Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hellcats Vs. Heathers

* = See I'm priming you with a bit of Spider-Man humor, because this one will be decidely unpleasant...

I am currently engaged in a fascinating digital conversation with someone I highly respect regarding Libertarianism, as this individual prepares to be a delegate for Dr. Ron Paul. As anyone who reads this mindless drivel periodically knows I respect Dr. Paul’s honesty and commitment.
I also think he might be certifiably insane. The point of contention was originally me wanting to know why Dr. Paul is so against the Americans With Disabilities Act. My friend very eloquently explained the tenants of Libertarianism and how when the government intervenes ‘forcing’ you to do something, even something you might agree with, it’s morally wrong. While I don’t disagree on a very base level I think to believe this way is either wildly na├»ve or incredibly dumb.

See my problem with the principle is it requires everyone to think the same, to believe in the same things, and most importantly have a common morality. If anything, we as Americans are vastly different. I’m married to a wonderful, intelligent, beautiful, and vibrant woman. We are INSANELY different on matters like religion, music, child rearing, etc. Now can we come to a consensus on most items? Of course we can, that’s why we are married, but it doesn’t mean that I’m going to sit down and start listening to Ace Of Bass, let’s not get crazy.

I think what gets me here is Dr. Paul is against the Government coming in and forcing a business owner to hire, serve, or even make accessiable their business to someone with a disability. Or a black man. Or a black woman. Or a woman for that matter. Or a black, Jewish, lesbian, transgender alien. You get the point. His is that the Government shouldn’t do this because the person’s business should rely on their ability to get their costumers and please that base of costumers on it’s merit, not who it is forced to ‘cater’ to. At least that’s how I’m interpreting it.

Now in a perfect world this is a beautiful thing, simply because no one would discriminate, hate, or alienate others. In a perfect world people would share a morality to not ostracize the different, mainly because NO one would be different. Here is where the argument starts to fall apart for me, what about abortion? Dr. Paul is Anti-Abortion or Pro-Life whatever floats your boat.
He’s adamantly so. In fact he believes that life starts at the moment of conception. We disagree here as well, but hey I’m not a Doctor and I’m not running for President, so why should you care. What really hits me here though is he’s willing for the Government to step in here. In fact he wants the Government to step in here.

So just to simplify, the Government telling you that you need to have a bathroom that is handicap accessible is wrong. The Government outlawing a procedure that is currently legal regarding a woman’s right to choose, well that’s alright. That’s what I don’t get, the moral hypocrisy of the Right.

Religious freedom is ok, as long as you believe in GOD. Oh wait, let me amend that, it needs to be a Christian GOD. And it can’t be some ‘Creepy’ Christian god like the Mormons worship it has to be OUR GOD. This thought process has now permeated the culture down to the idea of Contraception. In Virginia one of the leading candidates for the GOP Vice-Presidential spot is preparing to sign into Law a bill that outlaws Contraception. You know sort of like the ‘Personhood’ amendments that lost in Colorado, twice, and more recently in Mississippi by double digits on referendums. That law. For those that don’t know, it basically states that life starts at conception and that means using birth control is akin to murder. So that condom, IUD, or pill your taking to make sure you don’t have an unwanted pregnancy, that could get the same sort of attention as you getting a rifle, going up into a bell tower, and knocking someone off, but don’t worry it gets better.

Because in Virginia they want to take it to the next level, if you’re a woman who say gets raped or will die be giving birth, if your going to have an abortion, a legal procedure, you will now have to have a ‘Transvaginal Ultrasound’. Yeah, that’s where they force a speculum into you and check your insides out. Now they could do that with an actual Ultrasound, a cheaper and less intrusive measure, but you know GOD doesn’t want it that way. Nope, they would prefer to violate you. Oh and get the best part, you don’t have a say in it. The patient can NOT refuse the procedure. Sounds sort of ‘rapey’ doesn’t it? So in summation the same party that wants the Government out of things like helping the disabled, the elderly, the sick, ethnicities, and folks of less fortunate fiscal means is TOTALLY ok with the Government being involved the moment you or your partner ejaculate into someone. Oh and don’t forget of also FORCIBLY putting a speculum in a woman so she gets to ‘see’ the fetus if she wants a legal medical process done.

Makes SO much sense doesn’t it.
This is the thing that scares me. I was raised that opinions and beliefs are like assholes, every one has one, some are just bigger than others. It doesn’t make them right or wrong it just makes them ‘yours’. This isn’t that idea. In fact I don’t know what this is. I can’t help but wonder if this is what we’re headed towards, some pseudo-religious ideological catastrophe or armed insurrection. Then I wonder would someone who believes in GOD, non-‘Creepy’ Christian god(s) need not apply, be protected and Heaven bound if they took same said rifle and started offing folks? Oh wait that already happens at abortion clinics in this country all the time.

See this is the thing these folks don’t want us if we don’t agree. If we don’t conform and don’t believe what they believe then we are ‘alien’, ‘wrong’, ‘false’, or ‘enemy’. I don’t want to be any of these things to anyone. I just want to be me. I just want to be able to yell, “THAT’S FUCKED UP” whenever I see something that is truly fucked up. I want to be able to ask questions of folks when I don’t understand. I want a dialogue where we talk, we learn, we grow, we respect our differences, and we move on. However, I’m getting the distinct feeling that the current followers of GOD don’t have any vested interest in that.

Let me make one more example; did any of you who’ve managed to make it this far into this diatribe follow the Religious Insurance kerfuffle last week? Nope? Well let me briefly recap. Church affiliated entities, schools, hospitals, etc. were going to be required to offer birth control as part of their Government mandated Health Care Insurance. To me this doesn’t seem like that big a deal, since if someone is of the idea that that don’t want contraceptives then they don’t have to have it in their plan. The Catholic Church, that bastion of reason, honesty, and purity disagrees. They declared it a ‘War On Religious’ by the White House. So the President relented and basically said that these Catholic or Religious Entities, which I might add are tax exempt, don’t have to pay for contraceptive care in their health care plans, instead the Insurance companies will pay for it. Apparently it costs very little and is a ‘good thing’ for Insurance companies. No ‘biggie’ right? Well you’d be wrong. Religious pundits and ideologues came out of the woodwork declaring that this was ‘War On Religion’. Rush Limbaugh, the voice of the Conservatives, went so far as to say 'Liberals hate children, that's why they abort their own'. That is just insanity, but that's just the tip of the proverbial crazy iceberg. Another one of these idiots eventually took it to it's Right Wing 'logical arguement point'; Hitler. Because of course when in doubt, or you have no facts, or you have no knowledge of history and want to strike fear into the masses evoke HITLER! WTF.

I mean seriously, WTF. I know some of you out there might be Christians, and you might even be GOD Christians, so if you are, either leave now, or just skip the next paragraph or so, you know because I don’t want to hurt your feelings or anything. Wait, SCRATCH that, and read on, you need a wake up call. Christianity isn’t being persecuted. It has RARELY been persecuted, except by other Christians. Every time I hear this shit about how we’re having a ‘War On Christmas’ or a ‘War On Religion’ it is just the most asinine thing imaginable. Last I checked the vast majority of our elected officials are Christian, a big amount of them GOD Christians. Last I checked your religious organizations get federal, state, & local government money, and yet pay no taxes. Last I checked no one was actively attacking you over who you loved and wanted to marry. Last I checked no one was trying to force the Pledge Of Allegiance into your secular schools. Last I checked no one was protesting your funerals in the name of GOD. Last I checked there isn’t an active campaign to convert you to anything, well except maybe to another form of Christianity.

For a group of people who are constantly telling me what their ‘loving & merciful’ GOD
wants or has planned for me OR how Jesus ‘died for MY sins’ they seem to be at Defcon4 when it comes to controlling EVERYONE else. You are not persecuted, so climb off the cross, pop those nails out, and get over it. You believe. I get it, I really do, and I am enthused for you. I wish I had that much unshakable faith in anything besides my wife. However it does NOT make it fact for everyone else. That’s why it’s called faith.

Let me reassure you, your faith isn’t under attack, you aren’t being rounded up to be put into ‘camps’, and your beliefs will go on long after your at the pearly gates. In fact most of us really don’t give two quarts of warm poo about your faith, UNTIL your make it an issue. So I guess what I’m saying is tone down the doomsday talk, the ‘your with us or against us’ rhetoric, and the persecution complex. Just simply have some Faith that GOD will get it right.

Which brings me back to my original point when dealing with that buddy of mine and his support of Dr. Paul. Our strength is our ability to disagree, to have different experiences to bring to the table, to be individuals. There isn’t a true ‘Moral Majority’ that dictates the national zeitgeist; anyone who tells you different is delusional. People will always tell you one thing to your face while hiding their true feelings about an issue. That’s why you have to respect when someone stands up and owns their views. Like Dr. Paul & my friend the delegate. I don’t have to agree with them, and frankly they sometimes frighten me, but I do RESPECT the fact that they are passionate, intelligent, articulate, and willing to share their ideas. So what I’m saying in the end is thank you Jim. Thank you for the time to try and explain to me your point of your point of view without preaching, without trying to start a confrontation, or taking a holier than thou stance. If the world had more people who could communicate this way we’d most likely have a lot less of the zealotry that currently runs rampant.

I think the one thing we can all agree on is that the world simply needs more…


- If you haven’t checked it out the 2nd Fairly Secret Army album, ‘We Miss The Cold War’ is up on band camp; I implore you all to check it out. It’s brilliant, here’ the link;
- The Lo Mein last night was INSANE!
- I’m starting to formulate my ideas for the next D&D session. I’m debating the use of some monsters. Right now I’ve got Chitines, Ettercaps, Beastmen, Kenku, & Myconids on the brain. I’m just trying to figure out how I can use a few of these if not all of them in the next one to three sessions. I have sort of a rough idea, but I need to buckle down and get it streamlined ASAP.
- Daniel Tosh is a perfect comedian, because he hates everyone.
- Did you know that the U.S. Government employs military operatives to “combat international movie piracy”. Huh? So instead of, I don’t know, finding terror agents, or look into potential enemy powers obtaining nuclear material, or I don’t know anything else productive they are going after people bootlegging movies. And we wonder why we’re hated around the world and that our military spends money like it’s going out of style.
- I miss Football already; at least March Madness is right around the corner.
- The D&D Adventure System card making has been sort of on hold this week as I’ve been pretty sick. However I was able to ‘finish’ a run of Pathfinder minis cards & even more importantly I think we finally have a working format for NPC Cards.
Now NPC Cards are built to be sort of ‘mini-games’ inside the game proper. Rather than Encounters, they are optional ‘win/loss’ story points based around characters like traders (See the card here), thralls, gamblers, cursed folks, etc. I think it gives the game another layer without making it overly complex or lengthening it. I also think it gives the game the potential to build in ‘real’ modules with a story, narrative, and structure. I’m enjoying adding to the game this way, and hope to get more of these done soon. Well first I need to get that damn generic Encounter deck I’ve been working on done.

- I might make an attempt to grill this weekend if the weather holds up. The idea of getting to grill in every ‘winter’ month this season is insane.

You know I think I’m done…

”Now there was a dance floor
At the hottest nightclub in town
Politicians and celebrities
Always going to get down, get down

And they won't let me go in
Because I got no status
I went there with my friends
And they just laughed at us

One of these days I'm gonna burn the whole thing to the ground

Pulling the plug on the party
Pulling the plug on the party
Pulling the plug on the party
Pulling the plug on the party

Now just because no one likes you
Don't mean they don't want you around
They wanna throw things at you
And for an encore they push you down, push you down

They sent a man to the moon just to watch him die
We dropped turkeys out of planes just to fill up the sky
And they know damn well they can't fly

Pulling the plug on the party
Pulling the plug on the party
Pulling the plug on the party
Pulling the plug on the party

Baby now look at what you made me do
Cos I only came here to party with you
Baby now look at what you made me do
Cos I only came here to party with you....
With you....

Now I C-A-N-T S-T-A-N-D I-T
I can't stand it any more
I'm tired of dancing on the floor
And I've seen all of this before-
I've seen all of this before-
I've seen all of this before-
I've seen all of this before-

Baby now look at what you made me do
Cos I only came here to party with you
Baby now look at what you made me do
Cos I only came here to party with you....
With you...”

* = In case you thought I'd forgotten...


  1. I have to comment. But first I'll say I don't know this Virginian law, but I do have something to say about Transvaginal ultrasounds. Maybe I should keep my trap shut, but because I had one done just a couple weeks ago (lucky me, right?).

    So, when you're preggers, really early on in the pregnancy. That fetus is small, like even at 6 to 8 weeks, its lucky to be a like two centimeters. And your uterus is only about the size of an orange and is still way down in your pelvis. The regular ultrasound on your belly, like you see on tv, isn't going to get the job done. In fact, my doc says all ultrasounds before 11 weeks are done transvaginally. I got to hear the heartbeat, see my embryo (not yet a fetus at that point) wiggle, and double check I've got only one bean sprout to deal with instead of twins.

    I'm not really sure how abortions work when it comes down to it, but the transvaginal ultrasound isn't so bad. It's actually a lot less creepy than the usual PAP smear stuff a girl deals with on a yearly basis. There's no doctor with their head peering into you vag with a giant light brighter and hotter than the sun. There's no feeling like the doc is digging around for buried treasure. There's no metal thing cranking your vagina open in unnatural ways and no uncomfy samples being scrapped out. In fact, the "wand" the ultrasound uses (which is JUST like a long plastic dildo) is inserted by the patient themselves under cover of a blanket and not by the ultrasound tech.

    So my point is, a transgavinal ultrasound isn't some mysitcal and awful rape-like procedure. It confirms how far along an early pregnancy is, which is important in the abortion world, correct? I'm pro-choice, but confirming an abortion isn't taking place on an older fetus sounds like a good practice to me.

  2. First thing I would say is go read about the proposed law first.

    My issue with it is that you don't get a CHOICE in having it done. Neither does the Doctor. The state says you HAVE to have it done.
    When it comes to 'Vagina Science' I'm an interloper at best, but I would prefer that women decide who and what goes in there and not the Government, and particularly not one allowing it's decision making to be done based on religious ideology.

    Now all that ranting being down you've de-mystified the procedure a bit, and I appreciate it. I just don't agree with it. Not because it's not as 'rapey' as I thought, but because it's being proposed as a mandatory requirement regardless of the person's rights, the Doctor's thoughts on the effectiveness of the procedure, or the time frame of the pregnancy.

    Well stated though Hides, well stated...

    1. I don't have an opinion yet if I agree or disagree with this mandatory new step for the women of Virginia. But something about the tone of this argument, not your blog necessarily, but the tone in the articles I've looked up online so far are about this. I know about what the procedure is, and it seems entirely the opposite of horrible and demeaning when you put it up against how horrible and demeaning having an abortion after a rape would actually be.

      On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 = slightly unpleasant and 10 = horrifically unpleasant:

      Rape: 10
      Abortion: 10
      Transvaginal Ultrasound : 2

      That's really my only point.

  3. Now I don't pretend to know how any of this feels, so when it comes to that I have NO leg to stand on. So if you say it's a 2, than a 2 it is.

    My only caveat would be that if you're going in for an abortion, and all that that entails, would you want to be TOLD and then FORCED to have this procedure done?

    I think my point in rebuttal to yours would be, in the overall context of the blog, and not just continuing to belabor a point that I have to concede to you because you actually KNOW what your talking about, is to me this is just another example of hypocrisy.

    You tell us the Government needs to get out of our lives, 'end the Welfare state', Federal Health Care is Socialism, etc., and yet it's ok when it is beneficial to your social agenda. This is what bothers me.

    Granted the things in Virginia outrage me, as much for the hypocrisy as for the invasion of privacy, but it's just a symptom to a large overall problem.

    Just like the Transvaginal Ultrasound is just a small part of the above blog. It needs repeating though I think you are right in your points. My tone and the tone of articles and speakers I've listened to on this subject is one of indignation. I think to me it's just sort of a scary process. If this passes and goes on, what's next? Where does it end, and whose agenda is it, because I think we both can agree it's not ours or that of people we know...
    On a final side note, isn't it nice to have an adult conversation about a controversial subject and not have it devolve into name calling? I think that's my real point, is that I'm really lucky that for the most part I know and associate people who while we may not always agree, we can at least agree to respect each other's opinions. Again, well played Hides, WELL PLAYED INDEED!

  4. By the by, all this from a guy who usually talks about tiny plastic men, D&D, comics, poop jokes, and other assorted uselessness so take it for what it's worth.

  5. I also don't want to listen to Ace of Base...

  6. I would just like to make it known that I do not own or search out any Ace of Base songs. I was falsely represented.

    It's a good thing I love you Benjamin or this may have been construed as an act of war. ;-)

  7. Duke,
    I have to admit, that I used Ace Of Bass because I couldn't think of any country artists &/or Abba. On a side note I don't fully hate Abba either.

  8. See, here we are NOT AGREEING! The nice thing is I love not agreeing with you as much as I do agreeing. You're the best!

  9. Can you please show empirical evidence of Ron Paul "want[ing] the Government to step in here" concerning abortion?

  10. Fusedemotion,
    How 'bout off of Mr. Paul's own website. This has been his stance, and while I respect his beliefs I just think it runs pretty counter to his Libertarian stance.