CNN: Chattanooga Tennessee shooting today possible “Domestic Terrorism”

It is some progress that it is being correctly identified as domestic terrorism rather than a deranged gunman, although the situation is grim.  4 Marines and the shooter are dead. At least one of the official in the video of Mayor Andy Berke’s press conference in the feed on the article, is saying it is being investigated as domestic terrorism.  Although in the same video the banner says “terrorism was ruled out”, that could mean international terrorism and the banner writer is conflating international terrorism with all terrorism.

I grew up in the South, and I have childhood memories of the KKK terrorizing Vietnamese American shrimpers in Galveston, TX.  It makes me sad to see domestic terrorism prominently erupting in the South again.

I wonder how Fox News will report this?

 

 

The Purple and Blue People of Texas

Someone in Scotland was asking me, “We have all heard that Texas is a Minority Majority state, and that it is going purple then why are you still having problems with theocratic legislation?” (Paraphrasing it was a while ago) First this: people in Scotland know many more details about our state’s politics than we do about theirs. Just to give you an idea about how people in other countries watch Texas not just for the buffoonery, but also out of genuine concern for the people doomed to ignorance by regressive education policies. Also, Texas has an unfortunate tendency to churn out presidential dynasties that invade other countries over oil and mess those countries up worse than they were before at the drop of a cowboy hat.

In retrospect, that declaration was a bit premature.

In retrospect, that declaration was a bit premature.

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More Good News from SCOTUS for Pro-Choice Advocates

Good News for Pro-Choice Texans and the rest of states affected by Draconian abortion clinic regulations. The Supreme Court has granted a stay to allow Texas’s 18 remaining clinics to stay open until it decides whether it will hear testimony on how Texas HB2 puts an undue burden on the ability to obtain a safe, legal abortion. In some of the poorest parts of the state like the border with Mexico, there is no abortion clinic open within half a day’s drive.

The fight to keep abortion access available to those who need it has been long and arduous.  Texas Republicans were unable to pass the bill in the regular session of the legislature causing the taxpayers to spend millions more in 2 special summer sessions. The bill was finally passed over heroic efforts by Democrat Wendy Davis to filibuster and thousands of Texans flooding the Capitol building in opposition with a second special session. (Another reason that the Democratic party is definitely not exactly the same as the GOP)

She went to be defeated in a bid for Governor in a race where only 40 percent of Texans voted.

She went on to be defeated in a bid for Governor in a race where only 40 percent of Texans voted.

If SCOTUS decides to accept the application and rules in favor of striking down HB2, it will invalidate similar TRAP laws in 44 other states that seek to:

limit the provision of care only to physicians; force practices to convert needlessly into mini-hospitals at great expense; require abortion providers to get admitting privileges; and require facilities to have a transfer agreement with a local hospital (with nothing requiring hospitals to grant such privileges)

Thousands of people have worked long and hard against these unfair regulations that target abortion providers disproportionately over any other medical procedure.  It goes without saying that the opposition to choice has been spearheaded by the Religious Right to drive a wedge between voters.

Battle Journal: The Great Shushing of Atheist Feminists on Youtube Continues

One of the few atheist feminists on youtube Steve Shives posted a joke about that today:

The name “Steve” comes from the Greek word meaning “5th or 6th most popular non-misogynist YouTube atheist.” ‪#‎LittleKnownFact

 Aron is gratified that Steve considers him an exception to the rule.  

I responded:(few edits for clarity)

The weird thing is how popular anti-feminism is with a lot of  youtube atheists. I’ve watched this pattern even with people I respect on other matters. It seemed to originate at Elevatorgate with avid discussions of basically “Rebecca Watson is a cunt” or some variant thereof.  Now a few years later even “Anita Sarkeesian is a fraud” is starting to become dull. As if, even if those statements were true and also throw in as many individual feminists, whose style people don’t like, and together that would not invalidate the axiom that -feminism means equal rights for women.

There were also a few popular arguments that circulated like “online harassment of women is trolling or grow a thicker skin”, and who could forget the piss poor arguments about rape? And remember folks patriarchy doesn’t exist! Only said seriously and defended with shifting goalposts that could bend space time.

Now the argument seems to be defending the goalposts that Islamic women have it worse, so Western Feminism is trivial. I’ll remember that the next time I go to a rally in Texas for the millions of women that are now unable to obtain a safe, legal abortion because the Religious Right shut down all but 8 of the 40 abortion clinics.

Someone invited me to a discussion of basically Sarkeesian makes bad arguments and is hurting the cause on youtube. As if I would throw her under the bus (not that I think she argues perfectly) and play good feminist/bad feminist to get a pat on the head from anti-feminists. Anti-feminists, who trolled the science education videos Aron Ra and I make together that aren’t even about feminism. It’s like they see the videos as less important than their petty ax to grind. An opportunity to talk about their favorite obsession instead. The truth doesn’t matter.

And look at what a great pay out it has been for anti-feminists -clicks, sympathy, attention, subs, patreons, crowd funded poorly executed takedowns of the “bad” feminist of the week.



No feminists allowed

No feminists allowed

It’s like some kind of Great Shushing of feminist atheists for the past few years.

It is stunning how a people, who pride themselves on rationality, can argue for the male dominated status quo. A status quo that hurts men too.

 

Here are some more goalposts from posters to Steve’s thread that atheist youtube anti-feminists have defended:

  • Steve Shives Personally, I see the tantrums of anti-feminists like that (who do the same sort of things on my videos, posting irrelevant and off-topic comments on videos that have nothing to do with gender equality, and endlessly try to bait me to respond, like children desperate for attention) as encouragement. The worse they behave, the more selfish and petulant and utterly without shame they show themselves to be, the more determined I am to seem them pushed off to the fringes where they belong, so that the online atheist community can be defined by truly humane humanists, not people who try to twist that term into a euphemism for anti-feminism.
  • Nate Franklin theres like a checklist for these folks:
    -call people manginas
    -claim that women in the west have it good and should focus on third world countries

    -hate anita sarkeesian
    -say “its a joke” whenever they say something remotely offensive
    -viciously defend the MRM but claim not to be an MRA
  • Michea Bonilla -Say women fake rape reports
    -Mention male rape or male victims of domestic violence to devalue rape and domestic violence conversations. Make sure to ignore any feminists who try to say that they are working towards helping male victims. Call them l
    iars.
    -Make sure to call women whores, bitches, cunts, liars, and sluts whenever mentioning feminism.
    -Use the term “feminazi” whenever possible.
    -Talk about male genital mutilation (circumcision) and how women are pushing for it.
    -Talk about how feminists are making men pussies.
    -MASCULINITY!!!!! RAWRRRRR!!!!!
  • Steve Shives The male rape charity, SurvivorsUK, that had its funding cut to the total indifference of the MRAs, followed me on Twitter the other day and thanked me for the support. It was one of the proudest moments of my online life.
  • Michea Bonilla Oh! Don’t forget to take credit for things that feminists have done that help men. Remember, they weren’t real feminists since they were helping men, so it’s ok to take credit for their work.
  • Nate Franklin make fun of people going through hard times, but get upset when others do the same thing!
  • Michea Bonilla Unless it’s women going through hard times, then it’s ok to shit on them no matter what, because they’re learning their place.

Fox: South Carolina Attack on Faith not Race

When are the major media outlets going to call Dylann Storm Roof a terrorist for killing and terrorizing nine Black people?

Fox News is appropriating this terrorist hate crime against a historic Black community church as an “attack on faith” instead.

Fox: proving Black lives matter less than spin

Fox: proving Black lives matter less than spin

“Extraordinarily, they called it a hate crime,” Fox News host Steve Doocy noted. “Some people look at it because it was a white guy apparently and a black church. But you made a great point just a moment ago about the hostility toward Christians — and it was a church — so maybe that’s what they’re talking about.”

Sure many people know that Fox isn’t actually news, but right wing propaganda.  However, this is a very popular example of media that attempts to delegitimatize real racial problems in America, and co-opt the narrative for its own persecution complex.  Basically Fox is being the bully in denial that wants to be the victim at the same time. It isn’t just Fox; it is everyone that buys their false narrative, and kids themselves that we live in a post-racial society.  Get ready for some head desk pounding because there is more to it than even that,  Ashley Miller is collecting right wing politicians’ appropriation of the murder of nine Black people to claim Christian persecution.  Worse than even that, it is people that live on a steady diet of negativity in our society and media against Black people, and act out in an entitled self righteous manner.

You can’t keep adding to the denial racism is a very real problem without contributing to racial tension that erupts into violence like this incident.

Update: If you would like to help the South Carolina Humanists have set up an IndieGoGo fund for the victims’ families.

Josh Duggar Redeemed?

CN Child Molestation

I didn’t want to weigh in too quickly on the molestation confession by Josh Duggar of TLC’s “19 and Counting”, but now the police report is available. Libby Anne of Love, Joy , Feminism has a good list of things that are not quite right about the way the Duggar family handled the problem. The response of course was to lean heavily on their god.

Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives,” Jim Bob, 49, and Michelle, 48, said in a joint statement. “When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes, and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before.

I don’t buy that Josh made “mistakes” molesting girls. He chose to molest girls. To be fair the Duggars did take some real world actions after waiting a year such as turn him in to a family state trooper friend. The result however was just a stern lecture, but no charges. The Duggars actions whether intentional or not kept Josh out of jail. In Arkansas, there is a three year statute of limitations on prosecuting this type of crime.

But Jesus has redeemed him, so he is off the hook right?

I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions,” says Josh. “I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.”

I grew up in a Southern Baptist Church where youth leaders who were good people but happened to be women were dismissed, but male youth leaders were forgiven and “redeemed” by god. A lot of people buy this rationale that their god can forgive and redeem male leaders, but women they have to maintain their purity or earn scorn. One of my preteen friends was molested during a house cleaning fundraiser by the middle aged youth pastor. The blame was placed on the victim that she seduced him.  He continued as youth pastor and married one of my other teenage friends from the group.

In my experience, with molestation in the church, there is something creepy about the person to begin with.  They don’t get redeemed by their god, and sin no more. Pedophilia isn’t a casual mistake. Predators look for opportunities, and make choices based on a victim’s vulnerability. Children who are insecure and/or unprotected for whatever reason are singled out.  Invoking god afterwards, has always been a way to get trust they didn’t earn. I can’t be as quick to forgive and trust as they imagine their god is.

Please note: molestation is not the same as childhood exploration that went too far. Those things are not uninvited like molestation is.

Both Parties are the Same! #1 FLPCB HHSC 15-03 , also known as Conscience Protection for Private Child-Placing Agencies

Voter turnout during the US midterm elections was pathetic. There was a definite lack of critical thinking and due diligence evidenced by opposing Republicans, Libertarians, and apathetic liberals in the “Freethought” movement, who repeated the soul sucking canards “Both Parties are the Same” and “It’s a Broken System” during the mid term elections. Aron and I tried to encourage people to vote, but were met with an onslaught of sanctimonious people acting as if not voting was more conscientious a choice than voting.

These same people can’t really be surprised by the slew of theocratic state legislation by the Republican majority state legislatures and state governors given a majority during midterms. This is a party that 57 percent of whom think that Christianity should be the national religion. Indiana is one state among many responding to legalization of gay marriage in many states by passing “religious freedom” bills modeled on the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby decision. Which neatly answers the question, “What about the Constitution?” to those privileged enough not to have theocratic overreach affect you on a very personal level, or obtuse enough to not realize in many states they already live in a theocracy. My question to you is ,”Who decides what is constitutional?” Also, don’t abdicate your civic duty to a piece of parchment. [Read more…]

By God! Legislators take a stand, so that Jesus won’t return and find gay marriage!

Newly elected Christian Right legislators gathered in the Texas Capitol Building’s auditorium today, and vowed to defend marriage from LGBT couples. No mention of a lesbian couple that a judge allowed to marry, because of life threatening circumstances. You bet your bippy, they will put a stop to that though!

A cake to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Texas's gay marriage ban. A banner day for Jesus!

A cake to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Texas’s gay marriage ban. A banner day for Jesus!

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Chapel Hill: No wonder others don’t get the Muslim and Ex-Muslim Community

Even in the atheist community that prides itself on intellectualism, we often speak for and even instead of Muslims and Ex-Muslims. We have a listening problem.  Sadaf Ali, who helped found Ex-Muslims of North Americanails it…

Mostly likely they have the answer to your questions.

Mostly likely they have the answer to your questions.

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Should you boycott 50 Shades of Grey?(Spoilers and Trigger Warning)

I admit I couldn’t make it through the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy for many of the reasons already widely discussed in the BDSM community. The books also blur consent lines and the line between sexual role playing and emotional and physical abuse.

Who has to hold another person's face to dominate their attention?

Who has to hold another person’s face to dominate their attention?

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