Tuesday salmagundi

• David Barton says that “decent people” should find homosexuality “absolutely reprehensible and disgusting.” I think decent people should find lying con-men like David Barton absolutely reprehensible and disgusting. Tomato, tomahto, I guess.

• Why, yes, the Family Research Council does, in fact, lie about everything.

• We need a quorum system for political primaries. Turnout for the Senate primaries in Massachusetts looks like it was around 10 percent. Yeah, I know, people who don’t vote don’t get to complain about the outcome, but is it really true, in any sense, that after an election with 10 percent turnout we can say “the people have spoken”?

It can’t be an impact crater, obviously. It must be a mud puddle left over from Noah’s flood.

• Jason Alexander is a mensch.

• Pregnancy discrimination: Want to keep your job, lady? Then get an abortion. Interesting that pro-choice feminists want legal protections for pregnant workers, but “pro-life” activists defend the right of corporations to create economic incentives for abortion.

• Would you be more or less likely to vote for Elizabeth Colbert Busch if I told you she was a Satanic baby-killer who killed babies for Satan?

Austerity increases debt and deficits. Who could have predicted? (Besides every non-hack economist since 1950.)

• Instant Karma comes to get “Girls Gone Wild” founder Joe Francis.

• Are they coming for your birth control? Yes, they are coming for your birth control.

• Speaking of hostility toward birth control … Hobby Lobby — the crafting supply retail chain that says Jesus would only offer health benefits to male employees — has some odd policies regarding shoplifting. Some very odd policies.

• Purity culture is rape culture. Purity culture is also slave culture:

In the Irish Republic, an estimated 10,000 girls were locked up in laundries run by the Catholic Church between 1922 and 1996, according to an inquiry report published in February. The report acknowledged that in addition to Ireland, laundries existed in Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, Canada and the United States. While the majority were Catholic-operated, Protestant institutions also existed.

• Daniel Burke’s Religion News Service article on “the stressful life of preacher’s kids” might have been more insightful if he hadn’t accidentally transposed his main examples. Yes, Jay Bakker’s childhood was traumatic and difficult while Franklin Graham’s was nurturing and idyllic. But Jay Bakker is not an example of a PK who turned out bad, and Franklin Graham is really not an example of a PK who grew into a mature, decent adult.

• Religious tribalism is an enemy of love, but it can be harnessed for good by a shrewd panhandler.

• CosMarxPolitan



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  • Carstonio

    Someone should confront Barton and demand “specifics of what homosexuality activity is” or a definition of “these activities” as he believes these to be. I have little patience for vagueness.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    In Barton’s fevered imagination, it’s all massive orgies and extreme fetish and kink stuff. He’s of the “allowed/not allowed” sexual dichotomy, so fellatio from another man is in the same category as two wetsuits and a dildo. Conservatives in general seem to equate extreme sexual acts exclusively with homosexuality. (see also: fisting, conservative obsession with)

    The other aspect is that Barton doesn’t understand the concept of ‘tolerance’. I’m thinking of a post on another blog (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2013/05/20/confused/ )where the author says ‘I got that metallic taste in my mouth and just thought “EWW” [when presented with male nudity/homosexual sex acts] …I may not find it appealing, but I have no problem with it… I guess what I am wondering is does this make me a bigot?

    Barton doesn’t seem to understand that it’s possible to dislike something for one’s personal preferences while still accepting other people’s preferences may be different.

  • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ JarredH

    In Barton’s fevered imagination, it’s all massive orgies and extreme fetish and kink stuff.

    And again, I find myself wishing my actual sex life was even one tenth as interesting as Barton&Co seem to think it is.

  • Launcifer

    I had almost exactly that thought until I realised that he’d probably assume that my copy of Hellraiser was a how-to guide for… something.

  • JustoneK

    there’s that false dichotomy thing again – there’s Normal and there’s Deviant, and all things Deviant can and do happen together.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    … what’s wrong with two wetsuits and a dildo? Or fisting, for that matter?

    As someone said here in the comments on a post a while back, one person’s “extreme” is another person’s Tuesday.

  • Jenny Islander

    I think that homophobes are worried that somebody will set up a public exhibition of whatever ultra-kinky thing is on perpetual rerun in their imaginations. And then it will become quickly obvious to all and sundry that they can’t look away.

    Also I think that “Non-my-standard sex = no family = SOCIAL BREAKDOWN AAAIEEEEE” is a widespread assumption. The idea that people can form stable and safe families without there being a room in which the same two people have PIV sex at least three times per week is just unpossible!!!!

    I keep remembering a photoset I saw on the Internet one time, about New Yorkers who quietly went about being married in every respect except legally. There were these two 90-year-olds sitting by a piano, dressed in well-cared-for old church outfits, holding hands and smiling. They’d been together since their 20s. The caption was “The cutest little old couple in the history of little old couples.”

    But they were both men. So, totally NOT a family. /sarcasm

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    … what’s wrong with two wetsuits and a dildo? Or fisting, for that matter?

    Who said anything about “wrong”? I’m using the term “extreme” in the ‘distance-from-the-mean’ sense.

    Most people are aware of fellatio and cunnilingus; there’s nothing “reprehensible” about a handjob, because people are generally familiar with what that entails. Two wetsuits and a dildo, on the other hand, represents something that most people don’t know anything about, and many don’t even know exists, so it’s more “shocking” to most people.

    The farther you get from “mainstream” sexual practices, the more ignorant most people are, and the more reliant they are on misinformation, bad assumptions, and visceral reactions. Which makes them perfect targets for opportunistic politicians. There’s nothing wrong with fisting (done properly and safely) but it’s not something that large sections of the population have ever tried or even educated themselves about, so it’s an easy target for fear-mongering, which is why you’ll actually read more about fisting in Ann Coulter’s writings than you will anywhere on the political Left.

  • Sgaile-beairt

    well its prett easy to kill yrself that way, from the sounds of it…doesnt fit the safe/sane parts of safe/sane/consensual….

    if you have a trustworthy spotter who wont panic & leave you to suf focate then go for it!!

  • http://redwoodr.tumblr.com Redwood Rhiadra

    In the case of “two wetsuits and a dildo” – it can kill the practitioner. The phrase refers to one of the more famous cases of autoerotic asphyxiation, by a Baptist minister named Gary Aldridge.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Oooh, I was wondering, with the comment above yours. And I didn’t want to look it up because… yeah. I’m fine with porn existing, but I don’t want to see it.

    Anyway, that’s the kind of thing I don’t support, but what I’ve found is, it’s impossible to persuade people not to do dangerous things sexually when the appeal is the danger. I don’t have the first clue why, because I don’t know why people like to do dangerous things. I can’t even stand roller coasters.

  • FearlessSon

    Anyway, that’s the kind of thing I don’t support, but what I’ve found is, it’s impossible to persuade people not to do dangerous things sexually when the appeal is the danger. I don’t have the first clue why, because I don’t know why people like to do dangerous things. I can’t even stand roller coasters.

    I would think then that the way to practice such things safely is to make sure that they have a spotter, someone who will watch and step in if things get just a little too far. There are certain semi-public “dungeons” that one can discretely use which will have volunteer monitors on hand to serve this role. It does require that someone be okay with another person watching, but it would be a strange combination of kinks indeed which would be turned on by the dangerous stuff while absolutely turned off by the mild oversight.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Yes, there is absolutely a way to practice these things safely. But some people just plain don’t want to be safe — it does turn them off absolutely. The whole point is to be unsafe. Plus, exhibitionism doesn’t necessarily go with any other kink at all. Everyone likes a different combination of things.

    I know (on the internet) some people who dispense with safewords, either occasionally or all the time. If someone brings up that that’s not safe, the answer is “that’s the point”.

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    I read about a pastor who was found dead, having autoerotically asphyxiated himself (ISTR that he was wearing a scuba suit and butt plug as well). Dan Savage noted that if this guy hadn’t been in the closet about his kinks, he could have found ways of satisfying them more safely.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Honestly, I don’t think they’re imagining anything all that extreme. I think they’re imagining anal sex. I think that all that stuff about gender essentialism plays into things, but when you get right down to it, the necessary triggering element that makes these people such hateful, visceral homophobes is that the idea of anal sex squicks them out. When Barton says that we should find “these activities” to be “disgusting”, the thing he means, the exact thing, is “When I imagine anal sex, it freaks me out and I can not imagine anyone else not feeling the same way”

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Actually, I’m willing to bet a lot of them imagine promiscuous orgies with complete strangers more often than not, or else they wouldn’t keep repeating the tired old lie that homosexual men often have five to thirty lovers, etc, etc, etc.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The best part is when said homophobes then go on to have anal sex with their wives or girlfriends and then when questioned on the matter they go BUT THAT IS TOTES DIFFERENT SCOUT’S HONOR HONESTLY.

    (In short, “*My* buttsex is *special*.”)

    And I’ve lost count of the number of dumbasses who talk like men who have sex with men have no idea what a condom is.

  • Albanaeon

    Are you sure? Requests like that to right-wingers tend to get uncomfortably specific and bizarre rather quickly as it becomes obvious that they’ve thought about these thing far more thoroughly than is healthy.

  • Wednesday

    Yeah, those of Barton’s sort seem more fixated on gay sex than a slash fandom kink meme.

  • aim2misbehave

    I bet one could have an entire fic-a-thon on a slash kinkmeme with the bizarre specifics that right-wingers like Barton might come up with…

  • MarkTemporis

    I’m sure we will eventually find out EXACTLY what acts Barton finds so reprehensible when his inevitable sex scandal finally breaks.

  • L E

    I wonder how Barton would react to a detailed and graphic description of the specifics of what heterosexual activity is. He strikes me as the type who would be uncomfortable with the squishy bits of sex full stop, and it probably doesn’t occur to him that most straight couples aren’t only doing it in the missionary position. I think he’d be surprised how much of the activity between two gay people and two straight people have in common (although in some cases props are required on both parts to achieve certain acts).

  • Daniel

    I would very much like to see that, provided it was done in as matter-of-fact a way as possible. Preferably by someone with a clipboard in a white lab coat, detailing progressively more bizarre sexual practices, asking for a scale between “1- strongly agree” and “5- strongly disagree” to the following actions…
    Because if it’s done formally it’s much harder to just storm off in a rage or become righteously indignant.

  • Carstonio

    The flower cartoon that Feministing found would take centuries to deconstruct thoroughly, but here are my initial impressions…

    I would think that contraception helps reduce poverty and crime, because it prevents people from having more children than they can afford. The supposed link with euthanasia is strange at best.

    The right side of the cartoon has the real meat. “Security for women and families” probably means “men are naturally inclined to spread their seed far and wide, and they need marriage to compel them to support their children.” An argument I’ve heard by opponents of same-sex marriage. The premise seems to be that with contraception, men have no incentive to form relationships with women. And “women’s health” doesn’t make sense because of the hazards of pregnancy.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    I think the idea is that contraception lets a man give into his natural urge to cheat beacuse the threat of fatherhood is not hanging over the act.

  • Carstonio

    Yes, that’s a better version of the premise. I had imagined it to include single men having strings of one-night stands or very short relationships, inevitably experiencing some contraceptive failures. Both versions categorize men the same way. Reminds me of old custom of shotgun weddings, literal and metaphorical. It was apparently assumed that mothers couldn’t support themselves and that her children had no standing or future without the father giving them legitimacy.

  • Fusina

    Dandelions are better than roses. You can eat the leaves and roots, and having made some, I can attest that the flowers are an ingredient in a very palatable wine. Also, the seed heads are very good entertainment for children.

    Roses are pretty, and you can eat the petals and make perfume, but they aren’t nearly as useful as dandelions–and are much harder to cultivate. ;-)

    Edited–harder to cultivate roses. Dandelions are much easier to grow.

  • Carstonio

    To a degree, that resembles how patriarchs have viewed women, as having value only for their appearance and for their reproductive ability.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    And for how untouched/untouchable we are: roses have thorns. Which is, er, opposite to the actual desires of many men. But somehow, the asshole ignorant irrational men and women still have more power.

  • JustoneK

    Ya notice how contradictory even that diagram is.

  • Wednesday

    I like how they chose dandelions and roses for their respective symbols.

    Dandelions thrive when left alone, are impossible to keep from staying healthy and strong of unless you use chemicals that can hurt other plants (and even those won’t completely eliminate them), and when _not_ treated with nasty herbicides can actually be nutritious (both flower and leaves).

    On the other hand, roses are a @#$% to care for and keep healthy (my parents’ roses are constantly being blackened by fungus and eaten by bugs) and require donning protective gear lest you get hurt while caring for them.

    I suppose you can eat rose petals, but they’re usually grown for purely aesthetic purposes, whereas dandelions were brought to North America to serve as food. So, to continue to abuse this metaphor, RTC sexual ethics are apparently style over substance. =P

  • P J Evans

    Dandelions are asexual – they produce seeds without being fertilized.

    I guess whoever chose the flowers didn’t know that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    It still sounds kind of slutty to me.

  • reynard61

    Better self-love than no Love at all…

  • Fusina

    I really should read to the bottom before I jump in. You said what I said only more elegantly. But yeah, the illustration did kind of blow my mind.

  • Carstonio

    The metaphors may have been intentional. Your description of rose care sounds like the complaints I hear from sexist men about their wives or girlfriends. The old “what the hell do women want” stereotype.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    You mean Dandelions, the unkillable many-headed plant-hyras who magically appear in a cute yellow form to lull you into complacency, then magically transform into little death-mines of choking spores, which mie in wait for you to run them over with your lawn mower so they can form a toxic cloud that leaves you red-eyed and unable to breathe for hours?

  • Elizabeth Coleman

    I’m pretty sure that an RTC would actually appreciate that metaphor, saying that being good is indeed hard work, being a slut is easy and lazy, God is the Gardner and so on. The aphids are demons, the ladybugs are angels…

  • Isabel C.

    Cut roses are also significantly and arbitrarily overpriced: we’d sell the same flower for $12 a stem on 2/10 and $8 a stem on 2/17. Plus, breeding for blossoms that will stay good-looking in a locker for a few days means a lot of the modern varieties don’t have much scent.

    Also, you have to put them through a hideous steampunk grindy clanky turn-your-head-to-the-side-or-lose-an-eye-but-watch-what-you’re-doing-or-lose-a-hand machine to get enough thorns off to sell ’em. And the American Beauties require a complicated rigamarole with cutting the stems and sticking them into little tubes of water which always squirt you in the face.

    …I’m not sure how this works with the metaphor, really. But there’s probably something there. ;)

    (I actually still *like* roses, despite the flower shop. But then, I like fried chicken despite a summer of deli work.)

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    In novels from the early 20th century I’ve read, certain women are referred to as “hot-house flowers”: i.e., very pretty, very delicate, and unable to support themselves or deal with the real world. Or pretending to be unable to deal with the real world. The stuff I read does not tend to speak of them highly, and usually treats them as putting on a pretense of psychological incapacity and little girlishness in order to attract a certain type of man. Imo, Daisy Buchanan is the perfect example of this, both in the way she acts and the way the novel treats her.

  • Lorehead

    It’s an Underpants Gnome theory of the sexual revolution. 1. Artificial birth control. 2. ??? 3. Culture of Death.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    I like how “fornication”, “adultery”, and “pre-marital sex” are all separate discrete entities in this formulation. Because it’s quite possible to commit adultery without fornicating outside of marriage, and apparently not all pre-marital sex is fornication.

    It’s also nice that “self control” and “natural family planning” are considered good, but coitus interruptus (requiring self control, and one element of natural family planning) is considered bad.

    Infanticide, homicide, and suicide are all listed together, because obviously they are all just the same thing directed at different targets. A suicidal person could just as easily kill another person. Someone who commits vehicular manslaughter is the same as a baby-killer, really. Motives? Context? Irrelevant. Every grieving parent of a child who committed suicide should view that child on the same moral plane as Idi Amin.

    I’m sure the creator of the diagram would argue that’s not what they meant at all. At least, I hope they would.

  • Albanaeon

    Well, I have pressed on a few of these… people and usually I do find that yes, they consider all these things equal, in as much as they’ve considered them at all.

    I think it comes down to a their Manichean view of everything. It’s either right or wrong. No shades of grey. Motives and context are irrelevant because that action is wrong. Period.

    Which is, of course, why its so hard to reason with them. People who happily lump abortion with the Holocaust aren’t interested in “middle ground.”

  • Carstonio

    The objection to coitus interruptus might come from old beliefs about semen being “baby seeds.” The commonality with the sexual practices being condemned is that they involve ejaculation without the intention of becoming a father. I thought there were some Catholic theologians who argued that non-vaginal ejaculation interferes with ensoulment.

    And the choice of dandelion versus rose might be another version of slut-shaming.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Personally, I think the objection to coitus interruptus is that it gets in the way of a man having an orgasm.

  • Fusina

    Besides… Every sperm is sacred…

  • Carstonio

    My understanding is that the man usually finishes on his own, or the woman lends a hand.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Well, yes. But it takes work on the part of the man. It interrupts the flow and it’s just easier to keep going — and making anything more difficult for men is bad.

    They wouldn’t admit this was the reason, of course.

  • Carstonio

    While you’re onto something when it comes to coitus interruptus on its own, my point was about the context. The cartoon seems to oppose any ejaculation where there’s little or no possibility of pregnancy. If this were really about avoiding difficulties for men, the mindset would have no problem with either sterilization or contraception, because neither interferes with men’s satisfaction. It might make an exception for condoms, however.

  • FearlessSon

    If this were really about avoiding difficulties for men, the mindset would have no problem with either sterilization or contraception, because neither interferes with men’s satisfaction.

    I can personally vouch for the sterilization option. Best decision I ever made, my parent’s anger at it not withstanding.

  • MarkTemporis

    Hearing other men talk about sterilization as if the operation literally chopped their balls off makes me ever so proud of my dad, who had the operation as soon as his family unit reached the standard replacement level (well, rounded to 2). I’d consider the process if I was at all sexually active.

  • FearlessSon

    I’d consider the process if I was at all sexually active.

    I had the process before I was ever sexually active. That is one of the things my parents found frustrating. However, I found that the knowledge that I could absolutely never, ever reproduce, even by accident, quite reassuring. It allowed me to go forward into adulthood with much more confidence.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    It’s not *only* about satisfaction for men, it’s also about controlling women. And also controlling men, but with the carrot that at least they get to control women.

    It’s the same principle as racism in the U.S. You might be dirt poor; you might have no chance of being anything else; but at least you’re white! Look over there at the not-white people doing X, don’t think about the fact rich people are working you hard and robbing you blind. A man might be down to his last dime and had his house stolen from him, but at least he’s not a woman, at least he has the privilege of being a man.

    There’s a new theory floating around that WWI was at least partly waged in order to defend ideals of masculinity and out of fear that being a man no longer mattered. If men didn’t have manhood, then what did they have? Some people can’t handle the idea of equality, especially those who haven’t thought about it much.

  • FearlessSon

    A man might be down to his last dime and had his house stolen from him, but at least he’s not a woman, at least he has the privilege of being a man.

    I remember reading something about military training, boot camp and the like, and the psychological tricks that they use (which they have been using for literally tens of thousands of years with only minor changes to the core process.) A big reason for any apparent sexism in the process is partly because they need to tear down the recruits’ self-esteem, then build it back up from the ground in a particular way. They assure the recruits that they are better at the end of it, but who are they better than? For a lot of time, that was women. Since women were never in the boot camps, it was easy to other them for the sake of boosting the egos of the trainees.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Now it’s “better than wussy civilians”. I saw a piece in Gwynne Dyer’s War film series in which a grown man was reduced to tears at being threatened with “going back to being a civilian”.

  • Carstonio

    While I agree in principle, I’m not exactly sure why these folks would interpret extravaginal ejacujation as undermining their control of women. Maybe they fear that women would rebel if men didn’t keep them pregnant regularly.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    I think they don’t think in clear, logical x, therefore y ways. Most people don’t, especially about sex. And I think there are multiple things going on: controlling women and also controlling men. Imo, there are two ways to control people: hit their pocketbooks or hit their sexuality. Hitting their pocketbooks works for more people short-term, but more people can also see what’s going on, and it probably won’t work long-term. Hitting their sexuality, however, has worked for millennia.

    It’s not usually conscious on either side. There are some cult leaders who do it consciously; otherwise, people do what sort of “feels” right. And what feels right to a lot of people is the way it’s always been.

  • Carstonio

    True, except that the dandelion and rose cartoon purports to present a coherent philosophy about sex. So it’s fair to dissect it on those terms.

    If one side is supposed to be the anti-life equation, shouldn’t it depict Darkseid and Granny Goodness in an unholy union?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    There are other forces at work besides controlling women. Namely, controlling other men. Most of the systems which have the effect of helping men control women weren’t actually set up by powerful men for the purpose of helping less-powerful men control less-powerful women. They were set up to help powerful men control less powerful men, whenever possible by throwing women under the bus.

  • Carstonio

    Again, that sounds plausible, but I don’t see how prohibiting ejaculation outside vaginas perpetuates control of less powerful men. In ancient societies, having many children equated to power.

  • Wednesday

    I thought the Catholic objection to coitus interruptus, along with one objection to masturbation, came from a (possibly deliberate) misreading of the story of Onan?

  • stardreamer42

    AKA “why should he buy the cow if he can get the milk for free?” The idea that marriage is something a woman should extort from a man in exchange for sex has more levels of wrong in it than I can count. Not to mention that women are not cows.

  • Hexep

    I was in college in the USA during the 2008 elections, and remember them vividly. Poor old Johnny McCains – he was a hero, once, and then he sold his soul for a bid for power. I wonder if he rues that decision now.

  • P J Evans

    He gets to be on Sunday talk shows, so he hasn’t noticed yet.

  • http://godofevolution.com/ Tyler Francke

    Hey, thanks for the photo link! Love your blog!

  • Albanaeon

    Anybody else feel sorry for the dandelion in that diagram? I’ve always rather liked them as I associate them as bright cheery flower meant to be played with.

    Of course, it also gives away the target audience since most of the people that I know who hate dandelion’s are upper middle class people who are obsessed with neatness and orderliness and tend towards fundamentalism.

  • MarkTemporis

    They do trigger people’s allergies. On the other hand, according to Ray Bradbury you can make Dandelion Wine, which makes them better than roses already. Even if the wine ISN’T alcoholic, it’s still more than you can do with roses!

  • Jenora Feuer

    You can make rosehip wine. My father did once. It winds up being a fairly sweet wine, mostly because there isn’t a lot of water in rosehips.

    My father only did it once because it was a lot of work for the amount of wine produced.

  • Lunch Meat

    David Barton says that “decent people” should find homosexuality “absolutely reprehensible and disgusting.” I think decent people should find lying con-men like David Barton absolutely reprehensible and disgusting. Tomato, tomahto, I guess.

    He previously said the same thing about abortion, that if you tell people “what it really is” they’ll find it disgusting. So presumably, if we tell him all the disgusting things about childbirth and newborn babies, and explain to him graphically and technically what happens during PIV sex, he’ll acknowledge that all decent people should abstain from sex completely?

  • LoneWolf343

    In the case of abortion, I would say there is a difference between considering it disgusting and considering it immoral. It’s a medical procedure, and most medical procedures are not for the weak of heart. It’s gross, but so are amputations, and like amputations, abortions are sometimes necessary for survival.

  • Isabel C.


    Yeah, seriously: if the “Miracle of Life” video they showed us in ninth grade didn’t create twenty new childfree adults, I don’t think his argument really holds up that well.

    8 AM class, that. Yeeeuch.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    That Scouting video is hi-larious. Especially the part about how Scouting in the UK dropped the requirement that a Scout believe in God.

    Hint: this was allegedly a bad thing for the Scouts to do.

    Good thing American Scouting isn’t as accepting. I mean, can you imagine the horrors that would be unleashed if boys with atheist parents were allowed to be Scouts?

    (Of course, no atheist boy would ever want to be a Scout. That would cut into his demonic Dungeons & Dragons time. Why learn to build a fire when SATAN can give you all the fire you’ll ever need?)

  • MarkTemporis

    Wanting more D&D time and less exposure to icky nature was one of the reasons I dropped out of scouting really early. That and a really, really insular troop that never treated me as anything but an interloper.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding


  • themunck

    Placeholders are bad form -.-

  • Lori

    But Jay Bakker is not an example of a PK who turned out bad,
    and Franklin Graham is really not an example of a PK who grew into a
    mature, decent adult.

    Alice Cooper isn’t a great example of a PK gone bad either. He’s had his problems, including being an alcoholic, but he’s been sober for decades and is by all accounts a nice man. He’s open about his Christian beliefs, he’s been married to the same women for 37 years, his kids seem to be doing OK and his big passion in life is golf. Hardly a blight on the family name, at least not by the standards of non-idiots. I’m more of a PK gone bad than Alice Cooper, is what I’m saying.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Not to mention Alice Cooper has bestowed upon us the great honor of eating his Big Unit.

  • MarkTemporis

    Sauerkraut AND Jalepenos? No icky sauces pre-applied for your displeasure?

    Alice Cooper’s Big Unit is a thing of true beauty.
    I would eat Alice Cooper’s Big Unit.

  • JustoneK

    it is a blasphemy of food. it must be destroyed and never allowed to resurface!

    (altho I imagine just sharing the dang thing would help. “me and a buncha friends are gonna go try to finish Alice Cooper’s Big Unit, you wanna come with?”)

  • Kenneth Raymond

    You know, given that the mere act of asking those questions about Elizabeth Colbert Busch would instantly tell me volumes about the attitudes and agenda of the questioner, my opinion of her would rise considerably (and has). Push polling is such a scummy, manipulative practice and I hate people trying to push my buttons like that. Not that any of those actually mentioned in that article are the right buttons for me anyway…

  • mudlock

    Meh, election quorums. If you’re worried that “The primary IS the election,” and still no one shows up to vote, quorums won’t fix it. You need an election method that isn’t two-party dominated:


  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Speaking of austerity, I ran across: Revisiting Deficit Hysteria. It’s fairly specific to the Canadian context, but the familiar rhythm of powerless governments having to cut spending on the welfare state, on health care, on education should be evident to all.

    It is worth noting, in particular, that government deficits and the national debt have been used as politcal Trojan Horses by right-wing governments in Canada to justify all manner of cutbacks. Republicans are no strangers to this.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Further, from this thesis:

    During recession economic hardship from poverty increases and government transfer payments increase to respond to this hardship. Thus, the deficit rises when the economy is in a depressed state and falls when the economy is in “boom” period. Thus economists have devised a deficit concept called the “cyclically adjusted deficit” which measures the deficit that would occur if the economy were at full employment.

    Pages 113 onward (page 237 of the actual PDF onward) are interesting reading for anyone who wants a left-wing critique of the “Washington Consensus” (aka Reaganesque) notion of deficits and debt.

  • Turcano

    I don’t know if this has been posted here, but two months ago a Buzzfeed user asked Prop 8/DOMA protesters to write their views on a notepad; George Takei responded in kind, further cementing his status as a national treasure.

  • Lori

    George Takei is indeed a national treasure. I have mixed feelings about the comments he’s responding to. On one hand, at that age I had plenty of shallow “beliefs” that I hadn’t thought through at all. On the other hand, I didn’t travel to protests to demonstrate about them. If you’re going to go to the trouble of showing up to be counted for something you should have more intelligent thoughts about it than those kids demonstrated*. Which is to say, George was nicer to them than they probably deserved. That’s a big part of the reason he’s a national treasure and I’m some cranky woman on the internet.

    *I don’t say that just because they’re little homophobes. I thought the same thing about some of the Occupy protesters and don’t even get me started on people who think that a “mean people suck” bumper sticker is in any way profound.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    I thought the “kids” all looked college-age. If people are always nice to them about their homophobic beliefs, they may very well never have incentive to change them.

    When I was that age, I thought I could show up late to everything and skip tons of classes and it wouldn’t matter. And it didn’t, for about two years. Professors would write things on my papers like, “you’re gifted, but you need to apply yourself more,” but I kept getting 4.0s and 3.5s, so I ignored them. Then I took a class in which the professor (upon whom I had a massive crush) gave me 4.0s on all my papers and exams, but actually docked me for missing class and being late. I ended up with a 2.0. In a history class. Taught by a professor I had a huge crush on.

    That’s the last time I’ve ever treated a class with such disrespect, and since then, I’ve also tried to be punctual. Sometimes someone has to come along and proverbially smack some sense into a person before they’ll change.

  • FearlessSon

    I could not for the life of me understand how Mark Sanford could get elected again. Not after all the crap he pulled. My response to the election results was “WTF?”

  • reynard61

    The morons voters of South Carolina would obviously rather have a philandering Rethuglican/Teabagger representing them than a Democrat. All I can say is, “If you *vote* for crappy government, you’re gonna *get* crappy government.”

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Believe me, some of us are wondering that about the BC Liberal Party. (-_-)

  • Carstonio

    Not difficult to understand. In this era it would take a hell of a lot for South
    Carolina to elect a Democrat. Maybe if Sanford had gone on a killing spree.

  • Lorehead

    On one side of an Italian street, many years ago, sat a panhandler in a yarmulke, holding up a sign with a star of David and saying, “Help a poor Jew in need.” On the other, sat a panhandler with a rosary, holding up a sign with a cross and saying, “Help a poor Catholic in need.”

    A man walking by tosses a few lire into both men’s cups, then says to the Jewish beggar, “I don’t mean to be rude, but: Italy is a Catholic country. Nobody’s going to go out of their way to answer your sign. In fact, they’ll probably give to the other fellow instead just to spite you.”

    The Jewish beggar scoffs to the Catholic beggar, “Moshe, he thinks he can tell us how to run our business.”

  • other lori

    I’ll say it this time, next time, every time, because liberal fear-mongering and hysteria is no more attractive than the right-wing varieties: Women of the U.S., rest assured. They are NOT taking your birth control. The economy may collapse, the country may devolve into civil war, the sun may burn out, but The Powers That Be will guarantee that you have access to birth control. (They are handing it out to young black women like candy in many places, and paying them to get on it in others. There is nothing the 1% would love more than all of us having no more than one child, and even that is just grudging, so they’ll have some consumers left in the future.)

    Our economy is premised on the low-wage service labor of women of childbearing age. TPTB will never, ever, ever allow any legislation that would prevent those women from having an easy, affordable, reliable way to not get knocked up. The last thing they want is women leaving the workforce because they have too many kids to raise, or demanding affordable, high-quality day care (because, if they couldn’t choose to limit family size, it would be harder to argue that what to do with their kids during work hours is their problem to deal with).

    I’ve been hearing this song–THEY ARE COMING FOR MY BIRTH CONTROL!!! GROUPS X, Y, AND Z NEED MY MONEY BECAUSE OTHERWISE THOSE EVIL EVILDOERS ARE GOING TO TAKE AWAY MY BIRTH CONTROL TOMORROW!!!–since at least 2002, really ramping up in 2004 and on. And, in the ensuing 11 years, the only change has been that, now, I can get my birth control without a copay. Um, that plan didn’t work so well.

    Yes, there are some individuals and groups who would like to outlaw birth control. Those individuals and groups have less likelihood of success than groups that want to outlaw handguns, porn, or alcohol. Despite what we may believe, women with WordPress blogs are not making national policy.

    Your birth control is entirely, completely, 100% safe. Now, I suppose if there were some kind of Handmaid’s Tale-style coup in which, like, everybody in power (both politicians and their wealthy corporate backers) was wiped out at once except the Tea Party and the Koch brothers, there’d be a small chance your birth control could be more regulated. But, let’s just be sane and be real: in a society where women’s low-wage labor is literally the engine driving the economy, birth control is not going anywhere, ever.

  • other lori

    Oh, and I can also get Plan B over the counter, and in 12 years, my daughter will be able to, as well.

    This plan to take my birth control is apparently an epic fail.

    I get it’s hyperbole. But, I don’t think we need to be engaging in it. Reality-based politics are best, and, in reality, women’s access to birth control is completely safe.

  • JustoneK

    will you quit that?

  • other lori

    No, I won’t quit pointing out reality and challenging hysterical fear-mongering.

    I suppose that people will consider anything other than birth control being delivered mandatorily and automatically, every single month, to women’s doors a “war on birth control,” because in reality we’ve seen decades of increased birth control coverage and access.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Yeah, I absolutely could have gotten hormonal contraception while uninsured, and it absolutely wouldn’t have cost me more than what it does now that I’m insured again, and there absolutely isn’t anyone for whom twenty dollars every three months is big money.

  • JustoneK

    oh okay so I’m just an outlier then. well I feel better.

  • John (not McCain)

    Gee, and here I thought the word “hysterical” was a gendered insult. Guess not.

  • EllieMurasaki

    It is, but women call each other bitches, too.

  • Random_Lurker

    The point is that certain people are indeed coming for your birth control- or at the very least, trying to do so. This much is indisputable since one scheme or another is in the national news at least once a week.

    The reason in pointing it out, in news or blogs like this one, is to inform people about it so they can fight against it, and ensure that it is, in fact, an epic fail. So far, it’s working. Far from being a reason to stop, it demonstrates why it’s important to continue.

    If only it was working for global warming and energy independence too. Sigh.

  • Beroli

    I get it’s hyperbole.

    It’s not hyperbole. If you want anyone to respond to these posts of yours with anything other than annoyance, take your nose out of the air and get over the idea that we all know you’re right, we’re just not admitting it for some reason.

  • EllieMurasaki

    The Powers That Be will guarantee that you have access to birth control. (They are handing it out to young black women like candy in many places, and paying them to get on it in others. There is nothing the 1% would love more than all of us having no more than one child, and even that is just grudging, so they’ll have some consumers left in the future.

    Citations needed.

  • other lori

    So you think the 1% wants women popping out babies left and right, and no access to birth control? If they did, I can assure you, we’d have no access to birth control.

    It is a persecution fantasy to believe that those in power want your birth control. It’s no more reality based than Christians who think the government is coming for their Bibles. If they wanted your birth control, they’d have taken it. Instead, you now have more birth control options, more of them available over the counter, and more of them covered by insurance (and now without a copay).

    There is nothing subversive or radical about using birth control: over 90% of American women do so at some point in their lives. It’s about as radical an act as eating cereal for breakfast or taking Tylenol when you have a headache, and about as much in danger of being made illegal as either of those things. (I have no doubt Tylenol would sooner be outlawed.) And, just like eating cereal or taking Tylenol, it’s a good thing for many people, no doubt. I love my birth control. I just refuse to live in a fantasy world where I’m some subversive heroine because I take it, or that there are nefarious villains poised to take it away from me.

    If you honestly think we live in a country where people are encouraged by TPTB to eschew birth control and have large families, I don’t know what to say except that you are not living in reality.

  • EllieMurasaki

    These are not the citations I’m looking for.

  • JustoneK

    a rather large number of abortions are still happening, and it is seen as a radical act. what the hell is this kind of logic

  • JustoneK

    in fact, Guttmacher’s 2011 report places em at

    At least half of American women will experience an unintended pregnancy by age 45, and, at current rates, one in 10 women will have an abortion by age 20, one in four by age 30 and three in 10 by age 45.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    First of all, the 1% doesn’t have unilateral power in the United States. Whatever they might wish, they can’t wave a magic wand and force the market to make it so. They can’t even tweak their puppet strings and make senators outlaw it.

    That said, speaking from personal experience, there are areas throughout the United States where it is impossible to get contraception of any kind without a lengthy drive, and those areas are not way out in the boonies.

  • Beroli

    If you honestly think we live in a country where people are encouraged
    by TPTB to eschew birth control and have large families, I don’t know
    what to say except that you are not living in reality.

    You could try providing the citations ze asked for, instead of just repeating, “I’m right because I’m right because I’m right.”

    You do have some reason to believe the claims you’re making, right? It isn’t “I’m right because I’m right because I’m right” inside your head as it is out here?

  • Maniraptor

    Didn’t we just have this exact conversation with you?

    Friends, let’s not bother until there’s some evidence that other lori is interested in learning about the experiences of anybody else, ever.

  • other lori

    Yes, and yet the fear-mongering continues. Again, the same claims have been made for at least a decade and a half, and all we’ve seen is INCREASED access to birth control and MORE insurance coverage for it.

    I’m interesting in facts and reality, not hysteria, no matter what side it comes from.

    I refuse to play the game of being a persecuted righteous victim, no matter which side tells me that’s what I should pretend to be. Nobody wants my Bible. Nobody wants my Christmas tree. If I owned a gun, nobody would be coming to take it. And, nobody wants my freaking birth control. That’s reality.

    Let’s stop diluting our energy worrying about total non-problems and dealing with the massive injustices that actually exist in this country.

  • EllieMurasaki


  • other lori

    It’s like people here honestly think The Handmaid’s Tale was a work of descriptive non-fiction.

    If your goal is to stick it to the man, then get married at 18, have 8 kids, and tan the leather for your own shoe soles. If you want to give the finger to TPTB, join the Amish.

    But, please, do not pretend that you are somehow subverting the dominant paradigm by pulling out your birth control pill pack with a women’s symbol on it at Starbucks when the alarm on your iPhone that you’ve labelled “F–k Patriarchy!” goes off. You aren’t. You are doing EXACTLY what they want you to do. No sane person can look at the ways in which the government and corporations have spent money in the last few decades and conclude anything other than encouraging delayed childbearing, and entirely discouraging childbearing among the young and the poor, is the goal.

    It’s not the theocrats who are controlling you, but the corporate overlords. That’s reality. And those corporate overlords don’t want women barefoot and pregnant: they want them wearing shoes made by children in Asia while they man the check-out lines at Wal-Mart. They don’t want you learning to sew and bake bread: they want you joining the race of meritocracy because the more people in the pool of educated workers, the more they can drive down wages.

    Birth control is good. I use it. I’m glad for it. But, it’s no more an act of subversion than my sitting down to watch a sitcom at night is. It is, like watching that sitcom, playing the game those in power want me to play. So let’s stop imagining that we’re heroic freedom fighters because we have an IUD, or that sitting there yelling “Swiper, no swiping!” as the army of the like 10 people in America who really hate birth control come after us.

    There are huge, serious, massive problems in this country that progressives and liberals and leftists MUST address. It is a waste of time and energy to fight the non-problem of those evil Catholic mommy bloggers posting silly gifs coming to take away our birth control, especially when something like 100 million Americans live at or near the poverty line. If you were to tell the inner-city women I live around that their fundamental problem is not having access to birth control, they’d laugh in your face, and probably be justified in slapping you, especially given that the 20th century was the story of white attempts to limit minority reproduction. Let’s be real. That’s all I want from the left.

  • dpolicar

    This reasoning not only shows that TPTB support women not having babies (as you say), it equally well shows why TPTB support large-scale immigration (the better to drive down wages among the working class) and women having lots of babies (to encourage a larger pool of workers in the next generation).

    I generally distrust lines of reasoning to tell me much about the world if they show things which I don’t observe to be true, as well as if they show two mutually exclusive things.

    Further refinement may be in order.

  • Gotchaye

    Not to defend the point about birth control, but the Chamber of Commerce loves immigration.

    What may be confusing you is that business interests have never seemed to care much about some kinds of enforcement, but that’s because in some ways illegal immigrants are preferable to legal immigrants (No minimum wage. If they organize, deport them. If they complain of abuse, deport them.).

    You’ll note that for all the opposition to immigration, we never did the sorts of easy things which would slow it to a trickle – we never really went after employers of illegal immigrants. That the enforcement we had/have was ineffective was part of the point.

  • dpolicar

    Fair point.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    How does Slacktivist keep getting these highly ignorant people who think they know stuff and think they can educate us on everything? Is the Slacktivist comments section some kind of metaphysical experiment about the Dunning-Kruger Effect? Like, how much will people who are not ignorant engage with people who are, and just how much will said highly ignorant people resist being educated?

    Oh, and other lori, when I say “highly ignorant”, I mean you.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    How does Slacktivist keep getting these highly ignorant people who think
    they know stuff and think they can educate us on everything?

    -It’s the LB posts. They attract people of all political ideologies (except Christian conservatives).

  • phantomreader42

    I’m curious, how do you make the actual legislation restricting and defunding birth control proposed by real elected officials in the real world magically disappear? Or do you just not recognize the validity of things like FACTS?

  • JustoneK

    it’s a pretty horrible conglomeration of things you’re accusing also:
    that we want to be martyrs, that contraception regulation is akin to gun/porn/alcohol regulation and not a healthcare issue, that bloggers don’t reflect actual policies in place, that we’re _less sane_ to tell you the reality that we live in directly does not jive with what you live in.

    I really shouldn’t try to speak for others of commentariat here, but I do have the ability to care about more than one injustice at a time. And I have seen that a society where women’s low-wage labor is driving the economy is intimately bound up with contraception blocks. Because the only thing better than low-wage labor is _free_ labor.

    You just can’t divorce the issue you bring up from the actuality of birth control control.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Why would the Koch brothers support more regulation of birth control?

  • Lori

    This is the same thing we’ve been hearing for years and years about the right to choose. Any time someone would point out threats to women’s right to safe, legal abortion services some more-rational-than-thou would pop up to throw around accusations of hysteria and loudly proclaim that Roe v Wade isn’t going away so why aren’t you focusing on Some Other Injustice.

    And now here we are in 2013 and Roe v Wade has indeed not gone away and yet there are parts of the country where it’s essentially a dead letter. For many women it’s all but impossible to get a safe, legal abortion.and more states are trying to make sure that their non-wealthy female residents can’t either. But it’s OK because if you’ve got enough money and enough flexibility in your life to travel then you can always go to a clinic in a less benighted neighboring state and middle class women have fairly easy access to Plan B. And as long as middle class women don’t have to be pregnant when they don’t want to be then everything is A-OK, amirite?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Alas, I have but one up-vote to give this.

  • christopher_y

    People have been trying to get the word out about the Magdalen Laundries for decades. Surprising how people don’t want to hear it. Not.