featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (scarlet witch)
The Bush administration, not content to deny family-planning assistance to women in other countries, appear to be taking a swing at access to contraception here in the US. For double bonus points, they're doing it in a sneaky, underhanded way, equating contraception with abortion in the Department of Health and Human Services rulebook, rather than trying to ban the pill outright.

Now, I don't have to tell you how fucked up this is, do I? How restricting access to contraception increases the number of abortions, and, quite aside from that, rolls back women's rights as human beings by decades? No, I didn't think so. Normally we don't talk politics here, but kids, I get a little upset when people with lower IQs and less general competence than my humble self tell me I'm just a walking incubator, not a real person, or that only the people built on the penis-having chassis are allowed to have sex without being punished for it. So there we are.

What can we do? Probably not much. I signed a petition addressed to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, but that office is not famous for responding to public pressure. I'll be writing a personal letter later on today to same Secretary, and also to anybody I have the vaguest feeling might represent me in the legislature. I'm telling you lot. I'll also be going back to making a small, but regular donation to Planned Parenthood. I encourage you to take similar steps.

And furthermore, I'm gonna reiterate my #1 rule in this matter: Just Say No to Sex With Pro-Lifers. "Aw, honey, you're against contraception? Well, I guess I won't be screwing you until I feel like having a baby, then. Sorry about that."
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
The Bush administration, not content to deny family-planning assistance to women in other countries, appear to be taking a swing at access to contraception here in the US. For double bonus points, they're doing it in a sneaky, underhanded way, equating contraception with abortion in the Department of Health and Human Services rulebook, rather than trying to ban the pill outright.

Now, I don't have to tell you how fucked up this is, do I? How restricting access to contraception increases the number of abortions, and, quite aside from that, rolls back women's rights as human beings by decades? No, I didn't think so. Normally we don't talk politics here, but kids, I get a little upset when people with lower IQs and less general competence than my humble self tell me I'm just a walking incubator, not a real person, or that only the people built on the penis-having chassis are allowed to have sex without being punished for it. So there we are.

What can we do? Probably not much. I signed a petition addressed to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, but that office is not famous for responding to public pressure. I'll be writing a personal letter later on today to same Secretary, and also to anybody I have the vaguest feeling might represent me in the legislature. I'm telling you lot. I'll also be going back to making a small, but regular donation to Planned Parenthood. I encourage you to take similar steps.

And furthermore, I'm gonna reiterate my #1 rule in this matter: Just Say No to Sex With Pro-Lifers. "Aw, honey, you're against contraception? Well, I guess I won't be screwing you until I feel like having a baby, then. Sorry about that."
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (not helpful!)
Sunday, during the Gaia class on HIV/AIDS, [livejournal.com profile] 8elements handed out some 'swag' from a de-funded county health program of abstinence education. Some of the things purchased for this program were beach balls, calculators, and other cheap plastic crap imprinted with the phrase "Self-Respect: the ultimate contraceptive".

I'm getting a good look at why abstinence education fails.

First off, kids, it doesn't happen to be true that when you screw, you'll only get pregnant if you hate yourself. That would be a lie. Lots of people I know who like themselves very much have children.

Second, what the fuck does that even mean? I mean, I don't know about you lot, but for me, I can't even work it up to get laid if I'm lacking in the self-respect department. For me, there's a minimum threshold of competence that I have to feel like I have, or else, hey, I'm not feeling very sexy. In fact, in those situations, I'm feeling like if I even bothered to have sex, I'd probably do it badly, and it wouldn't be any fun.

Third, I don't know how the kids today do things, but my range of sexual behavior very rarely involves calculators, and has never yet called for beach balls. I'm going to take this moment to wonder bemusedly about the sex lives of the people who designed this program.

On the bright side, the hardworking citizens of [livejournal.com profile] 8elements' county don't seem to be paying for this steaming pile of monkey crap anymore. But you have to figure, at some point, basic health services were not being provided because the budget included Abstinence Beach Balls instead of vaccine doses, nursing hours, and suchlike. That bothers me.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
Sunday, during the Gaia class on HIV/AIDS, [livejournal.com profile] 8elements handed out some 'swag' from a de-funded county health program of abstinence education. Some of the things purchased for this program were beach balls, calculators, and other cheap plastic crap imprinted with the phrase "Self-Respect: the ultimate contraceptive".

I'm getting a good look at why abstinence education fails.

First off, kids, it doesn't happen to be true that when you screw, you'll only get pregnant if you hate yourself. That would be a lie. Lots of people I know who like themselves very much have children.

Second, what the fuck does that even mean? I mean, I don't know about you lot, but for me, I can't even work it up to get laid if I'm lacking in the self-respect department. For me, there's a minimum threshold of competence that I have to feel like I have, or else, hey, I'm not feeling very sexy. In fact, in those situations, I'm feeling like if I even bothered to have sex, I'd probably do it badly, and it wouldn't be any fun.

Third, I don't know how the kids today do things, but my range of sexual behavior very rarely involves calculators, and has never yet called for beach balls. I'm going to take this moment to wonder bemusedly about the sex lives of the people who designed this program.

On the bright side, the hardworking citizens of [livejournal.com profile] 8elements' county don't seem to be paying for this steaming pile of monkey crap anymore. But you have to figure, at some point, basic health services were not being provided because the budget included Abstinence Beach Balls instead of vaccine doses, nursing hours, and suchlike. That bothers me.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (i love you and I vote)
Note to KC MO folks planning to vote in today's elections:

1) Regarding the term limit questions on the ballot, the current status is that these folks are limited to two terms. That wasn't really clear from reading the wording of the term limit questions (one of which would increase the limit to three consecutive terms, the other of which would abolish term limits altogether).

2) The question on petitions to recall is asking to make the rules on petitioning more strict. The wording on the ballot makes it unclear whether or not folks in Kansas City currently have the right to petition for a recall at all. Apparently, we do.

3) I have no idea what the question on repealing the 20 articles of the charter to replace them with 13 articles means, either.

Also, here's the obligatory "Vote, you bastards!".
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
Note to KC MO folks planning to vote in today's elections:

1) Regarding the term limit questions on the ballot, the current status is that these folks are limited to two terms. That wasn't really clear from reading the wording of the term limit questions (one of which would increase the limit to three consecutive terms, the other of which would abolish term limits altogether).

2) The question on petitions to recall is asking to make the rules on petitioning more strict. The wording on the ballot makes it unclear whether or not folks in Kansas City currently have the right to petition for a recall at all. Apparently, we do.

3) I have no idea what the question on repealing the 20 articles of the charter to replace them with 13 articles means, either.

Also, here's the obligatory "Vote, you bastards!".
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (i love you and I vote)
Dear Kansas:

Please stop electing Kay O'Connor to things. You're embarrassing us.

Thanks.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
Dear Kansas:

Please stop electing Kay O'Connor to things. You're embarrassing us.

Thanks.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Trust me)
British cops busted for selling nudie pics from surveillance cameras.

Granted, obviously none of these folks were too concerned about people seeing them naked, but that's not the point, is it?
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
British cops busted for selling nudie pics from surveillance cameras.

Granted, obviously none of these folks were too concerned about people seeing them naked, but that's not the point, is it?
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Er...no.)
Yesterday, the president signed an executive order mandating the creation of a Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives within the Department of Homeland Security, whose job will be to identify rules, regulations, and other issues which restrict faith-based agencies from operation, and eliminate those rules, etc.

Seriously, kids. Whiskey Tango.

I think this is what was tweaking me about the hallucinogens for religious groups thing the other day. I'm in favor of hallucinogens for religious purposes, but I'm not necessarily in favor of setting precedents which suggest that in general, the laws of a particular religious group supercede the laws of general society. Does it hurt me if some religious sect uses hallucinogens to talk to god because that's their religion? No, probably not. Does it hurt me if santeros are allowed to sacrifice animals to the orisha because that's what their religion says to do? No, probably not. But does it hurt me if pharmacists are allowed to decide that I can't have say, contraceptives, or antibiotics to treat an STD, because their religion says I'm not supposed to be having sex? That'd be a yes, Bob. And does it hurt me if the folks that the government sends in to help after a disaster are church groups that are not inclined to give assistance to homosexuals? Um, yes again, I think. And so on.

Obviously, there's a difference between my first two examples and my last two, and that is that the first two are about things that people do to themselves, or inside their group, based on religious dictates. The second two are things that people do to people who are outside of their religious group. They apply the laws of that group to everyone they encounter, regardless of what laws the person they're impacting follows or doesn't follow. I'm just concerned that our current overlords don't or can't or don't care to make that distinction.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
Yesterday, the president signed an executive order mandating the creation of a Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives within the Department of Homeland Security, whose job will be to identify rules, regulations, and other issues which restrict faith-based agencies from operation, and eliminate those rules, etc.

Seriously, kids. Whiskey Tango.

I think this is what was tweaking me about the hallucinogens for religious groups thing the other day. I'm in favor of hallucinogens for religious purposes, but I'm not necessarily in favor of setting precedents which suggest that in general, the laws of a particular religious group supercede the laws of general society. Does it hurt me if some religious sect uses hallucinogens to talk to god because that's their religion? No, probably not. Does it hurt me if santeros are allowed to sacrifice animals to the orisha because that's what their religion says to do? No, probably not. But does it hurt me if pharmacists are allowed to decide that I can't have say, contraceptives, or antibiotics to treat an STD, because their religion says I'm not supposed to be having sex? That'd be a yes, Bob. And does it hurt me if the folks that the government sends in to help after a disaster are church groups that are not inclined to give assistance to homosexuals? Um, yes again, I think. And so on.

Obviously, there's a difference between my first two examples and my last two, and that is that the first two are about things that people do to themselves, or inside their group, based on religious dictates. The second two are things that people do to people who are outside of their religious group. They apply the laws of that group to everyone they encounter, regardless of what laws the person they're impacting follows or doesn't follow. I'm just concerned that our current overlords don't or can't or don't care to make that distinction.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Trust me)
The WaPo has some interesting things to say this week about the FBI and data mining.

Not that this is news, but at least somebody's talking about it.

Sheesh.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
The WaPo has some interesting things to say this week about the FBI and data mining.

Not that this is news, but at least somebody's talking about it.

Sheesh.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Er...no.)

I got a note from the MoveOn PAC today, asking what I thought of the Democratic Party. I approve of this. I'd like to be able to tell more people of political influence what I think about the Democratic Party, and for that matter, the Republican Party, third parties, the two-party system, and the state of the federal government in general. Unfortunately, this was mostly a "Rate how you think the Party is doing on this issue from 1 to 10" sort of experience, with very little room for actual communication. Thus, they didn't get to hear what I wanted to say. But you will. (Sorry about that. It's got to go somewhere and it might as well be here. But I will cut in case you don't care.)

 And what will I say? )

featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)

I got a note from the MoveOn PAC today, asking what I thought of the Democratic Party. I approve of this. I'd like to be able to tell more people of political influence what I think about the Democratic Party, and for that matter, the Republican Party, third parties, the two-party system, and the state of the federal government in general. Unfortunately, this was mostly a "Rate how you think the Party is doing on this issue from 1 to 10" sort of experience, with very little room for actual communication. Thus, they didn't get to hear what I wanted to say. But you will. (Sorry about that. It's got to go somewhere and it might as well be here. But I will cut in case you don't care.)

 And what will I say? )

featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Clue By Four)
In Great Falls, South Carolina, Darla K. Wynne, the Wiccan who successfully sued the town for starting their council meetings with prayers to Jesus Christ and refusing to allow non-sectarian prayers or prayers from other faiths, is now involved in a suit to have the town pay her $65,000 legal bills. The Assembly of God church has offered to cover the tab if the city is forced to pay.

Let's think about that for a moment -- the Ass of God can cough up $65,000 out of unbudgeted thin air to cover court costs for some other entity? Man, our lot can't even make a $25,000 a year budget. We think we're doing good when we can send $50 to some other worthy cause (like when the Hindu temple got vandalized after 9/11).

Anyway, good info and commentary on the matter here.

Note especially the bits where people broke into her house and killed and tortured her pets. There's a word for people who think that Jesus wants them to behead parrots.... "schizophrenic".
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
In Great Falls, South Carolina, Darla K. Wynne, the Wiccan who successfully sued the town for starting their council meetings with prayers to Jesus Christ and refusing to allow non-sectarian prayers or prayers from other faiths, is now involved in a suit to have the town pay her $65,000 legal bills. The Assembly of God church has offered to cover the tab if the city is forced to pay.

Let's think about that for a moment -- the Ass of God can cough up $65,000 out of unbudgeted thin air to cover court costs for some other entity? Man, our lot can't even make a $25,000 a year budget. We think we're doing good when we can send $50 to some other worthy cause (like when the Hindu temple got vandalized after 9/11).

Anyway, good info and commentary on the matter here.

Note especially the bits where people broke into her house and killed and tortured her pets. There's a word for people who think that Jesus wants them to behead parrots.... "schizophrenic".
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Clue By Four)
Well, today is not off to much of a start. I reexamined the tax notice the state sent me and discovered that I was supposed to file a protest on or before *July 10*, not August 10. Dammit. Now apparently I will have to pay Missouri $750 for my Kansas state unemployment, upon which I have already paid taxes to Kansas. Dammit dammit dammit. Maybe I'll put the protest form in the mail anyway and see if they'll take it.

EDIT: And I'm going to need another unbudgeted $500 to fulfill a commitment I hadn't planned on having to fulfill in this particular way at this particular time. Anybody got any grand ideas about where I can come up with an extra $1200 over the next month and a half? Sheesh.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
Well, today is not off to much of a start. I reexamined the tax notice the state sent me and discovered that I was supposed to file a protest on or before *July 10*, not August 10. Dammit. Now apparently I will have to pay Missouri $750 for my Kansas state unemployment, upon which I have already paid taxes to Kansas. Dammit dammit dammit. Maybe I'll put the protest form in the mail anyway and see if they'll take it.

EDIT: And I'm going to need another unbudgeted $500 to fulfill a commitment I hadn't planned on having to fulfill in this particular way at this particular time. Anybody got any grand ideas about where I can come up with an extra $1200 over the next month and a half? Sheesh.

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