Thursday, June 30, 2011

That's One Small Step for Victim-Blaming, One Large Step for Assholes

One of the things that pisses me off to no end is bullying. I just can't stand it. I can't stand it when people passively justify it by saying "it happened to me, therefore, I shouldn't attempt to do anything about it" or "it's nature. It's something that happens to everyone and you have to stand up for yourself." It's so easy to talk like that when you're the one speaking from a point of privilege; of course it's easy for you to fight back. You won't be villianized in the media, and your victimizer canonized, for fighting back like these poor young gay men and women will.

So, with this in mind, I present Case Number 1,232,123,998 of "Christian is an Asshole." His name is Dick Swine Rich Swier and he's a proud card carrying member of the Teabagistani Party. Swine believes that anti-gay bullying is just "peer pressure". Of course he does. Admitting that it wasn't would mean admitting that Swine here is an asshole for saying this:
This is not bullying. It is peer pressure and is healthy. There are many bad behaviors such as smoking, under age drinking and drug abuse that are behaviors that cannot be condoned. Homosexuality falls into this category.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

All Aboard the Failboat!

I'm a regular over at the web forum Fundies Say the Darndest Things. Sometimes, I'll see a post that just leaves me breathless. Most of the time, though, they leave me with a concussion, and my desk grumbling angrily at me. Very rarely I end up with ones that get me sick. This is more of the first two than of the last one, and it inspired me. Rather than heavy issues for this post, I figure I'll poke fun at a Creationist argument by Mr. Banana-man himself, Ray Comfort.

Ray has his own blog that he keeps entitled, creatively enough, "Ray Comfort Food". This fellow thinks that he's had atheists on the ropes now for the last several years, with the ultimate proof being the how easily bananas fit in our hands (hence his nickname - Banana-man Comfort). A recent post over at is from Ray's blog, wherein he builds several straw atheists and proceeds to attacking them in a question and answer session. As an atheist who is decidedly un-straw (although crows and ravens still laugh at me; the fact that they're some of the most intelligent animals on the planet means this should concern me more than it does), I'm going to "respond" in kind. Keep in mind, it's the straw-skeptic that's asking these questions. My response will be the red text - the pretentiously named Word of Enlightenment. I'll also be rendering Mr. Straw Atheists' questions into real answers one might get from an actual atheist as we go along... providing I can. This will be the Word of Science, which is obviously in blue.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Alternative IDiocity

Before I get into this post, let me lay the blame for all these problems squarely at the feet of post-modernism and romanticism. Post-modernism is theory that should've stayed in literature and isn't no more at home in the real world than Freudian criticism is. Post-modernism, and it's ancestor, Romanticism, both posit a very natural view of the world, a very cynical view of the world, and a belief that progress and pursuit of knowledge for it's own sake is somehow a bad thing. Post-modernism takes this a step further, stating that nothing is objective (not even gravity, apparently) and that reality is nothing more than a deck to be shuffled how we want to. I don't know about you, but I can't shuffle the deck so that I can fly, so someone's got their head screwed up their ass, and it's not me. The first half of this blog's name comes from my disdain for post-modernism and it's prevalence in our world; the opposite of post-modernism is modernism, which has it's roots (loosely) in the Enlightenment, which was diametrically opposed to romanticism. Or, perhaps, that's backwards - the Enlightenment came first, and the romantic garbage dredged itself up from the gutter sometime in the 1800s. Romanticism has always been more popular in the United States than Enlightenment was, despite the fact that we're a country built on Enlightened principles (democracy, secular humanism, a deistic and ceremonial god, human rights - romanticism gave us none of these.) The second half of this blog's name comes from the fact that I side squarely on the enlightenment: one might say that it's one man's trials to remain Enlightened in a sea of post-modern sewage.

But how is romanticism and post-modernism thinking more popular than Enlightened thinking? Well, it's because Enlightened thinking is hard. It requires work. It requires skepticism, knowledge of logic and logical axioms and, well, actually living in the world we live in. How can be so sure? Take a look at all of the crackpot theories we have today poisoning the market of ideas: Alternative Enicidem (medicine backwards for those slow on the pickup - I write it backwards because the Alties have it backwards) shares it with Creationism, Intelligent Design, 9/11 Truferism, and Birferism, among other things. And what do all of these have in common? Piss-poor critical thinking skills on behalf of the people who follow them, peddled by the merchants of doubt, a dislike for the scientific method (based on a severe misunderstanding of what that is) or an outright disdain for science as a whole in favor of a more "naturalistic" - i.e., Romantic and wrong - view of the world.

"But wait, Enigma! How dare you suggest that me, an educated scholarly professional, could even share the same process as one of those lowly Creationists." To which I reply: "And that right there is part of your problem. Not only does that reek of elitism, but that's projection - you know damn well you didn't put anymore thought into your Alternative Enicidem than the IDiot did Intelligent Design, but you're projecting your elitism on that individual to distance yourself cognitively from what might as well be your intellectual twin. Just because you're a scholarly professional doesn't mean you're smart."

At the heart of the problem here is this toxic notion that reality is a deck of cards to be shuffled. I'm willing to pay for a plane ticket to New York for anyone who wants to try and reshuffle that deck of cards from the top floor of the Empire State Building on the way down after jumping. The major difference, I've found, is this: the people who follow Creationism and Intelligent Design are parrots; they're puppets on a string, marching to the beat of someone else's drum. Many of them are incapable of independent thought on this matter, and if they are, they regurgitate the talking points their masters told them to. You see the same kind of person in the Altie crowd, but they lack masters; many of them have the same degree of critical thinking and projection skills that your average Fundie has, but they view themselves as "better" than that lowly rabble. They don't believe ID because the Fundies believe it, not because they have any free thinking skills of their own or they've analyzed any evidence. But they're still attracted to that sort of superstitious garbage that the leaders of the Alternative Enicidem crowd peddles, so they fall into it so much easier.

So keep that in mind. The only thing distinguishing an Altie from a Creationist or a IDiot is the fact that the Altie thinks they're superior to the other two. It's like watching three children argue over a toy, each one claiming to have a variant that's better than the other when the truth is that all three variants do absolutely nothing.


I'm a little late on this subject, but I feel like talking about it anyway. As a male author, I do have female characters. I fact, most of my main characters are female. I would like to clarify, however, that they are characters first and female second, or, as I read somewhere else, Strong Characters (Female) rather than Strong Female (Characters). Far too often in modern media that "strong" becomes "eye candy," and the "character" becomes "lolwutkaratur" but that's part and parcel of the hypersexed American media, and topic for another post. It's a tricky proposition , as a male with full male privilege, to try and write from the perspective of a woman or girl. In order to cover my bases, I often have more than one character (female); the more the better, because I can assign a wide array of character traits to each without the worry of stereotyping that comes from the Smurfette Principle. When done right, and when you actually get into the shoes of the characters, it can help you as the author develop a new way of viewing the world. The key word here is "empathy;" being empathetic towards others is the best way to avoid stereotypes and create fully-fleshed out characters. I won't stand here and say that I'm an expert, but I haven't been hung by my friends yet, many of whom are female, so I must be doing something right.

If male authors only wrote about male characters and female authors only wrote about female characters, the world of literature would be a boring place, anyway. Some of the most memorable male characters come from female writers (Hercule Poirot) while some amazing female characters have come from male authors (Irene Adler, the only human to ever outwit Sherlock Holmes). So the watch word is empathy and being aware of your privilege if you're a male author writing as a female character.

I walk an even narrow tightrope because not only do I write about characters (female), I write about characters ("minority", female). I put "minority" in quotes because I hate the word but can't think of another word for it. I have some experience here, falling into two "minority" groups myself in America (clinically depressed/ADHD and atheist), but most people don't know that by looking at me, so I get a pass as a White individual as well, which means, until I open my mouth, I get to enjoy all the privileges that come with that as well. This is an even harder line to walk, but I can attempt to understand. The attempting to understand is what was call "empathy". It's trying to step outside of your privilege, seeing where it ends, and trying to understand what someone else goes through.

This is not about fiction, and this is not about characters, however. This is about males posing as females, especially males posting as minority females, but not for the same reasons I detailed above. Recently, there's been a rash of male bloggers posting and acting as female bloggers, usually from countries where females are actively discriminated against: case in point, there was a recent kerfluffle where some asshole was posting as a Syrian female blogger, and crafted this whole story that scared the hell out of everyone who followed the blog, and some other blogs. People were understandably pissed when they found out the whole thing was fiction. The guy behind it deserves to be called out for it.

So what is the difference between what he did and what I do? He'll claim that he was just doing the same thing that I do; exploring privilege, and attempting "empathy." There is, however, one key difference. See, with mine comes the admission that my work is fiction. I am not a female "minority" author writing about characters ("minority," female), and my readers will know that going into it. They'll know that my characters are not real, and while my writings may (I hope) have an impact on the struggle for equal rights, people will be able to see that they are fictional and they are not real people.

There was no admission the whole thing was fictional on this guy's behalf until it was too late. And then, suddenly, everyone realizes this is a man writing this blog. What does this do? You can't exactly be sure who is on the other side of the screen, typing this stuff. Now all those actual Syrian bloggers are going to come under question. Are they really actual Syrian females, or is this just another asshole guy, "exploring privilege" by reveling in it? It's easy enough to sit from a position of privilege and believe that you're "fighting for the cause." But you're not. You're damaging it, because in your ignorance, you're taking away from the actual struggle these women are facing, by undermining their credibility as actual female bloggers.

And that is the key difference between what I do and what these men do. I attach one key word to what I do that distinguishes me from them: fiction. I respect your fight, and I help, but my stuff is not real. I may have some reality too it, but it is not real. It does no damage, it undermines nobody's credibility other than my own. And if there are any remaining male bloggers out there who are e-crossdressing, it's in your best interest to attach that "fiction" label to your page too. To not to only shows that you have no respect for the actual fight these women are struggling with and that you have no understanding of the actual position of privilege you type from.

Monday, June 27, 2011


The last post got me thinking about class antagonism. I didn't touch too long on it because I wanted to get into taking apart the word "militant" and the projection associated with it, but now that I've got some more time, I'm going to look into this class antagonism more.

The funny thing about living in America today is how many people are willing to open their mouth and spout off about stuff that they don't have the first clue about, like their opinion is somehow made fact because they wrote it (in crayon, misspelled) on a sign. Or if you clap your hands, you too can indeed make the red ones go faster. I call this Grot Physics. They live, eat, and breath thought-terminating cliches with such elegance, and practice blackwhite like all doubleplusgood proles, Big Brother would be proud of them. And, of course, there's the weapon's grade projection that goes along with that, which probably makes it easier for them.

But, upon reflecting, one thing becomes clear. Not only are these people not the sharpest tool in the shed, but they're also poor. When they open their mouth screaming about socialism, using it like a child does a "naughty word", screaming about unions, screaming about public education, and screaming about X, Y, and Z (the letters as variables, not the French agents), what they're really doing is hurting themselves. As a liberal, this has given me pause many of times. You want to reach out and get through to them - preferably with a heavy iron object. "I'm trying to help you, stupid!" is the common thought that goes through my mind. And it's not like they don't want to be helped; oh goodness no. The problem is that they're already think they're being helped. And that's a big problem.

Let's turn back the clock for a minute. During the days leading up to the American War of Secession (it's not a civil war, so let's stop referring to it as one, shall we?), escaped slaves finding their way on the underground railroad was a common thing. They would escape from their rich owner's plantations and either find freedom up in Canada or stay in the North. Naturally, this hurt the plantation owners, who were loosing their "property". Which, in most cases, meant they wanted it back. So who did they send to get it back?

They gathered together gangs of poor, White southerners and told them "go get these slaves back." And those poor, White southerners did.

Let's take a look at this dynamic for a minute. You have, on one end, the rich southern plantation owner. He's rich, and he has land, and he's living the high life with all his slaves. On the other end, you have the slaves themselves, who occupy a low status in society, and you have the poor Whites, who are arguably just a touch more free than the slaves are. Now, obviously those poor Whites resented being poor. I know I resent being poor. They wanted a piece of the pie. Modern Conservatives call this "the politics of envy," with the notion that you're just better off being poor or being a slave. And those rich White plantation owners probably weren't keen on giving them that slice of pie. So what's the logical thing here to do? There's a lot more of us, if you count those Black slaves, than there are of those rich White plantation owners. Solidarity, brother! You may be Black and I may think you're the cursed Child of Ham, but you know what? It only makes sense here for me to ally with you to get things done.

And the plantation owners realized that. So they when the slaves started escaping (they'd been escaping from the beginning), those wealthy plantation owners went to those poor Whites and told those poor Whites,"go get my slaves back." There's a power dynamic at work there: those poor Whites are suddenly given more power than the Black slaves had. If they started working with those Black slaves, that power dynamic would go away. Thus, any solidarity that might have existed (providing one was able to ignore all of the other factors at play) was completely shot. And the rich heaved a sigh of relief.

Hit the fast froward button to the present: This same dynamic is at work today. Remember how I said that the teabaggers and the conservatives already think they're being helped, when it's clear to anyone they're not? That's because the rich in this nation - the corporations, the millionaire bankers, the political leaders - have convinced them that they don't need that help, in much the same way that the wealthy plantation owners convinced the poor Whites that they had power: focus on an imaginary enemy. Usually, this enemy is what's best for you in the long run, because what's good for you as a poor person in the long run is bad for me as a rich person in the short run. Thus, things like socialism, unions, and public services become the villains, even though they're designed to help people like the very same individuals who are protesting it. It's the poor being used by the rich to keep the poor poor. If you look hard enough, you'll find this same sort of thing repeated throughout history time and again: the elites, whether they be priests, kings, barons, dukes, financiers, industrial barons or billionaires, have always managed to take a segment of the poor - usually the lower middle class, but also the functional middle class if times are tough enough - and convince them that anything designed to help them (like nationalized healthcare) will somehow hurt them in the long run.

Do you agree with me on this? If you do, congratulations, you're a proponent of Marxist theory. And now you, unlike those poor-to-middle class Whites who are being rallied by the wealthy, actually know what the term means. Of course, education is the first key to combating this; if people knew, if they were learned in these subject matters, they would see. But they're not. And the elites with the power know that, and as long as they can keep these people uneducated and poor, they can keep these people on their side, acting against their own best interests.

Militantly anti-Cheese

While I have yet to read the article in full, this article from the Guardian about Michael Grove's calling the teacher's unions in Great Britain militant resonates with me. I'm not British, I'm American, but I'm always interested in seeing what's happening in other countries around the world. After all, no man is an island unto himself, no matter how hard Howard Roark bitches otherwise or how desperate Galt is to remove himself from society. The same is true for countries as well - humans form a loose super-organism; the net of humanity is interwoven. What affects one of us will affect all of us.

I'm not going to comment on the article; I'm just going to comment on the overview of it. I come from a very strong union city, and I'm very pro-union. If that surprises you, slap yourself. You're reading the wrong blog. Unions are a basic embodiment of this thing called "solidarity" - that is, we're never stronger than when we're together, and that net of humanity, the great human super-organism, is never stronger than when it's united in solidarity. When you take care of your neighbor, you take care of yourself. History is full of class-antagonism; the poor have been continually exploited by the rich and the wealth, and unions are just one way that we can twist the system in our favor. After all, there's a lot more of us on the low end than there are of them on the high end; enough to tip the scales in our favor.

But this post isn't really about the unions. The heart of what I want to talk about is that word: militant.

Apparently, Mr. Gove has been taking lessons from the Right here in America. As a politician, they select their words carefully, and "militant" is one of those words that get used whenever you want to apply a negative connotation to something: militant gun-nuts, militant Christians, militant Pro-Lifers - see how easy that is? Unfortunately, like all polispeak, the actual meaning of the word itself is lost to the political connotation it carries. A "militant" is a person who takes up arms and actually fights for something. The definition itself is very neutral, which is as it should be. But the connotation is not, and there's a reason why Mr. Gove, like so many right-wingers here in the United States, chose that word to describe the teachers' unions for walking out: he's backed in a corner, and he's attempting to appeal to populism. This word gets used a lot by the political right: militant gay-rights activists, militant abortionists, militant liberals, militant this, militant that; anything I disagree with becomes "militant", because it's a thought terminating cliche that carries a few metric yottagrams of negative connotation along with it. It's like "patriotism" and "freedom" - they way they use the words in almost everything they do, you'd think they were compensating. But they aren't - what they're doing is a psychological defense mechanism called "projection" - they're the militants - militantly anti-union, militantly anti-choice, militantly anti-freedom, anti-poor, anti-human - but because they can't bring themselves to admit that, they paint their opposition with the term to make themselves feel better. "We're not militants," they say, "it's those other people who are militants."

Of course, I'm probably giving them too much credit. Their leaders and puppet masters are certainly thinking like this; they've got their base wrapped around their finger if they're insane enough. But it's the appeal to authority and the use of thought terminating cliches that keep their base from thinking at all: whenever you encounter someone claiming that the unions are "militant", or anyone is "militant", ask them "militant in what way?" Odds are, they're just parroting a claim and they'll try and dodge the question, like good puppets do.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Edjukated Idiots

"He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches" 

I've always hated this quote. I've always hated it and I'll tell you why: it takes one of the most important professions in our society and it denigrates it. It makes it appear as if people who have no skills go into teaching, when that's not true. The people without skill don't find their way into pedagogy; they find their way into demagoguery and politics. You need proof? Look at the current state of our country. And individuals who are not so much skill-less as they are the anti-skill, tend to be FOX news viewers.

America's education system is a mess today. And it's a mess because America is a mess. I could link to countless graphs and pictures, but it doesn't do any good. Everyone knows that we have problems in our system. And everyone knows, as the Right is quick to point out, that we're throwing money at the problem and - gasp - the problem isn't going away. Why not?

If you're on the Right, it's those who can't. Those who teach - it's obviously their fault. Someone has to be at fault, right? It's the government, it's the unions, it's the teachers. Dismantle the system! Arm the students, send out vouchers, but for the love of God, get rid of this education system that I have to pay for with my tax money!

If you're on the left, you're lucky if you've figured it out. The one thing that the left seems to be missing these days is a clue. But, the good thing about being on the left is that you're willing to listen to alternative ideas - you're not so obsessed with your tax dollars that you'll shut out any other ideas.

So, why could our system be failing? I'm only speaking from personal experience here, so take it for what you will. I see kids come to school hungry, I see them come to school with a lot of other problems on their shoulders - home life, strife, hunger, worried about whether or not they'll succeed, worried about whether or not they'll be bullied today because the system is so incredibly efficient at protecting these students and dealing with bullies (who, mind you, are victims in their own home. No, I won't let you take a black and white view of the world. It's not that simple). And when they come to school, we expect them to set down and learn. Put aside your hungry, put aside the strife, put aside your fears, sit down with this book, and let me teach you the way we've been teaching since the 1950s, as if you were a White middle class student.

Uh, hello? Is this thing turned on? Do you not see a problem with the above?

Good teachers will vary their teaching style. I know I do; I have a whole book of listen plans with different lessons, each one designed to cater to a different learning style and a different intelligence (MI theory ftw!) But it's not the teachers that are doing this. It's the tests that are doing that. You know - the tests that we keep fretting over, because somehow all of our kids, when averaged, can't compare to the best of theirs when averaged. These tests, that are mandated by the state, which is mandated by the feds, through which all school funding is tied, are aimed at a single, shrinking demographic: White middle class students. And while good teachers find a way to work it in, guess what it boils down to? it boils down to teaching to the test. Because if you don't, you may very well find your school next on the chopping block.

This leads me to my major point here: all of these tests are aimed at White, middle-class students. How many White, middle-class students do you know? I knew a lot of White students, but not many of them were middle class. And while I could spend entire novels on the test scores and the racism inherent in the system, I want to look at the classism at play here. In our collapsing economy, we're loosing our middle class. In loosing our middle class, more and more people become poor - which means there are fewer and fewer people who could understand some of the situations in these tests. Which means there are more and more kids coming to school, worried about their parent's finances and whether or not they'll have a home to return too.

With this in mind, I posit a different cause for the shabby state of our school system:

It's the poverty, stupid.

Think about it. A collapsing middle class means a collapsing tax base. Our schools are tied to the tax base. A collapsing economy means more students coming to school without their needs being meet, meaning we have less time to teach what we need to because we're trying help them get their basic needs. A vanishing middle class means that the tests, which are geared towards the middle class, are going to be met with a smaller base that actually understands them. And even more telling - we're working our teachers more than any other nation on the planet, paying them less than most other nations, and we're throwing money at the problem and it's not going away. Maybe that should tell you something - maybe that should tell you that it's not a problem but a symptom. And as any good doctor will tell you, treating the symptoms does not help the problem. Our collapsing education system is a symptom of our only real problem in this nation - the rampant poverty and growing income inequality. 

So, what do you think privatizing the system will do to it? Whenever something is privatized, it automatically favors those that can afford it - which would be the wealthy. Voucher system or not, the problem will not go away. Those schools that get the students who need the most help will still do the shittiest on their tests, and still be crappy schools, and still get the worst teachers. You're treating the symptom. Treating the fever does not make the flu go away. And if you don't treat the flu, it can kill you.

Poverty is like the flu. And it's killing us, slowly, undermining our nation by turning it into a nation of rich and poor. A nation of super-aristocratic elites and a nation of bottom-scrapping proles. Education is a key to a better life; it's how you advance. If you take that way, then you take away any upward mobility.

But hey, that's okay. Stick your heads in the sand. Ignore the only problem that America has today, and continue treating all of the related symptoms. And to you edjukated idiots out there that think you know the answer and it's privatization, ask yourself: what do you think an Enron-scandal in education would look like?

Friday, June 24, 2011

God Works in Mysterious Ways (Except When He Doesn't)

I'm still sick and angry about the post below. I'm still upset, and I still have more to vent about. The whole abortion argument is stupid. The whole thing is nothing more than a twisted, patriarchal argument to try and punish women for having sex. Maybe if you supported informed sex education, you'd have a point. Maybe then you'd have an argument. But as it is they don't. So they don't have argument.

Their primary claim is that it's murder. Apparently, killing something that looks like a blob of cells is murder. There's this bullshit about a "soul" but you know what? Tell God to get his ass down here and tell me that, because I won't believe you, you damn liar. You'd lie through your teeth to get what you wanted. There's nothing at all about abortion in the Bible; nothing. You have no Biblical leg to stand on. And before you throw rules at me about "not killing", how many times have you supported the death penalty in the past? You're not pro-life. You're anti-woman.

And while we're on this topic of the intersection of God and abortion, let's take a look. Care to take a guess at how many babies your God aborts each year? He's far more prolific than Planned Parent, considering Planned Parent spends more of their money on other services and less than 1% abortion service. And let's keep this angle up. God is all-powerful and all-knowing, right? Which means he knows that the woman was going to have an miscarriage. Which means that, by your words, "it's in his plan." Okay, cool. What the hell makes you think he doesn't know that a woman is going to get an abortion, too? He's all knowing, right? So he already knows. What makes you think that wasn't "in his plan," either? And in doing what you're doing, you're defying his plan? Or maybe you aren't, and maybe it's in Tzeentch's God's multiple of contradictory plans that make absolutely no sense? What if, and just if, you're full of raw bullshit in claiming it's "all part of God's plan" and you're just making it up as you go?

Of course, being a proud card-carrying member of the Coat-hanger Brigade means that you don't honestly care about God or religion. Strauss said it best, and he was only cribbing from Marx: you only care about controlling women, women's bodies, and teaching those nasty sluts that they shouldn't be having sex - God and religion's roles here are only for the purpose of controlling people.

Hang Her High

Her name is Rennie Gibbs. She's 15, and had a miscarriage at week 36 of her unborn child. Now, because she had a miscarriage, she's going to be charged with a "heart-deprived" murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence in the only state with more consonants than common sense.

Rage in 3... 2... 1... 

Here's this 15 year old girl. She's a drug addict, she had a miscarriage, and now she's going to be tried as a murderer and stands a chance at life sentence. Where is the outcry? Why is this not on the news? Why, why, why? What the Hell is happening to my country? A teenage girl gets pregnant, has a miscarriage, and now they're trying her with murder? And they're going to put her away for the rest of her life? I'm sick. I'm sick with despair, and I'm sick with anger and hatred. I'm sick with rage; that black hole that sits where part of my soul used to be wants nothing more than to see the prosecutor, and the people trying to punish this woman for having a goddamn miscarriage ripped to pieces and fed to wild dogs. But that would qualify as animal abuse, and the wild dogs didn't ask to be punished. Besides, the animals are smart enough to know not to touch meat tainted by evil.

Make no mistake. That's what this is - this is evil. Pure and simple, this is heartless, bottomless, bald-faced evil. These are wretched "human beings." They are evil. I tremble with barely restrained rage; only my better sense of self (that thing that comes with being a liberal) keeps me from doing something stupid that I know I'll regret, or saying something stupid that I know I'll regret.

I may be a rare liberal, but let it get said that we do know hate. I can think of no better word to describe what I'm feeling right now than true, bottomless hatred. My hate is a righteous hatred; the hate that's driven by knowing there's injustice in the world and that injustice must be rectified.

At the same time, it's the liberal in me that makes me care about this girl, that makes me want to believe that this whole thing is a grotesque, Kafkaesque parody of justice and that real humans couldn't do this to one another. Maybe these people aren't real humans. Maybe they're cockroaches in human suits. But I know it's not and I'm forced to admit that they aren't; I know this is real and they're humans as much as I loath to admit it, and I know that, unlike the Penal Colony, these men in suits aren't just shooting off their mouth about unimportant shit - they're shooting off their mouth about unimportant shit that is damaging to our country. And somehow, these wretched beings managed to get into power.

Of course, those self-righteous assholes are impervious to criticism. The collective density of their skulls will make quark stars turn green with envy. They'll strike a victim pose, and claim that they're only "saving unborn babies" and we're the evil doers for calling them for being the raging asshole misogynists that they are. I suppose this is following their twisted, evil, rotten and soulless "logic" to it's conclusion; after all, they can't save babies if they aren't punishing those evil sluts for having miscarriages, now can they? Of course not. The fact that this poor girl has a drug habit makes it even worse; she needs help, not jail. She requires the humane hand of people who honestly care, not a bunch of self-righteous, impervious to criticism, inhuman Evageliban Mississippians with Fatwa envy. She should be helped up from the hole she's in - for the love of fucking God she's only 15. And these sick assholes want to put her away for the rest of her natural life! There's not enough exclamation points to express my rage, there's not enough words, not enough names, not enough bolded or italicized text, not enough of anything that could ally that absolute anger and rage I'm feeling right know towards this rotten state, it's rotten inhabitants, and it's rotten asshole government.

So, strike your victim pose. Claim that you're being unjustly persecuted as you punish a 15 year old girl for a miscarriage she had because your stupid-ass state doesn't teach sex education, so she could've avoided it. Claim you're doing it for "God" or whatever the name of that hateful Demiurge is you worship and try to ram down everyone's throat. Claim you're right, and that this is a righteous action, when the only real blood here belongs on the hand of your divine abortionist. We've got a 15 year old girl here, she had a miscarriage, and she's a whore! It's time to hang her high!

Edit: And Ms. Gibbs isn't the only one. There are other women. Pregnant women are criminals waiting to be charged. Pregnancy is a crime in America. Being a woman is a crime in America.
I am so sick right now I can't put it into words.
These men are evil. These states are evil. And they need to be punished - at the polls. Do you enjoy your rights? Do you think that women should be treated like humans too, and that they shouldn't be charged because God aborted their baby? THEN VOTE, DAMN IT. VOTE.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Of Tea and Paranoia

I'm not at all confused by this. In fact, after Wisconsin, I'm shocked that the Republicans are still trying to hide it. According to Think Progress, the Maine Teabaggers are expecting to shut down same-day voter registration at the polls.  So what's this mean? Well, same day voter registration allows voters to arrive and register at the polls, without having to wait in line. This means people who otherwise wouldn't have the time to wait three hours at the Sec. of State can register right there and then vote. None of this quick stuff. You'll have to wait just like the rest of us.

Not surprisingly, the vast majority of these voters are democrats. Honestly, I love democrats. I just we were more responsible about our voting habits. But the GOP is trying it's damnedest to make it harder for us to vote; between redistricting to this garbage, it's almost like they don't want us voting because, well, they know they'll lose.

Oh, but wait - it gets better. Let's listen to what the state chairman said about this:
“If you want to get really honest, this is about how the Democrats have managed to steal elections from Maine people,Webster told a columnist for the Portland Press Herald in a piece published Friday. “Many of us believe that the Democrats intentionally steal elections.”

So, wait. "Many of us believe that Democrats intentionally steal elections." Translation: "I disagree with you. Therefore, you steal elections because people don't give a rat's ass about what I believe, because I simply cannot get it through my fat head how democracy works."

Hey, that makes perfect sense.
"There's a large mustard-mine near here. And the moral of that is -- the more of mine there is, the less there is of yours." That's pretty much the Tea Party mantra, and that apparently applies to voting rights, too.

And this isn't the only bill like this. All across the nation the GOP is trying to make it harder and harder for democrats to go out and vote. Voter ID laws are popping up all over the place, to protect you from voter fraud, despite the fact that there's only been one case of it 143 years. Smaller governments regulate who can and can't vote, apparently.

I'd call them fascists, but that'd be an insult to sticks.

Meanwhile, in Teabagistan...

I think the picture says it all, really
Image courtesy of
I don't make it a habit to insult people. I prefer to honestly debate someone, or discuss with someone, so when the insults do get wheeled out, I do so sparingly, and only when I feel that they deserve to be talked down too. Usually, when I do talk down to you, it's because you're coming from so far out in Right field that I have no recourse but to stop in mid-sentence and sputter like a dying lawn mower. You shut down any potential brain processes I had going on. I don't like it when idiots come along and, through sheer force of stupid and insipidity, terminate any train of thought that I had because I'm too busy trying to figure out what the hell you were thinking, if thinking can be the word used to describe it. When I see you're too far gone to bother with, that's when the insults start flying. It doesn't mean you're right. It means you're a moron, an idiot, and any other unpleasant term that can be used to insult your negative-mass intellect I don't feel like wheeling out. When your IQ score is enough to hold the throat of a Lorentzian wormhole open, we have problems. You aren't just impervious to logic - it runs screaming from you and sobs in dark corners of the Internet. So, with all that in mind, let's take a look at the focus today: Welcome to Teabagistan, Florida.

It's a summer camp. It's a summer camp to teach the "virtues" of, I guess, the Holy Writ of Adam Smith and his Prophet Ayn Rand? I'm not sure, because I don't think Teabaggers know what they believe other than the fact that they're White, they're angry, and they've got a MASSIVE sense of Self-Entitlement. I'm tempted to call them a grassroots motley collection of humanity dredged from the darkest corners of the trailer park in places like BFE, Kentucky and Assendofnowhere (a German name, methinks), Oklahoma. But they're not, because that would be an insult to those who live in trailer parks and grassroots. Anyway, according to the director of the park, the purpose is this:
The organization, which falls under the tea party umbrella, hopes to introduce kids ages 8 to 12 to principles that include "America is good," "I believe in God," and "I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable."
Okay, let's see how many points we hit here: "America is good" - in what way? "I believe in God" -Gee, the way you guys are constantly ramming this "Christian Nation" garbage down our throats, I couldn't tell. "I work hard for what I have" - explain to me why the states that vote red take more from federal money than states that vote blue. I'll wait. It could possibly be because you're a bunch of selfish, uneducated assholes, but I won't say that correlation equals causation. "The Government [capital G!] cannot force me to be charitable" - in literature, we call that "anthropomorphizing", which basically means you're ascribing human traits to an un-living or non-human object or creature. When you say that "the weather is fickle," you're anthropomorphizing the weather. There's no way it's fickle, because it doesn't have emotions, doesn't think for itself, and isn't alive. That can also be done by giving it a capital letter, turning it into a proper noun, as is the case here. The fact that they did this to the government is no mistake. It's a favorite boogieman for the perennial Tea Party-esque crowd; back when they called themselves John Birchers or LaRochians, and I'm sure it goes back further than that, but I just can't be bothered to go look it up. This fear that they might have to be charitable is a killer for them - this thought their money might go towards the betterment of society, rather than their church, scares them.

Ah, and where would a summer camp as misguided as this be without activities, hmm?
Starting in an austere room where they are made to sit quietly, symbolizing Europe, the children will pass through an obstacle course to arrive at a brightly decorated party room (the New World). Red-white-and-blue confetti will be thrown. But afterward the kids will have to clean up the confetti, learning that with freedom comes responsibility.
These are middle-school aged kids, too. I feel compelled to mention that, because in all my time as a sub, I have never gotten MS-aged kids to sit quietly, so best of luck with that. And after an obstacle course, they'll be invited to clean up red-white-and-blue confetti! Tell me, will the option be there for kids of richer parents to force kids of poorer children to clean it up for them, to show that the responsibility is only there if you're poor? And will there be "nativists" there, to throw things at them, beat them up, and push them into the ground like all good Americans do with every new generation of immigrants? Will the poorer kids be forced to live in overcrowded tenements while the rich kids get large houses? What's that, no? Why, I'm shocked... shocked... to find half-assed history and fractured fairy tales being taught as truth!
Children will win hard, wrapped candies to use as currency for a store, symbolizing the gold standard. On the second day, the "banker" will issue paper money instead. Over time, students will realize their paper money buys less and less, while the candies retain their value.
Oh, of course, the gold standard. I wonder if Glenn Beck is sponsoring this. I have a prediction: by the end of the first day, their candy will be gone. And all the kids will be getting the equal amount of candy, I assume - I thought you were against socialism! Going back to that first activity, those poor kids should have to owe candy right off the boat, and they should have to spend the rest of the camp trying to pay it back even though they never will, while the rich kids get all that and more handed to them. And then, when the poor kids complain, hit them on the nose with a rolled up news paper and say that "'politics of envy'* is a Liberal, and therefore, Evil, thing!" But never mind that, I guess I'm just mildly amused that they think the candy will last the first day.

Children will blow bubbles from a single container of soapy solution, and then pop each other's bubbles with squirt guns in an arrangement that mimics socialism. They are to count how many bubbles they pop. Then they will work with individual bottles of solution and pop their own bubbles.
That's nice. the camp councilors and planners don't have a damn clue between them what socialism is, but they're going to teach it's bad anyway. But then, they don't have a damn clue what capitalism is, either, or what the government is, or what their own assholes are, for that matter. Let it never be said ignorance never stopped someone from doing something stupid. In fact, it encourages them.

How does this arraignment mimic socialism? Helping others pop their own bubbles? I'm still trying to figure out what this has to do with socialism. You're letting other people pop your economic bubble, rather than popping your own? Is that the metaphor at work here? Or am I just giving them too much credit in thinking they'd know what a metaphor is? This sort of lesson seems like it'd be WAY above the head of the age group they're aiming for; yeah, this is something I'd teach to seventh and eighth graders, sure. Hell, I'm twenty-six and I can't figure out what the point of this is. I'm willing to bet that the reason I can't understand it has to do with the fact that I, unlike the Teabaggers, actually know what socialism is. It'd probably make sense if I was as perversely ignorant as they are.

And, lastly, from the camp director himself:
"We want to impart to our children what our nation is about, and what they may or may not be told," Lukens said.
He said he was not familiar with public school curriculum, but, "I do know they have a lot of political correctness. We are a faithful people, and when you talk about natural law, you have to talk about God. When you take that out of the discussion, you miss the whole thing."
The original Tea Party. Note: they haven't strayed far from their intellectual origins
Image courtesy of

I love this, and I think it's a good way to close. Note he says "he isn't familiar with the public school curriculum" and then turns around and says "I do know they have a lot of political correctness**." I'm sure glad he knows that, Zeus forbid he know something useful about the curriculum. Maybe then his camp would make some sense.


[*] I hate that phrase. The ones who throw it around are inevitably the ones who are envious, proving once more teabaggers and republicans are really good at projection. It's hard to imagine a liberal who's envious of anyone when they're saying that everyone should be equal and yes, that poor kid should get some candy rather than owe it.

[**] Political Correctness is this word that right-wingers use because they're mad they can't come right out and call Black people "'n*ggers" anymore, among other things. So like all good right-wingers, they project that onto the liberals: "I don't have the balls to say what I want to say, so it's your fault for reminding us that it's a bad thing to say it." Just keep that in mind next time someone wheels that one out against you.