Saturday, October 31, 2009

You're All Commies

communism, republican, democrat, capitalism
Lately, the Republicans have been partying like it's 1954, accusing liberals right and left of being communists. (Being a communist is entirely legal in this country, but I digress.)

The funny thing is, we're all communists. Every last one of us.

Communism is a socioeconomic structure and political ideology that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian society based on common ownership and control of the means of production and property in general.

Doesn't that pretty much describe your family? You don't all produce (earn money), but you all share equally in what is produced, each according to his or her ability, each according to his or her need. Nobody's shorting the baby on diapers because the baby isn't bringing in the benjamins, the baby gets diapers because the baby needs diapers. The wager earner who makes 73% of the family's income doesn't get 73% of the food at dinner, or 73% of the hot water in the morning. Dinner, hot water, heat, electricity are all shared for the benefit of the common good.

We're all communists, people. We just restrict it to people we happen to like or are related to.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Why Atheists Should Care About Rifqa Bary

rifqa bary, muslim, islam, atheism, atheist, bigotry
Much has been made in Christian circles about Rifqa Bary, the Christian convert from a Muslim family that ran away from home earlier this year, but few in atheist circles have made mention of Ms. Bary, perhaps viewing the case as an interreligious conflict that doesn't affect atheists at all.

We should care about Ms. Bary. The entire fiasco reveals a shocking bigotry toward Muslims, and we all know whom Christians hate more than Muslims: atheists.

In a nutshell, Ms. Bary is a 17-year-old girl who lived an average American life until quite recently. She attended a private school, was a cheerleader, had an active internet life. Her family is Muslim, but as the above picture amply demonstrates, not of the fundamentalist variety. There is no headscarf, hijab or burqa in the above picture, in fact, you can see her legs. Her father bought her a laptop and allowed her to prance around half naked at football games.

All of which makes what happened next, and the media attention given to it, outrageous. Apparently, Ms. Bary converted to Christianity at 14, and her family found out a few months ago. Unsurprisingly, her parents were angry, as would be Christian parents upon finding out their child had converted to Islam. Ms. Bary then ran away, from Ohio to Florida, to live with a man she met on the internet. This man, a Christian minister, failed to report her presence to the authorities as Florida law requires.

Ms. Bary's parents reported her as a runaway, and when the authorities found her in Florida she told them that she feared her father would kill her, being Muslim and all. Honor killings do occur, but it is a custom of fundamentalist Muslims, not the sort of Muslims who send their daughters to private schools, buy them laptops and allow them to show their legs. The Barys are originally from Sri Lanka, a country with a small Muslim population and no history of honor killings. (In fact, Ms. Bary's parents immigrated to the US to get her better medical treatment for an injury to her eye.)

If Ms. Bary's parents were not Muslim, do you suppose her claims would have been taken seriously? Do you suppose the national media would have picked up the story? What about the minister who hid Ms. Bary in his home? Do you think he would have avoided being charged for harboring a runaway? Ms. Bary still has not been sent home. In fact, it looks like she will never be sent home, and will be kept in foster care until her 18th birthday.

Why should this matter to the atheist community? A family was unfairly demonized simply for being Muslim. They have now lost custody of their child, though there is no evidence they have, or will, harm her in any way. Considering the way Christians feel about atheists, this sets an alarming precedent for our community as well. What happens when the child of an atheist converts to Christianity and then makes wild claims about their parents to the authorities? Given this example, I can picture such children being encouraged to do so in order to be fostered in a Christian home.

All I can say is that we, as atheists, should pay attention to this case. It may well show us the future for our community, too.

Who Is That Jesus Fellow, Anyway?

christian, evangelism, jesus, jack chick, god, bible
In every Chick Tract, there is a moment where the convertee says, with wide-eyed amazement, "Jesus- who's that?!" That used to make me laugh, because what person in the Western world has not heard of Jesus, but now I realize that might be an accurate representation of how fundys are viewing us.

Sam, at The Just Shall Live By Faith, asked what I suspect is a disingenuous question:

Mr & Mrs Atheist*, I am curious as to your reason(s) for why you do not believe there is a God?

I was pretty bored, so I decided to relieve his ignorance.

I was raised Catholic. I had trouble with believing by the age of 6. There's just no proof. Remove the Bible, of which outside historical evidence is slim to none, and what do you have? The same uncorroborated evidence any religion has.

If you really are interested in what atheists think, there are any number of atheists blogs/sites you can visit for more information.

That's the short version, of course, but I wasn't bored enough to write him a book.

ExPatMatt and AnnaSethe jumped into the breach as well:

ExPatMatt said...

because, if there was a God, He wouldn't let Himself be represented by dishonest men like you?

Seriously, one of the final nails in my disbelief coffin is that the 'True Believers' (such as yourself) seem incapable of hold an honest and intelligent discussion about anything relating to either religion or science. If you really had God on your side, y'all wouldn't need to lie and deceive so much.

Also, there is no evidence of any gods.

Anna Sethe said...

Are there no female atheists in your world or are you generally not interested in the opinion of women?

That prompted this:

NayLahKnee LahKnee said...
wow - so much harshness and negativity. A fool says in his heart there is no God. Not my words.........just saying.

That is the gospel equivalent of "I know you are, but what am I", and just as irritating.

Sam said...
no evidence

Matthew, is not the very fact that you are fighting against a God you don't believe exists evidence enough? You see, I don't believe in the tooth fairy, and therefore I would not waste an ounce of my energy, or hours of my time in blog after blog fighting against people who do! I have no desire, no urge, no compulsion to waste my time in such a meaningless pursuit! Why is it, do you think, that Atheists would spend tens of thousands of dollars to run advertising campaigns against a God they don’t believe exists? I would not part with a single cent to fight against the existence of Santa Claus! I would submit to you the reason that Atheists go to all this time, effort and expense is because they really hate the God of the bible! Hate Him enough to attempt to wipe out the memory of Him – not only in their minds, but the minds of everyone else! But they can’t see that their fighting against Him is evidence in itself!

Sam, when was the last time someone tried to legislate based on their interpretation of what the tooth fairy said to them? How many wars has belief in the tooth fairy started? Are disbelievers in the tooth fairy regularly demonized as immoral and dangerous? I didn't think so.

Then we get the Chickian money shot:

Sam said...

PersonalFailure said...I was raised Catholic. I had trouble with believing by the age of 6.
I would submit to you that this is probably because you never heard the true gospel being preached to you at Mass. How can you believe in something you have never heard the truth about? The Catholic church are leading millions up the garden path! Much of their dogma is non biblical! They preach traditions of men, not the Word of God. I would encourage you, please take a bible and read it, and see for yourself!

Sam, I have read the bible. In fact, I own 17 different translations of the bible. I've read every one. I have large portions of the bible memorized, in fact. I've been prosyletized to by every major denomination of Christianity, and quite a few minor denominations. The problem is not that I don't know who this Jesus fellow is. I've seen, and I'm not impressed.

*Originally, that read "Mr. Atheist". I'm not sure why he initially assumed all atheists are male, nor why he now assumes all female atheists are married. Bizarre.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

An Offer I Can Refuse

enyart, personhood, initiative, abortion,
Yesterday, I got an email:

Dear Ms. Failure:

I read your blog on personhood at “Forever in Hell”, (an apt name for the blog of one in the legal profession I must say).

But seriously, a radio station in Denver will be examining the implications of “personhood” over the next several weeks. (This unabashedly “fundy” movement started here in Colorado in 2007, and there is an effort afoot to put it back on the 2010 ballot)

If you’d like to put your 5 minutes of thought up against one of the “fundys” who started the “Personhood Movement” I’d be glad to set it up.

I understand if you decline, (so far I’ve found no one on the anti- personhood side willing to debate).

Call or e-mail to schedule or to decline.

May your god bless you according to your works,

Doug XxXxxxxx
I'll admit, I was complimented. A little hesitant, in that I've never done anything live, and I sound like a congested 7-year-old, but ummmm . . . why not? The "Ms. Failure" salutation is a little odd, in that it's fairly obvious nobody named me "Personal", but okay. May your god bless you according to your works, actually had me thinking I wasn't talking to a fundy. (Works are anethema to the Once Saved, Always Saved crew, and "your god"? There is only one god to that sort.) So, you know, Unitarians maybe.

But questions were in order. I asked whom I would be debating. (Note the signature. All it included in the initial email was a name and a phone number.)

Ms. Failure:

You’d be speaking with Bob Enyart, (google him, you’ll find plenty)! He’s exactly the brand of fundy you zealously ridicule and would therefore be an apt foil.
"Zealously" gave me a bit of a twitch. It's one of those fundy words the rest of the world doesn't use much. Though lawyers are instructed to "zealously defend" their clients, so not conclusive.

Then I looked up Bob Enyart. Oh, yeah, not just a fundy, that one.
Enyart is also known for his views on adultery, homosexuality and abortion saying that they are acts which should be punishable by death. Enyart pickets the homes of doctors performing abortions resulting in one Colorado town banning such protests in residential areas. Enyart also angered families of AIDS vicims when he read the men's obituaries on his television show calling the deceased "sodomite"s. Enyart has also led residential protests against executives of a company which provided construction services for Planned Parenthood offices leading to similar neighbor complaints. Most recently Enyart has criticised presidential candidates who do not share his view on abortion.
Enyart is a proponent of corporal punishment of children saying that their "hearts are lifted" by spanking. He was sentenced with 60 days in jail for misdemeanor child abuse in 1994. Enyart hit his then girlfriend's 7 year old son with a belt hard enough to break the skin. Upon release from jail, Enyart's parole officer filed an objection with the court to Enyart's appearing on the Politically Incorrect television show but a judge disagreed allowing the appearance.

A series of late night phone calls by Enyart to the general manager of the Kenosha, Wisconsin station which carried his program but publicly disagreed with Enyart's views prompted Senator Russ Feingold to call for an FCC investigation to see if any laws had been broken by the talk show host.

In June 2009, Bob Enyart was sentenced to 9 days in jail for criminal trespass following a protest at Focus on the Family over an allegation that James Dobson has gone back on a pledge never to support a political candidate who, in any way, backed or allowed abortion. This sentence was imposed after Enyart refused both to pay a fine or do community service.
And then I realized why they were contacting me (as it turns out, Doug works for Mr. Enyart. The signature on his later replies made that clear, though the connection was edited out of earlier emails): plenty of feminist bloggers feel the same way I do about the Personhood Initiative, only they are experienced debaters, and likely wouldn't give Mr. Enyart the time of day. Basically, if you're contacting me for debates, you're scraping the bottom of the debating barrel.

I am thinking of tuning in to see who they roped in to Mr. Enyart's "foil" on this particular subject. I'll count myself lucky it wasn't me.

Hate Crime Bill Passes

hate crimes, homophobia, homosexual, wingnut, christian,

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

$22,000 Baby

health care, insurance, reform, pregnant,

Another reason we need health care reform.

Our six-month-old daughter cost over $22,000.

You’d think, with a number like that, we must have used fertility treatments—but she was conceived naturally. You’d think we went through an adoption agency—but she is a biological child. So surely, we were uninsured.

Nope. Birthing our daughter was so expensive precisely because we were insured, on the individual market. Our insurer, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, sold us exactly the type of flawed policy—riddled with holes and exceptions—that the health care reform bills in Congress should try to do away with. The “maternity” coverage we purchased didn’t cover my labor, delivery, or hospital stay. It was a sham. And so we spent the first months of her life getting the kind of hospital bills and increasingly aggressive calls from hospital administrators that I once believed were only possible without insurance.


They paid for insurance, and then paid again when their insurance didn't cover a thing. Yeah, we just have the bestest health care system in the world.

Brane Hurtz!

bakugan, sorcery, halloween, christian,

I'd forgotten that Halloween freaks out a lot of fundys. I guess once you believe in the sky fairy and the Jewish zombie, believing in witches and magic is inevitable. But Japanese card games as instruments of the devil? That hurtz mai brane!

The main victims of this blindness are children. Unless we teach them to recognize and resist these dangers, many will welcome the darkness. So let's examine the nature and tactics of this very real spiritual war. Bakugan -- a popular game and online anime (Japanese animation) -- is a useful example.

"One day," so the Bakugan story goes, "cards began to fall from the sky and were picked up by kids all over the world. The cards featured different characters, different environments, and different powers. ...these cards actually corresponded to an alternate world called Vestroia."[4]

"...we invented a wicked new game we called Bakugan," explained the leader of Vestoria's young Battle Brawlers. "That's when the power of the cards was revealed. Each one held its own battling beast.... The battles were intense, and if you chose the wrong card, you lost it and the beast inside."[5]

"...the beast inside!" Those words brought to mind some troubling email letters I've received from embattled teens and young adults. Like the Canadian women, they actually felt as if they had uncontrollable beasts inside. Their descriptions of inner battles -- the nightmarish consequences of obsession with occult role-playing games -- were heartbreaking. They couldn't stop playing -- or block out the frightening images planted in their minds! Nor could they find faithful Christians in their communities who would guide them toward freedom!

First of all, the beast inside the card, not inner demons, or outer demons or whatever. Reading comprehension, try it. Secondly, I like a good rpg as much as the next person, but "obsession", "nightmarish consequences" and "uncontrollable beasts inside"? Srsly?

The weapons used by Bakugan warriors are totally contrary to God's ways. Based on the ancient Chinese force called Ch'i, they flow from the same source as every other occult weapon. Ch'i (or Ki, Prana, etc.) is merely the Eastern label for the spiritual forces once commanded by Canaanite sorcerers, Babylonian magicians, mediaeval alchemists, and secret societies throughout history.[7]

Total misunderstanding of Ch'i, and "Bakugan warriors"? It's a card game. I assume you've heard of them? Also, since the world is not ruled by Canaanite sorcerers, Babylonian magicians or alchemist, I think we can safely say that magic isn't nearly as useful as a sword or a tank.

Their magic is linked to the forcefulness of the human will. It involves mental concentration and firm commands that enable occultists to "cast spells" and "do magic" without hesitation or moral consideration.

Magic is easy, according to Wiccan author Starhawk, founder of the Covenant of the Goddess. All it takes is "four basic abilities: relaxation, concentration, visualization, and projection."[8] The last step means projecting energy by moving one's mental images with the human will and imagination.

That's what Bakugan's anime fans learn to do: concentrate, visualize, and then project the power through their beast-filled balls or playing cards. Starhawk described it well in her book on witchcraft: "To cast a spell is to project energy though a symbol."[8]

If spellcasting is so easy, and you can learn it through a card game, why aren't we all flying and rolling around in big piles of cash? I think the real problem here is somebody can't separate fantasy from reality, and it's not the children I'm talking about.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

That's My Line

god, christianity, jesus, ray, comfort, science, intelligent, design
Every now and then, a fundy will accidentally tell the truth. Ray Comfort, who continually spews the "Intelligent Design is totally science!" line, actually had this to say today:

So Ray I have a question for you. How did the 16000 or so kinds on Noah’s ark become the 1.4 species today?"

I wouldn’t let it worry you too much. It won’t be an issue on Judgment Day. Just say to yourself, "With God, nothing is impossible," or as the cynic says, "Goddidit." That solves the issue. It also solves the issue of how Jesus fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish, how He walked on water, calmed a storm by speaking to it, etc.

It's not every day you see a fundy admit that they willfully do not think.

Call Me When They Bring Back the Lions

christian, christianity, persecution, god, bible, flag,
I'm so over the Christian hegemony in this country and their cries of persecution. There are places in the world where Christians are beaten, tortured, maimed and killed and what do Christians in this country complain about? Having to obey dress codes.

A Florida man says he was fired from his job at The Home Depot for wearing an American flag pin that said "One nation under God, indivisible."

Trevor Keezer, 20, said he had worn the button ever since he started working at the home improvement retailer 19 months ago. He said it was his way of supporting U.S. troops, the Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.

Okay, I understand how an American flag pin is seen as supportive of our troops, but Home Depot has approved flag pins for that purpose. How does "One nation under God, indivisible" support our troops?

Mr. Keezer was not fired on the spot, by the way. He was told to remove the pin, told that Home Depot has approved flag pins, and then was given 6 chances to comply. 6! That's really generous. I've never worked anywhere that would give an employee 6 chances to comply with the dress code.

Mr. Keezer continues to miss the point, btw.

As for Keezer, he says he didn't set out to make a religious statement, but now that he has, he believes he's done the right thing."

I want to be a voice for the rest of the Christians and for the citizens of this country to stand up for the country. You know, quit being told to sit down. Say what you want to say and don't be afraid of the consequences," he said.

Nobody's telling you to shut up on your own time, Mr. Keezer, but when you are at work, you are getting paid to work. If that work includes wearing a uniform, you don't get to make your own additions to that uniform. That's not a violation of free speech, that's just being an employee.

Who here thinks that everyone rallying behind Mr. Keezer would have their mouths sewn shut if his pin celebrated Al'lah instead of the Christian god?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Personhood Initiative

abortion, prochoice, prolife, feminism, choice, mississippi
There is an initiative in Mississippi to classify everything from a newly fertilized egg onward as a "person" with all the rights and benefits of "personhood".


Article III of the constitution of the state of Mississippi is hereby amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION TO READ:

Section 33. Person defined. As used in this Article III of the state constitution, “The term ‘person’ or ‘persons’ shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.”

This initiative shall not require any additional revenue for implementation.

This frightens me.

This creates, in every woman, the possibility of there being a "person" inside her body- parasitizing her body, in fact- that has conflicting rights with the woman herself.

What happens when the rights of this fetusperson, this person who cannot survive outside of another person, demand that another, fully functioning person must risk death or serious injury to preserve the rights of the fetusperson?

I have, more than once, had to make decisions that involve a malignant calculus: this drug will improve your heart function, but damage your liver. What do you want to do? That decision is difficult to make, balancing potential benefits against potential risks and hoping against hope that I made the right decision. And it is my decision. As my doctor said when I asked him to decide, I have to live with the consequences of the decision, therefore I must make the decision.

In Mississippi, we could very well see a day when women are required to live with the consequences of a decision they are not allowed to make. Who will make that decision? Well, not the woman's doctor. Her doctor can't advocate for both woman and fetus if their needs oppose one another. Another doctor will have to be brought in, as well as, I would imagine, a legal guardian for the fetus. Imagine waiting to discover if a doctor you've never seen before and a lawyer you've never met are going to sentence you to death to preserve the life of a person who doesn't exist yet.

How will these decisions be made? We don't know. Some women, left to their own devices, might very well accept a 95% chance of death in order to give their fetusperson a chance at living. Some women may not be willing to take a chance on a 95% chance of survival. What will be the cutoff? What extenuating factors will be taken into consideration? Will a single mother of 3 already born children be given a pass on risk that other women may be asked to accept? Will wealthy women be able to game the system with better representation? Truly, the potential consequences of this initiative are disturbing, and I doubt that even one of its proponents have thought it through as far as I have in 5 minutes.

Stop Flaunting It!

Do you want to think about this man having sex?
homophobia, homosexual, euripides, stupid,

Euripides is pissed about homosexuals "flaunting" their sexuality*- something so cluelessly ironic that merely writing this has made me stupider.

If you are a heterosexual, you flaunt your sexuality every time you: wear your wedding ring (for straights only!), hold hands/kiss your spouse in public, or appear outside your house with your children. Think about it: your children are a testament to the minimum number of times you have had sex. Three children? At a bare minimum, you've had sex with the person next to you three times. That gay couple across the street? We have no evidence that they've ever had sex, but you- you!- we know all about your sex life.

Honestly, could you please leave the kids at home? There are very few people I want to think about having sex. Unless you are Naveen Andrews, Zachary Quinto or Wolverine**, I don't want to think about it, so stop shoving your sex life down my throat!

Thank you.

*He links to a video from PJTV. If you enjoy watching PJTV, you are a disgusting little piggy, and I would appreciate advance notice of this fact should we ever meet in person.

**If you are Naveen Andrews, Zachary Quinto or Wolverine, I have an email address. Use it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Happy, Believe It or Not

You'll keep petting me if you know what's good for you.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dispatches from Iran

Sara, my friend in Iran, has graciously agreed to write a guest post for my blog. Here it is:

The Kite Runner

I like this novel, because before to read it I don’t know much about the Afghanistan and always thought this country is backward. When I read this, I know some things about this country and my appointed view, this book is very good.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is one of the best books that I have read. This is a page turner with complex characters and situations that will make you think hard about friendship, good and evil, betrayal, and redemption. It is intense and contains some graphic scenes.

The Kite Runner is a novel by the author Khaled Hosseini. Published in 2003 by Riverhead Books, it is Hosseini's first novel, and was adapted into a film of the same name in 2007. I ask you first read the book and after watch the movie, because the book is very good and watching the movie without to read the book is meaningless.
The Kite Runner received the South African Boeke prize in 2004. It was the first best seller for 2005 in the United States , according to Nielsen Bookscan .It was also voted the Reading Group Book of the Year for 2006 and 2007 and headed a list of 60 titles submitted by entrants to the Penguin/Orange Reading Group prize ( UK ) and the film received:

65th Golden Globe Awards
Best Foreign Language Film
Best Original Score - Motion Picture (Alberto Iglesias)
80th Academy Awards
Best Original Score (Alberto Iglesias)

The American Library Association reports that The Kite Runner is one of its most-challenged books of 2008, with multiple attempts to remove it from libraries due to "offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group."

And Isabel Allende said: this is one of those unforgettable stories that stays with you for years, all the great themes of literature and of life are the fabric of this extraordinary novel : love, honor, guilt, fear, redemption.
so . . . who wants to by me a book?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Republicans for Rape just got Democratic Help

republican, democrat, rape, franken,
You remember the Republicans for rape, right? In case you don't, Senator Franken's first proposed legislation seemed like a slam dunk: stop defense contractors (who get paid with your money) from denying victims of assault- you know, RAPE- the right to bring their case to court.

It seemed like a slam dunk, but apparently, 30 Republicans think defense contractors need more protection than rape victims. However, at the time it seemed that everything would be okay. 30 Republicans voted for rape, but the remaining 70 Senators voted against rape and for the amendment.

Today, the pro-rape Republicans and their defense contractor buddies got a little help:

An amendment that would prevent the government from working with contractors who denied victims of assault the right to bring their case to court is in danger of being watered down or stripped entirely from a larger defense appropriations bill.

Multiple sources have told the Huffington Post that Sen. Dan Inouye, a longtime Democrat from Hawaii, is considering removing or altering the provision, which was offered by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and passed by the Senate several weeks ago.

This is Senator Inouye's contact information. Go to town.

Sen Inouye's Washington phone is
Washington D.C.
722 Hart Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-1102
Phone: 202-224-3934

300 Ala Moana Boulevard
Room 7-212
Honolulu, Hawaii 96850-4975
Phone: 808-541-2542
Fax: 808-541-2549

And if you haven't already, please tell the Republicans for Rape how you feel about them, too. (Keep it civil. The Secret Service does not have a sense of humor.)

Women's Bodies

beauty, standard, models, acresses, women,
h/t to MGK for the link.

Please watch. It's almost 25 minutes long, but if you are a woman, or know a woman, you need to see this.

WOMEN BODIES. This project took off as a matter of urgency. It all started with the observation that women–real women–are an endangered species on television, one that is being replaced by a grotesque, vulgar and humiliating representation.We sensed the enormity of this loss: the erasure of women’s identity is happening right before our eyes, but without a proper reaction, not even from women themselves.

This led us to select television images that share a common manipulative exploitation of the woman’s body, to let people know what is happening–not only people who never watch television, but especially those who watch it but “don’t see.”

Our aim is to ask ourselves questions, and to pose questions about the reason behind this erasure, a real “pogrom” of which all of us are silent spectators.Our project grants special attention to the erasure of adult faces on television, to the use of plastic surgery to erase any sign of the passage of time, and to the social consequences of this erasure.

Every day, I talk to women who hate their perfectly normal bodies, their perfectly normal faces, their perfectly normal lines and wrinkles (seeing my crow's feet in the wrong light can send me into a day-long self hate fest). We hate ourselves because every day we are assaulted by edited, nipped, tucked and photoshopped images of beauty that don't exist anywhere, a standard of beauty no one can meet- but we'll beat ourselves up trying.

Even if you don't have time to watch this video, the next time you see a model or an actress, remind yourself- and every little girl you know- that not even that woman looks like that woman.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Turns Out, I Hate the Smell of Misogyny In the Afternoon, too

misogyny, opine, editorials, stupid,
I know On Lawn thinks he's being all kinds of clever with this, but he's not:

Something to think about...

What will people think of feminism 50 years from now, or however long it takes for a more balanced view of gender issues to permeate society?

The first question will likely be: how could we let it go so far? How could men be seen as the oppressors and sole winners in the gender role system when:

The vast majority of homeless people and prison inmates are men
The vast majority of people who die in work related accidents are men
The only group of people forced to fight in wars are men

What kind of patriarchy protects its men in such a lousy way? Well, it’s certainly not a patriarchy designed to give men all the perks while leaving women empty-handed (women are the only oppressed class in history who had their oppressors go out and work in the fields for them, as Warren Farrell says).

Well, let's see here, you misogynistic spleenweasel, how could men be seen as oppressors? I dunno. Maybe it had something to do with thousands of years of oppression. You moron. Like when women weren't allowed to vote or own property. Or maybe the fact that to this day, most women in the world aren't allowed the slightest control over their own bodies: whom to have sex with and when, whether or not to get pregnant, how often, how far apart.

How about the fact that women are about 50% of the population, but there's never been a female president in the US? Of the 100 Senators, only 17 are women and of the 435 Congressmen, only 76 are women (which oddly works out to 17%, just like in the Senate).

As for the people "forced" to fight in wars- we have an all volunteer army, jackass. Nobody's "forced" to do anything. And lots of women are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan right now. Some of them have even died.

And while you may think that back in the day women sat around eating bon bons while their husbands toiled in the fields, that doesn't reflect even a tiny bit of reality. Women worked just as hard, if not harder because they were doing all their work while pregnant and caring for small children, so why don't you go fuck yourself, On Lawn? (I'm guessing that would be the only action you get, anyway.)


Ow! Your Stupid Is Hurting Me.

less polite, same idea

misogyny, religion, christian, stupid,
h/t to ExPattMatt for hurting my brain.

It's not so much the original post at Christian Thoughts, as it is the comment by the author [emphasis mine]:

Our wives are our reflection of who we are. Our children are our reflection of what we have done. Our world is a reflection of what we have cared about. But we as men are a reflection of what God is supposed to be here on earth!

Your wife is not a fucking mirror. She is an independent, thinking human being whose existence is not dependent on you or any other man. Your wife does not cease to exist when you leave the room, if you die she'll keep right on living and unless you're living in Stepford, she has a few ideas of her own.

I hate the smell of misogyny in the morning.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Scientific Facts in the Bible

religion, science, creationism, evolution, bible, god, stupid,
I'm not a scientist. I have an interest in science and read as much as I can about it, but I'm a legal secretary, and science is not my speciality. So the fact that I can easily refute this list of "scientific facts" found in the bible is just sad.

The Bible specifies the perfect dimensions for a stable water vessel (Genesis 6:15). Ship builders today are well aware that the ideal dimension for ship stability is a length six times that of the width. Keep in mind, God told Noah the ideal dimensions for the ark 4,500 years ago.

Why couldn't ship builders several thousand years ago have been aware of the ideal dimensions for ship stability? There's no reason at all. for as long as humans have wished to cross large bodies of water, we've built ships for that purpose. trial and error alone (gee, these boats keep sinking, maybe we should make them longer or something) would arrive at the answer before too long.

Our bodies are made from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7; 3:19). Scientists have discovered that the human body is comprised of some 28 base and trace elements – all of which are found in the earth.

Well, duh, of course we contain elements in our bodies found on Earth. we live here. we didn't just pop in last week from Andromeda. In fact, if the Andromedans came by for a visit and ate our food, grown in the Earth's soil, they would contain elements found in the Earth, too. (assuming the food or the elements didn't kill them.)

Origin of the rainbow explained (Genesis 9:13-16). Prior to the Flood there was a different environment on the earth (Genesis 2:5-6). After the Flood, God set His rainbow “in the cloud” as a sign that He would never again judge the earth by water. Meteorologists now understand that a rainbow is formed when the sun shines through water droplets – which act as a prism – separating white light into its color spectrum.

Or the writer of Genesis had only ever seen rainbows in conjunction with clouds and sunshine- just like everyone else on the planet.

Light can be divided (Job 38:24). Sir Isaac Newton studied light and discovered that white light is made of seven colors, which can be “parted” and then recombined. Science confirmed this four centuries ago – God declared this four millennia ago!

This actually depends on what translation you are looking at. this link in Job is to the King James Version of the Bible, and reads:

By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?

That does sound like a reference to a prism, sort of. But read it as it appears in the New Living Translation:

Where is the path to the source of light? Where is the home of the east wind?

Or the English Standard Version:

What is the way to the place where the light is distributed, or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?

That doesn't sound like prisms at all.

Rejecting the Creator results in moral depravity (Romans 1:20-32). The Bible warns that when mankind rejects the overwhelming evidence for a Creator, lawlessness will result. Since the theory of evolution has swept the globe, abortion, pornography, genocide, etc., have all risen sharply.

That's not a fact, and certainly not a scientific fact.

Continental drift inferred (Genesis 7:11). Today the study of the ocean floor indicates that the landmasses have been ripped apart. Scripture states that during the global Flood the “fountains of the great deep were broken up.” This cataclysmic event apparently resulted in the continental plates breaking and shifting.

Read all of Genesis 7. This is a description of the flood, not continental drift.

God fashions and knits us together in the womb (Job 10:8-12; 31:15). Science was ignorant concerning embryonic development until recently. Yet many centuries ago, the Bible accurately described God making us an “intricate unity” in the womb.

I don't care how scientifically ignorant you are, if you've seen a baby come out of a woman's vagina, you know where babies are formed.

Origin of the major language groups explained (Genesis 11). After the rebellion at Babel, God scattered the people by confounding the one language into many languages. Evolution teaches that we all evolved from a common ancestor, yet offers no mechanism to explain the origin of the thousands of diverse languages in existence today.

Why would the Theory of Evolution explain language development? I've never studied the history and development of language, but the explanation here seems obvious: isolated groups of humans would naturally create different languages from one another. It would be evidence of god if isolated groups all spoke the exact same language, not that isolated groups developed different languages.

Cain’s wife discovered (Genesis 5:4). Skeptics point out that Cain had no one to marry – therefore the Bible must be false. However, the Bible states plainly that Adam and Eve had other sons and daughters. Cain married his sister.

Not a scientific fact, and eeewwww!!!

Strong and weak nuclear force explained (Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3). Physicists do not understand what binds the atom’s nucleus together. Yet, the Bible states that “all things consist” – or are held together by the Creator – Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:17- And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Hebrews 1:3- Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:

Which of those two passages explains strong and/or weak nuclear force?

Most of the things on this list are like the "facts" listed above: not facts, not related to a scientific discipline, or the bible quote attached doesn't even begin to relate. But these "facts" were, of course, celebrated:

We don,t yet know 1% of what this earth is really all about,how blind lost humans must be not to see these proofs you displayed.They are truly dwellers in darkness w/sin blinded eyes.What is also interesting to me is the unknown science that mortal man has yet to discover yet proclaimed in the Holy Word .I have a lot of these highlighted in my bible,some are metaphor,s some are unknown science-it,s hard to tell the difference until they,re proved physically by some future science.

This was excellent!!I am going to print this out!

I love this !!!!!!

Awesome information! Thanks for posting it. I didn't know most of that stuff, and it's easy to forget when you read the Bible that we didn't actually discover a lot of it through science until recently. Thanks! I love finding out stuff about how the Bible lines up with the very same science that we're always told must make the Bible false or redundant. Well actually the Bible got there first! How cool.

and finally,

Jesus did'nt have to die for us rebels...but HE DID! I know HIM and that is SCIENCE TO ME!!!!

Hilarity Ensues

NPR, stand, marriage, gay, same sex, maine, bigotry,
In an amusing development, Stand for Marriage Maine misused National Public Radio content and is now in trouble.

Bigots acting badly? I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked!

National Public Radio is demanding that the Stand for Marriage Maine group stop using its content in television ads supporting a people’s veto of a new same-sex marriage law.

Content from an NPR story was used in Stand for Marriage Maine’s latest television ad, which began airing Oct. 16 and suggests that gay relationships and gay sex may be discussed in schools if the law isn’t overturned.

The Sept. 13, 2004 story, titled “Massachsuetts Schools Grapple with Including Gay & Lesbian Relationships in Sex Education,” was part of an All Things Considered program, according to Dana Davis Rehm, NPR’s senior vice president for marketing, communications, and external relations.

“NPR did not license use of this story or its content, and would certainly not have licensed or permitted it if we had been asked,” Rehm said in a statement. “NPR is a highly respected news organization and does not allow its content to be used by political or advocacy groups. Such use is harmful to the integrity and independence of NPR. NPR does allow – even encourage -- personal, non-commercial use of our content, so long as it is not modified, and not used in a manner that suggests NPR promotes or endorses a cause, idea, Web site, product or service. The use made by Stand for Marriage Maine violated all of these terms.”

Stand for Marriage Maine spokesman Scott Fish said today the group has requested the specific complaint from NPR.

“Once we’ve had a chance to digest it, we will issue a response,” said Fish.

Clue to the bigots: god can't testify for you in Court. You need to obey the laws just like the rest of us. Oh, and you might want to hire someone who can read, because NPR's terms of use are clearly stated on its website.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

In Which I Interrupt the Previous Post for Human Rights

hate crimes, homosexual, matthew shepard

From the Human Rights Campaign:

Last Thursday, 49-year-old Jack Price, an openly gay man, was attacked right outside of his home by two individuals yelling anti-gay slurs. Price suffered a broken jaw, fractured ribs, collapsed lungs, a lacerated spleen, and had to be placed in a medically induced coma.

This brutal hate crime, caught on a surveillance video, comes just as the Senate prepares to cast the final vote on the inclusive hate crimes bill. We can't afford to wait a single day more for this law.

Tell your Senators to watch the video before they cast their vote on the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

Homosexuals deserve the same protection under the law as the religious- who already enjoy hate crime protections. This incident makes that abundantly clear, as if the Matthew Shepard incident didn't already do so.

[the following video is graphic and disturbing.]


I just received the following email from the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission:

The Defense Authorization Act of 2010 will be up for a vote this week. But instead of focusing on the much needed support for our troops, sneaky Senators have decided to attach to this bill an amendment that has nothing to do with our national defense.

A pro-homosexual, hate crimes amendment was added during the summer to this bill. It threatens the first amendment rights of all Christians.

Senator Brownback, of Kansas, added an amendment to this hate crimes bill that would help protect freedom of speech for pastors. But even that amendment, although passed, was tampered with this week.

. . .

We need your help. Hate crimes legislation threatens your very ability to exercise your First Amendment rights. Click here to read more about this bill.

These people are disgusting. Beating a gay man half to death because he is gay is not a right guaranteed by the First Amendment.

That Can't Be Good

huckabee, religion, atheism, abortion, islam, homosexual, marriage, president,
Rasmussen's latest survey shows Mike Huckabee as the front runner for the GOP in 2012.

Though Rasmussen Reports’ last survey in July concluded with a nearly three-way tie between Huckabee and former Govs. Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin, Huckabee came out on top in their latest survey, which found 29 percent of likely Republican voters nationwide saying they would vote for Huckabee in 2012, while 24 percent prefer Romney and 18 percent Palin.

. . .

For Rasmussen’s survey, the only candidates survey participants could choose from were Romney, Palin, Huckabee, Gingrich, and Pawlenty.

Why do I qualify this under "notgood" news? I don't really think that Huckabee could win against Obama in a general election, but you never know. If the economy takes a nosedive or somebody bombs Israel off the map, public opinion will likely turn against Obama, and if Huckabee rides into the Oval Office on that wave, it won't be a good thing for me or you. Or agnostics or Muslims or women or homosexuals or the transgendered or, well, anyone.

A few relevant quotes:

In November, 2007, Huckabee said he was best qualified to battle Islamic extremism and America's culture wars because he was the only GOP candidate with a theology degree: "I think I'm stronger than most people because I truly understand the nature of the war that we are in with Islamo fascism. These are people that want to kill us. It's a theocratic war. And I don't know if anybody fully understands that. I'm the only guy on that stage with a theology degree." The Huckabee campaign later admitted that Mike Huckabee has no theology degree.

So, he hates Muslims and he's a liar.

Although Mike Huckabee may not have a theology degree, he has been and continues to be an ordained Baptist minister. Why did he make the move from the pulpit to political life? According to Huckabee, he wanted to bring Jesus Christ to the nation: "I didn't get into politics because I thought government had a better answer. I got into politics because I knew government didn't have the real answers, that the real answers lie in accepting Jesus Christ into our lives." He also said "I hope we answer the alarm clock and take this nation back for Christ."

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has openly advocated amending the U.S. Constitution to transform it from a secular document designed to create a secular, civil government into a religious document designed to reflect "God's standards."

Separation of church and state? Not so much.

In 1998, Mike Huckabee joined 130 Southern Baptists who signed a USA Today advertisement calling on wives to submit themselves graciously to the servant leadership of their husbands — a standard part of Southern Baptist theology.

Hope you don't expect to make your own choices, ladies.

According to Mike Huckabee, "I support and have always supported passage of a federal constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. As President, I will fight for passage of this amendment. My personal belief is that marriage is between one man and one woman, for life."

So, no gay marriage, and no divorce.

Unsurprisingly, Huckabee also opposes sex ed, contraception and abortion- even in cases of incest and rape.

Yeah, that's something we might want to keep track of- if only to know when to leave the country.

Grab a Mop

mop, obama, republican, democrat, health care, bipartisan
The next time a teabagger whinges about anything, tell them to grab a mop.

In his remarks, the president explained his support for a two-party system, where "ideas are tested and assumptions are challenged." He added, "But what I reject is when some folks decide to sit on the sidelines and root for failure on health care or on energy or on our economy. What I reject is when some folks say we should go back to the past policies when it was those very same policies that got us into this mess in the first place.

"Another way of putting it is when, you know, I'm busy and Nancy's busy with our mop cleaning up somebody else's mess, we don't want somebody sitting back saying, 'You're not holding the mop the right way.' Why don't you grab a mop, why don't you help clean up? 'You're not mopping fast enough.' 'That's a socialist mop.' Grab a mop -- let's get to work."

You don't like my socialist mop? Fine. Clean up this mess with your capitalist mop. I don't care, just clean up the mess.

Monday, October 19, 2009

This Is Not Success

lloyd, marcus, american, thinker, health care, conservative, reform,

Lloyd Marcus at American Thinker has an odd definition of success: being on the edge of homelessness and starvation and dying from cancer.

Recently, I rediscovered the only anti-poverty program that really works. A knock came to my front door. It was a small built, average height white guy in his late thirties, early forties dressed in jeans and a white t-shirt. "Excuse me sir, I need work. I have seven kids and a wife to feed." Kenny proceeded to tell me in his thick southern accent about his many skills; construction, lawn care, tile, mechanics and more. Due to downturns in the economy, Kenny was having great difficulty keeping steady employment.

As I am admittedly technically and mechanically challenged, I put Kenny to work. Upon discovering that I was a black man married to a white woman, Kenny looked surprised; not judgmental or disapproving, just surprised. Kenny did a meticulous job tiling a floor at our Arts Center. He tuned up my car and fixed my lawnmower. He poured the concrete for our patio; very professional, meticulously done. Kenny likes to listen to country music on his radio while he works. When Kenny was working on my patio, he asked if the music bothered me and offered to turn it off. I said, no problem, enjoy yourself.

When Kenny was working on our air conditioner, we chatted a bit. Through my typical probing questions, I learned that Kenny had a difficult childhood. His dad was an alcoholic. Kenny himself has also had problems with alcohol in the past. Kenny's wife is ill, suspected cancer. They have a combined family of seven kids from previous marriages. So, Kenny has a lot on his plate.

And the answer to Kenny's problems: odd jobs at Mr. Marcus' house. Unless Mr. Marcus is providing health insurance to Kenny, I fail to see how that's going to stop Kenny's wife from dying of cancer.

Think about this for one second: this is the conservative answer to our current economic and healthcare woes: begging for work door to door, depending on the charity of others. How many doors do you suppose Kenny knocked on before Mr. Marcus gave him work? How much work do you suppose Kenny will get when Mr. Marcus runs out of necessary repairs? And how many Kennys can Mr. Marcus help, anyway?

By the way, the condescension Mr. Marcus heaps on Kenny just gets worse.

I am struck by this simple man's positive attitude, character and pride in everything he does. Kenny told me he has forgiven his dad and moved on. When hit with bad news about his wife's medical condition, Kenny's response blew me away. He said, "Sometimes "laufe" (life) challenges you and you just gotta deal with it." I thought, Wow!

I wonder how Kenny's wife feels about dying her medical condition. Maybe her comments just weren't delivered in a sufficiently homey accent to deserve being passed on.

I've grown to have the utmost respect for Kenny. Rather than whining, he literally knocked on doors seeking work. He is a man of his word, does a great job and always goes the extra mile. He loves his kids and his wife. They are a happy family. My wife Mary and I are growing close to them. Though I do not require it, Kenny insists on addressing me as sir. Some would call Kenny a redneck, country music, southern drawl and many times shirtless. I call Kenny, a friend.

A happy family with a dying mother? Bet they won't be happy for long. And, Mr. Marcus, maybe you feel good for "befriending" the country music listening, drawling, shirtless notredneck, but I don't call my friends "sir", so I have suspicions about your "friendship".

Oh, and I don't let my friends die from cancer without even trying to do something about it, let along actively fighting against the only means of saving them.

A Note on Terminology

wheelchair, ablist, able, disabled, language,
lauredhel at FWD/Forward frequently addresses the issue of ablist language, specifically such phraseology as "wheelchair bound" when describing people who use wheelchairs. (If you haven't checked out FWD/Forward, you should. Expand your horizons.)

People who use wheelchairs are wheelchair users, the same way you are a computer user. I know this because you're reading this blog. You're reading this blog because you can't talk to me in person. Using the same logic as "wheelchair bound", you are computer bound, which is just silly.

I understand why able people use such language. If your legs perform the task of moving you around without difficulty, being in a wheelchair does seem restrictive. "OMG- they have to spend their entire lives in that chair?! How horrible!"

If you happen to be the one who uses the wheelchair, however, the wheelchair is the opposite of restrictive. The wheelchair is, in fact, what allows you to move about and participate in life. Without the wheelchair, you'd be stuck in whatever bed or chair your last visitor left you in. That would be restrictive.

I would ask that anyone who reads this remove such terminology as "wheelchair bound" from their vocabulary, and if you see someone else using it, call them on it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I Want a Cane

I want a cane.

It's a strange thing to want, but it would save me a lot of grief.

See, nobody expects a person walking with a cane to walk fast. Nobody expects a person with a cane to do all the chores in a timely fashion, or run after their toddler relatives. The average person offers a person with a cane a little leeway, a little understanding. Sure, they also offer the person with the cane unwelcome pity, but still.

I could use a little leeway.

You probably don't see me this way. On the internet, I am virtual me: strong, independent, fearless, without limitation. In real life I'm fading fast. I am an equal online, where ideas and the ability to express them are most important, but in real life I'm sitting on the sidelines, unable to compete with all the runners.

I'm in too much pain to move, too tired to clean the tub, and exercise intolerance forces me to spread mopping 800 sq ft of hardwood floors over three days. Even then, I pay for keeping my floors clean. I restrict my fluid intake so I don't have to get up to pee as often. But because I look fine, my friends and family just don't buy it. "Well, if you exercised more, you'd feel better." No, I'd incur more heart/muscle damage. "You just enjoy playing video games more than you like cleaning." That's true (who doesn't?), but not the issue. "You just don't like babies." I love babies, but she's going to get hurt if I watch her because I can't keep up with her.

I suggested that maybe this year, Thanksgiving could be at someone else's house, because cleaning the house for the last 2 years of holidays (all of them) left me too tired and in too much pain to even participate. I spent Thanksgiving last year in the bathroom, crying. And was then castigated for "ignoring" everyone. Christmas, I don't even want to discuss.

My suggestion that I be given a break this year was met with outrage. "My house is too small!" "Your house is the nicest!" "What- you don't want us to have Thanksgiving this year?!"

I just want to eat cranberry sauce and stuffing this time, instead of crying in pain on the bathroom floor because I can't even get on to the toilet to cry.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Psychological Study

glenn, beck, rapture, christian, conservative, republican,

I have often wondered what goes on in the minds of Glenn Beck's followers, and as it happens, Rapture Ready has a whole passel of them. It's . . . interesting.

If you watched Glen Beck today and saw the end of the show when he was almost in tears.....What exactly did he mean when he said it was time for us to make hard choices and take our country back?

First of all, tears courtesy of Vick's Vaporub. Secondly, yeah, what does he mean? Surely not sedition, right?

I saw that, and my heart broke for him. I prayed out loud, "God, help him" as he was choking back tears, looking for words. I believe he is absolutely sincere in how he feels and what he says. You can tell he really has a heart for his country. I feel the same way. He just puts words to how I feel/he feels. Plus, I'm a "nobody" and he is a well-known TV face/personality. Where nobody would likely listen to me, he has a wide audience. Maybe God is using him in these last days to try to wake people up from their Kool-Aid stupor. I pray it works!!

Okay, Vick's Vaporub is not the same thing as sincerity. PT Barnum would have loved you.

It was a very emotional show today. Glenn can't help crying for his country, and I cry with him. I too, wish we knew what we can do, we write to our congressmen, over and over and they do not pay any attention to us. Thank goodness Glenn has proof for everything he says, so no one can dispute him. More people, like our congressman need to watch his show.

Apparently, "proof" is now defined as "wild imaginings".

I know exactly what I'm going to do. Starting with the 2010 elections I will vote for everyone on the ticket that IS NOT an incombent. then we will move to the 2012 elections and do the very same thing, and if enough of us do this, then we can get some fresh faces in our governement and maybe, just maybe a message will be sent to the rest of those clowns that we the people will not take their @#$#@ anymore.

that's odd. what obscenity is five letters long, with the same letter first and last and the same letter second and fourth? basically, this person is going to vote for an insane chihuahua, as long as it's not an incumbant. that's bound to work!

We were taught all about Mao, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Lenin, Castro in the late 70's and early 80's. What they did was pure evil. These were the evils that were burned into our young brains. I can't express enough gratitude to my early teachers in grade school. Now, and this has been building for years in govt education, these same murderers, killers, are being looked to by this administration as historical figures to be held in high esteem. I don't even know what to say anymore.

who could forget the speech in which Obama listed his heros as Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot? What, you too? That's the kind of thing you'd think you remember. huh.

Beck is LDS. We need to pray for his salvation first of all! So many people make a mockery out of Rush, Hannity and Beck and it makes me so mad. These men represent exactly how I feel. I applaud them for what they do. I believe their time is limited. Keep praying for their safety and effectiveness!

This person scares me. A lot. If Rush, Hannity and Beck represent how you feel (and I'm not sure they represent how they themselves feel), you need medication. and restraints.

Oh, Grayling!!! YES! I so agree! I was raised in an era ('50's) where God came FIRST, country and family followed. I've said this many times on these boards, but my parents and grandparents discussed that we were going to be going to the point WHERE WE ARE NOW if things continued as they were.... back in 1960!!!! I'll NEVER forget this! And, during my college years (late '60's), I was witness to the dangerous power that we have now ("flower power", "make love, not war," "All we are saying is give peace a chance," anti-war movements, pipe bombs, black lights, weed, earth shoes, "The Age of Aquarias," .....

Ah, yes, the fifties, when blacks sat at the back of bus and knew exactly which water fountain to drink from. who doesn't want to go back there? and, uh, i understand how one might find drugs and pipe bombs dangerous, but black lights and earth shoes? in the same category? srsly?

This is what happens when the Bible and GOD are taken out of schools. When moral relativism reigns . . . . when the "old white guys" that founded this country are looked upon as oppressors (while bringing up slavery, women not being able to vote, etc.) . . . when promoting democracy and freedom abroad are viewed as "American imperialism" . . . when bankers, big business interests and lobbyists have infiltrated Congress for way too long . . . .we reap what we sow. The population holds "getting along a-la kum-ba-ya" in higher regard than having a moral and ethical spine. We are no longer "from many we are one". We now value "Strength in diversity" and "from one we are many" . . . thank goodness my grandparents (who were part of the "Greatest Generation" of the 1930's and 40's) aren't around to see this . .

it's silly to even consider slavery and other such things. i mean, who cares? hey, i'm a white male, and i've never noticed any racism or misogyny.

In all honesty I think Glenn is coming to grips with knowing a vote willnot fix this problem. It's hard to digest.

voting generally does not fix crazy, but keep in mind, these are the same people that started stockingpiling guns and ammo when Obama was elected.

People ask "why keep bringing up Beck and Limbaugh, etc? they're liars and crazies and everyone knows it!" No, everyone does not know it. those are just some of the responses on this thread, it goes on for pages and pages, every single person proclaiming their love for a man who is either a lunatic or the greatest showman of our time- and a man who doesn't care who he pushes over the edge, or how well armed they are.

Think of the Children!!!one!!!

bigotry, racism, homophobia, same sex, gay, marriage, traditional,
A Louisiana Justice of the Peace refused to issue a marriage license for an interracial couple because of the children- doesn't that argument sound familiar? And yes, this did happen in 2009.

HAMMOND, La. - A Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children the couple might have.

Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, says it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long.

So, "the children" and "[such] marriages do not last long". Why does that sound familiar? Oh, yeah, you hear them all the time in relationship to same sex marriages. I just didn't expect to hear this about (what I thought was) the settled issue of interracial marriage.

Justice Bardwell's beliefs are based entirely on anecdotal evidence- sound familiar?

Bardwell said he has discussed the topic with blacks and whites, along with witnessing some interracial marriages. He came to the conclusion that most of black society does not readily accept offspring of such relationships, and neither does white society, he said.

Then we get the same odd notion of equality you'll hear from "traditional marriage" advocates:

If he does an interracial marriage for one couple, he must do the same for all, he said.
"I try to treat everyone equally," he said.

So tell me, how is this any different? How are the arguments against same sex marriage any different?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rush May Not Be Racist, But This Metaphor Sure Is

racism, lynching, rush, limbaugh, nfl
[warning: graphic imagery below the fold]
Look, I don't know what Rush Limbaugh actually thinks. I know what he's said, and a lot of it's vile racist, homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic deliberately inflammatory crap. It's the deliberately inflammatory portion of it all that leaves me with a tiny doubt. Maybe Rush Limbaugh is not racist, misogynist, homophobic and transphobic, but he certainly gets paid enough for appearing to be so. Loudly and crassly appearing to be so.

I don't think the NFL's refusal to allow Limbaugh to own an NFL franchise is unfair or improper. The NFL is a private organization. They can allow in or keep out whomever they please. If they don't want a drug-addicted, four times divorced, deliberately inflammatory shock jock who attempted to fly to the Dominican Republic with four other men and somebody else's prescription for Viagra into their little club, that's up to them.

It's in the best interests of the NFL to avoid politics as much as possible. You can't sell Super Bowl ad slots for almost $10,000 a second if NFL viewership is restricted to wingnuts, the only people who don't think there is good evidence that Limbaugh is racist. So it's understandable that the NFL really doesn't want to deal with the controversy of Limbaugh co-owning an NFL franchise.

Unless you are a wingnut, in which case you use the worst possible metaphor for the situation to drum up sympathy for poor Rush.

Rush's dismissal is a victory for political correctness, despicable reporting and high tech lynching. No need to fact check racist accusations against Rush, although a few researchers have pursued and failed to find the alleged racist statements. When it comes to Conservatives, the Left hangs them simply because they are Conservative.
. . .
The Left killed Rush's dream of owning an NFL team. A liberal media lynch mob dragged Rush's dream out into the public square and hung it by the neck until it was dead while the likes of Sharpton and Jackson laughed and cheered celebrating their victory.

A "high tech lynching"? "dragged out into the public square and hung by the neck"? for anyone not familiar with the term "lynching":

The lynching era encompasses roughly the five decades between the end of Reconstruction and the beginning of the Great Depression. During these years we may estimate that there were 2,018 separate incidents of lynching in which at least 2,462 African-American men, women and children met their deaths in the grasp of southern mobs, comprised mostly of whites. Although lynchings and mob killings occurred before 1880, notably during early Reconstruction when blacks were enfranchised, radical racism and mob violence peaked during the 1890s in a surge of terrorism that did not dissipate until well into the twentieth century"

This is what a lynching looked like:

Yeah, Rush Limbaugh being denied entree into the world of NFL franchise ownership is exactly like the picture above. Just like that. You fucking racist fuck.

Furniture Metaphors

metaphor, euripides, gay, marriage, same sex, homophobia, homosexual,
Euripides, our friend at Self Evident Truths proposes the following metaphor to explain why same sex marriage is bad: Dressers made from two trees are better than end tables made from one.

First of all, I assume he means that the dressers are made from two different species of trees, rather than two trees of the same species, because marriage never involves one person. In response to that, I would like to point out that making furniture from two different species of trees has to do with the look of the furniture rather than its strength. The strength of furniture has to do with how it's constructed. You may want to combine two different color woods, or woods with different grain patterns to create a specific artistic effect, but that wouldn't make anything stronger. So, metaphor fail on that one.

Once upon a time there was a cabinet maker. He produced fine, wood cabinets for the people of his village and they all came to him whenever they needed a cabinet for their home. He took great pride in producing cabinets, using wood from two different trees and fitting the crafted pieces together into a seamless union. His cabinets had many drawers and room enough to protect the things the villagers needed to store. The cabinets were strong and useful, built to last a lifetime.

Many villagers were glad to have a useful and beautiful cabinet in their home. The villagers used the cabinet's drawers to protect their possessions from dirt and bugs, filth and corruption. With care, a cabinet lasted a lifetime, protecting the villagers' possessions and making the villagers happy.

He uses the word "cabinet", which to me is what I have in my kitchen, attached to the walls, which perhaps this is just a regional difference in the way words are used, but to me, he's talking about a dresser or wardrobe, and it is what is pictured in his post.

I assume the "possessions" in question are either love or children. I can't quite tell. I also can't see how a properly made dresser would protect from "corruption", or how marriage protects from dirt or bugs. Oooh- maybe "bugs" is code for AIDS. Fail again. In Africa, AIDS is a disease of heterosexuals, many of them married. I'm still not sure what "dirt" is in this metaphor, though.

Yet, over the years, the cabinet maker discovered that many of the villagers didn't properly care for their cabinets. They no longer realized that even the best-made cabinets needed care and protection. Instead, some villagers left their cabinets exposed to the weather, to dry and crack. Some left their cabinets exposed to rot and filth. Termites ate away at others. Neglected, many of the cabinets broke to pieces. Some villagers even destroyed their cabinets outright in fits of anger or abuse. Some left their cabinets empty and unused, then threw them away because they could find no use for them.

Many villagers, whose cabinets decayed, blamed the cabinet maker for not building the cabinets strong enough. Even more villagers blamed the cabinets themselves, thinking that cabinets weren't worth the price and care needed to maintain them. Of course, the corrupted and broken cabinets weren't the cabinet maker's, nor the cabinet's fault. Neither were responsible for the villagers' neglect or abuse.

The cabinet maker shook his head in sad bewilderment at the villagers who blamed him or his fine cabinets. In neglecting or abusing the cabinets, the villagers blamed everyone but themselves.

So, how many people think dressers are outdoor furniture? Have you ever seen a dresser in someone's front yard? (If yes, I want to know what else was in the front yard. I'm guessing engine block.) Also, termites rarely eat furniture, but that's not really neglect, unless Euripides lives in an area where checking your furniture for termites is common practice. Who is exposing furniture to "rot" and "filth"? What does that even mean? Are they storing garbage in the dressers? Who does that? Who breaks their furniture and then blames the maker? Does anyone think furniture is rated to withstand baseball bats?

These villagers are either stupid or psychopathic.

Then a new "cabinet maker" comes to town with his newfangled "cabinets": end tables made from one tree! How many trees does it take to make an end table, anyway? I mean, has Euripides even seen an end table? They're not very big. Depending on the tree, you could probably make several end tables from one tree. Does anyone put an end table to the same use as a dresser? Well, no. They're different things for different purposes. In fact, most people own both a dresser and an end table, which is where the metaphor really falls apart.

According to the stranger, as soon as he set up shop to sell his new cabinets, the villagers certainly would not want any other kind.

That's ridiculous, too. Why would a heterosexual couple not want to get married because a homosexual couple could get married? Or does Euripides assume that every human being on the planet is secretly gay, and we're all just waiting for same sex marriage to be legal, and then it'll be a big gay planetwide party? That says more about you than anyone else, my dear.

What follows is a ridiculous passage in which the original cabinet maker is sued and charged with hate speech and "unconstitutional acts" for pointing out that end tables are not dressers. Uh, yeah. Look, as long as Fred Phelps and his merry bad of morons are allowed to do their thing, you don't have to worry, Euripides. Unless you're planning on doing something worse than Westboro Baptist already does, which would amost certainly involve throwing poo.

Metaphors: ur doin' it rong.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I Can Haz Epiphany?

serpizard, adam, eve, genesis, evil, god, bible, christian,

If you ask Christians why there is evil and suffering and disease in this world, the answer you will get is that we humans brought this upon ourselves. Well, not us, but the original two humans, Adam and Eve. Which is like me spending life in prison because my great-grandfather murdered someone. Eve just had to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil*, and like Pandora and her box, released death and suffering and evil and disease into our world.

I've read the Bible in at least a dozen translations. I own seven translations. There is no translation of the Bible I am aware of in which Eve simply walks up to the Tree, grabs the fruit and om nom nom. She is always talked into eating the fruit of the Tree by the serpent, which has legs, and yet is not a lizard. Yeah. Anyway:

1Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

2And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

3But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

4And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

5For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

6And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

So, if Adam and Eve brought evil into the world by eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, what was up with the serpizard (lizent? I prefer serpizard personally)? He wasn't evil? Seems pretty evil to me. Why did god make the serpizard evil if he didn't want evil in the world? How did god not know exactly what the serpizard would do? Even if god had to, for reasons I can't quite imagine, make an evil serpizard, why not warn Adam and Eve not to listen to talking animals?

"Oh, yeah, before I go, if any of these animals talk to you, don't listen. They're all liars." That's all it would have taken. You know, if you absolutely must create both an evil serpizard and a Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, at least warn people about both instead of just one.

So the next time someone tells you that the evil in the world was caused by Adam and Eve, ask them about the serpizard.

*I really enjoy the baroque results of translating languages that translate poorly into English.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Stupid or Insane

makes as much sense as conservative health care "reform"
health care, reform, poor, poverty, rationing, death, panels, shortages,conservative,

Are conservatives in this country stupid or insane? Seriously, it's got to one or the other. Anne, the Backyard Conservative (whatever that means) is pushing, like a lot of conservatives, the so-called Patient Centered Reform. Reading this, I have to ask, stupid or insane?

Right now, in this country, 50,000,000 people are uninsured, and even those with insurance are self rationing (why, yes, I do belong to that club):

In the new poll 59 percent said that the cost of their health care had increased more than their other expenses over the past two years. Fifty-one percent said they had faced difficult health care choices in the past year. The most common responses were putting off a doctor visit because of cost (28 percent), not being unable to afford medical bills or medication (25 percent), and putting off a medical procedure because of cost (22 percent).

Twenty-eight percent said they had lost or experienced cutbacks in their health care coverage in the past year. The greatest concerns about health care expressed by respondents were a major financial loss or setback from medical cost due to an illness or accident (73 percent), not being able to afford health care in the future (73 percent), necessary care being denied or rationed by health insurance companies (73 percent), and the prospect of rising costs forcing them to choose between health care and other necessities (64 percent).

So this is the conservative answer to the problem:

Begins with individual ownership of insurance policies. The tax deduction that allows employers to own your insurance should instead be given to the individual.

I can't afford my $1,000 deductible. I can't afford the $50 copay to see my specialists. I do without care, tests and medication because I can't afford it. Right now, I cannot afford it. A tax deduction means spending the money up front and getting it back a year, maybe 14 months later. If I can't afford $50 to see my doctor, what makes you think I can afford to pay for health insurance up front? Are you stupid or insane?

Leverages Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). HSAs empower individuals to monitor their health care costs and create incentives for individuals to use only those services that are necessary . See above.

Allows interstate purchasing of insurance. Policies in some states are more affordable because they include fewer bells and whistles, and consumers should be empowered to decide which benefits they need and what prices they are willing to pay. "Bells and whistles"? This sounds like in some states, insurers are covering cosmetic surgery and thorough frivolous tests and procedures. What they're calling "bells and whistles" are actually maternity care, pap smears and mammograms. If you, or anyone you care about, has a vagina, a uterus or breasts, these are not "bells and whistles", these are necessities. Are you stupid or insane?

Reduces the number of mandated benefits insurers are required to cover. Empowering consumers to choose which benefits they need is only effective if insurers are able to fill these needs. see above.

Eliminates unnecessary scope-of-practice laws and allows non-physician health care professionals practice to the extent of their education and training. Retail clinics have shown that increasing the provider pool safely increases competition and access to care and empowers the patient to decide from whom they receive their care. Yes, a physician's assistant is fine for a healthy person who has an ear infection. The concept of people seeing PA's as their primary health provider is horrifying. PA's do not have the necessary training to deal with chronic illnesses, or even to recognize most of the uncommon ones. This is a recipe for disaster. are you stupid, insane, or do you just enjoy disasters?

Reforms tort liability laws. Defensive medicine needlessly drives up medical costs and creates an adversarial relationship between doctors and patients . Yes, yes, yes, trial lawyers bad! Patients greedy! Limiting medical liability would amount to less than 0.5% of health care spending. Yeah! that'll solve all our problems! so, stupid, insane or incapable of understanding math?

Basically, the conservative answer to currently existing shortages, rationing and death panels are to make people who already can't afford health insurance pay more. I don't even know how to describe that, but it makes me sputter with rage. That's right, I'm sputtering right now.
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