Author Archive

Republican House- Abort! Abort!

June 19, 2013

Republicans in the House of Representatives are once again voting to give the government – which Republicans often argue can’t do anything as well as private parties – more control over women’s bodies.

Republicans often display contempt of the government and push for privatization in such matters as social security, schools, Food and Drug oversight, mass public transportation

Considering this, the contempt Republicans must have for women while turning over their private decisions to the government is staggering to contemplate.

Okay, obviously that was disingenuous: it isn’t just contempt. It is a religiously motivated attempt to punish women for sex, to “hold them accountable for their actions.” To slut shame not just for now, but for a lifetime.

Here’s the thing: sex is not wrong. Non-consensual sex is wrong. Pregnancies are sometimes wrong. Whether because carrying your rapist’s baby is an emotional trauma, or because pregnancy is dangerous, or because you simply aren’t ready financially or emotionally to support and nurture a child or… for whatever other reason is personally the most important to you.

If you aren’t ready to be a parent, you are a better judge of that than anybody else. If you think you are ready to be a parent, that is where Dunning–Kruger effect might be coming into play.

I suggest adding an amendment that requires the Republican Party to pay 100% of the costs that would result (if this measure actually had a chance of going into effect) which are associated with prenatal care, medical appointments, medication (including pain killers) labor, and then child rearing (including finding approx. 15,000 good homes per year) and treating women for postpartum depression and health complications.

Somehow I think Republicans’ enthusiasm for sexual control over others would dry up if we held Republicans accountable for their actions.

What the big deal was about the #CFI statement.

June 18, 2013

To illustrate why the CFI statement was a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad statement, I will use strikethrough for fluff; that which is without substance in this context. I will use bold to represent obvious falsehoods.

As background, this statement was necessary because CFI’s CEO, Ron Lindsay used his opening speech at the Women in Secularism 2 Conference to chide and patronize its attendees, while implying that feminism in the movement has gone too far.

Center for Inquiry Board of Directors Statement on the CEO and the Women in Secularism 2 Conference

June 17, 2013

The mission of the Center for Inquiry is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.

The Center for Inquiry, including its CEO, is dedicated to advancing the status of women and promoting women’s issues, and this was the motivation for its sponsorship of the two Women in Secularism conferences. The CFI Board wishes to express its unhappiness with the controversy surrounding the recent Women in Secularism Conference 2.

CFI believes in respectful debate and dialogue. We appreciate the many insights and varied opinions communicated to us. Going forward, we will endeavor to work with all elements of the secular movement to enhance our common values and strengthen our solidarity as we struggle together for full equality and respect for women around the world.

First, the statement title is in part “on the CEO and the Women in Secularism 2 Conference,” but the statement doesn’t address him in the context of the conference at all.

Second, they dare to say that Ron Lindsay is dedicated to advancing the status of women and promoting women’s issues, after he gave a speech that was patronizing and contemptuous of feminism and social justice issues in a slippery slope style, asking:

“Who decides what’s included within the scope of social justice anyway?”

“Is the destruction of capitalism considered part of a social justice program? If so, that position certainly has very significant implications,”

“Are there truly no significant divisions currently within the feminist movement?”

And which give the impression he just managed to stop from asking  ‘Isn’t it just too much work to be feminist and skeptical? I mean, we have Bigfoot to argue against here.’

Third, they say that the controversy was surrounding the conference, instead of Ron Lindsay and his speech of amazing inappropriateness. No. Just no. That is insulting to the intelligence of everyone involved.

Take a look at that statement, once all the fluff and nonsense is gone:

“The CFI Board wishes to express its unhappiness with the controversy.”

And that is why they would have been better off not saying anything: because they aren’t unhappy with Ron Lindsay’s speech, nor with misogyny and sexism, nor with harassment nor inequality nor anything else addressed at the conference.

No. The CFI Board is unhappy with the controversy.

Sokka Saturday: Wreathed cat

December 9, 2012
What's this? What's this?

What’s this? What’s this?

Who would ever think? And WHY?

Who would ever think? And WHY?

Perhaps this is a season of love and community...

Perhaps this is a season of love and community…



On the side of Angels?

November 26, 2012

It is the boast of Republicans that theirs is the just party, that they are champions of morality and goodness, that they alone can lead our country righteously.

And then there are the things Republican politicians actually do:

Such as Romney stranding his workers by canceling their campaign credit cards. These workers had been sent by the campaign to where they should be most effective: which means many red staters were left in swing states to figure out their own way home.

And Linda McMahon’s (R) failed campaign giving bad checks to staffers– enclosed with a condom to indicate they were screwed.

But the petty cruelty on display after the election pales compared to the betrayals of democracy that happened during the election:

Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist and a former GOP chairman both admit that laws in Florida limiting voting hours were “intentionally designed by Florida GOP staff and consultants to inhibit Democratic voters.”

I’ll be waiting for similar admissions regarding every state which had Voter ID laws or voting hours changed just before the election, but in the meantime, here is Pennsylvania State Representative Mike Turzai regarding his state’s voter ID law:

Sokka Sunday, Comfy Cat Edition

November 18, 2012

Beautiful American Cussedness

November 12, 2012

6 days ago the final votes were made, and the tallies reveal some remarkable things, such as the youth vote increasing by a percent from 2008.

More impressive than that, though, is the American response to people trying to suppress our votes.

In Florida, early voting days were cut from 14 to 8 by Florida Secretary of State Rick Detzner (R). In response, people waited for 6 hours to vote or- in some cases- left after a long wait one day only to come back and vote another.

In Pennsylvania, Republican legislators tried to reduce the vote by passing a restrictive Voter ID law, which was then blocked by a judge. And the Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) originally tried to have extended voting hours in Republican leaning counties, and not in Democratic leaning counties. When that was challenged, the hours were made the same in all areas- but much shorter than had been planned for the Republican counties. The outcome in both cases? The states went Democratic in the Presidential contest.

Let me just make this clear, in case the election results didn’t: Don’t suppress our votes, we don’t like it, we will vote, and we will vote against whoever tries to prevent our vote.

American Elections: Needs Improvement

November 11, 2012

It’s been 5 days since the American people reelected President Barack Obama, but I’ve been thinking about how we could get more people voting since I read that somewhere on the order of 90 million eligible voters would not be voting this year.

Now, most of these are merely logistical tweaks to make it easier to vote rather than methods of encouraging people to do so, but here’s what I’ve come up with:

  • Election day should be a federal holiday- this should be obvious. In this country we extol voting as the duty of every American, and we have a day off for Columbus (!) but not for voting? This must be rectified.
  • Mail-in-ballots should not require postage. This should be built into the system. If you are sending your ballot through the United States Postal Service to do your civic duty as an American, you should not need to first go out and buy stamps.
  • Public transit should be free on election day. We should be able to vote, even if we don’t have cars.
  • The Electoral College should be replaced with direct popular vote. Currently, if you are in a strongly partisan state, your vote for President has much less value than if you live in a swing state- the awareness of this fact serves to depress voter turnout and reduce engagement even for state and local matters where the Electoral College has no direct effect.
  • Voting machines without paper trails should be eliminated with extreme prejudice. We cannot afford to have either the reality or the appearance of crooked elections.
  • We need to have Citizens United (Orwellian naming schemes, how reassuring) undone. People should not have to compete with multinational organizations for control of the country. I’m not picky about how to undo that ruling: Constitutional amendment could work if the justice system doesn’t clean its own house. (This country was formed after the British Crown taxed the colonialists to make up for a tax break to a too-big-to-fail East India Company, one of the first multinational corporations. Don’t try to tell me that an impartial ruling based on the constitution indicates that the founders wanted companies to be treated like people.)


Please share more ideas in the comments.

Sokka: Cat of Light and Shadow

November 10, 2012



And other absurdly pretentious titles. Here are the pics:


The Nightmare Before Christmas

November 9, 2012

This movie, a story about a mid-life crisis, has wonderful music and engaging characters…

… I know. Mid-life crisis?

The main character is a man successful in his field, but he feels empty:

He decides on a drastic change in career, radically changes his wardrobe and gets a new ride:

And starts a romance with a woman much younger than him:

At the end, the moral is that it isn’t a matter of what you do, but of loving whatever you do, and making connections along the way.

So, my dear readers, am I wrong?

I’ve returned.

November 9, 2012

Now that I’m back, I’m planning on spending more time articulating, organizing and developing my ideas, and spending less time on daily politics. I’m also thinking of adding more weekly topics to join Sokka, (who will still be appearing on weekends, fear not) and spending some time reviewing occasional extraordinary nonfiction as well as fiction.

Starting with a somewhat unusual take on Nightmare before Christmas, which I will post shortly.