Thursday, March 26, 2009
This is a post I've been putting off for a long time. You see, the breadth of the discussion is so wide, it is hard to fathom, but fuck it, here goes.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is a waste of your charitable dollars and does more harm to society than good. There.

1. PeTA exploits women. They call themselves a feminist organization but they treat women like a means to an end. PeTA asserts that "Animals are not ours to use for entertainment." Oh, the irony. This from the organization that holds protests involving young women wearing nothing but underwear and nipple tape in a cage with the sign "Chicks Agree: Boycott KFC".

I have no patience for people who call themselves progressive but parade nude women for shock value or as one commentator wrote their message is, "Hey look over here! Boobies! And by the way, battery farming is bad!" Total FAIL.

2. They are hypocrites. PeTA's president, Ingrid Newkirk, will take insulin (tested on animals) but insist that:

Even if animal tests produced a cure for AIDS, "We'd be against it." Vogue, September 1989

In addition, the following celebrities have been spokes persons for PETA despite their use or family members' use of medications that have been animal tested. Many of these celebs are also spokespersons for organizations that actively promote research on medications.

Gillian Anderson: Her brother suffers from Neurofibromatosis and she is Honorary Spokesperson Neurofibromatosis Association (U.K.). Gillian has also lobbied Congress for more research funding and education.

Pamela Anderson: Pamela has done charity work for Liver disease includes American Liver Foundation—Grand Marshal (10/27/02), S.O.S. ride aimed at combating hepatitis C, Canadian Liver Foundation—involved in ABC’s of Liver Disease: A National Conference on Viral Hepatitis

Christina Applegate: Christina has done charity work for Breast Cancer, including Lee National Denim Day—2003 Spokesperson (promotes breast cancer research, education, screening, and treatment with Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation)

Rosanna Arquette: Rosanna has supported numerous causes including AIDS - Attended 2001 amFAR gala; Breast Cancer - Quilts of Inspiration—submitted quilt block for massive Komen Foundation quilt fundraiser

Alec Baldwin: Alec supports a number of charities for AIDS - More information; His mother is a survivor of Breast Cancer and Alec is Executive Vice President of Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund; He also attended gala for Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation to support Spinal Cord Injury charity work.

Jillian Barberie: Jillian supports AIDS research and care, attending “Karaoke Revolution” fundraiser for Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation; For the City of Hope was the Moderator, The Real Deal: A Celebration of Your Favorite Out & Proud Reality Show Stars (12/11/03)

Kim Basinger: Kim is a supporter of a number of AIDS chairities

Kevin Eubanks: Kevin volunteers to fight Pediatric Diseases and Disorders at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles with weekly visits with hospitalized pediatric cancer patients; He also spoke at fundraiser benefiting Neil Bogart Memorial Fund, devoted to hands-on research for the treatment and cure of children with cancer, leukemia, and AIDS

Edie Falco: Edie is a breast cancer patient and has benefited from the research PeTA opposes. She also participated in “Curtain Call for Carolers” fundraiser Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS in 2004 (a service organization for AIDS patients)

Carrie Fisher: As a person with bipolar disorder, Carrie has benefited from research opposed by PeTA. She has also supported charities fighting AIDS as an attendee at the Art for AIDS Charity Auction and fighting Pediatric Diabetes attending the Carousel of Hope Gala.

Joan Jett: Joan supported T.J. Martell and Libby Ross Foundations by covering the Beatles’ “The Word” to support awareness of Breast Cancer research.

Shirley Jones: Shirley contributed to charity auction for Discovery Fund for Eye Research

David LaChapelle: David contributed artwork to Village Care of New York’s Network of AIDS Services “Who Do You Love? Art Exhibit and Sale” and charity auction for Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. He was also was part of the Got Milk! campaign which contradicts his support for PeTA on so many other levels.

Bill Maher: Bill supports AIDS, Cystic Fibrosis & Cancer charities. He also attended “Rock & Soul to Erase MS” party; MORE

Rue McClanahan: As a breast cancer survivor and advocate, Rue has benefited from research which PeTA opposes.

John McEnroe: The John McEnroe Foundation has donated to Lenox Hill Hospital, Pediatric AIDS Foundation

Olivia Newton-John: Olivia has founded Olivia Newton-John Cancer Centre (research & treatment) in Melbourne, Australia

Charlize Theron: Charlize supports Project Angel Food and AIDS charities in her native South Africa

3. Blackmail accusations were dismissed by PeTA president Ingrid Newkirk as "It doesn't matter" so long as "They are on board" (referring to PETA achieving its boycott goal).

4. PeTA's latest antics have included comparisons of the treatment of animals to slavery (12-panel display juxtaposing such images as noosed black men hanging from trees with photos of slaughtered cows) the KKK (dressing in full KKK garb outside the American Kennel Club) and the Holocaust (a display in Germany - banned this week - comparing slaughterhouse animals to concentration camp victims).

Their message has come across loud and clear but I don't think it's the message they wanted to send. They will do anything to cause you to feel guilt, which in turn will hopefully cause you to donate to their cause.

Notice, they are not actively asking you to give up your pets (part of the PeTA platform) nor are they asking the 20 year old men to give up manly meat and order tofu. That seems too much to ask and people might stop donating. And that's all that counts.


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Vaccines do not Cause Autism humor
Love this -

From Overcompensating:


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Friday, March 20, 2009
Faves of the week
First - some news.

ShakesQuill is the artistic/creative affiliate of Shakesville - as Liss, the owner and founder of Shakesville writes:
Shakesville is a feminist blog, and a feminist's blog. It is a progressive blog. It is a safe space. It is a community. It is a blog whose contributors are resolved to endeavor always to be aware of our privilege, and, in moments of failure, remain open to criticisms and suggestions, think twice before responding defensively, and apologize when we fuck up. We expect the same of those who want membership in the community. No one is expected to be perfect; everyone is expected to be willing to self-examine and learn. Forward movement, progress, on cultural, political, and individual levels is woven into the fabric of Shakesville.

We blog about domestic politics, foreign policy, high culture, pop culture, books, film, telly, food, the patriarchy, oppression, repression, religion, philosophy, parenting, not parenting, marriage, cats, why women's trousers have so many buttons, and anything else that we feel like discussing. With photos. Many of them doctored for maximum hilarity.

All are invited. Whether you are welcome is up to you.

So, I am thoroughly honored and more than a little humbled to announce that I have been chosen as the new editor of ShakesQuill. I encourage you to submit your writing and creative endeavors.

And now on to the fun. It's Friday and I thought I'd put up some of my favorite things for the week of March 16 - 20. In my opinion, each and every one of these is worth clicking on. Really.

Here's 9 things just because I like 'em odd.

1. This t-shirt. It's funny cause it's true.

2. This movie. Can't.freakin.wait.

3. This project. So cute.

4. This gardening idea. Clever, clever!

5. This piece of technology. I'll never lose mine again!

6. This statement. I want a poster made for my craft room.

7. This website. Oh, the things I could make....

8. This abso*fucking*lute ridiculousness. Oh, come on. A master's in science? Really?

9. This made me laugh so hard I almost peed myself. And it's so, so wrong.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009
The honor of oppression
Perhaps it is my degree in religious studies.

Perhaps it is my innate curiosity about the inner workings of other people's minds.

I am bewitched by stories of a good hard core extremist cult. I am fascinated by the FLDS, smitten with Satmar, dazzled by Opus Dei, and generally enraptured by various evangelist Christian sects. In which lies my new favorite sociological possession, the Quiverfull movement.

The Quiverfull movement refers to the part of Psalm 127 (NKJV):

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

And so they let that Lord plan their families for them, hence the extreme sized, yet quaint and celebrated Duggar family of "18 kids and counting" on the TLC network.

One of the tenets of the quiverfull movement is that women's bodies are as living sacrifices to the Lord. Their bodies are, most conspicuously, not their own.

If the Lord has seen to give one family more than another, it is only proof of how the woman has sacrificed herself to her savior. As a member of this movement, she not only sacrifices her body to a decades long series of pregnancies breastfeedings but her time and intellect to homeschooling the children with the movement's "curriculum" and her self determination to the practice of being a helpmeet in female submissiveness. Submitting first to her god and then to her husband.

As Kathryn Joyce writes in The Nation, "Women's attempts to control their own bodies--the Lord's temple--are a seizure of divine power." Joyce has a new book out about the movement, Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement which I am going to order eventually to add to my ever growing library of books on cults where women give themselves over to having multitudes of children, are essentially isolated from the greater society, tend to dress in anachronistic fashions and often completely eschew much of modern technology such as the internet, cell phones and television.

Part of my fascination with the women living in these sects is that when one hears an account from them, they often feel special and chosen. The entire culture of the sect is supposedly based on placing women on a pedestal for the submission to oppression. Their dress, especially, sets them apart from the rest of society. The burden they take on, whether of homeschooling their 10 children, of keeping the mitzvah of family purity, of being in a polygynous marriage and sharing their husband with upwards of 3 other women, is, they feel and are told, is a great honor.

I often have what some therapists call the "Heaven's Reward distortion". Sometimes I believe, when I am at my most distorted, that if I suffer now, good will come to me later (not in the afterlife, since I don't believe in one, but eventually, in this life). I live with a distorted value of asceticism, judgments of what is good and bad, not for others, but for myself.

I realize in reading the accounts of these women submitting to the "joy of suffering" that I relate more to these women who live in external manifestations of these issues, than I like. There is part of me that is envious of their situations, if only that I live with the internalization of the denial and cannot leave the cult that I have created in my own brain.

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Thursday, March 05, 2009
Prop 8 arguments
9:27 a.m.

I'm listening to Prop 8 arguments live. It's really rough. I'm glad I'm not a lawyer. The justices are giving the lawyers a hell of a time. They are comparing the taking away of marriage rights to the restoration of the death penalty and how can the death penalty be reinstated by initiative, which is taking away the fundamental right to life, then why can't the right to marriage be taken away by initiative.

9:37 a.m.

Mr. Morocco - The argument right now is the difference between a revision and an amendment. They are basically asking this lawyer to define the difference within the context of the California constitution.

9:44 a.m.

"This is an initiative that altered fundamental rights." I wish I could see the justices. This female justice is certainly on our side. Anyone knows who it is? (btw - Justice Corrigan)

The court went beyond the immediate issue of marriage nomenclature during the marriage cases arguments last May in making gays and lesbians a protected class.

Now they are talking about civil unions vs. marriage (religious). His argument is, if the state is going to be in the marriage business, do it equally, if not equal, then get out of the marriage business and everyone in the state should have civil unions.

9:44 a.m.

My god. I thought the difference between revision and amendment was codified. Apparently not. Hmmm. Perhaps this should be....y'think?

9:51 a.m.

Arguments are around bussing (which I have an issue with in itself) but the lawyer is arguing that the bussing initiative was a remedy, which 8 was not a remedy. The lawyer is now arguing pre-Perez (miscegnation) which would argue that domestic partnerships between mixed race couples and marriage between same-race couples.

9:55 a.m.

Maude I love this lawyer. He's really clear and really confident.

9:57 a.m.

Interestingly, Justice Kennard is being really tough but she voted with the majority in Marriage Cases and Corrigan is being really complimentary but voted against.

10:01 a.m.

Stewart (lawyer) up.

10:04 a.m.

OK, now they are talking about the invalidation of existing marriages and the lawyer is arguing that this is vague and it needs to be unequivocably clear.

The argument is now that voters did not know that this amendment would invalidate previously granted marriages. I wonder if that, in itself, would invalidate or overturn prop 8.

10:13 a.m.

Currently they are recovering the issues of constitutional and governmental structure and how Prop 8 either changed the structure of government or not. It's a complicated argument - they are really talking case law right now.

Oh, and apparently there were 63 amicus briefs.

10:19 a.m.

Chris Kruger (asst. atty. gen. for Jerry Brown) is arguing that Prop 8 is unconstitutional but I believe he is disagreeing with the other anti-Prop 8 lawyers that it is not an amendment. Not sure. Yep. He is disagreeing with his own side but his argument is that it is unconstitutional. His argument is very confusing and he doesn't seem clear yet.

10:25 a.m.

He is arguing that under Marriage Cases, they made the rights of gay men and lesbians to marry as an inalienable right. And now the death penalty has come up again whether the right to life and the right against cruel and unusual punishment (which has been changed through the initiative process) is equal to the right to marry.

10:34 a.m.

He does not seem to know his own arguments. Grrrr. He is really unprepared!

10:35 a.m.

STOP SAYING "y'know"!!!!! Wow. One of the justices just withdrew her question because the atty. didn't get it. OMG he is not doing us any favors.

10:40 a.m.

OK - this is I think the main point which is: why can the court change the people's will? And the breadth of the power of the people is not under discussion at the court at this moment. (Kannard)

10:43 a.m.
Is this a one way street? Does the same standard apply -- could the right be expanded and rescinded by the same process?

How do we know what an inalienable right is? and would anything that could be framed as an inalienable right not be subject to the people's right to initiative?

10:50 a.m.

When is his time up??? Oh, thank Maude. His time is up.

10:53 a.m.

Kenneth Starr is up. He is now arguing that amending the constitution an inalienable right which the court agrees with. They are asking him to now explain why this is not a revision. Ken Starr's voice is creeping me out. He sounds a bit like Bobby Jindal with the sing-songyness.

11:02 a.m.
He is arguing that any inalienable right can be rescinded by an appropriately worded and fully informed amendment.

If the people decide to make a change that is "unwise" they have that right without review by another branch of government. So he's basically saying that the right to free speech and the right to oh, property, could be rescinded even if it was idiotic. Of course it would go to SCOTUS and be "dead on arrival" but they have the right to make bad laws.

11:11 a.m.

"Each of us is a minority of one." Starr. Oh, the privilege.

11:12 a.m.

"We are asking this court to stay the jurisprudential course."

11:15 a.m.

If flattery gets you any prizes, Ken Starr FTW.

11:19 a.m.

What is Marriage has now come up and was brought up by K.Starr. I'm a little surprised that he brought it up. I'm also a little surprised that he referred to the U.K. as "her majesty's kingdom".
He also mentions that the traditional definition crosses all time and place. Um. No.

11:24 a.m.

Interesting, Ken Starr does not believe that Prop 8 invalidates the marriages (18,000) but that those relationships become unrecognized by the state, however, for instance, MA would recognize those marriages. Hmmm.

11:28 a.m.

Wow!!! This was a good one. Ken Starr argued that there was "a swirl of uncertainty when those couples got married" however one of the justices then argued that the court validated marriage and should people now not trust the court when it makes a ruling?

11:35 a.m.

"why wasn't there an express retroactivity clause (in Prop 8)?" Justice believes it was political strategy!

11:37 a.m.

Could he possibly be more condescending? "Fair point."

11:46 a.m.

The court ran out of questions for Starr so now we're back to Shannon Minter for rebuttal.

11:48 a.m.

Prop 8 took away the label of marriage and it's applicability to gay and lesbian couples. It left intact the designation of special class according to Kennard. "Is it still your view that the sky has fallen in?" way to condescend!

11:50 a.m.

Gay and lesbian couples would have the burden of coming to the initiative process as constitutional outsiders. - Minter

11:53 a.m.

Morrocco is up. Gender is a suspect class according to this court. Hypothetical - females on the court are now commissioners. It's about nomenclature - passes. Would this pass muster? Kennard moves the discussion to retroactivity. I think he was going toward the argument of gender discrimination on the marriage contract when he was cut off by Kennard.

11:59 a.m.

Now up - Stewart. She's good. I think she's got a really good point here. She is arguing that Starr's premise is fundamentally flawed - that the proposition process should not allow discrimination.

12:08 p.m.
Eesh. It doesn't look like Justice Kennard is on our side for this one.

12:08 p.m.

Initiative process is a limited power and this court has always had the responsibility to determine where that line falls. - Stewart.

12:11 p.m.

She's really bringing it back around to the revision vs. amendment issue.


Now we wait.


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