ warning becomes a treatise to solipsism: these are the awful things my country is doing to restrict women’s rights (and they are bad, believe me!) and the good fight Planned Parenthood has against them, but completely mistakes her audience, presuming it does not have its own battle in the same arena under different circumstances. Ultimately, these “don’t be like us” missives serve only to highlight how “good” the writer or speaker is rather than expand the message to an audience distinct from one’s own — and the intended message is lost in the fake atonement.

    I mean, if you can’t frame your argument in an Australian publication for the audience most likely to read it, how well are you going to do when it comes to convincing people in your own society of the utility and necessity for expanded reproductive rights, never mind throwing overboard the canard that these are simply “women’s rights”?

  3. Nearly two decades ago, Randy and Janna Sorensen approached Mr. Romney, then a church official, for help: unable to have a baby on their own, they wanted to adopt but could not do so through the church, which did not facilitate adoptions for mothers who worked outside the home.

    Devastated, they told Mr. Romney that the rule was unjust and that they needed two incomes to live in Boston. Mr. Romney helped, but not by challenging church authorities. He took a calculator to the Sorensen household budget and showed how with a few sacrifices, Ms. Sorensen could quit her job. Their children are now grown, and Mr. Sorensen said they were so grateful that they had considered naming a child Mitt. (The church has since relaxed its prohibition on adoption for women who work outside the home.)

    Jodi Kantor, “Romney’s Faith, Silent But Deep,” The New York Times,May 19, 2012

    Hmm.

    (via screwrocknroll)

    Instructive and slightly horrifying at the same time.

  4. ☛ "Where have all the protest songs gone?"

    screwrocknroll:

    barthel:

    And why are none of them about iPods?

    These articles always are secretly saying, “I don’t listen to rap music.”

    BTW:

    The scarcity of songs about the economic disaster stands in contrast to the flurry of pop songs in the mid-2000s blaming President George W. Bush’s foreign policy for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Antiwar songs came not only from stalwarts like R.E.M. and Neil Young but also from younger performers like Green Day, Bright Eyes and Pink.

    Remember all the thinkpieces circa 2004-2005 about how no one wrote protest songs about the Iraq war the way they did about Vietnam and youth today were apathetic and also I don’t listen to rap music ever?

    ——

    *Or country

    There are three canards here: the first being the obvious rockist convention the NYT (and other non-music media) usually display in this sort of pieces about “political” & “protest” music as if hip-hop did not exist (everyone wants their new Dylan, when the next Dylan probably won’t be white or strum a guitar). The second is completely forgetting how a lot of pop-punkers sang out against the Iraq War and George W. in 2004 (never mind tracks like Jadakiss’ “Why?”). The third is the insane bullshit that most media are still pushing nearly a month after the Occupy Wall Street protest began: THERE’S STILL NO MESSAGE.

    That’s inherently untrue. The problem is that you’re not willing to acknowledge the message — because, to paraphrase Upton Sinclair, it’s hard for protesters to make media understand something if the reporter’s job depends upon him not doing so.

    Look, if a rockist fellow like me can think of rap examples of protest stuff out of my ass and be reasonably on point, there’s no excuse for this from the NYT at all. This shouldn’t have made it past the copy desk; it should have been thrown in the trash and the wrtier advised to start again.

  5. screwrocknroll:

the53:

This one’s going to go a long way.

Remember the 53 per cent? Jonathan Bernstein:

For example, this citizen claims to be a college senior working “30+ hours a week making just barely over minimum wage.” Which is great and all, but if that’s all he’s got he’s not paying any income tax. Just as a guess, I’d be surprised if any fewer than 10% of the posters are actually income-tax free, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s about 50/50.
What I’d be curious about is what some of these folks would say if they realized that they’re not actually part of “the 53%.” Of course, to be fair they all do pay taxes; they just — perhaps — don’t pay income taxes.
Hey, reporters! As this “53%” thing grows as a conservative talking point, there’s a serious article to be written involving interviews with folks who mistakenly believe that they’re in the half of Americans who pay taxes (and, what’s more, they may also mistakenly believe that they’re in the group that does not receive any government benefits).

Edit: Brad DeLong wants to know what Erick Erickson’s three jobs are.

Again, I eagerly await when reality hits. Not to be too snarky with this person, because all of this is great. You’ve figured out how a lot of this works and are doing right by yourself. Fabulous.
What happens if you need a loan for something? Maybe a business, a car, maybe you’ve saved up enough money (at least for a sizable down payment) want to buy a home and generate a base of personal wealth and you realize your credit scores are too low because the only way the system raises your credit score is by taking on debt? Seriously! I receive quarterly credit report statements from my bank and when they cite why my credit scores aren’t higher, the most prominent reason is “does not have enough open credit accounts” or “open credit accounts are too old.”
What happens when you’re too old to work? Do you have any protection besides the Social Security taxes you pay?
Do either of your minimum-wage jobs offer health insurance? Do you have it through your school? What will you do for it after graduation? Will you have the several hundred dollars a month to pay for an individual plan if you don’t land a job right after graduation or have one lined up? Are you prepared to put off doctor or dental visits because you can’t afford them?
There are a lot of presumptive fallacies in this note, presuming that all people who are sunk and in over their heads spent their money on frivolous luxuries. 
It’s one hell of a conservative meme, this “47% of people don’t pay taxes” crap. But it is solid bullshit. Those 47% who are such “lucky duckies” to not pay income tax usually pay sales taxes, payroll taxes, Social Security taxes, and if they’re lucky enough to have full-time employment, taxes on their health care plans. (This is not even getting into various municipal taxes assessed at the county and city level; those same people who are struggling with their homes and low wages do so because of…wait for it….property taxes! Which are necessary because so much of them fund public education.) Oh, and….they pay federal and state taxes that are deducted from their paychecks. When we talk about taxes and tax refunds on income tax every year, people receive refunds if they’ve overpaid based on their income. They might get some of that money back. They don’t get all of it.
(Ask me, I know! I’ve received a return on my taxes every single year but it’s nowhere close to what went to the state or the feds from my paychecks over each previous calendar year!)
Don’t mistake this for some anti-tax rant, BTW.
The financial system is so far beyond screwed that if you think you aren’t the 99%, it’s only because you’re lucky enough to not have had to run up against said system yet.

    screwrocknroll:

    the53:

    This one’s going to go a long way.

    Remember the 53 per centJonathan Bernstein:

    For example, this citizen claims to be a college senior working “30+ hours a week making just barely over minimum wage.” Which is great and all, but if that’s all he’s got he’s not paying any income tax. Just as a guess, I’d be surprised if any fewer than 10% of the posters are actually income-tax free, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s about 50/50.

    What I’d be curious about is what some of these folks would say if they realized that they’re not actually part of “the 53%.” Of course, to be fair they all do pay taxes; they just  perhaps  don’t pay income taxes.

    Hey, reporters! As this “53%” thing grows as a conservative talking point, there’s a serious article to be written involving interviews with folks who mistakenly believe that they’re in the half of Americans who pay taxes (and, what’s more, they may also mistakenly believe that they’re in the group that does not receive any government benefits).

    Edit: Brad DeLong wants to know what Erick Erickson’s three jobs are.

    Again, I eagerly await when reality hits. Not to be too snarky with this person, because all of this is great. You’ve figured out how a lot of this works and are doing right by yourself. Fabulous.

    What happens if you need a loan for something? Maybe a business, a car, maybe you’ve saved up enough money (at least for a sizable down payment) want to buy a home and generate a base of personal wealth and you realize your credit scores are too low because the only way the system raises your credit score is by taking on debt? Seriously! I receive quarterly credit report statements from my bank and when they cite why my credit scores aren’t higher, the most prominent reason is “does not have enough open credit accounts” or “open credit accounts are too old.”

    What happens when you’re too old to work? Do you have any protection besides the Social Security taxes you pay?

    Do either of your minimum-wage jobs offer health insurance? Do you have it through your school? What will you do for it after graduation? Will you have the several hundred dollars a month to pay for an individual plan if you don’t land a job right after graduation or have one lined up? Are you prepared to put off doctor or dental visits because you can’t afford them?

    There are a lot of presumptive fallacies in this note, presuming that all people who are sunk and in over their heads spent their money on frivolous luxuries. 

    It’s one hell of a conservative meme, this “47% of people don’t pay taxes” crap. But it is solid bullshit. Those 47% who are such “lucky duckies” to not pay income tax usually pay sales taxes, payroll taxes, Social Security taxes, and if they’re lucky enough to have full-time employment, taxes on their health care plans. (This is not even getting into various municipal taxes assessed at the county and city level; those same people who are struggling with their homes and low wages do so because of…wait for it….property taxes! Which are necessary because so much of them fund public education.) Oh, and….they pay federal and state taxes that are deducted from their paychecks. When we talk about taxes and tax refunds on income tax every year, people receive refunds if they’ve overpaid based on their income. They might get some of that money back. They don’t get all of it.

    (Ask me, I know! I’ve received a return on my taxes every single year but it’s nowhere close to what went to the state or the feds from my paychecks over each previous calendar year!)

    Don’t mistake this for some anti-tax rant, BTW.

    The financial system is so far beyond screwed that if you think you aren’t the 99%, it’s only because you’re lucky enough to not have had to run up against said system yet.

  6. rand0mflora:

aetee:

brideofgob:

#life liberty and the pursuit of all the bacon and eggs you have

Ron Swanson dancing in the little top hat is the best thing that has ever been on tv ever.

This is the most American thing in the history of all American things ever.

    rand0mflora:

    aetee:

    brideofgob:

    #life liberty and the pursuit of all the bacon and eggs you have

    Ron Swanson dancing in the little top hat is the best thing that has ever been on tv ever.

    This is the most American thing in the history of all American things ever.

    (via inothernews)