Alright, Arizona. We Get It. Please Stop Now.

Yes, Arizona, we get it.  You're really serious about this hating-brown-people thing.  You can stop passing laws to demonstrate that seriousness any time now.

As if the show-us-your-papers law wasn't egregiously racist enough on its own, Arizona has just passed another law and instituted another policy to show us they really! mean! it! about the whole white-supremacy thing.  They've outlawed the teaching of ethnic studies and begun removing teachers with "unacceptable accents" from the classroom.

Proponents of the anti-ethnic-studies law claim that programs like Tucson's Mexican-American Studies program encourage "ethnic chauvinism" (what the fuck does that even mean, anyway?) and racial hatred.  This reminds me of nothing so much as the particular kind of privileged straight white man who complains about things like the Black Congressional Caucus or LGBT Chamber of Commerce, because it's "reverse discrimination".  Apparently, teaching the history and culture of non-white ethnic groups is oppressing whiteness, because it's not like the regular history and culture classes are all about white people or anything. Ahem.

But it's the teachers-with-accents one that has me really pissed off right now.  So, they're also going to remove teachers who have strong Southern or Northeastern or British accents, right?  Somehow, I doubt that.  And of course, this comes at a time when ALL the schools are feeling the crunch of overstretched state budgets and a bad economy, and many are laying off teachers already...so they're willing to lose otherwise qualified and experienced teachers just because they don't like their accent?!?  I can understand worrying about children's language acquisition.  Really, I can.  However, let's let logic and facts intervene here for a moment.  These children are exposed to many, many adults besides their teachers.  Parents and cousins and grandparents and friends of parents and family members.  Some of whom will have more Spanish accents than the teachers, even!  And some of whom will have different accents!  (I refuse to say "less" accents, because there's no such damn thing.)  It's not like having a teacher with a Spanish accent will somehow stunt students' language development.  This is a justification, pure and simple, for making life harder for Latin@s in the state.  And it will disproportionately affect Latinas (when DON'T these kinds of policies affect women disproportionately?), given the pink-collar nature of early childhood education positions. 

What's next, Arizona?  Relocation camps?

I find it terribly depressing that I wrote that last line, then reread it and realized I was genuinely afraid it might be prophetic...


Alright, dearloves. I know I've been neglecting you lately. But I keep opening links, promising myself I'll write about them just as soon as I'm done with homework or the laundry, and then I've got two dozen tabs open, each containing a story I really want to write about, and it starts getting overwhelming to the point where I start hiding in WoW.  So I'm going to just toss down some links and snippets to get the backlog out of my brain so I can get back to regular posting.

In abortion news, Oklahoma's legislature overrode their Governor's veto to pass two incredibly intrusive and frankly immoral anti-abortion laws - one requiring vaginal probe ultrasounds for first-trimester abortions, along with a detailed description of the fetus, with no exception for rape, abuse, or incest victims (yeah, THAT'S not triggering at all), and the other allowing doctors to legally lie to pregnant women about the health of their fetus and not get sued for it.  This has been covered really well elsewhere, so all I'll say is, it is really fucking stupid to pass these at the same time, because it's very easy to compare the two bills and see in the second bill the proof that the first bill's ostensible purpose of "providing more information" to pregnant women is an utter crock of shit, because in the same breath that they say "We just want to give her information!" (if that information would discourage an abortion) they're willing to legally provide for the withholding of information (if that information would encourage an abortion).  Also, Florida is trying a similar tactic, only they also want to make women pay for the ultrasound, to the tune of $350 or so, thus putting abortion services further out of reach for low-income women - and thus enlarging the demographic of children in poverty, because THAT'S pro-life, right?  However, Florida Dems have more spine than the national set, it seems, because when it came to the House of Representatives for a vote, they used a procedural move to close everything down to avoid a vote on this bill.  Cookies for the Democrats in the Florida HoR!

In news of the Big Gay Agenda, a Mississippi school decided to punish a lesbian student for wanting to wear a tux instead of a drape for her senior photo...by completely cutting all mention of her from the yearbook.  Not even her name sans photo.  The family has the ACLU on their side and they're considering pursuing legal action.  I wish them luck.  Also, the Religious Reich is screeching [trigger warning on that link for vicious lies of the gay=pedophile sort] about the audacity of Congress, to consider protecting LGBT students from bullying.  Of course, this really makes them look like they're shielding bullies, especially when juxtaposed against this story of a bunch of highschoolers who tried to push their lesbian classmate off a cliff during the National Day of Silence protest.  No, gay students totally aren't targeted by bullies.  Just ask that girl.  And on the Don't Ask, Don't Tell front, a group of retired chaplains sent a letter to the President and Secretary of Defense asking them to keep discriminating against gay servicemembers (not that they need encouraging, frankly) because apparently discrimination is a zero-sum game; to not discriminate against gays is to discriminate against chaplains somehow.  They fail to mention non-Christian or even not-anti-gay-Christian chaplains in their handwringing about how Oh noes chaplains will be forced to treat gays like everyone else and that's against our beliefs!   Listen, if your beliefs interfere with your ability to treat all people with respect and compassion, maybe you need to take another look at the ethics and morality of those beliefs.

In news of oh my fucking RACISM, the Arizona police-state profiling law (short version: the police now have the right, and even the duty, to demand freedom papers citizenship documentation from anyone who looks like an escaped slave illegal immigrant.  They don't say outright that they want to check all brown people for green cards, but how else do you think they're going to decide who "looks illegal" or not?) seems to have brought out the worst in every politico's inner white supremacist.  From a CA state rep from San Diego saying he'd like to see the American-born children of immigrants rounded up and deported for not being American enough, in blatant violation of the 14th Amendment, which reads "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside." to Texas reportedly considering a bill like Arizona's, to the worst of all, a stunningly racist Republican running in an Iowa primary, who said "I can microchip my dog so I can find it. Why can't I microchip an illegal?"  Well, how about because immigrants, illegally here or not, are PEOPLE, not DOGS, entitled to just as much bodily sovereignty as you yourself are, and also YOU DON'T OWN THEM, and while we're talking, HOW THE FUCK ARE YOU EVEN IN A POSITION TO RUN FOR OFFICE?  Listen, you pathetic, miserable excuse for a human being.  Talk like this?  Is how the fucking Holocaust started. Shut the fucking fuck up and get some fucking therapy before you find yourself touting a Final Solution to the "immigration problem".

And lastly, in sheer stupid what-the-fuck-ery, the Teabaggers are staging a boycott of San Francisco (in response to their decision to end official city business travel to Arizona because of the above-mentioned racist law)...by congregating in San Francisco to protest.  Teabaggers?  Just so's you know.  A boycott generally includes things like AVOIDING the boycotted place. 

There's plenty more stories where these came from, of course, but they're mostly religion-related, and I feel they deserve a more in-depth treatment than this format.  Look for normal posting to resume this afternoon!


Just Call Her Uppity And Be Done With It

Remember last year, when during a Congressional hearing, Sen. Barbara Boxer got a bit annoyed at an Army brigadier general calling her "ma'am" and directed him to refer to her as "Senator" the same way he was referring to her (male) colleagues?  Much like Hillary Clinton's "outburst" at being asked about her husband's opinion during an appearance as the US Secretary of State, most people flipped out about those angry women and their habit of demanding respect rather than meekly requesting it, while feminists defended the women in question and their stances as totally reasonable.  Listen, if I had gotten as high and powerful as those two women, I, too, would be pissed at some guy referring to me differently than my male equals or asking me for my husband's opinion.

Now, Boxer's seat is facing challenge from Tom Campbell, a Republican.  And he has just released an attack ad against Boxer, featuring the clip from the hearing.  (Sadly, I couldn't find it on YouTube; if someone knows where it's posted online, please let me know in comments and I'll add it.)  The fun part, though...is how he frames her request.
"There's an arrogance that I see right now in the federal government," Campbell says, before the ad cuts to the Boxer footage.
So...it's "arrogant" for a woman in political office to request that she be referred to by the title of that office, just like her male colleagues are?   That's quite the misogyny dogwhistle.  Damn uppity woman, thinking she has the right to be called by her title.  You don't want to be represented by a woman who thinks she's entitled to respect, now do you? 

If you've got some cash burning a hole in your pocket, or some funds earmarked for political donations yet unassigned to a political candidate, might I suggest donating to help Boxer keep her seat against this douchenozzle?


The Fundie Head-Explosion!

Remember the title of my post the other day, about the National Day of Prayer?  About the fundie head explosion?  Well, it's happened, although it seems to be rather small in scale right now.  The Family Research Council's Tony Perkins released a statement Friday that's rather headdeskifying.  Here it is, with commentary.
"Had Judge Crabb consulted the Constitution she was sworn to uphold, she might notice that Americans enjoy religious freedom – not by virtue of the courts, but in spite of them.  Contrary to her opinion, this ruling does not promote freedom, it crushes it.
What freedom is being crushed, exactly?  Judge Crabb specifically said that her ruling was in no way a discouragement of prayer.  Or did you miss that bit of reality on the way as you raced toward your persecution fantasies? 
Americans pray voluntarily.
Not all Americans, kthx.  And even of those who do, not all of them pray in a way you would recognize as prayer, nor do they all pray "to God" as you do.  So this sweeping statement?  Pure bullshit.
And exercising that right together, as a willing nation, is exactly what the Founding Fathers intended.  To imply otherwise, is to suggest that the Constitution is unconstitutional.
Is it, really?  That's awfully cool, that you have a psychic link to people 200 years or so in the grave.  Given that the National Day of Prayer didn't originate with the Founders, but was put in place in its current form during the 1950's (at the same time the Pledge of Allegiance was amended to insert "under God", and for the same reason of anti-godless-communists fervor) there's no other way you could know that the Founders intended *anything* to do with prayer.  While you're at it, can you ask Marie Antoinette if she ever actually said that line about eating cake?  I've always wondered.

I'll also point out that when Benjamin Franklin asked the delegates to the Constitutional Convention to pray together, his suggestion was met with polite embarrassment and they adjourned without voting on the motion.  So I'm thinking perhaps these Founders weren't so much the praying-together-in-government type as they're often made out to be.  If you have any evidence to the contrary, of course, I'd love to hear it.  
Religion cannot be banned in America because it was never imposed – not by the Founding Fathers, and certainly not by the National Day of Prayer.
I'm sorry, you seem to have lost the thread of reality again.  This ruling didn't "ban religion", any more than the end of school-sponsored prayer banned Christian students from praying.  Can you people please get straight the difference between officially-imposed and -sanctioned religious activities, and privately organized religious activities?  They are two very different situations, and two very different sets of rules govern them.  And for the love of all the gods, in her ruling, Judge Crabb specifically addressed this idea, noting that her ruling would not prevent private groups from organizing their own prayer days, nor that her ruling was intended as disapproval of prayer at all.  It was only the constitutionality of requiring it as law that her ruling addressed.  Also, the idea that the NDoP didn't impose religion is idiotic.  What else does a call for "all Americans" to "unite in prayer" do, but attempt to impose religiosity on us all, whether we are religious or not?  That's a serious question.  I'd like to know what else it does, if not that.
 While this is one of many instances in which the courts have tried to banish God from the public square, this case reveals a level of supreme arrogance.  Ultimately, Judge Crabb is inferring that she found something in the Constitution that every President and Congress since 1775 has not: a hostile treatment of religion in public life.
"...hostile treatment..."?  Really?  Here's a homework assignment for all those who would agree with this: you are to write lines.  Specifically, you are to write "Having a tiny modicum of my privileged position at the top of the heap challenged is not a hostile act, nor is it oppression."  Write that, oh, about eleventy bajillion times, and maybe it'll finally sink in and I won't have to waste so much of my time and energy explaining this concept to you over and over again, every time the government stops treating you as Teh Sooper Special-est Religion Evar for a moment or two.  (Oh, and the "every President and Congress since 1775" bit is nothing more than an ad antiquitatem fallacy; just cause it's "always been" that way doesn't mean it's the right way of being.  Learn to logic plz.)
We call on Congress to start the impeachment proceedings for Barbara Crabb, as she violated her sacred oath of 'administering justice... under the Constitution and laws of the United States.'  What she has done to repress, we will use to revive.  When the great men and women of our past bent their knees to God on behalf of the 'sacred fire of liberty,' it was often during the nation's darkest days.  My friends, it is time we join them." 
Now you're just getting testerical.  Impeachment proceedings, just because she decided a way you don't like?  Get over yourselves.   

Let's hope there's a better head-explosion still to come, cause this one was laughably easy to take apart.  I need a challenge, fundies!  Step up!

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss...

Police closed Lafayette Park and chased the media back about two blocks away from the White House today, to prevent them from covering the DADT protest in which six servicemembers in full uniform chained themselves to the WH fence, a la Lt. Choi a couple weeks ago.  

Looks like the White House is in full damage-control mode, now that our community has gotten sick and fucking tired of waiting for movement on DADT repeal and has started holding feet to the fire.  What's the matter, Obama?  Don't like your "fierce advocate" facade being exposed for the cardboard cut-out it is?  You've tried to keep us quiet with the odd crumb here or there - partner benefits for federal employees (still hasn't been put into effect), Medicare/Medicaid hospital visitation (with no timeline for enforcement), a throwaway half-a-sentence in the State of the Union (even as you spent five or ten minutes per topic on other subjects, like terrorism! and war! and Main Street v Wall Street!) for DADT repeal - but we're not stupid.  We've noticed the total lack of leadership on the issues.  Even if it weren't for the rumors that your Congressional Liaison office is actively working to quell any DADT movement in the defense budget bill, we've still seen how utterly silent your administration is willing to be on our issues, like ENDA and DADT.  

But this?  Closing Lafayette Park entirely, and chasing reporters away from a protest?  Looks like the Obama administration is taking directions out of the Dubya-era PR book.  Am I the only one who remembers the promises of openness! and transparency! and change in the way Washington works!?  Because this is not something that inspires hope, and it's definitely not the change I believed in.


Cue Fundie Head-Explosion in 3...2...1...

Last summer, I decided to face one of my fears by taking a public speaking class.  The final project for the class was a persuasive speech.  I, loving controversy as I do, decided to argue that the National Day of Prayer should be abolished, a position which I took not only for the fun of arguing it to a not-terribly-receptive class, but because I genuinely believed it to be true, and still do.

Well, I got my wish today.  A Wisconsin federal district court held yesterday, in a suit brought against the President by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, that the law requiring the President to declare a National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment.  The NDoP will still be held this year; the judge added a 30-day stay on his order to allow time for appeals, as is customary, and that extends past the first Thursday in May, so President Obama will still issue the proclamation this year.

But this?  Is still a huge step forward for non-believers in America, or those who do not "pray" in the traditional sense of the word, or just those who understand the concept of separating church and state and would like to see it upheld.  And it deals a hefty blow to the dominionist types, who are forever arguing that America is a Christian nation, to be told outright that even a non-sectarian and inclusive (for some value of "inclusive", which pointedly does not include atheists or agnostics) Day of Prayer, when mandated by law, is unconstitutional.

Of course, since the right-wing Christians in charge of the National Day of Prayer Task Force were upset over just the scaling-back of Obama's first declarations of the NDoP, from Bush-style prayer breakfasts and public events to a quiet signing and no events at the White House at all, you can bet they are going to flip. their. shit. over a judge declaring the whole thing unconstitutional.  The judge, forseeing this, added this explanation to the end of her judgment:

I understand that many may disagree with that conclusion and some may even view it as a criticism of prayer or those who pray. That is unfortunate. A determination that the government may not endorse a religious message is not a determination that the message itself is harmful, unimportant or undeserving of dissemination. Rather, it is part of the effort to "carry out the Founders' plan of preserving religious liberty to the fullest extent possible in a pluralistic society." .... The same law that prohibits the government from declaring a National Day of Prayer also prohibits it from declaring a National Day of Blasphemy.
It is important to clarify what this decision does not prohibit. Of course, "[n]o law prevents a [citizen] who is so inclined from praying" at any time.... And religious groups remain free to "organize a privately sponsored [prayer event] if they desire the company of likeminded" citizens.... The President too remains free to discuss his own views on prayer.... The only issue decided in this case is that the federal government may not endorse prayer in a statute as it has in §119.

Will this stop the Dobsons and their NDoP Task Force from claiming this as religious persecution?  I highly doubt it,  but at this moment, I don't care.  I just know that I, as an American who does not pray in the way most people mean the word, and who definitely does not recognize some kind of supreme authority-deity that might reasonably be represented by proclamations urging Americans to ask for God's blessing or offer thanks "to God", am grateful that a court has recognized the marginalizing power the National Day of Prayer holds over Americans of non-deistic faith or no faith.  We are Americans too, and there is no reason to have a law require the President once a year to insinuate that we're less so because we don't join the rest of the nation in prayer.

Thank you, Judge Crabb.  Thank you for standing by the Founders' true intentions (both James Madison and Thomas Jefferson spoke about the problematic nature of government urging religious expression) instead of the revisionist history that would create America as a nation of faith, and to hell with the rest of us.  Thank you for refusing to dismiss the case when the Obama administration asked you to.  From the bottom of my godless heart, thank you.

And Again, I Don't Exist

Yes, it's another abortion bill post.  I can't help that they are a dime a dozen right now.  Blame the antis.

This time, it's Missouri passing anti-choice, anti-woman legislation.  But this time, it's not the content of the bill that's noteworthy.  It's your standard chipaway bill, with requirements that the local prosecutor be notified any time a woman under 18 even seeks *information* about abortion - ostensibly to aid in prosecution of statutory rape and/or incest cases, but it's more of a shaming than anything else - rewriting and tweaking the brochures and "educational" information clinics give out so that they prominently feature ideological claims about life beginning at conception, and requiring that clinics "prominently display statements encouraging a pregnant woman seeking an abortion to contact agencies that help a woman carry an unborn child to full term" (from the official bill summary, in case anyone thinks I'm exaggerating that).  It also creates a felony offense "coercing an abortion", which, if they're so worried about people influencing pregnant women about abortion, makes one wonder why they're so determined to influence women themselves.  

However, as I said, the worst part isn't the bill itself.  It's a statement made during the debate on the House floor, by one (absolutely-unhinged, anti-contraception, anti-sex, anti-everything) Rep. Cynthia Davis. 

“...women don’t naturally want to kill their offspring. Women who are loved, cared for and supported don’t mind having their own child.”

And just like that, I and other women like me, childless by choice and willing to enforce that choice with abortion if necessary, am erased from existence.  

How dare she?  How dare that presumptuous fuckwit talk as if she's some kind of monolithic mouthpiece of women, as if all women are made from the same mold?  Oh, that's right, I forget.  For misogynists, the rule is and always will be: By the transitive power of the uterus, all women are interchangeable.  Well, fuck that.  I am loved.  I am cared for.  I have a great deal of support, both now, and four years ago when I had my abortion.  You know how the important people in my lives (those who I let in on the decision at the time, anyway, cause honestly, yeah, it can be a private thing) showed that they love, care for, and support me?  By helping me have my abortion.  By not making a fuss.  By understanding that I was making the best choice for me and my life.  By accidentally running into me on my way out of the health center when I got hit with a positive pregnancy test, and refusing to let me go home to brood, instead taking me out to lunch and hanging out until I'd regained my equilibrium enough to be alone safely (my dear friend, who knew me very, very well).  By making a 2-hr drive at 5 AM on a weekday to go to the clinic with me for my appointment (my mom, and the same friend offered, though I told her to get some sleep instead).  By shooing my brother out of the house for the weekend and hanging out and taking care of me during the actual abortion weekend (mom, again).  By sending the money I'd need to pay for it, and offering to fly back out, despite the couple hundred dollars it would take to do that, if I felt I needed him there with me (my boyfriend at the time). 

So I dare you, Rep Davis: Go ahead and go tell my family and friends and loved ones, to their faces, that they didn't "love, care for, or support" me, and that if they had, I would have had a baby instead of an abortion.  And depending on their temperaments, you will alternately get hit upside the head, ignored/eyerolled at, laughed at, or treated to a scathing lecture on your idiocy.  Because they know me, and trust and believe when I tell you: I very much DO mind having my own baby.  I could have armies of servants catering to my every whim, hordes of devoted fans and friends and lovers worshiping me as a Goddess, and I would still mind having my own baby.  This is not a situational thing.  To set it up as if it is, and assume that all women want babies, they just don't know it yet, is ridiculous, rude, disrespectful, dishonest, insulting, and frankly, stupid.  

I know strawwomen are much easier to control (and let's face it, that's the real goal of the anti-choice movement), but howsabout you try actually, I dunno, talking to other women outside of your tiny personal circle, before you make sweeping proclamations about women's reproductive desires?  I am a woman.  I do mind having my own baby, I will always mind having my own baby.  I do not fit into your idea of "women", and I sure as fuck never authorized you to speak on my behalf.  So don't. fucking. do it.


Shorter Gov. Parkinson: This Shit AGAIN?

Ok, I may be taking some, uh, editorial liberties in condensing Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson's statements on his veto of yet another anti-abortion bill down to those particular three words.  But really, that's the sentiment that comes off, if muted and politically phrased in the official statement:

"Kansas' current law concerning abortion was passed more than a decade ago and strikes a reasonable balance on a very difficult issue. I support the current law and believe that an annual legislative battle over the issue is not in the public's best interest."

Read that and tell me it doesn't come off as telling anti-choicers to just shut UP and quit with the legislative antics already.  As is entirely appropriate.

The bill was intended to do the usual chipping-away, this time regarding reporting requirements and attempting to block the opening of a new clinic to replace Dr. Tiller's specialty late-term abortion clinic after his murder last year.  A colleague of his, Dr. Cahart, has expressed interest in opening a new clinic and continuing the work of his fallen comrade, and gods know the antis were falling all over themselves to keep their ill-gotten gains of forcing women to continue non-viable or medically threatening pregnancies.  (I'm sure their god would be proud of their compassion for the suffering. Yep.)

I have to say, Gov. Parkinson is pro-life, but he's the only kind of pro-life that I'm ok with - the kind who acknowledges that abortion is personal, saying "I would encourage women who have unwanted pregnancies to consult with their partners, families, doctors and spiritual advisers. I would not encourage women to consult with state legislators, as this is a private decision and should not be dictated by public officials."

The online comment form to contact Gov. Parkinson can be found here.  I encourage everyone to drop him a note of thanks, ESPECIALLY if you're in his state.  Studies have shown reward to be more effective than punishment, after all!

Here's the text of my email to the Governor, in case anyone doesn't have time to write their own note and would like to yoink mine:

I wanted to contact you to say, though I am not a constituent of yours, and have only ever driven through your state twice, that I am grateful for your veto of the anti-abortion bill today.  I am also grateful to you for publicly taking a personally, but not politically, pro-life stance.  Thank you for standing up to anti-choice incrementalism by vetoing this bill.  I firmly believe it was the right thing to do, and I applaud you for it.

Not a constituent, but grateful nonetheless,

Hey, U.S. Government - Can Has Consistency, Plz?

Listen, Congress, either married same-sex couples are married, or they aren't.  You can't treat them both ways.  Not even DOMA lets you do that.  So what the fuck is up with this proposed rule change to make the same-sex spouses of Congresspersons subject to the same scrutiny as other-sex spouses of Congresspersons, when they're treated by the federal government as not married in every other way???  It is NOT okay to saddle married gays and lesbians with the downsides of marriage if you're not ALSO giving them the benefits of that state!  I know politics and politicians are notoriously hypocritical, but even that isn't usually *this* blatant.


How Not To (Or, "Today in You've Got To Be Kidding Me")

I tweeted a pic the other day, of KFC's new monstrosity of a menu item, the Double Down.  The Double Down is two fried (or grilled, if you prefer...or one of each, if you go for a late dinner and they've run out of the fried ones halfway through making yours) chicken breast patties, with a few slices of cheese, some "special sauce", and two slices of bacon sandwiched between them.  It's the perfect Atkin's sandwich!  Meat as a bun!  No more of this wrapping one's sandwich in lettuce bullshit, let's wrap the meat in more meat!  It looks terrifying on the menu, but it's really not as bad as it sounds; I wouldn't want to have one very often, but it was an interesting novelty to try once.  And I was pleasantly surprised at the nutrition info on it; given that your average fast food burger has like 700 calories, and the fries alone are around 300, I expected the DD Horror to come out at some ungodsly 1000+ calories.  But it's actually only 600ish - although the fat and sodium are off the damn charts for that caloric level - putting it about on par with the Big Mac or a Whopper (no cheese, and still about 100 cal more).  So, yeah, it's bad for you, but only about as much as every fast food item at every chain is bad for you and not to be eaten in large quantities if you can avoid it, duh.

However, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is calling for KFC to avoid marketing the DD Horror to children, keeping ads 500 yards away from schools and other places kids congregate, and they want a warning label on it!  Now I am fine with all of that, actually.  I think fast food should be less marketed to children in general, in the same way that I think cigarettes and alcohol should be less marketed to children in general - these are things that one may choose to consume as an adult, knowing the damage one is doing to one's body, but that's an adult decision, and we don't need to be encouraging children to do things that aren't good for them when they're too young to know better.  And honestly, I would hope that the picture of the damn thing is warning enough - because I'm pretty sure anyone with a modicum of common sense will look at a picture of bacon and cheese sandwiched between TWO FRIED CHICKEN BREASTS and think "This is perhaps not a very healthy item for me to consume" - but if it's not, I could see putting something on it, perhaps with the fat and sodium values of the sandwich and something about "consuming excessive amounts of concentrated animal fats and sodium is Bad For You".  

The problem is, though, that PCRM is not calling for anything so sensible as that.  What do they want the warning label to say?

"WARNING -- Eating meat can contribute to obesity in children, and can increase their risk for heart disease, diabetes and cancer."


I'm sorry, did they just suggest that all children should be vegetarians, and if they're not, they will get DEATHFATZ and heart disease and diabetes and cancer??  Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that the mere fact of children eating meat isn't the problem here.  The problem here is the fried, salty, baconized nature and overlarge portion size of the meat in question.  So why in the name of hell did a physician's group feel the need to focus on the OMG OH NOES NOT MEAT-EATING CHILDREN! aspect of this?  They could have warned about portion size!  They could have warned about saturated fats!  They could have warned about sodium!  They could have warned about deep-fried foods!  And yet they want to make their statement about how eating meat is bad for children, period.  

This? is How Not To have a moral panic about Thinking Of The Children.  

(Also, the linked article manages to get in a nice little "Eew, fatty fat chubbies!" at the end, with their "fitness guru" [who I have renamed as their "asshole guru"] making a crack about KFC as CFC - creating fat chubbies - because that's what you'll be if you eat this sandwich.  Sigh.  Argleblargh.  *headdesk*)


This Is The Christian Moral High Ground

I'm writing this while wearing my pajamas.  Oh no!  I'm a pajama-wearing blogger!  Please be sure to not take me seriously, ok?  Just kidding.  On to the post:

When Constance McMillen won her case against Iwatumba Agricultural High School, and the judge ruled that the school could not bar her from taking her girlfriend to prom, the judge chose not to force the school to un-cancel prom, because there were already plans in place for a private, parent-run prom, which the school swore up down and sideways would include an invitation for Constance and her girlfriend.  See, judge?  It's totally just like the regular prom would be and we promise we're not doing this parent-sponsored prom just to get out of having the nasty gayyyz at our prom.

Only the prom Constance was invited to?  Was not the actual prom.  It was a fake prom, with a total of seven kids in attendance (including two developmentally-disabled students who apparently also were "unfit" to participate in the real prom), while the real prom went on somewhere else. 

So a whole bunch of "Christian" adults just taught their teenage kids that it's perfectly ok to lie (both to the court, as the school and parents' groups did, and to Constance's own face, as did some of her classmates when she asked for info about the prom), sneak around behind peoples' backs, and pull dirty, nasty, hateful tricks like this, so long as it's because God said to hate them.  You have got to be fucking shitting me.  Why is it that I, a filthy godless heathen, have a better grasp of their deity's philosophy of "love thy neighbor" and "do good to those who hurt you" and "whatsoever you do unto the least of these, you do also to me" than do the very people who said deity charged with exemplifying His love in the world?

And that's not even getting into the two developmentally-disabled students who were shunted off to the fake prom.  Where in the Bible, exactly, does it say that being born with learning difficulties makes you unworthy of being treated decently? 

I hope these cruel, backwards fuckers still have the capacity to feel shame somewhere deep in their twisted, shriveled little hearts.  I hope the knowledge of their immature schoolyard cruelty torments them for the rest of their sad, closeminded little lives.  And I hope Constance and her girlfriend and the other students who were labeled "unwanted" by their schoolmates and administrators and the families in the town find ways out of that hateful place and on to towns and cities and schools and lives where they will be treated with kindness and dignity, as every person deserves.


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