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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Attn. Don Young- It's 2013

TW: racial slurs

Don Young is a Republican congressman from Alaska who has been around a long time. In his 21 terms in the house, you'd think he would have some idea about the evolution of language. With advancement of society comes understanding that racism is unacceptable, particularly among public officials.

So, an interview the congressman gave to KRBD has me sickened. When discussing whether there is an actual need for migrant workers, Rep. Young said "My father used to have a ranch; we used to have 50 to 60 wetbacks pick tomatoes. It take two people to pick the same tomatoes now. It's all done by machine"

You read that correctly- Congressman Don Young referred to his fellow human beings as wetbacks. For those of you not from our side of the pond, this is possibly the most insulting epithet that can be used against a working-class Mexican or Central American person. It's on the same level as using the n-bomb to refer to African-Americans.

For his part, the 79 year old Young claims that the term was commonly used when he was a kid and "it's not used the same way anymore" and he didn't mean any "disrespect". In his mind it's no big deal and we should just let it be because he didn't mean it that way.

I'm calling B.S. here. I used to work under a racist gorilla of a boss on Vancouver Island. He used to use all kinds of slurs that I won't repeat, but one of them is the one Mr. Young used. The guy used to chase a guy whose parents were Mexican around, calling him every dirty name he could think of. This brainless goon knew exactly what he was doing. He fully comprehended the fact that he was being an asshole but nobody really did anything because the silverback had zero problem with knocking your block off, and everybody knew it.

If that redneck boss in the sticks understood he was being a bigot, Don Young had to know that he was being racist. Maybe he'd hidden his bigotry from the news media, keeping it between him and his redneck buddies before, but the cat is out of the bag now. His excuse of it being a common term from his youth is pretty bogus- people knew they were being racist then, but privilege was so huge that most farmers got away with using derogatory language to refer to their hardest-working charges. They also abused workers with impunity then, abuse which Mr. Young and his family benefited from.

Representative Young should be censured, at the very least. Personally, I think his days in Congress should be numbered. Republicans are already losing support from minorities and while I know he doesn't speak for all Republican Reps., the damage is done. Time has obviously passed Don Young and his antiquated ideas by. He has to be let go lest he become the political version of that old guy on the bus that mutters on about darkies and Jews and the "good" old days.

My Eyes! My Eyes!

I get that teaching kids body positivity is one of the new "in" things to do, and it might even be a good thing.

But I cannot explain this.

Anyone care to hazard a guess as to what's going on here??

Caught On Tape

The VPD is investigating a cop for decking a man who was stopped for running a red light and not wearing a helmet on a bicycle.

According to the man who filmed the attack, Andishae Akhavan was cuffed while being written a ticket and then cold-cocked without provocation. The victim received a cut lip and affirmed that he simply asked the officers what he was being cited for prior to and after being cuffed.

As you can see and hear in the following video, Mr. Akhavan is asking the officers why he is being cuffed. The officer says "relax" and then punched Mr. Akhavan squarely in the jaw, telling him afterward to "relax" again. Then cuffed, he asked the officers why he was punched, to only be told he was "resisting".

Now, I don't know about you, but I'd find it bloody impossible to relax my arm after someone just punched me in the face. Sheer reflex would force your arm upward. But, moreover, why was this guy being cuffed in the first place? I have never seen anyone detained in cuffs and then arrested for running a red light.

The VPD is claiming that the alleged victim was being uncooperative and Andishae Akhavan could still be criminally prosecuted for whatever charges they decided to dream up.

The plainclothes officer knew he was being filmed, and the incident occurred in a fairly upscale neighbourhood. Now, imagine what this cop has done or would do to someone in the Downtown Eastside, where there is no way he would be taped?

I have been subjected to police abuse, including 2 incidents very recently; however, I do have friends who are cops, and I know there are some good people who wear the badge. But there are also very bad people; folks who use their society-given privilege to abuse other human beings.

Authority positions have long been a magnet for sociopaths- men and women who have no sense of conscience as we know it and get off on exerting their will on others. I don't know if the officers in question are indeed sociopaths, but I do know that they callously participated in an assault of a man and then hid behind their badges when shit hit the fan. These guys know that even if they do get suspended, they'll still get paid. They're highly aware that despite the fact that law enforcement officers are expected to be held to a higher standard, the rate of conviction is low and incarceration nearly zero.

Was Mr Akhavan a mouthpiece after being decked? You bet he was, and I guarantee that you would be too if you were cuffed and then punched for running a red light. He was detained without just cause and then assaulted without provocation. Even if he was resisting, which it's clear that he wasn't, you grab the guy's arm a little harder. This was over the line and both officers were aware of it. The Vancouver Police Department does not have a wonderful reputation- from failing to respond to disappearances and murders of Indigenous and Aboriginal women to rapes by coercion of downtown prostitutes to assaults like those seen here, their reputation may be stained beyond repair.

In case you were wondering, the officer who threw the punch has been given a week-to-week paid leave of absence and the officer witnessed justifying the assault is still on the beat.

Your tax dollars hard at work, Vancouver.

Mike Check: The Human Rights Campaign

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bacon in Leviticus

This is bacon. And its sale is regulated or outright banned in a few countries due to Leviticus 11:7 and Qu'ran 2:173. It's consumption is forbidden by many religions, including Judaism, Islam, Jainism, Adventism, and more. But a crapload of homophobic, Bible-beating Baptists and other pious jerks eat it before, during, and after quoting from the Bible. Some of their favourites include Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, which they claim justifies the demonization of gay people. To them, gay sex is considered an abomination, so therefore gay marriage must never occur.

Christians still eat bacon. And God is not happy about it.

This is an American football and it is made out of pigskin. Millions of Americans, play and watch this team sport. Mom may be rushing the kids to thrice-weekly practices and dad tossing the pigskin on Saturday. On Sunday, the good Christians rush home from church and grab a beer or soda and plop down in front of the boob tube to watch grown men get paid millions of dollars to play with a stuffed swine hide.

But Leviticus 11:8 prohibits touching the carcass of a pig. Rugby players, you're not off the hook either. You all play or pay to see someone play with the carcass of a Biblically prohibited, unclean animal. Think about that the next time you pray for your favorite club's victory.

This is a family garden. They come in a variety of sizes- ranging from tiny to massive, being a hobby  for some and a great provider of cheap, organic food for many. Churches often promote them through kids contests and preach about self-sustenance during sermons. More conservative Christian groups will grind their own wheat, can their own peas, dry beans, and make preserves. There are even still more people who plant a dozen rows of veggies as a project for the kids and to save a few dollars.

Sorry, mums, Leviticus 19:19 is taking your fun away. Planting more than one type of seed in the same field is verboten. You get all carrots or all cattle feed or onions or radishes or whatever. This god is a fan of monocropping, and he probably really digs Monsanto.

Now, I could give you dozens of examples of things that well-meaning, everyday Christians do that violate Leviticus. They get tattoos of crosses, trim their beards, and permanently sell their land while preaching hatred against their neighbours because that's what they have been taught to do. I don't care if two dudes or two ladies or two genderqueers want to get married- it's none of my business. I don't submit to 5000-year old logic (but I used to).

So if you've ever planted a garden, or played football, or enjoyed the honey ham at Christmas, you're breaking the rules too. You have no right to attempt to impose Biblical will on any other human being. Period.

If you want to live in a theocracy, any we know you do, move to Saudi Arabia or Uganda or the slew of other places where thousands-year-old beliefs rule the populace and eradicate freedom. While you're there, you can be beaten for taking a drink or work for the state. If you're really lucky, you can be forced to sell your daughter to her rapist. If any of these things don't sound pleasant to you, don't migrate there. You can stay in your bungalow in the suburbs with your little herb garden and bacon. And you can do so because every free nation must keep religion from dictating the laws that govern the entirety. Consider not just personal freedom, but your own behaviour the next time you say that gays are going to Hell.


  Now that I've received your attention, what impression of the word vagina do you have? Is it a scientific term for something you probably call a vijay, twat, or hoohoo? Does it remind you of awkward discussions with relatives or biology classes and weird performance art? Is it creepy, empowering, or nothing especially significant at all?

While the word vagina may cause some people to chuckle, move in their seats, or stand and applaud, is uttering a common word for a very common body part lewd? Could simply uttering the anatomically correct term for a body part be considered so offensive that it could cost you your job?

Well, if you live in Lincoln County, Idaho, the answer may well be yes.

Tim McDaniel is a science teacher who is under investigation by Idaho's professional standards commission for using the word 'vagina' during a class about the human reproductive system. Apparently, 4 parents of 15 and 16 year old students found the lecture, which included mention of female orgasm and the offending word, so morally repugnant that they want the veteran teacher fired.

Mr. McDaniel himself can't figure out what the fuss is about, since he's just teaching straight from the textbook provided by the board itself. He even permits students to opt out of this sensitive segment of the class without penalty. It sounds to me that the teacher is bending over backwards to accommodate even the most prudish of standards.

The superintendent thinks it's "unlikely" that the controversial teacher will be canned. Instead, he thinks a reprimand may be in order, so Mr. McDaniel can recant his heresy.

A vagina is a body part. The overwhelming majority of women (and one in 50, 000 or so men) has or has had a vagina. Everybody knows that Madonna has a vagina, but so does Queen Liz, the rabbi's wife, and your MOM.

66% of Lincoln County's population are Mormons, and they too have vaginae. The vaginas belong to the dads until the girls are married off, within which case they belong to their husbands. And that's the issue. If these teenage girls know that they have vaginas and clitorises and can have orgasms then, by golly, they'll try to use them!!

There's something about saying vagina, as opposed to all of the often derogatory slang terms, that seems to give it power. It becomes something simple, owned by women themselves. And I think that's where a lot of the anxiety comes from. If the powers that be, the ones who call disobedient women as well as their body parts cunts, are forced to acknowledge that vaginae are just as normal as penises, their rule over women and their parts is threatened.

Not one complaint was lodged against Tim McDaniel for discussing the male reproductive system, but as soon as he mentioned that belonging to his female charges, he was deemed a corrupter of morals. And that should tell you all you need to know about the state of women, and particularly their reproductive organs, in America today.

The vagina does need to be free- free from demonization and discrimination and forced fucking ultrasounds.  Free vagina from from governmental influence and it's owner free to decide what goes in it and what comes out of it. Free vagina from the stigma and childish humor. Free vagina from the dominion of men and the political sphere.