Be Part Of A Solution, Not A Problem…….


Very thought provoking. The Steubenville tragedy and subsequent trial shined a light on an ugly problem that occurs everywhere, all the time, to all kinds of people.

Nobody has the right to do anything, to anyone, ever, without their clear consent. A shake of the head means NO. A whisper means NO. An uncertain “I am not sure about this…” means NO. Silence means NO. Lack of consciousness means NO. Any kind of diminished capacity for understanding the situation means NO. A YES, given under any sort of fear, pressure, or duress, means NO. If the answer is not a clear YES, it is NO.

It does not matter whether the object of your desire is male, female, or transgender. It does not matter if they are straight, gay, bisexual, or any other sexual orientation. It doesn’t matter if you bought them dinner, or gave them a ride home, or picked them up in a bar, or met them running naked through the street. There is NO excuse, EVER, to rape someone else. If you rape another person, you are a rapist. You are wrong.

If you stand by while it happens, you contributed to the rape, and you are wrong. Nobody gets to be neutral in this situation. If you do not completely support the victim, you are supporting the rapist. You are adding to the problem. Slut shaming a victim is effectively raping them again. Outing their name (looking at you, news networks) to make it easier for others to torment them is assaulting them again. Making excuses for the rapist is assaulting the victim again. It makes no difference what they were doing, or where, or with who. What kind of person you think they are is immaterial. Whether you agree with their life choices is immaterial.

If you are not part of a compassionate solution, you are part of the problem. Period.

The Belle Jar

I don’t have to tell you that Steubenville is all over the news.

I don’t have to tell you that it’s a fucking joke that Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, the two teenagers convicted of raping a sixteen year old girl, were only sentenced to a combined three years in juvenile prison. Each will serve a year for the rape itself; Mays will serve an additional year for “illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material.”

I probably don’t even have to tell you that the media treatment of this trial has been a perfect, if utterly sickening, example of rape culture, with its focus on how difficult and painful this event has been for the rapists who raped a sixteen year old girl then bragged about it on social media.

And I almost certainly don’t have to tell you that the world is full of seemingly nice, normal…

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Oh, Sanity And Reason, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Us?


A small note on my unusual silence the last couple of weeks…….

It isn’t like I haven’t had scores of things I wanted to shout about.  There are plenty.  Too many, in fact.  I seem to have become buried alive in election cycle stress syndrome.  I can’t open any of my multitudinous (I love that word, and never get to use it) news and political sites without being assaulted by an avalanche of offensive and terrifying articles, posts, quotes, soundbites  and developments.  I have been hiding, frankly.  I’m kinda’ afraid if I begin to talk about any current events, I’ll deteriorate into full-on Southern-belle profanity.  For those who know southern ladies, y’all know there is no language on this Earth quite like ours when we are good and worked up.

I would like to pose a few questions to the world at large though…….

Who the hell are these undecided voters, and what, pray tell, is the cause of their indecision?  Much like Sheldon Cooper, I have the urge to ask them if they have recently received a sudden blow to the head.

Your candidate is offensive, pretentious,  obnoxious, and rude.  He is boorish and totally impolite.  He is completely disrespectful.  Now, come the second and third debates ( and VP debate) and the first thing out of y’all’s mouths is that the VP and POTUS are RUDE?  Wah.  Boo hoo.  I have news for you guys.  Lies, misconstrued facts, and politicizing events for your own selfish ends and gain–especially when you were pointedly asked not to by surviving family members in the case of Ambassador Stevens–deserve no polite treatment or mollycoddling.  What pathology do you guys suffer from, that you all think you are entitled (see what I did there) to set the terms for the way everyone else behaves?  Only from the rabid right do we see people whacking others over the head with metaphorical shovels while screaming “Why are you persecuting us?”

DOMA is finally getting put where it deserved to be from the first moment it was thought up…..in the trash can.  Case by case, court by court, I love to see it go.  When it finally disappears for good, and when lovers all through our nation are ultimately able to love and be loved by the partner of their choice, how precisely will that affect ANY of you?  The sacrosanct institution of marriage in our modern times is beset right, left, and sideways by unfaithfulness, separation, and divorce.  In a great many cases, multiple-remarriage and divorce.  Why deny same sex couples the right to be as happy as all of us straight couples, since we are all clearly ambassadors of nuptial Utopian living?

In reference to the absolutely staggering amount of propaganda, lies, filth, perversion, stupidity, and insanity directed at women and their right to make choices about their bodies and health (specifically reproductive health) :  Piss off.  I can’t be any more clear than that.  You people are insane.  You are not rational.  You are frankly frightening.  An incredibly astute gentleman once said “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”  Thank you, George Bernard Shaw, for reminding me that you can’t reason with some people.

Yes, I know the last was not a question, but it was certainly a statement I felt needed saying.

I look around and wonder, what on Earth must other countries think of us?  I suspect that if the nations of the world were a family reunion, we would be the inappropriate uncle who wears his underwear outside his pants and speaks in non-sequiturs that make everyone uncomfortable.

Sigh………..

Been A While Since I Had A Good Rant……..


Taken from my Facebook newsfeed……

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Ok, so, it has taken 12 years before i have had to deal with this subject in the school system. My children go to a public school. My 12 yr old 7th grader is taking an Eastern Global class, and currently their unit is on paleolithic and neolithic time period, with evolution of man. That being said, my son came home from school with some pretty serious questions, ones that i am not sure how to answer. In this family we are firm believers in God, and His creation of man. His questions:
Do I have to sit through this unit in class?

What If i do not believe what they are teaching?
Am i allowed to tell the teacher he is wrong?
Am i allowed to debate his teaching? (PS…anyone who knows my son, knows that debate is his FAVORITE thing to do)
Seeking out responses from parents who have gone through this, as well as friends who are teachers who have been placed in this same situation.
Thank you in advance.
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My first reaction was to wonder at what point did your religion give you a right to randomly sit out of any class you disagree with?  This is a public school, after all.  If you are so hell bent on preserving your faith based beliefs at the cost of sheltering your children from any alternate ideas, you  (1) are doing them a disservice (2) are obviously not so very comfortable that they will not change their opinion based on new information (3) very clearly need to send them to a private school to continue sheltering them in the bubble you store them in when they are away from your side.
Out of 26 responses so far, every single one actually agrees with the poster that the school MUST make an accomodation for religious beliefs.  Sorry, disagree.  If your religion demands that you plunge your head into the sand (along with your children) and ignore, deny, and avoid all exposure to science based disciplines, it is your right to follow said religion.  I do not think that should give you the right to demand special treatment from a public school though.  Keep your kids home and teach them whatever you want.  Send them to a private school whose curriculum you agree with.
Personally, I tend to think that things like this are far more important and far more worth making a stand about.  Our children are our future.  They need, and deserve, access to all the wealth of knowledge we can give them.  To hamper their education because it doesn’t agree with what they are taught in Sunday school simply puts a burden on the rest of society.  When they reach maturity, they will be at a disadvantage because of the gaps in their learning history.  They will be at best, a generation of sheep, easy prey to whatever political party panders to their uninformed or slanted beliefs.  At worst, they will be carried by that part of society who were able to realize their full potential.
That doesn’t seem much of a gift to your children, and I don’t find that to be super parenting, either.

Those Who Cannot Reason, Cannot Be Reasoned With………..


Pretty much, yeah.

intellectuals to idiots

The sad thing is that school is , if not totally mandatory, at the very least strongly encouraged in at least SOME form. Last time I checked at my local schools, stupidity and shortsightedness were not part of the regular curriculum.

To see what is going on around me makes me really quite sad.  When did logic, reason, & common sense disappear, to be replaced by super-concentrated fear, hate, and rhetoric with no factual basis?  At what point did folks ability to engage in intelligent discourse vanish?  Somewhere between many & most of the conversations I have nowadays seem to fall into three depressing categories [1] Yeah, you may be right, but what difference does it make?  Nothing can be changed. [2] I don’t care, everybody is crooked, and everybody lies. I don’t pay attention to any of that stuff. [3]  No, you are wrong!  You are going to HELL because your beliefs go against my personal beliefs!  Sometimes it is just so depressing to live in the deep South.  Sigh………

 

picture borrowed from the Facebook page of Liberal Hippie Nerd

Well, If You’re Gonna Put It THAT Way………


marriage equality graphic

As the nice drunk in Groundhog Day said…..”That about sums it up for me.”

I am very proud to see the Democratic party making the advancement of marriage equality a plank in their platform.  May they follow through on this promise, and get us all one step closer to the equality we ALL deserve.

Oh, Yay, Another Ramble On Tolerance………


A word on values, tolerance, and our ever vanishing civil liberties.

I do not care what personal belief system anyone subscribes to, except at the point that it begins to attack or infringe on what I consider to be personal liberties.  Any ideology that endorses and promotes intolerance or repression is unacceptable to me.  Prior to that line in the sand, I love the prerogative of the denizens of this country to pursue their faith and beliefs.  It is a great and beautiful thing.  Unfortunately I see far, far too many instances of personal faith and ideals becoming public faith and ideals.  If you really feel that you must forcibly shoehorn every person you meet by sanctions and legislation into whatever odd shaped cubbyhole your religion happens to reside in……..perhaps you should go home, sit down, and really, really think about your own value system.  I think you may have diagnosed the problem correctly, but completely missed the actual source.

I have friends who are gay.  I have family members who are gay.  I worked with folks who are gay.  I find, increasingly, as time goes on, that I am putting that out there in my discussions of tolerance.  Why is that, exactly?  How is it that a narrow minded and fearful section of our society can force us to make such statements as if they matter?  It shouldn’t matter.  No more so than the fact that I have family, friends, and acquaintances with brown hair, or blue eyes, or who like jazz.  The only reason it even has to be repetitively brought to the forefront is that nobody is trying to criminalize, marginalize, penalize, attack, or shame anyone based on their hair color, eye color, or musical taste.

It’s a damn shame that such basic personal freedoms have to be dragged out into the public forum, like laundry on the line.  I want to believe, and I really do believe, that someday down the road nobody will even think to ask if so-and-so is gay, because it won’t matter.

As it should be.

Then we can begin to focus on things that actually matter, such as sustainability of fuel and food, the economy, and so forth.

Yep, that’ll be awesome.

In the meantime, we must yell loud and proud in defense of ourselves and our loved ones.  In defense of those we don’t know.  In defense of those we don’t particularly like. In defense of everyone.  Change never happens because of apathy or inertia.  Someone, somewhere, has to get up and start kicking over the conservative dominoes.