Open thread #2

Time to start off a new open thread, just over a week, this is not an exact science people. Oh yeah. Teh box is red. Menstrual red. Deal.

77 thoughts on “Open thread #2

  1. FAB Libber

    Ok, not sure about the headline on this one “Ovarian cancer survival has doubled in 30 years” and then they prattle on about the early 1970s. Counting on my fingers, I make that closer to 40 years. Here’s the story:

    In non-feminist news, Charlie Sheen has certainly lost the plot. He should vie for Emperor of Rome, because that office certainly had its share of unsaners. I have only half followed the Sheen stuff (mainly because it comes up in the news headlines and you can’t miss it). Sheen got into my badbooks for his wifebeating a year or two ago, and it’s been downhill from there. To me he looks rather ill, like an aids/cancer patient, he has definitely lost his marbles.

    The 2.5 menz show is a load of misogynist shite anyway. Ex-wife “the witch”, the mother “super-witch”, girlfriends “disposable bimbos”. It really would not be the greatest loss to the world if this show bit the dust. *please gawd*


  2. joy

    Dude, I didn’t watch the film, but this dude Sheen’s nuttier than Joaquin Phoenix on Letterman.

    I am so happy he finally got fucking fired from that piece of shit show.

    I’ve also hated him since the world first found out about his wifebeating ways. And then people seemed SURPRISED when he kept getting into the same kind of trouble?!


  3. FAB Libber

    Well, at this point, Sheen is making Elagabalus look like an upstanding citizen.
    I keep thinking, this stuff is unbelieveable, it can’t get any more bizarre. Five minutes later, another Sheen story, making the last look terribly sane.
    Anyway, don’t care that much about him or the publicity. It’s just been unavoidable.

    Like (allegedly blah blah) rapist scumbag Assange.
    ^^ see, I put in allegedly!
    Even if I didn’t mean it.

    Two peas in a pod, as far as Sheen and Assange goes.


  4. joy

    I know what you mean. Unless you avoid all media, including the internet, and relegate yourself to a remote corner isolated from the rest of the world, it’s unavoidable.

    (For example, I know who Katy Perry and Taylor Swift are. I wish I didn’t. I tried not to. But now, alas, I do.)


  5. ball buster

    I’ve also hated him since the world first found out about his wifebeating ways. And then people seemed SURPRISED when he kept getting into the same kind of trouble?!

    What Joy said. ^^

    I’m thrilled that asshole is finally getting what he deserves. I’m hoping that this is the first of a chain of events that leads to police finding him in a cold gutter somewhere.


  6. FAB Libber

    The 2.5 menz programme has two huge problems that cannot be overlooked.
    1. Rampant misogyny, at every female character
    2. Wifebeater in lead role

    I did not realise it was such a high-rated show. I had seen a few eps here on some channel here and thought it shit.
    Sheen’s bigger-than-Texas ego running wild has been the most ‘amusing’ part about the whole thing.


  7. Aileen Wuornos

    I read something the other day about about how 2.5 brains, I mean, men (even THAT’s being generous) is/was one of the most popular shows on Australian television. Yeuch.


  8. FAB Libber

    “2.5 dickbrains” (is that better?) is supposed to be the No.1 show in the US.
    Does not bode well for the US.


  9. Mary Sunshine

    Males adore seeing their yobbo behaviour presented to themselves as entertainment. And of course, it’s positive reinforcement.


  10. Sargasso Sea

    Thanks for the invite re: Gallego.

    This case was a HUGE deal. And IIRC, the abductions/murders went national, warning-wise, because of this *new* twist of using a woman as bait. Immediately there were shouts of, What is WRONG with that woman?!?!!1! She must be EVEEL!!1!1!

    Even though I was only about 13 at the time of their arrests I had known that she was afraid for herself; she would have to be in order to lure young women to be raped and murdered. It’s simple, right?

    But I’ll never forget the way the public (men, and the women who wuv dems) ripped Charlene to shreds. It ran the gamut from: ‘it was all her idea to get him in trouble because she was mad at him’ to ‘she’s lying to save her own skin’.

    She made it all up to get back at him? (sorry folks, but when there are 10 dead bodies, 9 of which have been raped by a sperm-packing MAN, it’s not make believe)


    She’s REALLY the one who raped and murdered the young women and she‘s blaming it on him? (this is classically obvious: he ONLY raped them, SHE murdered them! [out of jealousy perhaps????], even though there was no physical evidence to support that, let alone his laundry list of violent criminal acts in the past)


  11. Sargasso Sea

    Sheen! Ack!

    This dude looks and acts exactly like my brother did right before he almost died from methamphetamine addiction complicated by alcohol and prescription pain killers.

    I ain’t got no pity for an(other) entitled misogynist violent rapist dickwad.


  12. FAB Libber

    Other random bits of info I picked up:
    Gallego’s father was executed for killing a prison guard (Gallego never met him)
    Charlene gave birth in prison to a male, which she named Gerald jnr. (ewww) who would be 29-30 now.
    Gallego made Charlene have an abortion earlier in their marriage.
    Gallego was impotent with Charlene (obviously the rape power trip was what turned him on)
    Gallego abused for many years, his daughter by a previous marriage.
    Gallego had a string of short-lived marriages prior to Charlene.

    The abusing/killing team thing is not new. There was the recent bust of a child abuse ring, with the women photographing (I believe sexual touching) young children. The ringleader was, a dude. He preyed on their insecurities and isolation etc.

    The thing of it is, these dudes are very skilled manipulators and controllers. It is is them calling the shots, even if the women do actively participate. Being so skilled at what they do, they single out a female who can be manipulated to their will fairly easily.

    There are very very few female serial killers (that work solo, without a dude partner). They are so very rare.


  13. FAB Libber

    Here is the standard of commenter at IBTP now, so not populated by radfems any more:

    March 8, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    “we police women’s presentation more strictly than men’s”

    You have totally hit the nail on the head for me with this. This is the reason why I have not thought about what female to male trans-persons do in order to identify as male.

    When I think of myself as female and different than my husband, who is male, it is mostly the constructs of femininity that come to mind. I spend a half-hour putting on makeup and styling my hair, he showers and shaves. I wear restrictive, uncomfortable, body conscious clothing and he puts on a shirt and jeans that allow for movement and comfort. I go get an expensive and painful laser treatment to look younger and prettier, he ages naturally and looks even better and more capable as a mature 43 yr old. Other then that stuff, and how we are treated externally by the world, and of course, our anatomy, we are very similar people. For that reason, it was(and still kind of is)difficult for me to imagine another way of identifying as female without the feminine “stuff”.(because it is how I identify as female and it’s sometimes a very negative identification) Not that you cannot be or feel like a woman without the feminine trappings(plenty of natal women do) but how you present yourself to others. I know at 20, I was much more concerned about how others saw me than now at 37 and I was much more willing to trade comfort for valuation by men. Anyhow, thanks for the input.

    Head, meet desk. It can hardly even pretend to be a radfem site any more. It can barely even pretend to be a feminist-lite site any more. What a joke of a site.


  14. FAB Libber

    LOL, I had to chuckle over this (from IBTP):
    “Twisty’s Law: Sooner or later, every post on IBTP – even one about cute nieces! – will devolve into an argument about trans*.”

    It certainly won’t happen here. A blog named “twanzphobic since forever”.
    No arguments!!


  15. Jilla

    I look more favourably on her level of feminism. I see the door has cracked open, and it’s never going to shut for her. We have to start somewhere. Let’s hope she finds “other” blogs to read and post at.

    I’m listening to a couple interviews done on IWD with new and old feminists. It’s quite interesting, and so are the e-mail responses which were read today as “mail”. I will link it when it’s all on the site: CBC The Current. If I have nothing to do I’ll give some of the quotes, including one smashing one from a 20 year old feminist fromToronto. Twenty!! And she rocks my world with hope for the feminist future. Gotta find her. Get her in.


  16. FAB Libber

    Did someone overthrow patriarchy whilst I was not looking?
    It’s awfully quiet around here – and everywhere else.
    No-one sent me the memo.


  17. ball buster

    I was amused/irritated with the whole “educate yourself!” thing. I mean, come on. That’s the most vapid, overused come back in ALL internetz land. Accusing people of not being educated because they disagree so Twisty doesn’t have to articulate her own position. What a fucking cop out, if I’ve ever seen one.


  18. joy

    I don’t even read over there any more. It’s just so much negative bullshit that I don’t need heaped on my day.

    The only blogs I read now are this one, Aileen’s, Ballbuster’s, GallusMag’s, Noanodyne’s, and Nine Deuce’s (ND allows some liter feminist commentary, but she’s very hardcore herself — which I know because I know her fairly well, at least for a person I haven’t met in person yet).

    There may be other good radfem blogs, but most of them are just full of either funfems/trans or inter-radfem backbiting. Either way, absolutely negative shit, and since I’ve cut out negative shit from dudes, why keep feeding on it elsewhere?

    (Not pickin’ on anybody. Just expressing my own utter apathy and … just … urrrrgh at the state of Twistdom etc).


  19. m Andrea

    using it in place of “transphobic”, I mean. Finally updated my blogroll for the first time in several years, and it is extremely gratifying to see such a LONG list of pwoud twanzphobes on it. I’d love to make it even longer…


  20. Jilla

    Just to clarify, my comment about looking more favourably was meant about RUBY.

    Tonight, after I eat and recouperate and clean so I can find the bathroom, I’ll give us a run down on the interviews I sorta heard yesterday, re IWD, and some old second wave feminists, a newbie blazing star, and the inevitable post modern FUN feminist. I have to listen whilst I keyboard. This requires a lot of cheese for my brain. 🙂


  21. FAB Libber

    Yay, mAndrea made it out of the depths of mod!
    And has embraced the twanzphobia. I believe the correct term for one who is twanzphobic is twanzaphobe.

    Yep, “transphobic!!” really did need the piss taken out of it. I was happy to oblige.

    Jilla – yes, you let the side down (only kidding, you were the main commenter yesterday)


  22. Jilla

    mAndrea geez you must be exhausted holding up the side there almost on your own, day after week.

    We owe you. You just did such a great job, comment after comment. Alas, none of it stuck. Apparently.

    Welcome home. Sit down. Would you like a beer, coffee, chocolate? Here’s hold the kitten.


  23. FAB Libber

    Jilla said (on the wrong thread!):
    Some dude just subscribed? That’s not good. Any ideas?

    Nope. Other than the WP addy and ID were also created today.
    Also different to the spam comment.


  24. Jilla

    I mean, I didn’t know if a discussion would ensure, which you might prefer to be private. And actually, I was trying to avoid doing the wrong thing.

    Obviously need more cheese.


  25. Jilla

    Here’s the whole story on what happened to the young raped woman in Manitoba, where the judge said it was her fault because she was wearing a TUBE top. Read what the rapist did to the poor girl.

    In Manitoba, sexual assault means having to say you’re ‘sorry’
    From Friday’s Globe and Mail

    She was just 26, and is petite. She was intoxicated and vulnerable. She was raped, briefly penetrated anally, and subjected to oral sex. She was so afraid of her attacker that, by the side of a highway in the middle of the night, she fled, pant-less, and ran through dark woods, trying to flag down help.

    And, most chilling, the young woman feared her assailant might kill her.

    These are the facts, as they were established in court, in the sex assault case that last month saw Kenneth Rhodes of Thompson, Man., given a conditional sentence – no jail time – of two years less a day.

    When a précis of the presiding judge’s remarks hit the media a week after the Feb. 18 sentencing, it sparked a firestorm.

    By month’s end, the province filed a complaint with the Canadian Judicial Council, and Judge Robert Dewar of the Court of Queen’s Bench was temporarily prohibited from handling cases of a sexual nature.

    But a transcript of the proceeding received on Thursday by The Globe and Mail reveals the matter as even more troubling than it may first have appeared.

    Judge Dewar convicted Mr. Rhodes, who at 40 is much older and larger than the victim, of sexual assault.

    As part of that process, he made certain findings of fact, among them that the woman had asked Mr. Rhodes if he was planning to kill her; that when she complained of pain during a digital assault, he told her that it “would only hurt for a little while,” and that when she walked with Mr. Rhodes, to his eye allegedly willingly, she had picked up a stick (the inference is to protect herself) and gone with him only because she was afraid.

    And, as senior Crown attorney David Gray reminded Judge Dewar that day, when convicting Mr. Rhodes, the judge himself had found “three independent indicia” that the woman had rebuffed his advances – once in the back seat of a car as they were driven by friends from a bar parking lot to a nearby lake, a “certain coldness” to her demeanour, and that she’d “gone off into the bush.”

    Yet Judge Dewar appeared to have difficulty getting his head around the fact that the victim didn’t consent to have sex with Mr. Rhodes.

    “And then the no,” the judge said at one point, “she says no when?”

    “When she says no by saying – that hurts,” Mr. Gray replied.

    “Okay,” said the judge. “That’s the time.”

    Judge Dewar quoted his own reasons at length when finally sentencing Mr. Rhodes.

    “It must be acknowledged that the parties met in what can only be described as ‘inviting’ circumstances. At 2:30 on a summer morning, two young women, one of which was dressed in a tube top without a bra and jeans and both of whom were made up and wore high heels in a parking lot outside a bar, made their intentions publicly known that they wanted to party,” he read aloud from his conviction decision.

    Later, the judge said, when Mr. Rhodes saw his friend making out with the victim’s friend, it “could further heighten the anticipation in the mind of the accused that further sexual activity could well occur.” As he inimitably put it, to Mr. Rhodes, it seemed “…the door was then not closed to further sexual activity… he honestly believed that the increased sexual activity was still a possibility.”

    Then, in an astonishing apparent reference to the fact Mr. Rhodes had digitally penetrated the woman, the judge said, “Even his sexual activity, bizarre as it was and as hurtful as it was to the complainant, cannot be said to be only self-gratification. It had the characteristics of a clumsy Don Juan.”

    Especially jarring is how defence lawyer Derek Coggan and the judge appeared to fail to grasp what the Alberta Court of Appeal has called the violence inherent in any major sex assault, this despite the fact that Crown Sheila Seesahai argued this very point forcefully.

    “It’s not as though he was violent towards her except for the unwanted sexual act,” Mr. Coggan said. “He did not raise a fist to her. He did not scream at her. He did not yell at her. He did nothing – her fear of him was not brought forth by his actions.”

    Perhaps the young woman’s fear was also … just in the air that night.

    Why, Mr. Coggan said, Mr. Rhodes even thoughtfully “picked up her pants and her shoes and held onto them while he waited for her to come out of the bush.”

    The judge concluded, “Make no mistake Mr. Rhodes’ failure to make inquiries warrants sanctions. Apart from anything else, women deserve respect and consideration. And when strangers are involved, greater care must be exercised in showing that consideration because there is no track record of familiarity on which to gauge the consent.”

    He ruled out a jail term, saying that prison “in my view, for non-thinking behaviour tends to stifle constructive change rather than encourage it.” He noted that by being sentenced to house arrest (but for work), Mr. Rhodes would miss out on the freedom “to fish, to camp, to go out and visit.”

    The judge’s sentence is well-known by now – a conditional sentence of two years less a day, with the usual mandatory bans and reporting conditions.

    But what isn’t is that Judge Dewar also ordered Mr. Rhodes to write his victim a letter with “a fulsome apology” for his conduct within 30 days of the appeal period expiring.

    Yes, indeed. That’s bound to smart.


  26. Aileen Wuornos

    I got a random dude subscribing to my blog as well. Hate to steal the thunder but I have a younger reader at mine asking about feminism and tattoos… have NO idea how to answer her as I a) don’t give a fuck about tattoos and therefore b) don’t know anything about tattoos. If anyone can give us both a lesson or something to think about I’d be greatful.

    These judges are fucking disgusting, but it reminds me why I got into feminism in the first place, fight myself as a survivor and others as survivors. Or something. I deleted IBTK off my blog roll not that long ago, it’s a waste of time and not even entertaining anymore. I miss the snark and anti-Patriarchy shit.

    Also, all rapists, do the world a favour and connect your throats to the nearest razor.


  27. Sargasso Sea

    The following is the verbatim (it’s a cut-n-paste from memory so maybe it’s not exact, but you know, I remember what I said) comment I left at IBTP this morning AFTER Jill’s FINAL comment:

    “[…] but I’m totally serial this time.”

    Serial is the perfect word for the series of at least 6 posts that YOU have made concerning trans politics yet you are telling US (pro-fab) to shut the fuck up already or be “nuked”.

    Who’s phobic again?

    Jesus, Jill.


  28. FAB Libber

    Re: the Canadian rape trial:
    Canadian fems (surely even fem-lite can get on board?) investigate Judge Robert Dewar’s other rulings and sentencings regarding rape and sexual assault, as outrageous judgements and sentencing like the above will be part of a pattern. We have one or two particularly notorious judges cut from the same pervy cloth. Then every time these McJudges do yet another crap-ass sentencing, write to your judicial authority and call for their retirement from the bench.

    This part here:
    Later, the judge said, when Mr. Rhodes saw his friend making out with the victim’s friend, it “could further heighten the anticipation in the mind of the accused that further sexual activity could well occur.”
    Was probably the biggest wtf out of the many wtfs. Either the pervy judge is trying to say that watching the other couple make out was so overwhelmingly boner-inducing, what could the dude do? Or, there is some kind of perverted ‘her friend consented with his friend, so therefore it was natural to assume she did or would consent’. What the fuckity fuck. It’s a nice anti-porn argument though (hah hah) if watching people make out or have sex brings on such an overwhelming desire to either have sex or rape the closest female in your vicinity (the opposite of the pro-porn argument which insists it is cathartic release). You could go on all day analysing why Judge Pervy was an entire picnic basket short of a picnic. This kind of sentencing is straight out of the 1970s (and earlier, yes I still remember some crap from the 70s sentencing in rape cases, like the classic judge statement of “yes means yes and no means yes” seriously).

    Aileen/BB: yes, buzzcutcliff was the dude. Note his addy and ID only made on the 10 March. He must have found his way onto a publicly listed blog, and trawled the blogroll.

    AFTER Jill’s FINAL comment:

    “[…] but I’m totally serial this time.”

    Serial is the perfect word for the series of at least 6 posts that YOU have made concerning trans politics yet you are telling US (pro-fab) to shut the fuck up already or be “nuked”.
    It is either cognitive dissonance or a desperate attempt at having ‘the final word’ on the matter. Each and every time Twisty has tried to make some sort of ‘definitive closer’ on the blog posts (when each was far from it). Maybe she is trying to convince herself more than anyone else. Either way, that train is a mangled pile of steel already.


  29. FAB Libber

    @ Jilla:
    It was the PRIVATE thread, which seemed prudent.
    No it was not the private thread at all, it was the password-request thread that was also public. Private threads are labelled: “Protected: …….”


  30. FAB Libber

    @ Aileen:
    about feminism and tattoos… have NO idea how to answer her as I a) don’t give a fuck about tattoos and therefore b) don’t know anything about tattoos. If anyone can give us both a lesson or something to think about I’d be greatful.

    Just caught up on your blog:
    I don’t think they are feminist, I don’t think they’re not feminist

    It probably is not a feminist issue as such (other than noting it is a trendy thing to do during youth, even if the trend is prentending to be counter-mainstream, a bit like goth).

    The fast method to get through to them is to have a few links to pictures of either ‘tattoos gone bad’ or tattoos on older wrinkly folks and to remind them that unless they intend to ‘die young and leave a good looking corpse, then this is what your kewl tatts will look like eventually’. Also, fashions change, and people change. What seemed rather hip at 20 is going to be rather stoopid at 50 (plus the pop-culture references are long gone).

    Underlying the tatt issue, primarily the multi-tatter, is insecurity. It is figuratively covering your nakedness, and forms a pseudo barrier to the rest of the world. Particularly seen in those covered with tatts (even if they appear tuff, it is bravado). Additionally some multi-tatted persons report a masochistic buzz from the actual process, the pain of the getting the tatt.

    One, or perhaps two, very small discreet tatts are fine usually, and if later the person decides to get rid of them, it is not too bad (but expensive!).

    You can copy any of what seems relevent to your thread if you wish.


  31. Jilla

    “The CBC has posted an article about a case of Dewar’s in which he acquitted a man accused of molesting his 11/12 year old niece because of “slow reporting and returning to the environment in which the alleged incidents occurred are matters which could be inconsistent with the allegations”. Yep, a child who takes awhile to report being raped by a trusted authority figure and doesn’t leave her home because of the assaults should have her veracity questioned. Good call, Dewar. What a piece of human garbage. Fuck.”




  32. Jilla

    I have a feeling they’re just going to move him over to other cases. I also have a feeling he’s just par for the course for Manitoba, which is backwater central in Canada, with it’s majority native population (who don’t count as people).

    This is where the BDSM judge hails from too. Remember her?


  33. FAB Libber

    There are loads of ‘kinky’ judges about Jilla. We just have to root them out and stay on their case until the authorities bow under the pressure and retire them.

    With the Japan earthquake, 8.9 that’s a biggie. I have noticed a pattern of when one quake hits, another follows somewhere else a few weeks later (and Christchurch is on the same plate).


  34. FAB Libber

    Some tsunami plans, building designs, preparations etc.
    Japan, with its well-designed building that withstand quakes are still vulnerable to the tsunamis, and I wonder if they will start engineer some seabreaks or similar to take some of the force out of the waves. They did manage to build an airport in the middle of the bay, so they are up for mega engineering projects.


  35. FAB Libber

    Back to my unfavourite subject (and filed under No Shit Sherlock):

    Charlie Sheen Admits He Is Losing His Mind

    For the past few weeks we’ve been growing increasingly worried about former Two And A Half Men star Charlie Sheen.

    And now the actor himself has admitted that he is losing his mind and needs help.

    According to the Sun, Charlie admitted in a recent interview: “I’m really starting to lose my mind. I’m ready to call anyone to help.

    “I’m really trying to contain myself right now. My lawyer wants to come over to my house and take the bullets out of my gun.”

    The paper also claims that a source told a US magazine: “It’s crazy at the house. Charlie’s losing it. He’s really mad about the show, and dealing with the kids and Brooke is getting to be too much.

    “Charlie is a ticking time bomb, and we all fear he could do something drastic.”

    Another source added: “Anything could happen. He’s a big danger to himself.”

    Do you think authorities need to step in and help the 45-year-old?


  36. FAB Libber

    Oh, and I am getting incoming from weird and wonderful sources. The handbags at dusk is the second highest popular topic, but not by the regulars here (it has few comments).


  37. Jilla

    I was referring to your comment about the taco post. I didn’t make it there, because I was answering what you said here. And because I can’t stand to look at it. They are such freaky fetish fucks.


  38. ball buster

    Yep, Fab, teh menz are scurrying over from transactivist land to gasp at the video you posted. zomg fw: she’s so irreverent to our penis problems! That’s what I ❤ about you, though. 🙂


  39. FAB Libber

    zmog, I might make that a catch phrase or something:

    FAB Libber: Irreverent to penises.

    It has a certain ring to it. 😛
    I added it to my “Reviews” page.


  40. FAB Libber

    Here’s another wifebeater, to keep Sheen company:
    (and I have lost track of the number of kids he has sired)

    Mel Gibson Pleads No Contest — NO JAIL

    Mel’s no contest plea relates to a domestic situation in which the alleged victim had a child with him.

    Mel’s entered what’s called a “West Plea” — which means he is allowed to maintain his innocence.

    Under the plea agreement, Mel will do NO jail time. He must perform 16 hours of community service with a philanthropic organization, Mending Kids, and undergo 52 weeks of counseling — he’s been seeing a counselor since January but will not get credit for the accrued time.

    Beyond that … Mel is required to have only “peaceful contact” with Oksana Grigorieva — it’s the same order he’s under in the family law custody case.

    Mel was placed on 36 months informal probation. One of the terms of probation — he cannot use force or violence against anyone.

    Mel’s lawyer, Blair Berk, told the judge her client entered the plea in the interests of his children — so they wouldn’t have to endure a 1 year legal fight, and that’s why he entered the plea.


  41. joy

    I think buzzcutcliff is my cousin, but I can’t be sure.

    He would have searched for me, then subscribed to everyone I link to. He thinks he is interested in feminist issues or something.

    I’m really sorry. This is what I was afraid of happening.


  42. FAB Libber

    Aha! You brung him.
    (did you check his profile pic to make sure?)

    A word of advice though, keep your personal life and your online radfem life, separate. It will cause you too much grief otherwise. Besides, it gives you the freedom to express yourself fully, without censorship or self-censorship.

    The only one of my family and friends that I would have read my blog is my mother (she is right into manz-blaming, where do you think I got it from??). My sister wouldn’t get it, she can barely get her head around regular feminism (need I say she is het, and worst of all, getting married again next year, I know, the shame, but I could not talk her out of it). I try not to think about.


  43. joy

    I haven’t checked his picture, no. I’m still too p’od.

    The thing is, people who know who I am know what I write — ie, I can’t write about what I want to write about without writing about both my life and radical feminism. In other words, radical feminism IS my life. As dumb as that may sound.

    My family knows I am radical feminist; I don’t speak to many, if any of my relatives other than my mother (I maybe speak to my dad a few times a year, and only see the rest on Thanksgiving; after this year I’m never going to Thanksgiving with them again anyway). So their approval or disapproval doesn’t matter to me.

    But I do not want to waste time explaining shit to some dude, and possibly having him retaliate with computer viruses or other bullshit if I don’t do what he wants me to do. Whether that dude is my cousin or not.


  44. joy

    Like, seriously, I have not talked to my cousin in almost a year, and haven’t seen him in eighteen months. I didn’t tell him about my blog. I don’t know why he fucking cares about what I do or wants to appropriate anything about me. It creeps me right out, and I’m sorry if he’s the dude who’s now following all of you.


  45. FAB Libber

    Perhaps I will post loads of stuff about chopping up/off penises or something.
    Keep my irreverence rep intact.


  46. thebewilderness

    The grandchildren are enamored of the idea of piercings and tatts. Juggalos, blech.
    We talk about it from time to time.
    I suggested to them that they take a long slow careful time deciding what they like and where they would want it. That what seems kewel at 18 is doofy at 30 and downright embarrassing at 50. To think about if they want it for their own aesthetic reasons or if they are thinking how kewel other peeps will think them. Do they want a tatt or piercing to be the first thing anyone notices about them and the last thing anyone remembers about them.
    Never to get one because a friend thinks they should, and never never never when they have been drinking.
    Some people really want one and know exactly what they want. Most do not, so with a little encouragement, they could spend years deciding what to get and end up never getting one at all.


  47. joy


    (out-of-control laughter)

    That shit is never cool, no matter what age you are.

    (I’m one of the people who took a while to decide what tat to get, and wound up getting none. I’m pretty happy about that decision. I’m still pretty punk rock, the desire to get proof permanently etched on my body just declined with time.)


  48. FAB Libber

    That’s ok Jilla, I don’t mind too much what happens on the open thread, a bit of a freefall. I would rather that the other threads weren’t derailed too much, and that it happens here.

    This is amazing (no other word really to describe the scale and power involved) of the water moving across the land. You forget the size, until you notice reasonable sized boats and things in the debris.


  49. Jilla

    Canadians are encouraged to support Red Cross relief efforts by making a financial donation to the Canadian Red Cross Japan Earthquake/Asia-Pacific Tsunami fund. Donations can be made online at, at your local branch office or by calling toll free 1-800-418-1111.


    Does anyone have any opinion about what the best way/place to donate would be? I have not donated to the Red Cross before, except blood. I’m a regular for that, except now they’re making me have a doctor’s signature before I can.

    I heard Oxfam, Save the Children, and a couple other orgs have joined forces, and so far, Canadians have donated over $1 million to the Red Cross. Not nearly enough eh Mary? Where’s Harper with matching funds?


  50. Jilla

    Fabbity: Science, for you, from the Union of Concerned Scientists:

    Update on Fukushima Reactor

    by Ed Lyman and Dave Lochbaum

    Update at 11pm EST Saturday 3/12/11:

    On Saturday March 12 at 3:36 pm local time (1:36 am EST) an explosion occurred in the Unit 1 reactor building at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. (Original reports suggested that the explosion took place in an adjacent turbine building, but we no longer believe this is the case.)

    The explosion was very likely a hydrogen explosion. Hydrogen apparently collected somewhere in the reactor building outside of the primary containment (see diagram below). The primary containment consists of the drywell and the wetwell. The top section of the reactor building, known as the refueling bay, has walls of sheet metal, in contrast to the concrete walls of the lower part of the building. The pressure caused by a large enough explosion anywhere in the reactor building would have caused the sides of the refueling bay to blow out since that is the weakest part of the structure and is not designed to withstand high pressures.

    Figure adapted from BWR Systems

    The hydrogen was likely produced by the hot fuel. All signs are consistent with the fact that some fuel damage has occurred at Fukushima Unit 1. Last night (U.S. time) the plant owner, TEPCO, reported that the water level had dropped below the top of the fuel by nearly six feet. This means that roughly half of each fuel rod was exposed. The fuel rods are clad in zirconium, and a few minutes after the water level dropped below the top of the fuel, the zirconium would have become hot enough to react with the surrounding steam and produce hydrogen.

    The reactor core is in the reactor vessel, or pressure vessel, which is surrounded by a steel containment vessel. The steel containment vessel is surrounded by a reinforced concrete shell. The explosion took place outside of this shell. It is not clear whether the concrete shell was damaged in the explosion, but the steel containment vessel was reportedly not damaged.

    The control room and many of the control and power cables for the emergency equipment used to cool the reactor core are located outside the primary containment, and the extent to which the explosion impaired these vital functions is not known at this time.

    Radioactive releases and iodine tablets

    Once the water level in the reactor core drops to the point where the fuel is exposed, the zirconium cladding would begin to erode and after about an hour, this would release some radioactive material—primarily noble gases, iodine-131 and cesium-137. (During normal operation, this material accumulates in the gap between the fuel and the cladding.) Some of this material could have been released by the controlled venting, which could explain the cesium detected at the plant boundary.

    In addition, the primary containment in this type of reactor typically has a leak rate of about 1% of its volume per day. The secondary containment (the walls of the reactor building) is important since it keeps any leaked radioactive gas from escaping into the environment. The secondary containment is kept at a negative pressure with respect to the outside so that air inside does not leak out. The air in the building is then sent through filters to remove the radiation before it is released through the stack. With the walls blown off the top of the reactor building, this radioactive gas would instead be released directly into the air.

    Thus, contrary to some news reports, the detection of cesium outside the reactor does not necessarily indicate that the primary containment has been breached.

    Iodine-131 is one of the most radioactive isotopes released in a nuclear accident. It has a half-life of 8 days, meaning half of it will have decayed after 8 days, and half of that in another 8 days, etc. Therefore, it is of greatest concern in the days and weeks following an accident. It is also volatile so will spread easily. In the human body, iodine is taken up by the thyroid, and becomes concentrated there, where it can lead to thyroid cancer in later life. Children who are exposed to iodine-131 are more likely than adults to get cancer later in life. To guard against the absorption of iodione-131, people can proactively take potassium iodine pills so the thyroid becomes saturated with non-radioactive iodine and is not able to absorb any iodine-131

    Cesium-137 is another radioactive isotope that has been released. It has a half-life of about 30 years, so will take more than a century to decay by a significant amount. Living organisms treat cesium-137 as if it was potassium, and it becomes part of the fluid electrolytes and is eventually excreted. Cesium-137 is passed up the food chain. It can cause many different types of cancer

    What next?

    The cooling systems for the Unit 1 reactor have not been operating and, as the core heats up, the water surrounding the fuel has evaporated to the point where the fuel becomes exposed to the air. Unless there is a way to replace the water the fuel will continue to heat up.

    To attempt to cool the reactor, TEPCO has been pumping sea water into the reactor vessel. Since this is very corrosive and will seriously damage the reactor, this is an option of last resort and indicates that they do not expect to get the cooling systems back online.

    Reports note that boric acid is being added with the sea water. Boric acid is a soluable form of boron, which is very good at absorbing neutrons. By adding this to the water around the fuel rods, it would capture neutrons that could otherwise cause additional atoms to fission. This is being added to the reactor to make sure it does not become critical again, which might happen in two ways: (1) fuel rod damage that results in fuel rod segments dropping to the bottom of the reactor vessel, where they could form a critical mass, or (2) withdrawals of the control rods caused by malfunctions of the hydraulic control units that move the control rods in and out of the core.

    Recent reports state TEPCO has succeeded in filling the reactor vessel with water, which would mean the fuel rods are no longer exposed to air. But some form of cooling will still be required.

    March 11, 2011
    Containment at Fukushima

    by Dave Lochbaum

    Update at 6pm EST Friday 3/11/11:

    The Japanese Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency is now saying the containment pressure at Unit 1—not Unit 2, whose core cooling was said to have failed—has risen to about double its normal value.

    The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has announced it will “implement measures to reduce the pressure of the reactor containment vessel for those units that cannot confirm certain level of water injection by the Reactor Core Isolation Cooling System, in order to fully secure safety.” It is not clear if this refers just to Unit 1, or to the other two affected units as well.

    The increase in containment pressure resulted from the loss of alternating-current (AC) power to the reactors, which stopped the containment cooling system. There are large water-cooled air conditioning units inside containment. Motor-driven pumps send cool water to the units. Motor-driven fans blow air inside the containment across the metal tubes containing the cool water. But without AC power, the pumps and fans don’t work and can’t provide cooling. The heat radiating off the hot reactor vessel (over 500F) and the hot piping heats up the air in the containment building very rapidly, which causes an increase in pressure.

    The rising pressure reduces the ability of the containment to absorb the energy released from a pipe rupture, should one occur. The volume of air in the containment building and its wall thickness are designed to contain a specified level of energy being dumped into containment. If the pressure gets too high, then an energy release like a broken pipe, should it occur, could over-pressurize the containment and cause it to fail. So emergency procedures call for venting air from the containment to reduce the pressure if it gets too high.

    If the containment structure was weakened by the earthquake, then what pressure it could withstand is not known.

    The reactors have a containment ventilation system that can be used to vent air from the containment building. In this situation, the vented air would be routed through a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, charcoal beds, and another HEPA filter to remove as much radioactivity as possible before being released from a very tall stack to dilute the flow as much as possible.

    If there has been no appreciable reactor core damage, the air vented from containment will contain minute but detectable amounts of radiation. The filtration systems are designed to lower that radioactivity release by nearly a factor of 100.

    The latest news is that evacuation around the plants is being expanded from a 3 km to a 10 km radius, which suggests the crisis isn’t over yet.

    For the next update, click here.
    March 11, 2011
    Nuclear Crisis at Fukushima

    by Ed Lyman

    As of 2:30 pm EST Friday 3/11/11:

    The massive earthquake off the northeast coast of Japan has caused a potentially catastrophic situation at one of Japan’s nuclear power plants. The situation is still evolving, but here is a preliminary assessment based on the facts as we currently understand them.

    The plant’s owner, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), reported that at 2:46 p.m. local time (12:46 a.m. EST) “turbines and reactors of Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Unit 1 … and Units 2 and 3 … automatically shut down due to the Miyagiken-oki Earthquake.”

    These reactors are 3 of the 6 operating reactors at the Fukushima I nuclear facility. All are boiling water reactors. Unit 1 has a rated output of 460 megawatts, and Units 2 and 3 each have a rated output of 784 megawatts.

    TEPCO went on to state the shutdowns were caused by the loss of off-site power “due to malfunction of one out of two off-site power systems.” This loss of power triggered emergency diesel generators, which automatically started to provide backup power to the reactors.

    However, at 3:41 p.m. local time (1:46 a.m. EST), the emergency diesel generators shut down “due to malfunction, resulting in the complete loss of alternating current for all three units,” according to TEPCO. The failure of the diesel generators was most likely due to the arrival of the tsunami, which caused flooding in the area. The earthquake was centered 240 kilometers from Japan, and it would have taken the tsunami approximately an hour to reach the Japanese islands.

    This power failure resulted in one of the most serious conditions that can affect a nuclear plant—a “station blackout”—during which off-site power and on-site emergency alternating current (AC) power is lost. Nuclear plants generally need AC power to operate the motors, valves and instruments that control the systems that provide cooling water to the radioactive core. If all AC power is lost, the options to cool the core are limited.

    The boiling water reactors at Fukushima are protected by a Reactor Core Isolation Cooling (RCIC) system, which can operate without AC power because it is steam-driven and therefore does not require electric pumps. However, it does require DC power from batteries for its valves and controls to function.

    If battery power is depleted before AC power is restored, however, the RCIC will stop supplying water to the core and the water level in the reactor core could drop. If it drops far enough, the core would overheat and the fuel would become damaged. Ultimately, a “meltdown” could occur: The core could become so hot that it forms a molten mass that melts through the steel reactor vessel. This would release a large amount of radioactivity from the vessel into the containment building that surrounds the vessel.

    The containment building’s purpose is to keep radioactivity from being released into the environment. A meltdown would build up pressure in the containment building. At this point we do not know if the earthquake damaged the containment building enough to undermine its ability to contain the pressure and allow radioactivity to leak out.

    According to technical documents translated by Aileen Mioko Smith of Green Action in Japan, if the coolant level dropped to the top of the active fuel rods in the core, damage to the core would begin about 40 minutes later, and damage to the reactor vessel would occur 90 minutes after that.

    Concern about a serious accident is high enough that while TEPCO is trying to restore cooling the government has evacuated a 3-km (2-mile) radius area around the reactor.

    Bloomberg News reported that the battery life for the RCIC system is eight hours. This means that the batteries would have been depleted before 10 a.m. EST today. It is unclear if this report is accurate, since it suggests that several hours have elapsed without any core cooling. Bloomberg also reported that Japan had secured six backup batteries and planned to transport them to the site, possibly by military helicopter. It is unclear how long this operation would take.

    There also have been news reports that Fukushima Unit 2 has lost its core cooling, suggesting its RCIC stopped working, but that the situation “has been stabilized,” although it is not publicly known what the situation is. TEPCO reportedly plans to release steam from the reactor to reduce the pressure, which had risen 50% higher than normal. This venting will release some radioactivity.

    More information about the cooling issue is available in this New York Times story.


  51. FAB Libber

    Jilla, on the Canadian Red Cross:
    The CRC has a web page to handle donations for victims of the earthquake and tsunami and is also taking donations through its toll-free number at 1-800-418-1111.
    More info:

    Canadian Red Cross website:

    Any other country, google Red Cross and it will give you your local.


  52. Jilla

    Let’s hope. I just heard yet another expert on radio saying “we only have what they say to go on, but they are not telling us the truth.”


  53. FAB Libber

    It’s all chaotic there at the moment, so don’t hang on every word of news – in those situations, the reporters will churn out anything and everything on the flimsiest bit of hearsay. So a true picture won’t happen for a few more days, at least.


  54. Jilla

    Right now I’m watching an Aljazeera vid, which seems to originate in the U.K. and has Japanese/Brit, Arab/American and Danish nuclear experts.


  55. FAB Libber

    Found this at FaceButt, video footage of one of the towns as the water came in.

    Tsunami Footage [HD]
    by James MacWhyte (videos)
    I want to show everyone the news media we are being presented with here in Japan. I think it’s quite different from what you see on CNN and other Western news outlets.

    Due to the popularity of this video, I have started a new page to collect my personal experiences as well as release Japanese news reports about the Tsunami. Please like it to keep up to date!


    Note: This video was not shot by me. Although I am a cameraman, I live in Tokyo 180 miles from the disaster zone. I recorded this video from TV to pass on. It is copyrighted by Asahi TV and can’t be posted on YouTube or other sites. I technically shouldn’t be able to post it here, but I’ll leave it up as long as I get away with it!

    Google streets view of where this video was shot:

    Check out the link to the googlemap, pre-tsunami of course.


  56. FAB Libber

    Two really old comments from SarSea (for this thread) were found in the spam pile, I had not noticed them in there before, but rescued them.



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