19 thoughts on “It’s your weekend open thread

  1. There doesn’t seem to be any amount of money the billionaires won’t spend to buy our government. While the economic royalists have similar goals right now, I can imagine a time when divisions might open up among them. Donald Trump might suspect the Koch Brothers are shoving his interests aside (they’re taking over the Cato Institute, after all) or Sheldon Adelson might suspect that the Coors empire is laughing at him behind his back. If we’re stuck with corporate money buying our politicians, could a money “arms race” bankrupt today’s players? Could “divide and conquer” split the big money interest lobby? The Koch brothers are holding their first political convention but the attendees are mostly alpha males, each of whom is used to being the boss. Perhaps we should be working to hasten the inevitable power struggles among them.

  2. I’m watching the Egyptian election results. Congratulations to the brave patriots and freedom fighters of Egypt! May the “Arab Summer” continue the joy and solidarity of the Arab spring!

    1. An Egyptian plumber in Alexandria beat his pregnant wife to death upon learning that she had not voted for Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Mohammed Mursi,

      And now that Radical Islam is taking over that country it will become even more oppressive for women and most everyone else in Egypt who do not follow the ways of the Koran.

      1. Well, well, well. If it isn’t the pot calling the kettle black. Dante, purveyor of Right Wing Radicalism and Propagandist of Conservative Extremism is concerned about oppression in Egypt? Perhaps, Dante, you might try offering a little concern for the Radicalization occurring here in Wisconsin, the Radicalization occurring here in the United States – Radical Conservative oppression, I may add, for which you’ve consistently voiced unwavering support. If you truly do have genuine concern about oppressive conditions for women, then I guess you’ll be abandoning your support for the Radicalized GOP here in the USA.

        1. PJ are you really that stupid? Oppression of women in America? How stupid are you? I am sure I am going to get in trouble here at liberal-land for asking if you are stupid, but to compare what the women in Islamic countries go through to the women here in America is a insult and disgusting, you are truly an idiot.

          1. Are you stupid? Women are being oppressed – subtly and not so subtly – right here in our own country. The fact that you’re blind to that is unsurprising but still disappointing.

              1. Dante,

                You are a mouthpiece for Conservative Extremism occurring right here in Wisconsin and right here in the USA. Put forth all the examples you wish regarding Islamic Conservatism. They will all be inconsistent and hypocritical examples if you promote Conservative Extremism in your own back yard – which is precisely what you do.

                When you denounce the Extremist GOP agenda that prevents women from earning as much in wages as a man; the Regressive GOP agenda that restricts a woman from controlling her own body; the Immoral GOP agenda that denies American girls responsible medically-based sex education in public schools and reasonable access to HPV vaccines; when you withdraw your support for the Nefarious GOP agenda seeking to eliminate the social safety net that disproportionately impacts women and single mothers; when you reject the silencing of women legislators by patriarchal extremists; when you reject the Radicalized GOP agenda altogether Then and Only Then will your demonstrations of Islamic conservatism mean anything at all.

                I repeat: If you are genuinely concerned about rejecting oppression and intolerance in the world, start right here at home in the United States of America – otherwise your observations about Islam are nothing more than insincere, blustering piffle.

          2. No Dante, is you who is stupid. But that would be news to no one except you. If somehow you believe that it’s not possible for extremist xtians to exist in this country, then you really need to wake up.

          3. Dante,

            I realize this may come as a surprise to you given your ever empathetic and nuanced perception of the world, but women have been oppressed in America for a very long time. One major oppressive force in The United States of America is the Radicalized Right Wing with it extremist ant-choice legislation propped up by Right Wing Anti-Choice Terrorist Activism. To date, to their credit, roughly:

            8 Murders
            17 Attempted Murders
            41 Bombings
            175 Instances of Arson
            391 Invasions
            100 Butyric Acid Attacks
            662 Anthrax Threats
            532 Instances of Stalking
            48 Death Threats Against Clinic Workers
            And untold numbers of Right Wing Terrorist Activists attempting to assault patients entering abortion clinics.

            Your concern about “oppression of women and most everyone else in Egypt” is not only hypocritical but immorally hypocritical. If you have genuine concern for oppression and intolerance, reject the Radical Right Wing Extremists right here in the United States of America.

            1. Islamic Laws for Women
              The Qur’an also treats women like a pieces of property for men. The ease of divorce accommodates the man, but not the women (in most cases she needs her husband’s permission).
              A woman’s legal testimony is worth half of a man’s

              So yeah let’s talk about real oppression not made up left wing drivel

              1. If we want to talk about how women are treated in holy books, let’s just look at what the Bible says about women:

                • “And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.” (Leviticus 21:9)
                • “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean.” (Leviticus 12:2)

                  “But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days.” (Leviticus 12:5)

                • “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” (I Corinthians 11:3)
                • “Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” (I Timothy 2:11-14)
                • “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” (Ephesians 5:22-24)
                • “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” (I Corinthians 14:34-35)
                1. Wow you people are unbelievable and the exact reason this country has gone to shit. I am left speechless by the ignorance demonstrated here.

                  Oh and by the way Leviticus 21:9 “A priest’s daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death.

                  Leviticus 12:2 Tell the Israelites: When a woman has conceived and gives birth to a boy, she shall be unclean for seven days, with the same uncleanness as at her menstrual period.

                  I would correct the rest of your misquotes from the Bible but have dealt with protestants in the past I would have better luck talking to a wall.

                  1. There’s a difference between a misquote and a difference in translation, though I wouldn’t expect you to understand the difference.

                    Either way, the translations you provided affirm my point, which is that the Bible teaches oppression of women.

                    Oh, and FYI – I’m not a protestant.

  3. I’m thinking about the “Reverse Robin Hood” allusion in the podcast from a few days ago. I am liking the term less and less. Not that it doesn’t capture an appropriate sense of modern day robber elites, but in some way, the notion cedes the essence of Robin Hood to Conservatives. Robin Hood, second only to Cyrano D’Bergerac, is my favorite literary hero. I don’t want to cede his essence to its reversion. In part because the literary persona of the Robin Hood who robbed from the rich to give to the poor is reductive and unrepresentative of the varied literary tradition that preceded it. In part the forgotten roots of Robin Hood are entirely appropriate for our modern struggle and also more inspiring than “Robin Hood in Reverse.”

    In some Late Medieval ballads, Robin Hood is not an heroic bandit, but an heroic band. Little John, Will Scarlet, Much, Gilbert of the White Hand, and Robin Hood were a leaderless band renowned for their cunning, lively spirit, and loyalty. They didn’t necessarily rob, but they did resist oppressive authority. Spritely wit served as a means to thwart the structures of corrupt power – feudalism primarily, but also church corruption. They represented collective resistance of ordinary folk. Eventually the figure of Robin Hood emerged as a personification of the band.

    Out of the literary tradition a number of very real resistance movements occurred. These consisted of groups of disenfranchised yeoman (laborers) who organized against tyrannical conditions, conditions of economic warfare. They called themselves The Robin Hood Assembly, and a number of them did engage in some rather nasty confrontations with their feudal overlords. “Robin Hood” marked the identity of collective resistance to tyrannical authoritarianism, not necessarily a single figure of heroic leadership.

    Another interesting development were the Robin Hood play-games – seasonal folk plays generally associated with spring and summer festival feasting. The autumn/winter counterpart was the Morris dancing, mumming tradition from which trick-or-treating evolved. Both shared some common features though, and one was symbolic upturning of the social order which emphasized egalitarianism triumphing over established hierarchy. Often during the Robin Hood games, the actors portraying Robin Hood and his merry band gathered money from the audience; the collected monies were then used for public infrastructure neglected by the monarchy or nobility – repairing roads, buildings, bridges, dams etc.

    Robin Hood was also symbolic of antiauthoritarian charitable empathy: “He did poor men much good” as one of the earliest texts asserts. Robin Hood, even after personified as an individual rather than a band, was admired for his assistance to widows and giving clothing to the poor in addition to defending the disenfranchised locals from unyielding oppression. And, notably, Robin was much loved for his honesty: “He speaks the truth” says an early ballad.

    So, I’m thinking We the Merry Robin Hoods. In our collective resistance to oppressive authority may we not forget jest and mirth. May we do so with cleverness and wit. May we hold always to empathy and loyalty for our ordinary folk.

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