Tag Archives: fake conservatives

Well, That Didn’t Take Long

12 Feb

sweet fancy mosesSee, it’s like riding a bike. My righteous indignation is back!!

Explain to me HOW IS THIS NOT BIG GOVERNMENT? You don’t want regulation of oil companies. You don’t want the government telling companies they have to pay for their employees’ whore pills, but this? This magnificent pile of horse excrement is just dandy? From thinkprogress.org:

A Republican lawmaker in Montana wants to prevent women from wearing leggings as pants, and he hopes that his proposed bill to strengthen the state’s indecent exposure law will be a step in that direction.

This week, State Rep. David Moore (R) introduced House Bill 365, which would outlaw “any device, costume, or covering that gives the appearance of or simulates the genitals, pubic hair, anus region, or pubic hair region.” Under that legislative language, “tight-fitting beige clothing” would likely be banned, according to the local lawmaker.

The Billings Gazette reports that Moore would have preferred to ban yoga pants of all colors; he favors giving the cops the power to arrest people for wearing “provocative” clothing. But HB 365 stops short of that because Moore wasn’t sure whether it would be possible for police to enforce a broader ban.

So.

It’s okay because it’s the state and not the federals? It’s okay because otherwise women might want to dress the way we damn well please even if it’s beyond the scope of taste, reason, and comfort? Men are giant Penis Beasts who can’t control themselves? I’m not sure what we’re about here with the dress codes. People get mad at people whose clothes are too tight, but also mad if they’re too baggy. Take that link if only because the Ocala, FL councilwoman who backs the ban has this to say, “Everyone’s saying I’m targeting young black men…I’m black. I’ve been black for a long time, why would I be targeting black men?” I love everything about that statement. The ridiculous logic. The fact one thing has nothing to do with the other. The idea she may have been born Korean.

Me? I got no issue feeling safe around a dude whose pants are literally around his ankles. What’s he going to do? I mean, he could trip on me to death. And while I wholeheartedly agree that leggings are not pants (FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S HOLY, LEGGINGS ARE NOT PANTS), just ask any mother of a middle-schooler: You cannot legislate taste.

I am constantly amazed at the way the faux conservative’s mind works. He believes in personal responsibility, goddammit. But can’t be trusted around women in Lycra. Government can’t tell him where he can pray, but we should lock up Muslims. Laws take away our freedoms, but we should outlaw nipples in public. Even when they are being used for their actual purpose because BOOBIES!

I’m just curious. How will this impact ski pants? Isn’t skiing kind of important for the Montana economy? And can’t those things get a little tight?

I’ll be back Monday when I’ll probably go back to talking about drinking fabric softener.

Swimming To The Surface

25 Jun

2102_47438731251_2845_nI told you I’d be gone and then back. The “back” part has given me a little trouble. I just spent a long weekend with my honey. I don’t remember the last time we went out of town just the two of us. And this trip was to a magical place with no cellphone reception or internet. It was incredible. And I mean that in the true sense of the word. I actually didn’t believe we were there. It was so amazing, I only complained about bugs like ten times.

We did quite a bit of fishing. By that I mean we sacrificed many yummy worms to tiny baby fish. We only hauled up about three, only one of which was worth heating up the grease for. It was a 22 inch catfish. Yes, I know. I’m supposed to tell you its weight, not its length. We didn’t have anything to weigh it it and I am notoriously bad at estimating anything that requires a number value. “Oh, it’s about a hundred yards from here.” That means nothing to me. A yard, a mile, a hectare? All the same. Oh, and don’t get me started on stones. One stone equals fourteen pounds? You know what else equals fourteen pounds? Fourteen pounds.

But that’s not the point. The point is that I’ve been in a self-imposed news exile for several months. Lookit, I know. I KNOW. You don’t need to give me all the crap about caring what goes on in the world and how we’re all connected and being a clueless American. Suck it. I’ve got enough drama here in the Greater Metropolitan Standard Shed Area. I don’t need yours too. So I’m just going to get it out all in one fell swoop.

Let’s begin, shall we? In no particular order…

  1. SCOTUS knocks down a key piece of Voting Rights Act saying that because it’s worked, we no longer need it. Okay, I see where they’re going with this. Following this logic, The Supremes will ban birth control by ruling, “Hey, you didn’t get knocked up last year, did you? No. It worked. You don’t need it anymore. NEXT!”
  2. Paula Deen’s sons say she’s not a racist! She let us watch Hank Aaron! Y’all, stick some butter in your pie holes and be quiet. But even more? Gentle readers, stop assuming that because she’s a Southern woman of a certain age she doesn’t know any better or doesn’t mean anything by it.
  3. In Texas, according to State Representative Jodie Laubenberg, if you’re raped and report it, you get a complimentary abortion! Apparently, “in the emergency room they have what’s called rape kits, where a woman can get cleaned out.”  To quote my extremely profound husband, “Wow.”
  4. Twenty-three Seven years ago, I was denied admission to Bennington College. Why they chose not to accept my application is beyond me. Who WOULDN’T want me at their school? Who could possibly deny themselves the pleasure of my company? I shall now sue. Some kid gets denied admission to University of Texas and, I can only imagine, is then hounded by some lawyer wanting to make a (literal) federal case that she was denied admission because she was white. So, all I want to say about this is that she WAS admitted to Texas, just not the Austin campus. She then chose to go to LSU. I don’t know the ins and outs of all this, but I do know this: If she’d really wanted to end up on that Austin campus, she could have worked at it. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and whatnot.
  5. This really isn’t bad news, but I thought I’d include it anyway. Rick Santorum is going to head a “faith-based” movie studio in Dallas. First, moving away from politics is an excellent decision. But. I’m always skeptical of companies who make a big deal that they’re “faith-based” or “Christian”. To me if you’re walking the walk, you don’t need to advertise your talk. I find it in poor taste to use faith and religion in marketing. And by “in poor taste” I mean “desperate”.

Things Currently Annoying Me

8 Feb
  1. Westbound Poplar drivers who think it’s nice to let an eastbound moron turn into Office Depot across two lanes of traffic. Just because you in the inside lane are trying to be nice doesn’t mean the outside lane feels the same. Idiot should have turned in from Mendenhall. LIKE A SANE PERSON.
  2. That I am now, officially, A Memphis Driver.
  3. Frothy Santorum’s statement that THEY want to tell you if you only believe marriage to be between a man and a woman then THEY are trying to tell you that you’re a bigot. I’m not TRYING to tell you. I AM telling you.
  4. You say you’ve been to a certain city and Tessie Traveler wants to know if you’ve been to all these places there, but the places are like all the places the tour bus is legally mandated to go and beeteedubs I have my own opinion about where to get a really good pulled pork sammich in my own town, thankyouveddymuch.
  5. HEY! You! In the suburbs! My assumption is that you live there because you don’t like the city. You don’t need to give me a detailed list of Memphis transgressions. Only those of us inside the loop pay the tax for that privilege.
  6. I’ve got this thing with my foot.
  7. People freaking out about breastfeeding. And I’m talking either way. One, it’s a thing, okay? Women do it to feed their children. FEED. THEIR. CHILDREN. Second? Some kids don’t latch. Why do we need to make the mother feel like a failure? Answer? WE DON’T.
  8. My overzealous use of the caps lock key.
  9. Wanting me to read something, but not letting me read it. You read it to me instead. Quit it.
  10. I seem to be annoyed a lot lately.

Not Tuning In, Just Dropping Out

12 Jan

On the heels of my decision to ignore promotional emails, I’ve decided to opt out of the presidential race as well. I just cannot listen ONE MORE MINUTE to these people. It’s not that I don’t care who is president, I do. I care very much. But sweet Gussie, the GOP seems to be running robots carved from cream cheese who run on battery cells fueled by PACs and the Dems are all SUCK IT! WE GOT BIN LADEN!!

Of the Republicans, Huntsman is the only one who makes any sense to me. And by that I mean, really, I cannot understand anything the others are saying. Because they don’t seem to say anything. Ron Paul, hailed as the only consistent candidate, wants total deregulation of markets. No government intervention, he cries. Let the consumers choose who stands and who falls! BUT YET, he wants to outlaw abortion. And I’m not sure my logic on this is totally sound, but isn’t that government regulation? How is it not? The government should regulate, apparently, nothing in the public sector, but everything in the private sector. Rick Santorum wants to outlaw contraception and homosexuality. Because, again, we should be in the business of regulating private homes. And bodies. Then there’s Mitt. Mitt’s got to stop talking to crowds like they’re full of toddlers. I’d never vote for Mitt because I can’t take that voice. It’s like nails on a chalkboard. I feel for him that he’s getting flack for his religion. What I wish is that would make him more sensitive to religious bigotry, but I also wish for thin thighs in thirty days. He’s flipped more times than the US gymnastics team, and much less gracefully. Oh, Newt. Let’s talk about Newt. No, let’s don’t. Let’s just ignore him and see if he goes to sit at the geek table. Is Rick Perry still in? All hat and no cattle, as my mother would say.

I’m not in love with our president either. He has this habit of answering questions starting with, “You know what?” It makes him sound like he’s two seconds away from bitch-slapping the questioner. Which he probably is. Oh, there are other reasons I’m not in lurv with him. For example, before the first election he laid out a loose plan to fix this ridiculous BCS mess. IS IT FIXED?

I think the problem is the game’s changed, but the players won’t admit it. I happen to believe capitalism like we were taught in school doesn’t exist. I think it’s been laid to rest just like communism. I’ve heard two things recently that really speak to what I believe about our country. In an interview with NPR, the new head of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, Richard Cordray, said of his agency:

Well, the key for us is that part of our job is to make prices and risks clear for consumers so that they can make good, better informed judgments for themselves. That doesn’t mean that we’re prejudging any particular product. We will be regulating payday lenders, mortgage brokers, private student lenders, and that’s a very important step forward for us….We won’t be making people’s judgments for them. But if consumers aren’t clear on what the options are, then the markets don’t work very well. And we saw that in so many ways, and we all have stories about people who have lost their homes, who are drowning in debt. And sometimes, it was because they made bad choices, and sometimes, it was because they didn’t understand the choices they were making because this marketplace had grown too complex, too confusing.

Elizabeth Warren, who should have had Richard Cordray’s job, made this statement that went viral a few months ago:

There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there — good for you! 

But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that maurauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.

Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea–God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

Markets don’t really regulate themselves becasue people run markets. This mystical “market” everyone keeps talking about doesn’t exist in a vacuum. No computer has ever stolen a credit card and bought a big screen TV at Best Buy. No market has ever sent me a letter saying that based on the balance of another credit card from another company, it was going to raise my interest rate and double my monthly payment. People decide those things. A business is not a social service. If you’re a for-profit business and you’re not worried about profits, you’re doing it wrong. But just as people got our economy off track, it’s going to take people to get our economy on track. I just don’t see a leader out there who can do that. Except maybe Hillary, who has totally ignored the doll made of my own hair I sent her with “PLEASE RUN” stitched on the dress.

I have also come to realize that we need a true co-presidency. We need a face for the glad-handing and a son of a bitch to get the work done. I once read something that compared politics to a beauty pageant. Is the woman who won the Miss Whatever State title really the prettiest, smartest young woman in the state? No, but she was the pick of the women who entered. Are any of these men the best choice for president? No, but we will choose from the group we are given.

I’ll show up, I’ll vote. But my resolution for the year is to pay more attention to the local because that’s the only way we’re going to have candidates good enough for the national.

Some Thoughts Before The Vote

7 Nov

I’m not the brightest knife in the six-pack. Shut up. (I used to have this friend who always got her clichés wrong. It was hard to beat a dead horse when he was down. Things were slow as vinegar in April) I just have my own way of learning. It must work because last week I was watching this super-neat NOVA program called “The Fabric of the Cosmos” and they were talking about something and I was all Higgs particles! He’s talking about Higgs particles, y’all! And then I went on to discuss the Large Hadron Collider, AS I DO, and Chuck got all glassy-eyed like I do when he’s talking about hunting rifles, and I was all point well taken.

I’m not saying he’s not interested in the Hadron Collider or doesn’t get it, I’m saying he knows having it explained by someone whose only physics classroom time came from half a semester of high school physics taught by the soccer coach makes him assume I’m leaving some important stuff out. And admittedly, describing the Large Hadron Collider as, “This particle accelerator thing where they want to smash atoms together to see what they throw off and do a bunch of science, ” is not the most comprehensive explanation out there.

The other night I was reading something having to do with all of the above and I started thinking about eyes. The human eye is much used by creationists and proponents of intelligent design to discredit evolution. How, they say, could such an intricate thing come about by evolution? Does it not show the force of something greater? Well, no, I don’t think so. If the eye were to have been created as-is by some God-force, why is it so intricate? Why not create something that’s easy for its owner to understand and therefore easy to fix when broken?

The thing about using God as a means to explain science is that there’s a whole lot of And Then A Miracle Happens in the explanation. It’s no different from my boneheaded attempt to explain the workings of the world’s largest particle accelerator. Science and religion can absolutely coexist, but they do not need to be confused with one another.

Mississippi’s personhood vote tomorrow has been making me think a lot about the intersection of science and religion. I haven’t heard anyone make an argument FOR pershonhood that does not have a basis in religious belief. I don’t believe religious people need to leave their beliefs at the door, but I do think that faith must guide secular decisions, not overwhelm them. Personhood is a secular issue.

Personhood says that your rights are no different from the rights of a clump of cells. Personhood says that you, with all your thoughts, your conscience, your consciousness, don’t deserve any more special consideration than the products of conception.

Mississippi, you think you’re sucking from the government teat now? Wait until Personhood is the law of the land. How many more people will it add to your welfare rolls? How many doctors will stop practicing because they can’t get malpractice insurance and because they fear criminal prosecution? How many more police, public defenders, district attorneys, and prisons will you have to add? How many businesses will leave? How many businesses will never open? How much money are you willing to spend? Because if this amendment passes tomorrow, the cash registers of lawyers start heating up. Personhood will immediately go to court and it will stay there for years. And Mississippi, you will pay for it.

It seems that the people behind the personhood initiative have done a good job at making voters think this issue is easy. That it’s black and white. If you’re against abortion, you vote yes. If you’re a godless communist, you vote no. This vote is not about religion. It is about rights. It is about defining man-made law. No one wants to amend religious text with this vote. You are not defying God by opposing this measure.

I know that I’m sort of preaching to the choir with this piece. If you’re reading my blog, chances are it’s because you tend to agree with me. Either that or you just have too much time on your hands. And are a masochist. I guess what I’m asking is that you not go ignorantly to the polls. Read the amendment. Think about what it really means for you and your family. Think about how it’s going to impact your business. If you pray, pray about it. Voting no does not mean you sanction abortion. It means you care about your family and your community. It means you respect the law. It means you understand issues are never just black and white. It means that you are not so gullible as to let a bunch of well-paid lobbyists create a big government theocracy in your backyard.

Click to visit Mississippi Secretary of State website

It’s About Civility In Public Discourse, Stupid

19 Sep

As you may know, I worked in retail for the longest 5, 476 years of my life. There were so many things about it I loved. Dealing with irate, irrational people was not one of them. There is a certain sort of person who is so lacking in power in other areas of his or her life that he or she takes the time to be a complete and total prat to service industry workers. We all know those people. (Not you, dear reader! Anyone with the taste and intelligence to spend time reading MY blog would never be a dick just because you could, RIGHT?)

There’s the guy who will rant about how you ruined his entire day because the mayo was spread too thick on one quarter of one half of his sandwich. The woman who insists you call 74 other stores to find another skirt because the seventeen you have in her size are all clearly mislabeled and are really eights, not twelves. And my personal favorite, the man who comes in the store EVERY MONTH to complain to the credit department–knowing FULL WELL there is no credit department in the store anymore–that he was charged a finance charge even though he paid his bill IN FULL and will not accept the true, rational, and clear explanation that had he paid it within twenty-five days, he’d not accrue a finance charge, but as he waited to the twenty-seventh day, BOOM. Just like it says in very clear language at the bottom of the bill. Possibly the ONLY clear statement on the bill.

Take your average blowhard, add in politics, religion, and maybe an ovary or two and you got yourself a shootin’ match, hoss.

It is in dealing with these blowhards I have learned that the best thing to do when everyone is yelling is to lower my voice in a husky Suzanne Pleshette way. Imagine I’m reading this to you in that voice.

It’s been a tough year for women’s health. At some point, and I must have been absent that day, it was determined that all women’s health comes down to is abortion. And further, as best I can tell, as long as you don’t have one, think about having one, know anyone who has had one, support people who will provide one, or say the word three times while looking in the mirror, your ladyhealth will be stellar!

Here in Shelby County, a federal grant was pulled from Planned Parenthood. I mentioned this briefly the other day, but I want to go into a little more detail. This grant is Title X (as in 10) money that the federal government gives states to use exclusively for family planning.

As part of Title X of the Public Health Service Act (1970), money was allocated to be given to state and local health departments, community health centers, independent clinics, and other agencies. Here are some things this money may be used for:

  • Access to contraceptive services, supplies, and information
  • Breast and pelvic exams
  • Breast cancer and cervical cancer screening
  • STD screening, education and prevention information, and counseling
  • Pregnancy diagnosis and counseling

According to the Health and Human Services website, “The Title X family planning program is intended to assist individuals in determining the number and spacing of their children. This promotes positive birth outcomes and healthy families.” Priority for the use of Title X funds is given to low-income individuals.

The Shelby County Health Department has subcontracted to Planned Parenthood for several years. Back in the spring, Shelby County notified the state that it lacked the staff and facilities to continue the services Planned Parenthood delivered.

So here’s where we run into problems. Hizzoner Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey has made it his mission to put Planned Parenthood out of business. He wanted to end the “shell game” he said Planned Parenthood was playing. Hizzoner and his ilk refuse to believe–even in the face of federal laws and proof positive (entities taking money must keep detailed records and statistics of patients and procedures)–that Planned Parenthood is not using federal money to provide abortions.

Here’s where we are right now. Shelby County has not been gracious enough to state publicly exactly why Planned Parenthood was jettisoned and Christ Community Health Services was funded in its wake. County Mayor Mark Luttrell said that a six-person team ranked proposals from Christ Community, Planned Parenthood, and Memphis Health Center. County Mayor Luttrell says Christ Community was ranked highest.

I’m not going to knock Christ Community. I believe they are good people doing what they believe to be the Lord’s work. I have an amazing amount of respect for healthcare professionals who work in clinics that provide services for low-income, uninsured, and underinsured patients.

I happen to believe a faith-based organization cannot be unbiased when counseling about family planning and reproductive health options.

In order to take Title X funds, minors must be treated. Let’s say you are a 16-year-old sexually active girl and you have found the courage to do the smart thing and look at birth control options. A Title X clinic must counsel you, recommend the best birth control option for you, supply it to you, and not notify your parent or guardian.

Now let’s say you’re a GLBT young adult who wants to do the right thing and get vaccinated for HPV. You’re marginally employed and uninsured. How comfortable are you going to be going into a clinic with the word “Christ” in its name? Will that deter you from getting vaccinated? Would it deter you from getting a pap smear? What about tested for HIV?

I truly believe the perception of religious bias will keep the poor, the disenfranchised, the people who can least afford to be sick from seeking healthcare.

Beyond that, this is a dunderheaded move by Tennessee Republicans to take control of women’s reproductive rights. This does not make abortion go away. In fact, if a woman who receives Title X services asks for pregnancy counseling, pregnancy termination MUST be included in the discussion along with foster care, adoption, and prenatal care. I wonder how well money from religious anti-choice donors will keep coming in to a clinic which will now be federally mandated to discuss pregnancy termination? Will conservative Christians continue to support a clinic that will be federally mandated to discuss more than abstinence with its young patients?  The anti-choice movers and shakers have accomplished an amazing thing–money for nothing. By putting this money in the hands of an anti-choice, anti-birth control facility, they have rendered this money useless.

But back to my original point: civility in public discourse.

It is near impossible to have debate about reproductive rights without it devolving into a shouting match involving Bible verses, bogus statistics, and name calling. I am not a horrible ogre because I believe a woman has a right to choose whether or not she takes a pregnancy to term. I do not believe you are a moron because you have a moral or religious opposition to abortion. I do believe that what I choose is not your business. I do believe that your religious opposition to abortion does not mean you get to ban it. This is not a theocracy. There is no Sharia Law here. I don’t happen to like that federal money can be used to subcontract to a faith-based healthcare provider–even those with a more “liberal” agenda. But you know what, we don’t need to yell about it.

I’ve been talking to people about these fetal pershonhood amendments. The anti-choice personhood movement has done a great job talking about how they will ban abortion at the state level. They haven’t done such a good job talking about how fetal personhood affects birth control. Why? A conservative Christian couple might never look at abortion as an option, but more than likely they’ve looked at some type of birth control method outside of separate bedrooms. The Separate Bedroom Method of birth control isn’t going to raise a lot of money. Point is, no discussion I have had has turned into a shouting match. The reason, I believe, is that in these conversations we have genuinely been moved to find understanding from the opposite side. I do think that when people are fully engaged in understanding, breakthroughs happen. But if one side of the debate is going in with the attitude that theirs is the only opinion that matters, breakdowns happen instead. When time is spent shoring up an argument rather than reacting to what the opposing side has said, you miss a lot of important information and a chance for understanding. How many times have you fought with your honey and haven’t even heard what he or she said because you were busy planning your attack? I mean, in my case it’s zero, obviously. But I am told this happens with some regularity.

Mr. Finance Charge up there could have saved himself the hassle of coming into my store every month to complain to the non-existent credit department if he had just listened the first time. After two months of not listening, we all just assumed he liked to bitch. I like to bitch, too. Can’t beat a good bitch session for venting. VENTING. Not solving problems other than the need-to-vent problem.

I don’t believe we’re a nation of extremes. I really don’t. Squeaky wheels get press. People who believe passionately in something but who are rational and level-headed don’t get the air time zealotry does. How many people know who Michelle Bachmann is? How many know who Elizabeth Warren is? I’d love to see that poll.

By the way, as I sit here writing this, something interesting came up in my Twitter feed. A CNN poll shows 78% of the country is pro-choice. So it just goes to show you that even though the anti-choice voice might be loud and well-funded, it’s not the majority’s voice.

 

 

 

Shut Up

29 Aug

Normally some ridiculous crack like this from Michelle Bachmann would bounce right off me, but I’m in a mood today. She was down in Florida and made some lame ass joke about Hurricane Irene and the East Coast earthquake being the manifestation of God’s pissed-offedness at us and at politicians.

Yeah.

You know what? It’s not funny. I don’t care that she didn’t mean it. I doubt she really believes that. She was trying to make a joke and it fell flat and people like me get to make fun of it. But it happens that today is the sixth anniversary of The Storm That Shall Not Be Named, and I’m a little touchy about natural disasters.

I hope that Candidate Bachmann never has to wait two weeks to speak with her family because all means of communication other than two tin cans linked with twine are down. I hope she never has to evacuate a barrier island. I hope she doesn’t have to decide what to do with her pets because storm shelters don’t allow animals. I hope she never has to deal with chronic illness from trying to clean unholy black mold out of her home after it’s been flooded for a month. I hope no one she knows ever dies in a shelter and is pushed against the wall and covered up with a blanket because there’s nothing else to do with the body. I hope she never has to know what it’s like to move into a house that finally got built four years after a storm only to find out the building materials used are so toxic, she’d be better off living under a bridge.

Most of all, I wish public figures would stop acting as if they are the only ones with direct lines to God. If you want to invoke God in your candidacy, fine. But do it by actions and not words. I happen to think being religious is like being a lady: if you really are, you don’t need to spend all your time trying to convince me of it. If God speaks to anyone, he speaks to all of us. Equally.

I know each time I check the news today there will be some piece about whether or not she was serious about what she said yesterday, and I’ll get pissed off all over again. The joke fell flat because it was too close to home. It was too easy to believe she wasn’t really joking. I mean, granted, she seems to have all the sense of humor of a grain sack, but she also really seems to believe that God is weak, so out of touch, that he has to resort to parlor tricks to get our attention. And that is not the religion I want in my White House.