Signs of the times.

On a lovely day this weekend, I went for lunch at an outdoor waterside bar in a small town in Northern Maryland where my mother lives. Part of the, uh, decor comprised three signs, all hung on the bar within a few feet of each other.

L: pinup-style drawing of apparently topless smiling woman from collar bone up with text that reads "MEN, no shirt no service, WOMEN, no shirt free drinks!" C: silhouette of animal featuring large antlers with text that reads "Every hunter loves a big rack." R: "WANTED: Good Woman, Able to Clean, Cook, Sew, Dig Worms And Clean Fish. Must Have Boat and Motor. PLEASE SEND PICTURE OF BOAT AND MOTOR."

L: pinup-style drawing of smiling, apparently topless woman from collar bone up with text that reads “MEN, no shirt no service, WOMEN, no shirt free drinks!”
C: silhouette of animal featuring large antlers with text that reads “EVERY HUNTER LOVES A BIG RACK.”
R: “WANTED: Good Woman, Able to Clean, Cook, Sew, Dig Worms And Clean Fish. Must Have Boat and Motor. PLEASE SEND PICTURE OF BOAT AND MOTOR.”

Now I get kitsch, I really do. And I love pinup art, especially my friend’s photography. And I’m not exactly humorless—well, at least not for one of those horrible feminists, anyway.

But here’s the thing.

[Read more…]

Casualties of conservatives.

[CONTENT NOTE: suicide.]

I woke up this lovely morning to a news alert from The Washington Post about soaring suicide rates in the U.S.:

The U.S. suicide rate has increased sharply since the turn of the century, led by an even greater rise among middle-aged white people, particularly women, according to federal data released Friday.

Well, not exactly. Ten paragraphs later, we learn that Native Americans and Alaska Natives have seen an even greater rate of increased suicides than whites. There’s even a colorful graphic and everything:

[Read more…]

I approve this mockery.

IMAGE: Sunset at Waterrock Knob © Robert Ludlow, North Carolina photographer (Used with permission. All rights reserved.)IMAGE: Sunset at Waterrock Knob
© Robert Ludlow, North Carolina photographer
(Used with permission. All rights reserved.)

As readers here know, the stunningly beautiful state of North Carolina recently enacted an egregious law that voids and prohibits any and all anti-discrimination statutes enacted by local municipalities to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, among others. The law also prohibits local anti-discrimination statutes and/or state law remedies for discrimination based on race, sex, national origin, ethnicity and religion. And since this was not nearly enough doucheweaselry to pack into a single bill introduced in an “emergency session” and passed into law 11 hours and 10 minutes later, it went even further: with respect to public-sector contractors, HB2 also prohibits local municipalities from enacting laws concerning minimum wages, health insurance standards, family leave policies, child welfare protections and the number of consecutive hours an employee is required to work without a break. I mean that is impressive people, amirite?

The most notorious provision of HB2 is the one requiring people to use restrooms corresponding to their assigned gender at birth. Putting aside (for the purposes of this particular rant) its significant implications for those of nonbinary genders, HB2 means, among other things, that these people must now use restrooms designated “WOMEN”: [Read more…]

What Would Jeezus Do vs. What Would Justice Look Like?

[CONTENT NOTE: child death, neglect and abuse at the link; violent vigilante justice fantasies by Yours Truly in this very post.]

I read with mounting horror and visceral disgust this investigative report about religious day care centers, which in many states are unregulated or poorly regulated compared with their secular counterparts because Jeezus ‘n FREEDOM® ‘stuff. In practice, what this means is that regulations regarding child-to-staff ratios, child care training, safety certifications (such as CPR) and other common sense rules otherwise required for licensing do not apply, with entirely predictable, avoidable and tragic results. Worse, when parents seek justice, they are frequently denied it. And of course these bastions of state/church separation (when it comes to regulation) are only too happy to rely on our tax dollars in the form of childcare subsidies.

It seems to me that when entirely foreseeable harms occur, those who exploit these special religious exemptions, as well as those who enact the laws that exempt them, ought to be subject to a special form of justice, too.

Biblical justice.

You know: an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, if your hand causes you to sin then you have to rip out your own eye (or something like that – it’s been a while). What would that kind of justice look like?

Well for starters, these fine folks could be left to rot in their own filth until their infected skin bleeds and blisters. Left to lie in their own vomit, and endure high fevers and broken bones without medical intervention. Left to wander a minefield of unknown deadly dangers, like their peers chasing them with butcher knives, and deep pools to drown in. Left restrained in positions that cause them to suffocate, with no one around who can revive them.

That sort of thing.

Come to think of it, this kind of special snowflake justice should also be meted out to all the small government/low taxes shriekers, “religious freedom” defenders and fevered deregulation proponents too, whenever innocent people are killed and egregiously harmed as a direct result of their policies in action.

Have a nice day.

NYC FTW.

One of the things I love most about this city is that it is constantly recycling itself. If you’re a fan of urban hiking, you can walk the same streets day after day and almost always discover something new. Sometimes you notice something old that somehow escaped your attention. And sometimes, if you’re really lucky, you get yelled at by the police for taking pictures with your iPhone in a public fucking building.

Anyway.

On Friday I had some business at the New York County court house at 60 Centre Street. The subways on the West side don’t get you very close, so when you come up from the station on Chambers Street you have to zig and zag your way North and East for several blocks. I guess I had never taken this particular path before, or at least not for a long time, because I stumbled on something striking: the African Burial Ground National Monument.

[Read more…]

Squirrel people collude to maim and kill Mississippi women.

Mississippi has been all up in the news lately, most notably for its attempt to wrest the championship title from North Carolina for Worst Asshole State:

Mississippi is making headlines today after Governor Phil Bryant signed House Bill 1523 into law, which allows private businesses to deny service to LGBT customers, and to anyone who has had sex out of wedlock. The bill states that it means to protect the “religious freedom” of Mississippians who believe marriage is solely defined as between a man and a woman, that sexual intercourse should only occur within the boundaries of that definition of marriage, and who don’t believe male or female genders can be changed.

Under House Bill 1523, any church, religious charity, or private business can decline to provide services to those whose lifestyles do not meet that criteria. As ThinkProgress reported, businesses can also fire employees whose lifestyles are in alleged violation of a business owner’s religious freedom…Perhaps the cruelest element of the new law states that a religious-based suicide hotline can refuse counseling to an LGBT caller.

These Christians sure seem super nice. After all, who would Jeezus shun? And how soon until we have a constitutional amendment guaranteeing USAmericans the right to SNIFF ALL THE PANTIES?

Anyway, it should hardly come as a surprise to students of the conservative menace that the Mississippi legislature also passed a bill this week outlawing a safe and effective abortion procedure (D&E), thereby effectively banning abortions after 14 weeks. It will also not come as a surprise that the state senate passed the bill 40-6. What may come as a surprise is that ten of those 40 doucheweasels are Democrats Squirrel People. And there are nine more of them in the House:

The house voted on final passage of the bill Tuesday with an 85-32 vote, approving the amended version passed by the state senate. Nine house Democrats joined with the Republican majority in voting for final passage.

On the bright side though, it’s very reassuring that the Mississippi government doesn’t have any serious problems to solve, so they have the spare time to sit around determining which particular tools and procedures doctors in the state are permitted to use when performing legal medical procedures upon penalty of felony charges, $10,000 fines and two years in jail.

Gov. Phil Bryant (R), who has said that it is his goal to “end abortion” in the state, has not yet said whether he will sign the D and E ban.

There is no way to “end abortion.” There is, however, a way to end safe and legal abortion—and the Squirrel People are on the job.

So-called adults have been lying to us 4EVAH.

Who among us hasn’t heard the (supposed) truism: “you can’t fit a square peg into a round hole!”

Of course you can’t do that! I mean, it makes perfect sense, right? At least I always thought so.

Well prepare to have your minds blown, people. Because, YES, it turns out that yes you can fit a square peg into a round hole! For lo, it has come to pass that I have witnessed with mine own eyes a square glass dish (full of freshly grated parmesan cheese) fit perfectly into a round steel serving vessel!

sqpegroundhole

So to recap what we know: there is no Santa, there is no Jeezus, and square things fit into round holes.

At this rate, next thing you know we’ll find out there are no space aliens visiting us either!

WHAT IS TRUE ANYMORE I CAN’T EVEN.