Friday, December 28

:: How Ignorant Is He?

Mike Huckabee is so ignorant there may be no need
for the writer's strike to end.
I just want to make sure you see all of Mike Huckabee's evolving responses to the Bhutto assassination. I laughed really, really hard. I think you will too. The New York Times has a decent summary:

Explaining statements he made suggesting that the instability in Pakistan should remind Americans to tighten security on the southern border of the United States, Mr. Huckabee said Friday that “we have more Pakistani illegals coming across our border than all other nationalities, except those immediately south of the border.”

Asked to justify the statement, he later cited a March 2006 article in The Denver Post reporting that from 2002 to 2005, Pakistanis were the most numerous non-Latin Americans caught entering the United States illegally. According to The Post, 660 Pakistanis were detained in that period.

A recent report from the Department of Homeland Security, however, concluded that, over all, illegal immigrants from the Philippines, India, Korea, China and Vietnam were all far more numerous than those from Pakistan.

In a separate interview on Friday on MSNBC, Mr. Huckabee, a Republican, said that the Pakistani government “does not have enough control of those eastern borders near Afghanistan to be able go after the terrorists.” Those borders are on the western side of Pakistan, not the eastern side.

Further, he offered an Orlando crowd his “apologies for what has happened in Pakistan.” His aides said later that he meant to say “sympathies.”

He also said he was worried about martial law “continuing” in Pakistan, although Mr. Musharraf lifted the state of emergency on Dec. 15. Mr. Huckabee later said that he was referring to a renewal of full martial law and said that some elements, including restrictions on judges and the news media, had continued.

Mr. Huckabee’s comments on the situation in Pakistan were not the first time he has been caught unprepared on foreign policy matters. Early this month, after the release of a National Intelligence Estimate concluding that Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons program in 2003, Mr. Huckabee said that he was not familiar with the report, even though it had been widely reported in the news for more than 30 hours.

Read more!

Thursday, December 27

:: Juno

So have any of you seen Juno yet? I'm dying to discuss it with some like-minded souls. I went to see it with my mother, which was interesting in itself. And then my father said later on that he hadn't wanted to see it because he didn't like the premise, i.e. a pregnant 16-year-old. To which I responded that there are about 750,000 teen pregnancies each year in the U.S. so it's not like one movie makes that more or less a reality. (This also seems strange seeing as I work on precisely this issue, but I guess it's okay because I work on the prevention aspect, and of course, prevention always works...)

I don't have to go on about the fact that there are barely any pop culture examples where women actually make the choice to have an abortion. And while I will give the movie props for the fact that she at least goes to an abortion clinic, it was not a great portrayal. (Plus, to be technical, the movie takes place in Minnesota, and they make reference to having to involve your parents at one clinic but not another, which doesn't make sense unless she's going to another state without a parental notification law like Minnesota has. Also, Minnesota has a 24-hour waiting period law, and they make it seem like she just went to the clinic and could have had the abortion immediately and been on her way, and it wouldn't have been that easy.) Even without all the technicalities, they did make it seem like you can just pop in for an abortion after school and be home for dinner, and it is a little bit more complicated than that. I could almost understand if you were a concerned state legislator watching this that you would think there need to be some more procedures in place to make sure women are making informed choices when she barely got past the waiting room. That being said, I also could see how being 16 and alone in that waiting room might be enough to make you decide against the whole thing without having had any more information than she had at that moment. And as my mother said, she did make her own choice even if she didn't have all the information and support that I wish she would have had.

Overall, though, the movie did a good job at showing why adoption is not the be all and end all solution to the problem of unintended teen pregnancies - it's complicated and messy and has lots of unintended consequences that spill out all over the place in ways that 16-year-olds can't foresee. And the movie does a great job of portraying that messiness. I won't give away too much of the plot, but I also felt an enormous amount of empathy for the prospective adoptive couple and how much they were so dependent on the whims of this 16-year-old to give them the thing they want most of all because of their inability to conceive on their own. But they are also lucky because they have the resources to actually be able to do something about their situation. (I am forever haunted by this story I read in the Washington Post magazine several years ago about infertile couples who don't have the resources to invest in adoption and infertility treatments and how few options are available to them for having children, although I guess becoming a foster parent is always one option.)

In the end, reproduction can be quite complicated when it doesn't take place within certain boundaries, and the movie portrays the messiness and complexity quite well. While I may quibble with certain parts of the movie, this larger point remains true. And it's definitely thought-provoking - I've been thinking about it for hours, and I hope it's generating discussion among people seeing it about some issues that often times people would rather not discuss. But we love to discuss thing so I'd love to hear your thoughts if you've seen it. And if you haven't, I recommend it because I want to talk about it with someone... Read more!

Saturday, December 22

:: Girl Power

Why we say women don't vote -
and why we may not want to talk about it

There is another great post by Margie Omero at
“Why Women (Are Assumed to) Fail to Vote" looks back at a number of media stories that claim (a) women are less likely to vote than men, and (b) the reason they vote less is gender-specific.

Of course we know by now that women are more likely to vote than men, and that this gap increases in each subsequent presidential election - a fact that makes me do a happy dance if I think no one is watching.

Omero doesn’t suggest reasons why the media likes this storyline, and writes “It's unclear to me why it helps women to suggest they are uniquely challenged by voting.” I have great respect for her restraint: a less scrupulous writer could have indulged in any number of unfounded hypotheses.

I, however, am a stranger to concepts like restraint and scruples, and thus will offer a hypothesis of my own. (And sorry, Buffy, Ladybec, and Zippy - I'm going to give the drawn-out version of a story you know quite well, just in case someone other than us four are paying attention. Unlikely, I know, but possible).

We all know that there are 501(c)(3) organizations and foundations with charitable, social missions who see, clear as day, that the lions-share of Republican elected officials hurt the most vulnerable members of society. They spend a lot of their resources trying to mend the damage caused by the GOP after the fact. Obviously they know that it is ethically preferable as well as more efficient to prevent the damage from occurring in the first place – and the most expedient way to do that is to prevent these sociopaths from being elected in the first place.

However, we also know that partisan electoral involvement is proscribed for 501(c)(3)s and foundations. This leaves a lot of caring, thinking people with a conundrum: they are charged with improving the lives of the most vulnerable, but prevented by law from using one of the most expedient strategies to do so.

What to do? Well, 501(c)(3)s and foundations are permitted to engage in a very, very limited range of election related activities designed to increase voter participation. Encouraging the participation of traditionally underrepresented groups such as minorities and women fits within those parameters.

We also know that minority and women voters tend to oppose candidates who model themselves after the God of the Old Testament. But you don’t need to say that. Instead, you just need to make the case that women are under-performing and that it’s in the general social interest to promote the engagement of this traditionally disenfranchised group in the political process. Thus, the impetus is created for the storyline that women don’t vote as often as men for a range of gender-specific reasons.

There. I've spilled the beans. Beans: everywhere.

Of course, when it comes to media coverage, this storyline depends on the reporter’s perception that women lag behind men in all things – education, income, and so on. The reality is changing, but not all of us are keeping up. Some of us have lost the thread.

My question is: do we want reporters who easily lose the thread when it comes to gender filing more stories on women voters – or are we better off just keeping on keeping on, until the day comes when America wakes up to find that women hold more top leadership positions, earn more and are better educated than men? I mean, do we really want to tip our hand this soon?

I jest, of course. Really, I just don’t want to read any more Robin Givhan-esque style-section pieces on the new woman voter. I don’t want to hear any more Chris Matthews tirades about which candidate women should be voting for. And I sure has hell don’t want to hear about any more cocktail / yoga / Pilates parties designed to lure giggly gals into the twisted labyrinth known as voter education. Please, anything but that. Read more!

Tuesday, December 18

:: I Don't <3 Huckabee

I just don't feel I can point out often enough what a yahoo Huckabee is. But today, the lovely and talented Ann Telnaes did my job for me!

And please, can someone please explain and real, substantive difference between Hilary and Obama, besides style? Anyone? Buffy?

P.S. You are not allowed to use universal (or nearly) health care as an example. Read more!

:: Damnation Through Praise

As a fervent Hillary supporter, my heart sunk when I saw the title of David Brooks' New York Times column this morning: The Obama-Clinton Issue. God, no, I thought. I am just not equipped to handle a Brooks pro-Hillary column.

Luckily I could breathe a sigh of relief - the column is actually pro-Obama. But just as I feared would be the case for Hillary, Brooks' words are a classic example of the "with friends like these" principle. While I think Obama's campaign rhetoric leaves him open to this kind of, um, love letter, this is too much - the campaign version of cruel-and-unusual punishment.

Brooks praises Obama for his consistent, pensive, docile demeanor:

But Obama does not ratchet up hostilities; he restrains them. He does not lash out at perceived enemies, but is aloof from them… This is a worldview that detests anger as a motivating force, that distrusts easy dichotomies between the parties of good and evil, believing instead that the crucial dichotomy runs between the good and bad within each individual.

Obama did not respond to his fatherlessness or his racial predicament with anger and rage, but as questions for investigation, conversation and synthesis. He approaches politics the same way. […] He pursues liberal ends in gradualist, temperamentally conservative ways.

Oy. Brooks, short version: I'm for Obama because he seems unlikely to push back hard against conservatives.

As usual, I don't agree. I think Obama would push back hard against a number of conservative demands. Whether or not he has the ability to do so effectively - and more effectively than any other candidate - is in question.

Brooks, a compulsive science-molester, adds a note of wackiness to the procedings with one of his weird analogies:

The presidency is a bacterium.

It finds the open wounds in the people who hold it. It infects them, and the resulting scandals infect the presidency and the country.

Okay, big guy. Keep hitting that 'nog.

Happily, the column ends with a short, simple sentence that makes sense of it all:
"Bob Herbert is off today."
Read more!

Monday, December 17

:: Lost and Found

Some recommended reading…
There are two fascinating items at about the preferences and performance of female voters. The first is “Anxious About ‘Single Anxious Women.’” Here’s the topic sentence:

It's almost official. Single women are poised to be the "Security Mom" or "Soccer mom" of the 2008 election. They even have their own easy to remember moniker: the "Single Anxious Female." At first blush, it seems like a good thing for women. A woman top-tier candidate, a focus on women's issues and women's voters - it must be a good thing, right?
It alludes to a stumper of a forced-choice question: do we want more coverage of women’s issues, knowing that the coverage will play to outrageous stereotypes – or, given the numbskull pundits we have to deal with, should we consider the less said, the better?

The second item is “The Gender Gap in Turnout is Likely to Widen.”
[With] women across marital status groups voting at a higher rate than men, this gender gap in turnout has existed for years, and is poised to widen further.
Not only does this article have charts, beautiful charts, but it is also the best news I’ve read in a long, long time.

These items bring me back to a much-discussed article in Salon called “So Long, White Boy.” It discusses the gender gap in a less rigorous way, but does articulate an interesting question: should the Democratic party give up on targeting white independent male voters? This topic is also discussed in "HuffPost Forum: Should the Dems Love White Guys, or Dump Them"

The idea, in sum, is that black male voters are solidly in the base; a good chunk of white male labor voters are in the base; white gay, jewish, enviro and/or committed progressive male voters are in the base – so does the party really need to waste time trying to persuade the remaining male voters (straight, white, Christian or atheist men for whom progressive issues are not salient)?

I think of these guys as Howard Stern voters. They are conceivably, and temptingly, persuadable. They self-identify as rebels, iconoclasts, mavericks or libertarians, though they think "civil liberties" boils down to their right to gamble, listen to Howard Stern and consume as much porn as they can manage. They hate conservative evangelical candidates, for the evangelicals are the enemy of gambling and Howard Stern and porn. And the enemy of our enemy is our friend, no?

No. For one thing, they love macho foreign policy and posturing in general (Dennis Miller and Bill Maher are their patron saints; Rudy would be their ideal candidate if not for that Times Square thing) and they will never let go of the notion that the GOP is the party of kicking ass and taking names. The Dems could distance themselves from "mommy" issues, keep feminists and gays at arm's length, bray about the rich screwing the working man and stomp their feet about being pro-gun and pro-NASCAR all they want, but these guys will always see the Dems as the catcher to the GOP's pitcher.
Besides, theirs is the politics of selfishness, and it is fundamentally incompatible with the New Deal / Great Society spirit that animates the Democratic party’s progressive agenda. We’re much better off trying to persuade an ever-larger share of female independent and Republican voters with choice, health care and the environment– a goal that can be accomplished without stooping to the buffoonery of macho chickenhawks who live in a cocoon padded by sports, misogyny and sycophantic media.

Moving right along, the National Conference of State Legislators devotes a section of its website to the analysis of electoral system issues, including proposals to move to a national popular vote, districting reform, the initiative process (with database of initiatives by state) and so on. Talk about feeling like a kid in a candy shop.

A very interesting article in the LA Times captures the complexity of the debate surrounding the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and TB and GAVI. It has the unfortunate title “The Unintended Victims of Gates’ Generosity”but don’t let that stop you. It’s filled with interesting facts related to evidence-based benchmarking of success, the interconnectedness of causes of mortality, and the pros and cons of different types of aid. One interesting quote:
Pregnancy-related deaths often have been the highest in nations where most aid has gone to treat AIDS, TB and malaria, said Dr. Francis Omaswa, special advisor for human resources at the WHO. "People find it easier to talk about AIDS, about malaria."
To end on a positive note, this is from National Journal's Hotline "On Call" blog:
Hillary Clinton took to the streets of Manchester Saturday,seeking to seal the deal with some local voters during the last weekend before the holiday season. She found a mostly supportive group of voters, as well as a few rambunctious canines.

En route between homes, Clinton stopped to greet the Roukey family, who was enjoying a walk with their brand new dog, Samantha. "I get to meet Samantha on the very first day!" Clinton said as the excited pooch jumped up to greet her.

"Samantha, I will be a good president for dogs," she told the animal.

Read more!

Thursday, December 13

:: Former Head of Feminist Organization Admits Life is More Important Than Privacy

Why, people?
Why must we offer bad soundbites like so much leftover Halloween candy?

"Let's face it: Weigh the moral scales of privacy against life and there is no contest."

Well, read the column. Yes, the human rights argument is valuable and effective elsewhere around the world. Unfortunately the last time Americans cared about "human rights" as defined by international norms was... was... when was that, exactly? Last time I checked, we're still the country happy to take a long, leisurely piss on the Geneva Convention if Jack Bauer thinks its a good idea. Besides, you get into "whose human rights?" and all that.

The next person who knocks privacy (aka "the right for you to keep your goddamn hands to yourself") and Roe in my presence is going to get a special knock of their own.

Just sayin'. Read more!

:: "Someone" is Frustrated...

"Someone" sent us an unapproved phone script, hot off the campaign press.

Hi may I please speak with______?

Hello! This is ["Someone"]. I am calling on behalf of [Candidate X]. How are you doing this evening?


Have you decided who you are supporting in the presidential primary?

Still “undecided”?


Have there not been enough TV and radio ads, phone calls, mail and debates for you?

Is there a certain issue of concern to you? “None in particular”? Really? Are you totally apathetic?


Will you be voting for the last name you hear before walking into the room?

I see!

What would it take to make you decide right now?

Money? A gun?

I am taking away your voter registration.

You can not be trusted to use it wisely.

Thank you and have a good evening.


I think someone needs to send "Someone" a care package....

Read more!

Tuesday, December 11

:: There's Conservative, and Then There's Just Plain Dumb, and Then There is Evil - and Sometimes All Three"

Zippy’s post below "There’s conservative, and then there’s just plain dumb" describes Mike Huckabees weird-ass answer to a softball question about the Global Fund for AIDS, Malaria and TB.

[And really, who doesn’t support the Global Fund? No one, that’s who. The Global Fund has so much support that they're richer than many countries; hell, they're probably richer than Jesus. Of course you say you support the Global Fund, you nitwit, and then talk about the great work they are doing to prevent malaria and tuberculosis. Or you say you support the Global Fund, and add something about how America needs to use its moral influence to ensure their policies don’t do harm along with good. For the love of Rhoda, is it that hard?]

Not surprisingly, I had what you might call “a reaction” of my own to the news about Huckabee. It seems that not only did he support quarantines back in the day --
he continues to support them now. (Yes. Still. Now. I’m not making this up. To paraphrase the best line in Blair Witch Project– I’m not that fucking creative.) That Huckabee doesn't do the obvious thing and say "yeah, changed my mind about the whole quarantine thing - a bit too Castro, IMHO" is really just so fucking typical of these people. (And by “these people” I mean our homegrown corn-fed proto-fascists).

Huckabee refuses to recant his position, but has indicated he would like to lie about it now.

As a Senate candidate in 1992, Huckabee told the AP in a questionnaire that "we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague" if the federal government was going to deal with the spread of the disease effectively. "It is the first time in the history of civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague have not been isolated from the general population, and in which this deadly disease for which there is no cure is being treated as a civil rights issue instead of the true health crisis it represents," he said then.

In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," Huckabee denied that those words were a call to quarantine the AIDS population, although he did not explain how else isolation would be achieved. "I didn't say we should quarantine," he said. The idea was not to "lock people up."

Huckabee acknowledged the prevailing scientific view then, and since, that the virus that causes AIDS is not spread through casual contact, but said that was not certain.

"I still believe this today," Huckabee said Sunday, that "we were acting more out of political correctness" in responding to the AIDS crisis. "I don't run from it, I don't recant it," he said of his position in 1992. Yet he said he would state his view differently in retrospect.

Huckabee also stated in 1992 that HIV/AIDS research was receiving too much federal funding.

Now, even the most obtuse moral relativist – someone who would just as soon see male hairdressers and florists burnt at the stake so long as it was approved by a local majority vote - could see how Huckabee’s ideological take on this issue ran counter to our interest in public health. If a quarantine were justified because AIDS, like “plague,” could be spread by casual contact, thereby causing mass fatalities – wouldn’t you want to spend more on research, not less? I mean, who says we have an epidemic of deadly plague sweeping through America’s cities, and we’re spending way too much on stopping it”? That is not a rhetorical question, by the way. For real – you only say that if you have no problem with the impact of the plague on the afflicted population. Or if you are a moron. Or if you are a complete sociopath.

From the sound of things, Huckabee may well be all three. So I guess that’s my answer to your question, Zippy.

The Washington Post has a good editorial about Huck and the plague, thereby illustrating the “broken clock is right twice a day” principle. Shockingly, its worth a read.

My prediction – which I shared with Scientist-at-Large before I saw this article, thank you very much –is Huckabee will meet with Ryan White's mom for a mushy photo op and it will be "no harm, no foul" according to the MSM. (And if Mom White says something negative about Huck, or refuses to meet with him at all, watch for the obligatory “Cindy Sheehan” hatchet job). Meanwhile the base will get the message, sub rosa, that should the opportunity arise he’ll be first in line to stick it to the homos.

Read more!

:: There's conservative, and then there's just plain dumb

This is priceless. In a house stop in New Hampshire, Mike Huckabee is asked whether is "Christian beliefs" would keep him from supporting prevention programs advocated by the Global AIDS Fund. While he never actually says no, he does spend a great deal of time talking about how asking someone who is HIV+ to have safer sex is like asking someone to drive not as drunk as they would otherwise. Or to please not be quite so violent with their partners.

Well, gosh, that sure cleared it up for me.

Our friends at Pandagon and Pam's House Blend had fun with Huckabee's '92 statement that AIDS patients should be quarantined. I was willing to knock that up to being an ignorant redneck -- I mean, we were already well into the epidemic, but frankly, a lot of poor Southern states were totally behind the ball then and now.

And it's not like I was cheering for Huckabee either -- sure, he's a charming, rock-music-loving Baptist preacher man, but I'm pretty sure he's well convinced that I'm going to hell for any number of factors of my lifestyle (the drinking, the sex, the belief in a woman's autonomy).

But now I'm quite quite he's truly evil. Let's sum up, shall we?

Oh, and he's willing to admit evolution into the classroom as "the prevailing scientific theory" but he thinks students should be exposed to others.


So tell me, do any of the other Republican candidates rival this one for the Ignorant Redneck award? Read more!

Wednesday, December 5

:: Ladies, This Is Serious

The New York Times' John Tierney has gone too far.
We know people: let's get them to contact the Times.

Long story short - John Tierney, now posting in the New York Times' science section since he was demoted from the op-ed page, has written a lot of stupid things. But the latest drives right past stupid all the way to evil.

Tierney has posted TWO items defending "female circumcision."

I really didn't think such a thing would be possible in the New York Times, but yes, Tierney has twice devoted his column space to defending "female circumcision" (according to Tierney, "female genital mutilation" is a deliberately inflammatory term dreamed up by radical feminists to "subvert debate").

I'll give you the details in a moment. But first - my point. We know people. These people need to write the New York Times to (1) set the record straight, and (2) ask them what the fuck they're thinking allowing this sort of trash into print.

Now, the details: Tierney's first post appeared on November 30. He called it "A New Debate on Female Circumcision." [I know; don't even get me started with the "new."] It begins:
"Should African women be allowed to engage in the practice sometimes called female circumcision? Are critics of this practice, who call it female genital mutilation, justified in trying to outlaw it, or are they guilty of ignorance and cultural imperialism?"
The impetus for Tierney's post was a panel discussion held at the American Anthopological Society's annual meeting. Tierney approvingly cites one panelist, who is described thusly:
"Dr. Ahmadu, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Chicago, was raised in America and then went back to Sierra Leone as an adult to undergo the procedure along with fellow members of the Kono ethnic group. She has argued that the critics of the procedure exaggerate the medical dangers, misunderstand the effect on sexual pleasure, and mistakenly view the removal of parts of the clitoris as a practice that oppresses women. She has lamented that her Westernized 'feminist sisters insist on denying us this critical aspect of becoming a woman in accordance with our unique and powerful cultural heritage.'"
He also quotes some freakshow, Richard Shweder, from the University of Chicago:
"Dr. Shweder says that many Westerners trying to impose a “zero tolerance” policy don’t realize that these initiation rites are generally controlled not by men but by women who believe it is a cosmetic procedure with aesthetic benefits. He criticizes Americans and Europeans for outlawing it at the same they endorse their own forms of genital modification, like the circumcision of boys or the cosmetic surgery for women called “vaginal rejuvenation.” After surveying studies of female circumcision and comparing the data with the rhetoric about its harmfulness, Dr. Shweder concludes that '‘First World’ feminist issues and political correctness and activism have triumphed over the critical assessment of evidence.'"
Oh yes, Richard, please tell us ignorant, hysterical feminists the truth about this minor cosmetic procedure. [I can't wait to look up what else this creep has written].

Tierney concludes with the following:
"If I were asked to make a decision about my own daughter, I wouldn’t choose circumcision for her. But what about the question raised by these anthropologists: Should outsiders be telling African women what initiation practices are acceptable?"
I'm going to keep my critique to a minimum. Beyond the horrible misogyny (I'm not even going to start) there's the horrible racism: Tierney never mentions the African and Arab women and men who oppose FGM, and frames the question as whether the "enlightened" west should be telling the "ignorant savages" what to do.

Then, to my utter disgust and amazement, Tierney excreted a second post on the topic. "'Circumcision' or 'Mutilation'? And Other Questions About a Rite in Africa" appeared today. Tierney makes like he's going to address the critics of his previous post, then pulls a bait and switch and repeats the same argument he made before, but with more detail.

Here's the gist of it:
"My conclusion... is that the harmful practice claim has been highly exaggerated and that many of the representations in the advocacy literature and the popular press are nearly as fanciful as they are nightmarish. A close and critical reading of the much publicized 2006 Lancet publication of the “WHO Study Group on Female Genital Mutilation,” which received widespread, immediate and sensationalize coverage in the press because of its purported claims about infant and maternal mortality during the hospital birth process, suggests to me that again there is not very much to write home about." [....]

"The best evidence available at the moment suggests to me that the anthropologist Robert Edgerton basically had it right when he wrote about the Kenyan practice in the 1920s and 1930s as a crucible in which it is not just the courage of males but also the courage of females that gets tested: “…most girls bore it bravely and few suffered serious infection or injury as a result. Circumcised women did not lose their ability to enjoy sexual relations, nor was their child-bearing capacity diminished. Nevertheless the practice offended Christian sensibilities”. As Charles put it in his comment: 'Personal revulsion is not a good basis for making general policy.'"
In case you didn't catch that - Tierney is saying that (1) FGM is really not that bad, and (2) we shouldn't oppose it. While this "initiation rite" may offend our delicate sensibilities, its not our place to question a practice that most African girls think is just hunky dory.

Along the way, in neither post does Tierney mention that "female genital mutilation" is the term used by the World Health Organization and the United Nations overall; that a number of African countries already outlaw FGM; that FGM, as a custom, has nothing to do with Islam; that there are strong indigenous movements against FGM; and that there are plenty of facts available from experts working at reputable international agencies.

I know I'm repeating myself, but I really can't believe that we're so uncivilized that the most prestigious newspaper in the country will actually publish a "debate" over whether or not one should oppose the partial or complete amputation of little girls' genitals. Is there anything a person can't say about women? Are there no depths to which we can't sink?

I am so sick of this. Read more!

:: Famous Last Words

This evening, with no sense of irony whatsoever, the Lurking Canary's Scientist-at-Large sent the following e-mail from his laboratory:

"BTW, I probably won't be home before 8. I've run into something that's probably important and very puzzling."


It's like he's never been to the movies. Well, when you get the call to evacuate, just remember you heard it here first. Read more!