Saturday Open Thread- STFU Edition

It’s the weekend, y’all!

I gotta say, people were annoying me this week.

From the asshat LaRouche supporters who harassed me outside the post office when I refused their literature (worry not, I unleashed hell on them), to Charlie Sheen refusing to STFU.

So let’s make this a STFU thread, shall we?

STFU, Lady Gaga! You’re so edgy and avant garde, yet you filed a BS lawsuit against    some doofus in London who is selling ice cream made from human breast milk and calling it Baby Gaga.

News of the flavor’s sale in a London sweets shop by a waitress dressed like Lady Gaga raised eyebrows worldwide and led to its confiscation after the Westminister City Council deemed it unfit for human consumption.

That hasn’t stopped the meat-wearing entertainer from accusing Covent Garden’s Icecreamists of riding her “coattails” to promote a “deliberately provocative” product that many consider “nausea-inducing,” according to legal documents filed on her behalf.

Lady G claims the ice cream stunt is detrimental to her “brand.” Know what else could be detrimental to your brand? Filing suit and giving these wackos even more publicity, so STFU already!

STFU, idiot Time columnist! Some troll named John Cloud wrote a meandering screed against parents, claiming we delude ourselves into thinking parenthood is more rewarding than it is. Read the drivel if you dare. Some lowlights:

Why? For the same reason you keep spending money to fix up an old car when it just doesn’t work — or keep investing in the same company when it’s failing. Humans throw good money after bad all the time. When we have invested a lot in a choice that turns out to be bad, we’re really inept at admitting that it didn’t make rational sense… snip

Of course parents should be commended for one little thing they do: maintain the existence of humanity. I praise them for that, but I think they’re both heroes and suckers.

I’m sorry Mr. Cloud, what is that you were saying? I was too busy batting at the rainbows, fairies and sparkles that permeate the air around me since I discovered the miracle of motherhood! So STFU and leave me to it.

And finally, a hearty, enthusiastic SHUT THE F*CK UP to none other than Mike Huckabee, who becomes more and more loathsome every time he opens his mouth. Then he has to open up his putrid pie hole again to backtrack.

Case in point: claiming Obama’s childhood in Kenya influenced his feelings about the Mau Mau Rebellion, then saying “Of COURSE I meant to say Indonesia!” Then why the f*ck were you talking about Kenya’s Mau Mau Rebellion, you moran?

Then he had to go running his mouth about Natalie Portman, who is pregnant and (gasp!) unmarried. Because, you know, that worked SO well for Dan Quayle when he criticized Murphy Brown and all. But inevitably, Huckabee backtracked:

Contrary to what the Hollywood media reported, I did not “slam” or “attack” Natalie Portman, nor did I criticize the hardworking single mothers in our country. My comments were about the statistical reality that most single moms are very poor, under-educated, can’t get a job, and if it weren’t for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death. That’s the story that we’re not seeing, and it’s unfortunate that society often glorifies and glamorizes the idea of having children out of wedlock.

And the GOP’s solution to this problem? Defund Planned Parenthood, try to ban abortion, and cut all forms of assistance for these lazy, worthless women! Way to piss off single moms, poor people, and women in general, Huck.

On second thought, maybe you should just keep running that mouth of yours…

Who would YOU like to say STFU to? Chime in!

This is an open thread of course, so chat away!


Who Will Be the Education President?

I want to highlight one more education piece in Time. BTW, the entire series is worth a read!

The magazine neatly summarized the remaining (viable) four presidential candidates’ stances on some of the most important issues in education: No Child Left Behind, vouchers, merit pay and whether we should extend the school day or year.

No Child Left Behind
Sen. Hillary Clinton: Wants to end it. Says it is underfunded and puts too much emphasis on standardized tests.
Sen. Barack Obama: Wants NCLB to go beyond standardized tests and offer support for failing schools.
Gov. Mike Huckabee: Yes, despite some reservations about teaching to the test.
Sen. John McCain: Voted for it in 2001 and would reauthorize it, with slight tweaks.

Sen. Clinton: Believes that vouchers divert resources from the public-school system.
Sen. Obama: Believes that vouchers divert resources from the public-school system.
Gov. Huckabee: Yes, but puts more emphasis on “public school choice.”
Sen. McCain: School choice, including vouchers, is his main theme for education.

Merit Pay
Sen. Clinton: Maybe. Favors schoolwide performance-based pay but not merit pay for individuals.
Sen. Obama: Supports merit pay for individual teachers–but not if it’s based solely on test scores, and only if teachers support it.
Gov. Huckabee: Supports merit pay for individual teachers.
Sen. McCain: Supports merit pay for individual teachers.

Longer School Day Or Year
Sen. Clinton: Supports the concept but doesn’t specify it in her education plans.
Sen. Obama: Would give grants to districts providing more learning time for students in need.
Gov. Huckabee: Yes, but would leave the decision–and the funding–up to individual school districts.
Sen. McCain: Maybe. Hasn’t taken a position yet.


The Presidential Candidates On NCLB

Newsweek neatly summed up the presidential candidates’ (both Democrats and Republicans) stances on No Child Left Behind. The letter grades seemed random though:

The Stance: She has Bill bashing NCLB on the campaign trail but also pushed for more federal money to help schools give higher-quality tests. Would track every student in every grade. Wants more money for early-childhood education.

The Reality Check: (Center for Education Reform Chief Jeanne) Allen says she’s currying favor with the largely Democratic teacher’s unions, who hate the rigid NCLB, while still backing accountability. (Education analyst Thomas) Toch says look for her to warm up to the idea of performance pay if she’s the nominee. B-

The Stance: Wants the federal government to measure skills such as conducting research, defending ideas and solving problems. Wants schools to use test data to help shape lessons. Favors performance pay for teachers.

The Reality Check: Well intentioned, but Allen warns that the skills he likes are hard to test statewide. Toch applauds efforts to test kids on thinking, not regurgitation. Performance pay, he warns, is easy to talk about but hard to execute. B+

The Stance: Wants to give states more power to decide the benchmarks for NCLB; eliminate test-prep factories by ensuring all kids get music, arts education, and give parents the option of transferring kids out of failing schools.

The Reality Check: States set benchmarks now, says Toch, and they range from laudable to laughable. (Arkansas: the pits.) Allen says locals are often the worst culprits in bad schooling. A national barometer ensures states educate all kids. D+

The Stance : Likes NCLB but wants to change the tone: support, not confront, failing schools. He’d revamp Head Start and improve rates of high-school graduation, too. Supports the spread of charter schools and vouchers.

The Reality Check: Allen applauds his stance on school choice but frets that supporting schools means coddling school boards and unions. Ensuring more kids graduate from high school is a good idea, says Toch, but how exactly do you do that? B+


Men Who Have Stay-At-Home Wives

Here is one last letter from Berkeley Parents Network this week: “What is fair ‘baby duty’ for husband of SAHM?“

I am a new stay at home mom and am struggling to figure out what is fair ”baby duty” (sorry to make it sound so bad) for my husband, who works so hard at his job. As our new baby’s sleeping schedule develops my husband is less and less available for her. He used to give her a bottle every morning but since she’s started sleeping through the night, she wakes up earlier, and I have been feeding her so as to not disturb him (he goes to bed late). And at night, she has her last feeding before he even gets home from work! He misses spending time with her and I feel like I have 100% of the ”baby duty.” Not to mention the fact that he’s missing quality bonding time with her, which he himself has acknowledged. Is is fair to ask him to get up earlier or come home earlier? I’m also wondering how to handle weekends. We both want a break on the weekends–I from the baby routine and he from work. Part of me thinks he should spend a lot of time with her on the weekends, but it’s hard to make that request since I know he’s working so hard to support us all. I do fear though that I’ll become the expert parent, enforcing schedules and routines and he’ll become the playmate. It seems so patriarchal! I guess I just don’t know what a good balance is for a SAHM and a working father. Any advice?

Boy, can I relate. This is something my husband and I contended with Ari, when we were new parents and he was establishing his career. Even though he is busy and goes to bed late, he is more of a hands-on parent with Eli — which leads me to a question for this woman. I would ask where is the husband in his career?

If he is establishing himself with the potential to secure their futures, then I would bite the bullet — although I would ask him to set aside at least a couple hours a week to spend with the baby and give time off to the wife. Also, I would ask for at least a housecleaner, or a part-time babysitter, to receive some time off as everyone, including SAHMs, need time to themselves! If he is earning enough to keep them home in the Bay Area, surely he can make this investment.

Thankfully for us, the gamble paid off, and I could see how it would have destroyed us otherwise for the reasons this woman cited. I was exhausted and resented the fact I received little help with our son.

But now my husband washes dishes, helps with laundry, and is constantly holding our daughter to give me reprieve. This is definitely a conversation I would have with the husband and not lash out at him when he doesn’t help. Just my two cents.

For you SAHMs, what do you think?

In somewhat related news, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee signed a statement by the 1998 Southern Baptist Convention that included this disturbing nugget: “A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ.“ Thanks to a Daily Kos diarist for the tip!