Designated Driver of North America

No Guns in Hero’s Hands, but School Shooting Prevented Anyway; Sorry, NRA

I’m sure the NRA is terribly disappointed about this. But when a man came into a Decatur, Georgia school yesterday, planning to kill as many defenceless kids as possible because he had nothing left to live for (Yep. Logical.), school clerk Antoinette Tuff stopped him before he killed anybody at all.

She must have been loaded down with weapons that were superior to his, right? Something waaaaay more powerful than his AK-47 assault rifle and other weapons. Something that seriously frightened and intimidated him, that totally overpowered him and cowed him into giving up his goal of going out in what he thought of as a blaze of “glory.” Right?

As a matter of fact, Ms. Tuff was in fact carrying superior weaponry. She had compassion and words. She was able to reason with him, to talk him down, to relate to him and get him to relate to her. While she talked with him, all the students in the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy were safely evacuated.

So there was no blood-soaked, heroic last stand while the defender was the last woman standing in a field of bodies, bringing down the attacker at last with killing weapons. There was no heroic shootout around corners as the defender kept the students safe behind her while she exchanged gunfire to prevent the gunman from getting at them. There were no gun-caused deaths and no deaths at all.

Just soul-to-soul words.

I’m sure Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association is bitterly disappointed.

Interview with Antoinette Tuff

(Thanks to Rachel George and Polycimic for this story: Antoinette Tuff: Meet the Woman Who Prevented a Mass School Shooting Yesterday)


August 22, 2013 Posted by | * Neo-Con violence | , , | 7 Comments

Right-Wing War on Women: Planned Parenthood Bombed and Santorum Upset at Logical Conclusion of His Rhetoric BEFORE Primary

Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum; photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore on Flickr

Honestly, what did Rick Santorum and his ilk expect?

Wisconsin Planned Parenthood Bombing Draws Federal Probe, Quick Rebuke From Santorum

A small, homemade bomb exploded outside a Planned Parenthood office in Wisconsin on Sunday night, prompting a federal investigation and the swift condemnation of violence by a Republican presidential candidate ahead of the state’s primary on Tuesday…

The explosion happened just two days before Wisconsin goes to the polls in the Republican presidential primary. Before motives were known or a suspect identified, presidential contender and vocal Planned Parenthood critic Rick Santorum moved quickly to condemn the attack.

It only stands to reason that if  you talk long enough about abortion doctors being “baby killers” and pregnant women being “sluts” and “baby killers” themselves, one of your dedicated and enthusiastic supporters is going to start thinking, “Well, if these people are murderers, then they deserve to die. And God has told me to kill them.” Or maybe, you know, just give them a “warning” first, as this attack seems to be.

Why is Rick Santorum “condemning” the attack? Does he not want his followers to draw the only logical conclusion they can from his words, within the world view they share?

No. No, he doesn’t. At least…not two days before the Wisconsin primary. Not two days before, when his chances of winning could be even more adversely affected. Now, two days after…I bet that could be a different story entirely, couldn’t it, Rick?


April 3, 2012 Posted by | * War against women | Leave a comment

Right-Wing War on Women: Or Maybe not Just “Right-Wing”

It seems to me that this is about the most depressing thing I have ever read:

5 Ways Modern Men Are Trained to Hate Women

The horrible, horrible thing is that

  1. what the author says seems terribly plausible, given what I’ve observed over the years; and
  2. I have it on some authority, at least from several men I know who have read the article, that it’s 100% accurate. And these are men I consider very well-balanced and not like this at all.

It seems to be the case that I was absolutely right, when I’ve heard yet another story of some guy murdering his girlfriend/estranged wife — and kids — and then himself — and I’ve thought, “Another twelve-year-old male adult throwing a tantrum and yelling, ‘If I can’t have my toys, nobody else can either!'”

What I want to hope is that the men I have seen comment on this are somehow just the wrong ones, and are just a tiny minority, and that most men can overcome all the stuff in the article. But…from what I’ve seen over the years…I honestly don’t think there’s a real foundation to that hope.

Some of the most horrific quotes:

From birth we’re taught that we’re owed a beautiful girl…So it’s very frustrating, and I mean frustrating to the point of violence, when we don’t get what we’re owed. A contract has been broken. These women, by exercising their own choices, are denying it to us. It’s why every Nice Guy is shocked to find that buying gifts for a girl and doing her favors won’t win him sex. It’s why we go to “slut” and “whore” as our default insults — we’re not mad that women enjoy sex. We’re mad that women are distributing to other people the sex that they owed us.

And this very telling one:

With men, there are some scenarios where it stops mattering how he looks. With women, it always matters. In a comedy movie, the male wacky sidekick can be the chubby Zach Galifianakis or the nearly deformed Steve Buscemi. But if the female wacky sidekick isn’t attractive, like the overweight Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids, then every scene needs to be about how ugly and fat and mannish she is. That has to be the core of her character.

And he goes on to say that if a woman doesn’t “do her job” and be decorative for the men, they attack her viciously. Oh yes. I’ve experienced that, let me tell you.

And it gets worse:

…a man can be giving the eulogy at his own grandmother’s funeral, and if there is a girl in the front row showing cleavage, he will be imagining himself pressing those boobs in his face, with his own dead grandmother not five feet away.

When that happens, when we get that boner at the funeral, we get mad at the girl showing the cleavage. Because we, ourselves, our own rational personality that knows right from wrong and appropriate from inappropriate, knows this is a bad place to get a boner. So it comes off like cleavage girl is conspiring with our penis to screw us over.

How utterly, utterly despicable is that? And he makes a fascinating connection with that observation:

No, this doesn’t excuse anything. Obviously, “She was asking for it!” is still a bullshit rape defense. All I’m saying is when you see guys actually get annoyed or angry at the sight of a girl showing too much skin, or if you see them eager to degrade or humiliate the girls at the strip club, this is why. It’s probably why some Muslims make their women cover themselves head to toe.

In this case, the emphasis is mine and not his. Wow. I had actually kind of thought that already. But to hear a man himself make that connection — wow.

But he’s not done yet. There seems no end, in his chronicle of the 5 Ways, to how men can decide to blame women for, well, everything.

…when we get nostalgic for the past, we always dress it up in some ridiculous fantasy like 300, where everybody is shirtless and screaming and hacking things with swords. We are fed this idea that at one time, this is how the world was — all of these impulses that have been getting us grounded and sent to detention from kindergarten on used to be not only allowed, but celebrated.

And then at some point, women took it all away.

I have often observed, about men as he describes them, that “women are grownups and those men want to be twelve forever.” As men have insisted that we cover ourselves up so they don’t “get tempted” and we should stay with abusive men because it’s our “duty,” blah blah blah,  I’ve often thought, “So what you really want is for us to BABYSIT you so you never have to grow up while we do.” And I’ve vowed that I will never again babysit a man who wants me to be the grownup so he doesn’t have to be.

The article keeps going on, but I can’t stomach any more. I told a friend that what I feel like, right now, is buying a little house in an out-of-the-way place, generating my own power and getting off the grid, growing as much of my own food as I can, and having as little connection to this world ruled by twelve-year-old men as I can possibly get away with.

Maybe I’ll think differently tomorrow. But on the other hand, maybe I could turn on the news and hear words coming out of a male Republican’s or (in Canada) “Conservative’s” mouth. And that would set my tolerance clock right back to zero.

March 29, 2012 Posted by | * War against women | | Leave a comment

Right-Wing War on Women: Don Pridemore, My Grandfather, and Abusive Men

Woman-hater Don Pridemore

Woman-hater Don Pridemore would choose the side of my abusive grandfather

Don Pridemore, Wisconsin right-wing anti-woman Republican senator, would have loved my grandfather.

My good Christian grandfather was abusive to his wife. When my dad and his brother were old enough, they finally took their father out to the barn and told him that if he ever laid a hand on their mother again, they would essentially break every bone in his body. So he stopped hitting her.

But he continued to be abusive in other ways. He was sex-obsessed, and kept after my grandmother for pretty much their entire sixty-six years of marriage–even when he couldn’t really perform any more, and she was in pain, enduring his efforts, sometimes for hours. Her pain didn’t matter. What mattered was that he was Getting Some, no matter what she endured till he did. That was his right. She told this to my mom, crying. She was the sweetest, kindest woman who ever existed.

And she–dear, obedient, submissive Mennonite Christian woman that she was–felt it was her duty to put up with it, no matter what she suffered from her husband.

The man was also abusive to my mother. When my dad went off the deep end in my late teens, squandering all his paychecks on alcohol and women as he had his midlife crisis, my mom did everything she could think of to try to become more attractive to him. This included breast reduction surgery, and other pretty humiliating things. And I’m sure this was the source of her incessant dieting as well. But eventually, fearing what sorts of diseases dad might inflict on her from his associations, and to protect us kids and keep hearth and home together, my mom took us and moved out.

A legal separation was arranged. But even after the separation settlement, my dad slept in his car, in winter, to avoid child care payments. He got bronchitis so bad that he could barely speak, in cold weather. But to him, it was worth it.

Meanwhile, my grandfather’s response to my dad’s catting around? First, that my mom should have stuck by my dad no matter what he did (no matter what the creditors might eventually have seized, no matter how we might have starved, and no matter what diseases she might have caught). And second, that it was really all her fault, because if she’d been better in bed, dad wouldn’t have been forced to have sex with other women.

Oh, I hated that man with a pure and deep hate. My first thought, when my grandmother died after sixty-six years of being shacked to him was, “Thank goodness, she’s finally free of him!” Honestly, that thought came unbidden, without any plan, carried on a wave of deep relief. Seven years later, when my grandfather died, I dressed up for his funeral. I wore the colours of the Goddess (an interest of mine at the time): a blood-red skirt with a slit up the back, a white blouse, and black accessories. I listened to all the sombre Mennonite men intoning what a good Christian man he was, and thought, “If there’s a hell, he will be there. I wish I could watch.”

If I could have danced on his grave, I would have. But his funeral was a day of rejoicing, let me tell you.

But Wisconsin right-wing Republican Representative Don Pridemore would have loved my grandfather, obviously. Because he thinks that no matter how bad and abusive things get, a battered woman should stay with her husband. Because no matter what happens to that poor woman, it will somehow be child abuse if she protects herself. (Wisconsin Lawmaker Says Women Should Stay in Abusive Marriages.)

Funny, Ron. My grandmother stayed with her abusive husband, and look what kind of child they ended up with. In the meantime, my mom left hers, and she raised three pretty upstanding, responsible kids, if you ask me.

I want to dance on Ron Pridemore’s grave too. And if there’s a hell, I want to watch him pay for this abuse he wants to legislate against the women he hates.

March 27, 2012 Posted by | * War against women | , , , | Leave a comment

Right-Wing War on Women: Stupid Senator Johnson Thinks “Getting Birth Control” Means Finding it Mentioned in Web Search

Apparently, right-wing politicos don’t just hate women–they’re also very stupid. I suspect wilfully so. (I almost hope it’s wilful, because otherwise, seriously, they are as dumb as bricks. Which pretty much dooms the United States, unless these doorstops can be removed from office. But I digress…)

Milwaukee right-wing anti-woman Tea Party Republican senator Ron Johnson, was asked “What if I can’t afford birth control?” (This was in response to his vigorous attacks on the idea of birth control being covered by private insurance companies.)

His intelligent, well-thought-out answer to the problem a woman faces if she has no money for birth control? “If you can’t afford it, you can get birth control in this country.”

Um…by doing what exactly, Senator Brick, if you can’t afford it? By STEALING it?? (Yay! You’d get to throw women in prison too — bonus!) If you can’t afford it, you can’t afford it, so if “you can get birth control in this country,” where is it coming from and who is paying for it?

But hey, Johnson can prove it. That is, his wife proved it: “You can get it. Go online, type it in. It’s easy to get.”

Oh. Oh, that’s how you can “get it.” You can do an online search and see it listed there. You can “get it” listed in a search.

Funny, Ron. Somehow I still don’t think that looking at a list of Google results is going to prevent pregnancy. And you know perfectly well that Senator Brick doesn’t think so either. He doesn’t give a flying fuck about poor women, so he throws off this glib, absolutely nonsensical “answer” to the question. He’s stupid enough, first of all, to say such an idiotic thing, and even more stupid for expecting us to treat it like an intelligent answer.

March 27, 2012 Posted by | * War against women | , , , | Leave a comment

Right-Wing War on Women: Next Target, Single Mothers

Don Pridemore hates single women

If your husband abuses you, it's your fault. Smugly self-satisfied Don Pridemore says so.

There is no doubt that the American right wing hates women — women with education, women who vote, women who have sex, women who won’t stay with men who abuse them — oh, you name the woman, the right wing hates her. Except, of course, the obedient little right-wing ladies who do everything their superior male masters tell them, and who spout the ideology like good little puppets.

The latest target on the right wing’s “let’s wipe out all women’s independence” agenda? Single moms: Wisconsin GOP Legislators Go After Single Mothers.

Katha Pollitt describes a proposed bill in that formerly progressive and enlightened state:

…it directs the state to prepare educational materials that blame “nonmarital parenthood” for child abuse and neglect and “emphasize the role of fathers in the primary prevention” of same. Don’t be fooled by that gender-neutral abstraction “parenthood.” This bill is clearly aimed at shaming and blaming single mothers. “Fathers” after all prevent harm to children, so logically the only parents left to cause it are… yes, those unmentionable women who have the babies without a wedding ring to show for it.

Funny how these right-wing clowns all seem to think that every woman’s child is produced by immaculate conception. There is never, ever a man involved in actually creating the child, or if he’s around, he is never, ever to “blame” for the child’s existence or anything that happens to the youngster. And however nasty he is if he’s there — any problems with the child are the mother’s fault.

Always. By definition. Mother=everything that is wrong with a child, every and any time. When these nasties talk about venerating motherhood — they are lying. Every and any time.

And what happens to battered women, who would otherwise decide to leave the abusive man (why, there he is!) and become a single mother to, you know, possibly save her life and the life of the children? Leaving that abusive man was the wrong choice, say the authors of the bill:

Pridemore goes farther. Women lucky enough to have landed a husband should stay with them, even if those men are violent. What should battered wives do? Love their husbands more! “If they can re-find those reasons and get back to why they got married in the first place it might help,” Pridemore advises. Because nothing says “prevention of child abuse and neglect” like wife beating.

Because after all — to HELL with the woman actually surviving and having the right to choose and all that stuff that rightfully belongs only to men! Any woman who tries to claim equal citizenship, survival, and human choice is a bad, bad woman.

And the right wing hates her. Every single one of her.

March 27, 2012 Posted by | * War against women | , , , | Leave a comment

Congrats to New NDP Leader: Classless Cons vs. Classy Libs

This, boys and girls, is how those with no class or couth whatsoever offer “congratulations” to the new NDP leader:

“Congratulations” from the Conservatives [sic]

How those with class do it:

Congratulations from the Liberals

Congratulations to the new leader of the NDP, Mr. Thomas Mulcaire.


March 25, 2012 Posted by | * Neo-Con Stupidity | , | Leave a comment

Right-Wing War on Women: Every Right-Wing Lawmaker Should Hear This

Lauren Zuniga, To the Oklahoma Lawmakers: a poem

“If you want to write your Bible on my organs, then you’d better be there when I am down on my knees, pleading for relief from your morality”

And lest we miss ONE WORD of this, here is the transcript of the poem, from the Life V 2.0 blog: Activism in spoken word

To the Oklahoma law makers who will force all women to receive an ultrasound prior to an abortion.

Why don’t you print out the ultrasound pictures in pastel frames.
Make me take them home and hang them on my wall as a souvenir of the night that is branded like red coals to flesh on my memory.
The night when his hand pressed so hard against my shoulder blade I felt more intimacy with asphalt.
Why don’t ya knit the baby a sweater?
Make me take it out and smell it on the anniversary of this day for the rest of my life to remind me that I chose to be a murderer
instead of bringing a child into a world where we kill people in the name of freedom, but imprison people in the name of life.
You could pass laws for that too, you know?
It’s bad enough that I can still see his handprints on my thighs.
But now I can see your probing eyes scraping across my cervix, tattooing my womb with shame.
Why don’t you send me a card every Mother’s Day to remind me of how wretched I am? Sign it, ‘Your friends at the state capital making sure you know we actually do something all day with your tax dollars. “
Look, I know it can get boring, between the porker’s association breakfasts and the oil and gas industry lunch.
And I know you need something to do, between screwing up our election system and passing off your racism as an immigration bill.
But I need a little more from you than a piece of paper.
I mean, if you really want to show me that you believe in faith, family, and freedom, then why don’t you come along for the ride.
I could’ve used you that night.
After the football game.
Him finally showing me attention
Me grasping for acceptance
Tell me I’m special
So when he hands me the next drink, I don’t look to the bottom of it for approval.
Tell me to scream louder
So someone might find us
Wrap me in a blanket when he’s done
Take me home.
My body a tapped keg
My heart the grimey gym floor after the pep rally
Give me the words to say to my parents when I come out of the bathroom with a plus sign on the stick
And he won’t even talk to me
The school hallway is a canyon
Silence echoes in my skull
And I don’t even know what to do.
Tell me what to do.
Sit with me at the clinic
The ticker plucking away at my innocence
Give me the revelation
That the blip on the screen
Is actually a baby.
Take me home when I change my mind.
Take me to the doctor every month
Hold my hand in the delivery room
I will name him after you, if you will help me do my homework
When he’s crying in the next room.
Give me food stamps,
Pay my gas bills,
Put him in an afterschool program
Where he learns he can sell my pain pills
Have mercy on him when he goes to court
Give me strength when they sentence him
If you want to play God, Mr. and Mrs. Lawmakers,
If you want to write your Bible on my organs
Then you better be there
When I am down on my knees
pleading for relief
from your morality


March 23, 2012 Posted by | * Theocracy, * War against women | , , | Leave a comment

Right-Wing War on Women: One Doctor Speaks, and WHERE ARE THE REST??

If doctors don't speak, we WILL blame them

At least one doctor is speaking loudly and clearly about all these state-sanctioned rape laws that right-wing Republicans are happily creating in their War on Women. Good for him.

An anonymous physician posted on John Scalzi’s widely read blog on Tuesday: Guest Post: A Doctor on Transvaginal Ultrasounds

He has no compunction whatsoever about calling this rape. At least he understands the definition of rape, even if male Republican legislators do not. (Except I think they do. I think these men are deeply aroused at the thought of universal raping of women they disapprove of.) Anyway, this is what he says:

I do not feel that it is reactionary or even inaccurate to describe an unwanted, non-indicated transvaginal ultrasound as “rape”. If I insert ANY object into ANY orifice without informed consent, it is rape. And coercion of any kind negates consent, informed or otherwise.

Doctor? Thank you.

And he counsels fellow doctors on all sorts of means of enacting civil disobedience.

It is our responsibility, as always, to protect our patients from things that would harm them. Therefore, as physicians, it is our duty to refuse to perform a medical procedure that is not medically indicated. Any medical procedure. Whatever the pseudo-justification.

Amen and amen! And he has no illusions whatsoever about the role of doctors in the minds of the nasty Republicans who are devising this state-sanctioned rape:

Fellow physicians, once again we are being used as tools to screw people over. This time, it’s the politicians who want to use us to implement their morally reprehensible legislation. They want to use our ultrasound machines to invade women’s bodies, and they want our hands to be at the controls. Coerced and invaded women, you have a problem with that? Blame us evil doctors. We are such deliciously silent scapegoats.

Yep. That’s it exactly. The right-wingers always use someone else to do their dirty work (and take the blame) whenever they can manipulate things that way.

This doctor then describes several ways that doctors can engage in this civil disobedience. It’s a good list. And I hope thousands and thousands of responsible doctors follow it — you know, until we can throw these Republican Rapists out of office once and for all.

So. One very good, thinking doctor with a conscience has spoken aloud. That’s great.

Now, where are the rest of you, and when are YOU going to fight back against this state-enforced rape and their use of you as the scapegoats??

Because, doctors, all of you who haven’t made a peep since this started? If you don’t disobey these laws or even speak against them — we women WILL blame you. And we’ll be right to do so.


March 22, 2012 Posted by | * War against women | , , | 2 Comments

Right-Wing War on Woman: Lest We Think Canada’s Wingnuts Aren’t Also Trying To Criminalize Women’s Choice

Yep, that’s right. Canada can’t get smug about the absolute insanity being perpetrated against women in the United States. We’ve got our own anti-woman crowd up here too — and by golly, now they’ve got a parliamentary majority.

What that means is that they have more seats in parliament than the total of seats for all other parties combined. And what that means is that they can do. anything. they. want.

Anything. And nobody can vote them down and defeat them on a “non-confidence motion” to force an election where we can turf them for good. That was the beauty of keeping them in a minority government for the past few years: if they became truly atrocious, the other parties could combine votes against them and force an election.

But not now. So what are they doing?

One of their crowd, MP Stephen Woodworth from Kitchener, Ontario, has introduced Motion M-312, bent on analyzing the definition of a “human being” in subsection 223(1) of the Canadian Criminal Code, which says this:

“A child becomes a human being within the meaning of this Act when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother,whether or not (a) it has breathed; (b) it has an independent circulation; or (c) the navel string is severed.”

This motion is clearly aimed at alloting “personhood” to an unborn fetus. This crowd has tried the same thing before, and been defeated. But I guess they’re encouraged by the rabid rage of their heroes and anti-woman brethren to the south, and now that nobody can stop them from doing anything they want — they’re trying again.

Joyce Arthur, of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC), has explained wonderfully how this motion and its hoped-for outcome violates women’s rights, in this article, Counter Arguments Against Motion M-312: “Women Can’t Be Trusted”.

The ARCC has also provided a sample letter to oppose Motion M-312, for women to use as a basis for their own letter-writing campaigns.

So we’ve got our own battles to fight too, to retain our independence and personal sovereignty against the onslaughts of these right-wing men and their Stockholm Syndromed women.


March 21, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment