Wednesday, October 30, 2013


So, my pug dumped a cup of water on my laptop. And the laptop I'm using in the interim has been utterly wrecked by the previous user. So, we're off schedule until next Monday, while I use my husband's computer to recover and recreate the blog I've been trying to write for the last two days.

Effin yay.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Running Up To Date

Well, I'm a bit late. But better late than never. Now, there's a few things I could talk about today. I mean, things have been hopping lately.

First off, the government dodged its own ridiculous bullet and postponed the fireworks 'til March. They're still idiots, mind you, but since this is what they've been doing for years, I can't say it comes as a shock.

Or we could talk about the preacher who finds it acceptable to tell parents "jokingly" to physically abuse their children if they act outside the gender norms. Cause you know, that's the exact thing Christ said when it came to sinners. "If you see someone doing something you don't like, hurt them until they stop."

Then again, I could rant about the wonderful state I live in, and the way our state government has ordered civil servants to discriminate against LGBT individuals.

Hey, how about we take all three?

So, the government is a short enough one. The government decided in the eleventh hour that they would like to not destroy the economy for another few months. Woo. Can we fast forward to the next round of elections and fire them already, please? Clean slate, no incumbents make it in, everyone goes down? That would be nice.

Moving on, Sean Harris apparently thinks that making jokes about child abuse is cool, as long as it's gay kids being joked about.
The website Good As You, which first reported the story, posted a clip of the homophobic sermon online.
"Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch. OK?" Harris preached in the audio. "And when your daughter starts acting too Butch you rein her in."
Yay! A return to good ol' fashioned Old Testament values! Screw all that love and mercy crap, just punch the people who do things you don't like! Even if they're kids! Especially if they're your kids!

Now, when interviewed about the sermon, Harris also said this:
"If I had to say it again, I would say it differently, no doubt," Harris told the paper. "Those weren't planned words, but what I do stand by is that the word of God makes it clear that effeminate behavior is ungodly. I'm not going to compromise on that."
Oh, well. That makes it all better right? He just said it wrong. Surely there's a good way to advocate for physically disciplining your children for acting gay. You know, like gently suggesting that a good strap might be in order.

Oooh, maybe he just meant that parents should just crack down on counter-gender behavior? Hmmm...I think Christ would have advocated love, acceptance, and a gentle talk about how that clashes with your views on spirituality...oh wait, no. Sorry. That wouldn't be half as effective as a sharp slap. After all, the kid might realize that spirituality is a personal choice, and since yours isn't ok with him or her, they should take their business elsewhere.

Because it's not about love, or the wonder of Jesus. It's about keeping the butts in the pews and in line.

Moving right along. Oklahoma, land of...well, nothing I can put politely. So, our wonderful state government has taken the next step in a long line of amazingly stupid policies along the lines of "We're going to be the most republican republicans in republican land!"

The state government of Oklahoma has declared that they will not honor legal name changes if they are made because a gay couple got married. Full stop, that's for real, no I'm not kidding.

Let's break that one down:

So, in the United States, you can change your name for any reason. Literally, any reason. If I wake up tomorrow and decide that I want to be called "Starshine McBoyo Eldrasha Snoo" I can totally do that. Further, after marriage, it is generally assumed that presentation of legal documentation will allow that one or both parties to change their name. There's a legal route that anyone can take, but states have pretty much established a "wink and nod" precedent.

Unless, of course, you're taking the last name of your gay spouse. Then it's so illegal that a tag agency can (and apparently will) rip your new license from your hands and force you to get a license with your unmarried name on it.

Isn't that fun?

You know, I've heard Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb say that Oklahoma is hemorrhaging the best and brightest of their young college graduates. I've heard him make a sincere plea to said young people to stay, to help build the economy, the cosmopolitan wonder he envisions.

I have to say, the worst way to get that done would probably be to demonstrate over and over that you don't understand how certain portions of the constitution work, and that you're all for legal discrimination.

So, down here at the bottom, let's sum up this hasty (and unfortunately late) little news blast.

The government is back. Let's fire them at the first available opportunity.

Sean Harris wants you to beat your gay children until they stop being gay. But he doesn't mean for that to sound bad. Just that being gay is wrong, and you should make them stop that.

And Oklahoma wants to make sure that you know that if you get a legal gay marriage in another state, this state will do its damndest to ensure that you know your marriage is not welcome here.


Sometimes, I swear I hate this place.

See you next week.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

They Who Knew You Least Will Miss You Most.

Brothers and sisters, we are gathered here today to mourn the loss of one of the bastions of our society, Sanity. While Sanity's children Liberty, Justice, and Progress get more face time in the media, it was Sanity that supported and encouraged them in their younger years. The three surviving children have all said they're unsure of how to proceed without their father's guidance, and that they will miss him dearly.

Sanity, already suffering from a series of fits over the last few decades, took to his bed a few days ago when he learned that Boehner believes releasing the government from a hostage situation before continuing the long term budget negotiation would be equivalent to "unconditional surrender" despite having had all year to fight and wrangle over the budget without being able to force through major cuts to public welfare and health related programs without accepting any compromise on cuts to military spending or corporate subsidies, or allowing new tax programs that create higher rates for those who can afford to pay them.

The venerable value took a further turn for the worse when he heard rumors that members of the Republican party believe the looming threat of default was a "political ploy" designed to pressure the GOP into releasing their hostages and allowing the government to resume functioning, in spite of repeated warnings from the Treasury department that failure to raise the debt ceiling really would hurt the economy.

Sanity slipped into a coma and passed on from this world upon hearing that various individuals blame the president for the various closures of memorials and national parks, despite the clear warnings by all parties involved that the facilities would close without appropriations.

While alive, Sanity enjoyed spirited debate, honest communication, and participating in team efforts to create a brighter future. He strongly supported his friends in the military, while feeling outraged at their continued needless sacrifices on foreign soil. He worked tirelessly for civil rights, and open understanding and education in support of his children's careers.

Sanity suffered from degenerative illness in his later years, but often said he hoped to get stronger and hold on long enough to see a unified, loving country where all were truly equal. His last words before slipping into a coma expressed his regret that his illness would deprive him of that, and fear that without his aid, the work he'd done in his lifetime would unravel.

Sanity is preceded in death by his father, Public Service, his mother Truth, his sister Objectivity, and his wife, Reason. He is survived by his children Liberty, Justice, and Progress.

Farewell, most wondrous of virtues. We can only hope to see his like again.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Wednesday's Child is Full of Woe

So, day seven without effective government. Seven days of pure incompetence from the idiots we elected to keep the lights on, the food and beer flowing, and the world in one piece while we settle in with the latest episode of "Hero and the MacGuffin" or "Real People Acting Like Douches."

So, for no reason other than that I'm freaking bored and yelling about it won't do any good, let's take a few minutes to play the sci-fi game. What is this game, you ask? It's also known as extrapolation. Sci-fi writers pick a set of known facts, and take them up to eleven. Yes, the continued dysfunction is the most likely outcome. But we'll be playing for sci-fi.

Here's the facts we'll play with today:

1. Relatively few people understand or care about the government's function and operation.

2. The government is a largely self-sustaining entity, becoming more and more devoid of citizen input as ideological warfare creates severe rifts in what the people want (a government that operates quietly and efficiently for the largest good for the most people) and what it is (a bureaucracy that invades and interferes with every walk and step of life as it attempts to control and homogenize individuals and culture.)

3. The government is in minimal mode, barely supporting the most basic "essential functions." And by and large, things go on.

4. Given time, all functions held hostage by the government shutdown can eventually be replaced by civilian entities.

5. New currencies and economies have been evolving for years.

Now then, the question: what, really, would be the final downside to the government just...not coming back? If they couldn't resolve anything in time to raise the debt ceiling, if we defaulted and the economy went away?

Companies would collapse, yes. Workers would be laid off, yes. The country would friggin collapse, yes. And there is a chance we'd take out a significant portion of the rest of the planet on our way down. But here's the thing: I believe we've passed the point where we would collapse backwards.

Without power, we'd lose most of what let's us operate as a society. But we know, or can find out, how to generate power. Stop and think.The tech is all still sitting there. All we need to operate it is people and power.

Wind, water, and solar steam power are all readily available. Alcohol can be made by a nitwit with half a brain, and can be used in some diesel engines. Or hell, fire that crap up and use it straight as a heat source for steam. Radio signals, operating within the bounds of sanity and reason for a civilian, can be used to access or even rebuild the internet. New lightbulbs have a lifetime of several years, LED's can go even longer; there's a couple dozen ways to cool and cure food, some of which are older than nearly any country on the planet.

Growing food isn't easy, but it isn't rocket science either. Plants grow. That's what they do. Hunting? Fishing? We got those.

The point is that, with some hiccups admittedly, we could move into a barter economy and just keep right on going. What hiccups?

Well, building new stuff would be hard. If it breaks, it's broken. Cause there ain't no more parts a-comin'. But hey: necessity is the mother of invention. Take enough stuff away from enough people and you'll eventually get to that one guy that will just go build his own. And given the relatively high volumes of information and education available, I have no doubt that there are many such people.

Drugs would take a hit. But drugs are extensions of natural substances. And we have chemists. And doctors. And with the government in free fall, it's not like the cops would show up and shoot guys for manufacturing penicillin.

We know how to do so many things, and we're so entrenched in our comforts, that I firmly believe a society where the government collapsed into a screaming mob of children that went off and screamed at each other in the distance forever would rebuild itself to functioning levels in a couple of decades.

Alternatively, corporations could step in and turn the country into a for profit engine. Potential dystopia? Yup. But since we live in a world where thousands of people are out of a job, civil and healthcare rights are points of contention, poverty and homelessness are something we ignore everyday, and (again) as long as the food, entertainment, and blowjobs keep coming people as a whole give very few craps, who would honestly notice?

We'd all have jobs, tasks to complete. We'd all be consumers. The company credit system would replace the currency system.  Smells like socialism? Nope. There's more than one company, ya see. There's several. And they'd be working with and against each other to take on the rest of the world. Huxley wins, in essence. Again, before anyone starts freaking and screaming, let's all remember that the only difference between our world and a Huxley Wins world is that we aren't required to take happy drugs and we don't take care of our people very well.

Yeah. The only real difference between the dystopia and us is that we aren't provided with free Valium, and the dystopia take better care of it's citizens. That should scare you.

Scenario three: the government collapses and we get a do-over.

Pay attention. This is the darkest outcome.

What if we could redesign the government from scratch? What would it look like?

Cool story, bro. Now:

Would you agree with your neighbor?

Yeah...there's the scary bit. How would we agree on a legal system, on a system of governance, that would be fair to everyone? Reboot the old system and keep it as is? Try something different? Split off into micro countries that all say fucks to each other?

There just aren't many people equipped to design a government with a society in mind. We broke this one because we suck at government. And if everyone sat down and designed a new system right now, we'd be arguing and killing each other within days. A system would win out eventually, but only by beating the other systems into the ground.

So, to be blunt, here's three possible visions of the future, all things being equal:

1. The government runs off and does it's own thing , society collapses. But hey, in the face of a shitstorm, we've proven to be fairly decent at picking shit up and hauling ourselves back together. I honestly feel a scorched earth solution is the best outcome here. It'd take time, but at the end of it, we'd be reinvigorated as self-sufficient pioneers. Hell, with all the work we'd have to do, we might actually get a society that functions on a larger scale.

(Ok, admittedly, rioting, guerilla warfare, and a default to scenario three is also likely. But I'm feeling optimistic, here.)

2. Corporations step up and keep things running with an eye to maintaining their status in society. It would suck, but life would go on. And at least the status quo would largely be maintained.

3. We get a bright shining chance to rebuild the entire system from the ground up. And then we act like people do. This one probably doesn't end well. Hell, I'd lay money it ends horribly. Remember, the original system was designed for rich white guys by rich white guys. And almost three hundred years later, it still favors rich white guys.

Or we could, you know, fire all the idiots, attempt to find decent replacements, and try and salvage what we have. But that would really be a fictional outcome.