Category Archives: Ian Boudreau


Podcast Versus The Stupid: Unleash The Biden!

With guest Ian Boudreau!

Ian joins Bon and myself again for another Podcast Versus The Stupid, where we discuss Joe Biden leaving giant cephalopod suction cup prints all over Paul Ryan’s face, the Duggar herd stumping for evolution-averse Todd Akin in Missouri, Jelani Cobb’s piece in the New Yorker about race and the Obama presidency, and the state of the polls.

Listen to internet radio with Zandar Versus The Stupid on Blog Talk Radio

Give it a listen and we’ll see you for next week’s debate!


Zandar’s Weekend Listen: Ep. 16 Thingama-jobbers

The Saturday Podcast vs. the Stupid is up with guest, ABLC’s own Ian Boudreau!

Listen to internet radio with Zandar Versus The Stupid on Blog Talk Radio

Ian, Bon and I tackle the post-debate freakout, the rise of the Jobbers and the post-factual society that the GOP chooses to inhabit.  Plus, Todd Akin’s latest idiocy, the jackhole silver lining of antebellum slavery(!!) and some good news on the voter suppression front in Ohio.

Do give us a listen, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes!

Rape and incest exceptions don’t make anti-abortion laws less “extreme”

A distinction without a difference

Missouri Representative Todd Akin’s (semi-recanted) comments about women’s bodies being able to “shut down” pregnancy following “legitimate rapes” have once again lifted abortion legislation to the top half of the national front page. As ever, we seem to be making strange distinctions – between the “extreme” and “less extreme” versions of proposed anti-abortion legislation.

These are, respectively, 1) the absolute ban on abortion for any reason (except, possibly, in cases where the pregnancy will result in the death of the woman) and 2) the same ban, with exceptions made for pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest. In @ThundarKitteh’s BBC World Service interview yesterday, this supposed distinction was the primary subject of discussion. Advocates of the “extreme” position argue that, given their belief that the fetus is a human person from the moment of fertilization, the circumstances surrounding that fertilization are immaterial. The “less-extreme” counter is that, basically, “things are complicated,” and that the evil a woman suffers by undergoing rape excuses her from the responsibility of carrying the fetus to term.

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@ThundarKitteh on BBC World Service

So a BBC radio producer saw some of my tweets slagging Rep. Todd Akin, and found her way to the interview I did here with @ThundarKitteh about rape and rape culture. The producer, Stephanie, called me up to ask me about it. One thing led to another, and eventually @ThundarKitteh (known offline as Esma, creator of the iconic Bitchfork) was on World Service’s World Have Your Say, pushing back with vengeance against a gang of “pro-life” advocates who were talking about whether anti-abortion laws should include exceptions for cases of rape and incest.

You can find the program’s podcast page here, or download the MP3-format program here. The relevant part of the program begins around the 23:20 mark.


Learning about rape from the ones who know it best: The Survivors

The following is a conversation between me, Ian Boudreau, and Bitchfork Creator and ABLC contributor @ThundarKitteh. She had suggested talking about the cultural response to rape – in light of the Jerry Sandusky case – and how a lot of us non-victims respond to rape in ways that are… unhelpful.

I’m hoping that this can become a running project. My assumptions going into it have been that as someone who has covered rape as a criminal matter as a reporter, but never been a sexual abuse victim, I a) know as close to nothing about the experience as makes no difference and b) may very well be unwittingly part of the larger, societal problem of what’s become known as “rape culture.”

But they say sunshine is the best antiseptic, and the frank discussions I’ve been fortunate enough to have with women who have survived rape have changed the way I see the issue, and make me want to help in any way I can to combat this pervasive evil. Hopefully, publishing the discussions as they happened – without grinding them through my own editorial filters – will help other non-victims make the same shift in consciousness that these brave survivors have helped me to make.

A note: We recorded our discussion before comedian Daniel Tosh made his reprehensible remarks to a woman in a Laugh Factory audience in Hollywood; however, the issue of rape jokes in stand-up comedy does arise.

Without further ado, then…

IB: You had suggested this idea to me. So, can you kind of describe what you wanted to talk about, and why?

TK: Well. Since I started opening up to people, and this has been going on for years, because initially I had opened up to some of my family members about being raped, and I had various responses, so I kind of shut down. Because most of the responses were negative or dismissive. Then I tried therapy with one person, and it wasn’t really working because she said to never, ever, ever tell anyone…

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SCOTUS guts Arizona’s immigration law of “papers, please”

Welcome to Arizona!You wouldn’t know it from reading some of the hand-wringingest headlines on initial reactions, but the Supreme Court’s decision in Arizona et al v. United States handed down today guts Arizona’s recently-passed immigration law, S.B. 1070, of the bill’s most controversial element: the “papers, please” provision.

First off, it’s worth recalling what “papers, please” actually was. The law, given the customarily non-descriptive title “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act,” was the strictest anti-immigration legislation in the nation. While federal law already requires immigrants to the U.S. to register within 30 days of arrival and to carry proof of registration at all times, S.B. 1070 made failure to carry this proof a misdemeanor crime.

This effectively meant that law enforcement officers would have “reasonable suspicion” to stop someone they suspected of lacking this documentation, since the mere lack of this documentation had become a prosecutable offense under the new law. It takes very little imagination to envision what the “usual suspects” would look like here. Put it like this: It was not a law that would have affected many blondes.

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Why the economics of pollution favor the left

If you look at any study of asthma hospitalization rates for children, you’ll find they are markedly increased in areas near major highways and heavy industry – places where air pollution is most concentrated. Several components of air pollution – particulate matter, ground-level ozone, nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide – greatly exacerbate asthma symptoms, particularly in children, leading to emergency room visits and missed days of school. It happens, incidentally to the topic at hand, that areas high in air pollution concentration, and the high rates of asthma that go along with them, map rather neatly onto areas where the household median income is below average.

Exacerbation and onset of childhood asthma is a cost generated by industries that rely on combustion in their production processes, and these costs are shouldered by people who have no stake in the profits generated by those processes.

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Eating man’s best friend

Hello, my name is Ian and one time I ate a dog.

This is grammatically tricky. I didn’t eat a whole dog, I don’t think – it couldn’t have been that much in one sitting. But it feels wrong to say “I ate some dog,” or worse, “I ate dog” – it seems like an article is missing. “I ate dog meat” is probably most accurate, but to use “meat” in conjunction with a word like a “dog” seems to imply a kind of casual relationship with the practice of eating it.

Maybe some context will help. It was sometime in 2002 or 2003, and I was in my early twenties, stationed at the U.S. Army’s Camp Red Cloud in the South Korean city of Uijeongbu – about 15 miles north of the capital of Seoul and 20 miles south of the Demilitarized Zone. I’d finished nine or ten months of my one-year tour with the 2nd Infantry Division, working with the division’s public affairs office.

During what I always considered extremely unpleasant morning runs around the countryside near the camp, we would occasionally pass by crudely-fenced enclosures that were always populated by a couple dozen dogs – they looked like smaller, leaner versions of the Chow Chow, ironically enough. I don’t remember who it was who first told me these were dog farms.

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Lying to support Trayvon? No thanks, Larry

I’ve gotten out of the habit of tuning in to evening cable news shows, but I flipped on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell last night in time to catch him dressing down Rene Stutzman, a reporter for The Orlando Sentinel who covered the leak of George Zimmerman’s statement to police.

For more coverage of the Trayvon Martin case, here’s a link to all Angry Black Lady posts with that tag.

I was astonished as O’Donnell began to ream Stutzman, apparently quoting her story in the Sentinel.

O’DONNELL: Rene, I want to ask you about some lines in your story today that are presented as fact, and I don’t understand why they’re presented as fact. You say, “Zimmerman was on his way to the grocery store when he spotted Trayvon walking through his gated community.” Now, others have said that he was on a community watch thing. You don’t say that Zimmerman says that. You don’t say that police told you that. You just report it as fact as if you know exactly what Zimmerman was doing. You don’t know that.

STUTZMAN: I think you’re misreading the story –

O’DONNELL: No, I’m reading –

STUTZMAN: — High in the story, it says –

O’DONNELL: — I’m going to quote you again. “Zimmerman was on his way to the grocery store when he spotted Trayvon walking through his gated community.” You don’t attribute that to anyone, except your own knowledge.

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Eric Holder is going to slice up your baby and feed it to Obama’s flying robot army

I identify fairly strongly as a liberal (although this was not always the case), so perhaps it’s not a huge surprise that one of the most frustrating phenomena I experience as a politics junkie is watching liberal leading lights latch on to stupid ideas. Today, for instance, whoever was running the Mother Jones Twitter account sent out this:

The link points, as you can see, to Adam’s Serwer’s latest piece, When the US Government Can Kill You, Explained. His lede:

On Monday, the Obama administration explained when it’s allowed to kill you.

The piece, which discusses Attorney General Eric Holder’s speech Monday on the legal reasoning behind the administration’s national security policy, is accompanied by a stock photo of U.S. Air Force “Reaper” drone armed with guided HELLFIRE missiles — the sort used to kill the American-born al Qaeda propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki.

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