Battlepanda: Thumbs up, thumbs down


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Thumbs up, thumbs down

What a lazy blogger I am. Here are the things I meant to blog about, but never did. Well, here's the quick and dirty ten cent versions. Good thing pandas have thumbs.

The Non-Unionized Union
Great idea. Saying that labor can only use their bargaining powers in huge, monolithic blocks is like restricting businesses to operate only in GM-sized cooperations. Non-union collective action cleverly sidesteps the usual problem of getting enough workers to join a workplace before it can become a union shop. Also, in this union-busting climate, nimble action is good. Of course, I have to wonder what the limits of this kind of thing is, but let's take it as far as it can go first.

The Drop-in Daycare
This one sounds like a no-brainer. The IKEA store in Germany is having trouble with parents using their in-store nursery crech while they're not actually shoppint at IKEA. Bitch PhD responds -- why don't public drop-in day care centers exist? Heck, why don't private drop-in day care centers exist? The demand is obviously there. Ezra Klein wonders if the liabilities might be scaring off parents. I say make'em sign a waiver if they want to use the services -- trust me, they will.

The Dutch bans Burqas

Personally speaking, Burqas freak me out. It's a whole garment designed to render women invisible, even as they go about their daily business. This is too extreme to be written off under "cultural differences" -- like foot-binding, I can't see burqas as anything but detestable anti-woman practise incompatable with gender equality. However, I still think the Dutch ban is misguided -- there are lots of practices that we might disapprove of as a society which should not be banned. An easily foreseeable consequence to banning the burqa would be to make muslim women from traditional families effectively housebound -- less likely to interact outside of her family, less likely to absorb newer and frankly healthier values.

I understand that the dutch are frightened of an unassimulated ethnic enclave forming, but they should have more faith in the strength and desirability of their own system. I'm sure school is already mandatory for all children. They should also make sure girls are not coerced into marriage. One can only hope that the next generation will be different.

Felicity Huffman

Watch the video. You'll know what I'm talking about.
It's so weird and strangely exhilarating to see somebody answer a flaky celebrity question with honesty and gumption.