Comments

  1. Gen Fury of the Desolate Furies says

    Ing
    What happened to you is shitty – it horrifies me that employers in the US can basically do whatever they want while at the same time there’s this demonization about unions going on!

    I hear a lot of screaming and pants-pissing from the rich here in South Africa about “too strict labour legislation” that has “gone too far” curtailing their racketeering and profiteering at the expense of others activities (boo fucking hoo) but clearly employees need some form of protection from this capitalism eXtreme global model I’m seeing.

    Good luck and good for you for belonging to a union. Also, your PI is a ginormous fucking ass. So huge I can spot it all the way from here in South Africa.

    Katherine Lorraine
    I have to say, from and aesthetic and narrative point of view, I like the double planet idea too! Though my cosmological skillz are in the negative quadrants (as in non-existent!) so I’m afraid I won’t be able to add anything.

    Chigau
    It’s amazing how many flash drives I’ve scrubbed through the years. Of course, I’m too lazy to hang the clothes out to dry in the sun so I tumble dry. I have had a few that didn’t survive a soapy wash and hot tumble dryin’ but a surprisingly large ration of them actually did survive.

    Crip Dyke
    Over analyzing also is one of my Superpowers (in that it’s almost super-humanly well-developed, not in that I can do anything with it other than torture myself!), but I agree with Caine. Have fun, see how it goes, take things as they come.
    Of course, this comes from someone who married and slept with the only guy she ever actually “dated”. But I read a lot! That counts, right? ;p

    … or just what Cicely in 482 said so much better.

    Setár @ 497

    W. T. F.

    No seriously. Can there be a rational explanation for that shit? Any explanation at all?

    Cause I can’t think of one right now, which of course doesn’t mean much, but I tend to have a good imagination at least.

    Ugh, and that second link! That’s just horrifying!

    Oh and also, about that picture linked in 57 – I could only see dancers. I mean, I tried, I knew there had to be something else but nope. Just the dancers for me. Until I read the thread further and got a clue as to WHAT that something else was. Then I could see the chest. But I still had to force it.

    E-readers and other tablets
    I’ve always loved BOOKs (TM, thanks Crip Dyke!). The smell of those pages, all woodsy and reeking of knowledge – that’s what I always loved the most. I’ll never, ever give up real books. You’ll have to tear them from my cold, dead hands. I have a HUGE collection which is just growing by the day.

    That being said, I love the e-book revolution too. At this stage my strategy is to buy the books I absolutely can’t live without (Tigana anyone? Also all Pratchetts) in hard copy and collecting the rest digitally.

    I haven’t actually seen the Fire yet, so I can’t opine on that, but I’d rather get a tablet than a pure e-book reader. Though I use my (work issued, never would have chosen it myself) iPad 2 *mostly* for reading, the apps are also invaluable to me.

    I personally would suggest getting a tablet with an Android/Windows OS and loading up the Kindle app. Or any other tablet that the Kindle app can be used on. Because believe me, the Kindle app RULEZ. The only thing it needs is some bookshelves or something for better organizing.

    Organize ALL the things!

  2. says

    Katherine, this has no bearing on your topic, but it’s a kinda cool apparently stable system:
    Body 1 Mass – 200
    Body 2 Mass – 50 || X position – 160 || X velocity – 120
    Body 3 Mass – 0.001 || X position – 80 || X velocity – 100
    All the way to ‘accurate’

    All other values are zero.

    (The) Sailor, are you sure? With that, they just crash into each other right away for me.
    ====

    So, using the simulator I linked to yesterday (yes it’s very addictive) I managed to make two systems for my planet. The first was the two moons circling the planet, and the second was a single moon circling a double-planet system.

    Katherine, would you mind posting the settings?

  3. says

    @Gen:

    Yea, that’s what I’m mostly thinking. The aesthetic, illustrative view of a planet with a huge moon would be really spectacular.

    @SQB:

    Can’t remember what the actual settings were. I’d been fiddling around a lot. The big planet was 10 times bigger in mass than the big moon. If you go to the Wiki page for Pluto, there’s a picture down near the bottom.

    I tried to more or less replicate the orbital patterns of that picture. Then tweaked in another moon of about a quarter the mass of the big moon.

  4. birgerjohansson says

    Katherine

    Double planet: I assume you would want both to have an axial rotation close to 24h. Two planets with tidally bound rotation would have to orbit each other very close (at the very edge of the Roche limit) and it would make it nearly impossible to launch satellites in stable low orbits around either planet –you would need to launch satellites so high that they orbited both planets!

    Having two large planets with a big separation orbiting each other, while having individual rotation periods around 24 h and not quickly slow each other’s rotation down by tidal drag will require a wide orbital separation.

    Take the example of placing a Mars analogue in an orbit round Earth (this would be a true double planet). If you place it at twice the Lunar distance the angular diameter would be the same as for our moon. The tidal effect on Earth would be an eight of the effect of the same object orbiting the same distance as our moon. However, Mars is eight times the mass of the moon, so the changes cancels each other.
    On the other hand, the tidal friction of the Earth analogue on the Mars analogue would be substantial, I do not know how long the smaller planet would be able to avoid a tidally locked rotation.

    At an orbital separation of 750 000 km it would still be a stable orbit, but only just –the double planet is orbiting the sun, and the sun’s tidal effects sets the limit for the orbital separation at ca. 1000 000 km.

    For this reason, I am skeptical about a moon coming back in tune with the seasons; you can get a 1-month orbit, you can possibly get a three-month orbit but a moon further out than that would be torn away by solar tidal effects. A better way would to have a planet in a 2:3 resonance with Earth’s orbit, rather like Pluto and Neptune. After 2 years you would see the planet return at the same season -providing the other planet is the inner planet- or if Earth is the inner planet you would see the other one return in the same month after three years.

    Another exotic component of the hypothetical solar system would be to make the central star a close binary. Since the energy production drops *very fast* with decreasing mass, two stars with a total mass of ca. 1.6 -1.7 solar masses would have a total luminosity no larger than the sun. A close binary would still allow stable orbits for the planets, even for a Mercury analogue.
    Assuming the terrestrial planets are at a distance of 1AU from the double sun, they would get the same energy, but have to orbit the sun faster, due to its higher mass. A year would take perhaps 250 days (I am just guessing) –this would not be a disadvantage since animals would find it easier to survive shorter winters and shorter drought seasons.

  5. says

    @birger:

    Thinking back to it, I mistook rotation for orbit in my simulation. The planet didn’t see the moon in the same season (mostly) it saw it in the same few hours…

    So yea. A 24-hour tidally locked rotation was my intent. I think someone else mentioned albedo as a possibility for the “hidden” second moon. The second moon is a very dark reddish color (the artist’s rendering of a carbon planet is about right (although the moon would be silicon-oxygen-based cause a carbon moon couldn’t exist in a silicon-oxygen-based solar system (I think.))) I’m thinking iron-oxide based dust with a very low reflection-point. Perhaps only during the perihelion is the sun close enough to brighten up the moon to proper visible levels (which would be the summer months.)

    I don’t really think there’s an issue with satellite launching since the planet is mostly locked in a medieval-ish society for my stories – fantasy stories don’t really need satellites.

    My planet’s orbit is around 300 days. They use a system of 10 30-day months for their calendar with a leap day every 5 years.

  6. says

    SQB, my bad, those were supposed to be Y velocities, not Xv

    Body 2 Mass 50 || X position 160 || Y velocity 120
    Body 3 Mass 0.001 || X position 80 || Y velocity 100

  7. carlie says

    Rev – is that the one where the sponsor was talking about how you might get an abortion if you “found out that your fetus was black”? (cuz that would be so much of a surprise?)

    Crip Dyke – I think you’re right to be cautious, but because you’re in infatuation stage, not because you met on the internet. The internet is just a way of bringing like-minded people together, the same way that specialist hobby groups and the like do. I think it’s great that you’ve found someone and wish you all the best. :)

    Gen – adding to the chorus of it’s not your fault. You were under no obligation to say anything at any time; victimization hits every person in an individual way, and nobody can tell you how you “ought” to handle it. He knew better, he was the adult, and it’s all absolutely, 100% his fault. Hugs to you.

    In our personal news – we are in high kitty fervor. Will possibly have one before christmas. Not sure what exactly we’re looking for, and are a little afraid about child 2 and allergies. But we’re jonesin’ pretty badly.

  8. dianne says

    This may be an unpopular sentiment, but I actually have no problem with people getting an abortion because they don’t want a baby of gender X. I have a problem with societies that favor one gender over the other to the point where sex selective abortion is common, but given that they exist and are probably more of the world than not, why shouldn’t women decide to have an abortion rather than have a child they know will experience severe prejudice and have little chance of a good life? Yes, I suppose having the baby and dedicating your life to changing conditions is more “noble”, but how often is it realistic?

  9. says

    Dianne:

    This may be an unpopular sentiment, but I actually have no problem with people getting an abortion because they don’t want a baby of gender X.

    Neither do I. The reason anyone terminates is (and should be) private. Life is most definitely not always worth it. As someone who had a nightmare of a childhood, I take the view that abortion is better when a sproglet is not going to be whole-heartedly wanted.

  10. Richard Austin says

    Okay, so to clarify (or not) the NDAA issue in the Senate (IANAL, but I’ve read a bit about this):

    Existing law (from 2001, I believe) may allow for the detention of US citizens on US soil under military rather than civilian courts “until the end of hostilities” (not sure if that’s the actual phrase, but it’s how it was described). This was originally “intended” (according to various experts) to be limited to the 9/11 attackers and their immediate supporters, but it’s potentially expandable to all US citizens deemed “enemy combatants” by – well, someone, maybe the courts, but that hasn’t really been tested. The law itself also hasn’t been tested, so this is a huge gray area legally until it hits the Supreme Court at some point.

    The current NDAA expands some powers of the military to not only allow but require indefinite detentions of some terrorist suspects (last I checked, US citizens were explicitly excluded from this clause) but is also deemed to change “hostilities” to include the broader “War on Terror” rather than the Iraq war (which is basically over now) – thus, theoretically, enabling the powers to be enacted indefinitely.

    It’s the combination of these two – and untested law that may allow for the detention of US citizens on US soil as combatants, and the extention of authority to an indefinite duration – that has people worried. Feinstein and a few others tried a couple of amendments. The first would have explicitly stated that US citizens were not subject to this; that failed 55-45 (so at least 45 senators are decent). The second amendment has been referred to as a “punt”: it states that the current NDAA does not affect pre-existing law in any way, basically pushing the issue back to the already existing untested law.

    The NDAA with the “we’re not changing anything” cop-out is what got the 97-3 vote. Obama’s still threatening to veto it – ironically over other issues, not this one.

    So, really, the issue is more that the Senate didn’t do something to clarify the issue, rather than passing a bill that clarifies nothing.

    A couple of links: General description
    Diary of the actual floor debate

  11. says

    This may be an unpopular sentiment, but I actually have no problem with people getting an abortion because they don’t want a baby of gender X.

    I do, in the first world. And it goes for wanting a girl as much as for wanting a boy. Not because there’s anything wrong with being a girl/boy, but because I think that those people are not fit to be parents.
    Children aren’t life-style accessories you can modify according to your wishes like a kitchen or a car*. People who feel that they can’t deal with a kid because of what’s between their legs can’t deal with children. They have too fixed an idea about what that child has to be. And that child won’t be like that, can’t be like that. That’s not something a child should be condemmed to from before birth. So, probably I am in favour of people getting abortions because of the wrong sex. I’m also in favour of them not getting pregnant again before they’ve grown up.

    As for the third world, they’re condemming their heterosexual sons to lives of lonelyness. And the women are even worse off, because they become rare goods, not partners.

    *I’m not talking about severe genetic defects and diseases, obviously, but about things like sex, hair- and eyecolour.

  12. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

    Bill seeks to ban abortions based on race or gender

    sigh

    Sigh is right. How many abortions do you think the supportors of this bill will deem to be ‘race or sex based?’ I suspect (and cannot tell from the article) that it would suddenly become one more hoop for the woman to jump through to prove that she is not seeking to abort because of race or gender. And, of course, the state asshats will most likely write new bills mandating amniocentisis to determine gender before allowing an abortion so they can then claim it was sex-based.

    Or am I getting cynical? This does, however, add more support to my hypotheosis that all modern conservative legislation and ideas can be boiled down to (1) transferring wealth to the wealthy, (2) tossing a bone to the religious right, or (3) destroying or limiting unions (of course, some, such as the decades-long assault on the Post Office, can do more than one).

  13. fastlane says

    So, totally off topic, and I don’t usually jump into these open threads too often, but has Greg Laden always been such a thin skinned sissy?

    I made some mild critics and pointed out some nuances on his short article about a SCOTUS case, and he just went all whiny and hostile.

    Amusingly, since that comment, he turned on moderation (not sure if he only applied it to me, or if he just turned it on in general, its impossible for me to tell).

  14. carlie says

    So, totally off topic, and I don’t usually jump into these open threads too often, but has Greg Laden always been such a thin skinned sissy?

    Yes.

  15. dianne says

    As someone who had a nightmare of a childhood, I take the view that abortion is better when a sproglet is not going to be whole-heartedly wanted.

    Don’t want to whine about my really rather privileged childhood too much, but…yeah. Parents who aren’t sure they want a kid and want THIS kid should probably think twice before completing a pregnancy.

    [i]I’m[/i] not the gender of my birth.

    While it’s true that we can’t really know a person’s gender for sure until puberty (sometimes later), telling potential parents “well, sure it looks like a girl* now, but might turn out to be a boy by self-perception and, if he desires, surgical correction” is unlikely to convince any potential parent who only wants boys to go through with the pregnancy.

    *Girl used because most sex-selective abortions are performed on girls.

  16. dianne says

    And, of course, the state asshats will most likely write new bills mandating amniocentisis to determine gender before allowing an abortion so they can then claim it was sex-based.

    Just to note, amnios are performed in the 4th month, so that would also make all abortions second trimester, i.e. more expensive and risky.

  17. chigau (違う) says

    I wonder if the anti-choicers would allow abortion if in-utero testing could detect a tendency to atheism or non-standard* gender.
    *for want of a better term

  18. says

    No doubt she’s going to catch a lot of right-wing flak for this speech:
    http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/06/9260109-diplobamacy

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a speech in which she said, “Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.”

    The speech is thirty minutes long, but is one of the best 30 minutes spent listening to a politician in recent memory. She begins with the history of the passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10th in 1948 in the UN General Assembly. Women’s rights came into the discussion. She goes on to discuss human rights in general, and she ends with logical and impassioned support for gay rights. She received a long, standing ovation as she walked off stage.

    I imagine that Clinton’s assurance to gay people around the world that they have a friend in the United States that will most irk the fundamentalists on the right.

    There’s a shorter presentation about Clinton’s speech in this segment from The Rachel Maddow Show: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#45576994 (This segment does not focus solely on Clinton’s speech, but also talks about the U.S. Ambassador to Syria, “ambadassador” — then segues into a discussion of Clinton’s human rights efforts, including her speech in Geneva.)

    Excerpt from transcript:

    The third, and perhaps most challenging, issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens. This is not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation. Some people still defend those practices as part of a cultural tradition. But violence toward women isn’t cultural; it’s criminal. Likewise with slavery, what was once justified as sanctioned by God is now properly reviled as an unconscionable violation of human rights.

    In each of these cases, we came to learn that no practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us. And this holds true for inflicting violence on LGBT people, criminalizing their status or behavior, expelling them from their families and communities, or tacitly or explicitly accepting their killing.

    Full transcript here: http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2011/12/178368.htm

  19. says

    @dianne:

    Sorry, semi-snarking. Gender is a social construct, sex is not.

    Aborting based on sex of the baby, yeah sure whatever. That’s your business.

    Aborting based on gender of the baby, who’s to say that baby won’t grow up to be a different gender than how they’re born?

  20. says

    Another excerpt from Hillary Clinton’s speech about human rights:

    And finally, to LGBT men and women worldwide, let me say this: Wherever you live and whatever the circumstances of your life, whether you are connected to a network of support or feel isolated and vulnerable, please know that you are not alone. People around the globe are working hard to support you and to bring an end to the injustices and dangers you face. That is certainly true for my country. And you have an ally in the United States of America and you have millions of friends among the American people.

    The Obama Administration defends the human rights of LGBT people as part of our comprehensive human rights policy and as a priority of our foreign policy. In our embassies, our diplomats are raising concerns about specific cases and laws, and working with a range of partners to strengthen human rights protections for all. In Washington, we have created a task force at the State Department to support and coordinate this work. And in the coming months, we will provide every embassy with a toolkit to help improve their efforts. And we have created a program that offers emergency support to defenders of human rights for LGBT people.

    This morning, back in Washington, President Obama put into place the first U.S. Government strategy dedicated to combating human rights abuses against LGBT persons abroad. Building on efforts already underway at the State Department and across the government, the President has directed all U.S. Government agencies engaged overseas to combat the criminalization of LGBT status and conduct, to enhance efforts to protect vulnerable LGBT refugees and asylum seekers, to ensure that our foreign assistance promotes the protection of LGBT rights, to enlist international organizations in the fight against discrimination, and to respond swiftly to abuses against LGBT persons.

  21. Richard Austin says

    You know, I just looked (again) at the picture taken while bin Laden was being captured/killed. Y’all probably noticed this before, but I wasn’t paying much attention to the whole thing at the time (“le roi est mort, vive le roi” and all that).

    There are two women in a picture of 13 discernable leaders of the US government, and one of them is peeking out from the very back of the room.

  22. janine says

    Oh, I saw. I facepalmed. I groaned. I would respond, but it’s so stupid it’s not worth it.

    I can understand, I do that a lot. But, as I said in my response, I really hate that troll so I had to.

    The nice thing about this this is that there are so many of us here that not all of us have to go on the attack all of the time.

  23. says

    Janine @534 and @540, yes, the shitstorm from the right has begun. I noticed that in the Family Research Council interview to which you linked in comment 534, the guy repeats, stridently, that human rights are supposed to protect “inborn” characteristics, and not choices. He goes on to imply that gay people make immoral choices.

    Here’s a closer look at the outrage expressed by the Family Research Council.
    Excerpt:

    The announced policy, according to Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel Action, “displays the arrogance of the Obama administration.”

    It is “frankly offensive,” says the attorney, that President Obama “feels compelled to export American culture’s decline in morality, and export that immorality to other nations that are trying to adhere to traditional principles relative to human sexuality.”

    Barber also notes that the administration is apparently ignoring the fact that foreign nations — like the United States — are sovereign countries. He adds that the U.S. is “using essentially blackmail and the purse strings” of the nation to force countries to change their moral principles.

    “What about nations where Christians are driven out of the nation or executed?” he asks. “And this Obama administration, instead of focusing on real human rights abuses, is trying to force nations to adopt America’s immoral positions on issues of sexuality.”

    President Obama should increase efforts to defend human rights that are widely recognized, such as religious liberty,

    Barber believes there is an “obsession with the radical homosexual activist agenda that seems to drive this Obama administration.”

  24. janine says

    Barber believes there is an “obsession with the radical homosexual activist agenda that seems to drive this Obama administration.”

    *Roseanne laugh*

    One could say that Bam-Bam has an “obsession with the radical homosexual activiist agenda”. One could say that Bam-Bam’s career is based on that.

    Guess I should check on what Rick Warren and Scott Lively has to say. Though I already know.

  25. Pteryxx says

    “What about nations where Christians are driven out of the nation or executed?” he asks. “And this Obama administration, instead of focusing on real human rights abuses…

    Nice to have (even more) confirmation of who counts as a Real Human in my governor’s eyes. What About Teh Menz Christians indeed.

  26. says

    @janine

    It is so good to be tolerated. What more could any one ask for?

    Exactly.

    I just keep facepalming at the “pro-family” bile over Clinton’s wonderful address.

  27. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    Bet the “Family Research Council” are perfectly happy for the US to wield its purse-strings to impose policies they approve of, though.

    Response on the BBC website to Clinton’s speech has been a mixture of reasonable and vomit-worthy (i.e. homophobic in this case), as usual, with a fair few applauding the speech but remarking that it’s … questionable … for it to come from a US representative when things are hardly rosy for GBLT people at home in the US itself.

  28. janine says

    Pat Robertson says:

    Isn’t it appalling that the United States of America would try to force the acceptance of homosexuality on other nations but at the same time we would not force them to take care of their religious minorities and they would permit discrimination and persecution of Christians? What kind of a country have we got? You know, there is a God in heaven and He is just. Thomas Jefferson, ‘I tremble when I remember that God is just.’ He is just, he is not going to allow this kind of thing to go on forever. This country cannot continue to violate God’s principles and to make a mockery of His laws and think we’re going to get away with it. And when the blow comes, it’s going to be horrible.

    It is not like it is the first time he said anything like this? Oh, who was to blame for the September 11 terrorist attack? And Hurricane Katrina?

  29. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Barber believes there is an “obsession with the radical homosexual activist agenda that seems to drive this Obama administration.”

    In other words, acknowledging homosexuals are born that way, and wanting to treat them like real people is “radical”. *facepalm*

  30. Dhorvath, OM says

    Hooray Hillary Clinton. That is a speech that bears repeating.

    And what is with the persecution complex that some Christians have? That is absurd.

  31. janine says

    How could I have forgotten that all of the hurricanes that hit Florida a few years ago was because of Disneyworld’s Gay Days. Because hurricanes are so rare in Florida.

  32. says

    Although we have a long way to go in the good ol’ USA when it comes to equal rights for GBLT people, I think it was right for Clinton to give that speech. She knows where the USA should be to be “on the right side of history,” and taking a step in that direction is just a beginning.

    The idea that President Obama and Hillary Clinton should wait until the USA presents a better example to the world before they begin to take a firmer stand for gay rights is mistaken in my opinion.

    No, the administration does not have a perfect record on this issue. So let’s keep the pressure on them. Obama is changing, evolving, when it comes to gay rights. And Clinton has finally gotten brave enough to put her clout as Secretary of State behind the push for equal rights.

    On another subject, and a lighter one, Brigham Young University – Idaho has presented us with another Moment of Mormon Madness. They are spending lots of time and thought on the issue of skinny jeans.

    Students at Brigham Young University, Idaho recently encountered a new sign in the university’s testing center that read simply, “No skinny jeans.”…

    Taylor said she knew of one student who had been asked to leave the university’s testing center because she was wearing skinny jeans….
    Other students disagree, though, saying the ban on skinny jeans goes too far.

    “I think it is pretty ridiculous,” said BYU-Idaho student Zach Cooper. “We already aren’t allowed to wear shorts or flip-flops, so I wouldn’t be too surprised if they banned skinny jeans as well.”

    “This school is crazy.”

    Despite the alleged craziness, Cooper said he has come to accept the strict dress and grooming standards.

    “It’s nice that everyone is dressing relatively nice,” he said. “At first I was rebellious … but I’ve adjusted and come to accept it. It’s not really a burden anymore.”….

    The tradition of focusing on the trivial is alive and well in Rexburg, Idaho.

  33. Dhorvath, OM says

    Modest is like the base of the rainbow, every time one tries to get closer, it just moves.

  34. says

    Janine, thanks for the link to Pat Robertson’s stuck-in-the-same-groove blather about trembling before a just god.

    That guy is incapable of learning. He thinks, hopes, god is going to strike the USA for standing up for gays in other countries.

    On the other hand, we have people like Dan Savage saying, “The check I was planning to write to Obama’s reelection campaign just acquired another zero.”

    I will note that Obama is putting a relatively small amount of money behind this effort, but a fairly large carrot is being offered to countries that soften their anti-gay policies. Again, it’s a step in the right direction.

    Richard Socarides, president of Equality Mattters, former gay advisor to President Clinton: I thought Hillary gave a really groundbreaking and important speech, especially in the context of the international setting. But when you think of it, that speech would have worked perfectly here in the United States also, as it addressed so much of the right-wing craziness we have here, without even meaning to. It was very emotional for me, given my personal history working for her and President Clinton.

  35. says

    The Daily News has helpfully extracted 8 “must-read” moments from Hillary’s speech. For those of us who don’t have 30 minutes (shameful as that is) to listen to the whole speech:

    Link

    1. On the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
    It proclaims a simple, powerful idea: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. And with the declaration, it was made clear that rights are not conferred by government; they are the birthright of all people. It does not matter what country we live in, who our leaders are, or even who we are. Because we are human, we therefore have rights. And because we have rights, governments are bound to protect them.

    2. On the Status of LGBT Rights in the U.S.
    I speak about this subject knowing that my own country’s record on human rights for gay people is far from perfect. Until 2003, it was still a crime in parts of our country. Many LGBT Americans have endured violence and harassment in their own lives, and for some, including many young people, bullying and exclusion are daily experiences. So we, like all nations, have more work to do to protect human rights at home.

    3. Why Do Countries Need to Distinguish Gay Rights?
    Some have suggested that gay rights and human rights are separate and distinct; but, in fact, they are one and the same. Now, of course, 60 years ago, the governments that drafted and passed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were not thinking about how it applied to the LGBT community. They also weren’t thinking about how it applied to indigenous people or children or people with disabilities or other marginalized groups. Yet in the past 60 years, we have come to recognize that members of these groups are entitled to the full measure of dignity and rights, because, like all people, they share a common humanity.

    This recognition did not occur all at once. It evolved over time. And as it did, we understood that we were honoring rights that people always had, rather than creating new or special rights for them. Like being a woman, like being a racial, religious, tribal, or ethnic minority, being LGBT does not make you less human. And that is why gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.

    4. What Are Violations of Gay Rights?
    – When a person is beaten or killed because of their sexual orientation, or because they do not conform to cultural norms about how men and women should look or behave
    – When governments declare it illegal to be gay, or allow those who harm gay people to go unpunished
    – When lesbian or transgendered women are subjected to so-called corrective rape, or forcibly subjected to hormone treatments
    – When people are murdered after public calls for violence toward gays, or when they are forced to flee their nations and seek asylum in other lands to save their lives.
    – When lifesaving care is withheld from people because they are gay, or equal access to justice is denied to people because they are gay, or public spaces are out of bounds to people because they are gay.

    5. On Arcane Views on Homosexuality
    Some seem to believe it is a Western phenomenon, and therefore people outside the West have grounds to reject it. Well, in reality, gay people are born into and belong to every society in the world. They are all ages, all races, all faiths; they are doctors and teachers, farmers and bankers, soldiers and athletes; and whether we know it, or whether we acknowledge it, they are our family, our friends, and our neighbors. Being gay is not a Western invention; it is a human reality.

    6. On Religious Doctrine and Gay Acceptance
    It bears noting that rarely are cultural and religious traditions and teachings actually in conflict with the protection of human rights. Indeed, our religion and our culture are sources of compassion and inspiration toward our fellow human beings. It was not only those who’ve justified slavery who leaned on religion, it was also those who sought to abolish it. And let us keep in mind that our commitments to protect the freedom of religion and to defend the dignity of LGBT people emanate from a common source. For many of us, religious belief and practice is a vital source of meaning and identity, and fundamental to who we are as people. And likewise, for most of us, the bonds of love and family that we forge are also vital sources of meaning and identity. And caring for others is an expression of what it means to be fully human.

    7. How Laws Push Progress
    In many places, including my own country, legal protections have preceded, not followed, broader recognition of rights. Laws have a teaching effect. Laws that discriminate validate other kinds of discrimination. Laws that require equal protections reinforce the moral imperative of equality. And practically speaking, it is often the case that laws must change before fears about change dissipate.

    8. Clinton’s Message to Gays Around the World
    And finally, to LGBT men and women worldwide, let me say this: Wherever you live and whatever the circumstances of your life, whether you are connected to a network of support or feel isolated and vulnerable, please know that you are not alone. People around the globe are working hard to support you and to bring an end to the injustices and dangers you face. That is certainly true for my country. And you have an ally in the United States of America and you have millions of friends among the American people.

  36. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

    Just to note, amnios are performed in the 4th month, so that would also make all abortions second trimester, i.e. more expensive and risky.

    Point taken. Sorry.

    I stand by the spirit behind my idiocy, though.

  37. dianne says

    @556: IMHO, the antis would consider the problems I noted to be a feature, not a bug: make abortion more dangerous and expensive and you punish women seeking them more. And that’s what they’re after, not “saving babies”. Or even zygotes. I’m hoping you’re wrong about the specifics of the idiocy you predicted, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see an amnio requirement bill appear somewhere in the next few months…

  38. says

    Count me as cynical and unimpressed with Hillary and Obama’s latest speeches.

    I know Ahs will say that I’m not leaving them anyway out, but it just seems to me like 2012 is around the corner and they suddenly remember “oh shit! We had a base we were supposed to keep happy!”

  39. says

    Also since I see questions about Kathrine’s double planet would someone who knows biochem better than me weigh in on Silicon based life forms? I want to include one as a race in my Sci-fi game and was going on the idea that Oxygeniated atmospheres are toxic to them. Can anyone sanity test me here?

  40. carlie says

    One troll speculates that a person is transgendered because of female brain cells.

    Microchimerism: ur doin it wrong.

    There are two women in a picture of 13 discernable leaders of the US government, and one of them is peeking out from the very back of the room.

    Oh, you missed the real shitstorm, when one publication airbrushed out the women entirely.

  41. says

    From John Becker at the Huff Po:

    Today is truly a momentous day in human rights history. This morning President Barack Obama issued the first-ever executive memorandum dealing with the subject of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights worldwide and directing federal agencies working overseas to “promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons.” Later, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered a landmark address on LGBT rights in recognition of International Human Rights Day at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

    Linkage.

    And, yes, this speech by Clinton, and this action by President Obama, may contain an element of political expediency. As Ing suggested up-thread, it may be an appeal to a constituency that will be needed during the 2012 election.

    However, I don’t care. Let the speech and action have a dual purpose. Both Clinton’s speech and Obama’s executive memorandum confirm for me the need to elect candidates that will support gay rights.

  42. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Janine, I posted in the thread you linked to, please read it.

    moving on:

    I ***do*** have a problem with people aborting for gender reasons.

    Also, I am offended that people make exception for disability and treat that as a “good” reason to abort. My life is not worthless or better off not lived, thank you very much.

    However, that is not inconsistent with the position that, regardless of how big my problem is with your effed up actions in treating people with disabilities as better off not existing, regardless of how big my problem is that you wander merrily along thinking that your child is some big “reward” —until the child has a disability, and only then is the “work” that one has to do to raise a child suddenly relevant as if there is no work to raising children without disabilities and as if there is no reward to raising children with disabilities, regardless of how much I think your thought process is entirely asinine and hateful,

    ***I do not think that my problem with your effed up thinking or behavior can be a justification sufficient for me to force you to carry a child to term, any child.***

    And thus, I am not in favor of laws that forbid certain types of rationales for aborting.

    No, of course I do not want some douchegabber wandering around on one day saying things about how children with disabilties are too much trouble for how much their lives are worth, too much work to raise since they won’t cure cancer, as if every other child was above average, even exceptional and then on the next day giving birth to a child with a disability and forcing that child to grow up in a household where it’s okay to express such things over and over and over.

    Fuck no, I don’t want that. Fuck yes, I want only wanted children in the world.

    But my response to this is to point out to the douchegabbers that insisting that disability is a reason to abort relies on incredibly faulty logic, not least of which is special pleading. I work to convince folk that the experiences and capacities that make someone human and humanly valuable are not based on how far you walk at a time or whether you grow up to be a janitor or a rocket surgeon.

    I do not turn to the law to make a bad situation worse, but I will not pretend for a second that people who abort pregnancies that would otherwise result in kids with disabilities somehow have any fucking argument other than disability = bad and scary!

    Aborting because of gender is really aborting because of sex, since you can get information about sex while you can’t get information about gender during pregnancy. And it’s fucked up and wrong. I do have a problem with it.

    Aborting because of disability is fucked up and wrong. I do have a problem with it.

    Taking control of another’s body through the law is fucked up and wrong. I do have a problem with it.

    So there. Challenge that.

  43. says

    Crip Dyke, the way I look at it is that I don’t have to like someone’s private reason for terminating a pregnancy – I shouldn’t know what that reason is in the first place, and neither should anyone else.

    What’s going on right now is simply more of the anti-women idiots attempting to find yet another end run around Roe.

    I think if someone wants sprogs, they should be happy with whatever they get, however, it’s not up to me to decide if someone is emotionally and mentally up to the task of dealing with a disabled sprog and so on.

    Ideally, all sproglets would be wanted and cherished, however, that’s most certainly not the case. Given how my life went, I can honestly say things would have been better all the way around if A hadn’t been too scared of dying to have an abortion, which were illegal when she was pregnant with me.

  44. says

    Commenters from the christian fundamentalist right are jumping on the “what about the Christians” bandwagon.

    Apparently, we can’t support gay rights in other countries without first eliminating the problem of persecuted Christians.

    Christians come first. And we can’t do two things at once. We can’t address persecution of gays and support minority religious populations at the same time.

    Some Christian sites are also bringing up abuses of human rights in Syria and saying that Clinton should be focused on that, and not on gay rights.

    Rick Perry, as Janine noted earlier, probably takes the prize for most-stupid critique of Clinton:

    “Promoting special rights for gays in foreign countries is not in America’s interests and not worth a dime of taxpayers’ money,” Perry said in a statement, adding that the policy was “just the most recent example of an administration at war with people of faith in this country.”

    You hear that gays? You are not worth a dime of taxpayers’ money.

  45. carlie says

    That said there was some good legislation and stuff done by him. But this administration is just so fucking willing to throw their supporters under the bus.

    Like how the secretary for Health and Human Services just decided not to let Plan B be offered without restrictions even though the FDA said it should be? source

  46. says

    Like how the secretary for Health and Human Services just decided not to let Plan B be offered without restrictions even though the FDA said it should be? .

    Failing to outright support Gay rights domestically, balking on women’s rights, and of course keeping alive the state’s power to “Do what the fuck we want and kill people and shit”

  47. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Caine:

    It sounds like we’re coming from a similar, though not identical place given your clarification. Frankly, I suspected as much before. What I didn’t want is the overt argument, “this is okay,” to stand. The argument you’re making now, I think, is mine: It’s not okay, but no one else should be in the business of question any motive or combination of motives. We haven’t the right and doing so by force of majoritarian rule doesn’t lead to only one bad outcome of curtailing the rights established by Roe, but also other bad outcomes in terms of forcing parents into doing things that they aren’t capable of doing.

    The answer isn’t to legislate away rights and force children into the world and into certain families because the world is imperfect.

    The answer is to build a better fucking world.

    Although I suspect this puts you & me on the same side of the argument, I didn’t think that your earlier statement or other statements by other people really presented this argument at all. Rather those arguments don’t say anything about making the world better, they merely oppose the effed up right wing – full stop.

    So I wrote my comment to push the conversation forward, but not because I suspected we were in fundamental disagreement.

    Thus, I don’t think you really believe that it’s not fucked up to be making decisions about the value of kids based on gender or some particular disability, so the criticism isn’t for you. It just superficially seemed that way because your argument wasn’t spelled out earlier.

    However, for those people who really, truly oppose me, I still say bring it on. I dare you to tell me that a disability makes a child worthless or that it isn’t morally reprehensible when parents think of the child as property to the extent that they can and should be able to pick the paint color and the sport package.

    Fuck that noize

  48. says

    However, for those people who really, truly oppose me, I still say bring it on. I dare you to tell me that a disability makes a child worthless or that it isn’t morally reprehensible when parents think of the child as property to the extent that they can and should be able to pick the paint color and the sport package.

    We’ll be over here if you want to talk once you’re done crucifying that scarecrow

  49. says

    isn’t morally reprehensible when parents think of the child as property to the extent that they can and should be able to pick the paint color and the sport package.

    Psh…like abortion is even the worst example of people treating their kids like programmable show horses.

  50. says

    However, for those people who really, truly oppose me

    For reference on why this is a ridiculous strawman, would you really accuse people here of being opposed to someone who was the product of rape for defending a mother’s right to choose to abort her rapists child?

  51. dianne says

    Aborting because of disability is fucked up and wrong.

    I simultaneously agree and disagree. In general, I would say that feeling like you have to abort because of a disability (including the “disability” of femaleness) indicates a society is fucked up and wrong. But deciding to abort because you can’t give a child with a disability a decent life can be right.

    First off, can we get the ridiculously extreme cases out of the way? Suppose the fetus has Tay-sachs or similar condition. The only thing the fetus has to look forward to is a very short, extremely painful life. There are, as far as I know, absolutely no cases of a TS baby living more than a couple of years. Painful years. Rabies has a better outcome. Want to force the baby to live through that pain? I don’t*.

    So then moving on to cases that are survivable. If society dictates that no person with, say, Down syndrome or cerebral palsy should live or receive any help and that forces women to abort or place their children in a ridiculously bad position that is incredibly screwed up.

    But illegalizing abortion for birth defects (or sex) won’t stop that. It’ll just place women with pregnancies that are going to end badly in an even worse position. It’s not where I’d want to put pressure for change. Lobby for better support for people with disabilities. Or more research into how to improve life expectancy and QOL for people with disabilities. Eventually, it will simply not be seen as a problem and the abortions for disability will cease. For example, no one has ever suggested that I shouldn’t have children because I need glasses, even though my visual acuity without is about 20/100 and it’s probably largely genetic. This disability is simply judged unimportant by society. Why shouldn’t cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, etc join the list of disabilities too trivial to worry about some day?

    Finally, suppose I said, “I’m not going to have any more children because I’m 43 and the risk of chromosomal abnormalities is too high.” Would you say, “That’s fucked up and wrong!”? Either act-aborting a fetus with chromosomal abnormalities or not conceiving one-ends up with no baby being born, the potential person not existing. But somehow refraining from conception is accepted, aborting not.

    *My first screening for carrier state of TS was equivocal. I had lots of time to think about whether I even wanted to try for a baby if it came back positive between tests one and two.

  52. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Look, ing, the argument was made in such a way that that was the reasonable, straightforward interpretation of what people wrote.

    It’s also true that many people actually believe that shit. I don’t know if there are people who do on Pharyngula or not. If you’re not familiar with how abortion rights groups use scare tactics around disabiliity to justify abortion rights instead of just saying, “It’s not your fucking decision, get out of other women’s bodies, full stop,” then you’ll miss the reasons why this is important.

    That’s fine. If you aren’t the problem and don’t even know about the argument, there’s no concern of mine with you. You are on the right side and just don’t happen to be aware of every political issue on the planet.

    But don’t announce without argument that’s a scarecrow that I’m wacking at. Look upthread at the aarguments that were made and make the argument that those words don’t say what I am arguing against.

    “I have no problem with…” is a clear statement. If you think not, tell me why.

    But even if no one on this thread ultimately believes with that sentiment, even if there’s nothing going on here than people making a casual argument rather than a considered one, there are still people making this argument in a considered way. When casual arguments accidentally reinforce those fucked up arguments, someone needs to say something lest those fucked up arguments get strengthened without anyone here meaning to.

    If you want more info, try here:
    http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/book/companion.asp?id=31&compID=43

    This is a potent and serious issue and it is a reasonable response to be asking people to clarify themselves as to be against this fucked up argument…or have the argument with me full on.

    But again, I’m perfectly fine with people standing to the side. out of the way is a reasonable place to be when shit gets taken to the street.

  53. says

    Ok I’ll be more firm on the topic.

    Right now, I could not support a special needs child. The option would either be abortion or sending a child with special needs into a broken system. I would make the choice to abort based on disability and the context around it.

  54. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    I struggled for a long time with feeling like I’d have been better off not born. It’s only recently I’ve been feeling some tentative sense of my own worth as anything more than just a nasty human-shaped creature.

    I know where Crip Dyke is coming from here. The only conclusion I can come to for myself right now is to remember that this sounds a lot like the fundamentalist ‘straw man’ version of abortion, at least to me. “If we allow this then next thing you know women will be aborting babies at their convenience for stupid things like hair or eye color!”

    Most women I’ve known who’ve had or considered an abortion (and that’s admittedly not too many) thought long and hard, and struggled with the decision. It wasn’t just some flippant ‘convenience’ for them.

    Aborting babies who may come out disabled, I’d agree, isn’t cool (depending on the disability/birth defect…. would anyone seriously fault a woman for aborting a baby she knew would be, say, anencephalic?). However, I give ‘maternal instinct’ a bit more credit than that. Not much, mind you, but a bit.

    Before my ex actually had a kid, and it pains me to admit this, but I assumed she’d be the worst potential mother ever. She didn’t seem to have even a shred of those motherly urges. Then she actually had a kid, and I can’t think of anyone else I’d actually feel comfortable raising one with now.

    I’d hope I’m not speaking from privilege or gross ignorance or anything. Just throwing in my (probably unnecessary) 2 cents.

  55. says

    Ing:

    Psh…like abortion is even the worst example of people treating their kids like programmable show horses.

    No shit. Like I said earlier, life is not always the good or better option.

    Crip Dyke:

    Thus, I don’t think you really believe that it’s not fucked up to be making decisions about the value of kids based on gender or some particular disability

    I don’t have much trouble with the idea though. I don’t think it’s even remotely as fucked up as going ahead and having the sprog and then turning its life into a fucking screaming nightmare which, if they survive, will haunt their every moment, waking and asleep, for the rest of their life. When I said everyone would have been better off if I had been aborted, I meant it.

  56. says

    I’d hope I’m not speaking from privilege or gross ignorance or anything. Just throwing in my (probably unnecessary) 2 cents.

    A bit. Someone like the Palins having a disabled kid is a much less drastic scenario than someone in the inner city or even someone like me. I don’t think we should be so quick to judge people who may be making a decision based on how good of a life they can give a child. If you’re someone like me and can probably only feasibly raise one kid in your entire life, it might be irresponsible to not try to maximize the life happiness and conditions of whoever is going to get that one available slot.

  57. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    suppose I said, “I’m not going to have any more children because I’m 43 and the risk of chromosomal abnormalities is too high.” Would you say, “That’s fucked up and wrong!”? Either act-aborting a fetus with chromosomal abnormalities or not conceiving one-ends up with no baby being born, the potential person not existing. But somehow refraining from conception is accepted, aborting not.

    Ending up childless is not being critiqued here. What’s being critiqued here is telling people with disabilities that they are better off dead and that the tremendous amounts of work we do to raise our TAB children isn’t wrong but the tremendous amount of work that we put into raising children with disabilities is wrong.

    Childlessness is not the problem. The problem is saying that

    1) society gets a say in the individual decision to abort
    and
    2) society’s say is, “Disabled kids have lives that are not worth living.”

    There are some situations where there isn’t a life to live – extreme hydrocephally or microencephalon generates a baby that can’t live outside the mother.

    So, yes, I’m talking about kids that actually can or do have lives. But once you have a life to discuss the value of, sending a drumbeat message that that life isn’t worth living is fucked up. It’s hurting a lot of people.

    So your paragraph here, it’s not constructed to address what I’m saying. What’s wrong is if a person, childless or not, intending to have a pregnancy or not, having ever had an abortion or not, makes the statement that “some abortions” are good and that “some women” should be judged harshly for aborting but “other women” shouldn’t and that, oh, by the way, the reason for the distinction is that some humans are worthless so aborting those human beings doesn’t involve the same moral questions as aborting other human beings.

    The reason my argument was constructed around a person who is pregnant is because that’s how others had already constructed the argument.

    **but I am not critiquing ending up childless, nor the act of popping RU-486**

    I am critiquing the devaluing of human beings and the assertion of some that they get to control the bodies and thus pregnancies of others.

  58. says

    Dianne:

    I simultaneously agree and disagree.

    I agree with everything you wrote. It’s not a simple issue.

    TLC:

    Most women I’ve known who’ve had or considered an abortion (and that’s admittedly not too many) thought long and hard, and struggled with the decision. It wasn’t just some flippant ‘convenience’ for them.

    I didn’t have to think nor was it any struggle. As soon as I got a positive on a pregnancy test, I was booked to have an abortion. It was absolutely a convenience to me, and more importantly, one hell of a relief.

  59. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Ing: That’s a good point, one I hadn’t considered. It also might help to ask ‘what disability’?

    I have aspergers syndrome. A ‘disability’, but in some ways, it’s only a ‘disability’ because the majority are neurotypical. And, while it causes me no small amount of a difficulty, it also provides an advantage or two.

    Dunno what to say about something like Down’s Syndrome, for example, where the ‘upside’ can be a bit harder to find.

  60. says

    Ending up childless is not being critiqued here. What’s being critiqued here is telling people with disabilities that they are better off dead and that the tremendous amounts of work we do to raise our TAB children isn’t wrong but the tremendous amount of work that we put into raising children with disabilities is wrong.

    No one is fucking saying that. You’re saying that we are which is pissing me off.

    It’s the same as the right wing’s latest parade of children of rape asking why we want them dead. I don’t appreciate the demonization.

  61. dianne says

    @584: I don’t think we have a difference of opinion on actual policy: IMHO, if a woman wants to have an abortion, for whatever reason, that’s her decision and while you or I might have the right to say that we disagree morally with her decision to abort a (previously) wanted child because it’s probably a girl or is a Turner’s syndrome girl, neither of us nor anyone else should have any legal right to interfere with her decision. Do you agree?

  62. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Caine: Yeah, I guess I worded what I was saying clumsily. I’m talking about the fundagelical idea of women ‘aborting for convenience’… killing babies so they can just continue being wanton immoral sluts, in other words.

    It’s hard to pick my words, because I never ever want to say things that cause me to hear some Fundie going “See? See? Even he is forced to admit I’m right! For God is Good!” or something along those lines, ever again. We all know how they twist this shit to suit their purposes.

    And of course, forcing women to ‘justify’ their choices, even if it seems reasonable on the surface, is the slipperiest of slopes.

  63. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I don’t have much trouble with the idea though. I don’t think it’s even remotely as fucked up as going ahead and having the sprog and then turning its life into a fucking screaming nightmare which, if they survive, will haunt their every moment, waking and asleep, for the rest of their life. When I said everyone would have been better off if I had been aborted, I meant it.

    Which is why I said I think we’re coming from a similar but not identical place. I get to value what you have offered me on this thread without going through what you went through. So I, from this position of a particular privilege, can say I very fucking glad that Caine is here and that a significant portion of me ending up a pharyngula commenter instead of a pharyngual lurker is the contributions of Caine during 3d4k. And since I’m ultimately happy about this decision, I’m quite glad you’re around and alive.

    I am fully aware that a position divorced from the context of your early life.

    But I am also not saying that it’s okay to “have the sprog and then [turn] its life into a fucking screaming nightmare.”

    I can critique both, which is what I’m doing. You’re choosing to critique only one because, for reasons I would inevitably inadequately explain, you are only willing and motivated and maybe able to critique one, but you see the wrong in both. So you’re not part of the problem to me, you’re just prioritizing your energies in one place and not in another. Which everyone does, including me, on lots and lots of issues. I have no criticism of this position (that one is more wrong). I have a criticism of the position that one is not at all wrong.

    Ing:

    Ok I’ll be more firm on the topic.

    Right now, I could not support a special needs child. The option would either be abortion or sending a child with special needs into a broken system. I would make the choice to abort based on disability and the context around it.

    and I would be consistent about my defense of your right to make your choice, but I can and will and do hate and critique the social choice to create that fucked up context, the social choice that some kids are worth the resources and some kids aren’t.

    you aren’t arguing that kids with disabilities aren’t worth it. You’re arguing that you don’t have the capacity to do it. I don’t know your situation, but even if I did, I wouldn’t be contesting your judgement of your own capacities.

  64. says

    TLC:

    It’s hard to pick my words, because I never ever want to say things that cause me to hear some Fundie going “See? See? Even he is forced to admit I’m right! For God is Good!” or something along those lines, ever again. We all know how they twist this shit to suit their purposes.

    Oh, I know. We all repeat and reinforce the trope for that reason. Even I do it, although I really resent doing so. It is simply no one else’s business as to why a woman chooses to terminate, full stop.

    I don’t much care which side of the debate one is on, I can’t stand moralizing about abortion. It’s annoying we have to get so close to doing that just so we aren’t painted as hideous monsters.

    Now I’m reminded of the deaf couple who deliberately selected for deafness in their child. People, how do they fuckin’ work? ;)

  65. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @ Ing – #587:

    No one is fucking saying that.

    Yes. Lots and lots of people are saying that. I didn’t assert that you, particularly were saying that. I said that upthread some people had asserted it’s not wrong to abort a kid with a disability. I spelled out reasons why it is wrong and invited people to agree or disagree. I used strong language. I feel strongly about this. But my position is clear and I am not demonizing you. Nor am I putting words in your mouth (or keyboard).

    Either you hold the position I critique or you don’t. Either way, I’m critiquing the position and not you.

    I am not critiquing you as a person, Ing. I am critiquing the argument that I am critiquing.

    That’s all, but it’s also enough to make me pissed off. Obviously these issues can raise strong emotions in you. I don’t critique you for feeling them or expressing yourself strongly. Please don’t critique me for the same. If you don’t have a problem with my argument, great. Then I’m not only not critiquing you, I’m also not even critiquing your argument.

    i also responded to you upthread on a different comment. I hope that together this has made my position more than clear. If we still have a problem, please let me know exactly what it is.

  66. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    People, how do they fuckin’ work? ;)

    If there were ever a god to have an honest truth, her honest truth could be summed up exactly like that.

    Hell, I don’t know how I work most of the time – see yesterday and going bonko over a crush instead of just relaxing and saying, “Wheee! Crush!” for evidence.

  67. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Also, Caine, it kinda hurts to see someone I respect and like as much as you say, with almost clincal calm, that you honestly believe you’d be better off not born. Of course, like Crip Dyke said earlier, I only know the ‘Caine’ I see on pharyngula and am not in a position to comment on your life or anything.

  68. says

    Crip Dyke:

    the social choice that some kids are worth the resources and some kids aren’t.

    This is where society comes in for slapping about – it’s not that disabled kids aren’t worth the resources, it’s the extra resources that will be needed and our living in a society which doesn’t provide a net. If it was a matter of course to obtain in home help, coverage of medical costs, special schools (or tutoring) and so on, people might not feel forced into such a decision.

  69. says

    Actually, I don’t give much about why somebody has an abortion. I might have decided differently, but, well it’s none of my business.
    What I do care a lot about is kids who are actually born. And if somebody wants only a child who conforms with their personal idea of “perfect”, that’s wrong.
    If people have children they don’t want to care for, or cannot reasonably care for, that’s a problem.
    I do have a kid with a birth-defect. It doesn’t keep her from running, laughing, talking, learning. If things go well, she’ll never ever have a single problem. If things go bad she’ll have to endure dialysis and a transplantation.
    Facing this during pregnancy was hard. Thankfully, even then all signs pointed to “uncomplicated”, but there were about two weeks when nothing was clear, when everything was possible from “will suffocate horribly within 10 min after birth” to “no problem at all”.
    So I know first hand that those things are not an “easy matter”. I was always opposed to having an amniocentisis. The risk of a miscarriage was not worth the information for me. Down syndrome would not have been a reason for abortion for me and everything else would come to light during ultrasound checks anyway.
    But I’ve talked to other women. One of them said to me: “yes, sure, but you’re almost 20 years younger than me. I’m past 40 now. I have a good chance of raising my kid to the point where she’ll be an independent adult before I’m too old, but a child who’d need my help for 40 years would be left alone and helpless in this world.”
    Does that sound cruel and selfish?
    I’d say, trust women to make good decissions. And if a woman makes a stupid decission I’d rather have that decission terminate a pregnancy than ruin the life of a child.
    [/end incoherent rant]

  70. janine says

    If there were ever a god to have an honest truth, her honest truth could be summed up exactly like that.

    There you go, assuming that a deity has to have a gender.

    (See what I did there.)

  71. janine says

    TLC, I am afraid I am speaking for Caine here but in the past, she has been quite explicit about how fucked up her childhood was. This is not the first time she has said it would have been better if she was aborted.

  72. says

    TLC:

    Also, Caine, it kinda hurts to see someone I respect and like as much as you say, with almost clincal calm, that you honestly believe you’d be better off not born. Of course, like Crip Dyke said earlier, I only know the ‘Caine’ I see on pharyngula and am not in a position to comment on your life or anything.

    Don’t hurt, please. It’s simply the truth. I’m at a point in my life now that I’m pleased enough to be around and breathing. I didn’t start to feel that way consistently until I was in my mid to late 30s though. I’ve spent more of my life utterly fucked up by the things that happened to me. It hasn’t been the worst thing to be a ‘poster child’ for abortion – it often hammers the point home to those who otherwise don’t get it.

  73. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @ Diane, #588

    yes, I absolutely agree.

    Earlier in the thread things were worded as if defending the right to make a decision and seeing no moral implications in a certain resolution of that decision were the same thing. I am fighting, like you, for the policy that protects the person who is pregnant from any and all outside attempts to force an abortion decision (in the US we speak about only being forced in one way, typically, but these choices are actually forced in different directions at different times, often based on the income and/or race of a mom – I oppose any forced resolution, not only forced pregnancy).

    However, I am also fighting to get society to recognize the moral implications of devaluing the lives of persons based on characteristics that have important effects on the circumstances of a life but are actually irrelevant to the value of that life.

    In 588, you separate the issue of forced resolution of the decision from the ability to critique certain lines of reasoning sometimes used in making that decision. This is the separation I’m employing. We are thus in exactly the same place.

  74. Muse says

    So on a totally unrelated positive – the FBI decided to update their definition of rape from “the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will” to “Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina, or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” Mueller still has to sign-off, but he’s expected to.

  75. says

    Crip Dyke:

    “Wheee! Crush!”

    Soooooooooo fun! I’m a little jealous. ;)

    Janine:

    I am afraid I am speaking for Caine here but in the past, she has been quite explicit about how fucked up her childhood was. This is not the first time she has said it would have been better if she was aborted.

    Yep.

  76. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @ Caine, #596:

    This is where society comes in for slapping about – it’s not that disabled kids aren’t worth the resources, it’s the extra resources that will be needed and our living in a society which doesn’t provide a net.
    If it was a matter of course to obtain in home help, coverage of medical costs, special schools (or tutoring) and so on, people might not feel forced into such a decision.

    Yes. Exactly. But certain kinds of reasoning that simply accept this background context as acceptable and/or inevitable and use that to argue that therefore there is no moral implication in aborting a child with a disability are providing the opportunity to let society slither off the hook.

    I won’t let it. Society deserves the slapping about and so I call out the lines of reasoning that would shield society from exactly what it deserves.

    And, might I say, “Forced into such a decision,” is exactly what we started off being unified against. I like calling out that this other thing is just a different kind of forced decision.

  77. chigau (違う) says

    Caine
    Don’t make us force you to watch It’s a Wonderful Life.
    That would be a Fate Worse Than Death™.
    /attempt at levity

  78. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @ 602 –
    That is awesome news. I had been following this for about 14 years (I was involved in a call for this change in the Clinton years, but i don’t do the same job now that I did then…nor have I for about 7 years), and new this was coming to a head soon, but I hadn’t noticed anything in the last few weeks.

    Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    @603 –

    In re: “Wheee!”

    We had an awesome phone call last night. Although I was doing some overanalyzing about it yesterday, and some of those fears and anxieties are still causing me to think too hard on occasion, I am much more relaxed into the deliciousness of it today than I was yesterday. Being in separate countries = scary. Moving fast = scary. Crush = Who cares? More Wheeeee!

    By friday I expect to be completely unable to do anything other than babble incoherently in the Stimpiest way, “HappyHappyJoyJoy!”

  79. carlie says

    it’s not that disabled kids aren’t worth the resources, it’s the extra resources that will be needed and our living in a society which doesn’t provide a net.

    And riffing on that, a decent percentage of the accommodations that are so “onerous” to provide wouldn’t even be an issue if things were created with lots of kinds of needs in mind to begin with. Hey, put covered ramps in instead of stairs! That’s easier for everybody! etc. and so forth.

  80. says

    Crip Dyke:

    By friday I expect to be completely unable to do anything other than babble incoherently in the Stimpiest way, “HappyHappyJoyJoy!”

    Aaaaw. We all need those times, sheer goodness.

  81. says

    Well, I’m terribly glad I know Cain, but on the other hand, I’m also aware that there wouldn’t be a Cain-shaped hole in the universe if you didn’t exist. I also wouldn’t know you if all those horrible things hadn’t happened to you. I’d miss out on you, but there would have been a little less bad in this world.

  82. janine says

    Giliell, I am sure that there is a Cain-shaped hole in the 2011-12 Republican Presidential run.

  83. David Marjanović says

    Good news from Caine’s rats? Looks like I’m peeking into the Thread at the right time. :-)

    My dad is watching Don Giovanni on TV, live from the Teatro della Scala in Milan. The TV is right next to me. The lyrics mention chocolate and bacon! ^_^ (…OK… ham… prosciutto in any case.) The word cavaliere is so common we’re determined to interpret the whole thing as an allusion to Berlusconi. Fittingly, the president (Giorgio Napolitano) and the prime minister of Italy (Mario “Super Mario” Monti) are present.

    Who’s coming to the convention in Germany in May? The tickets are laughably expensive, so I won’t buy any if I can’t expect to meet interesting people. :-/

    But why the fuck am I even talking about this?

    Because you know we listen.

    Oy. I have heard about people meeting over the internet and, though the evidence is clear it works for some people, never, never thought it would happen to me. I thought you’d have to be an exceptional personality type, maybe someone who is less evidenced based and more faith based.

    ~:-| Why?

    And yet, while I don’t have as much evidence as one could ask for, I do have significant evidence. And we do have a very real connection, even if we can’t tell with any certainty what shape that connection will take after meeting in “real life”. In fact, I’m acutely aware now that internet communication **is** real life. It’s only one aspect of it and it has its limitations, but it is real life.

    QFT.

    And so part of me wants to shout it out, the impulse one feels with any crush.

    *shrug* Extroverts…

    But I am very interested: has anyone else met someone over the internet that has become a best friend, a lover, a spouse, someone very close in some capacity?

    All my best friends are Pharyngulites, except one who’s from a mailing list… oh, I suppose I should count my PhD supervisor (who has made my life quite a bit easier), but even with him I exchanged a few e-mails before I met him at a conference and he offered to supervise me. :-)

    in my experience, someone’s the same person in real life as they are online.

    Seconded.

    I scoff in the face of anyone who tries to tell me that meaningful relationships are difficult or impossible to start online.

    They’re probably a lot easier to start online than in meatspace.

  84. Dhorvath, OM says

    But certain kinds of reasoning that simply accept this background context as acceptable and/or inevitable and use that to argue that therefore there is no moral implication in aborting a child with a disability are providing the opportunity to let society slither off the hook.

    This is sticky, and kind of pedantic, but do you think that children are aborted? I am in the children are born, not conceived camp.

  85. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Caine:

    Nuh uh. I like It’s a Wonderful Life.

    May I be the first to say, that position is as deranged as anything that’s ever come out of the mind of a Hovind.

    [offstage, up right:] “Zuzu’s petals!”

    saccharine meter = “Swamped”

  86. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Cain is already a big Cain-shaped hole. A great, stinky, leaking hole.

  87. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @ Dhorvath #614:

    Point taken. I stand corrected. I don’t really believe that. Often times I don’t say it that way. This time I clearly did when I believe, like you, that children are born not conceived. Thus I obviously wasn’t on top of my communication skills in that moment.

    Consider our positions resolved.

  88. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    “Cain-shaped hole” …too..funny……….too…true…….

  89. cicely, unheeded prophetess of the Equine Apocalypse says

    Aha, Gen Fury; Deviant One is a ‘nym I do recognise! :)
    I just can’t keep track. :(
    -

  90. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

    Totally off topic.

    Friendly advice.

    Do no, repeat do not!, attempt to text while walking down stars. Wife was bragging (via text) about a commission for a crocheted hat and I tried to answer her.

    ‘Nuff said.

  91. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    All I can say about sillicone based life is that I remember hearing from one nerd or another that the Xenomorph is supposed to be ‘silicone based’.

    But would a silicone based lifeform be able to feed on carbon based life? What happens when we try to digest silicone?

  92. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @David, #613:

    But why the fuck am I even talking about this?

    Because you know we listen.

    Yeah. There is that. Good bunch, in the main, on Pharyngula.

    Oy. I have heard about people meeting over the internet and, though the evidence is clear it works for some people, never, never thought it would happen to me. I thought you’d have to be an exceptional personality type, maybe someone who is less evidenced based and more faith based.

    ~:-| Why?

    [blush]
    I was trying to point out that I had been taking it on faith. “Of course my life won’t go that way. That direction is for other people. I know this because I haven’t gone in that direction before!”

    Turns out that there are some pretty hot dykes in that general direction….

    And so part of me wants to shout it out, the impulse one feels with any crush.

    *shrug* Extroverts…

    Okay, you got me there.

    ……….

    @everyone:

    I forgot to say thank you to everyone who wrote about this. Although the majority of my feeling more relaxed about this today is getting to talk on the phone with Ms. Crush last night, I was already feeling a little more relaxed even before she called.

    That part was y’all. So I wanted to say, in the spirit of the Christmas blob that eats multiple weeks and entire department stores, not to mention lots and lots of brains: “CripDyke blesses you, every one!”

  93. Dhorvath, OM says

    Crip Dyke,
    You have given me some food for thought and it is still ruminating. I have a child with a disability and the way in which his disability interacts with the rest of his life has been something that I have trouble imagining any person considering as negative. It is such a small part of who he is overall that it’s more akin to saying he plays a specific sport or has an artistic outlet that requires some time from his life. Yes, he could spend that time otherwise, but it’s not like it defines him. It is easy for me to imagine that is how most parents of children with disabilities feel about those aspects, but I know that would be the easy and erroneous conclusion to reach.

    In any event, my initial thought on finding this discussion this morning was one of so what? Many pregnancies are ended knowing even less about the child who may have resulted should the pregnancy be carried to term, so why would I care if someone makes the decision based on knowing more? How is it perfectly okay to say: I don’t want a child, but morally questionable to say: I don’t want a child who has a disability. It’s taking some effort for me to distinguish the two and that concerns me.

    I don’t think anyone deserves to be born and it seems to me to follow that any reason is good enough reason to end a pregnancy.

  94. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    That’s what I figured, ING.

    Xenomorphs have to be my second favorite space monster. (My absolute favorite is and always will be John Carpenter’s THING).

    I really hate how all the latest movies involving Xenomorphs (especially the AVP failures) are more and more fudging their ‘lifestyle’. For instance, the first AVP had way way more xenomorphs than human victims, even allowing for multiple chestbursters in one victim. And since when do Xenomorphs reach full adult size within minutes without feeding or anything?

    The messed up biology and reproduction is what MAKES XENOMORPHS HORRIFYING. You can’t just sacrifice that so you can have more XTREME ACTION scenes with Xenomorphs and predators going all UFC on each other.

    Sorry, you were talking about silicone based lifeforms?

  95. janine says

    All I can say about sillicone based life is that I remember hearing from one nerd or another that the Xenomorph is supposed to be ‘silicone based’.

    I thought it was phallic based.

  96. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Ummmm…

    Unless you’re talking about some very interesting toys, I think you mean “SiliCON” based life not “SiliCONE” based life.

    But thanks for the giggle.

    @Father Og –

    Important safety tip.

    “Don’t cross the streets: they hold grudges.”

  97. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    Uhhh so I had a really nice weekend with StrangeBoyfriend…

    Here’s the deal though. We love each other a lot, we share a lot of values, we get on well and we have great sexual chemistry. SB even said that he could possibly see me as someone to settle down and start a family with. But…

    But I don’t have stability in my life. Specifically, I don’t have financial stability. As you may know if you’ve been following the saga of the late rent. So, SB deems as someone that he could perhaps get together with in a year or two, but only if I get my shit together. Otherwise, we’re good friends. Really good friends.

    I fucking really WANT to get my shit together. It’s not like I enjoy being irresponsible to the point that I lose my apartment. I just lack certain skills which I am attempting to learn and practice. The thing is, I’m just so scared that I’m going to fail to learn these skills in time for my relationship with SB to blossom into its full potential. What if he meets someone in the meantime? What if it takes me five years to get my shit together? How did I get to this point to begin with? (In my head, this often comes out as, why am I so fucking stupid? Why am I a failure?)

    It seems unhealthy, to have these two things so closely linked in my mind. What can I say? I really want to have a relationship with this man. Would it be such a bad thing to use that as a motivating factor to become more organized in my everyday life? I don’t think I would let go of all that organization and those hard-won skills if our romantic relationship didn’t work out, but there is that risk, I suppose…

    /thinking out loud

    Carry on talking about abortion and society’s lack of support for non-able-bodied persons.

  98. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Crip Dyke: There’s a difference between Silicon and Silicone?

    When you put it that way though, the Xenomorphs could very easily be silicone based. Just look at those heads.

  99. Dhorvath, OM says

    I have been beat to the punch twice.

    I do think that silicon is pretty prone to oxidation and that makes for a problem, but then so is carbon. Our atmosphere has free oxygen because it’s being separated by biologic means, doesn’t it?

  100. says

    And since when do Xenomorphs reach full adult size within minutes without feeding or anything?

    The first one grew to adult size in hours, though I always presumed it had eaten their food supply off screen.

    Do no, repeat do not!, attempt to text while walking down stars.

    Fuckers are hot

  101. says

    I do think that silicon is pretty prone to oxidation and that makes for a problem, but then so is carbon. Our atmosphere has free oxygen because it’s being separated by biologic means, doesn’t it?

    What would a Silicon life form breath….or does it even need respiration?

  102. Dhorvath, OM says

    Can’t be oxygen, the oxide isn’t gaseous at any reasonable temperature. But it could be on some other ingestion type level. I wonder how efficient excreting metabolic waste as sand crystals would be?

  103. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    #Dhorvath – #630

    I’ll let things keep ruminating. Does the post about not critiquing ending up childless help?

    @SallyStrange – #636

    It’s not at all bad to use that as motivation. It’s not necessarily bad to have the things linked. The trick is

    Do not fall into the trap that you are changing for him: you are changing for you, because then good things happen for you. If you change and he is gone for some other reason (or because you didn’t change fast enough) you still don’t have to deal with late rent, you are also better prepared for the next BoyStrange, etc. These accrue to you whether or not current BoyStrange keeps any of the benefits of the change in you.

    …and 2) Don’t think that you are not valuable if you don’t learn this and are valuable if you do. It’s not like that.

    Those are 2 tricks. The 2 tricks are

    1…
    2…
    and 3) honoring your process along the way. Learning isn’t a matter of, “Now that I know it I’ll be perfect.” Backsliding != failure.

    That’s 3. The three tricks are:

    1…
    2…
    3…
    and 4) don’t listen to Crip Dyke when she can’t refrain from being silly.

    Those are 4. The 4 tricks are…

  104. says

    @Dhorvath

    Oooh that fits with the feel for the race. They’re octopods that have a “mouth” around in what we’d call the stomach area and is presumably an all purpose digestive organ so that when they’re done with their meal they reach in and scrape back out what couldn’t be absorbed.

  105. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @ everyone

    brother Ogvorbis said:

    Oh. Sorry. Stairs, not starts.

    I should just give up, y’know?

    I don’t think we should tell him, how bout all y’all?

  106. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Ing: So instead of ‘taking a crap’, these hypothetical aliens have to reach in and dig the crap out? And also, the ‘crap’ is basically composed of fine sand?

    Brilliant.

  107. David Marjanović says

    The first act is over. “Trema, trema, scelerato”… (tremble, tremble, criminal).

    …Update: in the meantime, the second act has begun. “I swear by these beautiful eyes” while having his face in her cleavage. :-D

    would someone who knows biochem better than me weigh in on Silicon based life forms?

    Silicon-hydrogen compounds are only stable at very low temperatures. The lower the temperature, the slower are chemical reactions. So, “sex between silicon male and silicon female takes longer than the universe is old” (source unknown, to me anyway).

    One troll speculates that a person is transgendered because of female brain cells.

    Microchimerism: ur doin it wrong.

    Is that known?

    the secretary for Health and Human Services just decided not to let Plan B be offered without restrictions even though the FDA said it should be

    *facepalm*

    By friday I expect to be completely unable to do anything other than babble incoherently in the Stimpiest way, “HappyHappyJoyJoy!”

    Aaaaw. We all need those times

    …Yeah.

    “Cain-shaped hole” …too..funny……….too…true…….

    Seconded!

    So anyway. Silicon based life forms? My working idea is that in normal atmosphere they “rust” to death

    More like burst into quite spectacular flames!

    What if he meets someone in the meantime?

    What – someone like you? Let me put this in as neutral terms as possible: you’re quite unusual.

    What if it takes me five years to get my shit together? How did I get to this point to begin with? (In my head, this often comes out as, why am I so fucking stupid? Why am I a failure?)

    *hug*

  108. says

    Sally Strange

    What if it takes me five years to get my shit together? How did I get to this point to begin with? (In my head, this often comes out as, why am I so fucking stupid? Why am I a failure?)

    You’re me?
    Seriously, this resonates so well with me.
    And I think we’ll both make it, even if it takes five years.
    *hugs if you want them*

  109. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    And since when do Xenomorphs reach full adult size within minutes without feeding or anything?

    The first one grew to adult size in hours, though I always presumed it had eaten their food supply off screen.

    There’s actually supposedly a deleted sequence where they find food wrappers and stuff, implying that the little guy had gotten into their food supply, and also apparently making it appear like more time has elapsed between the chestburster sequence and the adult Xeno.

    Or so I’ve heard.

  110. says

    Crip Dyke:

    May I be the first to say, that position is as deranged as anything that’s ever come out of the mind of a Hovind.

    Oh hey, that’s not fair. I never claimed sanity, but Hovind? Really?

    Buffalo gals, won’t you come out tonight? Come out tonight, Come out tonight? Buffalo gals, won’t you come out tonight,: And dance by the light of the moon

    Sally, there’s every reason to use such motivation, however, any change you make must be made because you want it, not because it’s a condition of entering a relationship.

    I’m just gonna say this, even though it might not be welcome: SB has said you *might* be someone he could settle down with, *maybe* have a family with, but before that can even be considered, you must change and you must meet specific requirements. You might want to think on that a bit. That’s all I’m going to say, okay? Just think.

  111. David Marjanović says

    What would a Silicon life form breath[e]….or does it even need respiration?

    There are plenty of other options even among Life As We Know It.

    Do not fall into the trap that you are changing for him: you are changing for you, because then good things happen for you.

    Seconded!

    Oooh that fits with the feel for the race. They’re octopods that have a “mouth” around in what we’d call the stomach area and is presumably an all purpose digestive organ so that when they’re done with their meal they reach in and scrape back out what couldn’t be absorbed.

    That can’t work. Respiration happens in the cells, if they have such a thing. We produce water and carbon dioxide in our mitochondria. They’d produce silicon dioxide. Sand/silt/clay everywhere in their bodies.

    Well, maybe they can make silicic acid and somehow manage to keep its concentration very low. That would probably require living in freshwater, and that’s just for starters.

  112. David Marjanović says

    Freshwater? Stupid me. I just said “very low temperatures”. They’ll have to use another fluid than water altogether. I don’t know if ammonia or hydrocyanic acid* freeze at low enough temperatures.

    Perhaps methane, if their whole biochemistry is inside-out (polar cell membranes instead of apolar ones yadda yadda yadda).

    * Awesome possibility, eh?

  113. John Morales says

    Crip Dyke,

    I said that upthread some people had asserted it’s not wrong to abort a kid with a disability. I spelled out reasons why it is wrong and invited people to agree or disagree.

    I don’t really care whether it’s right or wrong; but as far as I’m concerned, I reckon that women should be able to choose to abort (and have access to such service) for any reason at any time.

  114. cicely, unheeded prophetess of the Equine Apocalypse says

    And also, the ‘crap’ is basically composed of fine sand?

    “Sandbox”.

    *hug* for SallyStrange. Unfortunately…since I can so easily see myself fretting in exactly the same way, if I were in your situation…I am not able/qualified to give you helpful/meaningful advice.
    -

  115. Dhorvath, OM says

    Crip Dyke,
    I am trying, but as usual, my brain works best in bouncy mode. Re-reading your post that you directed me to and what I am seeing is a distinction between saying that someone should have an abortion and saying that someone can. So the problem as it exists right now is that society undervalues people with disabilities and that acts to pressure women into should abort territory.
    I guess I was still stuck on the social pressure telling people they shouldn’t abort and that to me seems far more prevalent so it was what I intuitively responded to with my defense of abortion regardless of reason. I don’t want to see anyone thinking that it is the right choice, I want people thinking about what is right for them. So long as we have a society that pushes in the manner we have at present I don’t think anyone enjoys that distinction.

  116. julian says

    @SallyStrange

    Just wanted to wish you luck.

    With my enlistment drawing to a close I’m in a similar place. No more semimonthly paycheck on time everytime, no more health coverage for the wife, her continuing onto to her masters, mom still without work, brother to caught up in his own studies to help her out reliably and me having zero real world experience all has me occasionally breaking out in hives again.

    Hopefully 5 years from now we’ll be throwing back beers laughing about that one month they cut the heating and it was the coldest winter on record…

  117. Sili says

    I’m not a biochemist, but my impression is that silconbased life is very unlikely.

    Silicon’s chemistry is very different from carbon’s. Or rather carbon as a second period element is special. The ability to form so C-C bonds as well as stable double (and triple) bonds and hetero bonds makes carbon extremely versatile in a manner, I don’t believe is mirrored by any other element.

    Silcone can copy some of the carbon chemistry in forming polymers, but to my knowledge there’s no way to easily break and form bonds in the manner of carbon.

    But I may well be wrong.

    I’d be more inclined to believe in some manner of digital, semiconductor based life à la Startrek.

  118. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I just wanna second what Caine said about BoyStrange (or is that StrangeBoy? Hmph. Sorry.) in #651

    I’m glad others are giving more helpful advice than I was able to.

    I know there’s a grand possibility that it may be the crush, but somehow even tho’ I read the part about thinking oneself a failure, I’d forgot to talk about that.

    I am so not immune. I have also been really, really sick this year (well, it started in December last year), not least from the frickin’ treatment they gave me which, when they forgot to check a drug interaction, made a good week of the cure worse than even the disease (which was bad enough I couldn’t leave the hospital for more than a week at one point). It’s made a mess of a lot of things and I, too, have been wondering how long it will take me to put my life back together. So what do I do about that, even though I know perfectly well I’m (or at least was) sick and now it’s reasonable to be relatively overwhelmed at all the things I have to catch up on? I blame myself. not everyday, but certainly often enough.

    Oy. So hard sometimes.

    So, the point isn’t to make it about me, but to say – others have been where you are. If I can seem together (which, to be fair, I’m not saying I can X-P ) then maybe you can seem together for a while. And then seem together for another little while. You never have to be together always. You just have to be together for enough of the day on enough different days to get some crucial shit done. Maybe that seems a more reasonable way to frame the goal?

    In any case, I do extend my sympathy as well.

  119. Dhorvath, OM says

    Sally Strange,
    It is a hard thing to consider changing who you are for someone else. I gather that much of the change revolves around things that would benefit you to some extent, but at what cost? Will this subsume you, will you lose identity by changing for another person? I hope that I am misreading, but I am troubled that SB thinks this an acceptable pressure to place upon you.
    In any event, please don’t get too wound up in being who he needs, be who you need and if that works for him it’s a bonus. Take care of yourself.