Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

We gots to get us some edimicashun in this country:

The impression that Obama is Muslim varies by education, region, and religious background. Voters who did not attend college are three times as likely to believe Obama is Muslim when compared with voters who have a college degree (15% vs. 5%). [emphasis added]

Here’s a thought: let’s offer a free public course entitled “Just Because It’s In Your Inbox Doesn’t Mean It’s True.”

Sigh. All right, time for a public service announcement:

NOT THAT IT MAKES ANY FUCKING DIFFERENCE WHATSOVER, BUT OBAMA IS A CHRISTIAN. REPEAT UNTIL UNDERSTOOD. THANK YOU.

I need another drink. And let’s see what else we’ve got here… oh, now, this is good:

[McCain] has opposed extending the assault weapons ban, federal hate crimes legislation, the establishment of the International Criminal Court, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, pro-labor legislation, ergonomics rules, lawsuits against gun manufacturers, and benefits for gay partners. He has supported privatizing Social Security, conservative judicial appointments, the teaching of intelligent design in public schools, tax cuts for the wealthy, and the posting of the Ten Commandments in public schools (Free Ride, Pages 139-140). On national security, McCain has consistently proven himself to be one of our most hawkish senators. Conservative groups such as the American Conservative Union and the Christian Coalition of America routinely give McCain high marks (Free Ride, Pages 145-146). [emphasis added]

Anyone here still think McCain’s a moderate? No? Didn’t think so.

Moving on, then. Sad news, alas. It looks as though Rush Limbaugh won’t be prosecuted for fraud for encouraging Republicons to game the Democratic nomination:

As for Limbaugh’s chances of facing charges, Jennings said, “We have no intention of prosecuting Rush Limbaugh because lying through your teeth and being stupid isn’t a crime.”

Damn.

But at least we can end with some good news:

The Wright controversy has not heightened the public’s impression that Obama’s race will undermine his chance in the general election if he is the nominee. Only 21% say Obama’s race will hurt his chances, compared with 25% who held that view in January. [emphasis added]

And the analysis I read shows that number steadily on the wane since September. This bodes very well indeed – if you’re not a racist fuckhead, that is. It would be premature to drink to America’s first black president, but I’ll drink to America’s first extremely viable black candidate, and the beginning of this country finally beginning to practice what it preaches.

Salud!

Bienvenido a Mi Casa

For those of you who no hablo espanol, Welcome to my house!

Introductions are likely in order. I’m Dana Hunter. I’m an SF writer in Seattle. Don’t bother looking me up on Amazon just yet – there’s a reason I call myself a writer rather than an author: not published. We’re working on it.

This is my cat, Misha:

Do not pet the cat. She is a homicidal maniac.

Of course she looks too cute to be homicidal. That’s her modus operandi.

Don’t fall for it.

You’ll notice the place is still under construction. Bare bones, alas. But we have a full bar, so we should do all right. Pour yourself a drink and get comfy.

Right. Let’s get this party started.

Bit o’ a tour, to start. You’ve met the homicidal beastie. Down at the bottom there, you’ll note the Video Bar, fully stocked, of course. To your left, I’m slowly but surely building links to places I find fascinating, and playing about with various and sundry interesting bits for you to explore. You’ll notice that big red A right off, I’m sure. That stands for Atheist. It doesn’t stand for anti-religion, mind. But if you’re a morbidly pious sort, or a right-wing evangelical prostelytizing judgement-passing fuckwit, you’re probably not going to be very happy here.

Ah, yes, I should mention the language. There will be language here. Plenty of it. If you faint at the word “fuck,” you should probably move on. There was a time I tried to be more polite in public, but that was before the Bush Regime radicalized me. Now I’m true-blue, and I use the same color language.

You’ll have noticed by now I lean left. That’s not a lean, it’s a sprawl, caused by being shoved rudely from the middle by aforementioned regime. I reserve the right to inch back toward the middle if and when such an option becomes available, but for now, the left is where I stay, and that’s where you’ll hear my voice screaming from.

And there will be screaming. Feel free to join in.

You’ll notice from the links (sadly sparse right now, but check back later) that I love science, and I’ve become something of a political animal, and I thrive on snark and oddities. I hope you’ll enjoy those blogs as much as I do. There’s great stuff in there, a lot of great people who restore my faith in humanity, and I invite you to go strike up a conversation with them. We get outrageous at times, I admit. I don’t always agree with the views expressed. But that’s the beauty of the First Amendment: it allows for a variety of voices, a cacophany of choices, and a plenty of challenges to entrenched ways of thinking.

Which brings me to another point: comments. Time was, I’d have requested a civil discourse, discouraged flame wars, and pleaded for you to avoid name-calling. No more. I do moderate comments, but there are very few things that will get your comment banned. Let’s go over those, shall we?

  1. Threats.
  2. Hate speech. Yes, I know it’s a limit on the First Amendment, but it’s mi casa, and I won’t tolerate racial slurs, ethnic attacks, and other such nonsense.
  3. Sexual harassment.
  4. Stuff that should be taken outside. Which means that if you want to talk about some personal quibble, you email it. It doesn’t belong in comments. An example of this would be, “Dana, you left your underwear sitting on my kitchen counter.” Dirty laundry doesn’t belong in the comments section, are we agreed?

And that’s about it. If other things become problems, we’ll revisit this, but I think we’re all adults here. We can argue and hurl insults and laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of the world without crossing the line into the grotesque.

If someone expresses a view you don’t like, refute it. I don’t care how much dirty language you use and how much name-calling you do, but please, address the issue rather than attacking that person’s gender or background or what they eat for breakfast. Wikipedia defines ad hominem for us:

An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: “argument to the man”, “argument against the man”) consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim. The process of proving or disproving the claim is thereby subverted, and the argumentum ad hominem works to change the subject.

And this is what I’m talking about. Let’s try to keep ad hominem to a minimum here. Enough said. Go forth and comment prolifically and with abandon.

I know, I know. Right now you’re asking yourself: Dana, what the hell am I supposed to comment about? You haven’t written anything.

Muy verdad, mis amigos. However, there’ll be plenty to come: science and pseudoscience, atheism and religion, writing and reading, and catblogging, for a start. There’s a poll, there, just to your left, asking – nay, begging – your opinion. There’s a comment section just waiting for you to put your own two cents in. Use it. Let’s talk. I enjoy a good talk about Life, the Universe, and Everything.

You see that blogroll, over there? You, too, could be listed! Send me the link. Don’t have a blog? Create one. Don’t blog enough to create one but came up with a fascinating diatribe you just know we’ll all love? Email it. If it tickles my fancy, you’ll end up a guest blogger, with all the fame and – well, with a little more recognition than you had this morning, anyway. And maybe someday, my snark will count for something and guarantee you a wider audience. Stranger things have happened. Just look at 2004.

While mi casa’s under construction, I invite you to amble on over to my alternate sites: MySpace and danahunter.net. If you’re truly bored, you can even read my previous rantings along with more recent outpourings and, gods help you, my old short stories which are lurking around. Just remember that yes, the views I professed then are not necessarily the ones I hold now. People get older, they get jaded, they get new obsessions, and their minds change. Don’t hold the me of two years ago against the me of now. I’m not a politician: I don’t have to be consistent, right?

Right.

Not that I’ve changed that much, mind. Just gotten a lot less patient with woo, embraced a more skeptical outlook, and various other minor course corrections. Change is good. Especially when it’s larger coins.

Anyway. The rambling must cease. Again, welcome, and enjoy your stay!