Archive for December, 2009

December 6th 2009
20th anniversary of the massacre at L’Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal

Posted under American history & Gender & O Canada & students & unhappy endings & women's history

Ann Bartow at Feminist Law Profs reminds us that today is the twentieth anniversary of the murders of women engineering students at l’École Polytechnique in Montreal on December 6, 1989.  Because of this terrible event, today is also the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women day in Canada, which has been commemorated since 1991.  In case you’re unacquainted with this terrible massacre, here’s a CBC link with a video clip of a report and a description of the murders (emphases Historiann’s):

A gunman confronts 60 engineering students during their class at l’École Polytechnique in Montreal on Dec. 6, 1989. He separates the men from the women and tells the men to leave the classroom, threatening them with his .22-calibre rifle. The enraged man begins a shooting rampage that spreads to three floors and several classrooms, jumping from desk to desk while female students cower below. He roams the corridors yelling, “I want women.” Continue Reading »

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December 5th 2009
Guns and gender: “many say” that “some” don’t know what the hell they’re talking about

Posted under American history & Gender & jobs & local news & students & women's history

woman-gunHere’s an update on the status of guns at Baa Ram U. from the Denver Post:  The “Board of Governors on Friday voted 9-0 to implement a policy that will likely lead to a ban on concealed weapons on the university’s campuses.”  (Good news, I suppose, but this sounds like just another example of university policies being written by the university counsel!)  Hillariously the story reports that “[s]tudent leaders say allowing students with permits to carry weapons means everyone is safer — especially women — despite what other schools have done or what an international study by law enforcement contends.” 

Well–what do actual women students, faculty and staff at Baa Ram U. think?  Does the reporter bother to talk to any actual XX chromosome people?  Continue Reading »

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December 4th 2009
Garry Wills: of betrayals, “fairy tales,” and Pied Pipers

Posted under American history & book reviews & unhappy endings

piedpiperHere’s an example of the delusions of the so-called “left,” from none other than Garry Wills.  Apparently, the great Progressive Messiah is now revealed to be the Pied Piper:

There was only one thing that brought [Barack Obama] to the attention of the nation as a future president. It was opposition to the Iraq war. None of his serious rivals for the Democratic nomination had that credential—not Hillary Clinton, not Joseph Biden, not John Edwards. It set him apart. He put in clarion terms the truth about that war—that it was a dumb war, that it went after an enemy where he was not hiding, that it had no indigenous base of support, that it had no sensible goal and no foreseeable cutoff point.

He said that he would not oppose war in general, but dumb wars. On that basis, we went for him. And now he betrays us. Although he talked of a larger commitment to Afghanistan during his campaign, he has now officially adopted his very own war, one with all the disqualifications that he attacked in the Iraq engagement. This war too is a dumb one. It has even less indigenous props than Iraq did.

Well, who was the fool for taking this “credential” seriously?  Continue Reading »

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December 2nd 2009
“Rudoph’s” Santa: total frickin’ nightmare

Posted under American history & art & bad language & childhood & GLBTQ & the body & wankers

(WARNING:  NSFW or small children.)  This guy has it exactly right:  Santa, or Satan?  I’ve long thought that the Santa in the Rankin-Bass claymation “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was a major-league jerk (or d!ck, or d-bag, as this video suggests.  H/t to commenter Mother of ALL for sending it along.)  Also, Donner is clearly a Hockey Dad who’s guaranteed to get evicted from the arena at least once a season.

hermieI grew up watching this animated feature, I usually catch it when it’s on broadcast TV during the “Holiday Season,” and I’ve really wondered about the piling on by the adult figures in the first half of the show.  Then again, it’s probably on balance a good show for children, because it features a major hero in gay history, our pal Hermie, the aspiring dentist!  Hermie, Rudolph, and all of the “misfit toys” are clearly stand-ins for disabled, gay, fat, immigrant, or for any kid who gets teased about something on a regular basis.

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December 2nd 2009
Gun bans: what are we really talking about here?

Posted under American history & jobs & local news & students & the body

woman-gunBaa Ram U. hit the front page of the Denver Post this morning with an article about the ban on guns that Public Safety and the President’s Cabinet have recommended.  The students disagree, although the article does a very poor job of actually talking to students or showing any proof of this beyond the assertions by leaders of the Associated Students of Baa Ram U.  (I’m not saying they’re dishonest, I’m saying that the reporting for this story is lazy.)

The ASCSU student senate tonight is likely to pass a resolution that asks CSU president Tony Frank to keep current policy, which adheres to the state’s concealed-weapons law. It allows someone with a concealed-weapons permit to carry a handgun almost anywhere on campus.

Only in residence halls are weapons forbidden.

Frank will weigh the ASCSU vote in deciding whether to form a different weapons law for the university, said CSU spokesman Brad Bohlander.

Currently, 23 states allow public campuses or state systems to decide their own weapons policies, with nearly all choosing to be “gun-free,” according to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

CSU is one of the rare exceptions, deciding in 2003 to follow the state’s concealed-weapons law. The ASCSU points out that concealed weapons have been allowed at Blue Ridge Community College in Virginia since 1995 and at Michigan State University since June.

Longtime readers already know what I think about guns on campusThey sure as hell don’t make me feel any safer!  But, it doesn’t really matter if guns are “banned” or permitted in classrooms, labs, libraries, and various public spaces on our campus.  Continue Reading »

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December 1st 2009
The most progressive president in our lifetime!

Posted under American history & unhappy endings

buddy

The facts have a well-known Big Dog bias

Big Tent Democrat gives us a l’il history lesson on the 1993 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, and why in his view that makes Bill Clinton’s first year in office much more impressive than Barack Obama’s.  And, I think I have to agree with BTD on this one.  The OBRA is the biggest reason the Big Dog lost Congress in 1994, which along with the fake scandalmongering by the New York Times and the Office of Independent Council ultimately set the stage for his impeachment.  Say what you will about Clinton–and I know some of you will–he did the thing that no politician in the sixteen years since has had the stones to do:

Raise taxes on the wealthy. 

And how’s that working out for us, now that we’ve abandoned progressive taxation–or in many places like my “sagebrush rebel” state, taxation in just about any form?  Let’s all hold hands and sing “California, here we come,” because we are too stupid and our political leadership too craven to do what needs to be done.  Continue Reading »

42 Comments »

December 1st 2009
Mad Men: still aggressively anti-sexy

Posted under American history & art & GLBTQ & unhappy endings

madmen_standardUPDATED BELOW

Dr. Mister and I found episode 1 from the third Mad Men season for free on-line this weekend, and watched it together huddled up close to my computer screen.  (Did you know that we’re so cheap, we squeak?  It’s true.)  I stand by my claim of last month that Mad Men goes out of its way to ensure that no one enjoys any sexual pleasure whatsoeverSpoiler alert:  In this episode, Don and Sal are on a business trip to Baltimore, and both of them hook up–Don with a flight attendant, and Sal with a bellboy.  (This appears to be Sal’s first sexual encounter with another man, and it’s very hot.)  Guess what?  Four seconds into it, the hotel fire alarm goes off, and everyone has to climb down the fire escape!  This is the device by which Don gets a glimpse of the shirtless bellboy in Sal’s room, so Don knows Sal’s big secret.

The writers of Mad Men must all be in their 30s or early 40s–people who were teenagers and young adults ca. 1984-1996, from the time the HIV virus was discovered to the discovery of protease inhibitors.  Continue Reading »

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