Blog Archives

“Equal protection”, but some are more equal than others…

Saw this today and I find myself wondering why John McCain wants so badly to live in a fascist dictatorship. That’s the only explanation I can come up with for his statements & actions the last few years, all of which seem to be along the lines of “give the executive branch all the power.”

rape culture

I’ve been thinking I should say something about the Steubenville verdict. Or rather the various reactions to it. It’s a difficult issue to discuss, and it seems like everything I could say has already been said better than I could. But that’s no excuse to hold my tongue.

Read the rest of this entry

the pope on gender identity

So long as there shall exist, by virtue of law and custom, decrees of damnation pronounced by society, artificially creating hells amid the civilization of earth, and adding the element of human fate to divine destiny; so long as the three great problems of the century – the degradation of man through pauperism, the corruption of woman through hunger, the crippling of children through lack of light – are unsolved; so long as social asphyxia is possible in any part of the world; – in other words, and with a still wider significance, so long as ignorance and poverty exist on earth, books of the nature of Les Misérables cannot fail to be of use.

HAUTEVILLE HOUSE, 1862

This is the preface to my Kindle edition of Les Mis, which I was looking at in anticipation of seeing the movie on Tuesday. It seemed particularly appropriate to this article about that vile old tyrant, the pope, attempting to be relevant by discussing gender identity and trans people.

The article is written by one Deacon Keith Fournier, who does not feel at home with the idea of writing for clarity. The formatting is odd, broken into three pages for no apparent reason and with a footer on the second page that makes the article appear to trail off mid-sentence. I found it difficult to tell whose words I was reading at any one time, as Fournier frequently quotes people who are themselves quoting others and makes poor use of the tools language and html provides for clarifying such things. I mention this as a pre-emptive excuse in case I mistakenly attribute one party’s words to another, not to nitpick the superficial weaknesses of the article, as the substantial ones are quite sufficient.

The title of this article is “Pope Benedict XVI Exposes the Profound Falsehood of the Philosophy of the Gender Identity Movement”, and perhaps the pope does so in his speech, but Deacon Fournier felt no need to relay this information to us, the readers. At no point in the article is the philosophy of any gender identity movement or movements discussed, nor is any falsehood established therein. In fact, it consists almost entirely of other people’s words, with Fournier occasionally chiming in to bemoan these “new rights” he is being “forced” to “recognize”.

To which I accuse him of, as the preface says, “artificially creating hells amid the civilization of earth”, because his wailing of the restructuring of society is because people who don’t easily fit into hetero-normative categories are insisting that they shouldn’t have to. Because the terrible burden they place upon him is their inclusion in anti-discrimination laws. Read the rest of this entry

The threat of Madonna

Okay. I’m going to start with the link and the headline that went with it: RUSSIA: Court Acquits Madonna Of Threatening National Birth Rate By Promoting Homosexuality

Hard not to laugh, isn’t it?

The short version is that “homosexual propaganda”, and the promotion thereof is now a crime in St. Petersburg (they’re considering expanding this law to the federal level) and nine claimants brought charges against Madonna for voicing her opinions in public at a concert there.

It’s actually very tempting to just quote the entire Joe My God article here and point and laugh, but it stops being funny when you see what they considered “promoting homosexuality”. Here’s what Madonna said at a concert in August,

I am here to say that the gay community and gay people here and all around the world have the same rights – to be treated with dignity, with respect, with tolerance, with compassion, with love

This is promotion? Saying that gay people are human beings with rights?

I’m pretty sure in one of these blog posts I said that I expected anyone’s rights to be respected, up to and including Space-Zombie Hitler. Was I promoting Undead-Space-Nazism by doing so?

Well, as the headline says, the judge didn’t think so. But it really bothers me that people thought they could win this suit, and though that it was worth even trying to win.

Read the rest of this entry

Transgender Day Of Remembrance

image

I saw this taking a late night walk last week, and meant to share it much sooner than now. Better almost-late than never, I suppose.

If you’re having trouble reading that poster, it’s announcing that November 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance. Here in Fresno there’s a candlelight vigil march at 4:30 pm in Fresno Courthouse Park, that’s 1100 Van Ness Ave, and a reception celebration at 6:00 at the Downtown Community Arts Collective, 764 P. Street.

It’s estimated that one in twelve trans-women is murdered. If you only count people of color, that number rises to one in eight. Statistically it’s very likely that at least one of the trans women I’ve met will die by violence. Or already has.

I’m really not okay with that.

I don’t think anyone should be okay with that.  Read the rest of this entry

Cutting bits off

I saw a link to this on Twitter, an article which claims that pediatricians are saying the benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks. I had a few thoughts about it.

First and foremost, I really don’t care whether that claim is true or not. You’re still performing unnecessary body modification on someone incapable of consent. That right there is abuse. I’m not fucking joking, either. You don’t own your baby’s body, your baby does. You are making decisions in trust until your baby is old enough to make those decisions. Frankly if you’re cutting parts off when it’s not strictly necessary I think you’re abusing that trust.

Body autonomy really trumps everything else here, in my opinion. You can make whatever modifications you like to your own body, but you’d better have a solid, strong reason to alter someone else’s.

But frankly I kind of suspect that the whole thing is bullshit, and on some level everyone knows it, because no doctor has ever, I mean ever, said to me, “You might want to consider circumcision”. For all the people talking about its benefits, nobody ever tried to sell those benefits to me, or any other adult, I suspect. These wonderful benefits of circumcision are only ever touted for those who cannot make the decision themselves. When most circumcisions are performed on consenting adults, then, and only then, will I be willing to consider the pros and cons.

Until then I’m just assuming it’s institutionalized child abuse, performed and tolerated and even defended out of a sort of cultural inertia, because that’s how it’s been done for ages. Just like freshmen hazing in high schools, or child rape in catholic churches.

Hat tip to barrels of oranges for the link.

“unable to give their consent”

So you may have heard a while back that a German court ruled that the circumcision of infants was child abuse. Brendan O’Neill has apparently decided that the only reason for this decision could have been anti-Jewish bigotry, and that bigotry came from atheists.

I’m going to quote the part of O’Neill’s article that made me feel a need to address it, I have more to say on the matter but really this is the primary point, the main idea, the one thing that I want an answer to.

There are many bad things about the modern atheistic assault on religion. But perhaps the worst thing is its rebranding of certain religious practices as “child abuse”. Everything from sending your kid to a Catholic school to having your baby boy circumcised has been redefined by anti-religious campaigners as “abuse”. This use of emotionally loaded language to demonise the practices and beliefs of people of faith has reached its ugly and logical conclusion in Germany, where a court has decreed that circumcision for religious purposes causes “bodily harm”, against boys who are “unable to give their consent”, and therefore should be outlawed.

See the quotes there on the part about consent? I want someone to tell me how an infant gives consent. Heck, the court case was about a four year old boy from a Muslim family, tell me how a four year old gives legal consent.

I notice you also put quotes around “bodily harm”. See the thing is, Brendan (may I call you Brendan?), when you use quotes like that it looks like you’re disputing the words used. So this paragraph suggests that you think:

  1. Cutting off a foreskin is not bodily harm, and
  2. Children, including newborn infants, are capable of giving consent.

I really want an explanation of this. Seriously, no bullshit. Use small words because I’m kind of stupid. How is this not causing harm without consent? O’Neill never explains this, he just goes on to say that people who did terrible things to the Jews in history also called circumcision barbaric child abuse. In other news, a stopped clock is right twice a day, Hitler ate sugar, and an association fallacy really isn’t worth stretching into five paragraphs.

That’s the meat of this post. Frankly you can skip the rest if you want because from here on out it’s mostly just shouting. With lots of wine, so it’s not even coherent.  Read the rest of this entry

Ninth Circuit done with Prop 8

Today the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it would not be hearing Prop 8 in an eleven judge en banc review. For those keeping score, this means the Supreme Court is all that’s left. Prop 8 Trial Tracker has the details.

Since I really have nothing to add to that article, I’m going to address a dissent written by one Judge O’Scannlain, who has apparently written on this subject before. From P8TT, here is Judge O’Scannlain’s dissent in full.

A few weeks ago, subsequent to oral argument in this case, the President of the United States ignited a media firestorm by announcing that he supports same- sex marriage as a policy matter. Drawing less attention, however, were his comments that the Constitution left this matter to the States and that “one of the things that [he]’d like to see is–that [the] conversation continue in a respectful way.”1

Today our court has silenced any such respectful conversation. Based on a two-judge majority’s gross misapplication of Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996), we have now declared that animus must have been the only conceivable motivation for a sovereign State to have remained committed to a definition of marriage that has existed for millennia, Perry v. Brown, 671 F.3d 1052, 1082 (9th Cir. 2012). Even worse, we have overruled the will of seven million California Proposition 8 voters based on a reading of Romer that would be unrecognizable to the Justices who joined it, to those who dissented from it, and to the judges from sister circuits who have since interpreted it. We should not have so roundly trumped California’s democratic process without at least discussing this unparalleled decision as an en banc court.

For many of the same reasons discussed in Judge N.R. Smith’s excellent dissenting opinion in this momentous case, I respectfully dissent from the failure to grant the petition for rehearing en banc.

Right. Let’s get one thing straight right away, this has never been a respectful conversation. Ten years ago when it was Prop 22 it was not a respectful conversation. You could see this from the slogans, “Protect Marriage!” as though the existence of same-sex weddings would taint the entire concept somehow. When you speak of people as though they’re a pollutant, you are not being respectful. “Whites only” drinking fountains come to mind. Read the rest of this entry

%d bloggers like this: