Good Reasons for Removing Abelist Language from Our Vocabulary

One of the hardest things about learning empathy is realizing we need to change. We may see nothing wrong with something we’re doing, and we know we’re good people, but all of a sudden, there’s someone (or many someones) in our face, asking us to stop using some words because they hurt. And that can be hard.

For one thing, we may not see what the problem is. Why shouldn’t we use certain common terms?

Then there’s a knee-jerk, “It’s my vocabulary, and there’s nothing wrong with it!”

There may be the temptation to downplay the whole thing. People are soooo oversensitive, amirite?

But if I’ve learned anything by hanging around the social justice crowd, it’s to shut up and listen when someone from a marginalized group tells me I’m doing something that’s hurting them. Even if I’m part of that marginalized group, I need to listen to perspectives other than my own. I’m not the center of the goddamned universe. My viewpoint is not the only valid one.

So I swallow the resentment and knee-jerk responses, and hear them out. And in many cases, I realize they have a very excellent point, and now I need to do the hard work of changing some things. [Read more…]

Help Keep the Verdad Flowing! Donations Urgently Needed

I’ve been as frugal as possible, my darlings, and managed to stretch every dollar until it hollered, but I’m now running quite low on them. I’m getting my Patreon set up, of course, but in the meantime, I’ll need some funds for rent and the car payment. So I’m going to run a bit of a fundraiser this week. If you can chip in a few dollars for me to stretch, that would be absolutely lovely.




If you can’t afford to help out, no worries – we’ve all been there! But you can still help out by sharing my posts, and pointing people towards my other income streams: [Read more…]

“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…]

Flat Earth Nonsense Abounds, I’m Afraid

You’ve probably seen Neil deGrasse Tyson thoroughly school the rapper who thinks Earth is flat. It may be a bit astonishing, realizing that there are people in this modern age who honestly believe in a flat earth. I mean, even most creationists admit the thing is round. But flat eartherism still abides. And if you want to understand why, I’ve got just the book for you.

Image is the cover of Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea, which has a line drawing of the earth from one of the poles.

My review is here, and you can click the image to purchase.

You may also be interested in the story of Wallace’s Woeful Wager, in which our own Alfred Russell Wallace – yes, the co-discoverer of evolution – got suckered into a bet with a flat earth fraud.

Flat earthers will always be with us, I’m afraid. Some out of ignorance, and some because so many people just enjoy being contrary assholes.

Image shows Neil deGrasse Tyson in front of an image of a planetary nebula or similar, holding a microphone. The caption says "Brace Yourself. Knowledge is coming."

The ACE Cartoon Characters Re-Imagined in the Most Delightful Way

I’ll be you never looked at those utterly awful cartoons from the ACE PACEs and thought something wonderful could come of them, did you? I mean, honestly. They’re painful.

Image is a three-panel cartoon strip, showing two boys talking. Reginald is waving his arms in the air with his back to our view, saying, "Pudge, did I ever tell you about the time I came face to face with a lion?" Pudge: "No. What happened?" In the next panel, we can see Reginald and Pudge's faces. Reg says, "There I stood, without a gun. The lion growled and crept closer... closer... closer..." Pudge, imagining a lion in the grass, says, "Really? What did you do?" Next panel shows Reg imagining a lion in a cage, as he says, "I moved to the next cage! Ha-ha." Pudge, almost off-panel, says, "Oh, Reginald."

Cartoon from page (twenty-four) 24. No, I don’t know what it has to do with earth science, either.

But I’ve had the great good fortune to be introduced to an incredible group of ACE survivors, one of whom is putting a splendid new spin on these awful cartoons. Say hello to the adventures of Totally Hetero Pudge and Ronny by FeezlFuzzl. Here is an excerpt sure to change your entire way of thinking about pious Pudge McMercy and bad boy Ronny Vain. [Read more…]

The Winds of Change Blow Dawk Right Outta the NECSS Conference

So here’s a bit of news that gives me an iota of hope for organized atheism and skepticism:

The Northeast Conference on Science & Skepticism has withdrawn its invitation to Richard Dawkins to participate at NECSS 2016. We have taken this action in response to Dr. Dawkins’ approving re-tweet of a highly offensive video.

We believe strongly in freedom of speech and freedom to express unpopular, and even offensive, views. However, unnecessarily divisive, counterproductive, and even hateful speech runs contrary to our mission and the environment we wish to foster at NECSS. The sentiments expressed in the video do not represent the values of NECSS or its sponsoring organizations.

Allow me to find a collection of gifs that properly express my reaction: [Read more…]

Adventures in ACE XVII: “Satan is Like an Iceberg” and Other Important Earth Science Facts

You know, I laugh, I do, when I’m reading these creationist textbooks, and I see the ridiculous religious bullshit being passed off as important facts about earth science. And then I recall the important fact that children are actually being taught that this shit is Genuine Science™, and my laughter dies.

And ACE is pretty much the worst. This section of ACE PACE 1087 demonstrates why. [Read more…]