Ad data retrieval

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Long And Winding Blog About Gender

I'm going to show you a couple of images of products that you can find in any store. They are manufactured by much-lauded toy manufacturer Fisher-Price and are designed for 3-to-18 month old babies. Take a few second to look carefully, because it is important.

Note, that the Saw and Hammer toys are for a"busy baby boy" and the Purse and Diamond Ring are for "sweet baby girls". Yes, you too can indoctrinate your 3 month old kid into a life of forced conformity- your boy a hardy carpenter and your daughter a twit desperately waiting for Prince Charming to put a ring on it-before they can even form words.

What the blue Hell is going on here?

I know that I may not have been your typical prissy girl, but I certainly wasn't spending all my days and nights waiting passively for Prince Bloody Charming to "save" me from having to work or whatever. I was Little Ms. Busy- zooming around and getting bumps and bruises and hitting my thumb with a hammer. That being said, even though I wasn't into purses or Prince Bloody Charming, I was a pretty sweet kid. I was reasonably thoughtful and kind and quite intelligent. You can even ask my pop, as he frequents this blog.

The thing is today we seem to have completely reversed feminism. We're not only as gender-typed as we were in the 1890s, but we're even more sexist. Sure, you might be Rosie The Riveter in your day job, but when you get home you're expected to change the diapers, prepare all foods including cookies for the school bake sale, (which you will be shunned for not volunteering for because your outside job actually means something to you) serve your "king" his supper in a lounge chair, take his plate away and wash it, etcetera, etcetera. Girls are allowed to be electricians and mechanics, so long as they're sweet and gentle and make sure that their profession doesn't offend Mr. Macho Man.

But it's not just girls who are gender-typed to death, as these products show. Back in the day, there were defined gender roles, but boys' attire was quite similar to that worn by girls. Boys weren't looked at too funny if they wanted to help mum around the house, and as they got older, genuinely respected women for being there. The roles were different to be sure, but men could brag about how amazing their wives were and would open doors, buy flowers, and shower their lady with affection without being regarded as "soft" or pussywhipped for their thoughtfulness. Nowadays, boys are pressured from shortly after birth to be hypermasculine and uncaring, with gentle boys even shamed by other parents. Real men in our age best earn a lot of money, listen to no authority, and make sure that no bitch turns them down or insults their machismo in even the smallest fashion.

I was having a discussion with a gent a few days ago. He works in assisted living units for adults and is working on a nursing degree. He loves to vacation in San Francisco and is a very gentle man. So we were talking about life in general and he mentioned the fact that he doesn't have too many guy friends and chilling with his wife's friends isn't some form of torture for him. He's a gender nonconformist, and I think being in the company of someone who also doesn't quite fit may be the reason for the conversation. So, as the chit-chat went on, I mentioned that one of my brothers was considering giving up his job as the manager of a furniture importer to become a nurse as well. Mr. Social Worker pal nodded and said that it was brave for my bro to consider the career change (said brother has also had the macho job of Corrections Officer), but that it's kind of a lonely (yet still rewarding) road for the gentle giants who pursue such a non-traditional trade.

Now, my bro Chris was a gender hero long before passing this new idea through his dome. He was a big and sporting kid who also happened to love ballet. (Try envisioning a 200 pound 11 year old dude doing pirouettes in the kitchen, and you're spot-on) Today's winner of football pools is also very content dusting or cooking or whatnot. He's pretty social and has straight friends and gay friends and some in between. His right-hand man, whom he hired, is a former U.S. Marine dismissed under Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Chris doesn't care about what anyone save for his lady thinks of him because he truly believes that all people deserve to be treated with dignity. I think that if we're going to survive as a species, we need more folks like him.

We need to get to a point where we stop seeing pretty things and kind people as being weak. In our age, we still categorize everything as masculine or feminine, with the latter thought of as inferior. A girl born today can do "boy" things in many families without being kicked out of the house or beaten for it, with exceptions given to those raised in religious patriarchies. However, a boy in almost any family will be scolded or worse for even glancing toward that Barbie doll or cookset with fun in his eyes. And speaking of the cookset, have you noticed that the play kitchenettes we had as kids weren't pink? Try finding one today that isn't pink or mauve and you'll be taking far longer on your trip than you expected.

This gender policing comes into effect early, and kids do absorb it. From my nephew saying "I can't be a nurse, silly. Boys are doctors." to Larry King having his brains blown out for wearing a skirt, sexism is beyond alive and well. Girls are sweet, pretty, helpful, and less than boys, who are to be tough, bright,  active, and eventually insecure and cruel.

How is this fair?

This is not an attack on boys-quite to the contrary-but an indictment of our society which forces them to conform to unrealistic so-called norms. Your boy isn't weak for wanting to be an interior designer or hairdresser, but may just have stronger will  than the meanest linebacker. If your son-in-law wants to hang around with his kids and respects your daughter, he's not a wimp or undriven. Hanging out in the garage with dad isn't going to make your little princess into a homo. When we stop portraying our insecurities onto our children and those of others, we will have well-balanced future adults.

I mean, do boys and girls really need separate inhalers?

Thank you to Save On Foods in Victoria, BC for selling such a ridiculous product.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Your Daily Awesome

  Larry Powell started off like any other teacher a few decades back, and through hard work come rewards. Mr. Powell rose to the top of his profession, becoming Fresno County School Board superintendent. The job comes with a benefit package, decent retirement, and a hefty $288, 000 salary. But the thing is, that's just too rich for Larry Powell's blood.

  The 63 year old educator is quitting his job- for one day. He will get to regain his position overseeing the classroom experience for 195, 000 kids, but not at the same salary. Mr. Awesome will make $31, 000, just like any other teacher, because he wants to save preschool and some essential programs that have been cut. What's more- he's donating his statutory minimum salary to charity. Yes, Super Prof is working for the next 3 1/2 years for free. The move will put $830, 000 into his kids' art programs and other fun.

  So, why did he do it? The gentleman and his wife are both teachers and they figure they've been able to live the dream and will be able to live a quality life without hoarding their cheddar.

   When asked, he plainly stated "We basically asked ourselves the question, do you have to have more money  and do you just keep stockpiling it? And we decided that we didn't and that's not what we're all about."

  While I'm sure the move may puzzle Bill O'Reilly and most other rich guys with it's social idealism and all, I think that Larry Powell is close to heroic, particularly in today's day and age of excess on the backs of the poor.

  Cats like this restore my faith in humanity.

Where Have All The Children Gone?

  Remember when you were in school? If you grew up like most of us, your teachers were usually strict, yet friendly, and recesses were spent out on the playground. It was all about outside, where tougher kids might be playing rugby, fast kids played ball or tag, and quieter kids might read on the grass. It was fun and sometimes goofy, and even bullied kids like me enjoyed the break away from structure.

  Nowadays, children don't get to have fun anymore. Kids go to school, come home with piles of homework, are shuttled to ballet and judo practice, and come home and blow their minds out on the computer or gaming machine before collapsing for fewer hours of sleep than we ever had. Twice a week, they see the paediatric psychologist because they're depressed or insubordinate from the poor diet of fast food, Prozac, and little-to-no exercise. Kids get outside less because parents are afraid of the mysterious predator and schools are cutting out recesses under the guise of work proficiency.

  In recent years, 40% of American elementary schools have either reduced or eliminated recesses for various reasons. Some cite budgetary concerns, but many believe that the loss of fun time is due to overemphasis on test scores. The problem existed before the failed No Child Left Behind Act of 2009, but recess reduction has gone full-steam. And it's not just in America, but much of the highly competitive western world.

  Human beings are not hardwired to receive a continuous flow of information for 7 to 9 hours without a break. This is why most workplaces offer breaks to employees. More comfortable workplaces generally enjoy benefits such as better performance, fewer injuries, better overall mental health, and lower numbers of sick days taken. And it works in a similar fashion with smaller members of our species. Children who have no recess, or recesses-in-name-only that involve more schoolwork eventually crack. An overly stressed out young person may grow tired or despondent, with lower scores being the result. And it's no wonder that we have all of these kids with alleged hyperactivity disorders- while I know some are genuinely related to neurological or genetic issues, I believe that a great number of children are simply energetic and want to run around a field and chase the chickens like our grandparents did.

  By inundating children with too much information, too soon, and not giving them a breather, we will create some perfect corporate drones. We can use technology to rot their social skills and then dope them up when they don't fit in or when protest this absolute assault on their natural selves. And of all arguments that can be made, it simply boils down to the fact that all of this is contrary to our very essence. Despite what anti-evolutionists say, we are animals. If you look at the young of all high-order social creatures, you'll notice that they play. We may not always be certain as to why youthful fun affects the adulthood behaviour of various mammals, but it's clear that play produces positive results.

  In the western world, we get to choose our leaders; everyone from school board trustees to presidents sees his or her name on a ballot sheet. We have the right to petition our leaders for better and vote for those who have a record of caring for our youngest and most awesome citizens. Education cuts and miseducational policies are human rights violations against those too young to vote. In most states, provinces, and nations, a tax hike of under 2% would overhaul the education system to the positive, provided we get rid of these ridiculous overachievement standards and stop trying to raise a race of bored Stepford stockbrokers.

  If we let kids be kids again, I promise we'll get better adults. Oh, and boot your kids outside every so often. I'm pretty darn sure that will help too.

Media Moment Of The Thinking Kind

Childhood is an awkward, but fun, time. We play dodgeball, crush hard, and develop frienships. In some families, childhood means school after school; religious indoctrination the name of the game.

In Egypt, this could be your kid:

and in America, this could be your kid:

Note how the different kids make you feel. Is one more scary? Why? Why is an Egyptian kid terrifying and an American one cute?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Song In My Head

  I haven't blogged in a bit. Jack Layton was and is something that made street kids like me better. And I'm a bit bummed. MAN, how do I eulogize a cat who actually saved my butt? Well, I cannot..

So Olivia and Mr. Jack, I offer this song, an important one. My favourite song, dedicated to a gent and a family that will always rock.

Buy this awesomeness from Andre Rieu HERE

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Song In My Head

I live in a building with 42 small units, the majority of which are rented by single men. As one of the few women in the building, a lot of the gents have taken a shine to me, even though most are around my dad's age. One of them has Parkinson's Disease and likes to visit me because I'm a reasonably nice person and I live on the same floor. But, being a guy, he just can't let it be. Dude has a crush on me, and I am so not interested.

WH frequently comes over to try to flirt and talk my ear off, which is kind of difficult since he's become difficult to comprehend as part of his disease. Earlier this evening, I went and watched a movie with a pal. When I came back, there was a pitcher of water and plate of food at my door. One of the guys said he saw who dropped it off, and sure enough, it was WH, who also stopped by later on.

Now, I have a problem. This guy has it for me and I'm not really sure how to let the guy down. Even thinking about having to crush the guy gives me anxiety. After all, I moved in to this building to get some peace and quiet and dudes keep trying to hook up with me.

For the rest of tonight, I'm going to quietly pretend I'm not home or am sleeping due to the 3 or 4 guys who don't quite get the drift.

Has this happened to any of you? How exactly do you get the message across that you aren't looking, and do it convincingly?

While I plan my exit from this most recent awkward situation, let's enjoy this 1985 oddity from Animotion

Property of Island Def Jam Group. Buy now on iTunes here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Walk-Off Strikeout

  Tonight, terminal braincramp Christine O'Donnell decided to go on Piers Morgan Tonight to promote her book because nowadays, every shitty political wannabe that is completely decimated in an election writes a memoir.

  Things were going fine until the pithy host decided to ask Miss O'Donnell a few questions, namely about gay marriage. Apparently, Christine didn't realize that when you're on any station other than Fox, hosts actually may be inclined to be inquisitive.

  And just like that, the 43-year-old virgin walked off of the show. all Piers did was ask a few very mild questions about the content of the book and -boom- she was outta there like Piers had asked her about her favourite masturbatory techniques or what she's done with the $925, 000 in leftover campaign contributions or something.

  Christine O'Donnell needs to realize a few things, namely that as a former candidate, she will be asked about policy issues. You can't bring about the "second American Revolution" or whatever nation-hating Teabag takeover without being able to discuss where the country would go after you win the next Civil War. Number 2- If you go on national television to discuss a book you have purported to have authored, you may just be expected to keep your end of the bargain. If it's "all in the book", why aren't you willing to talk about it? Is it because, like so many others, you didn't actually write it, and as with the constitution, you have no idea what the hell you're talking about? But most of all, Christine O'Donnell seems to have forgotten that fame is fleeting, and infamy can be moreso. Her clock is at 14:59 and plum opportunities for free promo only come so often. she's virtually screwed herself out of appearing on any non-Fox channel for shameless self-promotion. Sure, her pals will blame the lib-tard media, but the fact of the matter is that there are people who wouldn't have tuned in to Fox, but watch CNN. Because of O'Donnell's petulant behaviour, none of them are rushing to Barnes & Noble.

  Christine O'Donnell has proven what voters dictated. You can't be political material if one or two softballs causes you to unravel. If you're in session and a debate comes up, you can't run into a corner, crying for your mummy. Politics is hard business, and Christine O'Donnell is not just a complete and utter twit, but she's an absolutely spineless twit, and we should thank our lucky stars that the good people opted to keep her out of a public payday.


Bow To Your Master

This is 98 year old Keiko Fukuda, and she isn't retired. Sensei Fukuda is a San Francisco judo instructor and the last surviving student of the discipline's founder, Kano Jiguro, who encouraged her to become an ambassador for the sport .

The daughter of a jiu-jitsu great, Sensei Fukuda grew up in Japan in a time where women could have a career or family, but not both. She dedicated her life to her fighting art and became a 5th degree black belt in the 1940's, but her rank was stalled for 30 years because the later overseers of Master Kano's Kodokan dictated that they didn't think that women could achieve a rank higher than 5. In 1972, she was working at Mills College in Oakland when she received her 6th dan designation, a first for all women. Every time fellow judoka pressured the Kodokan to raise the Sensei's rank, they balked and reiterated with their "but no woman has ever achieved this" retort, keeping the woman who went from rookie to 5th dan in well under a decade stagnant record wise. And just like every other time, she pressed on, determined to change the way women were portrayed in the sport.

This month, Sensei Fukuda became Master. She is the first woman and only American to ever hit the judo ceiling. She joins 3 Japanese men as the only 10th degree black belts alive.

She cried upon hearing that she had reached her life's goal and now I may need a Kleenex.

Girls, never let anyone tell you that you can't play with the boys.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Gordon Campbell: Living Large On Taxpayer Millions

  To the average reader, Canadian politics doesn't really register on your collective radar, so I'll make this outrage short, sweet, and easy to read.

  This man here is Gordon Campbell and he was the Premier of British Columbia for 9 years, when he and his band of old Reform, Conservative, and social Credit buddies took over the Liberal Party and won 3 consecutive elections. It goes without saying that the party was Liberal in name only during this recently-ended period.

During this time, Gordon Campbell sold off many of BC's natural resources and privatized profit-making provincial corporations, selling all to his stable of cronies. There is now an inquiry into Campbell's corrupt sell-off of BC Rail, which was essentially given to a friend. People are rightly pissed at his selloff of BC Ferries, which went to another buddy, and the fact he sold 3 ferries to their manufacturer for 10% of their value. His party had numerous offices raided and members arrested for things which included registry violations. Gordon Campbell was convicted of drunk driving while in another country while in office and took a bribe to institute a wildly unpopular tax that mainly affects lower classes. During his time in office, hospitals and clinics were closed, teachers and therapists laid off, and homeless people forcibly relocated so the city of Vancouver wouldn't look so bad during the Olympics.

Times were bad when Gordo was in office. He was so hated that he resigned after massive protests. His approval rating the day he stepped down was 9%- the lowest of any politician in Canadian history. Gordon Campbell wound up with a pension that us mere mortals could only dream of, but he got the hell out of his seat, and we were happy for it.

Cue to today, when the Prime Minister of Canada, the Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, decided it was time to appoint some diplomats. The usual faces, like Sanjeev Chowdhury, were shuffled to new locations and there were a few brand new diplomatic faces. And one of those was our pal Gordo. Yes, Harper named Gordon Campbell Canada's High commissioner in Great Britain; the second-most important diplomatic job in the country. It includes loads of fun in London, full medical and dental, a $1.5 million salary, and another pension which he can keep along with his existing one. The guy who financially mismanaged Canada out of billions of dollars and caused one province to crash while others flourished is getting the royal treatment.

Decisions like this one show you exactly how out of touch with everyday Canucks Mr. Harper really is. Dreadful appointments, adding "Royal" to our country's institutions, and turning the rare surplus into a deficit by giving tax breaks to the rich are just the beginning for our version of George W.

I understand that since P.M. Harper was voted in with a majority, he can do anything he wants; however, offering the most plum available post to one of the nation's most hated men will come back to bite you in the ass come next election. I can guarantee it.

Michele Bachmann Makes An Idiot Of Herself Of The Day

Michele Bachmann is no stranger to using the memories of deceased American icons to her benefit. As we brought you before MSNBC did, Mrs. Bachmann famously forgot which John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa (Gacy), but today we have an extra special treat for you.

Today, Mrs. Bachmann gave one of her usual self-promotion speeches, in this instance co-opting the memory of Elvis Presley, who she wished a loud happy birthday to that can be seen and heard here. the problem is, Auguast 16th is not Elvis Arron Presley's birthday. It's the day her famously died of a heart attack on the crapper.

A little less conversation and a little more research, Mrs. B.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

#winning With The Juggalos

Giving up your $40 million a year job to catch turdballs and glowsticks hurled by Insane Clown Posse fans isn't normal...but on crack it is.

Tila Tequila showed up for last year's gathering. Soon after, she lost what was left of her mind and started creating nearly incomprehensible blog posts about the Illuminati reading her mind.

Dude, this is NOT winning.

(Even More) Fundies With Existentialism

Read the entire thing and don't just stop at the video...please. 

Recently, AFA talking head Bryan Fischer posted a piece in which he questioned the idea of the fitness of females in politics purely because of their gender. While the piece seemed quite mild by Mr. fischer's standards, he did hop on AFA radio on Friday to clarify things a little and take opinions from callers, most of whom claimed that women are far too emotionally fragile to be leaders and, moreover, such things were "inappropriate" and "unbiblical".

The caller who prompted this response is a woman named Robin, who most certainly doesn't jive with women being political leaders, stating that the mere possibility that a woman could be president is a sign that America is under a "curse" from God because that is what God does to nations that fall out of His favour.

Naturally, Mr. Fischer gleefully chimed in with this reply:

If there is a god, who is Bryan Fischer to say that this all-powerful being would be so sociopathic as to deem one gender to be garbage in comparison to the other, useful only as a hole for quickie sex and washing the pots and pans? These Scriptures were written by men to control people, men who were racist, sexist, xenophobic, and homophobic, just like Bryan Fischer. Men who likely had serious mommy issues and hated their wives because they secretly lusted for their buddies, and whether or not that describes Mr. Fischer, we may never know.

Also, God does not choose leaders of free nations. The idea that one is pre-destined by the supernatural to rule over the people falls within the Divine Right of Kings, and as liberated people know, monarchies are not democracies, no matter how hard they try to be. In fact, opposition to undemocratic rule is one of the founding principles of that America that you believe is blessed by your Creator. Besides, if the Scriptures are correct, Barack Obama couldn't have been permitted office by this God because he's of African descent. (Those with "flat noses" are considered blemished in the Scriptures and not fit to rule over the people or to even enter a religious building.) The idea that God chooses Presidents according to divine bigotry is absurd.

The person I feel most sorry for though is the caller that inspired Bryan Fischer's ridiculous rant. It's pretty obvious that Robin has been indoctrinated with the belief that she is inferior purely because she wasn't born with a penis. She believes that women are cursed by God because some rib-lady ate a sacred apple after being told to by a talking snake. Instead of viewing the ability to bring life into the world as a wondrous gift, she sees such a thing as divine punishment, and as such America will be plagued with a female honcho because of it's spiritual iniquity.Any value system that could cause this lady, and millions of others, to hate themselves this much is far from moral, no matter how pretty the hymns are.

Bryan Fischer makes his living by willfully promoting hatred against women, Jews, Muslims, gays, immigrants, Native Americans, Hindus, atheists, and anyone else who is not a bigoted, white, American Protestant male. I'd dare to suggest that Bryan Fischer has seriously deep-rooted psychological disturbances that may have been caused by childhood religious abuse or any of the many other causes of adulthood assholery. And, with him, he found a perfect outlet for his rage in a religion that's millenia old. If it weren't for Christianity, I'm sure that Bryan Fischer would find another way to express his self-centredness, megalomania, and misogyny, but fewer people would actually take him seriously. If he didn't have this man-made version of God, he'd probably invent his own death cult or be a permanent fixture in the Bubble Room of a psychiatric facility.

People often ask why I mention zealots like Fischer so often, firmly believing that I ignored, bigots will go away. The reason is multifold, but fairly simple: If intelligent and compassionate people like you and I don't rebuke folks like Bryan Fischer whenever we can, they will continue to have influence over the political goings-on of not only America, but other free nations. Secondly, protest doesn't give fundamentalists power like so many think. Because of outrage over Bryan Fischer's incendiary radio programs, he has been rejected from speaking at many religious and/or Republican conventions of late, ones that he often counted on as a source of income and new sheep. When we clearly state that the American Family Association and its cohorts do not at all represent a positive vision of faith, they will be forced to adapt or be pushed further to the fringes, where they will no longer be able to have power over our politicians, laws, and schools.

I choose not to believe in any of the gods and goddesses presented before me, but some people do feel the need to surrender their lives to something other than themselves to become greater human beings. And I have absolutely zero malice toward anyone who uses spirituality to attain a personal relationship with the bigger, more awesome them that lies in the mind. However, the thing about belief is that it should assist you in becoming a better human being instead of enabling all of your hatreds to multiply like intracranial skinhead bunnies.

So, if your god is demanding that you  make your daughter dress up like Darth Vader or tell her she's only useful as a baby factory, you may just be a child abuser. And if you don't live in Saudi Arabia or Iran, it is at least partially your fault. You have a choice as to whether or not you'll allow a preacher to tell you and your kin how to live. Stop blaming your religion- it can only make you do what you would do anyways- and take some accountability for the way in which your kids' self-esteem is formed. Stop blaming a book written by Bronze Age nincompoops for your disgruntlement over your son doing 20-to-life for killing a gay guy, for the fact that you beat your wife, or for the fact that you allow sequences of bizarre superstitions to dictate what you can eat and when you can eat it. Don't give me the "but God said so" bullshit. God didn't say it, man said it and wrote it down for posterity. God doesn't hate fags or abortion or women or blacks. You do. Own it, and if you feel badly about it, atone for it by being a decent human being.

If you bring peace with you, it will multiply.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

13 Questions

  After the well-publicized Republican debate that Rick Perry and Sarah Palin famously chickened out of was complete, opinions on how well presidential hopefuls had done began to flow as wildly as the Iowa River in springtime. There are always a few comments that people latch on to, like Santorum dissing Iran for having a lousy gay rights record when he hates gays as openly as any old-school Imam or Huntsman seeming to forget that he was involved in high-level talks with China whilst working as Ambassador; however, there are also pundits weighing in on the appropriateness of questions posed to the panelists.

  The question that seems to have garnered the most media steam was asked by Byron York to the only female on stage, that being Michele Bachmann. In reference to the following speech, Mr. York asked Mrs. Bachmann if, as Commander in Chief, she would be under the power of her husband.

  Mrs. Bachmann naturally tried to skirt the question by claiming that her and Marcus have a mutual respect relationship instead of an "I do not permit a woman to speak" one, as instructed in the Bible. She certainly didn't definitively answer who exactly would be running the show should America become suddenly insane and vote her in as Prez.

  Naturally, news organizations have called the question sexist or otherwise inappropriate, but I don't find it either. You see, people have the right to know if their country could be run not by the woman they voted for, but a badly closeted guy who believes in the spiritual and psychological terrorism of gay people. For the citizens of the land, it is imperative that who decides to bomb Iran and institute Biblical law is the zealot of their choosing. As such, not only is the query appropriate, but necessary. If someone would hand over the wellbeing of over 300 million people to another solely because of a book written by bronze-age miscreants, not only do Republicans deserve to know, but the rest of the world should.

  Now, I don't believe that Mrs. Bachmann should have been singled out for the submission question, even though we know that Newt keeps his wives and mistresses suitably subjugated. All of them should have been asked if they believe that women are second-class humans because of the tale of a rib-lady and a talking snake. In this vein, I've compiled a list of 13 questions that I would pose to this gaggle of Bible-beaters during the next Republican schmoozefest. I have more in my mind, but 13 seems like a fantastic number when dealing with matters of the superstitious kind.

  1. If a bull gores someone, do you believe that both the ox and his owner shall be stoned to death as commanded in Exodus 21:28-29?

  2. If someone works on the Sabbath, shall he or she be put to death in accordance with several sections of the Bible, including Exodus 31:13-17?

  3. Do you kill a lamb or goat every time you touch an insect, making sure to sprinkle the blood all over the place and burning the fat, head, and innards in a bizarre spectacle?

  4. As President, will you require that both parties in adultery be executed?

  5. Would you execute Pat Robertson, Harold Camping, and other dreamers and Prophets if their predictions are wrong in accordance with God's laws?

  6. Will you keep your daughter's bloody sheets to prove her virginity lest her husband decide he hates her and should lie that she was a whore? Remember, if you don't save the relic, your daughter shall be stoned to death at your doorstep.

  7. Would you bar the blind, the deaf, or dwarves from entering houses of worship as they "profane the sanctuaries" of God? And would you reward those who kill the blind, just like David did?

  8. Should we fear mass executions because your God commands you to murder all of those who do not "seek out the God of Israel"?

  9. Would you and your buddies stone a disobedient son to death? Remember, this is not only commanded by God, but Jesus, who came to enforce the commandments, not alter them.

  10. As President, would you demand a return to slavery with penalties for disobedient slaves as prescribed by God, Jesus, Peter, and Paul dozens of times? Do you currently own slaves? If not, why not?

  11. Would you force schools to teach that the world is flat, as it is said to be so 18 times in the Bible? Would our kids also be taught that Earth is fixed, with the Sun revolving around it as mentioned 13 times? Will geography be banned from classrooms, as it involves Earth's measurement, which is strictly prohibited in Jeremiah 31:37?

  12. Do you believe in dragons, unicorns, or talking donkeys? If not, you haven't read Numbers, 2 Peter, or Job.

  13. Do you have a Christmas tree? If so, you haven't read Jeremiah 10:2-8, which states" Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.... They are altogether brutish and foolish."

  These questions are not intended to ridicule believers, but to point out the fact that absolutely none of the self-righteous Christians who want to score the Republican nomination adhere to their faith by the letter. And this is probably a good thing, since these are people that, save for Ron Paul, do not believe in any separation of church and state. Asking Michele Bachmann, a self-described  Evangelical whether or not she's submissive is an absolutely fair question because she brings her private beliefs into the public spectre so often; in that vein, it would be completely acceptable to ask any other Republican hopeful any of the above.

  I thoroughly encourage you to think about exactly what your politicians bring to the table. Do they have sound ideas about how to better the lives of others or demand that hundreds of millions of very different people have their rights restricted or removed because of their belief in the superiority of words written by some of the most proudly brutal men in human history? Political ideals and religious practice are and must remain sovereign in order for nations to become and remain free. Perhaps, Republicans would understand the necessary segregation between church and state if they actually researched the woman whose words mean so much to them. Ayn Rand was the selfish, free-market heroine, but she was also pro-choice and very staunchly atheist. She also was an immigrant.

  What I have done here is what folks like Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum don't want you to do, and that's think. One question generally follows another- not only in a political debate, but in life itself. It's when we stop asking questions and making decisions based on fact and instead settle for appeals to judgmentalism force-fed by those who care naught about us that we become partners in the loss of liberty.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Because New Twitter Is a Pain In The Tweet

  Normally I'm making you aware of super-important global causes and corrupt politicians, or at least giving you a history of the toilet, but today it's a little wee touch different. This post is about Twitter, the microblogging service that most of you know and love.

  Some of you may have noticed that your Twitter is looking a little weird now. It's because the New Twitter, which made it's beta debut 11 months ago, has been foisted upon all tweeters. And a ton of you plumb hate it, which is why you opted out of New Twitter when you had a choice, choosing to stay with the tried-and-true original that had been around since early 2006. It's less busy and you need fewer clicks to do the same thing.

  Until August 3rd, you were winning, and now that you're forced to deal with an interface not of your choosing, many of you have messaged me or bitched on Twitter about your New Twitter rage. Complaints have ranged from not being able to get online from dialup (yes, some people still use this) to forgetting about DMs, not to mention the weird way messages are dealt with. Twitter features an older demographic than most social networks and has a huge international reach. As such, Twitter should give their unique audience a choice as to which interface they'd wish to use. It's not Facebook, and twitterati wouldn't wish their fave service become so.

   So, here's the deal: Because I had noticed the plethora of folks upset about involuntary conversion to New Twitter, I decided to try and do something about it. I know it's a first-world problem, but I decided to petition Twitter to bring back the opt-out, allowing my dad and you to figure out what the hell is going on in the Twitterverse.

  If you're one of the many who hate New Twitter, or at least believe users should have a choice, wander over HERE to let them know how you feel.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Media Moment: Circular Impression

This woman may become the leader of 65% of my readers.

Watch and wretch while Mrs. Bachmann attempts to justify indiscriminate pollution.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Your Morning Tea

Tea Party members have made no secret that they want Barack Obama to be a one-term president. They've stalled legislation and held the nation's economy hostage in an attempt to bring down a guy who may not be the best prez ever, but is the one voters placed in his seat.

Recently, the U.S. lost her AAA credit rating, and this does have an impact on everyday Americans in more ways than one can imagine. The Dow Jones took a plunge so huge yesterday that it was even felt on the Toronto Stock Exchange, instilling a sense of uneasiness in many middle-class folks with private retirement plans and mutual funds.

The downgrade has been given the moniker, The Tea Party Downgrade, and one would think this would bother the usually-disgruntled band of kazoos, but in this case they're overjoyed. Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz is among them, proudly squealing "We weren't kidding around either. We would have taken it down.". It in this instance refers to something affecting the nation's global economic standing and her sense of financial pride.

This is a Tea Party Express event in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, a state so polarized by these malcontents that their government was at a standstill for what seemed like an eternity. Florida talk show host Andrea Shea King to discuss the credit rating downgrade and how it's been blamed on the Tea Party. Instead of this bothering the small crowd, they cheered.

This is not a faction of patriots, but parasites.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Media Moment : The Padded Edition

  The Always menstrual diaper adverts have always annoyed me. Every so often, they come up with a tagline that's obviously been invented by either a man or 80 year old woman who remembers when pads were 2 inches thick and held on with jockstraps. Their new TV spot is in their Have A Happy Period series and it offends not only female-born-women, but everyone else too. According to Always, some women (ie: transgendered ones) would love to be blessed with the monthly curse, so those of us who still have uteri should just stop whining.

Not only has Always managed to piss off those of us who have horrible periods, but they've managed to poke fun at the transgendered and made an underhanded stab at women who have had hysterectomies.

Great work, assholes.

When All Of The Atheists Disappear : Letting Go Of God Part 11

  Migrants have traveled to the United States for hundreds of years because, until recently, the Land of the Free moniker meant something. Oppressed families could find new and meaningful lives in a new nation, where religion or place of birth might be a curiosity but wouldn't cause you to be subjected to hate.

  Unfortunately, the so-called Moral Majority has taken over, rendering America more religious than at any time in her history. More folks go to churches and pray more often now than when the nation was founded, during any wars prior to the ones occurring now, during the Great Depression, and even the times of temperance and Prohibition. Americans are petitioning for religion to be mandatory at the military funerals of atheists and even though clergy were originally banned from being near standing armies, there are even religious tests for recruits, Bibles handed out everywhere, and chaplains are available to consult female crime victims not to report rapes.

  To be sure, the fundamentalist conversion of america has many victims. Religious war drains coffers, each of the thousand or so anti-abortion bills costs money to try to unsuccessfully force into law, anti-gay bills cost money and so do efforts to force prayer into schools. Trying to override the Bill of Rights or even change the Constitution is really expensive in a time of need, but hey, you can just blame those damned resistant non-believers for all of it.

  But what of us pesky heathens? Well, Atheists comprise 16% of the population- more than Jews, Muslims, and Scientologists combined. An average American is 5 times more likely to be an Atheist than a gay of any kind. An Atheist could be a university professor, but is also my 10 year old nephew.

  In reality, In America right now, half of the population would rather trust a Christian prison inmate than my favourite micro-biologist. I remember being called a Satanist because I dared to sit down during a Christian prayer in my public school and my nephew has been forced to go to a church to try and get rid of his intelligent thoughts. There are a whole lot of people who don't seem to get the idea that the founding fathers of America were men who often derided religion, with Christianity a pet target. These guys said that the state shall establish no religion because most of them thought Christianity was divisive, mind-evaporating bullshit. (I can give you several hundred quotes if you would like this statement substantiated)

  In North America, we have 3 fairly religious countries where being atheist is pretty darn uncomfortable and often unsafe. You see, a mere mention of one's lack of belief will usually cause the person to claim that you are "forcing" your non-belief on everyone. After this, the person will feel no problem in attempting to convince you that their chosen space demon is the right one and/or you are going to Hell. Religious tolerance has no meaning when it comes to those who aren't religious, at least in the eyes of those who actually believe the lie that America, Canada, or even Mexico are to be governed by religious institutions.

  When someone asks me about my non-belief, I usually offer up some easy-to-understand reasons for why I don't believe in their particular faith. I will usually mention that I actually used to believe in a God, the one that Abram and Moses used to call their master, but don't anymore. I'll often explain that the reason is not some Bill Maher rant or Dawkins book, but my own self-actualization and the fact that I had read many, many religious texts and was sick of apologizing for a tyrannical figment of the imagination. Apparently my freethought has made me a member of the least trusted minority when I visit America, but also in Canada where I spend most of my time. Indeed, I've seen religious crap and anti-gay rants on the newsletter mailed out by my local Member of Parliament, "Dr." James Lunney, and there are more churches in this town than I can count. My mention of atheism is controversial at the very least on either side of the border, and several people have said that I should get out of the country.

  Before you watch this very unique and thoughtful video, I offer up a very true statistic about exactly what would happen if you fundies got your wish:

  If all Atheists were to be deported from America, you would lose philanthropic billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. You would lose soldiers and athletes and Jodie Foster. Photos memorializing Isaac Asimov, Marlene Dietrich, Mark Twain, Nehru, and Frank Zappa would all be burned. If all atheists were to get up and leave, over 93% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences would be on the boat, but a mere 0.16% of the prison population would join them.

  If you can tell me that the world would be a better place without these people in it, you are in need of freedom from religion.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Because The Bible Tells Me So

In the Bible, it's pretty clear that women are to be quiet, obedient, and fruitful, but most folks don't really think that applies to today's modern woman. Well, that is except that their are religious sects that do indeed consider women second class with preachers that promote inequality and even Biblical death penalties for crimes real or imagined. These men take to the airwaves, pulpits, and bookshelves to ensure that we keep a sense of morality that was passe 4000 years ago.

One of the many who believe that women are still chattel is Ron Hamman, Pastor of the Independent Baptist Church of Wasilla, Alaska, who wrote this damning statement when referring to the validity of spousal rape claims:

I, for one, have never had any woman make such an allegation against her husband to me. But even if these accusations are as vast as alleged, there are major problems with them from a Biblical standpoint. 

For instance, there is the problem of truth. That is, this kind of allegation becomes her word against his word. And while I understand that in Alaska the lone female is able to convict her alleged perpetrator, this goes contrary to the Bible. In the book of Deuteronomy we find the following: “One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.”

While this may be a problem for some in that this is Old Testament, this is carried over into the Christian era in Matthew 18: “But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one of two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.”

The purpose for this is the preservation of justice. The truth is that people, including women, can lie. Thus, in not requiring two or three witnesses to the event, Alaska statute proves itself to be unjust, and likewise those legislators responsible for it. But then again, what more can we expect from the lost?

He's right- it says so in Deuteronomy. It's the part of the Bible that Muslims get their laws from, which include stoning of rape victims. In fact, the only Biblical instance when a man can be given a severe penalty for rape is if he rapes a virgin woman in the city. But the thing is, they both suffer the penalty of death.

But rape in a marriage? Such things are imaginary anyways; a sign the spouse is wrong in the eyes of the Flying Space Pervert. And it's not only the victim's fault, but a blight on the American people as seen in the eyes of the omnipotent Cretan.

But this is not the only problem. The next question we need to ask is to whom does the body belong? While in our day of feminism it is asserted that a woman’s body is her own. Biblically speaking, this is only true prior to marriage, for in Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians we read:

“Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.”

The truth is that God has given to us physical needs we commonly refer to as a “sex drive,” and he has designed for these to be met within the bounds of marriage. The trouble comes when one spouse or the other decides to exact retaliation against the other because of some offense and withholds him or herself from his or her mate. This is wickedness, and such is a violation of the spirit of marriage on the part of the withholder.

Thus, if these allegations of spousal rape are due to the wife withholding herself in attempt to control or punish her husband, she is out of line with God. And it doesn’t matter how many laws are passed, it will just be another reason why God will not bless America.

But then again, this is how far out of line with God America is.

  Pastors like this one are exactly what's wrong with the world. Religious adherence means turning a blind eye to what are true abominations- ones that involve real people in real society as opposed to a mythical Sun god.  Those who violently attack their partners should go to jail, and if that makes America out of line with this god, maybe it's followers should get the fuck out.

  There is no excuse for barbaric behaviour, but those who do it at the behest of their imaginary friend take it to new lows.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Good Cause

  This summer, Kurt Vonnegut satire classic Slaughterhouse-Five was banned in the public high school of Republic, Missouri after tight-ass MSU professor Wesley Scroggins bitched that the four-letter words in the World War II-based book offended his virgin eyes. He was also upset that Sarah Ockler's Twenty Boy Summer shows girls having too much fun and classified Speak as "soft-core pornography", evidently because the sole offending passage, involving a 15 year old being raped, turned him on. All and all, Mr. Scroggins claims the possibility that kids could actually read literature and decide for themselves what offends them is contrary to biblical teachings.

  Thusly, The Scrog's complaint went to the board, where 4 board members decided that the 4500 students were far too immature to read two of these books, that being Slaughterhouse-Five and Twenty Boy Summer. Superintendent Vern Minor stated that the "intense" language led to the decision, not any feelings about the author per se. As for Ockler's book, he charged that the book "is just not good" and that he might have liked it more if there was a better ending or consequences to the teenage escapades. Speak slipped through because the board liked the ending, where the girl is able to thwart a second rape and, outside of being emotionally scarred, is victorious.

  Naturally, there has been some backlash against the banning of books in public schools based on a complaint from a guy who home schools his kids. Ms. Ockler took to her own, expertly written, blog to apologetically defend her work and the free speech of other authors. The piece is good and I suggest you take a read.

  Naturally, Kurt Vonnegut is not alive to defend himself, though I'd suspect he'd issue a gigantic "fuck you!" if he were. Because of this, the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in the writer's hometown is giving away copies of Slaughterhouse-Five to any highschooler from Republic who wants one. The library is also accepting donations to help offset the costs associated with shipping the books to kids. To find out more, go to their website and check it out.

  The school board of Republic, Missouri may have banned words from their schools, but they cannot silence free speech. If you have a teenager, I strongly suggest purchasing copies of Slaughterhouse, as well as Catcher in the Rye and all of the other dandies that Christocrats are trying to prevent from the public educational facilities of the western world. Books written in the past can teach relevant lessons today, but if we don't fight censorship, the words written by great minds really could be lost in the coming generations. It's up to us to ensure this doesn't happen.

To send a kid in Republic, MO a copy of Slaughterhouse-Five for $5, go here

Smell The Coffee

  Yesterday, the American stock market plunged over 500 points, but rich people will still enjoy their tax breaks, so have no fear. That's because, while your nation was being kicked in the financial balls, your GOP was there to make sure that you know that they stand behind the real 5% that's to blame for everything. The gays.

  Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Santorum all took time away from hating on the Tan Man to sign NOM's pledge to add gay hate to the Constitution. You see, they are all states' rights until it comes to things like taxes and abortion and gays and guns and Islam and Latinos. And they love everyday Americans and the working class too, so long as they're not gay or Muslim or Mexican or unmarried or female or the recipient of a salary of less than $250, 000 a year.

  Yes, workers, while your 401ks were vaporizing, this was more important to the major GOP presidential hopefuls:

 If you haven't figured this out yet, the Teajadis are doing everything in their power to hijack the economy and crash it into a sea of despair. All so that they can get out of office a man who has a degree from Harvard, but they see as no more than worthy of being a butler. These 'social war' issues are designed to turn people against each other in a time when the entire world could use a few positive examples of unity.

  This week's attacks on Mr. Obama, gay families, and others by the Tea Party are nothing more than an attempt to obfuscate their true mission- the absolute control of America by wealthy, white, Christian elites to rule over the serfs in the way the British monarchy had dominion over their masses for centuries. Their 'tea' moniker has less to do with Boston than to do with wanting to be like the tea-swilling slave owners of old. People like Michele Bachmann wave the Red, White, and Blue as a symbol, yet completely burn the heritage behind it. If any of these half-wits could read, they'd take a peek at the Treaty of Tripoli, or any of the many other documents declaring that America is not a Christian nation.

  To hell with tea- people need to wake up and smell the coffee. The Teaocrats are flushing the North American economy down the Crapper in order to hopefully get Barack Obama out of office. When and if they accomplish said goal, they will have no idea how to run the nation, with exception of letting their partners in Koch and Murdoch run everything.

  Your nation is in the stinkhole and all the GOP cares about is pandering to racist, sexist, and homophobic religious leaders. I'm thinking that it's because the vast majority wouldn't know how to balance a checkbook.

  Make sure to vote.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What The Blue F*ck Of The Weak

When folks send their kids to school, they figure that their sons and daughters should both be afforded the same opportunities, particularly in publicly-funded schools.

  Canada is among many nations that are looked to when it comes to issues such as gender equality and secularism. Indeed, many school districts are the envy of the advanced world when it comes to topics such as the sciences. Our spirit of inclusion has become a Canadian hallmark, with the nation attempting reconciliation with some of my ancestors whilst welcoming a new crowd with an embrace that few nations can. Indeed, Canada is becoming what all nations tried to be- opening to the new, respecting the old, and redefining a beautiful and wondrous culture distinct from that of any other. As a nation of natives and immigrants, Canada has attempted to do her best at providing the example for many, but there are always flaws.

   The photograph here is of the gymnasium of Valley Park Middle School in Toronto, Canada. It is a public educational facility with the majority of students aged 12 or 13.. They decided to utilize the gymnasium for Friday Islamic prayers, which is contrary to general policy but they figured would be a good idea since there were a fair percentage of Muslim kids. And it's really a 'no harm, no foul' kind of proposition.

  The issue here, as not only many pundits have pointed out, but even male Muslim leaders have, there is not only a distinct separation between these wee boys and girls, who must enter at separate entrances, but girls who are or may menstruate must also sit at the back. The girls who are 'stricken' are to remain silent, separated from boys and girls alike, not permitted to participate in any prayers or discussions. In accordance, most are attired in extreme modesty to signify that they are legally adult.

  I recall the horror of discovering my 'monthly affliction' in grade 9. I was mortified and had no idea what was up, but I thought I was dirty because a book told me so. I went to a public school and couldn't imagine the thought of being forced to be segregated from my peers because of the possibility of spiritual defilement. After all, it's not like my parents sent me to a Jewish or Muslim separate school. These kids are being shamed, and it isn't even needed, like the belted pads that they finally stopped making when I was 18 or so.

  The thing is, even the Muslim Canadian Congress thinks this is 100% bullshit.

  MCC founder and general philanthropic fellow Tarek Fatah has stated that not only are the variety of Friday prayers conducted at the school not mandated by Islam, but that "the Toronto District School Board is using taxpayer money to tell girls that they are second-class citizens". He is among the many that comprehend the ideals that Canada is a place that respects faith needs, but shall never impose them, let alone a divisive sect of said system.

  However, the Toronto District School Board is not listening to Torontonians, the MCC, the Muslim Women's Congress, or common sense in general in permitting one group to rule over the spiritual needs of people in a public school. According to the MCC, these prayers are not mandatory to begin with and even if kids wish to participate they should be gender integrated, as they are children in a free society.

  This is not Canadian Islam. Religion is a free exercise in the home and religious office, and if spoken about elsewhere, should be done in accordance with decency and equity for all. These are not only Canadian laws, but views endorsed by the vast majority of Muslims and others who call Canada home. Good men bring their daughters to Canada in order to give them lives free of oppression and full of opportunity.

  Let's get this disastrous sectarian bullshit out of North American public schools. Girls don't need to be shamed for being human beings. Let's fix this injustice before it spreads.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Unwarranted Fame: The Disease That Cures Itself

Over the last few years, I've spent more time than I care to admit ripping on Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt. The pair of intellectual tits just grated on me, with their obsession with fame and outward arrogance and all. Throw in the displays of absolute financial stupidity and weird religious preaching and there's no way I was going to be a fan of Speidi, particularly the hairier member of the duo.

So now, these two are broke. And it's no publicity stunt- they have squandered millions and millions of dollars of mainly Heidi's money and are living at the home of Spenny's parents. Heidi and Spencer made huge coin off of staged paparazzi shoots, club appearances, and reality show bullshit and wasted it on trying to turn Heidi into a pop tart and Spencer into her Svengali. They wined and dined at famous joints and Spenny owns a million dollars worth of clothes. Everything from Heidi's numerous surgeries to Spencer's constantly-replaced vehicles was crafted to try and gain more dollars from momentary fame.

The guy who is two and a half years apart from this statement: "If I were to beat up every homophobic racist loser who challenged me to a fight, I wouldn't have time to be the most famous person in the world." is for all intents and purposes penniless and homeless. I'd almost feel sorry for the ugly bastard if I didn't think he was shopping some ego-massaging pseudoreality crap somewhere. I mean, this is a dude who filed a divorce petition against his wife as a publicity stunt because he was afraid of losing fame.

Fame and the paychecks that accompany it are almost always fleeting and once the cash is gone, you have to start over again. I suggest Spenny become a roofer or bricklayer or something real for a living. I mean, he probably couldn't hack it, but you never know. Maybe he can film some reality show where he has to scuba-dive through raw sewage for $14 an hour like some dudes do. THAT would be far more entertaining than The Hills, to be sure.

Seriously though, Spenny might be crying about his stupidity, but he should look to the wife whom he screwed over. She took that 'for richer or poorer' shit seriously. Maybe he could learn a lesson about unconditional love and strength and all of those positive attributes from a woman far wiser than he is.

Who the fuck am I kidding? The scumbag would divorce his devoted wife if he thought he could make $10 off of it.

There are cool, talented, and awesomely hard-working gents who deserve all of life's finer things. Spencer Pratt ain't one of them.

Quick Check In Post

  So, I heard that some of you were worried about my homelessness-following-domestic-assault dealio. Well, for you good creatures I have good news. I found a new flat the size of a postage stamp and am settling in to peace, quiet, and late-night cooking. It's weird how things can change in a positive fashion when you work your butt off to get to a good parcel in your mind and life.

  Anywho, as for the place- I dig it. It's cheap and cheerful, kind of like the occupant. :) It's on the ground floor, so shit can get a little noisy, but I really lucked out.

  I feel pretty loved with all of the rad messages from you folks and whathaveyou, so I figured a hello and thanks should be in order. I promise to be back to my regular cuntiness sometime this week, as I've heard that some of you were having withdrawal symptoms. Seriously though- to Spider Joe, Cine, Sarah, Tonda, Coner, Evan, Amy, Sandi, Boxy and the Aussies, the Kiwis, Hammy, and everyone else a seriously heartfelt thank you. You're the best.

Nighty night