vasaris: (cuddle cthulhu! by Vasaris)
This has been a remarkable week for feminine badassery -- whether one agrees with Texas State Senator Wendy Davis or not, it seems to me that one has to be impressed by any person who can talk for 11.5 hours and stay on topic (because the times they said she wasn't on topic -- it's only off topic if you're an ingorant twit), do so without water, food, or a bathroom break, and still look like they're willing (and able) to take on the world. Texas State Senator Leticia Van de Putte's pointed -- and timely -- comment still makes me smile. And Rep. Duckworth? She is a warrior goddess whose disguise as a double leg amputee does not work very well. I will never believe she is anything other than Adrasteia incarnate.

But this isn't about women being badass and awesome and amazing, this is about a man poorly representing his sex, gender, and political party. )
vasaris: (Default)
You know, it bothers me a lot less when a conservative tells me s/he thinks I'm wrong than when s/he says I'm unAmerican. Every time I even glance at the backlash against Obama's win, I come away with a sick horror. For all that I find a lot of the visible, frothing GOP to be OMG, WTF batshit, with a side order zealot-frosted krazykakes, I don't doubt that they're American. I totally understand disappointment, even fear (because I honestly do fear the GOP, not just on the front of human rights, but in how the GOP views America vs. the rest of the world, deities above, below, and in the deep blue sea...), but I cannot understand, or condone the "America died" and "We should secede" rhetoric, much less the claims of we weren't divisive enough, WTF?. Aside from the obvious issues (sovereign nations provide their own currency, security, and such, that I doubt right wing separationists have thought of), it boggles me that that is somehow a rational response.

In a GOP win, I would have tried to fight within the system, supporting issues at a state level, even if they couldn't be managed at the federal level. I would campaign, and call, and argue one person at a time if necessary.

But I would never have called GOP supporters unAmerican. I would never have said Washinton, California, and Oregon should secede from the Union (despite the fact I'm fairly certain they could be self supporting as a group). Because, yeah, I think they're wrong in ways that matter deeply to me, but I don't think they're magically not American.

So... Dear GOP: Get Over Yourselves, because We're Americans Too.
vasaris: (buy a clue)
I kind of want to marry State Senator Nina Turner of Ohio. I believe we totally should ensure that the fragile state of male reproductive health should have as many vigorous and prying inquiries made into it as so many State representatives and senators would like to have regulating us poor, weak-minded, foolish-for-thinking-our-bodies-belong-to-us women.

I also want to apologize to all moderate, reasonable, fiscal-conservative, non-asshole Republicans for the fact that this giant bag of offal believes that s/h/it is on your side. I mean, you've got a wide variety of flaming assweasels asserting that every last one of you are bigoted, racist, misogynistic, gay-bi-transgender-queer-despising -- oh, let's be realistic and call it human hatinging in the name of God, mostly, since they come across as 'We hate everyone who is not a member of our specific God-worship, because if it's not our way you're wrong and going to Hell', so, y'know, everyone who isn't them -- jerkface meaniebutts, but I'm fairly certain that's not all Republicans. And this is me, still failing to understand why anyone worships a God that apparently hates everyone in the name of Love. I'm pretty sure the Bible doesn't mean what these people think it means. *boggle* For that matter, why anyone would assume that God would want people who use him/her as an excuse to hate everyone around them is also pretty baffling, to be honest.

I mean, Liberals have more than their share of assweasels, but What-The-Everloving-Crap is that bumper sticker? Other than grossly offensive, jaw dropping, and likely to turn people's brains off with outrage (or force them offline with an error on their boot disc, because I mostly just wandered around with an 'I... can't parse that' but it took a while to get my mind functional again, what with having to load Windows into safe mode and resetting to a previous save point, and hoping that my backups hadn't been corrupted.)

So... I'm sorry that not only do the shit-flinging jerks make your side look stupid, it's making your side look like it's made entirely of terrifyingly ignorant and bigoted assholes. Seriously, after the Limbaugh thing, it becomes just that much more difficult to take the Right very seriously, because I'm not-so-secretly thinking -- 'Why should I give a damn what a bunch of flamingly ignorant, wildly bigoted, humanity-hating jerks want for any reason?'

If someone is specifically after greater polarization in American Politics, that was surely the way to go.

...Osama bin Laden, is that your spectral laughter I hear?

(And now for a whole new method of terrorism that would certainly work a treat. Why bomb buildings if you can exacerbate the existing tensions enough to cause a country to collapse? o.0;)
vasaris: (buy a clue)
...and f-ing skids all over the bloody place.

Dan Newell, who briefly made the national spotlight last year was quietly given a light slap on the wrist and told to 'Go fourth and sin no more, you naughty boy.' )

Dan Newell is a public servant, a man in a position of authority over children in a small community. He should be held to higher standards than this. A deferred sentence is utter bullshit in this case. He plead Washington State's version of nolo contendre because he'd have been found guilty. They're letting him get away with saying "I won't admit to guilt, I can't be called guilty legally, because I didn't plead guilty and wasn't found guilty, but I know that I'd get hit with fines and stuff if I just let the whole thing go... but I want to keep my pension and keep setting a sterling example of justice and honor for the children of my community!"

Giving him a deferred sentence means that if he manages to keep his nose clean for a year, the official charges will be dropped. The whole thing blows over, and a man who has no buisness being the principal of the high school gets to continue with his life as though nothing had ever happend.

Several kids, at least one of which was over eighteen, were sacrificed to protect the reputation of a woman craven enough to run from the community instead of standing and saying she was wrong to allow her daughter to move out with her boyfriend when she was 15/16 years of age... craven enough to say "Well, if it's the difference between my daughter and I being charged with something or not... sure, Danny-boy called me and warned me. Go after him. I'm innocent in all of this, really."

And, apparently, this is all okay -- with the courts, with the kids who still worship him, with the school board that hems and haws, with the teachers that defend him and his 'kindness', with the parents who fail to demand his resignation.

What is wrong with these people? With this community? How can they just say... "Well, I guess it was just a little bad decisio nmaking. No worries! He'll not do it again, and your kids won't take it to mean that it's okay to break the law when you can say you're pure of heart... maybe."
vasaris: (cuddle cthulhu! by Vasaris)
A good politician will know both when to compromise and when to stand their ground, an uncertain one will do too much of one or the other. We have many politicans, IMO, but all too few statesmen/stateswomen. -- [livejournal.com profile] confettiofstars

Very true. I think it may be one of the problems of mass communications and information. When you had to wait for a candidate to show up, had to read his or her position in a written format -- then you had time to make up your mind. Heck, *they* had time to formulate what they wanted to say instead of making off-the-cuff mistakes, or misphrasings. With media bombardment it feels like you've got to make up your mind right this instant instead of allowing the year or so previous to the election give you enough information, in it's own time, to make an educated decision.

Maybe we should call it fast-food politics, since it's a lot like making decisions based on the pictures at the drive-thru at McDonalds. It's quick, easy, and just as bad for you, after all.

The ultimate shame of it is that our "fast-food politics" often means the louder, scarier minorities have a disproportionate voice because they apparently seem bright and shiny and appetizing to the consumer who can't be bothered to read the fine print about the nutritional content of what they're putting into office. People who either vote just along party lines, or only care about a few issues reach out for that big mac with extra-special-cyanide-sauce because the grilled chicken salad looks boring.

And then, because of the power we hold as a nation, everyone in the world gets the sloppy big mac, with supersized fries and a ginormous coke, when all they really wanted was a cup of water, maybe with a slice of lemon. Then they end up staring at the meal served to them with a hint of disgust, wondering what the hell is wrong with us.

...and there's a metaphor that got kind of out of control. Still, I think it may be a fair description of our current system because too many people bitch without trying to do anything about it, or vote out of habit instead of perusing the whole menu.
vasaris: (cuddle cthulhu! by Vasaris)
Our not-necessarily-beloved leader has an opportunity to appoint another justice to the Supreme court.

I think this sucks.

I think it has the potential to be fucking dangerous.

Thank you, oh so-called moral majority, for returning the lobotomized boxwood to office. I hope you're happy.

I still say the man's foreign policy, fanaticism, and general apparent stupidity is more than enough to have voted against him, even if you were opposed to gay marriage and abortion. The way he squandered the good will of the world is criminal.

Dear President Bush: You suck and Cheney swallows. Your overinflated egos are large enough to block the sun and kill the rest of the plant life on Earth. The next 3 and 1/4 years simply cannot pass fast enough. )

The man is STILL NOT MY PRESIDENT.

Many thanks to http://www.whatprice.co.uk/gardening/shrubs.html for plant names ;)
vasaris: (Default)
There are morons in Wisconsin who think that making contraceptives illegal is the way to go about making abortion illegal.

Apparently they don't get that given no other choice, women will use abortion as a form of contraception. It's pretty much a given. So... by making contraceptives illegal they will automatically boost the number of abortions in their state.

This. Is. Stupid.

I've ranted about pharmasists refusing to fill contraceptive prescriptions before -- it makes me incredibly angry. Many, many women take 'the pill' for medical reasons having nothing to do with the contraceptive aspect, that is merely a bonus.

But this simply doesn't matter, apparently. Everything must be done to protect a potential fetus, even when it isn't a fetus yet.

Dear Representative LeMahieu )
vasaris: (Default)
Big business and the USDA get together to shaft the little guy... and by extension the rest of us.

Okay, some of you aren't in the US, and thus it's of little interest to you. The rest of you may or may not have local dairys that are being caught up in this. Where I live there are several, the one that supplies milk to the store where I work being, in fact, just one of them. Even were it not the case, I am profoundly offended by the whole deal.

Kroger, Dairy Farmers of America, and Dean foods have gotten together to put family dairy farms out of business because, OMG local businesses with lower operating and delivery costs are able to undercut their prices and, OH NOES force them to take a hit locally in their profits if they try and compete.

THIS IS BULLSHIT.

Why the USDA has sided with big business because, oh waaaaaaaaambulance take me away!, they're experiencing the woes of a free-market economy (read $$$ in the right hands, at a guess) is beyond me. The government is supposed to protect us from cartels and price fixing... so this is bullshit. Why local dairys, which employ a fairly significant portion of the local population, should be forced to limit their own milk production and pay fines and/or throw out their milk if they overproduce just to keep the coroporate dairy farms in their huge profits is something I'm failing to understand. If the resoning was that dairy farms (all of them, not just the producer-handlers) should change their practices for other reasons (bovine growth hormones, conditions the cows are kept in, etc.) I'd applaud the whole idea, but if it is just so that big business can keep doing big business, then it's complete bullshit.

So, if you *do* live in the US, please take a look at this site and if you agree with me, send in a letter to the USDA (they've even got a handy form, so you can write in scathing comments if you wish!) regarding this issue.

SCORE!

Apr. 16th, 2005 12:50 pm
vasaris: (cuddle cthulhu! by Vasaris)
A big THANK YOU to [livejournal.com profile] zannechaos for pointing out the following:

Governor Blagojevich of Illinois has signed an emergency measure to keep pharmacists from refusing to fill birth control prescriptions.

I have ranted before about the issue of doctors and pharmacists denying women birth control so I don't really feel the need to re-hash that but I do have to bounce happily about the fact that someone is doing something about it!

GO GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH! YOU ROCK!

Or, he does in this instance, since I've no idea what his politics are the rest of the time.

I'm thinking I should write my new governor and tactfully suggest that she consider something similar. I've no idea if this is happening commonly in my state but I'd like to know that someone made sure it can't.
vasaris: (cuddle cthulhu! by Vasaris)
This week, after a rash of alien encounters, local high school teachers have been found to be operating with plain lime Jell-o between their ears instead of grey matter!

How do people think without at least marshmallows and pineapple bits to serve as neurons?

Apparently, they don't. )
vasaris: (bible)
Okay, I saw this on [livejournal.com profile] cleolinda's Journal, and OMGWTFBBQ just about covers it for the asshat in Virginia.

Several people have made reference to The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood. In a frightening kind of way, I think they're right -- and I thought The Handmaid's Tale was vaguely silly when I read it in college. Just goes to show just how freaking unworldly a self-aware and reasonably up-to-date 18-year-old can be.

Goddess (or, your Deity-of-Choice) preserve us from fools like these. Although, when it comes down to it, we really have to preserve ourselves, don't we?

That's just... there are no words.
vasaris: (Default)
I just have to say that I love Ken Schram, the KOMO4 editorialist.

I've whined about sex ed only obliquely, in discussions about being pro-choice/pro-life.

I come down on the side that educates, because ignorance is many things, but I don't think bliss is one of them.

Go Ken.

And if you enjoy snark and don't mind poking around Washington state politics (among other things) there's more where that came from.

I think he'd be too much fun on F_W. I really do.
vasaris: (cuddle cthulhu! by Vasaris)
It's an odd kind of thing, running into someone you knew in college that you haven't spoken to in years on LJ. It's kind of frustrating when they ask if you're you and then don't reply when you say, "Hey, wow! Yes! Hi, how are ya?"

Ah, well.

I'm fairly certain that in my various rantings about politics here and/or on JournalFen I've mentioned that I know rational conservatives that you can discuss politics with if you stay reasonable.

It's after the election, I know, but one of my best friends from school (whom I lost contact with and, as I said, I haven't spoken to in a long time) said some things in his LJ during the run up that I think are worth linking to.

David actually said this a lot better than I did. But then he always was more rational than me.

I think he's got a lot of good points (not that this comes as a surprise, he's a very bright guy, is David.) One of the most difficult issues in discussing politics in the US often ends up as being the issue of labeling.

I'm not talking about [livejournal.com profile] ari_o's reflexive response on the day after the election, when many liberals were walking wounded and lashing out. I'm not talking about [livejournal.com profile] kokopko's out of proportion response to it, either.

I'm talking about the fact that despite the fact that there are moderates all around us here in the US, we can't seem to find enough common ground to talk like grown ups instead of throwing rocks at one another. Or throwing rocks at ourselves.

Over on JournalFen, someone basically said "Not all Republican's are idiots, where's your liberal compassion?"

I thought that statement was both funny and frustrating. As a liberal, I am apparently expected to understand and forigive the other side while they ignore my commie-pinko-bleeding heart-tax everyone to death arm-waving. Suffice it to say, my 'liberal compassion' takes a beating fairly often.

Either way, it was a liberal labeling another liberal as an intolerant ass for speaking out in pain.

And, of course, we have our baby troll who insists that [livejournal.com profile] ari_o should apologize for having an opinion. Even if [livejournal.com profile] kokopoko found it hurtful, at least [livejournal.com profile] kokopoko knows up front what [livejournal.com profile] ari_o's prejudices are. (I personally find it hypocritical to say that [livejournal.com profile] ari_o is wrong for saying Bush supporters were stupid, while [livejournal.com profile] kokopoko thinks Kerry supporters are stupid, but is unwilling to air her prejudices in public. The prejudice is the same, but at least you know where one of them stands.)

But it's that kind of thing that keeps us from rational discussion. Reflexive labeling, whether it's the term idiot or Nazi or bleeding heart or greedy bastard. We're like children on a playground, spoiling for a fight, and the recess monitor isn't anywhere around.

There are some things I won't apologize for -- for saying that the people that [livejournal.com profile] wayfairer described are fanatics that scare me just as badly as Al Qaeda does or for saying that many who voted for Bush were foolish, particularly those who disagree with him on all issues but one.

I want to encounter more conservatives that I can talk to, who are willing to listen and find compromises. I want to encounter more liberals who are willing to do those things. I would like more politicians who are capable of doing more than voting the party line, and who comes up with the party lines anyway?

*sighs*

In any case, in perusing my old friend's journal, I am reminded a) of why I held him so dearly as a friend in school and b) that I can agree with many things a conservative believes, even if there are issues I would fight with him tooth and nail over.

And since I'm pointing out bits in his journal, once again David manages to express something I believe far better than I could. I am not Christian (although I hope he'd be glad to hear I'm no longer an atheist) but the point is well made. Legislating morality doesn't work very well. We've got all kinds of proof for that (not the least of which is the Prohibition). The only way we really can change things is through discussion and example, no matter where in the political or religious spectrum you stand.

My only addendum would be: Social change is not an instant thing, it takes time and effort and dedication, sometimes through generations. All we can really do is teach by doing and lead through example.

All I can hope is that we Americans, as a people and as a society, can learn to love one another enough to survive the slow splintering we're experiencing and, eventually, to heal it.
vasaris: (Default)
I know, I know. The blue smoke and smell of burning silicon gave it away. I apologize if anyone thought that their computer blew up because the hamster-wheels in my brain were working overtime.

Anyway, long ago I ranted long and hard about the whole gay marriage thing, mostly sparked by Orson Scott Card's (in my opinion appalling) treatise on how the whole notion threatens "traditional" families and all of that.

I just re-read it. It is well written and has some good points. On the whole, though, it still scares the daylights out of me.

But, that's not where I was going with this.

I've been thinking about Mr. Card's statement that:
So if my friends insist on calling what they do "marriage," they are not turning their relationship into what my wife and I have created, because no court has the power to change what their relationship actually is.

Instead they are attempting to strike a death blow against the well-earned protected status of our, and every other, real marriage.

They steal from me what I treasure most, and gain for themselves nothing at all. They won't be married. They'll just be playing dress-up in their parents' clothes.


This bothers me for a lot of reasons. First and foremost, of course, because I disagree with him on numerous points about what marriage is supposed to be. If we want to get technical about it, it's about handing over property with the side-benefit of potential children. If that's what he wants, why don't we go back to arranged marriages? You know, the ones where neither spouse might have had a say in the matter. After all, the only thing that matters is reproduction.

On a side note, I wonder if his wife knows that he only married her for her uterus? But then, by these lights, she only married him for his testicles, so I suppose they're even.

In any case, as I was driving to work the other day something fairly horrible occurred to me. In Mr. Card's arguments (and some I've seen or heard elsewhere) the emotional factors of a homosexual couple are either not addressed -- or considered invalid or evil.

The emotions themselves. Mr. Card does not come out and say this, although I think his words are telling:

They won't be married. They'll just be playing dress-up in their parents' clothes.

As if the feelings gay couples have for one another, their commitment to one another is somehow an act or a falsity?

Does he really believe this?

Does the conservative Christian front truly believe that somehow their love is more true? More real? More valid? Their kind of love is better than anyone elses because they say so?

Do they just think that gays are faking it?

*boggles*

Once one sets aside the whole religious issue -- is that what we're really talking about?

Let's take a look at marriage, shall we? Dictionary.com defines marriage as:
mar·riage ( P ) Pronunciation Key (mrj)
n.

1. The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife.
2. The state of being married; wedlock.
3. A common-law marriage.
4. A union between two persons having the customary but usually not the legal force of marriage: a same-sex marriage.

Okay, I've already talked about the first one. And I was glad to see #4.

(Y'know, the whole thing is hideously self-referential, as though marriage is one of those Platonic Ideas that doesn't really have to be explained.)

Poking around a bit more gets you to:
mar·ried ( P ) Pronunciation Key (mrd)
adj.

1. a) Having a spouse: a married woman; a married man.
b) United in matrimony: a married couple.

2. a) Of or relating to the state of marriage: married bliss.
b) Acquired through marriage: her married name.

3. Closely connected; united.

When it comes down to it, when we talk about marriage, whether it's between people or herbs, we're talking about 3. Closely connected; united.

You'll note that this doesn't have a thing to do with children, as claimed by Mr. Card.

Note also that the traditional wedding vows also have naught to do with the conception or raising of children, either.

Marriage is the union of husband and wife in heart, body and mind. It is intended for their mutual joy – and for the help and comfort given on another in prosperity and adversity. But more importantly – it is a means through which a stable and loving environment may be attained.

Other than the bit about husband and wife, what here could not be applied to a homosexual couple?

Or, perhaps:
This is a beginning and a continuation of their growth as individuals. With mutual care, respect, responsibility and knowledge comes the affirmation of each one’s own life happiness, growth and freedom. With respect for individual boundaries comes the freedom to love unconditionally. Within the emotional safety of a loving relationship – the knowledge self-offered one another becomes the fertile soil for continued growth. With care and responsibility towards self and one another comes the potential for full and happy lives.

The growth of people who may or may not have children.

Or:
Do you GROOM'S NAME take BRIDE'S NAME to be your wife – to live together after God’s ordinance – in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sadness and in joy, to cherish and continually bestow upon her your heart’s deepest devotion, forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto her as long as you both shall live?

The commitment of people to one another, through adversity and good times.

And:

May this/these ring(s) be blessed as the symbol of this affectionate unity. These two lives are now joined in one unbroken circle. Wherever they go – may they always return to one another. May these two find in each other the love for which all men and women year. May they grow in understanding and in compassion. May the home which they establish together be such a place that many will find there a friend. May this/these ring(s) on her/their finger(s) symbolize the touch of the spirit of love in their hearts.

Thus, I'd have to argue that marriage, at least as it is held in the common view, is about the commitment of two people to one another. Not reproduction. Not children.

It's about people and about love.

And love, in my belief system, knows no boundaries or genders. The love a person feels is always valid. It's sometimes foolish but it is always valid.
vasaris: (Default)
Not that I didn't know this already, but Wankprophet is a minor deity.

Amen.
vasaris: (FOSbycesare)
Wow. I seem to have acquired a troll over on JournalFen because, apparently, [livejournal.com profile] ari_o should apologize for labeling people. Again. That's what, three or four statements calling [livejournal.com profile] ari_o evil and/or demanding an apology on behalf of several million unaware Bush supporters?

...and [livejournal.com profile] kokopoko called me a fanatic. All of this childish inisitence over whether or not liberals think conservatives are nuts and vice versa.

*boggles*

If [livejournal.com profile] ari_o apologizes, I'm gonna thump her with a wet noodle. Really.

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