Two Quick Things.

First off, greetings m’lord, how’s the fog and  rain?  Not sure what caused the rather large influx of visitors from the U.K., but I’m not complaining.  Some of my fondest memories occurred on the British Isles.

Of course, that’s not enough to warrant a post, so….

Progressives, liberals, or whatever you prefer to call yourselves.  Can we please get off Ahmed Mohamed‘s underage dick?

He built a clock.  Yeah, the school’s response was idiotic, especially since they knew damn well it wasn’t a bomb (cause if they actually would have any doubts, you can bet the school would have been evacuated and the bomb squad called in to make sure), but it isn’t like this is the first time a school has responded idiotically to a zero threat situation.  Yeah, a lot of the stories the right’s outrage machine cranks out are false.  Kids don’t get suspended for reading the Bible, or praying silently at their desk.  But a girl did get strip searched over an Advil and a kid did get suspended for chewing his Pop Tart into a gun like shape.  I don’t remember either of them getting invitations to the White House, though the right did admittedly try to make the Pop Tart Bandit into a poster child for something or other.  (Which was every bit as ridiculous as the left making the Clock kid into a celebrity.)

Let’s be honest.

Photo provided by the Irvine, Texas, Police Department of the digital clock that 14-year-old Ahmed Mohammed made from a pencil case.

Photo provided by the Irvine, Texas, Police Department of the digital clock that 14-year-old Ahmed Mohammed made from a pencil case.

That is awesome.  When I was 14, if I would have built something like that I would have been proud as well, and I would have also wanted to show it off.  But in a post-9/11 America, where people are on edge and taught to report any unattended package, can you kinda understand how someone may look at that and get a bit freaked out?  Hell, first time I saw the picture, with no background information, I thought it was a fake bomb.  I would have still brought it in to show my science teacher, but I first would have explained to him/her what I was bringing in before hand.

Was the school’s response colored by a healthy dose of Islamophobia?  Yeah, probably.  Is it sad that we live in a country where I would urge any young person, no matter their race or religion, not to bring an awesome science project to school if anyone could possibly mistake it for a bomb?  Yep, definitely.  National paranoia doesn’t make us safer, just less free.  Depending on racial/religious profiling to prevent terrorism just increases the likelihood that the people behind the next attack don’t fit into those categories.  Protip: Not every Islamic terrorist looks like the stereotypical Islamic terrorist.  Do you think they can’t read or listen to the news?  That they are unaware that we pay special attention to those who “look terroristy?”That all, or even most terrorists are Islamic?  *cough*OklahomaCity*cough*

Ahmed Mohammed never should have been put in handcuffs.  The school’s reaction was insane.  But all “zero tolerance” policies are insane, just like mandatory minimum sentences are insane.  But he isn’t a “hero,” just another victim of the “zero tolerance” society we are creating.  I’m reluctant to do any victim blaming here, because I am far from convinced the school would have had the same reaction if he would have been Christian and white.

So yeah, feel free to continue bitching about a “zero tolerance” system that routinely treats kids like criminals for nothing.  But get off this kid’s dick already.  He’s underage.

The Right’s Hypocrisy in One Sentence.

From Ben Carson, via The Hill:

“Muslims feel that their religion is very much a part of your public life and what you do as a public official, and that’s inconsistent with our principles and our Constitution.”


What the holy Jesus fuck did he just say?

Is he suggesting that Republican Christians don’t feel the same exact way, or is he playing the tired old “Christian Nation” card?  Want to see the Right Wing Outrage Machine crank up into Spinal Tap levels?  Make the exact same, word for word argument suggesting that Christians are unfit for the Presidency.

*shakes head sadly*

Cause Kim Davis definitely doesn’t feel her religion affects what she does as a public official, that’s for sure.

And the Winner for Most Misogynistic GOP Debate Participant is…..the One Woman on the Stage. Sigh.

Well hey, Trump showed that the way to get noticed in this crowded field is by being the most vile example of humanity of the group, so it came as no surprise that Carly Fiorina would say something vile to get people talking,  and since everyone and their mother on the right has latched on to those Planned Parenthood videos that were edited so deceptively that they make Expelled look like an honest film,  it was no surprise that she brought them up.  What was a bit of a shock was just how far she was willing to take the lie.  From Salon (Only cause it’s Digby):

In that same debate when she bizarrely combined an answer about Iran with the Planned Parenthood controversy, she also challenged Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, with a straight face, to watch a video showing “a fully formed fetus on the table its heart beating its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.”

Of course the debate moderator didn’t immediately ask her what the fuck video she was watching, or inquire about the new Planned Parenthood video apparently directed by Eli Roth.  No, that would be doing a service to the electorate.  Instead it fell to fact checkers which reach only a small fraction of the debate’s audience.

This claim was also thoroughly fact checked and proved her to be lying. None of the videos produced by the hoaxters who made the Planned Parenthood videos showed what she described.

Like Carly, or the GOP base for that matter, cares about what fact checkers say is true or false.  What is truth anyway when you’re fighting those evil feminists and all atheists favorite fast food joint, Planned Parenthood?

But instead of apologizing or just quietly dropping the subject, Fiorina’s Super-PAC has created an ad featuring some footage like that she described in a bold doubling down on the falsehood:

RH Reality check describes it this way:

A doctored video is being used to defend GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina’s false statements about a doctored video…

The video, according to a fact-check from Planned Parenthood, splices together five different video and audio sources from [the deceptive anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress]: an interview with a former tissue procurement technician, Holly O’Donnell; a photo of a Pennsylvania woman’s stillborn son that was used without permission; a video from a discredited anti-choice archive called the Grantham Collection; audio from a secret video of a doctor in Colorado; and audio from a surreptitiously recorded phone conversation with a man who works at another independent health-care organization in California.

The deceptive ad ends up showing a “fully formed fetus” with “legs kicking” (a stock image), an unrelated and completely out-of-context audio quote about a “heart beating,” and a mention of harvesting a brain.

The Grantham Collection is an anti-abortion archive which uses photos of still births or miscarriages, among other things, to deceive people into believing they are viewing aborted fetuses. According to Mother Jones, the group even claimed that a photo of basic medical tongs is an image of the tool used to pull apart the limbs of an aborted fetus.This stuff is so ghoulish you have to wonder what kind of person would spend their time making up such fantasies.

Of course, thanks to the infinite wisdom of our political system, Carly can reap all the positives effects of the video on the rabid right while maintaining perfect deniability in the face of moderate criticism since it was released by a pro-Fiorina SuperPAC.  How long has our democracy been the laughing stock of the world anyway?  But instead of playing the SuperPAC card, Carly instead played the “cancer survivor” card and then just continued to lie.

In response to a request for comment on the veracity of the video, Fiorina’s campaign didn’t take a strictly legal approach and say they have no relationship with the Super PAC and therefore cannot comment on the ad. Her campaign spokeswomen Sarah Isgur Flores replied to an inquiry from Mother Jones via email:

“Carly is a cancer survivor and doesn’t need to be lectured on women’s health by anyone. Over their long and factually incorrect letter, Planned Parenthood doesn’t and can’t deny they butchering babies and selling their organs [sic]. This is about the character of our nation.”

Actually, Planned Parenthood does and can deny “they butchering babies and selling their organs.” It is simply not true.

Unfortunately, Carly is discovering and taking advantage of a sad fact in American politics.  If you lie, and keep lying, never admitting you lied, repetition and ignorance will find many people believing your lie as the truth.

Dave Weigel at the Washington Post wrote:

Other campaigns have climbed down from similar claims about the videos. Fiorina and her allies have done no such thing. Three days after the debate, CARLY for America — the PAC that legally has to keep its distance from Fiorina’s actual campaign — put together a video that spliced the candidate’s answer with different clips. The viewer, hearing about the controversy but unaware of the original videos, might think that Fiorina nailed it.

That would be the idea. And it’s working. Think Progress interviewed some of her fans in South Carolina this week and they absolutely believe that Planned Parenthood is videotaping the butchering of babies to harvest their brains because this wonderful woman told them so.

Cleveland, Ohio resident Carol McDowell, who came to Fiorina’s event while on vacation in Charleston, said Fiorina’s debate performance really “won us over” — pointing to two of her friends. “I loved the Planned Parenthood response that she had. The things being done today — it’s gone way beyond just abortion and it needs to stop.”…

The message resonated with women in South Carolina. “Look, I got my first set of birth control pills from Planned Parenthood a long time ago,” said Lazar, who added that she is actually pro-choice. “I have nothing against them, but they should not be selling baby parts. As a country, we shouldn’t be doing that.”

It’s hard to believe anyone running for president believes she could get away with such blatant deceptions but never say Fiorina doesn’t have scads of chutzpah. She has refused to admit that she made a mistake and her Super PAC is now trying to cover her original lie with yet another lie. And even pro-choice GOP women are believing her. It’s enough to give you a migraine.

This is disgraceful.  This is a nightmare for low income women and their access to health care.  And it is politics as usual in the United States.

Wonderful, Rational, and Above All Else, Fair. Our Justice System.

Seeing how I come from the county that handed down a totally reasonable 104 1/2 to 216 year prison sentence (not a typo, and not the only insane sentence for drug distribution to come out of Blair County courts) for non-violent drug offenses while imposing an excessively harsh, borderline unconstitutional sentence of 3 to 23 months in jail, followed by 5 years of probation for the indecent assault of a five year old girl, I figured there was nothing the US justice system could do that would surprise me.  Wow, how wrong I was.

And so it was that in February, the two teenagers were arrested for sexually exploiting … themselves.

Wait, what now?

The strange story began last year when the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office was investigating accusations of a statutory rape involving students at Douglas Byrd High School in Fayetteville, N.C., according to the Fayette Observer.

As part of a broad investigation, Sheriff’s deputies examined the cellphone of Cormega Copening, a star football player who was then 16 years old.

The deputies didn’t find any evidence relating to the alleged statutory rape. What they did find, however, were consensually taken nude photos of Copening and his girlfriend, Brianna Denson, also 16 at the time.

(The Post is using the teenagers’ names because they have been charged as adults. They did not return requests for comment.)

Just as a quick aside.  How “broad” was their investigation into this statutory rape to justify them seizing this kid’s cellphone?  And then they charge him with a crime over pictures they found on his phone unrelated to the case they were investigating?  That may be legal, but you will never convince me that it is ethical.  Moving on….

In almost any other state, such consensually taken photos would be completely legal or, at worst, a misdemeanor. But in North Carolina, Copening and Denson came up against a counterintuitive confluence of laws.

“In North Carolina you are considered an adult at 16 years old as far as being charged,” Swain said. “But to disseminate and receive sexually explicit texts, photos or videos, you must be over 18.”

And so it was that in February, the two teenagers were arrested for sexually exploiting … themselves.

North Carolina to the teens: “Sex?  Sexting?  Don’t you kids know you could ruin your lives doing this stuff?  Here, let us ruin your lives to show you.”

Charging documents listed Copening as both the culprit (as an adult) and the victim (as a minor), simply for snapping a nude photo of himself in the mirror and sending it to his girlfriend.

“Copening’s age traps him in a sort of sexting legal netherworld,” wrote North Carolina Lawyers Weekly. “He’s accused of exploiting a minor (himself), but because North Carolina is one of just two states that automatically tries 16-year-olds as adults, he’s being tried as an adult.”

So as we try to wrap our minds around the idea of sexually exploiting yourself, at least we can take solace in the knowledge that as ridiculous as these charges are, at least they aren’t serious.

All told, prosecutors charged Copening with five felony counts of sexually exploiting a minor: two for taking nude selfies, two more for sending them to his girlfriend, and one for possessing an explicit photo of Denson on his phone. Denson, meanwhile, was charged with two felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor: one for taking a nude selfie and another for sending it to Copening.

The felony charges meant that Copening faced up to 10 years in prison, if convicted; Denson faced up to four. They also could have been labeled sex offenders for life.

Jesus fucking Christ on a pogo stick.  Hasn’t this prosecutors office ever heard of judgement calls?  Why the hell did they even file these charges?  Are they black or something?  (Yep.)

While the existence of the internet resulted in the accused couples prom(?) pictures to be plastered on newspapers across the world, it also made damn sure that this case wouldn’t be yet another example of prosecutorial misconduct heard of by no one except those involved.  Thankfully, in this case the outcry may be loud enough to change future applications of the law.

The case quickly drew intense criticism, both in Fayetteville community and around the globe.

“We’ve got too much big crime in this community to put this kind of effort into wrecking two kids’ lives,” wrote the Fayetteville Observer’s editorial board, recommending the statutes be amended. “This should never happen again to anyone.”

Legal scholars lined up to pick apart the prosecution’s case. Many focused on the sheer absurdity of the situation.

“It’s dysfunctional to be charged with possession of your own image,” Justin Patchin, a professor of criminal justice at the University of Wisconsin and cyberbullying expert, told the Guardian. “I don’t think it should be a criminal offense where there is no victim.”

“You’re talking about millions of kids being charged with child pornography” if the law were applied nationwide, psychologist Jeff Temple of the University of Texas Medical Branch told the Fayette Observer.

Others delivered even starker assessments.

“It’s ludicrous,” Fred Lane, a computer security and privacy expert, told the Guardian. “It’s crazy. It’s an overreach.” He explained that such laws stem from the 1983 Supreme Court decision upholding a ban on child porn, but that many state laws were woefully outdated in our current era of cellphones and texting.

Sgt. Sean Swain is not impressed with the outcry.  In what is sure to earn a nomination for “Most Ludicrous Comment by Law Enforcement Personnel, 2015,” Sgt. Swain insists that he is saving these poor, misguided kids by arresting them for multiple felonies.  Seriously.  (Bolding, as always, is mine.)

“This technology and this problem that we’re having with this case, we don’t know where it’s going to go in five years when they apply for college,” Swain said. “We don’t know where these pictures are going to go. We’re more or less saving the kids from themselves because they’re not seeing what’s going to come down the road.”

Oh, fuck off.  Or for a less vulgar response, here is U. of Miami law professor Mary Anne Franks:

“This [case] demonstrates an utter failure to understand the nature of sexual exploitation,” she wrote in an e-mail to The Post. “Consensual sexual activity among peers should not be a crime; we should not allow our social hysteria over teen sexual activity to justify prosecutions that will destroy teenagers’ lives ‘for their own good.’


“Sexual activity that does not even involve another person — such as taking a sexually explicit photo of yourself — should not ever be a crime. In fact, criminalizing such expression likely violates the First Amendment,” she said. “Child sexual exploitation laws were clearly designed to address the exploitation of children by adults, not teenagers exploring their sexuality on their own or with a willing peer.”

Officials would be better off focusing on numerous instances of people maliciously sharing explicit photos or videos against the wishes of those depicted, so called “revenge porn,” she said.

“Non-consensual sexual activity, on the other hand, including the creation or distribution of private sexual images, is wrong and should be a crime. This should be the focus of law enforcement, yet North Carolina does not yet even have a law prohibiting this conduct,” Franks said.

What makes me even more sick over this case?  Rather than risk their futures in a legal fight, they both signed plea deals.


both teens have taken plea agreements in order to avoid trial. In July, Denson pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of “disseminating harmful material to minors.” If she stays out of trouble for the next year, her record will be wiped clean and she will avoid the label of sex offender.

Copening followed suit earlier this month, pleading guilty on Sept. 4 to two similar misdemeanor counts in exchange for the same deal.

Now let’s watch the authorities responsible justify their actions.

“The legislature makes the law; I enforce it,” Cumberland County District Attorney Billy West told the Fayette Observer. “The legislature has obviously criminalized the conduct, arguably at a more serious level than we resolved the case at.”

Similarly, Sheriff Moose Butler told the newspaper that he didn’t necessarily agree with the felony charges but that it was his duty to enforce the law as it’s written.

While the actual author of the law just rolls his eyes.

But the man who wrote the law back in 1990 said he never intended for it to be used against kids in a consensual relationship.

“That would seem to me not the thing that most prosecutors are elected to do,” said North Carolina state Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam of West’s decision to prosecute the two teens.

Seriously, that justification from DA West is laughable.  He’s telling us that he has never made a judgement call while in office?  Bullshit.  By his logic, why does it even matter who the DA even is if all they do is mindlessly follow a set of guidelines handed down by the legislature?


Pop Quiz: Why Did PA State Rep. Leslie Acosta Get Cut Off?

In a sadly unsurprising breach of House protocol on Monday, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (Guess) cut Rep. Leslie Acosta (D), the only Latina representative in the state House before she was allowed to ask a question during the question and answer period.  Now put your notebooks and smart phones away, because it is time to test your knowledge of Pennsylvanian politics.

  1.  Why did Rep. Metcalfe cut off Rep. Acosta?
  • a) Because Rep. Acosta is a Latina.
  • b) Because Rep. Acosta is a woman.
  • c) Because Rep. Metcalfe is a raging asshole.
  • d) All of the above.

And……pencils down.  I’m sorry, it was a trick question. The correct answer is actually “e) Because the GOP has been taken over by a group of racist, misogynist, nativist trash desperately trying to hold on to the olden days when white men controlled everything, women knew their place (the kitchen), and members of other races stayed in their ghettos unless a garden needed tending, clothing needed laundered, or a mansion needed a butler.”  While each of the given answers is technically correct, the true root cause is “e” so I am arbitrarily failing the lot of you.  Kinda like Rep. Metcalfe arbitrarily cut Rep. Acosta off before she could ask a question.

Anyway, the story.  The Pennsylvania House, seeing as my home state is in no way going through a serious budget crisis caused by the state GOP believing that “compromise” means Gov. Wolfe giving in to all of their demands, has decided that the declaration of English as the official language of Pennsylvania is an appropriate use of tax dollars.  While Pennsylvania’s proximity to the Mexican border definitely makes this an issue constantly on the mind of every Pennsylvanian, your guess is as good as mine as to why the state GOP feels this bill is necessary.  Are they just avoiding discussing AG Kathleen Kane out of fear that she’ll leak embarrassing “sexts” they sent using state accounts?  (Not to change the subject, but damn it, AG Kane, please resign already.  Innocent or guilty, you are just making the whole party look bad now.)  Or is this just another part in the GOP’s masterful Latino Outreach Program?

Monday’s hearing on the bill was, well, let’s just let Think Progress explain it:

The hearing on Pennsylvania’s “English-only” bill was framed as a question and answer session, where lawmakers ask witnesses about different aspects of the bill. These are similar to Congressional hearings, where lawmakers have an allotted time to make statements about what they believe, and then end with a question. On Monday, Acosta was attempting to question witness Robert Vandervoot, a white nationalist testifying in support of the bill.

So there are two things I want to make clear here.  First off, no one just asks a question during these hearings.  That’s why the time limit is two minutes or so and not 15 seconds.  Representatives use the time to make a point, flesh out the question they are going to ask, make a really short speech, whatever, as long as they stay within their allotted time frame House protocol dictates the Representative is allowed to finish.  Second, the state GOP had a white nationalist testify in the House in support of this bill.

A white nationalist.

I have to hand it to the GOP, this Latino Outreach Program is brilliant.

Rep. Acosta, who is once again the only Latina in the PA House, began her time allotment by speaking in Spanish before switching over to English, no doubt giving Chairman Metcalfe a raging anger boner.  Then:

She then talked about how she too believed learning English was necessary for immigrants to succeed, but expressed concerns about the Constitutionality of requiring all government records to be in one language. In 1998, Arizona’s English-only law was ruled unconstitutional because it “unfairly interfered with the access to government by those who did not speak the language.”

In the middle of that point, Metcalfe interrupted. “You’re out of order,” he said. “I asked for a question.” Acosta then said she was “making a point,” and Metcalfe said “You’re not making points.” Acosta responded that she technically had two minutes to ask a question, to which Metcalfe retorted, “You don’t have two minutes.” Acosta said she had “the right to make my statement,” and Metcalfe said he would come back to her at the end “if we have time for you to finish your comment,” before turning her microphone off.

For those keeping score at home, that’s a white nationalist allowed all the time he wants to speak, followed by the one Latina in the room having her microphone cut off after being called “out of order.”  I’m amazed he managed not to use the word “uppity.”  Like me, Rep. Acosta was not amused.

Acosta, however, told ThinkProgress that she was appalled not only by how she was treated at the hearing, but by the fact that a white nationalist was allowed to speak before state government officials.

“This is overt racism in the 21st century. We’ve got to call it like it is,” she said. “It has no place in the House of Representatives. I’m on this and I’m not letting go.”

Why is PA even considering this bill?

Though America does not have an official language, Pennsylvania is vying to be the 32nd state to have their official state language be English. Vandervoot, who heads the advocacy organization ProEnglish, told ThinkProgress earlier this month that “one common language” is necessary for “a common bond of unity.”

“[M]ulticulturalism is actually what’s divisive and taking away from our unity,” he said.

Others, however, decry the push as inherently racist. “English-only is incredibly divisive because it sends the message that the culture of language minorities is inferior and illegal,” reads a statement from the immigrant advocacy group League of United Latin American Citizens. “With a dramatic increase in hate crimes and right wing terrorist attacks in the United States, the last thing we need is a frivolous bill to fuel the fires of racism.”


English-only laws are generally pushed by groups and individuals who take strong conservative stances on illegal immigration in general. Indeed, Metcalfe is the founder of a coalition of state legislators that work to eliminate “all economic attractions and incentives … for illegal aliens” and “secur[e] our borders against unlawful invasion.”

Metcalfe and the English-only bill’s co-sponsors assert that the measure would save government money currently being used to translate documents, though they do not assert how much is being spent, or how much would be saved.

That last paragraph is the main point.  Personally, I believe that immigrants to the United States should make an effort to learn English, not because of any inherent superiority of the language, but  rather to facilitate their acclimation to the nation.  I don’t think it should be mandatory, just encouraged.  If I moved to France, even if I was living in a community of English speakers, I would still make an effort to learn French to make my life easier if for no other reason.  Rep. Metcalfe and crew claim that this bill would save tax payers money and say that is the reason they are sponsoring it, yet the savings is never defined.  Come on, if the money was really the issue, the bills co-sponsors would be on point with exact figures detailing how much money is spent translating documents and hiring interpreters.  Instead we get the abstract concept of “savings” while my dog goes absolutely nuts.

Psst.  Rep. Metcalfe?  It’s not a dog whistle if we all can hear it.  Inviting a white nationalist to testify in support of your bill kinda gives the game away.

You Have Got To Be Kidding Me.

This. Vanity Fair : “Game of Thrones Finally Conquers the Emmys with Record-Breaking Wins.”

I can not even pretend to know what I would think about the show if I had never read the books.  I do know that the show got me into the books, and until this past season I thought the complaints of so-called “book purists” or “book snobs” were petty little nit-picks worth little more than an eye roll.  I know that while I am willing to admit that yes, the signs were there early on, I still feel that the first three seasons, and most of the fourth still stand as some of the finest television ever made.  And after last night, I know that I am on the apparent losing side of this pop culture decision.

Best fucking writing?  Are you fucking kidding me?

The others I’m willing to forget.  This wasn’t Dinklage’s best season, but he definitely deserves an Emmy for his Tyrion.  I don’t know enough, or pretend to, to argue with the best directing nod, and the show is a legit phenomenon when you look at the viewership numbers, so the best drama series win is at least comprehensible.

But best fucking writing?

The Suspense is Killing the Lions.

At approximately 8 am this morning, September 14th, 2015,  a mere two days before my fortieth birthday, potential lion lunch Kim Davis will return to work at the Rowen County clerk’s office.  What she will chose to do upon re-assuming her clerkly duties is anybody’s guess.  Even her “lawyers” claim not to know what this morning will bring.

Even Davis’ lawyers at Liberty Counsel, the Florida-based group that has been representing her, haven’t offered specifics on what she plans to do.

“Kim Davis is the only person that can decide what Kim Davis will do,” said one of her attorneys, Harry Mihet. “She has told the court and everyone else that she will not — under any circumstances — violate her conscience and the core of who she is.”

I find it hard to believe Mrs. Davis has not informed the Liberty Counsel of her plans for this morning.  If I had to guess, I would assume that Kim Davis has told her “lawyers” that she will be violating the court order against her once again this morning and the Liberty Counsel is claiming ignorance in case the threat of returning to jail changes her mind at the last minute.  After all, it wouldn’t be good for their little martyr’s image if they publicly announced her continuing defiance only for her to back down at the last minute.

And that, after all, is what this is all about.  The Liberty Counsel has never had the best interests of Kim Davis in mind at any point of this case.   They are using her to create a martyr for fund raising and rabble rousing.  Even that bastion of liberalism Fox News admits that for her to have a legal leg to stand on would require a leg transplant while questioning the intelligence of her team of “lawyers.”  Any member of the bar that understood the concept of “ethics” would have explained the legal reality to her by now and urged her to either resign or allow her deputy clerks to issue the licenses.  Instead they watch their client go to jail as she ignores orders from the Supreme Court, while staining their briefs at the thought of the bigot bucks rolling into their coffers and the visits from Republican presidential nominees hoping to court the bigot vote.  It plays right into their absurdist narrative of Christians as a persecuted group in the United States, and while an honest examination of the case quickly shows that Kim Davis is in no way being jailed because of her religion, honesty has never been important to the more extreme Christians in their quest to make America a Christian nation.

Perhaps a frightening addition to this story came to light this weekend as well, as the Oath Keepers has offered to provide a security detail for Kim Davis to prevent her future incarceration, should she choose to continue violating the court order.

In a statement on their website, Stewart Rhodes, the group’s founder, said that, “Federal District Court Judge David Bunning grossly overstepped his bounds and violated Mrs Davis’ due process rights.” He continued:

No one man should have that kind of power in his hands alone to decide guilt and impose a sentence of indefinite detention. Under our Constitution, that dictatorial power does not exist. We must stand against this. And so we will protect her and prevent it from happening again.

Now I do want to point out that neither Kim Davis or the Liberty Counsel apparently want anything to do with these lunatics.

A spokeswoman for Liberty Council, a conservative Christian group that has supported Kim Davis throughout the controversy, condemned Oath Keepers in a statement: “Neither Kim Davis nor Liberty Counsel heard of Oath Keepers before erroneous reports of their involvement in our case. Likewise, neither Kim Davis nor Liberty Counsel supports or condones any form of armed resistance, violence, or force.” Davis’ lawyers have reportedly turned down Oath Keepers’ offer of protection, so that’s a grand total of one thing they’ve done right.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the Oath Keepers will listen.  They continued “protecting” military recruitment centers after being asked to stop, so while I doubt they will show up, they are still an armed, insane wildcard to add to this mix.

So what will happen?  We won’t have to wait that long to find out, as the office opens in 20 minutes as I write this sentence.  My prediction?  Kim Davis is going to fire every deputy clerk except her son, who stood by her the whole time, and once again stop issuing marriage licenses.  This will lead to a court date tomorrow, resulting in her ass returning to jail.  While Kim settles down to a dinner of fine jailhouse cuisine, her “lawyers” will be partying like it is 1999, still unable to believe they actually found a rube like Kim Davis who is willing to do jail time for their fund raising campaign.  Of course, thanks to the new reality of crowd sourced bigot jackpots, no one should actually feel bad for Kim Davis and the way she is being used, because she will make out on this deal in the end.  No, the true losers in this case are the Christians living in places where they are actually persecuted, as all this time and energy which could be used to make their reality a bit better is instead wasted defending a person who had to show up and beg to be persecuted.  And Rowen Country tax payers, who will have a nice bill at the end of the day from lawsuits, especially if Kim Davis fires her deputy clerks.  Hell, just any Rowen County resident for that matter, since they now have to drive to a neighboring county for a marriage license because their elected clerk doesn’t feel like doing her job.  Also on the loser list, intelligent members of the GOP, who have to watch their presidential candidates support this idiot.  And participants in any Mike Huckabee related drinking game, who have all died from alcohol poisoning.

And perhaps most of all, the poor hungry lions, who no matter what happens, will never get to eat Kim Davis.

T-minus 4 minutes.

Live-blogging the persecution, 2015!

Excuse Me, Mr. Huckabee? Your Kim Davis Martyr Boner is Visible. Think of the Children.

Okay, there is beating a dead horse and then there is the rapid fire, blister-raising, skin-chafing deceased equine torture that only takes place when Mike Huckabee sees something that would let him use the words “martyr” and “persecution” in a sentence near the word “Christian.”  While it is perhaps the easiest thing in the world today to find a person to compare Kentucky law-breaker-for-Jebus Kim Davis to (Seriously.  Think of anyone you know who sucks at their job.  Got someone in mind?  There’s your comparison for Kim Davis.  You’re welcome.), to say Huckabee is reaching a bit with his latest comparison is kinda like saying that Huckabee mentions his faith every now and then.  Really Mike? Abe fucking Lincoln?

Appearing on MSNBC this morning, Huckabee said that’s just like Abraham Lincoln, who was not in favor of the Supreme Court’s 1857 Dred Scott decision which held that African Americans were not full citizens.

“Look, you would have hated Lincoln, because he disregarded the Dred Scott 1857 decision that said black people aren’t fully human,” Huckabee said when host Joe Scarborough questioned him about his support of Davis. “[Lincoln] disregarded [Dred Scott] because he knew it was not operative, that it was not logical.”

No, Mike.  No.  Although it is an easy mistake.  Here, I will help you out.  Abe Lincoln was President of the United States, that position you want but will never ever have.  Sorry.  Before he had the job you will never have, the Supreme Court got really high on some nasty drugs and issued the Dred Scott ruling.   Lincoln was not in favor of what may be the worst Supreme Court ruling in the history of our nation. a ruling that pointed at all the stuff in the Constitution that talked about “all men” and “created equal” and such and so on, then said “oh but not for darky, oh snap!”  At which point the Justices in the majority probably high fived, made a few racist jokes, smacked their secretary on the ass, then ran out the door and jumped in the windows of the General Lee, which they drove out to the farm where they kept the slaves they used for sex.  (Or something like that. ; )  This was in a time of upheaval and change that led to The War to Keep Black People as Property.  (Hey, if southern revisionists can give it names like “The War of Northern Aggression,” then I can name it as I see it as well.)  Now this is important, so pay attention.  While Lincoln disagreed with Dred Scott and spoke against it, he never refused to issue any marriage licenses because of his personal talks with J.C.

Kim Davis, on the other hand, is an elected official who really needs to do her fucking job.  A job that she apparently does not understand.  She is not required to morally approve of the relationship between the people applying for marriage licenses, she is just required to verify the people meet the legal standards to get married.  Thanks to the Supreme Court people can get married now to people who have the same no-no spots, so peens and peens and hoohas with hoohas.  Her job is “paperwork is good?  Check.  Issue license.”  Other than her son, all the deputy clerks in her office are totally down with the law and their job and are all like “Judge type person, we want to do our jobs but crazy Christian lady scares us and will probably fire us, and we like having jobs, so help!?!” Unfortunately, Kim Davis believes that every time she issues a marriage license she is saying, loud and proud, that Jesus H. Christ, acting through his oh so humble vessel Kim Davis, morally approves of this love match between no no spots that are not the same.

Now some of you may be reading along thinking (out-loud cause thinking be hard when done at the same time as reading) well good for Kim, after all, “God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve!”  If you are thinking that please send me a message and permission to use your real name and likeness.  But your homophobia aside, this is one of those slopes that are like slip and slides, you know, like the homophobes insisted that gay marriage would unleash an unstoppable torrent of increasingly absurd marriages (man marries dog, man marries baby, man marries frog, man marries toaster oven, man marries Fleshlight, man marries right hand, man marries ham sandwich, asks for annulment upon eating said sandwich, man marries both his left and right hands, society has crumbled, cats and dogs living together, seas of blood, checkmate, atheist!  I mean checkmate pro-equality fascist!) except this slope is actually slick and all sorts of things are ready to start slipping on down.  (And no, no gay man is  going to slip anything into any scared straight guys because of the Supreme Court.  Unless the scared straight guy wants something slipped inside, in which case two consenting adults yadayada)   What do I mean?  Well, if this homobigot in Kentucky can refuse to give teh ghays a marriage license cause Jesus, then what exactly is stopping the Clerk in Alabama to stop issuing interracial marriage licenses cause of his Jesus?  Then Clerks all over the nation go crazy, with different marriage requirements in every county, let alone every state.


“Hi, we’d like to get a marriage license.”

“Sorry son, but it is against my religious convictions to issue a license to anyone under 33.  If Jesus thought you should get married young, he would have been married before he died.  Now you can’t go to the next county over either, cause Jed believes with all his Jesus loving heart that blonds and brunettes are not allowed to get married to each other.  It is crazy, he makes people prove their natural hair color.  The county down south is pretty much out as well,  I’m afraid, as Clerk Robertl Silma seemingly issues licenses at random.  See he took a vow of silence last year and he never did learn to write, so no one has been able to figure out why he refuses each couple.   Now if your star signs are compatible, Clerk Grisn in Chekard county will issue you a licens….what’s that?  She’s a Scorpio?  Well, that options out the window.  You can’t go to North county cause you’re a lefty, can’t go to Brower county cause she is jewish and you’re Christian, can’t go to Lux county unless you speak in tongues, you can’t speak in tongues can you?  Thought not, let’s see….”

-4 hours later-

“Alright, if you go to Tuscaluna county

“Um, that’s a 5 hour drive….”

“Are you going to keep interrupting me?  As I was saying, if you go to Tuscaluna county and drive towards the state park, you will find a cabin right outside the park.  In the cabin lives a woman who will give you a token that proves your true love.  Once you have the token, then drive out of state, to Misango county.  While the Clerk is only on duty one Tuesday a month, since the county has a population of 272, and he is so conservative that he refuses marriage licenses to women who wear pants, but he does believe in true love and will issue no question asked licenses to anyone who brings the woman’s token.”

“You’re sending me on a fucking quest to get a marriage license?

So yeah.  Kim Davis does not equal Abe Lincoln.  Kim Davis is also not a martyr, unless being locked in jail until you ask to be let out is actually a path to martyrdom.  Which, while personally not a believer in martyrdom, I still get the feeling the actual people who got horribly tortured to death for their faith would tell Kim Davis to eat a bag of dicks.

Right after telling her to do her damn job.

Though on the bright side, at least her office has started to do its damn job.



Hey Bigots! Can I Have Some Bigot Cake as Well?

Remember Melissa and Aaron Klein?  They are the owners of Sweet Cakes By Melissa, an Oregon bakery that shot to national infamy by refusing to bake a cake for the local Satanic cult’s 3rd Annual Fetus Cook-Off.  The cake was to celebrate the addition of Planned Parenthood as a Gold level sponsor of this year’s event, and….  Yeah, actually they refused to make a wedding cake for two women because Jesus said very plainly in that book the bigoted Christians really wish existed:

“And Thee Sayeth Onto Thou, Skip a bit, brother, and thee Woman folk I command thusly; Touch no man but thou husband; be pure and chaste in all, but slut in the bed of marriage; enjoy thee not sex, but suffer through it whenever your lawful husband, your master, wishes it; know that if your husband strays, it is your fault, oh woman, once tempted led to the fall of man; God created fellatio, as a way for woman to worship her superior, and you should provide your husband nightly; cunnilingus however, is the work of Satan, never ask it of your husband; and now woman, pay close attention, for this is the key to your salvation.  Thee are permitted, encouraged even, to lick, kiss, touch, feel, fondle, poke, rub, hug, and/or suck on any part of another woman ONLY for the entertainment and pleasure of your lawful husband.  For a woman marrying a woman robs two men of their rightful property.  So spoke Jesus the Christ.  Seriously.  That is what I said.  Jesus.  That’s me.  And that is what I said.  Honest. ” – The Book of “God We Wish We Had This,” chapter 5, verses 11 to 73.

See?  It’s right there in that made up quote from that imaginary book about the mythical sky daddy who tells these people to be bigots.  It’s not their fault!

So anyway, Sweet Cakes by Melissa refused to bake the nice couple a wedding cake and possibly also told them they were abominations in the eyes of god*.  The nice couple sued, and since our judicial system doesn’t base their decisions on what they think a 2000 year old mythical figure would do, Sweet Cakes by Melissa lost and was ordered to pay close to 150k.

So everything worked out alright in the end, right?  The couple, who just wanted a wedding cake, got compensated for being discriminated against, which kinda makes up for their unwanted infamy among the Christian right wing lunatic fringe, the courts did court stuff lawfully, and the cake bakers who refused to bake cakes for people in relationships they did not approve of had to pay a hefty fine.  All’s right in the world!

Until you read this:

Sweet Cakes by Melissa was kicked off GoFundMe earlier this year, but has since raised more than $350,000 on the crowdfunding site Continue to Give. The growing total, which far exceeds the couple’s $150,000 goal, is the largest individual campaign in the history of the three-year-old site, the Washington Times reported. The couple previously netted more than $60,000 from Go Fund Me before that campaign was taken down.

What good are fines at stopping discrimination when there are a whole bunch of bigots out there all too willing to send their bigot bucks to whatever bigot needs bigot bucks at that particular moment?  It’s practically an encouragement to discriminate, a bigot safety net, there to catch bigots who face complaints and lawsuits in a big pile of bigot bucks.**

Which leads us to our next chapter in this story; what the Klein’s decided to do with the leftover cash.

This week, the owners of an Oregon bakery ordered to pay $135,000 for refusing to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple sent out 10 specially made cakes to LGBT groups.

Sweet Cakes By Melissa sent the cakes, which say “We really do love you!” in white writing over a red heart. The packages also included a DVD copy of “Audacity,” an anti-gay film, according to The Advocate. The film’s website says it “delivers an unexpected, eye-opening look at the controversial topic of homosexuality.”

“Our purpose is to express our love for them as a Christian,” bakery owner Melissa Klein wrote in an email to the Oregonian. “We don’t hate them. We also included in the package the movie Audacity. I feel it is a well done movie that shows what being a Christian is about. My hope is that they will watch it and maybe just understand our heart.  We want to show them that it’s not about not serving them it’s about not being able to partake in an event.”

audacityPic credit: Equality California

Okay, three cheers to the Kleins for a textbook example of the second definition for “audacity”:

noun: audacity
  1. 1.
    the willingness to take bold risks.
    “her audacity came in handy during our most recent emergency”
  2. 2.
    rude or disrespectful behavior; impudence.
    “she had the audacity to send GLBTQ organizations a cake with the hate flick Audacity.”

I mean, spot on use of language there.  Very impressive.  Second, you fucking sent them “Audacity”?  While claiming that you love them?  Holy mixed messages, Batman.  That’s like giving your kid a kitten then running the cute, cuddly ball of fur over on purpose,  then replacing said kitten with a puppy because puppy rape is what gets you going.  “Audacity” has an incredible amount of audacity (first definition) in even calling itself a film.  Half the damn movie is Ray Comfort clips from Youtube.  My feelings on “Audacity” can be summed up as follows; if Ray Comfort came up to me with a video camera and started asking idiotic questions about sexuality, I would fuck with him like no other.  But that’s not fair, I know who he is.  If a random stranger with a video camera came up to me and started asking me insane questions on sexuality in the same tone of voice and manner of speaking as Ray Comfort, I would say whatever I thought he wanted to hear to shut him up and get him away from me before he started to shoot or stab people.  If you torture yourself into watching “Audacity,” put everyone of his interviewees in that frame of mind.  If you want the full scoop on Ray Comfort’s masterpiece of Christian cinema, Eli, Noah, and Heath review this gem on The Scathing Atheisthere. (Review starts at the 23:45 part if you don’t like well written comedy. Not that you’ll like the review then either, but I still wanted to include the time stamp.)

So let’s see, we have spot on use of language, and inflicting a film that makes God’s Not Dead look both like  Oscar bait and a subtle, nuanced work of apologetic.  We’ll add that together, carry the one, divide by the square root, multiply by the ………

I got it!

Dear Melissa and Aaron.

Please take your bigot cakes, paid for with bigot bucks, and shove them as far up each of your bigot assholes as you each can reach, you passive aggressive, condescending, holier than thou, asshatted bigots.  While Jesus has surprisingly little to say about homosexuals, considering how much time and effort Christian bigots dedicate to all things gay, your god* could be the most homophobic deity in the pantheon and it still wouldn’t give you a legitimate excuse to not bake the cake.

When you bake a cake for a wedding, you are not giving your blessing and/or seal of approval on the match being made.  No one is asking that of you.  When they ask if anyone has any objection to the wedding, they don’t frantically look around to make sure the cake baker is in the room and giving consent.  It is the same as a county clerk, except even less vital; the clerk is also not approving or blessing the union, they are just verifying that the couple is eligible to get married according to the secular law, while you are just providing a decoration that will probably be shoved into at least one of the couple’s faces.

Melissa, you are a bigot.  Unfortunately, you happen to live during a time period in America where being a bigot pays.  You may have to move to a more bigoted location, or open up a mail order business, but it is beyond certain that while many talented and driven small cake shops will fail in the coming years, you will make a decent living either baking for bigots or speaking to bigots.  But do not let yourself be fooled.  Do not buy into the lie, that you are the one being oppressed, and that you are somehow fighting a fight for religious liberty.  You are not.  You are a homophobic bigot.

Why am I so comfortable in making that statement?  Well, partially this:

When one of the reporters called and asked if the business could make two identical cakes to help a friend celebrate the grant she received for cloning human stem cells, a Sweet Cakes employee simply laughed and said, “It’ll be $25.99 each, so about $50 to start.”

A request for a cake to congratulate a friend on her divorce was also happily accepted, with a Sweet Cakes worker saying, “We can definitely do something like that.”

Sweet Cakes was even happy to take orders for cakes for a pagan summer solstice fete — complete with a green pentagram decoration — and celebrating babies born out of wedlock.

But even more than that is the simple fact that all of you “traditional marriage” people are bigots.  No one is kidnapping the men off your block and forcing them into gay marriages.  You argue for biblical marriage, yet ignore the polygamy running rampant throughout the book.  Marriages were arranged for decent chunks of history, and while clans like the Duggars long for the days when women were passed like property from one man to the next, something tells me that even most Christians are not willingly going to accept arranged marriage.  While we’re keeping things traditional, are we bringing back the dowry as well?  I’ve recently been fascinated with medieval history, and the rare cases where a King or dowager Queen marry for love are often seen as scandalous.  (For one example, the dowager Queen Katherine and Owen Tudor. Or if we’re speaking of dowry, the marriage of Henry VI to “a Queen not worth ten marks”***, Margaret of Anjou.  Ah, traditional marriage.)  If you are that concerned about “traditional” marriage, why aren’t you freaking out about interracial weddings?  Cause you’re fifty years too late?  Cause that type of bigotry isn’t acceptable in polite, Christian circles anymore?  I guess it depends on what “polite, Christian circles” you run in, does it not?****

What about divorce?  You will bake divorce cakes, and something tells me you gladly bake cakes for people’s second (and third, and fourth, and….) weddings when Jesus, your whole fucking reason for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding, was quite clear (for once) on divorce(my bolding):

Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.

10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it. Matt 19

See, Jesus’ opinion isn’t “be fruitful and multiply,” it’s “keep it in your pants, but if you absolutely can’t stay celibate, which you definitely should, but if you can’t, I guess you can get married.”  And since he starts the chapter talking about how marriage was totes awesome according to god, who’s the enemy of traditional marriage in this story?  I’ll give you a hint.  It’s the same guy who’s on the other side of the glory hole.

Invariably, about this deep in any anti-marriage equality article, after the author has exhausted the weak arguments available to them, you find the anecdote about the author’s child (or friend’s child) finding out about gay marriage through tv/a magazine cover/ a newspaper cover/ an assigned book in school and that person having to explain something they are uncomfortable talking about to the child, and…..  Well, and then I’m not really sure.  I see this argument all the time I’m really not sure what they want.  The ability to hide reality from their child until that child is of legal age?  Here’s one recent example, from Right Wing Watch (although Wonkette covers it here as well.)

Ruse said that he started to worry when he realized that one of the chefs on Chopped “looked like a butch lesbian” and put his finger on the remote just in case he got exposed to gayness. “But this is the Food Network so we don’t have anything to worry about, right?” he said.

But it was too late. Despite his best efforts, Ruse and his daughter were forced to see a lesbian couple:

So I didn’t have my hand on the trigger fast enough when they did a hard cut to a backstory about this lesbian chef and don’t you know it she’s got her arm around her ‘wife,’ she refers to her ‘wife,’ and I was too slow in fast-forwarding. My eight-year-old Lucy, sweet Lucy, turned to me and said: ‘Did she say wife?’ And I said, ‘No, I think she meant girlfriend.’ And Lucy said, ‘I think she said life.’ God bless the innocence of this child. But they will not let us off the mat, the ideologies who want to cram this thing down our throats no matter where we go.

And it gets worse. Ruse laments that unwitting children may have had their vacations ruined by an edition of USA Today that featured a gay couple kissing:

The day after the decision of the Supreme Court was a full page photograph of two men kissing on USA Today. This is a paper that lands in front of hotel room doors all over the country, this is vacation time, families open that door, children may have opened this door to see two men kissing. They are making us explain things to our children that we don’t want to explain and they know what they’re doing, they absolutely know what they’re doing.

While Ruse complains about being persecuted by the Food Network, let’s remember that this is same anti-gay activist who condemned the United Nations for investigating “discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.”

I mean, I get the urge to protect your children.  If I had kids (and I do have nieces, a nephew, and a young cousin who’s pretty much a niece) I would want to protect them from Confederate battle flags, neo-nazis, Fox News, Westboro Baptist Church, Catholic priests, The 700 Club, guns, and poster sized pictures of aborted fetuses.  But these things all exist, and at age appropriate times, I think it is important to introduce children to the concepts.  I do not want the first time my daughter hears about a poster sized picture of an aborted fetus to be when she’s walking into a Planned Parenthood for her well-woman check and some protester is shoving it in her face.  “Traditional marriage” supporters will throw my own “age appropriate” comment right back in my face, but we aren’t talking about hardcore gay porn here.  We are speaking of the existence of a group of people who most certainly do exist.  Everyone knows a homosexual.  If you do not know a homosexual, it is more than likely because you are a bigot and the homosexuals you do know just aren’t telling you.  Chances are a few of the kids at your child’s school have gay parents.  A lesbian couple on Food Network is not an endorsement of that lifestyle.  A lip to lip kiss on the cover of a newspaper is not a religious statement.  They are just holding a mirror to society.  What evil lifestyle is the couple on Chopped displaying?  The one where you love someone and commit to them in marriage?  Those bastards.

Marriage equality is about love, consent, and equal rights under the law.  Freedom of religion means you do not have to get gay married.  Your church doesn’t have to perform gay weddings.  You and your pastor/priest can bitch about how gay marriage is going to lead to the end of the world all day long, and twice on Sunday.  You are even free, as sick as it is, to raise your kids believing that homosexuality is a sin and that gay marriage is wrong.  (Hopefully you’re not one of those bigots who will throw their child out of the house if they come out as gay.)

What you don’t get is the ability to force that belief on others.  No anti-gay prayers in school (or any prayers for that matter….and note, I am referring to official prayers, not non-disruptive silent prayers by individual students.)  If you hold elective office (or appointed office) you don’t get to refuse to do your job because Jesus.  You took an oath to obey and support the laws of our nation, not those of your book or church.  If you can’t do your job, then quit.  Save us all the trouble of firing you.  Especially when you are more than likely a “fiscal conservative” as well, and it is tax dollars you are wasting grandstanding for martyr points.  If you are a business, then you serve everyone or no one.  Simple, is it not?  Think that isn’t fair?  Well, how would you feel if I had a business and I refused to serve Christians?  Could you imagine what Bill O’Reilly would say about me?  He’d probably have David Silverman on as a guest, show the one picture of me posing with Silverman, and spend the whole segment yelling over David about how much of a treasonous bigoted scum sucking commie I was. But that whole thought experiment is meaningless to you, is it not?  Because you can not place yourself in another person’s skin.

Enjoy your bigot bucks.  Enjoy sending out your condescending cake with the bigger waste of a disc than “Free AOL” software.  Because on this front of the culture war, you lost.  You can pretend that you will out breed the progressives all you want, but most of your children will end up rejecting your bigotry.  The “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” kerfluffle will be a dark family secret, with their great grand children shockingly discovering those bigot were their ancestors, wondering what went wrong, eventually chalking it up to a different time, just as those of us did with ancestors who protested against things like interracial marriage, women’s suffrage, or ending slavery.

Now, get back to shoving that cake so deep in there that you see it in your santorum for the next year.

*While I never really thought of it before, after listening to this week’s diatribe on The Scathing Atheist, I am making a conscious effort to not capitalize “god,” except when it appears at the start of a sentence.  This is a habit I have had for ages, so please don’t mind the inconsistency as I retrain my fingers.

**Dude, I can not be the only atheist who’s retirement plan looks like this:

  • Fake conversion
  • Plead poverty/persecution due to my new found faith
  • Rake in the bigot bucks
  • Write book on my experiences in the Christian fringe movement.

Fucking ethics and morals.  I wonder how “psychics” and alt-med practitioners get rid of those pesky things.

***From the title of chapter 7 in The Wars of the Roses by Alison Weir.  Also from this book comes my personal favorite nickname for the future Queen of England, “la petite creature.” (pg 107)

****Bigotry against an “outgroup” is fascinating.  While I was growing up and during my teen years, bigotry against homosexuals was seen as the standard in my area.  It was the default assumption.  Unless you spoke up, everyone assumed you hated the “fags.”  Those who were different at all for any reason were labeled “fags.”  (Before Nirvana went mainstream, I think I was called “leather fag” more often than my actual name for a while.)  There was also a really strong undercurrent of racism, just not as automatically assumed as the homophobia.  Perhaps because while my school had (I believe, I am not getting out my yearbook) one African-American (in 1994!!!)  and two Indian-Americans in my graduating class, we were just outside of Altoona (and all hung out with people from each school) which had a much more diverse racial make up.

Now, with outright racism largely frowned upon by society and the acceptance of GLBTQ community members as actual normal people, we’re witnessing a strange outbreak of bigotry across multiple fronts as, I don’t know, bigots look for an acceptable place to release it?  From the resurgence of anti-black racism (see the comment thread on any story dealing with Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown) to the last gasps of those who desperately wish they could choke on a nice hard cock (see Brian Fischer, Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, et al.) to the shockingly counterproductive anti-Mexican immigrant hate coming from the GOP’s field of presidential candidates (see. well…all of them?) to the confusing issue of actual post 9/11 anti-Middle Easterner racism being lumped together and equated with legitimate criticism of the tenants of the Islamic religion, it seems society is determined to prove those who claimed we had moved beyond race, beyond bigotry as wrong as possible.  What’s the next group?  It can’t be women, although the GOP has made a go of it over the past couple of years, but women simply have too much voting power.  My guess, and we’ve definitely seen it in action before, I just think it will get much more mainstream: bigotry against the poor.  A group with almost no political power, with no money to buy politicians, that is so easily demonized (they buy steak with food stamps!  They get free phones!  Welfare mommas!  Your hard earned tax dollars, Rabble Rabble Rabble!!!)  It’s coming hard, from your local GOP candidate.  Bet on it.

***** Just a note here.  The piece on Jindal is over half done at the moment.  It hasn’t been the best week as it goes with my family and health, so I’ve been a bit behind.  I’m also just about to become unemployed,  hopefully for a very short period of time, which has been cutting into my time.  I will work on getting it up on Monday.  Thanks all for reading this!

Fight Back.

Saturday saw thousands of the War against Women folks take to the street to protest against Planned Parenthood.  They managed to get several anti-Planned Parenthood hashtags trending on Twitter as well.  While the Center for Medical Progress continues to release its deceptively edited videos to outrage the loud and proud ignorant fringe of the right, elected officials with actual power keep attempting to defund PP while wasting taxpayers money with investigations into PP that turn up no wrongdoing.

It is beyond time to fight back.

Abortion only makes up 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services.  Zero federal dollars out of Planned Parenthood’s funding goes to abortion services.  The federal funds go to the other 97% of services Planned Parenthood provides, stuff like STI testing, cancer screenings, contraception prescriptions, and FUCKING prenatal care.  Sure, there are other locations women can go to get these services, but there aren’t enough of them to handle the overflow that would occur if Planned Parenthood actually  disappeared.  Sure, rich and upper middle class women would still find someone to smear their pap, prescribe their birth control, provide prenatal care, or terminate their pregnancy.  These things are never in danger for the rich and upper middle class.  It doesn’t matter how conservative the state Congress gets, or how many clinics get shut down, rich girls from Texas or Mississippi can just get on a plane and fly wherever they need to go to get whatever service they need.

These attacks on Planned Parenthood are attacks on the health and family planning of all women who can’t hop on the jet for a quick trip to Cali for an IUD or an abortion.

The issue isn’t abortion.  It isn’t “selling” baby parts.

The issue is poor people having sex and the right’s quest to make sure they have to face the consequences.

Donate something to PP.  Write your Congress Critter.  Send out a tweet.

And smack down an anti-PP troll on social media.  Do your part for a great organization.


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