Why Miley Cyrus is Cooler Than You Think: The Progressive South

What I was supposed to be when I grew up

When people meet me, even here in South Carolina, they almost always are surprised to learn that I am from the South.  I don’t have much of a Southern accent and I am not demure or interested in playing dumb.  There is, unfortunately, a prejudice that exists, even in the South itself, against people who are Southern.  There is an assumption that everyone here is stupid, poorly educated, and a redneck.

It’s not that the South hasn’t come by its reputation honestly.  There are Bible Thumpers, Tea Partiers, Second Amendment Freaks, and an education system that is more broken than not.  There are rural areas that don’t even seem like America to anyone who has lived near a town, and the problems and poverty that come with that.  But, while a Democrat may never win the state of South Carolina, 40% of the population votes for a Democrat.  You may be able to paint the South itself with a broad brush, but you lose a lot if you also paint individuals from the South with that same brush.

I have struggled over the years with embracing that I am from South Carolina, but I really am about as Southern as it gets.  I was a debutante, I was sent to cotillons when I was growing up.  My father hunts and fishes and collects rifles, my mother worked for Lee Atwater and George HW Bush.  When I was young, I spent most of my days with my babysitter/nanny who lived in a trailer park and we watched NASCAR, drank Mountain Dew, and occasionally I missed my nap and watched The Bold and the Beautiful.  The first time I ever got on a plane was to go see Graceland.

Before my breast reduction and dying my hair red, I think I could have pulled this off

And, even more embarrassingly, the thing I most wanted to be when I grew up was a country music singer.  I’ve never lost my love of singing or a (not so) secret desire to be a rock star, but I did lose my fondness for country music over the years.  But yes, there was a time when my favorite song was “Achy Breaky Heart” and I dreamed of being Dolly Parton.

I suspect many people reading this would think that this was a major handicap, something that I had to overcome to be the erudite, snarky, witty, and progressive person that I am today, but I think it was actually completely necessary for me to get here.  I only wish that I was better at embracing it and not being embarrassed by it.  In an attempt to embrace being Southern, I’m offering a paean for Miley Cyrus.

Miley Cyrus is a lot cooler than most people realize.  I’ll be the first to admit that her devotion to her faith is not something that particularly appeals to me, but the fact that she is Southern Baptist and still open-minded is something we should be celebrating.  And I confess that her music isn’t exactly my thing, as most of the teen music I like was written by people now in their sixties.  But the really cool thing about Miley Cyrus is that she’s a bona-fide red-state American who depends on red-state Americans for her career and she hasn’t let that stop her from speaking out against what she perceives as injustice.

The only tattoo I’d consider getting

She is a vocal supporter of marriage equality and LGBT rights.  This past May, she bashed both Urban Outfitters and Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum for being anti-gay.  She is so in favor of gay rights that she got it tattooed on her body — an equal sign for “equal love” on her ring finger.  And when someone disagreed with her stance on Twitter, she posted, “Where does it say in the bible to judge others? Oh right. It doesn’t. GOD is the only judge honey.”  Hell yes!

She fights in favor of reasonable body images for women. When people try to shame her for her weight, she says that her accusers are part of the reason there are so many women with eating disorders and states quite clearly that she has no intention of buying into it.  “I love MYSELF & if you could say the same… I don’t wanna be shaped like a girl I LOVE being shaped like a WOMAN & trust me ladies your man won’t mind either.”  That’s a feminist message about body acceptance, and an important one for the age group that she appeals to.

It’s easy to look at Billy Ray flag waving for Republican candidates, how very Southern they are, how vocally Christian they are, and assume that they are stereotypical, uninformed conservatives.  They are not.  Her grandfather, Kentucky Colonel Ron Cyrus, was a Democrat and a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives for 21 years and he was the secretary-treasurer for the AFL-CIO.  It turns out that Southerners have a wide range of political beliefs.

From the video

The inspiration for this post was a video in support of the Occupy movement that she posted this week on YouTube, as part of her celebration of her 19th birthday.  Most of the response among my friends on Facebook has been shock and a little bit of poking fun at her music and at the irony that she, of all people, was the big musician to support the Occupy movement.  But actually, it is not ironic and, if you’ve followed her, it is not surprising.  It is, however, marvelous.

Their surprise I can understand, not everyone is as obsessed with LGBT activism as I am, but it is when people dismiss her entirely that I get upset.  There is an article in the National Post that made my blood boil.  The writer describes Miley’s birthday party, which apparently included a unicorn, and then goes on to discuss the Occupy video:

At the very least, it seems Cyrus is interested in showing a more socially conscious side of herself now that she’s entered the twilight years of tween stardom. Like many people, 19 or otherwise, Cyrus has apparently been following the Occupy movement, and together with Rock Mafia (the production team helmed Cyrus hits including 7 Things and Can’t Be Tamed), she Tweeted a link to a video montage featuring footage of Occupy protesters around the world. Titled “Don’t Give Up – It’s a Liberty Walk,” a remix of the pop star’s 2010 track Liberty Walk features in the video, which Cyrus posted to YouTube with the following message: “This is Dedicated to the thousands of people who are standing up for what they believe in.”

This, we can only assume, includes unicorns.

That may be the most dismissive thing I have ever read.  I’m not going to go into a rant about how wrong it is to dismiss people for being young and female, because I might explode, but that’s exactly what’s going on here.  “Oh, she’s interested in politics and unicorns, how sweet.”

Why not?

Miley Cyrus is now a player in progressive politics, not because she is a politician, but because she has a voice that is heard by millions.  This young woman isn’t part of the “Hollywood Elite” — she is from “Real America” and her fans are all from “Real America” too — she is an ambassador to the red states.  But because she is young and because she sings pop and because she is from the South, many people are tempted to dismiss her out of hand.  Her conservative critics are wise enough to be afraid that her influence will lead young Christians away from the intolerant values of their parents, perhaps we should be wise enough to be very grateful to have her on our side.  Embrace her or not, she has influence with the people progressives have the hardest time reaching.

Maybe being from the South isn’t a handicap, maybe it makes our progressive voices that much stronger.

Nerdy Image Dump in Honor of Nicol

In honor of my bestest friend ever coming into town, and in honor of the fact that I found a harddrive with a lot of really old crap on it, I’m going to do an image dump of things I thought were awesome 8 years ago.

These things, it should be noted, are still awesome.

Columbia Coalition of Reason: Love Mail Part I

In honor of Thanksgiving, I’d like to share some of the thankful e-mails and comments we’ve gotten on the billboard. I’ll be honest, more than one of them made me tear up. There really are people out there who think their non-belief means that they have to be isolated. And now they don’t.

FROM CHRISTIANS

1. “I am a Christian; I belive in God and the bible, grew up in Church etc. I am not perfect and I do sin quite frequently. We as Christians believe we are forgiven and are entitled to believe what we choose just as everyone else is; there is freedom of religion and freedom of speech in place to protect everyone and their beliefs.”

2. “As a believer, I’ve got no problem with this sign; would be a fitting message to have on a church sign. One of our greatest responsibilities is to reach out to non-believers “where they live” and to welcome them to God’s love. IMHO, believers that have a problem with this perhaps need to (1) make sure their own faith is sound and (2) make sure they are loving their neighbors as themselves”

3. The South can be a pretty tough place for anyone struggling with or thinking through their beliefs. And for the record, the Pastafarians I’ve got to know are some really kind and enjoyable people. — a believer in Jesus

4. I am a conservative Christian and I have no problem with it. Don’t even see it as a story worth writing about in the newspaper. If they want to spend their money on billboards, that’s perfectly fine even if I personally think it’s a poor use of their money when it could be used for additional charity donations. But that’s up to them.5. I am a christian and I do respect anyones right to believe what ever they choose. I do not try to push anything on anyone nor do I judge anyone for their beliefs. This country is in a real mess and it’s going to take ALL of us to get it back on the right track. Let’s start thinking about how we can work together, put the right people in the right places, get the job market back, the wellfare line down and get this country back to being the greatest place in the world to live.

6. I believe in God also but I believe in their right to keep that sign up. This is still America despite what you think. I wish I could afford to help them put up a sign across from your house LOL

THANK YOUS/WE GET ITS

7. “It’s amazing to see the “peace-loving” Christians get so upset about this. It’s not an attack on you… I don’t see how you can reasonably think it is. The message is not even directed at you, so why do you care? Do you get upset at messages offering support to people with mental illnesses too, even if the message doesn’t apply to you? What’s so wrong with atheists reaching out to each other for support? What’s really sad is that such support is even necessary. If Christians respected others’ beliefs the way they expect theirs to be respected, it wouldn’t be an issue. Unfortunately, when atheists admit their non-belief it is often met with personal attacks and sometimes ostracization from friends and families. It’s a horrible way to treat people. Why can’t we all just get along? If the billboard directly attacked you or your belief, then you’d have every right to be outraged… but read it again… it’s NOT attacking you.”

8. I don’t see how this is such a big deal. The reality is that there are people who believe what you might, and there are others who don’t. The sign is intentionally unoffensive. It doesn’t say, “There is no God”. Nor does it insult my belief in Jesus. It just says, ” [hey,] don’t believe in God? [Well we're here if you want to talk about it]“. And thats fine with me.

9. Thank you for being there. I have suffered the consequences of being an Atheist in South Carolina, including unlawful discrimination more than once.

10. Very happy to see these bill boards up in Cola! It is about time someone stood up for reason! To the people who say, “What does it hurt to believe if it keeps you from burning in ****?” or words to that effect: What if you are believing in the wrong god, or what if you belief about the god you believe in is the wrong one? How do you know that you won’t be the one burning in ****? To the people who say, “Why do you have to push your belief on us?” I say: We aren’t pushing anything. We are letting other unbelievers know that we are here and that it is OK to be non-theist, even in the South. To those who say, “Why do atheists care about something they don’t believe in?” I say: Because we are ridiculed for not believing, we fear for our jobs if it becomes known that we don’t believe, we see the wrongs that have been done in the name of religion in the past and in this day and age.

11. Even if there’s no God, humans are pretty awesome, in general. I’d rather see us united by our common morals than divided by our personal religions.

12. The vast majority of atheists (such as myself) were christians, muslims, jews, hindus, or in some way religious before. Because of the incredible stigma of losing friends, families, and relationships as an atheist, many people go along with it for a period of time, even indefinitely.Many of my fellow skeptics have been ejected from their homes and families; my own parents fear for my eternal safety and point this out.

The parallel is similar to coming out as gay. People have incredibly unreasonable prejudices in the US, and especially here in the south, about what being atheistic is. It causes irrational reactions in the vast majority of cases, since religion is principally an irrational belief: when confronted with the possibility of being wrong, people react. Hence people may need a ‘nudge’ to come out about it, as well as to realize they are not alone in this; that there is support.

13. Interesting… The message is no more threatening than if the Orthodox Jews put up a sign saying “Don’t believe in Jesus of Nazareth as your savior” “your not alone”…. Yet THIS provokes ugly comments from “loving Christians” ??? Maybe it is time to go back and read your bible a bit more in-depth…. There is room for “Non-Theists” just as much as there is room for Buddhists, Baha’i, Muslim, Wiccan, etc… theologies. Put your “Christian” beliefs into practice… “Love Thy Neighbor” doesn’t mean exclusively those who think just like you.

14. The point is…we are reaching out to those who do not believe. If you believe that is fine, we are not looking to hurt your feelings, nor are we trying to “recruit” you. If you want the fundamental rights of this country to be upheld you must allow a voice to all. To tell someone they have no right to voice their opinion you are denying them their right to free speech. You do not see profanity or derogatory language on this billboard, but in the minds of some they see a little spark of truth. Perhaps this is what bothers you about this ad.

15. I can’t belie this is up in SC? I don’t see it being up long due to complaints
I am an atheist so its nice to see. But a lot of people don’t seem to understand how some don’t believe in “god”

16. Great finally something good comes to Columbia! love it!

17. I just wanted to send a quick note and say Thank You for posting the billboard in Columbia. I have been a Columbia resident for the past 7 years and this is the first billboard of this kind I have seen. It’s nice to see there are others of like-mind in our city. I can’t imagine the backlash the billboard will receive but hopefully it will be allowed to remain up for as long as designated. Nice to know that I am not alone in my beliefs in Columbia SC

18. YEAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Telling people your a non-thiest is a little like coming out of the closet, the response seems to be the same!? This billboard gives me hope!
Thanks you soooooooooooooo much.
How can I get more information on this organization?

19. I just wanted to write and say thank you for the billboards placed in Columbia. I have long felt “alone” in my beliefs, and it is nice to know there is a community of like-minded thinkers here. It seems religious zealots are increasingly “in your face” with their “message”, so I’m so happy to have an organization like yours unabashedly putting an alternative view out there for all to see. Please sign me up if you have a newsletter, and again, thank you, thank you, thank you!

20. I truly appreciate what you guys are doing with the billboards across Columbia. What I find most commendable is that the message comes across as compassionate. Unfortunately, many of the people in this state react in such an emotional way that they cannot see the TRUE message from you. For many years, I was involved very deeply in church. I had so many questions about things said in the bible that were very confusing or contradictory that no one was willing or able to answer. I did what any intellectually inquisitive person would do. I researched and read beyond the bible. I no longer attend church but I have not yet expressed to my extended family my new beliefs (or lack of). So, I appreciate your message and courage. I found during my time in church that most of those on the pews used god to cover up their ugly natures and to justify their judgmental attitudes and manipulative personalities.

All I can say is don’t dwell on the negativity, continue to focus on the support of like minded people who feel ostracized by the many hypocritical and judgmental people of our state.

21. I live in Greenville, SC. Unfortunately, I also work in the shadow of Bob Jones University. I’ve had my Darwin fish and car vandalised so often I no longer boast my proud atheism on my car. (Just my reddit sticker.) I’m glad to see that in this sea of delusion that is SC, there are a few that fight the good fight.Keep up the good work!

Also, if you get bored, head over to r/atheists on reddit. Great stuff, to keep us from losing hope in humanity. We’ve been having a pledge drive for Doctors without Borders. So far we’ve raised over $66,000 and our goal is $75,000 by the end of the year.

22. Just a quick thank you for investing in these billboards. I deeply appreciate it.

23. I know you guys have been getting a lot of flak for the billboard that you just put up- I just finished reading some of the hate mail you received, and it’s pretty disturbing stuff. I thought I’d break the trend, though, and thank you all for doing the right thing and standing up for what you believe in. It takes a bit of nerve to put up a billboard like that in South Carolina (Columbia, of all places), but I’m glad you did. We definitely aren’t alone out there, and it’s heartening to see somebody making that fact known.

24. I’m not from your area, but I saw pictures of your billboards online recently. I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for braving the inevitable wave of hate mail and insults and death threats to reassure people like me that we’re not alone in a country that, at times, seems like it thinks we aren’t even people. While I’ve discovered resources on my own, I realize in many areas they aren’t very obvious or necessarily available for people that are too afraid to talk about their views. I’ve spent most of my life in rural, socially conservative areas where most everyone is a devout Christian. It’s scary sometimes to think about how people would react if you told them that you simply don’t believe in a god. Sometimes even being told right to your face things like “Atheists have no morals and shouldn’t be allowed in this country.”

So once again, thank you for what you are doing, and don’t stop fighting the stereotypes and misconceptions.

A LITTLE SNARK

25. In the name of god, please have someone translate what in the world you are saying. god does not hate periods or halfway readable English.

Columbia Coalition of Reason Hate Mail: Part I

I still don't understand how people are offended by this

We sent out a press release this morning about the billboard, and by the afternoon we’d had coverage on some local websites and by tonight we’d had interviews on local TV.

The comments on the news sites have been pretty negative, but the people actually contacting us have been very positive and grateful.  I’ve collected some of the angry comments from our e-mail and the news sites to share with you.  Everything is copy & pasted with no editing for grammar, spelling, or logic.

We are hoping to do dramatic readings of some of these.  I’ve numbered them so that you can easily comment on which ones are your favorites.

PASCAL’S WAGER

1. “To all atheists: If as a Christian I’m right …. then you lose. If you’re right … then you still lose. Good luck with those odds.”

2. “I would much rather live my life believing that there is one true God and find out later that there isn’t, than to live my life as if there isn’t, only to find out later that there is! I guess we’ll all find out for ourselves on judgement day. As for me, I know in my heart that Jesus died for my salvation and for the salvation of all sinners, and that one day I’ll join Him in heaven with the rest of the believers. Heaven or Hell is your choice… I’ll take the high road, thank you…”

ATHEISTS ARE ALONE

3. “Don’t Believe in God? You are not alone.” Unless you look at the really big picture and realize you are. Completely. Alone.”

4. “No, if you do not believe in God you are not alone. But you soon will be.”

5. “You’re not alone” are the atheists suicidal? depressed? I’m sure they are, i would be too if i were an atheist. let’s pray that they open their hearts and minds to God

MAKE SENSE?

6. “That true God. I was surprise why to say can’t believe God?! They people already know God is true in the Heaven. I believe GOD in Heaven! I never say that unbeliever God before. Should to be change post Believe God, and not say Godless period!”

7. “Madalyn Murray O’Hair, killed by one of her own followers and employees was the most widely known and hated of all Atheists. She, one of her sons, and grand-daughter were killed in a robbery gone bad committed by one whom she trusted. Her surviving son William J. Murray is the chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition, a non-profit organization in Washington, D.C., active on issues related to aiding Christians in Islamic and Communist nations. She felt so strongly about his becoming a Christian she had this to say about him. “One could call this a postnatal abortion on the part of a mother, I guess, I repudiate him entirely and completely for now and all times. He is beyond human forgiveness.” WOW! What a way for a mother to treat her own child over a difference of religious opinion in a country where we have a right to practice or not practice our religion freely. Way to go Atheists!”

8. What does the year 2011 mean?….. It means the age of JESUS. And he is coming back. Believe it or not.

YOU RUIN CHRISTMAS

9. “My question to the atheists and agnostics, what is the real purpose of the billboards during one of the most holiest times for Christian and Jews? Where were you in June?”

10. “”We’re your friends…” really? Friends don’t slam your beliefs during your holiest of months. If you’re our friends why not put the billboard up in June? The answer is because you enjoy slamming Christians. Give me a break. You have the right to do whatever you want, but have some class and put your signs up during another time.”

YOU GO TO HELL, YOU GOT TO HELL AND YOU DIE

11. “I THINK WE SHOULD PUT UP A SIGN RIGHT NEXT TO THAT ONE THAT SAYS “GOING TO ****? YOU ARE NOT ALONE” I WOULD DONATE. THE ONLY REASON US CHRISTIANS “PUSH” OUR BELIEFS ON ANYONE IS BECAUSE WE READ IN OUR BIBLES THAT JESUS CHRIST COMMANDS WE SHARE THE NEWS “SO THAT NONE MAY PERISH”. I SHARE JESUS BECAUSE I GENUINELY FEEL SORRY FOR THOSE THAT DO NOT KNOW HIM. TO KNOW JESUS IS TO KNOW PEACE”

12. “They might as well spend all their money on silly billboards…they can take it (to ****) with them…”

13. “The time will come when we can so OH WE TOLD YOU SO!! You say non Christians maybe be sitting by us in church-nah I don’t think so”

14. “**** is getting HOTTER as we speak! For those who don’t want to believe, that is your choice, but don’t beg for mercy on your day of Judgement!”

15. “People of all religious beliefs and backgrounds, remember one thing please. When it’s all over and you find that you were wrong, it’s TOO late then to make a change. So, be sure that what or who you believe in or don’t believe in is the right way to go, cause you only get one shot. I know where I’m going. Maybe I’ll see you there. If not, say hello to Hitler and Bin Laden for me, OK!”

16. “WIS/TV… Fred Edwords, national director of the United Coalition of Reason, said “Such non-theists sometimes don’t realize there’s a community for them.” /////////////////////////////​/////////////////////////////​////////////////// In a related story—it’s reasonable to say that what the Coalition doesn’t know, as well Is…if they stay their course—they’ll find their community—a very hot place known as…**** !!!”

17. “Atheists cease to exist once they die. They then become believers. Dont believe in God? I’m sure your boss will let you work for Christmas.”

HELL... hellooooo

MUSLIMS

18. “why don’t they do this campaign in countries like Iran or Saudi Arabia, i bet those atheists feel even more lonely! American Christians don’t force their religion on people,they, just like the CoR, like to get The Word out, but what you do with it, its up to the individual. The USA still has religious freedom last i checked.”

19.

(We need one about not believing in Allah. - An Allah coloring book. - You can get an Allah coloring book with Dealchicken coupons. - The Allah Christmas Book. Allah delivers guns and bombs to all the little future terrorist. - My personal favorite...Allah lights the menorah coloring book.)

SO ANGRY

20. “I believe in Him and I also believe I’ll boycott any advertisers that use Lamar billboards.”

21. “stupid tards why would you be sitting next to us in church if your not a believer ? i think you plan backfired instead of spreading your non existent belief in god anyone who quiestions gods existence will inevitably come to the conclusion there is a god.not offended, all things work to the glory of god.”

22. “This article made me sick and so do half of you posters. That’s what is wrong with the world today. You should be ashamed. I choose to praise God and if you choose not to, then that is your problem”

23. Its funny these people don’t believe in God but they use the money that says “In God We Trust”. Since you don’t believe in God try living without the money that has His name on it.

CRAZY

24. GOVERNMENT CONSPIRACY!!! MAKE THEM TAKE THEM DOWN!!! SOMEONE CLIMB UP AND PAINT OVER THE DON’T! THEN IT WILL BE A GREAT SIGN!!

25. For those who dont believe will be the ones who when the time comes will be demanding to be let into the Ark when the world does come to an end. For the way of life is through Jesus Christ and for the way to Death is those who choose not to believe.

26. do believe in God: so people need to watch out what the put on a sign. boy if my sister get hold of this she will be calling on God to take it down:

27. Why is it important that you tell the world you don’t believe? This is the work of Satan, you better believe it. I am sadden by this display.

28. I just want to let you know I am very offended about your billboards. Why can you all put this up and we cannot have billboards with God’s name in it for the good? I really feel this is not fair. Just remember God is watching you.

LONG FORM

29.

Just read on your home page in which you wrote “people who don’t believe in a god or gods can be decent citizens…” Gods? Most people (around here) believe in just one God. I think when you wrote “gods” you were being patronizing, no?

I used to be agnostic, so I understand where you are coming from. But I was a little offended by the “gods” reference. You are making fun! Look, Christians and religious folk used to really annoy the crap out of me, especially being the pragmatist that I am. But I think in the end I was more jealous that people could “let go” and accept something that was contrary to rational thought. They were more open-minded than I was and that really got under my skin. So I would make snyde comments like “do you believe in fairies too!” But really, I was just jealous that others could accept something that I could not.

I’m not going to preach. But from one former atheist/agnostic to another, I’d like you to consider one question. This is the question that ultimately helped me to become more open minded in my search for “what is?” No laughing, this is serious stuff and I want you to do your research and really, really ponder it…like for a year or more. Here goes: Why do atoms attract? (and, no, the answer is not “because God tells them to”, lol….or IS it) Remember: question everything, and let your intelligence set you free.

I can assure you that we are not making fun of religious people, nor do we intend to seem patronizing. The simple fact of the matter is that there are, in fact, people in this very community who believe in multiple gods. Both Wiccans and Hindus live in the greater Columbia area. We apologize if you felt offended.

As for your question, atoms are attracted to each other through Van Der Waal’s forces, electronegativity, and ionic or covalent bonding. As an archaeologist, I cannot speak definitively on inter-atomic forces and subatomic particle interaction, but there are plenty of physicists among us who would be happy to discuss the finer points of the theoretical physics should you ever feel inclined to attend a meeting or event advertised on our home page.

I thank you for taking the time to write and express your concerns to us directly, and I hope that my answer has proven satisfactory.

Sincerely,

Dustin Tucker
CoR Coordinator

Really? Hindus have multiple gods? They seem so nice, but that’s just crazy.

And thanks for the invite to your activities, but I’ve spent many hours participating in these types of discussions and the answers are always the same. But Justin, in your search for reason and understanding I don’t want you to forget about gravity. Its a big deal. That two objects are pulled together without a single physical, detectable thing binding them is quite the conundrum. Many physicist and scientist believe that there must be something there pulling these particles and objects together. However, this missing something is not detectable on our level or by our limited senses. Many believe it exists on a different plane or dimension all together. But it must exist. Otherwise, these objects are being pulled together by magic, and that’s not reasonable. Nonetheless, these things or invisible “forces” are well beyond our scope and certainly beyond our natural senses.

In reality, we are limited to only what we can see, hear, feel, touch and smell. To me, its incomprehensible to imagine what lies out there that we have no ability to know about or even comprehend because of our physical and sensual limitations. Science and reason are not equipped to tell us. Nor are they equipped to tell us they “don’t know” as that kind of defeats their purpose. Yet, the more we uncover, the more lucid it becomes that there is much more out there that we do not understand, including those things that we are unable to perceive. It could be anything. There is no denying this, it is simply a reasonable conclusion. Of course, what you do with that conclusion is up to you.

PALATE CLEANSER

30. “I am a Christian; I belive in God and the bible, grew up in Church etc. I am not perfect and I do sin quite frequently. We as Christians believe we are forgiven and are entitled to believe what we choose just as everyone else is; there is freedom of religion and freedom of speech in place to protect everyone and their beliefs.”

UC Davis Students versus Chancellor Katehi

Someone came here and didn’t know what this was all about.  So, on Friday the Chancellor of UC Davis had the police break up a protest on the quad.  They did so with unreasonable force, spraying protesters who were sitting down quietly in the face with pepper spray, sending two of them to the hospital.  This has gone rather viral.

Today the Chancellor held a press conference, intentionally in a space too small to allow students to attend.  The students surrounded the building and the conference was ended early apparently when students got in.  The students formed two human chains, telling the Chancellor she was free to leave if she wanted and that they were peaceful, unlike her or her officers.  She hid in the building for hours before making the protestors agree to sit down and be silent as she left.  Because she is a coward.

I am so impressed with the students at UC Davis.

Images from whyamisodope1 livestream.  http://www.ustream.tv/channel/whyamisodope1

Incredible Video of her leaving in front of a silent crowd.

Occupy Columbia: Evicted and Arrested

Nikki Haley ordered the Occupy Movement off the state house grounds today — she gave the word at 4:30 and they had until 6pm to leave.  Peaceful protesters were then arrested, 23 is the number currently being reported.

They removed all of their overnight stuff but were still arrested for being on the grounds after 6pm.

“Suppression of unpopular ideas is a tradition in South Carolina, and this is no different” – Jay Bender on #occupycolumbia