It won’t be news to many readers that Chick-fil-A’s owner is deeply entrenched in conservative politics and social issues. The chain has been in the news many a time for its owner’s anti-gay attitudes, in particular.
2. Carl’s Jr.
Carl’s Jr. founder Carl Karcher, who died in 2008, had been a supporter of anti-abortion causes for decades. In particular, Karcher was fond of funding the anti-choice group Operation Rescue. He also had a mean anti-gay streak as well.
3. Domino’s Pizza
Like Karcher, Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan is an unapologetic supporter of anti-choice groups, including Operation Rescue, Right to Life, Priests for Life, and the Committee to End State-Funded Abortion in Michigan. (Domino’s itself has noted that it does not, as a company, support “either side of the reproductive rights issue.”)
4. White Castle
White Castle joins Carl’s Jr. on the list of beloved burger joints with right-wing ties. According to a recent ThinkProgress report about companies that have helped bankroll right-wing attack ads, White Castle has given $25,000 to the Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC, a group linked to House Speaker John Boehner that is supporting conservative candidates in the November election.
5. Waffle House
Waffle House (or Awful House as I used to call it growing up) is also mentioned in the ThinkProgress report. The breakfast joint has given $100,000 this election cycle to the Karl Rove super PAC American Crossroads.
“Coming from my hand, the phrase “my boyfriend lives in a dumpster” still seems unlikely, though it’s simple enough to explain why it’s true: Jeff, a science professor and university dean, is leading a yearlong social experiment in which a team of students, designers and engineers are converting a used dumpster into a high-tech, sustainable home in order to test the extreme limits of what one needs for a good life. Jeff, the intrepid guinea pig, is living inside it, on campus, during each renovation phase — from rusty bin to solar-powered über dumpster.”—My boyfriend lives in a dumpster.
“Contrary to the tired trope about “mothers, wives and daughters” that generally gets thrown around in arguments about why men should care about women’s rights, men should be feminists because the lives of the women and girls they have never met and will never meet matter. Particularly in a culture that does not encourage men to cultivate or express empathy, this thing of giving a basic shit about people you don’t know is itself a kind of radical act. But Berlatsky’s point that “misogyny is a cage for everyone” also captures another reason that I think men can and should identify as feminists. Because of course men should be outraged at the violence experienced by women and girls and the systems that dehumanize them, but framing men’s relationship to feminism exclusively as men’s relationship to women’s status in the world erases the fact that men are also harmed by patriarchy, toxic masculinity and entrenched cultural and institutional sexism.”—Men can be feminists but it’s actually really hard work.
That’s what we’ve always heard, and we feel guilty about not taking grandpa’s advice. But researchers from Brigham Young University and Emory University found that budgeting can sometimes backfire. They conducted a study revealing that people who shopped with a spending limit actually forked over 50 percent more on a single item than consumers who weren’t budgeting.
2. The more you earn, the richer you are.
You would think that would be a no-brainer, but it turns out to be totally false.
Stephen Goldbart, co-author of Affluence Intelligence and co-founder of the Money, Meaning & Choices Institute explains that earning more just makes most of us spend more. “As people acquire more money, they almost immediately start purchasing things that they’ve felt they’ve always wanted rather than thinking about what percentages that they should put away and the consequences of changing their spending habits.”
3. When you retire, you shouldn’t touch the principal and just live off the interest.
Um, that would be nice, and it might have worked for your parents, but it’s unlikely to work for you, in part because dividends and interest aren’t what they used to be. With disappearing pensions and Social Security payments that don’t keep up with costs for seniors, not to mention a lackluster job market, many of us will need to get creative to figure out how to retire comfortably even if we’ve been able to accumulate something in a 401(k).
4. Money won’t buy happiness.
Well, actually it can buy at least some happiness for some of us.
Researchers from Princeton University have found that if you are a low- or middle-income earner, your life outlook tends to improve if you earn more income. Boosts in salary and happiness increased at the same rate regardless of economic class: a 20 percent increase in salary increased happiness at the same rate for both low-income and high-income people.
5. Collecting coupons isn’t worth it.
The folks at Mint.com have concluded that if you are savvy about it, collecting coupons is indeed worth it.
This comes with a few caveats. You have to avoid the temptation to buy more than you need. Mint recommends keeping a 3 months’ supply of non-perishable food and condiments on hand so that you’ll buy things when they are on sale or when you have the coupons instead of being forced to buy them just when you need them. They also suggest checking to see if the coupon is saving you more than you would save if you were to buy generic.
6. Buying a home is better than renting.
This really depends on a lot of factors, like how long you plan to stay in the home and the details of your mortgage. But certainly it’s not true across the board that buying is best. TheWall Street Journal reports than in many places — including large metropolitan areas like Phoenix, Austin, and Sacramento — renting is the cheaper alternative.
7. You can save money on gas by not running the air conditioner in your car.
Ever heard this one? Let’s hope you haven’t sweat too much over it, because according to Consumer Reports, it’s pretty much a myth.
Turning on the A/C in the car doesn’t put more load on the engine and it only slightly decreases fuel economy. At higher speeds (over 55mph), putting the windows down can reduce fuel economy by up to 20 percent, depending on how aerodynamic the car is.
“So what we need feminism to give a care about is not simply or primarily the plight of white middle-class, putatively straight, American moms and their children, but rather the plight of non-white, non-middle-class, non-straight, non-cisgender, non-American women and children. Black feminism taught me that.”—Feminism’s future is not up to white women.
“It’s a terrible feeling. And, as you know, with general anxiety disorder, with phobias, with OCD, with social anxiety, with all ranges of disorders, you know it’s a problem. You want it fixed. You can’t keep people with anxiety disorders out of psychologists’ offices, because they want to be happy. They know they’re not as happy as the people around them and they run into doctors’ offices and say, “Fix me, please!” There’s nothing as quite as gratifying and liberating for people with anxiety disorders as when they first begin googling and realize, “Wait a minute this is a real condition. I can go get this fixed!” And they do go get it fixed. That is because the disorders are, as I say in the book are egodystonic. You know that there is something you want to get fixed. On the other hand, personality disorders like narcissism, paranoia, histrionic personality disorder and borderline personality disorders are what is called egosyntonic. You think you’re not narcissistic, you really are better. You’re not paranoid, there really are people who are after you. So until you get over that belief, until you can stop fighting on behalf of your disorder, you’re never going to get into a psychologist’s office in the first place”—On narcissism, a disorder few people really understand.
“Technically they’re brilliantly done. They’re beautiful things but there’s nothing in them. There’s nothing new. Nothing to make you think or look at the world in a different way. It’s just the same thing going on and on and on. It really is bread and circuses these days. It may be a sign of people’s impotence, that they can’t really change anything so let’s keep going back and have that McDonald’s burger because we know exactly what we’re about to get and let’s watch another Marvel Comics film because we know exactly what we’re going to get.”—Terry Gilliam on Hollywood’s latest blockbusters.
“If you’re at all familiar with atheism in America, then the following two scenes should probably come as no surprise: Biologist Richard Dawkins exhorting his followers to mock and ridicule believers with contempt, Bill Maher telling MSNBC host Joe Scarborough that “religion is a neurological disorder.” As an atheist who grew up in a fundamentalist Christian milieu, I admit that this rhetoric is not without its appeal. But the atmosphere this kind of animus creates has become as pungent and disagreeable as the stale bread and cheap wine of the church I grew up in.”—Atheism needs less Richard Dawkins.
It usually goes like this. “Ugh. You know what really bugs me? When so-and-so compares her dog to my kid. Or when so-and-so refers to their dog as their kid. Dogs are not kids! She has NO IDEA!”
2. You think you’re [insert anything here]! Try having kids!
Tired, stressed, in pain, covered in urine, it doesn’t matter. They all apply. Too often, we parents downplay non-parent’s concerns by pulling ours out and tossing them on the table. “Oh man! You worked 50 hours this week? Try doing that with kids!” “Oh man, you think your feet hurt from working outside all day! I’ve been chasing my toddler blah blah blah, punch me in the face please.”
3. Don’t worry, when you have kids you’ll [insert anything here].
Not be grossed out by boogers, know who Dora the Explorer is, be happy…UGH. We’ve got to quit assuming that everyone is going to have kids. Some people don’t want kids and choose not to have them. Some people really want kids and are trying incredibly hard to have them. Indicating to these people that having kids is the only way they will reach some higher level of understanding is both inconsiderate and rude.
4. Is the party kid-friendly?
Unless you and your friend have some previous communication on this topic about how your little one is always welcome, assume the party is not kid-friendly. Don’t ask. If it were “kid-friendly” they would have invited you and your kids, and mentioned the awesome play room that they will have set up in the basement.
5. My life didn’t have meaning before I had kids!
Another way to say this: My life was meaningless before I had kids. Another way: Life without kids is meaningless.Lok, I know this feeling. Sometimes it feels like all the worries I had before my kids were trivial. I understand the urge to convey that feeling into words. Don’t do it.
“It has been documented that women can and do experience heightened sensitivity when the upper vaginal wall is stimulated, so it’s not like science is outright snubbing the walnut-sized spot. Rather, the study points out that female pleasure and orgasm are more all-encompassing than previously thought, and that sensitivity exists simultaneously throughout the clitouretherovaginal complex and not just in one tiny area. Or, if you prefer your sexual science served with a Facebook analogy, ‘It’s complicated.’”—New research suggests our ideas about the “G-spot” and orgasms are missing the mark.
“Olive Garden and Red Lobster may not be destinations for hipster Internet journalists, and they have seen revenue declines amid stagnant middle-class wages and increased competition. But they are still profitable businesses. Thousands of Americans work there. Why should they be bled dry by predatory investors in the name of “shareholder value”? What of the value of worker productivity instead of the financial engineers? Not salting your pasta water may be scandalous. But the real scandal here is what this hedge fund wants to pull off, which can only be called legalized theft”—There’s more to Olive Garden’s bread sticks “scandal” than meets the eye.
“I began to understand, quite starkly, in that moment, the freedom that white children have to see the world as a place that they can explore, a place in which they can sit, or stand, or climb at will. The world, they are learning, is theirs for the taking. Then I thought about what it means to parent a black child, any black child, in similar circumstances. I think of the swiftness with which a black mother would have ushered her child into a seat, with firm looks and not a little a scolding, the implied if unspoken threat of either a grounding or a whupping, if her request were not immediately met with compliance. So much is wrapped up in that moment: a desire to demonstrate that one’s black child is well-behaved, non-threatening, well-trained. Disciplined. I think of the centuries of imminent fear that have shaped and contoured African-American working-class cultures of discipline, the sternness of our mothers’ and grandmothers’ looks, the firmness of the belts and switches applied to our hind parts, the rhythmic, loving, painful scoldings accompanying spankings as if the messages could be imprinted on our bodies with a sure and swift and repetitive show of force.”—Black parenting is too authoritative. White parenting is too permissive. Both need to change.
“There are atheists in foxholes. There are atheist in schools and public office. There are atheists everywhere. The more we can normalize the fact that this country is full of people of varying beliefs and non-beliefs, the stronger we are. And if you’re swearing to defend the Constitution, you’re swearing to defend a system that protects all of us, whether you pray or not.”—The Air Force finally dumps its “under God” requirement.
We were lied to. The women of my generation were told that we could ‘have it all’, as long as ‘it all’ was marriage, babies and a career in finance, a cupboard full of beautiful shoes and terminal exhaustion – and even that is only an option if we’re rich, white, straight and well behaved. These perfect lives would necessarily rely on an army of nannies and care-workers, and nobody has yet bothered to ask whether they can have it all.
We can have everything we want as long as what we want is a life spent searching for exhausting work that doesn’t pay enough, shopping for things we don’t need and sticking to a set of social and sexual rules that turn out, once you plough through the layers of trash and adverts, to be as rigid as ever.
As for young men, they were told they lived in a brave new world of economic and sexual opportunity, and if they felt angry or afraid, if they felt constrained or bewildered by contradictory expectations, by the pressure to act masculine, make money, demonstrate dominance and fuck a lot of pretty women while remaining a decent human being, then their distress was the fault of women and minorities. It was these grasping women, these homosexuals and people of colour who had taken away the power and satisfaction that was once their birthright as men. We were taught, all of us, that if we were dissatisfied, it was our fault, or the fault of those closest to us. We were built wrong, somehow. We had failed to adjust. If we showed any sort of distress, we probably needed to be medicated or incarcerated, depending on our social status. There are supposed to be no structural problems, just individual maladaption.
1. Mixing negotiations. Most car shoppers are fixated on the amount they can spend each month for a car, and salespeople know this. It’s their hope that you’ll tip your hand as to what you think an affordable monthly payment will be. Oftentimes, they’ll even ask you what that figure is. Don’t fall into that trap, as a slick salesperson will use that number to pad in as much profit as he can for himself.
2. Marked-Up Financing. Car dealerships might make very little profit on the actual sales price of a new car, so they have to find other streams of revenue like selling used cars and repair and maintenance charges. But one common profit center is to offer in-house financing. What typically happens when you apply for financing through a dealership is that they take your loan application to several lenders to see what interest rates you qualify for. So, if the best interest rate they can find for you is 5%, they’ll come back to you with a rate that’s between 2-4 points higher, skimming that extra interest right off the top and sometimes splitting it with the finance company.
3. The Spot Delivery Scam. Don’t ever take that new car home unless all the financing has been finalized. Some unscrupulous car dealerships use a “ spot delivery scam,” where they allow potential buyers to leave with the car they’ve chosen before financing has been finalized, only to call them up several days later to tell them the loan has fallen through. They then ask for the car to be returned, sometimes threatening repossession.
4. Unneeded Extras. Car dealerships like to add “dealer-installed options” to pad the price of the car, often doing so after a sales price has already been negotiated. This allows them to boost profits by adding things such as rustproofing, paint sealers, fabric protection, and VIN etching (where they scratch the car’s vehicle identification number into the windshield). Together, these add-ons can add hundreds, even thousands, to your bill.
5. Extended Warranties. New car buyers should always say no to extended warranties, which can add between $1,200 and $1,500 to the invoice, as they’re notoriously bad deals. They’re nothing more than a bet you’re making with a third-party on how reliable your car will be, and the odds are not in your favor. Car salesmen push extended warranties because they get a large commission for selling them, up to 50 percent or more.
“I remember standing in a dark, cramped room in a military processing center just outside Chicago in the summer of 2003. I was waiting to take the oath of enlistment after signing up to join the Navy. I casually accepted the offer of Missile Technician handed to me by the Navy classifier. The generic and brief job description was overly technical for my liking, as I never considered myself adept at mechanical life – the auto mechanics class in high school was a requirement, but I found absolutely no joy in it. The classifier assuaged my misgivings with a reassuring, “Dude, you get to blow stuff up and see the world.” Sold. Where do I sign?”—When a soldier wants more than violence and blind patriotism.
“Exotic means there, not here. Them, not us. You, but definitely not me. Exotic is a word defined by the speaker’s perspective, which assumes dominance and normalcy over the person being called exotic.”—
“In an open relationship, you have experiences that are a rarity in other people’s lives. You welcome jealousy as a teacher. You challenge what a relationship really means. I haven’t always been comfortable in this territory. I was married and monogamous once. Then my husband and I fell in love with another couple. For two beautiful and painful years we were a quad, a foursome. Seven years later, we’re no longer with each other. We fulfilled every prophecy of open relationships not fixing existing problems, much to my grief and disappointment. But we learned. And we grew.”—What happens when your boyfriend loses his lover?
“In the minutes before I drifted off to sleep, I’d think about all the things we’d done together — moving to Buffalo, getting married, buying a house. I’d think about our wedding reception, which we held in a tent in our backyard, with Indian food and submarine sandwiches and beer pumped out of a keg. My friends tried to console me: It will get better, they said. But for me, in the months ahead, it only got worse.”—Motherhood isn’t always wonderful.
“A good first step is to find or create an occasional place of refuge where you can escape the electronic grid that surrounds us. It’s a place without phones or computers — without monitoring of any kind. Stepping back from the grid is especially important if you have small children. They need to discover the possibilities created by their own imaginations. I realize that switching off one’s Twitter feed is highly difficult for some people. But walking alone down a forest path, smelling the wet earth, and watching branches sway in the wind is actually the first step in your act of resistance. You can’t truly hear your own voice until the shouting around you disappears. New ideas and possibilities — our own ideas, our own possibilities — will occur only when we step away from the Virtual Panopticon.”—How to escape our digital prisons.
Sadly, these women find it personally advantageous to reject feminism and continue perpetuating sexist social norms.
A lot of people assume the term “female misogynist” is an oxymoron. How can a woman be opposed to the fight to help women achieve equality? The sad fact of the matter is, as long as there has been feminism, there have been women who find it personally advantageous to reject feminism and instead argue for continuing social systems that perpetuate women’s inequality, male dominance, and even violence against women. (There were even plenty of women who were willing to argue against women’s suffrage back in the day.) Here is a list of nine women who have made a career out of opposing women’s struggle for social, political and economic equality.
“There are numerous factors that help explain why blacks have lower levels of upward mobility, but a surprisingly unpersuasive one is family structure. Conservatives like to tout the research of Raj Chetty and others who find that, “The fraction of children living in single-parent households is the single strongest correlate of upward income mobility among all the variables we explored.” But this observation comes with a caveat — children in two-parent households fare worse in areas with large numbers of single parents. There is reason to believe the causation is reversed. Rather than single-parent households causing low upward mobility, low upward mobility and rampant poverty lead to single-parenthood.”—We live in a new era of segregation.
“Over the past 30 years, college tuition increased by roughly 1,120 percent and the gap between high- and low-income kids with access to it has widened – from 31 percent to 45 percent. With college students’ biggest worry being their student loan debt, one would think that affordability would factor into U.S. News and World Report’s ranking formula. You would be wrong. Not only are they not considered, but often the ranking methods actually encourage higher college spending in other, less needed areas.”—Why our college rankings hurt low-income students the hardest.
“The negotiations ultimately broke down during the summer of 2001. The pivotal moment — the money quote that is often brought up in conjunction with [this version of] the story — is Wendy Chamberlain, who was then the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, telling a Taliban representative that Afghanistan could either expect a carpet of gold if it signed the agreement, or a carpet of bombs [if it didn’t]; and it’d be their choice. They weren’t able to come to terms, financially, and the Taliban walked away. Two months later, 9/11 happened, and the U.S. was at war.”—Ted Rall on the hidden story behind the war with Afghanistan.