Sometimes I despair

By now, most USAmericans who pay attention to politics are probably aware of The Donald’s inane idea to build a wall between the U.S./Mexico border. Ya know, to keep out all those rapists, murderers, and drug dealers that he’s worried are pouring into this country (a belief he holds and has no qualms about sharing despite his failure to produce supporting evidence):

Donald Trump said he would force the people of Mexico to build his vowed border wall to keep immigrants out of the United States, warning that if his order was not fulfilled, he would do something “severe.”

When asked how he might force the country to build this wall, Trump said in an interview that aired on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, “you force them because we give them a fortune. Mexico makes a fortune because of us. A wall is a tiny little peanut compared to that. I would do something very severe unless they contributed or gave us the money to build the wall.”

The 2016 presidential candidate added: “I’d build it. I’d build it very nicely. I’m very good at building things.”

I wonder-scale of 1 to 10…how big is his ego? Hell, it’s probably so big it breaks the scale. In any case, the idea has been called moronic, unrealistic and costly, and ridiculous. Trump has given no consideration to the difficulties in constructing a wall more than 1,900 miles long*, across a varied topography, and through a fair amount of private land. But that’s not what he’s concerned about. No, for him, the important thing is preserving the United States for “us” by keeping “them” out. Trump’s frothy mix of xenophobia and racism has found purchase with some of the brightest stars among the dregs of humanity including:

Continue reading “Sometimes I despair”

Sometimes I despair
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“You have privilege” is not an insult

Heard (read would be more accurate but ::shrugs::) on Facebook:

Good story, but I’m a little offended with the term “white privilege”. How about instead calling it what it truly is- empathetic HUMAN compassion and leave race and skin color out of the equation.

The story being referred to in the quote doesn’t matter for the purposes of this post. What I wanted to address was this person’s offense with the term ‘white privilege’. I’ll begin with a little prayer:

Oh dear god whom I don’t believe in bc I’m atheist-save me from people who get offended at the term white privilege.

With that out of the way, let me don the teachers cap:

Continue reading ““You have privilege” is not an insult”

“You have privilege” is not an insult

"You have privilege" is not an insult

Heard (read would be more accurate but ::shrugs::) on Facebook:

Good story, but I’m a little offended with the term “white privilege”. How about instead calling it what it truly is- empathetic HUMAN compassion and leave race and skin color out of the equation.

The story being referred to in the quote doesn’t matter for the purposes of this post. What I wanted to address was this person’s offense with the term ‘white privilege’. I’ll begin with a little prayer:

Oh dear god whom I don’t believe in bc I’m atheist-save me from people who get offended at the term white privilege.

With that out of the way, let me don the teachers cap:

Continue reading “"You have privilege" is not an insult”

"You have privilege" is not an insult

Irresponsible Gun Owner Link Round Up 8.30.15

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On a regular basis, individuals across the U.S. demonstrate that they are not responsible gun owners. Oh, some of them may have passed a background check (not those who have obtained their firearms through loopholes though) and obtained a license and/or a permit, but have they demonstrated-prior to owning a gun-that they aren’t an aggressive individual with a hair-trigger temper? Have they shown knowledge of how to resolve conflicts without resorting to violence? Probably not, because there are no such requirements for owning a gun or obtaining a license (why would there be in a country like the United States where gun ownership is valued above and beyond all other considerations). And that’s a shame because there are many people who should never be allowed to own a gun. All too often these people fail to handle guns with the proper care, resulting in someone being injured or killed. Here are 5 recent examples:

Continue reading “Irresponsible Gun Owner Link Round Up 8.30.15”

Irresponsible Gun Owner Link Round Up 8.30.15

Police Behaving Badly 8.28.15

I began the ‘Police Behaving Badly’ series last year as a way of documenting the stories of police officers who engaged in questionable, unethical, immoral, or illegal behavior. At the time, I knew that there were cases of on-duty cops sexually assaulting women, that cops had been caught stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from drug suspects, that it was not uncommon for officers to use excessive force, and that police brutality and racism often go hand-in-hand. What I didn’t know was how often this shit occurred. I didn’t know how pervasive these problems were. Like many, I trusted law enforcement officials. As I read more and more stories of police officers behaving badly, I came to realize that these individual cases pointed to a more significant problem-rampant corruption within law enforcement across the country as well as departments filled with sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and racism. Not just individual officers either, but entire police departments (the New York and Ferguson PDs immediately spring to mind). I learned that this shit happens all the time and as a result, this series will continue for a very, very long time (as long as I’m blogging most likely). Here are several recent examples of Police Behaving Badly:

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Police Behaving Badly 8.28.15

Eclectic Eats 8.28.15

Once again, I’m here to share unique, offbeat, bizarre, or occasionally disgusting foods I’ve discovered in my travels on the internet. Remember, these are foods I haven’t encountered much (or at all), so while they may be familiar to readers, I’ve yet to try them. As usual, I’ll add my thoughts on each entry and then I’ll give my verdict on whether or not I’d try the dish. First up:

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Eclectic Eats 8.28.15

Identifying ambivalent sexism

Reporter to female politician: “How do you juggle your work with being a mother?”

“Girls need to dress appropriately in school, so boys won’t be distracted.”

“A woman shouldn’t be POTUS because of her hormones.”

“It is in a woman’s nature to be a nurturing mother figure.”

“Women shouldn’t be on the front lines in the military.”

“Women are so much more emotional than men.”

“Teaching is a woman’s profession.”

“Pink is for girls, blue is for boys.”

“Stop crying like a little girl!”

“You punch like a girl!”

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Identifying ambivalent sexism

Speakeasy #3

Kick back and relax in the Speakeasy! Everyone is welcome for social chit-chat, political talk, and whatever else might be on your mind. Just leave bigotry at the door and play nice.

Speakeasy #3

When someone is raped, who is responsible?

Content Note: discussion of rape and sexual assault

If you’re a feminist or a socially progressive individual who has spent any time reading comment threads following articles on rape or sexual assault, you can predict with a high degree of certainty that any such article will have someone (several of them, in fact) who will comment about how a rape victim (usually-though not always-a girl or woman) should have dressed differently or drank less alcohol or not been in a bad part of town. Many times a commenter will try to soften such a remark with a disclaimer like “I’m not trying to blame the victim here, but…”. Other times, a true asshole will come along and skip the disclaimer and put all the responsibility of the rape on the woman, leaving the perpetrator (usually-though not always-a man) free of most, if not all, the blame…as if the woman somehow made the perpetrator have non-consensual sex with her. No, it doesn’t make sense, but then rape apologetics only seem to make sense to those who either deliberately or unintentionally misunderstand what constitutes rape. If you’re someone who doesn’t get it, let me help you-RAPE IS NON-CONSENSUAL SEX. That should clear up any difficulties in the future (and if you think consent is difficult, consider what you need from someone to make use of something that does not belong to you-permission).  For those who still don’t understand, well I don’t have much patience left for such fools, so here’s a chart that should be easy to understand for such individuals:

Continue reading “When someone is raped, who is responsible?”

When someone is raped, who is responsible?

Protecting the lives of secular bloggers is more important than protecting religious beliefs

One of the most essential of all human rights is the freedom of speech. The right to hold an opinion or belief and to communicate that opinion or belief-as well as the freedom to seek out and receive information and ideas from others-  free from government interference or censure, enables individuals to share their thoughts without fear of reprisal. Governments who have sought to regulate and control the possession and free exchange of ideas and information are governments who do not place value upon the freedom of their citizens. In the past (and even in modern times) such tyrannical dominance has often lead to state-sanctioned acts of barbarism upon a populace. Such acts are antithetical to the prosperity and well-being of human beings. While freedom of speech is not absolute-there are limits (limits ((some reasonable, some not)) which vary from country to country)-enshrining it as a right is a crucial means of placing restrictions on the power of a government, thus ensuring the liberty and freedom of its citizenry. In addition to ensuring the free speech rights of citizens, it is also vital that governments work to ensure that their citizenry can speak their minds and share their thoughts without fear of being murdered for doing so. Unfortunately for members of the Bangladeshi secular community, that fear is all too real.

Continue reading “Protecting the lives of secular bloggers is more important than protecting religious beliefs”

Protecting the lives of secular bloggers is more important than protecting religious beliefs