Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Jen McCreight still has that feminism stick firmly implanted good and deep up her ass.

So, Jen attended some atheist group meeting at her grad school, and had this exchange with some guys.
Guy 1: So, what was your talk in Minnesota about?
Me: The intersection of atheism and feminism, what we can do to get more women to leave religion, and how to make the atheist movement more welcoming to women.
Guy 2: Cool! Is the lack of women really that big of an issue? I'm just new to everything.
Me: For a lot of groups, yeah. I mean, just look at ours. There are only three women.
Everyone: Yeah... *shame*
Guy 3: Heh, I'm dating a third of the SSU's women.
Me: So yeah, I talked about how to make groups more welcoming so more women join.
Guy 4: I guess that's a good thing.Means there would be more girls to date.
Everyone: *glare*
Me: Um, that's precisely what you shouldn't say.
Apparently, Guy 4's statement is sexist or something. So, Jen posted the conversation [EDIT: Jen has moved her blog, and the old site no longer has the comments. New link here.] and said,
It's fine to be attracted to someone and date within a group, but don't only see a woman as Person Who I Want to Sleep With.
Her little post sparked a wee bit of controversy, gaining 112 reader comments at this writing. Some comments were guys defending Guy 4, and some were from the hordes of Jennyites complaining bitterly about the "dudez" who are "mansplaining"  Guy 4's rather (IMHO) innocuous statement. One comment was from a lady who mentioned that she would like to meet guys at atheist meetings. No one responded to her.

Matt Dillahunty (full disclosure: he is one of my heroes) left the most thoughtful comment in response to some foolisheness from Julie Lada. She said,
What was said was that he "guessed" that more women in atheist organizations was a good thing because it "meant more girls to date." So this guy can't see a reason outside of how it could benefit his dick to have more women in the group. Not that they'd add a unique perspective or contribute interesting ideas. Nope, boobies and blowjobs, amirite?
Matt responded in part with,
This frequent representation of heterosexual men as slobbering sex maniacs who objectify women such that "date" really equates to "boobies and blowjobs" is pathetic. It's narrow-minded and sexist - and shameful ... and it may hurt the cause even more than what "Guy4" said.

Are there guys like that? Sure...and there are women like that - and that goes for every sexual identity I've encountered.

Jen is completely correct that this response from him is part of the problem, but it's part of the problem because it tends to give the wrong impression - not because his intent is somehow base and repugnant. Your response is also part of the problem - because you're alienating men by misrepresenting them as inconsiderate, sex-crazed pigs.
Jen didn't respond to Matt. Some people did, but not Jen. You see, Jen does not engage in debate or conversation when it comes to her feminism posts. She puts up the post and expects everyone to agree with her. She gets upset and frustrated when people disagree. Instead of engaging Matt in thoughtful discussion, she made a new post where she posted a comic.

Um, ok, kinda simplistic. Not really funny, but the point is made, I guess.

This post also got a bunch of comments. One person said, "I'd say you just won. ;)" I guess she liked the comic. One guy (or "d00d") by the name of Joe T simply said, "Sigh, whatever" and posted a link to this cartoon.

Again, rather simplistic, but at least funny.

So, if the discussion of feminism in the atheist community is to be boiled down to the most simplistic terms, allow me to point out the obvious in the most simplistic way I can manage.
  1. Men like to fuck.
  2. Women like to fuck.
  3. Straight/bi men and women like to fuck each other.
  4. Where ever straight/bi men and women gather, someone is gonna try to fuck someone.
  5. Don't sweat the fucking.
  6. Men, don't be pigs about wanting to fuck.
  7. Women, don't whine about men wanting to fuck.
And, Jen, yank that stick out of your ass already.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Admit it: You like to get high

We all like to get high. Roller coasters, skiing, dancing, gambling, sex, alcohol, and illicit drugs all get us high. And, I doubt that there is a person in the world who doesn't get high one way or another every now and then.

Even as a child, you got high. With your arms out straight, you would spin around and around, faster and faster, until you collapsed onto the ground, giggling joyfully with the dizziness and lightheaded feeling. Your uncle would pick you up by your legs and spin you about. After you recovered, you would beg for more. During recess at school, you would play on the merry-go-round, hanging on for dear life as the older kids spun it faster and faster.

You loved it, and you were getting high.

The desire to get high has always been part of being human. Archeologists, historians and scientists agree that agriculture started about 10,000 years ago in Mesopotamia with the planting of grain. What they can't agree on is whether that grain was first harvested for making bread or beer. Regardless which came first, alcohol has always been well loved. Up until this century, it was common practice for people to drink during lunch before going back to work.

Thrill seekers can get high without ingesting anything. Surfing, sky-diving and mountain climbing all produce an adrenaline rush. It's the same as getting high.

Some get high by going to church and worshiping false gods.

Some eat chocolate.

Some like to get high by smoking marijuana. Some snort coke. Some shoot heroin. Yet, they are condemned by society as sick and immoral. Perhaps some are sick. Heroin is a dangerous drug; it can easily lead to addiction or death. The health problems associated with abusing drugs are well documented. As are the problems with eating too much chocolate. Chocolate is dangerous, but people do not view it as immoral.

We all like to get high, and we should let people get high anyway they please. Skiing, chocolate, marijuana and spinning around in circles are all legitimate ways to get high. You have your way, I have mine.

I smoke pot to get high. I make no apologies.

Hillary Clinton doesn't understand the effects of prohibition

I have a good friend living in San Franscico who is a member of the libertarian wing of the Tea Party, and he often sends me links to ReasonTV videos. ReasonTV is not television, and lacks much in the line of reason, but they nailed it on this video.

Prohibition increases the value of any commodity. There is a reason why so many pot farmers want to keep marijuana illegal. The price of weed would drop dramatically if it was completely legal. It's just too damn easy to grow. And, with that price drop, the profits of small farmers would dry up rather quickly. Without the high profits, it no longer makes good business sense for criminal gangs to get involved with drug dealing.

The quickest, easiest, and cheapest way to end the violent drug wars in Mexico would be for the United States to legalize all drugs. Instead of gangs killing each other fighting over the inflated profits, corporations would be suing each other in court over much smaller profits.

Most of the harm that people believe is caused by drugs is actually caused by the war on drugs.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Introducing the Machine

I've been silent for a bit. I have excuses, though.
  1. I'm lazy.
  2. I work twelve hour days.
  3. I am getting over a bout of the flu. I shall get a flu shot next year.
  4. I have recently discovered Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton movies. Those dudes are total geniuses. I recommend getting stoned before watching. It's better that way.
  5. I have a machine. It makes happiness.
My dad got me The Machine for Christmas. He bought it from a friend who needed $50 more than he needed the machine. Bummer for him.

Isn't it pretty?
The Machine is an Zephyr Ion Vaporizer. It vaporizes cannabis instead of burning it, so the smoker (vaporer? vapor inhaler? stoner?) need not inhale a bunch of tar, smoke, resin or other nastiness. It is supposedly safer. If you want a further discussion concerning clinical trials and science and stuff, I suggest you check out Wikipedia.
Vaporization is an alternative to burning (smoking) which avoids the production of irritating, toxic, and carcinogenic by-products by heating the material so its active compounds boil off into a vapor. No combustion occurs, so no smoke or taste of smoke is present. Vapor ideally contains virtually zero particulate matter or tar, and significantly lower concentrations of noxious gases such as carbon monoxide. Vaporizers contain various forms of extraction chambers including straight bore, venturi or sequential venturi and are made of materials such as metal or glass. The extracted vapor may be collected in a jar or inflatable bag, or inhaled directly through a hose or pipe. With little to no smoke produced and cooler temperatures, less material is required to achieve a given level of effect. Hence, the irritating and harmful effects of smoking are greatly reduced or eliminated,[1][2][3][4][5] as is secondhand smoke. 
In comparison to other drug delivery methods such as ingestion, vaporization has a more rapid onset of pharmacological effect, direct delivery into the bloodstream (via the lungs), and more precise titration such that the desired level is reached and not exceeded, enabling consistent and appropriate dosage.
Those editors at Wikipedia sure do like big words, don't they. Don't feel bad. I have no fucking clue what venturi or titration mean either. If you are curious, you can wander over to Wikipedia and click on their links. If I was a good responsible blogger, I would have kept their links in the copied and pasted text, but reformatting Wikipedia's HTML to fit Blogger can be a pain in the ass (Note to Google: fucking fix that, already.). Besides, I've been vaping tonight, so reading HTML is even more confusing than usual.

The Machine may appear complicated at first glance, but it is easy to use. Simply turn it on, fill the basket with product, insert said basket, close the lid, attach the bag, and fill.

After just a few minutes, the bag is filled with sweet vapor. Remove, and inhale.

No coughing. No burning of the throat. No chance of burning down the house because some stoned hippie bastard was a little careless with the lighter. Just a beautiful high.

Now, I know exactly what you're thinking. Why so long to write about the beautiful Machine? Well, I've hadn't any ganja until this week. I don't buy or smoke that reguraly, and I haven't bought any recently. But, the other day, getting home from work, I found a bag shoved under my door. I wonder where that came from.

And, I'm sure you're wondering, where, oh where, can you get your very own Zephyr Ion? Well, they are voluntarily and temporarily out of business. Worried about the govmint or something. But, fear not, Amazon has a bunch of other vaporizers for sale. Happy vaping!

I do wonder why the govmint is so damn set on harassing harmless stoners. Our last three presidents have all been confirmed potheads at one time or another. You'd think they would cut their fellow tokers some slack, but, no, they got to make sure they look tough on crime. Hypocrites.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wisconsin Senate votes to strip away collective bargaining rights

Remember, this is not about balancing a budget. Wisconsin is not broke. This is politics, a cynical move designed to weaken unions, weaken workers and weaken the Democratic Party. The plan behind this move is to defund public unions. Without their funding, unions would not be able to donate to political campaigns. Some Wisconsin GOP leader was honest enough to say so on live TV.

Their plan won't succeed. The American worker has wakened, and they are angry.

The battle is not lost, the fight shall go on.

Michael Moore in Wisconsin

America is not broke. We do have plenty of money. We can afford to give workers decent pay and decent benefits. The rich just don't want to. They want more for themselves. Our county has plenty of cash. Watch the video, and remember what he says at the end.
Never forget, as long as that Constitution of ours still stands, it's one person, one vote, and it's the thing the rich hate most about America -- no matter how hard they try to buy the votes, no matter how hard they try to own the political process, when it comes down to it, it's one person, one vote, and there are a hell of a lot more of us than there are of them!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Some thoughts on free speech

I'm not an absolutist when it comes to free speech, but I come awfully damn close. Speech is our most cherished right, but there are limits. The most obvious, and cliché, example is the prohibition of yelling "Fire" in a crowded theater. The danger to the public outweighs any right to speech the yeller may have. In my view, pornography is also a no brainer. As long as it is consensual and adult, one should be able to make and distribute any type porn they can imagine. Other exceptions to free speech are not quite so obvious. Where exactly the lines are drawn is often fiercely debated, and I frequently find myself questioning my own views.

Take the recent Supreme Court case involving the Westboro Baptist Church. Protest, even that with the most hateful language, is permitted, but at a funeral? I think the Court decided properly here. The families feel pain in having a funeral become a circus, but that does not warrant prohibiting protest. The state should be able to restrict the speech to a distance away from the funeral, but not so far as to make the protest invisible.

Continuing on the hate theme, some dumbass fashion designer is facing charges of hate speech in France for making anti-semitic remarks. His drunken rants were certainly hateful, but they ought not be considered criminal. Outlawing hate speech is essentially policing thought. If one feels hate, even unjustified bigotry, it is their thoughts. That cannot be policed, and the uttering of such thoughts should not be policed either. There is a very steep slippery slope here. Religious groups may claim hate when they are confronted with speech that questions their superstitions. Many Muslims considered those infamous Danish cartoons to be hate speech. They may feel it was hate speech, but others thought they were just vaguely amusing cartoons. The answer to hate is not the courts, but education and peer pressure.

Recently in New York, a retired man was arrested for jury tampering. He would spend his days standing in front of courthouses handing out literature encouraging people to use the concept of jury nullification of law in trials where the jurors may feel a law was unjust. A rather rare and often unheard of concept, jury nullification is perfectly legal, and in some cases proper. For instance, if I ever found myself on the jury for a pot dealing trial, I would vote for acquittal, and the other jurors would not be able to sway me.

But prosecutors do not like jury nullification, so some annoyed prosecutors decided to charge the man with jury tampering. I feel that this is a clear cut case of protected speech, and the prosecutors ought to be chastised, and maybe prosecuted themselves, for abuse of power. After all, this is a case of one old man handing our political pamphlets on the sidewalk, an American tradition stretching back to the Colonial days. Just the arrest itself is suppression of speech.

On piece of news got me scratching my head trying to figure out my thoughts and opinions. It seems that our neighbors to the north have a law against news broadcasters lying. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. wrote a piece recently that stated,
Canada's Radio Act requires that "a licenser may not broadcast ... any false or misleading news." The provision has kept Fox News and right-wing talk radio out of Canada and helped make Canada a model for liberal democracy and freedom. As a result of that law, Canadians enjoy high quality news coverage, including the kind of foreign affairs and investigative journalism that flourished in this country before Ronald Reagan abolished the "Fairness Doctrine" in 1987. Political dialogue in Canada is marked by civility, modesty, honesty, collegiality, and idealism that have pretty much disappeared on the US airwaves.
Now, this got me wondering. Is such a law just? Could it work in the States? Is it possible to force Fox to either be honest or quit broadcasting? I'm rather torn on this one. Fox is notoriously dishonest. Whole websites and YouTube channels are dedicated to documenting their dishonesty. And, their deceit is damaging to our nation. Far too many people (teabaggers) believe the bullshit that Fox attempts to pass as news, so their harm is readily apparent. But, would this become censoring the news? I'm afraid it may be going a step too far. Freedom of the press is cherished, and necessary for a democracy to survive. Perhaps it would be better if other news organizations kept exposing their dishonesty. Perhaps a happy compromise would be to charge them with false advertising. That "Fair and Balanced" slogan could easily be considered deceptive. I cannot decide on this issue. I like the idea, but it seems dangerous.

Fisting for dummies

No, not that kind of fisting, you perv. I'm talking socialism.

via Joe.My.God.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Class warfare is already here.

via MoveOn

A bit of good news for women's rights

With the Republican current war on women, things have been looking bleak for women's rights, especially reproductive rights. But, finally, a bit of good news from New York.
The City Council passed a bill on Wednesday seeking more transparency from crisis pregnancy centers that present themselves as medical clinics but that critics say offer little more than pregnancy tests and counseling intended to steer women away from abortions.

“The goal of this bill is to ensure that women are fully informed and not deceived,” the Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, said. “Women need to know, they have a right to know, whether they are consulting with a licensed medical provider.”
I see signs for these "pregnancy centers" all the time on the subway. The signs sometimes mention that there are alternatives to abortion,  but usually fail to disclose that the centers are anti-choice and Christian run. Their main tactic is to get young, poor, scared girls into their clinics and then convince them that abortion is evil. The centers do not refer patients to abortion providers, and they usually do not even provide condoms or birth control information.

Ariel Kaminer visited three centers while pregnant, and wrote of the experiences for the New York Times.
It’s my body, my choice, Ms. Marzulla told me, invoking the old abortion rights rallying cry with a new, antiabortion twist, “but someone else is involved, too.” Almost as an afterthought, she told me that Margaret Sanger, the hero of the reproductive rights movement, had ties to the Third Reich.

The pamphlet she gave me about the risks of abortion mentioned breast cancer, a link the National Cancer Institute has refuted, and something called post-abortion syndrome, for which the American Psychological Association, among others, says there is no evidence. As for the physical risks of pregnancy and childbirth? There was no pamphlet to discuss them.
The sole reason for these centers existence is not women's health, but the pushing of a political agenda. This bill will force them to disclose what they will and will not provide.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Faux News lies again


The footage of the union protests looks pretty disturbing. Did you see the union thugs shoving people? Did you also see the palm trees in the background?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fundamentalist feminists outraged that woman makes her own choice

Wait. Fundamentalist? Isn't that word usually used in relation to religion?

Merriam-Webster gives two definitions for fundamentalist, with the second being "a movement or attitude stressing strict or literal adherence to a set of basic principals." Many feminists express their views, and disagree so strongly when one does not live by their standards, that they are indeed fundamentalists.

Take the case of Quiana Stokes, a woman who has made a lifestyle choice that outrages many feminists. Ms Stokes is a self proclaimed stay-at-home-girlfriend (SAHG). She lost her coorporate job months ago, and now besides looking for a new job, she takes care of home and boyfriend. Perhaps Stepfordish or June Cleaverish, but her own choice. And, a choice that, judging by her writing, makes her content.
What was a matter of convenience before is now a matter of financial survival—while I’ve always been someone who’s really into keeping her boyfriend happy (that’s how I was raised), it’s now my primary occupation after job-seeking.
She goes on in her article to list her rules for being a good SAHG. Cleaning, cooking, pampering, and "sexy time" are all discussed. She does seem to be a bit of a throwback to the 50's, but it's her damn life. Live and let live, I say, but others are somewhat perturbed. From the comments:
This isn’t enough of a satire to be even 15% funny. It’s just regressive and enraging. - Caroline Shadood

Sorry but…..WTF year are we living in? This article actually makes me feel nauseous. Maybe you should just stay unemployed–then maybe he’ll propose! - REB

It sounds like you’re self-flagellating for being unemployed, and trying to show gratitude that your boyfriend is letting you live with him. That’s fine. But wow… - Jess
whoa i just barfed - the grizz

what in the hot hell? Is this a collaboration with The Onion you forgot to announce properly - Patrice

I’m about 99.44% sure this is actually written by a guy under a pseudonym. - Justin

This is disgusting! At first I tried to give the author the benefit of the doubt, assuming that because she probably couldn’t pay her half of the bills, that she was making up for it in other ways. -BUT- Then I saw her comment in response to every readers’ comment about how sickening this article is, and she states that she DOES split the bills with him. So, this is SICK, SICK, SICK! You clearly do not garner any respect from him on any other level so you feel the need to make up for it in every single other department! Are you really that desperate or afraid that he won’t care for you unless you act like a maid/mother/sex slave? Come on! It’s one thing to do a little extra, but to go to this extent and then actually write an article on it advising others of your craziness! GET A LIFE … and some RESPECT for yourself! You’re mis-representing women everywhere with this CRAP! - Amanda

And I just browsed through the first fifty or so comments out of over two hundred. Some are supportive, and some insult the femminists, but many are outraged or claim that the article must be satire. After all, it can't be real.

Other bloggers have jumped on the anger bandwagon. Richard Larson at Gawker, Sadie Stein at Jezebel, Jen Carlson at Gothamist, and Jenna Goudreau at Forbes have all written articles criticizing Ms Stokes for her lack of feminist ideals. Did these writers forget that the main component to a free society is freedom? As in freedom to live life as one sees fit, without having to meet some other's supposed ideal. Stokes is harming no one with her choices. She is not setting feminism back fifty years. She has made her choice. I would think that a feminist would support her choice, and not bemoan the fact that she does not fit into some kind of feminist groupthink.

Interestingly, all of the bloggers mentioned above illustrated their articles with photos of white women doing housework, with the exception of the Forbes piece which had a photo of a white mannequin stuffed into a refrigerator. Quiana Stokes is black. Is that racist?