Benedict Cumberbatch and Cillian Murphy on the Government Shutdown

Weeks have been leading up to the new Government Shut down.

This is progress of emotions that pretty much all of us went through who were following this because it has a major effect on us, as represented in Gif form (I’m calling on both of my favorite men for this):

Sitting around last night trying to figure out what was going on with our jobs:

crazycillian

We thought a drink would calm us down.

drinking

But eventually we were all like:

smash

Because, actually, if someone asked us what the hell was going on over in Washington and why this was a thing, we could only respond with:

martin

And thinking about it too hard, like trying to understand the minds of politicians, makes us go all like this:

tyra

So instead we wait.  With the false hope that the Government wouldn’t actually put 800,000 people out of work.

cumby

So we all tried to go to bed and wake up to a new day.

sleepign

Meanwhile Congress was all like:

him

And when we woke up, we turned on the news and:

what

And then we were all like:

fuck you

And then we were like:

angrycillian

And Washington was all like:

chicken_regret_nothing

And we all gave up.   And we said “Fuck it.  I got the day off.”

dancingcumberbatch

Thank you.

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The Downfalls of Being Tattooed

I am a tattooed lady.

tattooed lady13

Right now I have 5 tattoos and they are all super badass.  Just kidding, they are really geeky.  Suffice it to say that David Bowie, Robert Heinlein, and Carl Jung are all featured on my skin–no portraits, just inspirations–and soon there will be either an Assimov or a Sagan.

I fucking love my tattoos and I love being tattooed.  I think tattoos are beautiful, expressive, unique, and fucking sexy.  I think they can show that you have fully taken ownership over your own skin.  This doesn’t mean you have to have tattoos to do this, of course.  But for me, I love them.  Good, well thought out tattoos are one of the most amazing things in the world to me.  I love the atmosphere of a tattoo shop and a good conversation with other people in the tattoo culture about their favorite styles and pieces.  I’ve wanted tattoos since my dad first read The Illustrated Man to me and my sisters.  I’m not heavily tattooed, but I hope to be one day.  I’m still young.

illustrated_man

However, there are a few things that I hate about being a tattooed lady:

1) Every time I start a new job/training placement I have to strategically plan my outfits during the first few weeks/months to keep them covered and then work my way up to slow reveals.  My tattoos are placed so that they are easily covered or revealed.  But I don’t like having to think about the professional ramifications of being tattooed.  My most recent placement was really tattoo-friendly, my supervisor had a few that she would show at times and had no problem with them.  However, previously placements have been less supportive and I found myself wearing long sleeves in June.  I have had almost exclusively good experiences with my clients about my tattoos.  It actually opened up an interesting conversation with a child client with an abuse history when she saw one and said “people aren’t supposed to touch you and that means drawing on you too!”  So we talked about how me and the “drawer” talked about him drawing on me and he wasn’t allowed to draw on me until I agreed on what we were drawing.  Parents haven’t really had a problem either.  Mostly my problems have been with administrators who tend to be more old-school and look down on tattoos or piercings.  It is disappointing and very frustrating.

2) I hate being touched by strangers because I have tattoos.  You don’t go to the museum and put your dirty, grubby hands on things do you?  You don’t walk up to non-tattooed people and grab at their skin because they have an interesting birthmark?  People who touch tattooed people should be slapped.  And my other problem with this is that it seems to only happen to girls.  I have asked a ton of dudes with tattoos if this has ever happened to them and they look at me like “Of course not!  Why would anyone do that?”  Only people without tattoos do this.  They grab and pull and trace the tattoo like you are a fucking freak.  I think this comes from the mistaken idea that people with tattoos somehow do not respect their body or have no boundaries.  I hate to break it to you, but we do.  We love our bodies, that is why we decorate them.  I also think that it partially comes from people thinking that we get tattoos to “shock” or otherwise be on display for others.  Again, FUCKING FALSE.   Go fuck yourself.  I get tattoos for much the same reason I wear eyeliner, because I like it and it makes me feel pretty and like an ultra badass.  Do not touch me.

tattoo etiquette

Oh, and on the same note, the other day, while walking home from CVS, some creeper was very obviously taking pictures of me!  I was wearing a strapless dress so tattoos were all out and this creepy fuck was just snapping some photos of my back on his iPhone!  WTF?  I dodged him in an alley before he could drug me and cut off my skin and hang it in his study.  Again, NOT OKAY!

3)  It’s really annoying to be stopped by people on the street asking what my tattoos mean and being expected to carry on a conversation about them.  I don’t like to talk to people.  Again, my tattoos are not for you or your amusement and I don’t like talking to people.  Ink does not change my natural tendency toward introversion.  I think because I have some script and such, people think there is some deep meaning to shit that I want to share with the world.  Nope.  Not the case.  I get slightly annoyed, but more amused when people think they know the meaning of the tattoo and are super off base.  I overheard someone whisper “that’s Vonnegut” to their glaring elevator friend in reference to my Heinlein tattoo.  I corrected in a tone that I felt equaled the rudeness of the glare.  Someone else began to tell me what a big Harry Potter fan they were when they saw my Bowie tattoo.  That was funny because I responded to his comments with ones about Bowie and I don’t think he caught on.  “OMG what did you think of X book?  That’s my favorite this part when Harry blah blah magic stuff!”  “Well, you  know Diamond Dogs is a really underrated album.  But it must have been hard to come out of the shadow of the Ziggy Stardust era.”  If I have be surrounded by idiots, I’m at least going to amuse myself.

4)  Gawkers and behind-the-back lecturers.  Recently, while on vacation with my best friend, we were on a little boat between islands in the Great Lakes.  We are both tattooed and lovely.  The ladies in front of us on the boat, with their “yay Jesus” apparel, began talking about how terrible tattoos were and how they could never respect anyone who did that to their bodies.  Implying very openly that we were degenerates.  So, I decided to fulfill their expectations.  I began talking loudly about how, when I was a child learning geography the word tricks I used to remember what a Peninsula was and hypothesizing about how many people died in the lake.  Please don’t gawk.  You get what you deserve when you loudly judge me, acting like I can’t hear you.  At least have the balls to turn around tell me I’m a bad person.

judging

5)  In the opposite vein, I hate being sexualized because I’m tattooed.  I did say I think tattoos are sexy.  Because they are.  I think they’re attractive on all people.  But having art on my does not reduce me to an object.  I remain a full, complex person even with ink.  Please respect that.  I have subscribed and “liked” a lot of pages about tattoos because I like to see different styles of art and I hope for more acceptance of tattoos.  Most of these pages encourage followers to  post pictures of themselves and their tattoos.  Almost immediately the women on these pages are rated on their looks, not their tattoos, as “10/10 would bang” and “She’s so gross” and every in between of that, even if the picture is not sexual in any way.  Their body is pieced apart and they are judged in a disgusting way.  I want to scream.  About 10% of the conversation is about the art or any actual encouragement for tattoo acceptance, the rest is criticizing the woman, her profession, her body.  INFURIATING!  It is very hard to love your tattoos and your body at the same time when you are a chick and feel like a person when people are picking it apart.  I can’t speak to this for guys, but I would like to know if they experience this.

I'm so sorry.  I thought this page was about tattoos, not porn.  I was clearly mistaken.  Carry on.

I’m so sorry. I thought this page was about tattoos, not porn. I was clearly mistaken. Carry on.

6)  Tribal/Cultural/Ethnic tattoos outside of your particular culture.  I’m not even starting on this.  It is a whole different rant.  But, white folks.  just stop.

I don’t really get bothered when people are like “What is that going to look like when you’re old” because I figure I’ll be funny looking when I’m old no matter what.  Nor do I care when people, mostly my gram, say things like “what about on you’re wedding day?”  Because, boyfriend and I are not having traditional marriage things anyway and, even if we did, why would I worry about covering up something I already think is beautiful on a day that I’m supposed to be all pretty anyway?

That is it.  I think.  IDK.  But I leave the non-tattooed world with this piece of advice regarding tattoo etiquette:

If you want to compliment someone’s tattoos, say this “Excuse me.  I’m sorry to bother you, but your tattoo is beautiful/interesting/unique….Have a nice day.”

Other comments/questions may follow in this fashion:

“I admire them.”
“Who is your artist?”
“I have been thinking about blah, what is your experience?”
etc in this vein.

If someone as awkward and socially inept as I am can figure this out, why can’t others?

“The bucking bronco is a rape joke?” And other adventures in Rape Culture

A day in the life.

rape-culture1

9:40

My clinical supervisor lets us out of morning meeting early to check out the new DSM 5.  My friend and I skip through the more controversial areas we are already very familiar with and are advised to check out the new V-codes (sub- or non-diagnosistic descriptors of symptoms or personal history that, if used correctly, are more informative than anything a diagnosis could tell you.)  We are pleased to see that the Child Abuse V-codes had been expanded to be more specific, a  V-code for perpetrators of child abuse was added, codes were added for abuse of adults and rape (Ahh! Finally!), homelessness was added.  They also removed some of the personality disorders that essentially pathologized being weird and quirky.  So I’m taking the new focus on V-codes as a win.  Since the actual diagnostic stuff still sucks and they have not done anything to fix the issues with trauma, rape, or child abuse diagnosis.

2:00

During diagnostic supervision,while handing out case assignments, my supervisor goes on a rant about how our sexual assault program doesn’t open cases to the state.  Sexual assault programs tend to be grant funded and, in order to maintain confidentiality, the program does not report the client’s information to medicaid or insurance companies.  So we got a rant about how “annoying” this is.

6:30

Me and boyfriend head to our favorite neighborhood bar for a few drinks.  Our usual gang is there (yes, I live like Cheers and I love my bar friends).  The Daily Show is on the TV because there were no hockey games.  We chat.  We laugh.  We play air guitar to Rush.

7:00

The Daily Show is over and *groan* Tosh.O comes on.  I’ve gone on rants about this shit before.  I hate him.  He should just disappear from existence.  So I direct my attention more toward conversation and try to ignore that sack of worthlessness.  Boyfriend sees that I’m annoyed and makes a sympathy face.

rage-classy-rage-l

Whilst trying to distract myself from the idiot on the television I overhear a group of dude friends discussing the Bucking Bronco.  Stop me if you’ve heard this, and apparently there is some controversy over this particular sexual move, but it involves sex, doggy-style, wrapping her hair around your arm so that she cannot get away, and then, and here’s where they were having the controversy, you either:  call out another girls name and enjoy the ride while she tries to stop the sex or have your friends jump out of a closet and take pictures of her against her will and enjoy the ride.  I couldn’t stop myself from saying audibly “yeah, guys, rape is really fucking hilarious.”  Boyfriend tries to calm me down, saying like “dude, they’re just kidding you know they’re not really like that.”

I continue to try to distract myself.  This time on my phone.  I open up my news app.  The first thing I see is this:
http://www.salon.com/2013/05/31/comedian_and_columnist_debate_appropriateness_of_rape_jokes_in_comedy/
“Are Rape Jokes Funny?”  is newsworthy.  I didn’t even read it.  I don’t know what the article says.

*Groan*  Switch to Facebook.  Trusty old Facebook.  I’m sure a picture of a puppy will pop up and all will be right with my mental status.
Nope.  The first thing I see?
http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/05/31/police-looking-for-rape-suspect.html
“Columbus cops looking for rape suspect”

AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Get me out of here!  I can’t do it anymore!  I just wanted to have a beer and hang out and listen to fart jokes and talk about music!

I was visibly agitated.  Boyfriend was trying to be cool and I was trying to not be visibly agitated.  Nothing that was going on was overtly or purposefully threatening or malicious.  It was just everything piling and piling to a breaking point.

7:30

Bartender/Friend notices also my agitation and boyfriend’s attempts at reconciling my mental state and asks what’s up.  Boyfriend fills him in.  I let him know again, that it is nothing specific it was just a pile of agitation and tried to not get soapbox-y.  I was out to have fun and a superstorm of rape-culture just hit.  But then…

“Wait….the bucking bronco is a rape joke?”

Ugh…..my response?  “You make a joke about not allowing a women to stop sex, forcibly continuing sex, about humiliation and degradation.  What about that is not a rape joke? I understand that it is a joke, but what’s behind that joke? Other then degrading someone?”

tumblr_mms6kxk7771qaedvuo3_r1_250

He apologized and walked away with a genuine look of “oh, shit, I never actually thought about that.”  I hope he actually did think about it.  IDK.  But then he turned off Tosh.0 and put on a replay of the Hawks/Wings game from Wednesday.

Anyway, me and boyfriend continued a bit of the conversation about rape jokes.  I challenged him to tell me a joke made by a woman that degrades men sexually, in the act of sex not just a small penis joke.  He could not.  Anyway that conversation ended and we moved on and the night ended on a high note.

But that was a day in the life of rape culture.  I hope you enjoyed it.

Don’t be scared! It’s just Political Dissent!

In case anyone is living in a hole and doesn’t already know this, NATO is in my lovely town of Chicago this week!  And, for us citizens of Chicago, that means that downtown is essentially shut down.  There are cops on every street corner.  Surveillance  helicopters EVERYWHERE.  Fighter plane “demonstrations.”  Highway and train shut downs.  Security searches on suburban trains.  Museum and park shutdowns.  And essentially life is hardly allowed to go on so that we can try to convince the world that we are a successful and metropolitan city for the ages!

Yes well.  That’s special.

The shut downs and 10 millions + dollars spent on security has been related to the Occupy Movement and planned protests for this week.

(Credit to 1070 WINA News Radio)

I will be honest.  I am pretty biased here.  I’ve been to Occupy Marches and support the spirit of the movement (I differentiate that from the statements and some of the actual behaviors and such of the movement, but I’ll talk about that later.)  I’m so glad that a new movement has sprung up that questions and pushes the government, something they have not had to do in a long time.

So, back to what I actually wanted to talk about, which is how the protests have been covered in Chicago, reactions I have heard from those around me, what I’ve heard from other protesters, and what I actually saw while I was down there.

The media coverage and the general population’s reaction go pretty much hand in hand.  Everywhere I went, starting in about February/March when things began to fall in place for the NATO Summit, people were talking about how terrible it was going to be, the predicted riots, the shut downs, the arrests, the anarchy.  People living along Michigan and near McCormick Place were encouraged to leave for the week.  They expected the CTA to be, I don’t know, bombed or something.  Up to and during the Summit, the protesters were made to be feared.

-I’ll stop to make yet another aside.  I know, I’m sorry, this is how my mind works; it’s disorganized.  I have to acknowledge Chicago’s rough history with protesters.  I’ll point out the Haymarket Riots, 1968 DNC Convention, the Division Street Riots just to point out a few.  You get the idea.  We really don’t have a good track record.

So, starting Thursday and Friday, when the NATO members and ambassadors and dignitaries and all these other important people were coming to Chicago, along with them came riot police, everyone within three states that was in even barely trained in crowd control, surveillance helicopters, Big Brother Boxes, Paddy Wagons lined up for miles.  I hope you’re forming a great picture of all of this.  On the other side of all of the cops were thousands of protesters.  Hanging out with their signs.  Chanting, singing, angry, but excited to be there.

Credit to Time Magazine Newsfeed*

By the end of the day, a few people were arrested and detained.  No major calamities or clusterfucks.  There are always going to be a few people arrested, whether they deserved it or not.  From what I understand, everyone who was detained was let go–I’ll get to the three Bridgeporters who were arrested for “terrorism” *facepalm.

Saturday began with a march on Mayor Rahmmy’s house (I fucking hate him.  I will be completely clear on that.  No gray area.  All hate.) in protest of his massive cuts on Mental Health Care, including shutting down half of the city’s clinics for the most severely disordered.  Fuck.  What was the logic behind this in the first place?  Oh yeah, none ’cause he’s an ass and doesn’t need logic.  From what I saw and heard, this went really well.  I hope he was there and he was so pissed off! lolz.  But no damage done.

From there they kept marching along.  They did really look intimidating.  Thousands of people marching down the street in protest.  Personally, I describe that as beautiful.  Not intimidating.  A beautiful and perfect picture of thousands of people gathering to communicate their discontent with the status quo.  I suppose I understand why that would be intimidating.  But still find it inspiring.

(Credit to the Inquirer news)

On Sunday I spent a good chunk of my morning and afternoon at Grant Park checking out the speeches and seeing what all was going on.   By this time, I was hearing from just about everyone around me about how terrible the protesters were being and how terrified they all were.  I did my best to spread the love and be all “don’t believe everything you hear.”  Because the media was exploding some things (I promise I’m getting to the Bridgeport thing!).  But when I went, honestly, it was mostly all chill.  People were talking, dancing, debating.  Partly because this has turned into a bit of a pop culture thing, partly because most people who jump on the protest bandwagon have no idea what they’re talking about and just want to be counter-culture, there were a ton of people who were just talking nonsense.  I mean, really, people were at the same time preaching anarchy and socialism and I have to this:

But the people were well meaning despite much idiocy.  The overall theme was: fucking government answer our questions, be responsible, check your fucking priorities.  Anytime you get more than 2 people together, the message gets muddled.  When you get several thousand, the message gets super muddled.  I encourage people to look at the big picture of this movement, which is to keep the government in check, use this stage to make a statement that the people are paying attention and demand to be heard.

Like I said, most of the people were under control and happy, openly talking, wanting to be there, and excited to be part of something.  There were, of course, people that wanted more.  People that thought destruction and aggression were better ways to be organized.  Luckily, it looks like (I bit my tongue a bit because it’s not over yet and as I write this it downtown could be exploding.), those people were kept in check.  But they let themselves be known.  Instead of jeans and t-shirts or hippy clothes, they chose to wear full black pants, hoodies, masks, face coverings.  They reminded me of the North Irish during The Troubles in the 70’s.  That’s never a good thing.  They made a spectacle of not wanting to be photographed (ha, sorry ’bout that) and not wanting people in on what they were doing.  They seemed to be looking to make a name for themselves.  But people were easily bored by them.  I mean, would you rather chat politics with theses people:

Or these people:

(yes, my photos from that day.)

But, it seems that all things are really going okay with the NATO protests.  Yes, a few arrests.  Yes, some disorder.  But, overall, it was a happy experience.  Anywhere there is a protest, there will be idiot throwing in half-baked ideologies, violence, and misinformation on level with the mass media.  However, it is important that we recognize the real force behind the protests, the need for change and the need for people’s voices to be recognized.  So, march on bitches!  Tell those fuckers what you think!  And take the stage of the world.  But, also, put on your best face if you want to be taken seriously.

Ok, so I’m not going to talk about the Bridgeport Case. I’m sleepy.  But now you just have something to look forward to later!  I hope you’re just dying to hear my pointless rant on that!

**Forgot to Add the best image of the day!  For you, amatorium.

Oh I have missed you, outside world!

I have been pretty much completely shut off from the world over the last 3 weeks.  Finals, Competency Exams, and IRB processing all collided and nearly comatized me.  😦

But I’m okay now!  Huzzah!  And so much is going on that I must catch up on!  I’m so excited to write and rant again!

Give me a moment to catch up with the world.  But, I really really need to share this video clip with the world.  Because it is awesome.  I have been a long-time fan of Shepard Smith.  But, this, it made me swoon.  ❤  U Shep!

Paternal Attachment–I created a Professor “oh crap” moment. Sorry :(

I just received a really fantastically awkward response to a question about the absence of fathers in attachment theory.  Anyone who has read a bit of attachment theory quickly realizes that most authors are talking only about mothers.  The pressure is placed on the mother to create a secure attachment, to ensure that they provide the ideal level of boundaries and warmth.  I’m not going to go over all the 4 levels of attachment, but suffice it to say, it is a difficult balance to define and for a woman to enact.  Many parents achieve this with little difficulty (yay for them!)  Psychologists tend to pathologize all everything except secure attachments.  (wiki-link, if you’re curious to want more! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attachment_theory) In my opinion, children and adults are more adaptable and resilient than we give them credit for.   But even outside of psychology, culture gives mothers the responsibility of creating the early blueprint for attachment.  The relationship with the father is considered tertiary, consequential.  Short of outright abuse, anything the father does is juuuuust fiiiiiiiine.

The field of attachment research focuses almost solely on mothers.  We have a ton of information on how mothers attach to their children and a massive lacking of information about fathers.  A few people have attempted to explore how fathers form bonds with their children, but this collection of research is very, very small.  The field of psychology and relationship science instead assumes that paternal attachment is just the same.  The problem with this is that we simply don’t know.  It is worth exploring but it is not being really explored.

I brought up this issue in class after watching a video clip on corrective attachment therapy. This type of therapy is primarily applied when an infant is diagnosed with Failure to Thrive and no biological/medical base can be identified.  Failure to Thrive occurs when a child and parent have no attachment, are out of tune with one another, the parent is not meeting the child’s need for security.  This failure of relationship result in the child not eating or taking in nutrition or not sleeping.  The child does not grow.  FTT does not occur only in first days/weeks of life, but can appear age 3 or even older.  It creates a great deal of disruption in the entire household, especially if two parents are involved.  The video we watched and every discussion I’ve ever had on this topic throughout multiple classes, revolves around the mother.  Treatment revolves primarily around the mother, teaching the mother how to appropriately respond and build an empathetic connection with the child.

So, in my infinite curiosity, I inquired as to why the fathers were not more involved.  They were obviously involved and equally as disengaged from the child.  At least one of the families featured involved two working parents.  Why is the father’s lack of attachment not emphasized.  I received a very bumbling and unsatisfying answer that mentioned the working father, the importance of the “feeding relationship” (think breast feeding–even though few mothers currently breast feed), the father not wishing to create more tension in the family.  To my prof’s credit, he acknowledged that this was an area that was lacking, but he came back around to excusing that.  At no point did he imply, yeah dads need to be involved!  They can have bad attachments too!  I followed up by stating that it seemed father’s were excused in their Ego-Centric level of awareness with their child, and that it is accepted or expected that fathers relate to their children in this way.  Again, I received more bumbling and nothing resembling a satisfying answer.

Poor guy.  He went out of his way to inject “father” every time he said “mother” and tried to inject some comments about patriarchy for the rest of the lecture.  I felt kind of awkward as he answered the question, as awkward as I was annoyed.  It was a clear moment of “oh crap I have a feminist in my class!  What do I doooooo?”  But the field of psychology and attachment are dripping with misogyny.  Hell when you break it down the whole field was created by men to control and condemn women’s natural impulses and urges.  Fucking Freud.

This just in!

Rick Santorum proposes that women report each menstrual cycle to the federal government and be jailed until they conceive a child.  Santorum states that every time a woman has her period she is aborting a potential life and this kind of “lifestyle convenience” can no longer be tolerated if we hope to keep our Christian nation strong.

Later in his speech, he continued to press the importance of small government.Image *

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Haha!  Just kidding.  But it sounds like something he’d say.

Get Rick Santorum Out of My Fucking Vagina!

Everytime I read the news I see some new article about Rick Santorum thinks he owns my lady bits!  In all fairness, this is not entirely him.  The anger and agitation and proposed legislation that inspired this post comes from a plethora of sources, including Obama’s caving to a 5 man “expert witness panel” on Healthcare Access.  (And yes, contraception is a matter of healthcare).  However, I like to put a face on my Rage–a Rageface, if you will–and this issue’s Rageface is Rick Santorum.

I feel like I’m in a fucking time warp/Twilight Zone whereI have to go to a back alley to getan abortion.  Where I have to prove I deserve an abortion because I was raped–though in fairness, Santorum still wouldn’t let me have one.  This was only reinforced when Foster Freiss told me to put an Aspirin between my legs, and I will get back to this un-joke later.  Oh, yeah, and in case I wasn’t put in my placed enough as it is, Virginia thinks I literally must be raped before being allowed to have an abortion.  Fo realz.  Viriginia wants to force a woman to have an invasive ultrasound which will require the use of VAGINALLYPENITRATING MEDICAL INSTRUMENTS AGAINST THE WOMAN’S WILL before allowing her to get an abortion.

The whole issue of contraception blew up because of two things:  the Susan G. Komen issue and the Healthcare Reform.

The Komen issue/scandal, I like to look at as a huge, awesome victory for women and for the common person in general.  Komen, although a well meaning institution and one the does a lot of good, is a huge political and corporate institution.  They make a ton of money and cannot avoid being effected by politics.  Their initial choice to stop providing funds to Planned Parenthood was a bad one and one completely motivated by personal politics.  I was so excited that PP clients themselves were the ones to put the pressure on Komen and that it was enough for them to reconsider their position.  I felt it was such a great victory!  Yay little people!  That’s how the system is supposed to work!  No violence, no burnings, just change!

The next issue *le sigh* is still going on.  Fucking.  Fuck.  Is all I have to say about this whole issue of whether or not religious institutions should be required to provide women with contraception.  I just want to scream every time I think about it.

Contraception is the one reason why women have been able to make the grand strides they have in the last 60 years.  Because of contraception women are able to CHOOSE to pursue and education and career and whether or not they want to have a family–an yes, there are women who do not want children.  GASP!  Women who work in parochial schools, private hospitals, etc. have every right to that same choice.  98% of Catholic are currently or have in the past used some type of contraction, yet their voices have not been heard in all of this.  I want to see a sea of Catholic women and women who work in Catholic institutions to march in front of the church saying “FUCK YOU!  I want my no-baby pills!”  It is the rightof a woman to make decisions about her reproductive health, uterus, and other lady bits, not the right of her boss.

I also think I need to point this out, because apparently people think that women only take birth control pills because they want to have tons of crazy non-committed, non-baby making, sadistic, dirty dirty sex:  birth control serves many other purposes for many women.  It is a hormone pill essentially.  It really serves many functions including helping cramps, balancing of hormones helps many other physical, biological, and emotional functions, it can help many women with weight control, back pain accompanying menstruation, migraines.   So yeah, can we get like a doctor to speak on this fucking issue?  One who knows what they’re talking about.

Ok.  This is getting really long and I have actual things to accomplish.  More to come on this same issue. Foster Freiss and his idiotic self as well as the 5 man panel testifying on birth control (because that somehow made sense to our backwards ass country).  Until then, I present you with The Sacred Whore, Sheela Na Gig!

I also didn’t edit this, so yeah.

Journalists really need to be better trained in interpreting research & statistics.

I suppose I could also have added they need to be less biased while reporting research, but the title was getting really long.

I had a major facepalm moment while reading an article the other day.  It was covering some cognitive research about how people with differing political ideologies view the world differently.  A decent article by itself.  It showed that Conservatives generally have a more strongly negative reaction to negative information while Liberals have a more positive reaction to more positive information.  Essentially they hooked people up to eye tracking devices and showed them 4 pictures at once.  The pictures were a positive/happy/touching pic, a negative/scary/anger-inducing pic, and 2 neutral pics.  They measured how much time people of various ideologies (I can’t remember if they were self-identified or if they actually used a measure on this, I would think they used a measure of some sort) spent looking at the various pictures.  They found Conservatives looked at the negative images longer, while Liberals looked at the positive ones.

So, insert media.  Apparently to a journalist this means that Conservatives are fearful and angry people.  I’m no fan of Republicans.  I’m also no fan of Democrats.  But what I really hate is when research is willfully misinterpreted and/or when people write about things they don’t fully understand.  I read through the article and really could not figure out if this was some crazed reporter who had zero ability to read or write objectively–at which point they should be fired.  And we wonder why people are so ill-informed and dumb.

Just now, I was reading another article.  This one also covered a research study in Social Psych.  It reported that Conservatives are of lower intelligence than liberals and are less informed.  Another facepalm.  Unfortunately, I also read this article.  It actually was really really badly written and researched.  Their definition of Conservative showed a really really obvious lack of understanding for the values behind it; their variables were social conservativism and racism, really? That’s your research definition?  They matched IQ from age 10/11 with ideology at age 33.   They made the same willful misinterpretation of the previously mentioned article in the lit review.  The entire writing was obviously bias, to the point I don’t understand how it got published–oh wait, because the field and the organizing bodies are super bias too.  So anyway, a published, peer-reviewed research article found that people on the right wing are dumb and racist.

But then I went back to reading the actual online news article that covered this.  It reported this as “empirical fact” that conservatives are dumb and racist.   Can we please put together a brief info session on social science research and facts? Correlations?  Everything else?

New Rules for Political Debates

I get really really annoyed when I watch political debates.  Politicians are super adept at avoiding questions and playing on sympathies and traditional thinking.  I’ve gathered that the key to successful political debating is making people feel good rather than saying anything that is true or makes sense.  No wonder we end up with such shitty candidates.  Watching the GOP debate, I though John Huntsman was the only person who actually gave real answers and no one took him serious for a second.  Mitt Romney is excellent at this.  I don’t think he has ever directly answered a question with facts.  When he does try to talk, he says things like “I like firing people” and “I’m not concerned about the very poor.”  Why do people like this man?


So, here is my proposal of new rules of political debates.  In my head, these rules will help force candidate to actually answer questions, thus telling us something about their plans for the office they are running for.
1. Candidates have only 150 words to answer each question.
Justification:   By giving them a word limit, candidates will be forced to get to the point, rather than talking around the issue.  Using less flowery, more straightforward language will also make their statements more understandable.  They have to say what they mean, which means we, the people, will understand what they mean.

2. The moderator may ask for further evidence for their claims.  In this case, they will receive another 150 words to cite evidence.
Justification:  Sometimes, with bigger issues, you need more evidence.  Evidence! Facts! Yay!

3. Points will be awarded for answers based on how comprehensible and logical they are.
Justification:  People should be able to detangle what politicians actually mean and their responses should be based on fact and reason.  Robert Heinlein believed that governments and people fail together when they get too caught up in ideological and value-based thinking, rather than looking at various possibilities that actually work.  Emotions block logical thinking.  Politicians play on emotion on purpose, because it stops people from thinking about actual issues.

4.  The winner of the debate will get some kind of special boost in the primary. (I don’t know what this would be yet)
Justification:  Candidates have to be motivated to win the debate and to be logical and comprehensible, or else they will continue to talk in circles and lie and act all gung ho about things that make no sense.

5.  Who will judge this you ask?  Why Spock of course!
Justification: Cold, logical, emotion-shaming Spock.  He’s badass.

6.  Spock is allowed to phaser those who give shitty answers.
Justification:  They deserve it

7.  A “dashboard” will be shown below candidates for whose watching on TV/Internet and on the big screen behind candidates for those in the audience.  The dashboard will include the word ticker, the Politi-Fact Truth-O-Meter, and will scroll the actual statistics of what they are talking about along the bottom.
Justification:  I realized there are issues with the Truth-O-Meter.  I disagree with it often; I think they give certain politicians a little more leeway in their judgement than others.  However, it is a good general tool.  It confronts the public on straight-out lies and, in this case, would keep politicians honest.  How awesome would it be to hear Gingrich talking about “blah blah, poor people are lazy, blah” and see the Truth-O-Meter on the big screen behind him being like “PANTS ON FIRE!” It’s a beautiful moment in my head.  Now, I don’t think this should be so damn difficult to get the meter and the stats, because we have the internet.  Hire a bunch of undergrad, or even grad, poly-sci majors and make them google their asses of during the debate!  

8.  Candidates will be held to a “5 God Limit.”
Justification:  I would prefer a “0 God Limit,” but I realize this is straight up no possible with out politicians.  They bring god into everything.   So, they will now be held to mentioning “God” 5 times.  Every time after that they get phasered.  Politicians justify everything using religion, even if it has nothing to do with religion.  This is yet another example of depending on emotion and tradition that makes me crazy.  Completely nonsensical legislation is passed every goddamn damn day with the justification of religion and tradition.  I’m sick of this.

That’s all I can think of right now.  Maybe I’ll think of more later.
Addendum:
I have this theory.  (I am a conspiracy theorist and proud of it.)  The US Government has made a deal to let our feel good prez have another term, for whatever reason.  So, they gathered the most un-electable gaggle of freaks in the Republican Party.  There is no possible way that Obama will lose the upcoming election. And, btws, I’m really not a big Obam fan.  But really?  Just look at the other options! Pa. The. Tic.