“The Shell of a Human Being” – Escape Chapter 11: Honeymoon

Merril Jessop, arguably one of the worst husbands and fathers in the FLDS, decides after two weeks of being wedded to two new wives that the whole family needs a honeymoon. He’ll take his six wives and thirty-four children to the San Diego Zoo. In order to carry out this cunning plan, he rents a bus and assigns an elder son as the driver. But he does precious little else to arrange things, because that’s the sort of asshole he is.

Hold tight, kids, cuz this is gonna be quite a memorable trip.

Content note for rape, neglect.

Of his six wives, one is too detached from reality to know what’s happening. One is too depressed and neglected to give a shit. One is too much of a sociopath to lift a finger. One is too busy trying to curry favor with her new husband to do practical shit. That leaves Carolyn and Cathleen to prepare enough food and pack enough clothing for five days away with a family the size of an over-crowded elementary school classroom. [Read more…]

Dawkins Descends Further Into the Dregs

If you are part of a major atheist organization or conference, you should be asking yourself a serious question right about now: Do we want to associate our good name with a man who thinks the height of hilarity is promoting racist and sexist videos, and who is now willingly hanging with the MRAs, GamerGaters, white supremacists, and other dregs of Twitter? Do we really want to extend that big a fuck you to women and minorities?

Because honestly, at this point, willingly coupling yourself with Dawkins is basically saying you give not a shit about women, people of color, or reason itself.

But don’t take my word for it. Take Dawkins’s own tweets for it. You can find them, along with other of his assorted nonsense, in the links I have collected. And this is the mere scrape of a fingernail across the surface.

I know it’s hard to accept. It took me a long time to accept the fact that the man I admired, whom I’d braved crowds for and hung on to the every word of, is actually a tremendous jerk. I didn’t want to think that my hero was harmful. But he is. And the sooner the movement accepts that, the stronger we can make it by leaving him and his dawkbros on the sidelines.

Really, though, it’s okay if you don’t want to do that. We’re making our own secular movement right over here. I’m just saying that if you want to stay relevant, you will peruse the information herein, and decide accordingly. [Read more…]

Washington State Peeps: We’ve Got Republican Bigotry to Defeat

Trans people in Washington State are staring down the barrel of a bill that will strip vital protections from them.

A bill that would eliminate Washington’s new rule allowing transgender people to use bathrooms and locker rooms in public buildings consistent with their gender identity passed out of a Senate committee 4-3 Wednesday.

Our Republican menaces are using the same exhausted arguments as those in other states, pretending they care about the safety of women, while ignoring the fact that literally no transgender person has ever attacked a woman in a restroom. On the other hand, plenty of trans folks have been assaulted just trying to pee. They need laws that allow them to pee in peace.

So first thing: we need to shut this shit down. You can send this letter to Washington state legislators for a start.

If you can make it to the hearing in Olympia on Monday at 1:30, please do go. If you are in the Seattle area and need a ride, I can take up to three people. I would only need you to chip in for gas. Let me know by end of day today if you want to carpool with me.

If you live in Washington state, you can comment on the bill here.

And, also importantly: we need to vote these bigoted fuckers out. Here is the list of spons0rs: [Read more…]

An Open Letter to the Center for Inquiry

Dear CFI:

I hope you’re proud of yourselves.

We’ve had a long and rocky history. On the one hand, you gave us things like the Women in Secularism conferences. On the other… let’s see, there was Ron Lindsay, and Ron Lindsay again, and Ben Radford. So let’s just say you’ve been sending mixed signals on whether you really wanted women in the movement or not.

Well, now you’ve gone and removed all doubt. [Read more…]

Put Up Your Organs or Shut Up

Just when I think Republicans have reached peak horrid, they get worse. Now they’re shitting all over Black Lives Matter by not only trotting out All Lives Matter bullshit rhetoric, but using it to also try to force pregnant people to carry unwanted pregnancies.

HB 1794, sponsored by Rep. Mike Moon (R-Ash Grove), would establish the All Lives Matter Act, an example of what activists view as anti-choice legislators using the Black Lives Matter movement for their own restrictive agenda. It would amend state law to define a fertilized egg as “a person” and life as beginning at conception.

These people are fucking rancid.

But fine. Whatevs. They’re going to keep doing this, so we need a law of our own. I’m gonna call it the “Your Life First” law.

If you’re going to propose pregnant people be forced to give birth no matter the circumstances, if you’re going to claim that “all lives matter,” and that includes little blobs of brainless fetal tissue (but obviously not the living, breathing, brain-possessing person they’re riding in, because if that life mattered to you, we wouldn’t even be discussing this), then here’s the deal: [Read more…]

Lies the Medical Establishment Tells About Trans Kids

I just got done reading a jaw-dropping, rage-inducing article on the lies some people in medicine tell about trans kids. This is one to keep around in case you run in to some jackass claiming that the majority of trans kids change their minds. Newsflash: they don’t.

The studies that say overwhelming numbers of trans kids change their minds about being trans? Horribly flawed. I mean, super mega flawed. Such as: [Read more…]

American Police Still Allowed to Murder Black Children Without Consequences

“He was a beautiful child playing our fucked-up national game. Now, he’ll never be anything else, and we’re supposed to think that’s right.”

Stephanie Zvan

Tamir Rice was murdered.

Image shows a young grinning black child.

Tamir Rice.

You may not have thought much about it, because a child with a realistic-looking gun being shot by police in America may not have tripped your alarm circuits. You saw the uniform on his killer, and didn’t think thug or criminal. You didn’t think of all the times you played with toy guns as a child, and when you did, you weren’t worried that a cop would roll up and shoot you for it. Your games of cops and robbers were never interrupted by cops arriving, stepping out of their car, and shooting your friends dead. So you figure there must have been some reason for it. After all, the killer wore blue. [Read more…]

An Army of “Lone Wolves”: The American Right’s War on Women’s Reproductive Rights

In my earliest memories, there were people bombing and terrorizing women’s health clinics. The anti-abortion crowd declared a war on women’s reproductive rights. I’m sure some of the people who declared it and who continue to fight it think they’re doing it for the precious babies, but you barely need to scrape a nail across the surface of their motivations to reveal the lie: if they really wanted to prevent abortion and help all those beautiful babies, they’d do much more than try to pass laws banning terminations and chuck a few free diapers at pregnant people. They’d be fighting tooth and nail to ensure everyone had access to safe, effective contraception. They’d be clamoring for laws strengthening the social safety net. They’d be pouring their hearts and funds into making sure children and parents have universal health care, robust food and housing programs, comprehensive education, affordable day care, and everything else it takes to help a baby be safely born, thrive, and become a successful adult.

Funny how their acute concern for precious babies ends with birth. Why, it’s almost like they have a fetus fetish – or are more interested in controlling women’s sexuality and reproduction than saving actual babies.

Many forced pregnancy fans limit their activities to electing anti-abortion politicians to office and shouting lies at pregnant people on clinic sidewalks. But others go much further. In this post, I have collected many links to show that there’s an awful lot of lone wolves out there. In fact, once we look at all those “isolated incidents,” once we peruse their very own rhetoric, and once we notice some patterns, it looks very much like an appreciable number of Americans, from proles to politicians, are inciting others to violence.

Some of them don’t even hide what they’re trying to do. [Read more…]

Religious Terrorists Are Killing the Women They Can’t Control (But They’re Not Islamic)

You’ve of course heard about the shooting at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood that left three people dead and many more injured. There are all kinds of people running around right now trying to claim ridiculous shit, like the terrorist who shot up the place was a “gentle loner,” or was a leftist transgender woman. None of that’s true. We don’t know much about the asshole who did this, but we do know that all his neighbors were scared of him, he was an anti-Obama jackass who fell for those fake Planned-Parenthood-sells-murdered-baby-parts stories, and he was a Christian.

A lot of media outlets, politicians, and other people won’t want to call this terrorism, but it is. It’s a very specific form of terrorism, and it’s not just the shooter who’s the terrorist. There are many terrorists and their supporters involved in this attack and others that Planned Parenthood, along with various other abortion providers, have suffered. Some of them are running for President of the United States. [Read more…]

Pregnant? Don’t Go to a Catholic Hospital Unless You Enjoy Risking Your Life for Other People’s Religious Beliefs

Imagine going to a hospital, and being told that although they could fix the problem that brought you there quite easily, they won’t do anything for you until you’re dying. Imagine lying in a bed, in pain, terrified, begging to be treated, and being told no. Not until your condition has progressed to the point where you’re gravely ill and at risk of losing your life. Then you can have the simple procedure that could have prevented all your suffering and ensured your survival. Maybe. If the doctor isn’t so terrified of losing their job that they wait until it’s too late, and you die before they get round to treating you. In which case, if you haven’t had the proper magic water sprinkled over you, you’re assumed to be burning in hell for eternity for the crime of having a medical emergency.

This is basically the situation when someone having a miscarriage goes to a Catholic hospital for treatment. Let me tell you what one of my abiding fears is: it’s that I’ll have a crisis in my ladyparts, and the only hospital within a hundred miles is Catholic. Allow me to show you why.

Content Note: description of medical crises and interventions, pointless suffering, medical torture, treating a doomed fetus as more important than a born human being. [Read more…]