when the status quo frustrates.

The many faces of spam.

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

The Blatant Brownnose

exercises for lower stomach fat says:
Aw, this was a really quality post. In theory I’d like to write like this too – taking time and real effort to make a good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and never seem to get something done.

flat six pack abs says:
Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

Oh my god, you guys! Do you really think so? I’ve always thought so. Of course I’ll approve your comments!

Oh, and hey, do either of you know how I can get a flatter, more toned stomach? Really? WOW.


The Non Sequitur

Marissa Shaffner says:
The 3 phase electric power is common way of alternating current transmission and it is a type of polyphase system and is the normal method used by electric power distribution grids to distribute power. That looks like exactly the 3 phase alternator I’ve been looking for.

That’s— That’s great? I’m really happy for you. We all long to find that one special 3 phase alternator that brings meaning to our cold, dark lives.

Fort Lauderdale Caterers says:
I was at a wedding of my ex-lover last week and I couldn’t help remembering how uncomfortable I felt that day. I find it very awkward attending his wedding. It was a great thing he was so accommodating that even though the difficult feeling I felt glad to be there for him.

I am glad you could make it, even though the difficult feeling. You are strong. Having great summer.


The Artificial Intelligence Failure

Christopher Vivier says:
learning some thing your self and becoming able to teach it to other people, is as various as evening and day

gap diet says:
I can’t remember how I found your site – I think I was trying to find out just how crap that Site Build It scam was.

Glad found you it scam was. Learning you did? Reweight markov chain probabilities should you.


The Embarrassing Search History

dijfijrghif says:
http://www.example.com/index.php?topic=460318.0 – BIG TITS ASS PORN –
http://www.example.com/index.php?topic=460310.0 – MASTURBATION MUTUAL –
http://community.example.com/forum/topics/lesbian-vedio-anal – LESBIAN VEDIO ANAL –
FREE MOVIES TEEN CUMSHOTS ( http://example.name/index.php?showtopic=19171 – FREE MOVIES TEEN CUMSHOTS ) ,
free british porn ( http://www.example.ro/forum/showthread.php?p=138962 – free british porn ) ,
VINTAGE MATURE SEX TUBES ,
FREE BLOWJOB PORN MOVIES ,
FREE MATURE XXX VIDEOS ,
FREE CUMSHOT ASS VIDEOS ( http://www.example.com/index.php?topic=460315.0 – FREE CUMSHOT ASS VIDEOS ) ,
http://example.name/index.php?showtopic=19171 – FREE MOVIES TEEN CUMSHOTS –
SOLO FEMALE MASTURBATION ,

OH MY GOD DAD PLEASE CLEAR YOUR BROWSER HISTORY CHRIST.


The Nearly Appropriate

Sherrell Sozzi (and about ninety other people, apparently ~ v.) says:

Stephen Hawking says the universe wasn’t necessarily created by God. In other news, grass is green.

It definitely isn’t an especially surprising statement—neither prima facie, nor considering the source. But why are you using it to sell people quack cancer cures that don’t even fucking work you terrible, terrible person?


The Strangely Honest

OpillaLoarp says:
buy citrate sildenafil

…no?

America.

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

You might have been led to believe that if you’re standing in Lehi, Utah, USA, that you are in America. You’re not. You’re in the United States—not America.

America, after all, is a vast, wild frontier, where any man—only the right kind of any man, of course—can make his fortune! It’s a place filled with adventure and danger (to other people) and, most of all, freedom. A place where brave settlers defend themselves against savages, on the every edge of civilization! Where we fight tremendous wars, and they’re good, and they’re right. It’s a rough, beautiful land where men are men and women are women.

Look around. You don’t live there. Nobody lives there. We all live here, on bloody land stolen from people who don’t have the decency to either attack like wild animals or lie down and die. In a place where black and brown people freely walk the streets as though they belong, as though their lives are anything but an uncomfortable reminder that the triumphant throne of whiteness is stacked on a pile of bodies that could overflow a thousand mass graves. Where people with cardboard signs saying veteran. disabled. please help line the streets because they didn’t get the memo that you’re supposed to come back perfect and whole and blonde or in a box or a bag or not at all. It’s hard to live here—hard because the government takes everything to give to those lucky brown immigrants, hard because your Social Security check isn’t near big enough, hard because they keep showing bleeding, broken children on the news like it’s our fault they were in the way of our bombs, hard because you can’t just shoot a man on the street or slap some sense into your woman.

It was better, back then. Better in the past. The past, after all, is the only place where America lives. Maybe it was your parents’ time, or their parents’ time, or maybe if you’re lucky and old enough it was your own childhood, but whenever it was, that—that place, seen through the perfectly smudged glasses of memory—that was America.

Of course Liberty Land is a hoax—Extruded Liberty Product With Real Freedom Filling. Everyone knows that. But maybe it’s enough for now. It’s just a taste to keep us going. To remind us of what it will be like when we bring it back. When we kick out the fakes, the immigrants, the interlopers. When we bring back real America, where men are men and women are women and our wars are just and our lives are simple, clean, and good.

I denounce this.

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

I don’t think Fred Clarke apologized quite quick enough, but I feel that his words are really awesome nevertheless.

RT @slacktivist

Balanced.

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Dear Internet,

I just ate a piece of pizza. I know that it is making me fat. I am aware that it contains polyunsaturated something-or-other, hydrolyzed this-or-that, and also sugar and, god help me, corn.

I know that half of what I just ate is giving me cancer even as the other half is preventing it. I know the wheat is shredding my intestines even as it murders my children. I know that the corn is genetically engineered and that it’s giving me cancer, because as everyone knows, genes cause cancer. I know that I probably need more B12 or B7 or K or something, I know that fructose is the new cyanide, I know that I’m probably allergic to goddamned near everything, and yes, I know that if I add a teaspoon of sugar to my tea I may as well be mainlining crystal meth.

Oh, and hey look! Something about gut bacteria. My gut bacteria, or possibly my lack thereof, are making me fat and maybe also killing me. Okay, I know that now, too.

I know that I need to work out more. God, do I ever I know that. I know that I should be working out RIGHT NOW THIS SECOND. (And yes, I know that the aspartame I just sipped in my diet coke is killing me in exactly the same way as sugar, but with a funny aftertaste.)

But you know what, Internet? I just. Don’t. Care. The aggregate cost of filtering, processing, and understanding a constantly-shifting stream of breathless information about THIS thing which causes toe cancer in genetically engineered lab rats or THAT thing which prevents aging in soybean nematodes—let alone the vast array of things that affect my chakral alignment or the quantum moment of my vitreous humors—has just become far higher than any conceivable benefit.

When you can show me a living person who is 300 years old and who doesn’t look a day over, say, 50, then we can talk.

Until then: please, please, shut the fuck up.

<3
~ v.

p.s. I either ALREADY HAVE brain cancer, or I NEVER WILL. Either way, unless you’re whining about the antenna in the fucking iPhone 4, please shut the fuck up about cell phones, too. Actually, on second thought, don’t say anything about the iPhone 4, either.

Every Single Post on Feminist Blog Tagged “rape”

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Posts on LOST, household repairs, ice cream apparently relate to violent sexual assault somehow.

The absolutely true reason, until another comes along.

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Over at The Friendly Atheist has sent two observers to the Americans For Truth About Homosexuality Anti-Gay-Rights Academy (the AFTAH-AGRA, I suppose). Let me summarize: these people believe that homosexuals are trying to rape your children and destroy the world and want to stop this. Yes, very shocking, but let’s look at this bit from Maria:

The fatal flaw in [AFTAH‘s] arguments was the necessary requirement of the belief in a Judeo-Christian conception of God and an acceptance of the Bible as wholly true. Until we can come to a consensus on what “truth” and “evidence” should be defined as, this argument is never going to be resolved. I don’t hold out much hope that it will be.

Look: that is not their fatal flaw. Their fatal flaw is that they’re hateful. The arguments they’re spewing to further their agenda are hateful, fearmongering manipulation used to maintain oppressive systems. Their fatal flaw isn’t incorrect, it’s that they’re wrong.

Christianity doesn’t compel you to believe that homosexuality is wrong, let alone dangerous. If Christianity weren’t around, these folks would find another way to prop up the patriarchy. They would swap out the cornerstone with another, similarly-shaped brick without a moment’s hesitation, and nothing but the words would change. On the flip side, there are plenty of Christians—though, I’ll agree, fewer—who fully support the radical queer agenda.

I think this cuts to the root of why I, at least, find atheists irritating—they see that Christianity is incorrect, and assume that’s the problem. As when we turn on the worldwide DeReligionizer Ray tomorrow, there will be no more social injustice!

Which is, I think, not quite what would happen. People will realize that there’s no more money or power in the religious oppression game, and they will move on to codify new structures to oppress people with, in remarkably similar ways.

The Catholic Church has lots and lots and lots and lots of problems. Some of those problems are epistemological, and they are not, should not, must not, be the top priority.

AFTAH has some serious problems, but the fact that they’re incorrect about this or that inconsequential thing isn’t the big one. Their biggest problem is that they’re wrong.

Failure!

Friday, August 13th, 2010

You guys, I just failed to cook something.

That’s kindof a big deal. Cooking is one of the few things I can do reliably and well. I’ll fuck up crazy experimental food (what happens… if I stuff peanut butter into this bell pepper?!?! Nothing good, it turns out.), but this was pancakes.

Pancakes are not experimental.

What’s more, I failed at pancakes by adding too much baking soda. That’s like failing at partying because you took too much ecstasy (and, incidentally, tastes similar).

Two days ago, I burned Daal. I’m not becoming a fantasy writer (“the Da’al wound their way up the to’wer, donning their ky’aap’es and activating their læn’tyrr”iens”). Daal is lentils. Lentils in a pot. With spices. I burned lentils in a pot with spices. I still don’t know how I did this.

I just tried another pancake, made with new batter. It’s vaguely tolerable. I think I still added too much baking soda, or maybe my baking soda has been absorbing the taste of ass. Maybe it absorbed the smoke from the burnt Daal.

I think I need a time-out. No, wait, what’s the thing in that Canadian game, with the sticks? I need to go into the penalty box. The ingredients will have a power play in my kitchen during which I will not cook them, because apparently I pissed off M’oskyo’wyts, the goddess of cooking stuff.

I’m going to get stoned now, and eat the rest of my vaguely ass-absorbed pancakes.

Equal Protection of the Laws.

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Over at Red State (and let’s bracket for a moment why I was ever reading a blog called Red State that wasn’t about menstruation), a writer named Hogan blows a gasket over former conservative hero Ted Olson arguing persuasively for gay rights. That’s not really surprising—I expect many modern conservatives see Ted Olson as a kind of Judas figure, selling out his principles and nation and God in exchange for a few pieces of fame and fortune. It’s difficult to imagine that Ted Olson would find this attitude surprising or lose any sleep over it.

What’s more interesting is how Hogan constructs his legal opposition to Olson’s position.

Olson claims that California “has no rational basis for continuing this discrimination.” Really? No rational basis? Who made you King, Mr. Olson? Because it seems to me that we human beings may well have more than a “rational basis” to recognize marriage as it has been recognized around the world for literally thousands of years – the union of a man and a woman. For reasons of pro-creation and parenthood, to start with, but also for reasons of faith and morality, for some of us, any marriage other than such a union can never be, whatever society says, a “marriage” at all.

Mr. Olson hides behind – as any good activist does – the issue of race to use the Constitution for a larger social purpose and to achieve own policy objective. Olson invokes Loving v. Virginia, which was the case ending racial discrimination in marriage laws, to say that gays should be allowed to marry. If you believe that, then you believe that the 14th Amendment means anything. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were specifically designed to deal with racism and the prohibition thereof.

There are two separate claims here: one, that there is actually a rational basis for preventing gays and lesbians from marrying, and two, that the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the 14th amendment were intended to address racism, and shouldn’t apply to gays and lesbians anyway. It’s an argument whose structure you might recall from primary school—“I didn’t do it, you can’t prove it was me, and it’s a stupid rule anyhow.”

On the first point, Hogan wants to assert that tradition, faith, and morality, or at least some combination thereof, constitute rational bases for discrimination against gays. It’s an argument you hear a lot from fans of sectarian government—these reasons seem rational to them, so obviously if the courts fail to recognize it, it’s because the courts are a wing of a liberal anarcho-queer supremacist movement which has as its aim the annihilation of heterosexuality, families, and liberty in general.

Actually, this is his strongest point.

Courts are generally somewhat conservative, and consider tradition and morality—if not someone’s particular, sectarian religious beliefs—to be acceptable bases for legal intervention in our lives. Acceptable, that is, but certainly not sufficient, and that’s where this line of reasoning sadly falls apart. When you’re abridging someone’s rights, the courts have found, you need to be able to conjure up some slightly more compelling reason than, “it has always been thus, so there.” This was an important finding in Loving v. Virginia (and, later, in Williams v. Illinois) —prohibitions on interracial marriage may have had the support of tradition and church, but they weren’t rational. In fact, they were pointless. And even as the courts seem willing to smile on even poorly supported encroachments on liberty, they’ve found unsupported violations will have to go. And so they went, some of them.

But! That’s Loving, a case about interracial marriage. The 14th Amendment, Red State reminds us, is specifically crafted to apply only to people of color. That was the obvious intention of its framers, and absolutely the only reason we think its application might be broader than that today is because the power-mad judiciary has over the years stretched the tiniest of loopholes into an enormous tear in the very fabric of the Constitution. Why, just look at the wording of the thing:

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. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. 14th Amendment, Section 1

The text certainly seems to… resist the interpretation that it only offers protection against racial discrimination. In fact, it looks rather more like a broad-reaching law designed to force States to respect the rights of their citizens.

All their citizens.

If the framers—John Bingham, specifically—had intended for the 14th Amendment to apply specifically to institutional racism, it’s not as though they lacked the tools to call it out. The 15th Amendment, passed just two years later, does exactly this:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. 15th Amendment, Section 1

No man may be denied a vote because of the color of his skin, nor because he was once a slave. (No man and his skin, specifically, because of course it would remain illegal for women to vote for fifty years hence, until the 19th Amendment was ratified. It had to be another amendment, because the 15th is silent on the issue of gender in exactly the way that the 14th is not.)

All their citizens. Everyone.

That’s what Bingham meant; that’s what the Congress meant. Hewing to a strictly originalist view of Constitutional law, you might be surprised to read Bingham’s congressional testimony, in which he makes quite clear his intention that the 14th Amendment be a broad thing, a powerful instrument of justice, protecting citizens (All citizens. Everyone.) from the capricious decisions of governmental bodies large and small. In fact, he seems to argue for an even broader reading of the amendment than courts recognize today.

So where does the Red State writer’s interpretation come from? In a blossoming of what I’m tempted to term delicious irony, it comes from an activist judge—five activist judges, specifically. Not five years after its passage, the Supreme Court decided in Slaughter-house cases that the 14th was a response to racism—specifically, to lasting discrimination against former slaves—and so it oughtn’t be applied more broadly than that. So it wasn’t, and for years, the amendment may as well not have existed.

Today, essentially nobody believes that Slaughterhouse was decided properly. In the intervening years, the courts have slowly restored the power of the 14th, building a multi-tiered (and, arguably, overcomplicated) framework under which different laws are considered with different degrees of scrutiny, based on the significance of the rights abridged and the oppression experienced by the class of people it targets. This isn’t a power grab—it’s entirely the opposite, a moderation of the judiciary’s power, rooted in the notion that courts ought to be a last resort for those peoples too maligned, stigmatized, or powerless to seek legislative remedy.

It’s this last point that gives lie to the slippery slope argument we’ve heard so very often—this notion that if you believe the arguments for gay marriage, “you believe that the 14th Amendment means anything.” Yes, the courts have found that gays and lesbians constitute a suspect class, and that abridgment of their fundamental rights must thus be narrowly tailored to satisfy a compelling government interest which cannot be satisfied in any other way. But it only found this—could only find this—after being buried under an avalanche of evidence in which the plaintiffs exhaustively and somewhat oddly argued that gays and lesbians are politically powerless and biologically locked into their sexualities (leaving the sectarian proponents to argue that no, gays have enormous political power and their sexualities are fluid and constructed, making me wonder if they intersperse Butler in their sword drills). It seems enormously unlikely that we’ll see similarly compelling arguments for marrying cats or children, neither of which can offer legal consent.

The evidence is so overwhelming that should Perry make it to the Supreme Court, it will be exceedingly interesting to watch Antonin Scalia tie himself into a pretzel trying to justify ignoring it. Perhaps he will decide that the 14th Amendment really is all about the rights of ex-slaves, pesky things like the framers’ intentions and thousands of pages of jurisprudence notwithstanding. Or perhaps, seeing his very own words quoted in Judge Walker’s decision, he will become radioactive with indignation, and he will explode.

If moral disapprobation of homosexual conduct is ‘no legitimate state interest’ for purposes of proscribing that conduct… what justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising ‘the liberty protected by the Constitution’? Surely not the encouragement of procreation, since the sterile and the elderly are allowed to marry. Lawrence v Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003), Antonin Scalia Dissenting

Could be worse.

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

She smeared long trails on her face and jeans as she worked. Bits clung to her ankles. “It’s not so bad,” she said, sawing. “It’s not like I killed them all.”

The first rule of tautology club.

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Protest signs have never really been the height of discourse.

A man wearing a cyborg Dick Cheney mask holds a sign reading, "War is healthy for Bush, Wall Street, and other imperialists."

Sometimes they’re clever, sometimes witty. Sometimes they sketch around the outlines of an interesting argument.

That isn’t really their point, though, and you’re not going to fit a nuanced look at geopolitics or community building on a 2′x4′ piece of foam board. So, mostly, protest signs call out the demands you’ve heard so many times before. They’re slogans; they’re cheers; they’re threats—we could have come with pitchforks, they offer, but we brought these instead.

Protestors hold up signs reading, "Impeach Bush!," "Make Soup Not War," and "God Bless Iraq."

So I don’t expect to see arguments, exactly, on the NOM protestors’ signs. But perhaps I expected synecdoche. Something about health, or abuse, or AIDS, or children, or the abuse of unhealthy AIDS children.

(more…)

Skeptifem is writing a book.

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

And it will be awesome. Because Skeptifem is awesome. That I’m friends with her is utterly irrelevant, I promise.

Anyway, she is also looking for people to interview. So, if you’re interested in helping out on an expansive research project, and you are in the set of, I quote—feminists or non feminists, dudes and ladies, pro sex and anti porn, gay or not, trans, people of color, people of size, etc—then drop her a line.

Our training is a bit worse, actually.

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

(09:40:29 AM) Friend: They way you become a Mord Sith is: you’re kidnapped as a young girl, beaten and tortured mercilessly until there is no humanity left in you, then kill your father to complete your training.
(09:40:55 AM) Violet: Oh, so just like how you become a feminist.