Category Archives: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Your Daily Hot Air

Opinions Of Difference

From Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent to the US Supreme Court’s opinion striking down the key portion of the Voting Rights Act:

Throwing out the Voting Rights Act when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.

Ginsburg

One Tough Old Bird

It’s been said enough that sometimes I even buy it: the differences between the Democrats and the Republican can be measured by the thimbleful.

Well, you can take that stale canard and shove it right up your Supreme Court.

You Can’t Tell The Justices Without A Scorecard

Here are your Reagan/Bush/Bush US Supreme Court justices:

  • Antonin Scalia

  • Anthony Kennedy

  • Clarence Thomas

  • John Roberts

  • Samuel Alito

And here are the justices nominated by presidents Clinton and Obama:

  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg

  • Stephen Breyer

  • Sonia Sotomayor

  • Elena Kagan

I ask you, who would you rather spend a summer evening drinking shots and beers with: Ginsburg or Clarence Thomas?

Thomas

Eek!

Sex In Tex. Etc.

The Loved One will brain me if I don’t mention last night’s eruption in the Texas Senate. State Senator Wendy Davis earned herself  gobs of political points with her filibuster against the state’s proposed abortion-killing bill.

Live vid of Davis’ pals and supporters hooting and hollering over the Senate president’s attempts to squeeze a vote in before the midnight deadline actually drove The Loved One out of bed whereupon she dashed into my garage office, shouting “Are you watching? Are you watching? This is historic! Turn it on!”

I hate to be the buzzkiller here, but there is history and there is Texas history. Leave it to Molly Ivins to educate us:

Dig, man, the plaster-saint theocrats of the Texas state legislature flat out don’t want women to feel pleasure. Go ahead; argue with me. You’ll lose.

FYI, in case you live in a cloister: a dildo is a dick-shaped implement that many females use for personal reasons. Here is an actual dick:

You’re welcome.

[This just in: Texas men have already declared war on Davis. Or maybe this is just a side battle in their ongoing War on Women. Anyway, Davis’ Fort Worth office was firebombed overnight. Nothin’ sez “pro-life” like throwing a firebomb.]

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Women are all female impersonators to some degree.” — Susan Brownmiller

SHE♥S A GIRL

Do American women really want pink cars?

I suppose there are those who do, but do enough of them crave advertising the fact that they have the XX chromosome that it’s worth it to Honda produce millions of the new pink Fit She♥s?

Haven’t we gone beyond this stuff?

BTW: that’s precisely how Honda’s styling the new model’s name, with a cutesy little heart rather than an apostrophe. Ick. And another thing, what would be the purpose for an apostrophe in that position anyway? The whole thing is a mess, I tell you.

Pink Car? Flowers In Hand? Proof She Has A Vagina

Terrifyingly, the new Fit She♥s have windshields designed to minimize facial wrinkles (I’m not making this up) and the AC system helps prevent bad skin.

Oh, you gals!

Back in the early 70s when women’s lib was becoming sort of acceptable, Phillip Morris Company marketed Virginia Slims cigarettes. They were longer and narrower and had pretty little packaging.

The ads for the smoke were everywhere. You’ve come a long way, baby, the brand’s tagline, became part of the cultural landscape.

But that was then. Sassy women were fresh and exotic — that is until they started making noises about earning the same salaries as men — then they had to be squashed. Just a few years later, Phyllis Schlafly and her gang of upright simians successfully stymied the Equal Rights Amendment. Before the decade was out, women’s lib became a couple of dirty words.

Somehow many females in this holy land got themselves elected to Congress and even were named CEOs of big corporations. Heck, there are more female university students than male in the United States today.

And, mirabile dictu, they’re not just going to college to look for husbands.

So even though the wording of our Constitution was never changed to accommodate one half of our population, women seem to be making big strides, even if the Right Wingers and Christian fundamentalists would like them to make little pitti-pat strides in bare feet.

I feel uncomfortable around anybody who needs to blare to the world what shape their genitals are. Suffice it to say I don’t keep company with any woman who’d be hot for one of these pink cars.

In fact, it was The Loved One who insisted on black when we bought our then-new car a few years ago. She’s cool by me.

Who Am I To Argue With The Loved One?

INNER CITY BLUES

So, our friends in the Bloomington Common Council last night OK’d the plan to build a 168-room Hyatt hotel on Kirkwood just west of the Courthouse.

Yeesh. I smell a pile of Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Coldwater Creeks popping up around that area quicker than you can say gridlock.

Bloomington Tomorrow?

This ain’t Memaw and Pepaw’s Bloomington anymore.

FREEDOM! WELL, A LITTLE BIT

In the lead-up to last year’s scheduled NATO and G-8 summits in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his State’s Attorney, Anita Alvarez, cooked up a law banning the recording of cops doing their jobs on the city’s public streets.

Protesters and civil liberties advocates screamed to high heaven that the new law would allow the cops to act with impunity during rallies and marches. It would be, they feared, 1968 all over again.

Reporter & Protester, Bloodied By Cops During The ’68 Convention

Rahm and Alvarez, whose position is analagous to that of Chris Gaal here, figured they’d be protecting the identities of cops who might subsequently be targeted at their homes for retribution or merely for the hell of it.

It’s possible. Problem is, whenever public officials or law enforcement officers are allowed to work in secrecy, they tend to do things that they really need to keep secret. Like clunking people on the head with their nightsticks.

A Convincing Argument

So, what’s more important? Keeping cops safe in their homes or keeping citizens safe from the cops?

I know where I stand. Police work is a dangerous business. You take your chances when you take the oath. That doesn’t mean anyone who messes with the home or family of a cop isn’t a stinking rat. But we have laws to protect any citizens — including cops — from criminal attack.

We always have to be vigilant against the chilling effect of authority and tyranny on public speech and demonstrations. That trumps most other considerations.

And guess what? The US Supreme Court agrees! Huzzah!

The Court, still dominated by Reagan/Bush/Bush conservatives — believe it or not, refused to overturn a lower court ruling yesterday that Emanuel and Alavarez’s new law was too broad and unconstitutional.

They Got It Right This Time

Next time there’s a mass demonstration in Chicago — or anywhere else in this free country — protesters will be able to record the doings of the cops, just in case the boys in blue have an urge to dent some skulls.

[A Note: The NATO summit was eventually moved to another location where organizers wouldn’t have to worry about mass protests.]

FOGIES

In other Supreme Court news, the Rolling Stones now are older, on average, than the nine members of the highest court in the land.

Early Humans

And that includes Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who in March will celebrate her 169th birthday. She is the only living human to have attended both inaugurations of Abraham Lincoln.

The team of mathematicians who calculated the astronomical figures have said they did not take into consideration the fact that Keith Richards has lived the equivalent of hundreds of years. Had the Richards factor been added to the algorithm, the math geeks say, the average age of the Stones would have exceeded that of the ancient redwood trees of California.

Just Kids

 

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Majority rule only works if you’re also considering individual rights. Because you can’t have five wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for supper.” — Larry Flynt

HERESY

I ruffled a lot of feathers Saturday when I wrote that I hadn’t swallowed the September unemployment figures like a good boy taking his cough medicine.

Responders called me both cynical and a conspiracy theorist.

I prefer the term skeptic.

Search Me

The outrage, naturally, came from Barack Obama supporters. All of them who voiced displeasure with that post know I am as eager as they are to see the president be reelected in four weeks. Nevertheless, they viewed me, at least for the moment, as if I’d stepped in dog shit.

Just to show that I’ve cleaned my shoe off and am ready to be accepted back into polite society, I’m going to voice doubt for a set of stats once again.

This time Willard Romney on the receiving end of my sharp pen. I heard this morning that Romney’s lead over Obama in one poll suddenly is 4 points. Not even a week ago, Obama led Romney by four points. So, that’s an eight point swing, attributable only to Obama performing in the first debate as if his high school girlfriend had just dumped him.

I don’t buy it.

Margaret, who owns the Book Corner, asked me yesterday if I was getting tired of the presidential campaign.

Man, am I!

And it’s still inconceivable to me that a significant number of people haven’t decided at this late date whom they’re going to vote for.

If opinion polling is a science, it’s the softest of the soft sciences. And that includes such alchemies as economics and psychology.

Early voting in Monroe County begins today in the Curry Building, 214 W. 7th St. The polling place is open most days from 8am to 6pm. Click here for more Monroe County voting info. Also, click here to find out who your elected officials are.

The Curry Building

I’m going to vote today. Here are my choices (I live in Monroe County, Perry Township, Precinct 22):

  • President & Vice President: Barack Obama & Joe Biden
  • Senator: Joe Donnelly
  • Governor & Lieutenant Governor: John Gregg & Vi Simpson
  • 9th District Representative in US Congress: Shelli Yoder
  • Indiana Attorney General: Kay Fleming
  • Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction: Glenda Ritz
  • State Senator, District 40: Mark Stoops
  • State Representative, District 60: Peggy Welch
  • County Commissioner, District 2: Julie Thomas
  • County Commissioner, District 3: Iris Kiesling
  • County Council At Large: Geoff McKim & Cheryl Munson

I’ll leave about a dozen offices blank either because I don’t know enough about the candidates or the opponents are both full of crap.

Now, here are my winners:

  • Obama/Biden
  • Stoops
  • Welch
  • Julie Thomas
  • Kiesling
  • Geoff McKim & Cheryl Munson

Just Win, Baby!

The GOP statewide will make a clean sweep. Indiana also will go for Romney/Ryan but the President will be reelected nonetheless. And, as always, the People’s Republic of Bloomington will go solidly Democratic.

It’s a real mixed bag for me this year but as long as Obama makes it in for a second term, I’ll be happy. What with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg hanging on to life by her fingernails, I shudder to think what this holy land will become under another president in hock to the right wing theocrats of America. A Romney administration would be salivating for Ginsberg to at last turn in her lunch bucket and nominate a jurist who thinks corporations are people and the Earth is only 6000 years old.

In any case, go vote. If you don’t you’re a jerk.

CRAZY IN LOVE

The woman’s haircut was a cross between Moe Howard’s, an Afro, and a mullet. Swear to god.

Plus, she had vacant eyes, which was fitting because, well, once you hear why she was on the talk show, you’ll understand that her cranium was as empty as a Republican’s promises to the Middle Class.

I don’t remember which talk show the woman was on. It could well have been Oprah. I did a tiny bit of research and found that she’d also appeared on Morton Downey, Jr.’s show. And if you remember him, you ought to dash out and get an emergency lobotomy because your brain is tainted.

Her name was Sue Terry and she made the rounds on national television to proclaim to the world that she was in love with John Wayne Gacy.

Sue Terry: The Most Whacked-Out Fangirl Of All Time?

That’s the John Wayne Gacy who was found in 1978 to have buried the corpses of at least 33 young boys and men in the crawlspace beneath his Northwest Side Chicago home.

Gacy was one of the maddest hatters this holy land has ever produced. His defense attorney probably considered it a monumental triumph that he convinced judge, jury, press gallery, and gawkers not to string up his client immediately after the prosecution’s opening statement.

Nevertheless, the woman with the improbable hairdo pledged her undying love to Gacy years after he’d been locked up and was awaiting execution. If memory serves me correctly, when pressed as to why she’d feel so strongly about a man who murdered more frequently than other men clean out the garage, she replied, “Well, he never done nothin’ bad to me.”

Which, come to think of it, is as Tea Party-ish a thought as has ever been uttered.

Anyway, I was reminded of this woman in an article I read about the fearsome nature of girl crushes. The author, Rachel Monroe of the Awl website, begins the story by laying out the crush roster she and her teen pals had: Monroe was smitten with Gavin Rossdale, friend Mary was into Leonardo DiCaprio, and Emily was all about Paul McCartney.

She Loves Him, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

The three made their respective idols the absolute centers of their lives, which is not so terribly fearsome. But the extent that other young girls go to vis a vis the likes of, say, Justin Bieber often is. And then there are those who carry their crushes into adulthood — yick — or whose idols are less than savory characters — even more yicky.

For instance, Monroe reveals, there’s a whole interwebs community of girls who, still to this day, are head over heels for the boys who committed the Columbine shootings. And, natch, there’s now a population of teen girls who are gaga for the loon that shot up the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado earlier this year.

Monroe explores the frightful nature of these and less extreme examples of girl crushes. She writes, “A girl with a crush is also capable of crushing.”

She cites the worries that authorities had about the Beatles when that rage was at its hottest. There was real fear that the Fab Four might eventually be injured or killed by the mobs of shrieking girls that followed them.

Beatlemaniacs surely were not psychotic and if they had harmed the boys, it wouldn’t be because they had malice in their hearts. But those who, like Sue Terry or the Columbine fangirls, are mad for vicious murderers even have a psychiatric handle, hybristophilics.

Can This Be Love?

The piece gets into sexual repression, expression, and double standards. Check it out and explore the hairline border between love and violence.

[h/t to Roger Ebert for the original link to the story.]

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Brought to you by The Electron Pencil: Bloomington Arts, Culture, Politics, and Hot Air. Daily.

STUDIO TOUR ◗ Brown County, various locationsThe Backroads of Brown County Studio Tour, free, self-guided tour of 16 local artists’ & craftspersons’ studios; 10am-5pm, through October

WORKSHOP ◗ Ivy Tech-BloomingtonSolving the Credit Mystery: Credit Counseling Expert Panel, experts from Fifth Third Bank, IU Credit Union, & Regions Bank offer info and advice on credit scores, credit cards, etc.; Noon

LECTURE ◗ IU Latino Cultural Center — “Dancing to Fidel’s Tune: Revolutionary Cuba through Alma Guillermoprieto’s Memoir ‘La Habana en un Espejo’,” Presented by Latino Studies Dissertation Fellow, Silvia Roca-Martinez; Noon

LECTURE ◗ IU Woodburn Hall — “From Food to Fracking: Human Health and the Environment,” Presented by ecologist & author Sandra Steingraber; 4-5pm

MUSIC ◗ The Venue Fine Art & GiftsThe Art of the Harpsichord, Presented by Beth Garfinkel; 5:30pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “The Lives of Others”; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallStudent Recital: Clarinet Studio Concerto Competition; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleRichard Groner; 7-9pm

WORKSHOP ◗ BloomingLabsIntro to Arduino Programming, Arduinos on hand but guest must bring own laptops; 7-9pm

DISCUSSION ◗ Monroe County History CenterCivil War Roundtable: “Hoosiers in the Mexican War Who Became Leaders in the Civil War“; 7-9pm

POLITICS & DISCUSSION ◗ First United Methodist Church — “Health Care Reform and Medicare: Are You Confused?” Bob Zaltsberg of the Herald-Times moderates, 9th District Congressional candidate Shelli Yoder and numerous experts expected to attend; 7-8:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Cafe DjangoJeff Isaac Trio; 7:30pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallContemporary Vocal Ensemble, Dominick DiOrio, conductor, performing Chen Yi, Sandström, Muhly, Cage, Tormis, & DiOrio; 8pm

GAMES ◗ The Root Cellar at Farm BloomingtonTeam trivia; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The BishopRingo Deathstarr, Secret Colours; 9pm

ONGOING:

ART ◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “New Acquisitions,” David Hockney; through October 21st
  • Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists; through October 14th
  • “Paragons of Filial Piety,” by Utagawa Kuniyoshi; through December 31st
  • “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers,” by Julia Margaret, Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan; through December 31st
  • French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century;” through December 31st
  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Film: Pop-art by Joe Tilson; through December 31st
  • Workers of the World, Unite!” through December 31st
  • Embracing Nature,” by Barry Gealt; through December 23rd
  • Pioneers & Exiles: German Expressionism,” through December 23rd

ART ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • Ab-Fab — Extreme Quilting,” by Sandy Hill; October 5th through October 27th
  • Street View — Bloomington Scenes,” by Tom Rhea; October 5th through October 27th
  • From the Heartwoods,” by James Alexander Thom; October 5th through October 27th
  • The Spaces in Between,” by Ellen Starr Lyon; October 5th through October 27th

ART ◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibit:

  • “Samenwerken,” Interdisciplinary collaborative multi-media works; through October 11th

ART ◗ IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibits opening September 28th:

  • A Place Aside: Artists and Their Partners;” through December 20th
  • Gender Expressions;” through December 20th

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibit:

  • “CUBAmistad” photos

ART ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibits:

  • “¡Cuba Si! Posters from the Revolution: 1960s and 1970s”
  • “From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything”
  • “Thoughts, Things, and Theories… What Is Culture?”
  • “Picturing Archaeology”
  • “Personal Accents: Accessories from Around the World”
  • “Blended Harmonies: Music and Religion in Nepal”
  • “The Day in Its Color: A Hoosier Photographer’s Journey through Mid-century America”
  • “TOYing with Ideas”
  • “Living Heritage: Performing Arts of Southeast Asia”
  • “On a Wing and a Prayer”

BOOKS ◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit:

  • Outsiders and Others:Arkham House, Weird Fiction, and the Legacy of HP Lovecraft;” through November 1st
  • A World of Puzzles,” selections form the Slocum Puzzle Collection

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Soup’s OnExhibit:

  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Culture: “CUBAmistad photos; through October

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibit:

  • Bloomington: Then and Now,” presented by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

ARTIFACTS ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibit:

  • “Doctors and Dentists: A Look into the Monroe County Medical professions

The Electron Pencil. Go there. Read. Like. Share.

The Pencil Today:

TODAY’S QUOTE

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” — H.L. Mencken

NEWT’S LATEST BOGEYMAN

Our boy Newty has created a brand new bete noir.

You may recall that almost 20 years ago Newt Gingrich, as the virtual capo of the Republican Party, wrote the infamous “GOPac Memo.”

Mob Chieftan

The memo advised Republican candidates for Congress that specific words and phrases would galvanize public opinion for the GOP and against the Dems. In fact, the memo’s title was “Language: A Key Mechanism of Control.”

Gingrich was convinced that the repetition of these words would create indelible images within the minds of voters, much like a TV sitcom hypnotist’s use of trigger words.

Here are some of the words Gingrich recommended Republicans use to associate with themselves and their party:

  • Common sense
  • Confident
  • Courage
  • Duty
  • Family
  • Liberty
  • Moral
  • Pro-flag
  • Proud
  • Strength
  • Tough
  • Truth

As for the Democrats, Gingrich urged his confreres use these terms:

  • Anti-flag
  • Bizarre
  • Cheat
  • Collapse
  • Decay
  • Disgrace
  • Impose
  • Lie
  • Pathetic
  • Radical
  • Shame
  • Sick
  • Taxes
  • They/them
  • Traitors
  • Waste

Democrats, According To The GOPac Memo

You had to figure the word taxes would be in there. The first word a Republican infant utters upon emerging from the womb is taxes.

Garry Trudeau in his “Doonesbury” strip called the GOPac memo “The Magna Carta of attack politics.”

Anyway, the single most damning, uncomplimentary, insulting word on the list would turn out to be liberal.

To be branded a liberal was tantamount to being barred from winning another election for the rest of your life.

One of the reasons the Democrats so infuriate me is that, instead of embracing the liberal label, they ran from it as if it was analogous to child molester.

Otherwise Known As The List Of Prominent Liberals In Indiana

Thanks in huge part to the GOPac memo, the GOP staged its mini-revolution in the election of 1994. The party gained control of both the House and the Senate and Gingrich became the Speaker of the House.

Say what you will about the craven, cynical nature of the memo, it worked. And Newty is nothing if not an astute politician.

Today, you can be forgiven for thinking liberals don’t even exist in this holy land.

So, now that the Georgia Doughboy is running for president, he finds himself in need of another monster under the bed. He has found it. And he’s got a name for it.

Gingrich’s sworn enemy in these Republican primaries is Mitt Romney. Ergo, Romney must become Newty’s new Godzilla or John Wayne Gacy.

Romney

This week, Newty found the damning terminology for Romney. Since the liberal dragon has been slain, Gingrich has had to move the enemy bar lower.

Here’s the crushing epithet Gingrich now uses against Romney: He’s a Massachusetts moderate.

The horror — a moderate.

Yep. That’s what he called Romney this week, his voice dripping with Newt-ish contempt. “I am the only viable conservative candidate,” Newty added.

Yikes. If these Great United States, Inc. move any further to the right, Ronald Reagan’s gonna be lumped together with Abbie Hoffman.

LEFT BRAIN-LESS

Some of my pals on the far left seem to be going just as batty as Newty — only, of course, in the opposite direction. A lot of radical bloggers and Facebook-posters are so disgusted with the wishy-washy politics of Barack Obama that they’re actively calling for his defeat this November.

They say, What’s the difference between Obama and the Republicans?

Well, I have the answer, in three words: Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The nation’s second female US Supreme Court Associate Justice will turn 79 in March. She’s already been walloped in recent years by colon cancer and pancreatic cancer. She’s as frail as a newborn robin. Plus, she has indicated she’d like to retire at the age of 82, which would mean whoever is president in 2015 will select her successor.

I shudder to think of who Newty Gingrich or Rick Santorum might tap to become the sixth conservative member of that august ennead.

Ann Coulter?

She’s No Moderate

TRUTH IS FICTION

Boxcar Books hosted a book release party for Bloomington’s Julia Karr last night, before the region was iced in.

Karr’s new book, “Truth,” is the sequel to her young adult dystopian novel, “XVI” (or “Sixteen” for the Latin-deprived among us.)

She read a few pages from the fresh tome and took questions from the audience. Karr then revealed she has to split up her writing session each day, sitting at her keyboard for a few hours each morning before going to her day job and then doing the same thing after work.

As expected at these affairs, there were plenty of questions about how an unpublished author can break into the business. Karr kindly advised the wannabe scribes on how to write the perfect query letter and how frustrating and heartbreaking the whole process of trying to get a first book published is.

Karr handled the questions better than I would have. Forget about getting your book published, I’d have advised. Try something easier, like climbing Denali in the middle of winter.

 

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