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Dark n Stormy Knight

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: East Coast
Home country: USA
Current location: MidAtlantic US
Member since: Wed Oct 24, 2012, 09:05 PM
Number of posts: 3,010

About Me


Journal Archives

The patriarchy has been such a powerful and influential force over a long period of time that we can

safely assume that it has has significant influence on just about everything, but particularly things related to male-female relationships and sexuality in general.

You want to talk absurdity? Denying that one's sexual preferences, including kinks, within one's sexual orientation can be taught is one of the most absurd things I've ever heard. Not in the least reality-based.

Most things are learned and what is learned is overwhelmingly influenced by the society in which one lives. And most things about the society in which we live have come down to us though the system of patriarchy. That's the reality.

Questioning whether what we've been taught to enjoy is ultimately positive for us as women and for humanity in general, is not a "Church Lady" thing.

And here is an extremely insightful article that addresses that in relation to 50 Shades.

The real reasons for the popularity of Fifty Shades, and for the persistent role of domination and submission in women’s sexual imaginations, are rooted in what it actually means to live life in a female body—and the truth about that is so dark it makes Christian Grey’s Red Room of Pain seem as innocuous as a backyard sandbox.

So when people pontificate about women’s intrinsic sexual nature, I find myself thinking: How do you know? How can we ourselves even know? From earliest childhood, women’s experience of sex is so inextricably intertwined with all forms of male control that submission is forever eroticized in more ways than we can possibly unravel. As females, we have been dominated physically, politically, socially, legally, and economically, and pop culture endlessly reinforces the message. Hip-hop derides bitches and ho’s, an entire genre of blockbuster videogames depicts female characters as sexualized corpses or disposable prostitutes, fashion sells bondage dresses with leather cages, and Hollywood recycles domination themes from 9 1⁄2 Weeks to Secretary to Venus in Fur. Sex is fused with violence for countless women who suffer domestic abuse by husbands and lovers. More than a third of all female homicide victims are killed by intimate partners.

Given those realities, who can say what we would be like in a world where our sexual desires, and the way we express them, were freely chosen instead of imposed on us by a lifetime of social conditioning? Fifty Shades of Grey may represent the ultimate appropriation for capitalist consumption of themes that have resonated throughout history, but one thing its popularity can’t tell us is the truth about female sexuality.

Such a great article I think it needs its own OP. I'll try to get to that.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Mon Feb 23, 2015, 05:06 PM (0 replies)

Video of the Moment: companion video to the Elizabeth Warren meme

OK, maybe the moment was 4 and half years ago, but, with all due respect (and that's a lot of respect) to Elizabeth Warren, I don't think anyone will every explain trickle down quite as well as Stephen Colbert did in this The Word segment:

And here is a transcript of the best/worst part, (The words from the screen next to Colbert a re shown in parentheses after the related script text.) But, watch the video. It's hilarious.

Yes. Deficits do matter. And that is as true today as the last time a Democrat was in office. (Back then we called them surpluses) In fact, Republicans have put their deficit nuts on the table. By repeatedly filibustering benefits to 15 million unemployed Americans, because that would add $33 billion to the deficit. And that would just be passing that bill onto future generations. (Of Chinese)

So, arguing to add $1 trillion to the deficit to give these tax cuts to the wealthy makes it look hypocritical and heartless. (Instead of just hypocritical) Well, here's why they're not. Economists know tax cuts for wealthy Americans benefit everyone. It's even got a name. ("Self-serving rationalization")

It's called the "trickle down theory". Here's how it works. Let's say I'm in the top 3% of wage earners. Because I am. And this Bud Light Lime is a refreshing tax cut. With lime. (Tastes great, less filing) Now, the bigger my tax cut is, the more money I can pour into the system.

Then, very soon, the benefits will work their way through the system, and trickle down. I mean, like a racehorse. Then, the other 97% of poorer Americans are welcome to have as much of that as they can collect. (Transcript courtesy of this Daily Kos Diary.)
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Sat Jan 10, 2015, 07:39 AM (4 replies)

Massive fraud in the Social Security Disability system!

Appears to be a RW fiction.

Fraud appears limited to relatively few cases in the disability program, although it is difficult to know precisely how many beneficiaries could be working. A report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office found that about 0.4 percent of disability beneficiaries were likely receiving improper payments, because they were working before or after they began receiving checks. Another report by Social Security's inspector general examined administrative law judges who were approving an unusually high proportion of disability applications and concluded that some of those approvals may have been mistaken. That group of beneficiaries also accounted for about 0.4 percent of all those receiving disability payments.

And while it's true that more and more people are on disability, this is largely a result of the fact that the workforce is getting older and more likely to be hurt or sick, according to Kathy Ruffing of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-of-center think tank. About seven in ten disability recipients are at least 50 years old -- and that group is also expanding to include the women who entered the workforce at the beginning of their careers decades ago.

Mo Better info at my subsequent post on the subject.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:09 AM (2 replies)

It's OK if you can't discern and enjoy those characteristics. Many can.

On the surface "I Want To Hold Your Hand" is deceptively straightforward and regular in design. Its high-level form is a standard two-bridge model with only one verse (and no solo) intervening between the two bridges. Similarly, its phrase lengths appear for the most part to be symmetrically even, and its back-beat for long stretches sounds closer to conservative pop than rebelliously hard rock.

And yet, by the same token, just about everyone of the Beatles' early trademark tricks of the trade is to be found within it: the abrupt syncopations, non-intuitive two-part vocal harmony, falsetto screaming, an occasionally novel chord progression, even some elided phrasing. And of course, don't forget the overdubbed handclaps!

Perhaps it is just this paradoxical contrast between familiar and more daring elements that is at the heart of the song's phenomenal success.

Before them, pop music might have had its rebellious aspect, but the Beatles opened our ears to a range of sounds both past their prime and revolutionary, unknown to our culture and, in the end, the new definition of it.

It actually started with their first American hits, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You,” in that post-JFK assassination winter of 1964. The hooks and chord progressions were original, the harmonies thrilling without striving for sweetness. Rougher voices would emerge soon enough, but only after John Lennon and Paul McCartney established that you didn’t have to sing super-pretty to be popular.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Wed Feb 12, 2014, 04:45 PM (0 replies)

Slow left lane drivers are self-centered and oblivioous, at best, and self-righteous jerks in many


Aside from drinking and driving, failure to keep right is perhaps the most hazardous action on roadways, said Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth), also a co-sponsor
“One driver cruising along in the left lane can cause dozens of other drivers to become frustrated, leading to more incidents of aggressive driving and additional, unnecessary lane changes — which, in turn, lead to more accidents,” he said.

Driving slowly in the fast lane is more than just annoying, it's also illegal in many states. Wanna know if your 45-mph, Buick-borne grandma is breaking the law on the interstate? Just consult our handy map.P

The most popular law follows the Uniform Vehicle Code, which says a car driving below the "normal speed of traffic" should be driven in the right-hand lane. Because it indicates "normal speed" instead of saying "speed limit" a driver going above the speed limit but slower than most traffic is still in the wrong.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Wed Feb 12, 2014, 04:29 PM (0 replies)

I'm A Believer!! Obamacare success story.

I was one of the harshest critics here of the maddeningly awful healthcare.gov site. I have a master's degree in Instructional Design and Technology, so I have some related experience, and I could write a very long article on the many usability and other healthcare.gov issues (many even when the site is working as apparently planned.) I spent many, many frustrating hours on the site and on the phone with their CS reps and with healthcare "navigators". My blood pressure may never be the same.

Also, as an advocate of Medicare for all, I can find plenty of fault with the ACA.

However, I am extremely happy to report that starting this month we are saving $644/month on our premiums, and the coverage is basically the same. We now have an Independence Blue Cross Keystone HMO Silver Proactive Health Insurance plan. A small subsidy is helping keep the new cost low.

I'm not going to give any more personal details, so if anyone wants to doubt my claim, I understand. But as for me, I'm a believer.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Mon Jan 27, 2014, 10:36 PM (22 replies)

How's this? GOP REDMAP Memo Admits Gerrymandering To Thank For Congressional Election Success

The 2012 elections didn't turn out so well as a whole for the GOP, but the Republican State Leadership Committee issued a memo this month proudly explaining that it could have been a lot worse if not for the successful redistricting push spurred by its efforts.

The report -- drafted as a summary of the importance of the RSLC's Redistricting Majority Project (REDMAP) -- serves as a breakdown of the broader GOP plan to take control of state legislatures, giving Republicans free rein to mount an aggressive gerrymandering campaign that allowed the party to keep a House majority, despite getting fewer votes in those races overall.


This could not be more important.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Wed Oct 2, 2013, 01:38 AM (1 replies)

I'm with you, BB! Anyone who would identify themselves with the things that today's

Republicans stand for is not someone I am drawn to.

Many of my friends I met back when I was hardly paying attention to politics. It just happened that the people who engendered feelings of love and respect turned out not to be Republicans.

And it's not as if all Democrats are exactly the same leaving us with mundane social lives, as some here have haughtily claimed.

Amongst my friends are teachers, carpenters, IT workers, gardeners, business owners, musicians, graphic designers, interior decorators, journalists, big rig drivers, auto mechanics, baseball players, veterinarians, cartoonists, photographers, and sales reps by profession.

They are hunters, gun haters, vegetarians, omnivores, junk food junkies, SUV owners, VW buggers, mini-van drivers, motorbikers, and bicyclists. Some are urban dwellers, others reside in the country. Some are potheads, some drinkers, some teetotallers. Some watch PBS, some loved The Jersey Shore, and others don't have tvs in their homes.

They are hashers (On on!), civil war reenactors, fox hunters, side saddle horseback champions, sailors, jousters, square dancers, and HO scale slot car collectors. Most are straight, but the LGBT community is reasonably well represented.

So, no, our parties are not boring.

Nor are our lives impoverished for lack of close pals who think Wall Street is over-regulated, or poor folk are all lazy, or gays are going to hell, or unions are evil, or Obama is a muslim communist marxist nazi, or that Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin would make swell presidents.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Sat Sep 28, 2013, 06:55 AM (1 replies)

As if it's not bad enough that the Rs are holding the country hostage,

let's not forget that the reason they control the House and have as large a piece of the Senate as they do is thanks almost entirely to gerrymandering and lies.

About that gerrymandering, in case anyone missed it, Sam Wang did a great piece on this at the beginning of this year:

HAVING the first modern democracy comes with bugs. Normally we would expect more seats in Congress to go to the political party that receives more votes, but the last election confounded expectations. Democrats received 1.4 million more votes for the House of Representatives, yet Republicans won control of the House by a 234 to 201 margin. This is only the second such reversal since World War II.

Using statistical tools that are common in fields like my own, neuroscience, I have found strong evidence that this historic aberration arises from partisan disenfranchisement. Although gerrymandering is usually thought of as a bipartisan offense, the rather asymmetrical results may surprise you.

Through artful drawing of district boundaries, it is possible to put large groups of voters on the losing side of every election. The Republican State Leadership Committee, a Washington-based political group dedicated to electing state officeholders, recently issued a progress report on Redmap, its multiyear plan to influence redistricting. The $30 million strategy consists of two steps for tilting the playing field: take over state legislatures before the decennial Census, then redraw state and Congressional districts to lock in partisan advantages. The plan was highly successful.

Read the entire piece and view the excellent graphics here.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Sat Sep 28, 2013, 05:01 AM (10 replies)

Which progressive groups do the most with our donations?

I have limited ability to engage in direct action. I also have limited finances, but I make small donations when I can. However, it is very hard to decide which groups to donate to.

The volume of emails I get from progressive groups continues to grow to the point where some days I just delete it all without reading. On the days when I do read it, I sign just about all of the petitions they ask me to, though I'm not sure it does any good.

Is there any way to know which groups are most successful in accomplishing progressive goals? I am quite far left on most issues, so I lean toward groups such as MoveOn, Bold Progressives, Left Action, etc.

Not that my tiny contributions matter that much anyway, but I'd still like to know.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Thu Sep 26, 2013, 04:59 PM (3 replies)
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