Whining and wine

It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics.

Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

tennesseeTo the left: woman’s bathing attire, approved by 2013 Tennessee state legislature.


For most of my life I have been disappointed by wine I’ve drunk. A few unexpected memorable, exquisite moments have been bracketed by many sips of expensive or inexpensive ordinariness.  This 2011 article from the Atlantic reveals what happens when we taste and how easy it is to deceive ourselves.


Statistically the second-most dangerous place in the United States. The Independent, a U.K. publication, published this article about Pine Bluff, Arkansas. At the end of that article is a list of ten dangerous places in the United States. Guess which region placed the most locales in the list?

Betty Friedan

Just a day after I wrote that I usually don’t read the comments to internet articles, here I am admitting that I’ve done just that. It’s been 50 years since the publication of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique and now, as then, men and women have a problem with feminism. From one of the comments to Nanette Fondas’ Why The Feminine Mystique Is Still Worth Reading in 2013:

modern women believe that their personal happiness is more important than the well-being of their family (and yes, that includes her husband).

Children and labor laws

In the states of Maine, Wisconsin and Gingrich there is movement to reduce the scope of child labor laws, mostly fueled by the demands of retailers and the service industry: grocery industry lobbyists plan to push the issue in other states. The head of the Maine Restaurant Association said:

How come it’s O.K., even exemplary, for teenagers to spend 40 hours a week in sports, glee club, chorus, debate society, or any other select activity sanctioned by the social elite, but if you are a teenager who wants to work or needs to work, there are limits

Sports? Elite? Sanctioned? Select? What teen spends 40 hours a week in these activities? My landlord, now old enough to collect social security, mentions in at least every other conversation with me how important debate was to him when he was in high school:

it was the only thing I was good at. I was on the Houston city debate team that competed in the state finals.

And of course ask anyone who has performed onstage, whether it be drama, chorus, orchestra, whether that was fun and built lasting good memories. One of my most vivid memories from high school is dancing onstage in the Senior Vaudeville – the only time after grade school that I ever performed onstage – I can still see faces in the audience. One of the “features” of the Maine bill is that employers can pay children $2.25 less than other workers. Sounds like a capital idea to me.

Being the child of an often-single mother, I had to work when I was in high school:  were those the best hours of my youth? Do I remember fond moments alone at a copy machine? Specific moments spent at a cash register? Hell, no. Later in life I owned a cafe and so know first-hand the difficulties of making a living in the food business. I am also acquainted with state and national restaurant associations: I found they promoted some of the most obnoxious laws regarding workers rights.



Photo courtesy of Americans Against the Tea Party (aattp.org)

The state of North Carolina in the U.S. may ban women in public from exposing their NIPPLES (except in breast-feeding situations). Evidently for the past two years feminists in Asheville have held

topless rallies promoting women’s equity.

But North Carolina is light years ahead of Tennessee with regard to its knowledge of anatomy and gender. In Tennessee, which has a law prohibiting women (but not men) from exposing their nipples in public, Andrea Jones presented a problem. As Michelangelo Signorile wrote:

Andrea Jones was arrested after she took her top off in the DMV parking lot in Morristown, Tennessee, outside Knoxville, after the DMV would not recognize that she is a woman and change her name on her driver’s license (as the Social Security office had very easily done). If she wasn’t considered a woman for the sake of getting a license, she reasoned, why should she be considered a woman if she goes topless, exposing her breasts? The police arrested her for indecent exposure, calling her “Mr. Jones” throughout the incident;. the charge carries a possible lifetime of being included in the National Sex Offender Registry.

[She] was held in the local jail for 21 days on an simple indecent exposure charge, pressured each day to plead guilty (which she refused to do) in order to receive a two-day sentence and be released. … she [also] lost her job at the American Book Company because of her arrest and incarceration.

The reason folks in Tennessee believe that evolution is not real is because it – like global warming – has not yet actually taken place in the state.

Tennessee State Senator Stacey Campfield (Republican):

Most people realize that AIDS came from the homosexual community — it was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men. It was an airline pilot, if I recall.

Campfield, once more:

My understanding is that it is virtually — not completely, but virtually — impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex…very rarely [transmitted].

State Senator Campfield introduced SB132, a bill that

requires the reduction of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) payments for parents or caretakers of TANF recipients whose children fail to maintain satisfactory progress in school.

It is not feminism with which certain men and women have a problem, nor is it women’s rights; it is human rights.


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