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secularhumanist2:

Stewart nails it again #TDS

This right here is what is bringing down the country, not welfare, not food stamps, not civil & voting rights, and not equal rights for LGBT folks. It’s the selling of our future to the highest bidder.
GREED, my friends, is what will bring down this great country of ours. Plain and simple.

(Source: sandandglass)

What’s On My #GayAgenda Today?

  1. Check on sick neighbor.
  2. Grocery shopping.
  3. Pick up medication at pharmacy for sick neighbor.
  4. Pay some bills.
  5. Drop off medication to sick neighbor.
  6. Do laundry
  7. Make dinner.
  8. Bring food to sick neighbor.
  9. Run dishwasher.
  10. Write a thank you note to the Denver Broncos for the great time last weekend. ;p  <—- HEY!!! How did THAT ONE get in there???

With the exception of the Denver Broncos note, this was my agenda from last Saturday. These things occupy my time pretty much most days. My sick neighbor is a sixty-three year old woman who is in the end stages of uterine cancer, which has spread through her body. Someday I’ll write a post about it, but not now. I’m just not ready to put all that into words. I wrote this list to demonstrate that my life is pretty much like everyone’s. — With the exception of looking out for my neighbor, which I believe anyone would do, my life is boring as hell.

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The Last Supper (1995)

Five friends get together for dinner and conversation. A visit by a new guest sets the friends on a quest to eliminate those whose views they find offensive.

This black comedy written by Dan Rosen raises some hypothetical questions about ethics. How far are you willing to go to make the world a better place?

Bill Paxton as Zachary Cody sets the tone of the film with this very profound exchange with Courtney B. Vance (Luke)

Zachary Cody: Liberals, never taking a stand you’d be willing to…

Luke: to die for?

Zachary Cody: Nah. Boy, dying is easy. There is nothing heroic about dying. But if you can take a stand for something you’d be willing to kill for, that is something, something special

With an ever widening chasm between left and right, “The Last Supper” is as relevant now as it ever was. It remains one of my favorites.

In the words of Luke,:played to great affect by Courtney B. Vance (The Hunt for Red October"It’s 1909 and you’re alone with a young artist named Adolph. Do you kill him?"

Look for appearances by Charles Durning as the homophobic Reverend Hutchens, Jason Alexander as an anti-environmentalist, and Mark Harmon as the “Dominant Male”.

One of the Biggest Lies told by conservatives is that “Liberals don’t support the troops.”

I may not agree with every war, but the men and women who risk their lives to ensure my freedom to be as liberal as my little heart pleases deserve complete respect & full support.

futuredirected:

ghostdaddotcx:

Self reblogging to add a thing I found:
http://overland.org.au/previous-issues/issue-208/feature-malcolm-harris/  
The account @Anti_Racism_Dog didn’t last long. Twitter suspended it quickly, a fate reserved only for the most aggressive, abusive and hateful users. What could a dog – an anti-racist one, at that – do to deserve it? @Anti_Racism_Dog had one real function: to bark at racist speech on Twitter. The account responded to tweets it deemed racist with the simple response ‘bark bark bark!’ Sometimes it would send wags to supporters but that was pretty much it.For the short time it lasted, it was amazing to watch how people reacted to @Anti_Racism_Dog. The account would respond mostly to what the sociologist Eduardo Bonilla-Silva would call ‘colour-blind racism’, that is, racisms that are generally right-libertarian in orientation and justified through appeals to supposedly objective discourses like science and statistics. It’s a notoriously insidious white-supremacist ideology, a virulent strain evolved specifically to resist anti-racist language. Colour-blind racism defends itself by appeals to neutrality and meritocracy, accusing its adversaries of being ‘the real racists’. Although its moves are predictable, they’re hard to combat rhetorically since they’re able to ingest the conventional opposition scripts. Colour-blind racists feed on good-faith debate, and engaging with them, especially online, is almost always futile. But when they’re barked at by a dog, one whose only quality is anti-racism, they flip the fuck out. They demand to be engaged in debate (‘Tell me how what I said was racist!’) or appeal to objective definitions (‘The dictionary says racist means X, therefore nothing I said was racist’), but @Anti_Racism_Dog just barks.@Anti_Racism_Dog inverted the usual balance of energy in online dialogs about race. Precisely because the dominant global discourse is white-supremacist, it is rhetorically easier to make a racist argument than an anti-racist one. Look at almost any comment thread or discussion board about race and you can see anti-racists working laboriously to be convincing and to play on their opponents’ ‘logical’ turf, and racists repeating the same simple lines they were taught (‘I didn’t own slaves’, ‘I’m just stating the facts’, ‘The Irish were persecuted too’, etc.) ‘Trolling’ as a certain kind of internet harassment is tied to time: the successful troll expends much less time and energy on the interaction than their targets do. It’s the most micro of micro-politics, an interpersonal tug of war for the only thing that matters. But have you ever played tug of war with a dog?A true troll doesn’t have a position to protect because to establish one would leave it vulnerable to attack, and playing defence takes time. @Anti_Racism_Dog, by fully assuming the persona of an animal, was invulnerable to counter-attack. You can’t explain yourself to a dog and you look like an idiot trying. The only way to win is not to play but this is the colour-blind racist’s Achilles Heel: they’re compelled to defend themselves against accusations of racism. It’s the anti-racist argument that gives them content; theirs is an ideology that’s in large part a list of counter-arguments. After all, white-supremacists are already winning – their task now is to keep the same racist structures in place while making plausibly colour-blind arguments against dismantling them. @Anti_Racism_Dog was empty of anything other than accusation and so left its targets sputtering.The account served a second purpose: as a sort of anti-racist hunting dog. @Anti_Racism_Dog quickly attracted a lot of like-minded followers who understood the dynamics at play. Whenever it would start barking at another user, this was a cue to the dog’s followers to troll the offender as well. There’s only so much one dog can do alone. Colour-blind racism is particularly dangerous because it isn’t immediately visible as such. It provokes good-faith discussion from liberals about what counts as racism, muddying the water. But @Anti_Racism_Dog’s strategy draws new lines about what constitutes acceptable discourse on race, placing colour-blind racists on the other side by speaking to them like an animal. What would be taken as totally insane in flesh space can be infuriatingly clever online. 

tl;dr? Take a minute. This is worth reading!

The link is down, but I&#8217;m re-blogging anyway because it is, indeed, worth reading.

futuredirected:

ghostdaddotcx:

Self reblogging to add a thing I found:

http://overland.org.au/previous-issues/issue-208/feature-malcolm-harris/ 

The account @Anti_Racism_Dog didn’t last long. Twitter suspended it quickly, a fate reserved only for the most aggressive, abusive and hateful users. What could a dog – an anti-racist one, at that – do to deserve it? @Anti_Racism_Dog had one real function: to bark at racist speech on Twitter. The account responded to tweets it deemed racist with the simple response ‘bark bark bark!’ Sometimes it would send wags to supporters but that was pretty much it.

For the short time it lasted, it was amazing to watch how people reacted to @Anti_Racism_Dog. The account would respond mostly to what the sociologist Eduardo Bonilla-Silva would call ‘colour-blind racism’, that is, racisms that are generally right-libertarian in orientation and justified through appeals to supposedly objective discourses like science and statistics. It’s a notoriously insidious white-supremacist ideology, a virulent strain evolved specifically to resist anti-racist language. Colour-blind racism defends itself by appeals to neutrality and meritocracy, accusing its adversaries of being ‘the real racists’. Although its moves are predictable, they’re hard to combat rhetorically since they’re able to ingest the conventional opposition scripts. Colour-blind racists feed on good-faith debate, and engaging with them, especially online, is almost always futile. But when they’re barked at by a dog, one whose only quality is anti-racism, they flip the fuck out. They demand to be engaged in debate (‘Tell me how what I said was racist!’) or appeal to objective definitions (‘The dictionary says racist means X, therefore nothing I said was racist’), but @Anti_Racism_Dog just barks.

@Anti_Racism_Dog inverted the usual balance of energy in online dialogs about race. Precisely because the dominant global discourse is white-supremacist, it is rhetorically easier to make a racist argument than an anti-racist one. Look at almost any comment thread or discussion board about race and you can see anti-racists working laboriously to be convincing and to play on their opponents’ ‘logical’ turf, and racists repeating the same simple lines they were taught (‘I didn’t own slaves’, ‘I’m just stating the facts’, ‘The Irish were persecuted too’, etc.) ‘Trolling’ as a certain kind of internet harassment is tied to time: the successful troll expends much less time and energy on the interaction than their targets do. It’s the most micro of micro-politics, an interpersonal tug of war for the only thing that matters. But have you ever played tug of war with a dog?

A true troll doesn’t have a position to protect because to establish one would leave it vulnerable to attack, and playing defence takes time. @Anti_Racism_Dog, by fully assuming the persona of an animal, was invulnerable to counter-attack. You can’t explain yourself to a dog and you look like an idiot trying. The only way to win is not to play but this is the colour-blind racist’s Achilles Heel: they’re compelled to defend themselves against accusations of racism. It’s the anti-racist argument that gives them content; theirs is an ideology that’s in large part a list of counter-arguments. After all, white-supremacists are already winning – their task now is to keep the same racist structures in place while making plausibly colour-blind arguments against dismantling them. @Anti_Racism_Dog was empty of anything other than accusation and so left its targets sputtering.

The account served a second purpose: as a sort of anti-racist hunting dog. @Anti_Racism_Dog quickly attracted a lot of like-minded followers who understood the dynamics at play. Whenever it would start barking at another user, this was a cue to the dog’s followers to troll the offender as well. There’s only so much one dog can do alone. Colour-blind racism is particularly dangerous because it isn’t immediately visible as such. It provokes good-faith discussion from liberals about what counts as racism, muddying the water. But @Anti_Racism_Dog’s strategy draws new lines about what constitutes acceptable discourse on race, placing colour-blind racists on the other side by speaking to them like an animal. What would be taken as totally insane in flesh space can be infuriatingly clever online. 

tl;dr? Take a minute. This is worth reading!

The link is down, but I’m re-blogging anyway because it is, indeed, worth reading.

Some Serious Questions For Conservatives

Why do conservatives use the word “Entitlement” as if it was a bad word.

They’re called “Entitlements” because the people who receive them worked hard for and earned them as part of an agreed upon contract with the United States government. Money is taken from our paycheck each week as insurance until such time as we either retire, become disabled and cannot work, or the worst case scenario, a disaster happens and we need help.

Entitlements are not handouts. Entitlements are not charity. Entitlements did not tank our economy. Corporate greed did. So why do you want to punish the least of us just so the wealthiest can have tax breaks?

Conservatives claim to be for limited government and keeping government out of our private lives.

How does amending the constitution to ban same-sex marriage limit government or keep the government out of our private lives? How does one person’s marriage affect yours? Is the foundation or your marriage so fragile that it would crumble under the weight of another couple’s happiness?

Conservatives claim to be for fiscal responsibility, yet they are largely against paying for birth control. Does it not occur to them that tax payers will undoubtedly foot the bill, through welfare, for eighteen plus years of childcare for many of the children that result from unplanned pregnancies? Compared to that, contraception is cheap.

There’s nothing wrong with conservative ideas. Personal responsibility is important. Responsibility to our community is even more important.

Ensuring that companies provide a living wage so that families don’t have to rely on food stamps is the responsible thing to do. A family that can’t afford food isn’t self-sufficient. Isn’t that what conservatism is all about; being self-sufficient? A family that’s not self-sufficient cannot contribute to the economy.

If families aren’t contributing to the economy, the economy doesn’t grow.

One more thing.

As our country experiences extreme weather powerful enough to bring about the destruction of whole communities, more and more people are going to find themselves in need of some kind of assistance, be it food stamps or welfare. These people are not deadbeats. They aren’t looking for handouts either. Yet many conservatives want to reduce these life saving safety nets because of the cost. Are these the “family values” that conservatives claim they hold in such high regard?

The United States of America is a vast and wealthy country populated with people of many different faiths and from every walk of life. In order for us to have a strong country we must look out for one another. United we stand. Divided we fall.

Some Serious Questions For Conservatives” first appeared Friday 6/6/2013 on ADignorantium’s Wordpress page. It is re-posted here because I believe it is important.

Article and Response…

Why Isn’t There a War on Easter?


I choose “Happy Holidays” because not all of my friends celebrate Christmas. Some observe Hanukkah, some Kwanzaa, and others nothing at all. When I say Happy Holidays, I’m respecting the religious beliefs of the person to whom I am speaking.

Isn’t that what the holidays are all about? Aren’t we supposed to be generous to one another during that time of year?


House of Reps strips LGBT protections from Violence Against Women Act

gaywrites:

This month, the U.S. Senate made history when they renewed the Violence Against Women Act and included provisions that provided resources for LGBT victims of domestic violence. But last week, House Republicans made it clear they were on a different page.

The new version of VAWA, put forth by Republicans in the House of Representatives, takes away the previously-listed protections for LGBT people, undocumented immigrants, and Native American women. 

“This is simply unacceptable and it further demonstrates that Republicans in the House have not heard the message sent by the American people,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who co-authored the Senate version. (It passed 78-22, with all female senators—regardless of party affiliation—voting for it.)

VAWA was first passed in 1994, thanks to then-senator Joe Biden. In addition to providing resources to domestic-abuse groups, it declared that a woman’s past sexual history couldn’t be used against her in a sexual-assault trial, and that women shouldn’t be forced to pay for their own protection or rape exam.

Unbelievable. The House version of the bill will come before a committee tomorrow. Let’s see what happens. 

We need another Stonewall!

"Why was I given a mind and then be politely told to sit in the corner and wonder?"

The following is excerpted from "The Gentle Indifference of the World," as posted on Against The Grain: Non-Mainstream Observations by John T. Marohn

The Christian Soul and American Culture

In my Christian tradition, I was told that every human being has a soul. That soul, I was led to believe, is created by God and is comprised of a mind and a free will. And that soul, I was also taught by my church, would live on after I died. (I was not taught that, since I have a free will, I could choose the after-life habitat I wanted. That decision would be made for me based on my earthly track record and an omniscient God’s foreknowledge—a very tricky combination.)

Using that philosophical and theological model, Hitler, Stalin, Ted Bundy, and Jeffrey Dahmer also had souls. According to that same paradigm, they also had minds and free wills and therefore were to be held accountable for their actions (Christian theologians, to my knowledge, do not accept paranoid schizophrenia, psychosis, or bi-polar disorders as viable excuses for getting off the hook on the final day of judgment).

The American culture I grew up in led me to believe that I could be anything I wanted to be. That I could be my own person. That I could live out any success-story dream I fantasized about. If I just put my hand on the plow of my life, worked hard, and persevered, the world would be my oyster.

Except for the built-in fatalism of the omniscient-God paradigm, I had been well-schooled in Optimism 101. My culture told me I could succeed. My religion taught me that I was morally responsible for all of my actions. That everything was just up to me. That God, through no innate goodness on my part, would intervene, on my behalf, and zap me with favors and grace, if I lived up to His expectations by leading a good life.

But I had no excuses for moral, or even professional failure in life. After all, I was graced with being alive and had a mind and free will—a soul, remember?

Read more here… http://johntmarohn.com/blog/cultural-values/the-gentle-indifference-of-the-world/