culture wars

Broadly, conservatism vs progressives / social liberties vs authoritarianism / social justice vs elitist marginalisation.

Rounding up good stuff

Jill at Feministe has a couple of strong articles on the religious exceptionalists in the US and their increased co-opting of a “warriors for Christ” message for evangelical youth: Where Can I Find Me A Warrior Poet? and her review… Read More ›

How to squander goodwill amongst the liberated

Ties to GOP Trumped Know-How Among Staff Sent to Rebuild Iraq: Rajiv Chandrasekaran, summarising part of his book Imperial Life in the Emerald City, argues that one large contributor to the current distrust and militancy amongst Iraqis is the way that the Bush Administration chose people to oversee the transition from dictatorship to democracy under the aegis of the Coalition Provisional Authority. Jim O’Beirne of the Pentagon vetted who went, and the people he passed as suitable were mostly not qualified experts in the Middle-East or post-conflict reconstruction, but they were known Bush loyalists:

A 24-year-old who had never worked in finance — but had applied for a White House job — was sent to reopen Baghdad’s stock exchange. The daughter of a prominent neoconservative commentator and a recent graduate from an evangelical university for home-schooled children were tapped to manage Iraq’s $13 billion budget, even though they didn’t have a background in accounting.

The decision to send the loyal and the willing instead of the best and the brightest

Tutu on Darfur

Last week Desmond Tutu wrote a piece for the The Sunday Times to mark the International Day of Action for Darfur on the 17th September. I didn’t know about that Day of Action, despite our fundraising for MSF in Darfur on Larvatus Prodeo not long ago: how many of us did?

Tutu’s article, A blind eye to genocide, makes for uncomfortable reading:

In Darfur 2m people have been ethnically cleansed since 2003, women and girls are systematically raped and tortured daily, there is cholera in the refugee camps and the violence is spilling into next door Chad, and all without the attention, or response, it deserves.

Bloggers gone wild! (with Clinton) alleged by idiots

Before reading this article, open this link to this picture and guess what has got conservative bloggers all up in arms about a blatant sexual display for the benefit of Bill Clinton. Can’t see anything obvious? Join the reality-based club.

Background: A group of liberal polibloggers were invited to meet with ex-President Bill Clinton for lunch and a low-key brainstorm on policy and blogging. When first reports and photos were released, a few people noticed there weren’t any bloggers of colour there, and the impression this gave and the reasons why it happened without being corrected were starting to be debated.

Enter Ann Althouse, an “ex-liberal” law professor and blogger, who looked at a picture of the smiling group at the lunch meeting, noticed that a young woman with long dark hair was standing in front of Clinton, and made a sniggering allusion which didn’t actually mention Monica Lewinsky, as she knew damn well that her commentors would pick it up.

More Dieboldical machinations

weezil at Machine Gun Keyboard keeps us up to date on the dastardly Diebold voting machines: in the last week not only have they been proven to be embarrasingly easy to untraceably tamper with electronically, but the much touted lock to prevent such tampering can be opened with an easily obtainable mini-bar key. Read, as they say, the whole thing

Conflict: Promoting Pride and Prejudice

As my last two posts illustrate, there appears to be ever more promoting of xenophobia both domestically and abroad against opponents from all sides, whether ideological/political/territorial, particularly as what was meant to be a lightning military campaign to effect a… Read More ›

Hyphenating – who goes first?

So Brangelina’s baby has been born – Shiloh Nouvelle Jolie-Pitt. There is undoubtedly going to be a lot of sneering at the choice of personal names, but today I’m looking at the family name. Jolie and Pitt had already decided… Read More ›

NYT: the anti-contraceptive movement

There’s a growing trend amongst religious conservatives, not just Catholics, to inveigh against all forms of family-planning, not just abortion. It’s worthwhile for Australians to examine the rhetoric of the anti-choice contra-contraception crowd in the USA, because it’s their religiously… Read More ›

Pseudoscience of the day

I loathe cynical advertising playing on the generally poor science education of the wider populace. We are not taught enough about how our own bodies work to spot the snakeoil salesmen. Case in point: a company advertising a daily multi-vitamin/mineral… Read More ›