And the NRA isn't doing itself any favors by letting folks like Zombie Industries have a booth at its annual convention, at least if they want to represent gun owners as people who aren't fucked up. As Elizabeth Plank over at PolicyMic points out:
"To discriminate against Women by not having them represented in our product selection would be just plain sexist," the website says. YES, because having the only female character in your line of mannequin targets be "the ex-girlfriend" doesn't reinforce sexist and fatally dangerous stereotypes.
I'm not even sure how to begin unpacking this, so let me start with some stats. Men's violence against women is not a small pickle, it's a huge problem. Not just all over the world and in every society, but particularly here in the United States where "domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women — more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined." One third of female murder victims are killed by an intimate partner.
So, there's something incredibly sick about selling a product that encourages men to enact a fantasy in which they shoot their ex-girlfriend and watch her bleed, even if said ex-girlfriend is supposed to be a zombie.
But folks, we have to talk about Zombie Industries' own marketing of "The Ex," because until yesterday — when they changed the doll's name to Alexa and rewrote the copy to be slightly less pathetic — here's what it said:
Could this be a sign that anti-Muslim fear-mongering has jumped the shark? Wishful thinking, perhaps. But a guy can dream, right?
The scary thing is, it's quite conceivable Jackson's manager considered the former SNL cast member's career choices, then said, "This may be your best option, Victoria."
What's next? Gary Kroeger moves to Smyrna to lobby for a guns-in-comedy-clubs bill?
As you'll recall, Coffee County commissioner Barry West posted a photo on his Facebook page of a guy (not him) aiming a shotgun and captioned it "HOW TO WINK AT A MUSLIM." (The "wink" being the closing of one eye in order to better aim.) Understandably, decent people of diverse backgrounds, and especially people who are Muslim and don't enjoy being threatened with gun violence, found this offensive.
Tennessee-based advocacy grop American Center for Outreach, among others, asked concerned citizens to call West's office to demand an apology. And they got one:
Mr. West spoke with our Director of Policy & Administration earlier in the day and expressed his “heartfelt, sincere apology.” Commissioner West went on to state that his “intent was never to offend or harm anyone” and the post was a “mistake.” Commissioner West has agreed to meet with Muslim constituents to further discuss the incident.
In an interview with radio station WMSR, West said, "I will study and talk with those of the Muslim faith to learn more about their beliefs." That sounds like a good idea.
Like so many white men of Übermensch-a, the American Renaissance Conference likes to dream the impossible dream — of a pure white race unsullied by such notions as racial equality and democracy. AmRen was the subject of a Scene cover story in 2012, and comes across in this latest installment in the Nashville Docujournal series just as smug and hateful as you might imagine.
What kind of person would quote MLK sarcastically at the end of a speech in which proposing the establishment of a "white ethno-state on the North American continent" is an applause line? Well, the same kind who would say "we must give up the false dream of equalizing all races" so that white people can explore space while "fostering ... white people who are healthier, stronger and more beautiful, to the point that they can rival the ancients." But hey you liberals, don't misunderstand these people. They're just "race realists," after all.
WHEREAS, it is fitting that the members of this General Assembly should salute those
citizens who through their extraordinary efforts have distinguished themselves as business leaders of whom we can all be proud ...
Update: From Democratic Underground, "This is not the first questionable and highly expensive resolution that has been penned by the Bristol spin doctor—in a previous year, Rep. Lundberg sponsored a resolution honoring his daughter for graduating from high school."
This week's prize for the best impression of a Tennessee lawmaker goes to North Carolina state Reps. Carl Ford and Henry Warren, who have introduced in the N.C. General Assembly a bill that effectively rejects the notion that the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment applies in their state. Upset about a lawsuit that aims to stop county commissioners in Rowan County from opening meetings with Christian prayer, Ford and Warren have dreamed up the Rowan County Defense of Religion Act of 2013, which reads in part:
SECTION 1.The North Carolina General Assembly asserts that the Constitution of the United States of America does not prohibit states or their subsidiaries from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.
SECTION 2. The North Carolina General Assembly does not recognize federal court rulings which prohibit and otherwise regulate the State of North Carolina, its public schools, or any political subdivisions of the State from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.
Translation: The First and 14th amendments do not apply to us. Now that's lawmaking! Your move, Tennessee GOP.
When I think back about growing up poor in a family of four children raised by a single mother who only earned $12,000 annually even with a college degree (thanks gender pay gap! You taught me to do less with more!), I think, if only there had been more threats in place to take away what paltry assistance we could get to actually eat, then surely we'd have rallied harder to make sure my sister didn't fail math.
And I'm not the only one, pa! Stacey Campfield thinks so too! Yes, his proposal to deny welfare payments to families if their children can't get their shit together at school — SB 132 — has been roundly and appropriately mocked and scorned. Yet it has bewilderingly been approved by committees in the state House and Senate last week. Someone tell me this is all just an April Fool's joke?
“A lot of people on both sides of this issue think this is a no-brainer,” the governor said through the shut door to reporters. “But if they do, they haven’t given it much thought. This is incredibly complex. I go back and forth almost by the minute.”
As her husband struggled, First Lady Crissy Haslam cooled her heels downstairs in the sunroom. She said it’s not unusual for Haslam to spend weeks or months making up his mind and frequently never reaches any conclusion.
“It's God-awful," Mrs. Haslam said, rolling her eyes in a rare unguarded moment. "It's like I'm trapped in a Saturday Night Live skit. Last week, he agonized for an entire day over whether to wear a red or blue tie. He finally put on a turtleneck. It was a nice fuchsia color. When he was running Pilot, you wouldn't believe how long it took him to decide where to put the Slurpee machines."
“Just like the governors of Arkansas and Florida, Gov. Bill Haslam is trying to have it both ways: he wants to earn credit from Americans concerned about the government takeover of healthcare for rejecting the Medicaid expansion, while getting a special deal from the Obama Administration on the side,” said Kurt Potter of 912 Project Tennessee, a group affiliated with the Tea Party Patriots. “This ‘third way’ tries to get more taxpayer dollars for a failed healthcare system. Only the passage of the Health Care Compact for Tennessee can exact true healthcare reform for the long term. We urge the Tennessee legislature to reject Gov. Haslam’s proposal and instead pass the Health Care Compact.”
Under the Health Care Compact, Congress would send billions of dollars — $11 billion in Tennessee’s case — to a bunch of states that banded together to run Medicaid and Medicare as they saw fit. It’s a cockamamie idea that burst forth from the fevered imaginations of the right wing during the debate over the Affordable Care Act.
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