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November 3rd, 2010

Some Political Thoughts

The Rally To Restore Sanity And/Or Fear

The last few days have been busy for me. I had meant to post about Samhain, The Rally To Restore Sanity And/Or Fear and of course the Nov. 2 elections. Bah.

At least O’Donnell got defeated. And while I’m glad that the CEO of Ebay isn’t going to be CEO of California I’m not overjoyed with Brown winning. Remember this is the same Brown that the Dead Kennedys wrote California Über Alles about. (Youtube version here)

One theme that I find annoying is how the winning party is portrayed as seizing control of whatever they won. I don’t think the Republican party “seized” control. The Democrats had an opportunity and didn’t do what they said they would. The same thing happened the last time Republicans won big. Both parties say they work for the common man and neither do. The more elections I see the more I want to vote third party. But then the old argument starts in my head-am I just wasting my vote? After we got yet another robocall for yet another politician pretending to be different Mr. Radical said-”Oh great I get to vote to be punched in the gut or kicked in the balls”. He’s got a point.

And I haven’t even gotten to the obvious fucking with the votes. How is it that the results of elections, amendments and such are announced before the polls even close? Bah again.

Posted by Vixen as Political Rants, News at 11:08 PM CDT

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October 12th, 2008

Review: Obsession Movie Is Pure Propaganda

I’d been hearing about the propaganda movie Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West but was still surprised when this showed up in the mail:

Obsession Movie Is Pure Propaganda

The banner on the cover saying “As seen on CNN and Fox News” made me suspicious right away. The movie does seemed tailored to Fox News viewers. Those that listen to Savage or Rush probably ate this bullshit up.

This movie is such blatant propaganda it was hard to sit through. After finishing it I did some research.

Who’s been getting this movie?

From Truthout:
Newspapers Deliver Millions of “Terror” DVDs to Subscribers - in “Swing States”
“The arrival of tens of millions of DVDs of a controversial film on doorsteps around the nation - but almost exclusively in election “swing states” - via newspaper home delivery continues this weekend, with explanatory articles and subscriber feedback appearing on some of the papers’ Web sites.


The documentary showcases scenes of Muslim children being encouraged to become suicide bombers, interspersed with shots of Nazi rallies. “The threat of Radical Islam is the most important issue facing us today,” reads the sleeve of the DVD. “But it’s a topic that neither the presidential candidates nor the media are discussing openly. It’s our responsibility to ensure we can all make an informed vote in November.”

It was shown on Fox News just before the 2006 mid-term elections, and conservative activist David Horowitz screened the film on college campuses during 2007. An article at the group’s site,, all but endorsed John McCain this past week, then was pulled down. The DVD carries on-screen text near the outset that it is not indicting most Muslims.”

Who has the funds to mail out 28 million copies of a movie?

Neocons, Ex-Israeli Diplomats Push Islamophobic Video
“A group of hard-line US neoconservatives and former Israeli diplomats, among others, are behind the mass distribution, ahead of the November US presidential election, of a controversial DVD that critics have denounced as Islamophobic.

The group, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), is working with another organization called the Clarion Fund, which produced the 60-minute video and is itself tied closely to an Israeli organization called Aish Hatorah.


Critics allege that the movie “Obsession” is “hate propaganda” which paints Muslims as violent extremists and, among other things, explicitly compares the threat posed by radical Islam to that of Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

At least two major metropolitan newspapers solicited to insert the paid advertisement into their product have refused to do so because of a perceived bias in the film.”

Are people really believing this drek film?

From the Huffington Post:
Muslim Children Gassed at Dayton Mosque After Obsession DVD Hits Ohio
“Friday, September 26th ended a week in which thousands of copies of Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West — the fear-mongering, anti-Muslim documentary being distributed by the millions in swing states via DVDs inserted in major newspapers and through the U.S. mail — were distributed by mail in Ohio. The same day, a “chemical irritant” was sprayed through a window of the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, where 300 people were gathered for a Ramadan prayer service. The room that the chemical was sprayed into was the room where babies and children were being kept while their mothers were engaged in prayers. This, apparently, is what the scare tactic political campaigning of John McCain’s supporters has led to — Americans perpetrating a terrorist attack against innocent children on American soil.”

Is there a good place to read rebuttals of the film? Thankfully there is.

From Obsession With Hate’s website:
“Hate Hurts America is a nonpartisan diverse community coalition that brings together Americans of various faiths, races, and backgrounds in a unified stance against hate, incitement, community divisiveness, and intolerance - particularly against America’s minorities.

The HHA coalition unequivocally supports the right to free speech, including even the right of bigots to the same. However, we also believe that while Americans should respect the right of bigots to free speech, we are under no obligation to accept, embrace, or promote their bigoted endeavors. In fact, we believe in asserting our own free speech toward exposing bigotry and challenging intolerance.

The HHA coalition believes that “Obsession, Radical Islam’s War Against the West” is a classic work of hate propaganda, thinly disguised as a critique of radicalism, that attempts to subliminally demonize Muslims and their faith wholesale (read why). The pundits behind the film are well-known agenda-driven polemics who have made careers out of Muslim-bashing. Their disturbing record is clear with some accused of fraud, and others of having foreign state backing.

As American citizens, we are alarmed by the massive distribution of this hate DVD, through 70 US Newspapers in swing states, funded by a shadowy organization called The Clarion Fund whose sources of funding are kept a guarded secret from the American public.”

Their whole site is informative but their rebuttal page in particular is a must read if you’ve seen this movie.

I have a couple of points to add. The movie makes a big deal about religious crazies brainwashing their children. I kept thinking back to Jesus Camp. The kids in that movie were certainly being brainwashed but I don’t see a movie being made called ‘Obsession: Radical Christianity’s War Against The West’

The movie’s attempt to link Nazis and Muslims is pretty pathetic. They show many signs of Muslims saluting and try to convince the viewer they are doing a Nazi salute. The problem with this is many people raise their arm to salute things. Here’s one good example:

President George Bush salutes his overlords.

Should you see this movie? Probably. It sucks and if often difficult to watch without cursing at your screen. Why watch it? It’s good to know what is being sold to “Main Street” as truth. (Is anyone else sick of politicians using that phrase?) If you do watch this film make sure you read rebuttals of the film afterwards.

Posted by Vixen as Political Rants, News, Reviews at 11:20 PM CDT


April 18th, 2008

Pope Blames Pedo Problem On Porn

Pope Benedict

(Sometimes I can’t resist a cheesy alliteration title.)

From France24:
Pope denounces American societal mores
“Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday berated US bishops for their poor handling of the child sex scandal that has rocked the Roman Catholic church, but laid part of the blame on the breakdown of values in US society.

Benedict told a gathering of bishops they had “sometimes very badly handled” the decades-old problem of pedophile priests. But he urged efforts “to address the sin of abuse within the wider context of sexual mores.”

“What does it mean to speak of child protection when pornography and violence can be viewed in so many homes through media widely available today?” the pontiff said on the first full day of his US visit.”


“Describing clerics who sexually abuse children as “gravely immoral,” the octogenarian pope warned that the scourge of pedophilia “is found not only in your dioceses but in every sector of society.”

“It calls for a determined, collective response,” he said, but did not outline any firm action that the Vatican intended to take to purge the church of pedophile priests.”


“In his speech Wednesday, the pope did not outline any concrete steps that would be taken, but urged the bishops to give more guidance to priests, who “have experienced shame over what has occurred.”"

Grrrr. Pope Benedict is at it again. So the problem of pedo priests is decades old but porn is partly to blame? But porn wasn’t as available decades ago as it is today. Maybe it’s the way the church addresses sexuality? Maybe it’s the Madonna/Whore complex? Maybe it’s the unrealistic vow of chastity that priests have to take? Maybe it’s treating priests as if they’re asexual beings? No, no, no. Clearly it’s the evils of porn and violence that is causing, no Forcing!, those poor, poor priests to molest the children.


And to top it off the Pope doesn’t urge the guilty priests to face justice. No, they need “more guidance” instead.

One of my close friends is a gay Catholic man. When I bring up enraging arguments/decisions/comments the new Pope makes he just sighs and says “I know. I know. He’s not the best Pope.” As irked as I am about the Pope’s actions at least he’s not my spiritual leader. It must be much more frustrating to be Catholic and to think Pope Benedict is wrong.

Posted by Vixen as Political Rants, News at 11:59 PM CDT


March 11th, 2008

Another Political Hypocrite

Eliot Spitzer

The photos above are both from the same New York Times story. The top picture I saw when I first read this story. I saved it planning to write up a blog post later. By the time I came back to the story the NYT had replaced it with the bottom photo. I find this quite telling.

From the New York Times:
Spitzer Is Linked to Prostitution Ring
“Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who gained national prominence relentlessly pursuing Wall Street wrongdoing, has been caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a high-priced prostitute at a Washington hotel last month, according to a law enforcement official and a person briefed on the investigation.

The wiretap captured a man identified as Client 9 on a telephone call confirming plans to have a woman travel from New York to Washington, where he had reserved a hotel room, according to an affidavit filed in federal court in Manhattan. The person briefed on the case and the law enforcement official identified Mr. Spitzer as Client 9.

Mr. Spitzer, a first term Democrat, today made a brief public appearance during which he apologized for his behavior, and described it as a “private matter.” He did not address his political future.”


“Though his signature issue was pursuing Wall Street misdeeds, as attorney general Mr. Spitzer also had prosecuted at least two prostitution rings as head of the state’s organized crime task force.

In one such case in 2004, Mr. Spitzer spoke with revulsion and anger after announcing the arrest of 16 people for operating a high-end prostitution ring out of Staten Island.

“This was a sophisticated and lucrative operation with a multitiered management structure,” Mr. Spitzer said at the time. “It was, however, nothing more than a prostitution ring.””

How ironic that shortly after I blog “There is nothing shameful about seeing a sex worker” the governor of New York comes out apologizing for his behavior. He is shamed. But should he be? Yes and no. Yes he should feel shamed for prosecuting prostitutes. But no he shouldn’t feel shamed for seeing one himself.

This story makes me feel conflicted. On one hand I enjoy whenever a hypocitical politician or public figure gets caught. When Ted Haggard got exposed I’ll admit I loved it.

But on the other hand, I’m tired of prostitutes being a scandal. Prostitutes fulfill a need and there work is vital to society. In his press conference Spitzer said the situation was a “private matter”. I agree. His meeting with prostitutes should concern only one person-his wife. If he feels shame it should be shame in dragging his wife through this mess, not in seeing a sex worker.

As these scandals pile on top of each other I find I’m tired of the rhetoric. The shamed person drags himself through the media circus. Sometimes a resignation happens and sometimes not. Remember, despite his gay scandal Larry Craig is finishing his term.

What I’d like to see come out of these scandals is progress. Prostitutes are not going to go away no matter how many politicians are caught with one. Why not talk about the need for legal prostitution? Why not talk about the difficulties prostitutes face because their work is illegal? Why not talk about the benefits to both prostitutes and their clients if prostitution were decriminalized?

Do I think Spitzer should resign? It depends. If he continues saying his actions “violates my or any sense of right or wrong” and continues his history of prosecuting prostitution rings then yes he should resign. He is prosecuting people that he has no problem with in his personal life. If he expanded on this “private matter” concept and took the position that only his wife should be concerned then no he shouldn’t resign. If he took the position that transactions between a prostitute and a client were private and if he began to advocate for the legalization of prostitution then no he shouldn’t resign.

But if past events are an indicator (as well as the NYT preferring to show Spitzer as walking away), I suspect he will resign, the media will have their scandal of the week and sex workers will have to deal with any negative impact.

Bound, Not Gagged has the best media coverage of this scandal because they are covering the story from a sex worker perspective. From them I found this Valleywag post:
Three things you can learn from Client 9
“Let’s be clear: Today’s takedown has nothing to do with stopping prostitution. It’s about bringing down the governor of New York. There are three things you need to know before tonight’s cocktail-party chatter. Most people will get them wrong — and that’s the way the media wants it.

-“Christin” won’t be found online. Don’t bother trolling the Internet Archive for her photo. The way high-end agencies work is the pics on the website aren’t the actual girls. Potential clients go in person to a madam after they make a deposit towards the first appointment. They then get to look at a photo book and decide who to hire from there.

-There’s no such thing as a “$5,500/hour escort.” Agency-based prostitutes who command these rates don’t turn hourly tricks. These are evening, overnight, and weekend appointments. Spitzer wasn’t just “paying her to leave” after a blowjob, he was time-sharing a mistress.

-Could it happen to YOU? No. You’ll never see a headline, “Prostitution Bust Nets 8 Alpha Geeks.” Federal prosecutors, who almost never make prostitution arrests, are using the Emperors Club to take down high-profile clients, just as Spitzer once did himself. Busting a bunch of techies gets nobody nothing. They’d sooner nab the newspaper editors and TV producers who’ll rush this story out today before going to their own appointments. If Jimmy Wales had hired, he’d have saved himself a lot of bad publicity.”

Posted by Vixen as Political Rants, News, Sex Workers at 12:49 AM CDT


March 8th, 2008

Spying On Sex Workers

Spying on sex workers

A few weeks ago Amber Rhea sent me a link to this story:
One man’s battle against Midtown prostitutes and their johns
“Armed with a flashlight, a video camera and pepper spray, the longtime Midtown resident takes the MPSA’s white pickup truck on regular predawn patrols of his neighborhood’s tree-lined residential streets.

Auto break-ins are the neighborhood’s most persistent crime, he says, but definitely not his focus. Gower is at war with the neighborhood’s prostitutes. “It’s the most visible sign of disorder in the neighborhood,” he says.”


“Activists point out that driving prostitutes out of Midtown won’t actually solve the underlying causes of prostitution. It just moves the prostitutes a few blocks away.”

Now that story was pretty upsetting. Not only is Gower harassing sex workers he’s being butt ass stupid. What if he videotapes a man cheating on his wife? The wife sees the video of her husband with his girlfriend on the side and divorces him. Couldn’t the husband sue Gower? Or say a woman gets arrested for prostitution who wasn’t a sex worker at all. Say she’s just dressed up sexy to go to a bar with friends? Couldn’t she sue him as well?

But I didn’t blog about the story right away. Life, as it tends to do, got busy and I forgot all about it.

Luckily Amber didn’t. She’s been keeping an eye on this story and just recently sent me another link. Same type of story but with another guy.
Behave, the Video Vigilante is watching
“It was a bright-blue winter morning in this Bible Belt capital, and Brian Bates was happy. The balmy weather conditions, he explained, were conducive to his peculiar line of work: public humiliation.

Steering wheel in one hand, camcorder in the other, Bates slowly drove a white Ford Explorer with tinted windows past a procession of sad-eyed prostitutes. But his camera was not trained on them; it was targeting their customers.

Bates, the self-styled Video Vigilante of Oklahoma City, sneaks up and surprises men consorting with prostitutes and then posts cleaned-up versions of the footage on the Internet — to disgrace them.”


“What started out as the modern equivalent of a tarring and feathering in a town square has become a paycheck for Bates, a former marketing manager for a hospital. Bates still has a regular job cobbling together lists of people jailed the night before that he sells to ambulance-chasing attorneys every morning. But he’s hoping to leave that behind for a full-time career as a public humiliation professional.”

There is nothing shameful about seeing a sex worker. Sex workers of all kinds meet specific needs. Outlawing different types of sex work doesn’t make these needs magically disappear. If Gower and Bates really wanted to deal with these “problem prostitutes” how about being an activist for legalizing prostitution? If these women didn’t have to fear arrest they could work out of their homes. They wouldn’t be hanging out in these men’s neighborhoods and they wouldn’t be risking arrest. They would have better working conditions and likely make better wages.

As an actual activist I’m annoyed that they use “activist” to describe Bates. What’s worse is he’s making a job out of it. Both men have a suspicious loathing of prostitution. Sure there a lots of people that don’t like prostitution but these stories paint these two at practically foaming at the mouth with rage. This makes me suspect that they have some sexual skeletons in their closets. I could be wrong. But in the six years I’ve been working the phones I’ve developed a sort of “pervdar”. People with venom for a sexual activity or fetish often secretly desire the very thing they proclaim to despise.

If I’m right and these men one day act on their repressed desires it is my hope that someone is there to not only videotape their actions but to upload the footage to the internet. Let the public shamers get publicly shamed themselves.

Amber also pointed me to a Violet Blue story from February that relates to these stories. and Porn Hysteria: The Lie of Unbiased Reporting
“Steve Rubenstein and Jesse McKinley are reporters, and so we require that they report and not serve us with opinion, instead. In both articles, slanted phrases such as “dirty movies” were slipped in like a hostess silently sliding a coaster under your drink — blink and you don’t even notice it’s part of the judgmental scenery — when a more accurate term like “adult” could serve better. Rubenstein’s piece went the distance, making Kink’s employees into “manacled performers.”

But the most interesting example was the presentation of unchallenged material in the form of quotes from people on the street as anti-porn pundits — with no weigh-in from pro-porn pundits. Protesters were quoted as saying, “This neighborhood is already plagued with enough violence and prostitution as it is” and “Kink degrades the neighborhood, degrades women and offers ‘dead end’ jobs that no decent person would want.” Such statements bracket the piece — with no counter-opinions about pornography — and are presented in such a way that readers could interpret opinions as fact. was indeed quoted — but only about their use of the space.”

Posted by Vixen as Political Rants, News, Sex Workers at 11:22 PM CST


March 5th, 2008

Clinton Camp Changes Obama’s Skin Color

Clinton ad darkens Obama's skin tone

Found via What Really Happened:
Was Obama darkened in Clinton ad?
“The Hillary Clinton camp has been accused of deliberately darkening the skin of opponent Barack Obama in a new ad.

The controversial footage has been compared to images shot of Obama during a debate in Cleveland last week - with critics claiming a screen grab used in the Clinton has been altered to highlight his race.

A posting on the liberal website DailyKos shows the two images side by side.”


“Even if you accept that as normal practice, its still a dirty one, and it takes on a more charged meaning when you’re using it to attack someone in your own party whos already fighting against a lot of racism in the false Muslim smears, the posting said. This is, at best, the worst of politics as usual.”

Now what would the reaction be if the Obama camp featured an ad with Clinton all femmed up? They could take the angle where they make her look like a ditzy girl.

Posted by Vixen as Political Rants, News at 5:21 PM CST

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January 2nd, 2008

Alternative Religious Parents

Atheist shirt

From Time Magazine:
Can Atheists Be Parents?
“After six years of childless marriage, John and Cynthia Burke of Newark decided to adopt a baby boy through a state agency. Since the Burkes were young, scandal-free and solvent, they had no trouble with the New Jersey Bureau of Children’s Services—until investigators came to the line on the application that asked for the couple’s religious affiliation.

John Burke, an atheist, and his wife, a pantheist, had left the line blank.


In an extraordinary decision, Judge Camarata denied the Burkes’ right to the child because of their lack of belief in a Supreme Being. Despite the Burkes’ “high moral and ethical standards,” he said, the New Jersey state constitution declares that “no person shall be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshiping Almighty God in a manner agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience.” Despite Eleanor Katherine’s tender years, he continued, “the child should have the freedom to worship as she sees fit, and not be influenced by prospective parents who do not believe in a Supreme Being.”"

Wow. This story riled me up almost as much as news of the Satan Squad did. If the parents lose their appeal their child will get ripped from her happy home to be put back up for adoption. And somehow this is for the child’s own good. WTF?

Mr. Radical sent me this story and commented-”You could call us Pantheists. It’s just a less threatening way to say Pagan.” Indeed. I would like to think that by 2008 those of us who practice alternative religions wouldn’t have to deal with such discrimination. The idea that non-Christian parents would prevent their children from worshipping a “Supreme Being” would be laughable if the judge hadn’t used such an idea for a legal ruling.

My parents raised me agnostic and I am deeply grateful. It’s the best thing they ever did for me. My father is a Vietnam Veteran. He was drafted and went to war believing he was fighting the good fight and defending his country. His battle to return alive earned him the purple heart. He also returned bitter and distrustful of the government and of organized religion. My mother was raised Christian Science which left her with a deep seated anger towards organized religion. Neither of them wanted to raise me religous.

My mother told me she believed in a Divine Spirit but thought it best if I figured things out on my own. My dad didn’t like to speak about religion at all. I was left alone to figure out religion on my own terms. I loved this. I looked into different faiths and settled upon my own. When I met Mr. Radical he introduced me Paganism. Suddenly I wasn’t the only one with my particular beliefs.

There is such freedom being raised without a religion. It made me the independent free thinker I am today.

Religious people who feel threatened by other religions secretly doubt their faith. If they were secure in their beliefs it would not threaten them that people thought differently. Judge Camarata is an idiot.

The tshirt pictured is from Richard Dawkins’ Out Campaign. Atheists unite!
“Stand OUT and organize activities and events in your local area. Join an existing local neighbourhood atheist organization, or start one. Put a bumper sticker on your car. Wear a T-shirt. Wear Josh’s red A if you like it as much as I do, otherwise design your own or find one on a website such as; or wear no shirt at all, but please don’t carp at the very idea of standing up to be counted with other atheists.”

And I must mention that Dawkins is one of the hottest atheists around.

Posted by Vixen as Political Rants, News at 11:22 PM CST


August 1st, 2007

Feminism And Being Childfree

Birth Control Pills in Plastic Wheel

From Feministing:
Careful, or you’ll regret not reproducing.

“For once, I’m not talking about the anti-choice movement. American Sexuality magazine has a piece describing one young woman’s travails in finding a doctor willing to perform a tubal ligation on her. She’s in her early 20s, and absolutely, positively, 100% certain she never wants children. Never.

Seems perfectly logical to me that she’d want her tubes tied. After all, birth control is expensive. And can be a nuisance. If you know you won’t want kids, why wait another 10 years to have this surgery? Maybe because doctors are refusing to perform it on her”

I can relate to this story. I’ve always known I never wanted children. And I also had difficulty making a doctor believe it.

As far back as I can remember I knew I’d never have children. I didn’t like playing with baby dolls because it was pretending I had a baby and that was “icky”. I preferred my stuffed animals because to me animals were better than babies. No one believed that I wouldn’t have children when I grew up. My parents stopped mentioning it because I got so fired up when they suggested otherwise. The other adults around me told me over and over again that I’d change my mind. I was too young to know if I wanted children. They knew better than I.

But I knew they were wrong. I learned to keep quiet about it as a girl because children weren’t supposed to talk back to grown ups. As a teenager I was told I’d change my mind when I fell in love and got married. After marrying I was told I’d change my mind after a few years. I was consistently told when I turned 30 I would start wanting children. Since I’ve passed 30 I’m told I’ll start wanting children any day now.

Before we got married I made sure Mr. Radical knew I never wanted children. It didn’t seem fair to marry someone without disclosing this up front. He didn’t want kids either so we’re well matched. After being married a few years we had grown tired of birth control and condoms and decided to find a more permanent solution. Mr. Radical suggested he get a vasectomy since it was less invasive than getting my tubes tied. I’m still touched that he volunteered to do this because not all men would.

Mr. Radical called a vasectomy clinic. When the receptionist found out his age and his wife’s age she asked that I come with him to the appointment. This was the first warning sign. We both had a feeling we were going to face opposition. And we were right. The doctor sat us both down and told us we were awfully young to be making such an important decision. (I was 24, Mr. Radical was 28 at the time.) Surely, we would change our minds when we got older. We should wait until we were in our 40s before deciding to do the vasectomy. Better yet, wait until we were in our 50s because his clients were normally in their 50s to 60s when they got the procedure done. We should have some kids first and then come back for a vasectomy when we were sure we didn’t want any more.

I wanted to scream. Here it was all over again-the lecture I had been getting my entire life. You’ll change your mind. Everyone has children. Of course you’ll want children someday. When you turn 30 you’ll want children. If you don’t have children you’ll regret it when you’re older. Who will take care of you when you’re old? Don’t you want a family? What’s wrong with you that you don’t like children? Everyone loves babies, why don’t you?

I remember grinding my teeth and gripping the sides of the plastic chair to control my temper which was close to boiling over. This man had something I wanted. He had the power to take away procreation. I didn’t want to go back on birth control-it made me cry for no reason.

As the doctor kept lecturing us it become apparent that he didn’t want to give Mr. Radical the vasectomy. I tried telling him I didn’t want children, that I never wanted children, that I was absolutely, 100% sure I would never, ever want children. He ignored me. My protestations made him lecture more.

Mr. Radical saved the day. In a very calm, cold voice he said, “Look. You know that woman Susan Smith? I think if I had children I’d put them in a car and drown them in a lake just like she did.”

The doctor’s face paled considerably. He stared at my husband. There was a resolute look in my hubby’s eyes as he stared back. The doctor cleared his throat and said he’d do the procedure but I’d have to wait in the lobby.

Part of my was still pissed. Why was all my protestations ignored while my husband’s wasn’t? But mostly I was so happy I could cry. Finally, no more worries about birth control! When it was over the doctor called me back into his office. He wanted me to know that many vasectomies were reversible. My anger flared up again but Mr. Radical was feeling pretty tender so I didn’t stay to argue.

I’m 31 now and am still being told I will want children one day. It’s still infuriating and disrespectful. Is this a feminist issue? Definitely. When women’s feelings and beliefs are habitually discounted or outright ignored it becomes a feminist issue. Sure, compared to abortion, equal pay and sexual harassment disregarding women’s childfree choice may not seem as pressing. But reproductive freedom is a huge issue and sadly still unattainable for many women. How can women expect to gain reproductive rights when their beliefs on reproducing are so continually ignored?

What to do then? How can we change the situation? First by fighting for our reproductive rights-for the freedom to have children, to not have children, to have access to birth control, abortion and sex education. Feministing chronicles this fight well. But I think it’s also important to voice our feelings on these subjects. Make your voice heard. It gets tiring repeating to countless people that “No, I’m not having children.” But I do it over and over again. Why? Because as a feminist I believe a woman’s body is her own and she should be free to do with it as she pleases.

To lighten the mood I’ll stick in this postscript. After a vasectomy a man has to bring in an ejaculate sample so they can test it to make sure the procedure was done properly. We were told the testing was done at the nearby hospital. After cumming the man has an hour to bring his sample to the hospital. For most men who live in cities this isn’t a problem. They can jerk off at home and bring in the cum sample with plenty of time to spare. Mr. Radical and I were living in the country at the time and were two hours away from the doctor’s office. You already know where this is going don’t you? We borrowed a van with no windows in the back. In the hospital visitor’s lot we parked, went to the back of the van and got that cum cup filled. We sat in the van for about 10 minutes to make sure the cum had cooled down a little before walking inside to save ourselves any embarrassment.

Posted by Vixen as Political Rants at 8:18 PM CDT


June 1st, 2007

Cindy Sheehan Resigns

Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan ‘resigns’ as protest leader, drained by biting criticism
“Cindy Sheehan, the soldier’s mother who galvanized an antiwar movement with her monthlong protest outside President George W. Bush’s ranch, said Tuesday she’s done being the public face of the movement.”

Cindy Sheehan Steps Down as the Face of the Antiwar Movement
Peace activist Cindy Sheehan has announced she is stepping back from her role as a leading campaigner against the Iraq war. Amy Goodman talks with her about her decision.

I feel for Cindy Sheehan. As a fellow activist I understand a lot of where she’s coming from. When I have been at protests and seen cops hurting protesters I’ve wondered why I was doing it. Why was I putting myself in danger of being arrested, beaten and possibly killed? Why was I willing to stand in protest when a car threatened to run us over? Was it even worth it?

Sheehan says she’s exhausted and I understand why. Activism is hard work-it’s hours and hours of volunteer work, rarely any compensation, lots of attacks from the opposition and often requires lots of personal risk.

Yet I keep coming back to activism work. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sheehan does as well. Why? For me it’s a moral decision. Edward Abbey said “Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.” I believe that and try to live my life with that phrase in mind. To me it would be immoral to not speak out and to not fight for things I believe in. Being an activist is a hell of lot easier that just “zoning out” but I feel I must do it.

There have been times I’ve stepped back. I need to do this to stay sane. Often I’ll work on different causes or do different types of activism to stay motivated. Sometimes though taking a break from everything is needed.

In many ways it’s easier to discount an activist like me than Sheehan. I don’t have any kids in the military nor have I ever served. I’m one of those granola munching, fuzzy leg, Birkenstock wearing, peacenik hippy activists. The pro-war faction throws an insult my way and moves on. But Sheehan?

She was attacked so hard because she was such a good candidate for speaking out against the war. A normal mother who’s son dies fighting in the war. It’s hard to attack someone like that. But that’s exactly what happened. The pro-war faction went apeshit over her, accusing her of everything from hating America to being a media whore. She became an anti-war activist while already in the spotlight. Many of her thoughts and speeches weren’t as manicured as seasoned activists. Her words were picked apart for anything that could be used against her.

I think it’s a good thing Sheehan’s taking a break. She deserves it. She has done a lot for the peace movement, for the troops and for US politics. To me she is a modern day American hero.

Posted by Vixen as Political Rants, News at 11:40 AM CDT


February 24th, 2007

Support Our Troops?

Black mold in building 18

The conditions of Building 18 have been in the news lately so I thought I’d highlight it here. Beyond infuriating, this story is just plain sad. To me supporting our troops means only sending soldiers off to fight when absolutely necessary and giving them excellent medical care if they need it when they return. Why is it that those who are so eager to send our soldiers off to war are so lacking in caring for them when they return injured and in need of treatment? Do warmongers only care about our troops when they are going off to fight? After reading this story it seems that way.

Found via Bag News Notes:
Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Army’s Top Medical Facility

“Behind the door of Army Spec. Jeremy Duncan’s room, part of the wall is torn and hangs in the air, weighted down with black mold. When the wounded combat engineer stands in his shower and looks up, he can see the bathtub on the floor above through a rotted hole. The entire building, constructed between the world wars, often smells like greasy carry-out. Signs of neglect are everywhere: mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses.

This is the world of Building 18, not the kind of place where Duncan expected to recover when he was evacuated to Walter Reed Army Medical Center from Iraq last February with a broken neck and a shredded left ear, nearly dead from blood loss. But the old lodge, just outside the gates of the hospital and five miles up the road from the White House, has housed hundreds of maimed soldiers recuperating from injuries suffered in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Posted by Vixen as Political Rants, News at 7:50 PM CST


February 15th, 2007

Forbidden Sex Toys

Ban on sex toys upheld

So it’s legal to get fucked up the ass but you’re not allowed to own a dildo? WTF?! What a ridiculous ruling. I should be able to put anything up my pussy I feel like be it a dildo, a hairbrush or a cucumber for that matter. I’m discussing this story with Mr. Radical as I blog. He just said “It’s legal to let your children play with poisonous snakes in church but playing with a vibrator is forboten.”

Found via Violet Blue’s blog.
11th Circuit Court of Appeals Says: No Fundamental Right to Sex Toys

ATLANTA — In a unanimous opinion, a three-judge panel for the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an Alabama statute banning the commercial distribution of sex toys, saying that there is no fundamental right to privacy raised by the plaintiff’s case against the law.

According to the statute, it is “unlawful for any person to knowingly distribute any obscene material or any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs.”

Posted by Vixen as Political Rants, News at 10:08 PM CST


February 14th, 2007

The Cop vs. The Stripper

Officer David Park

From Orange County Weekly:
Illegally Park-ed

“No one disputes that an on-duty Irvine police officer got an erection and ejaculated on a motorist during an early-morning traffic stop in Laguna Beach. The female driver reported it, DNA testing confirmed it and officer David Alex Park finally admitted it.

When the case went to trial, however, defense attorney Al Stokke argued that Park wasn’t responsible for making sticky all over the woman’s sweater. He insisted that she made the married patrolman make the mess—after all, she was on her way home from work as a dancer at Captain Cream Cabaret.

“She got what she wanted,” said Stokke. “She’s an overtly sexual person.”

A jury of one woman and 11 men—many white and in their 50s or 60s—agreed with Stokke. On Feb. 2, after a half-day of deliberations, they found Park not guilty of three felony charges that he’d used his badge to win sexual favors during the December 2004 traffic stop.”

This story is an outrage. Despite evidence that this cop pulled over the stripper, pulled his cock out and made her jerk him off or go to jail, he got off. Why? The stripper’s occupation was put on trial and the cop was made out to be an upstanding civil servant. The jury was all older men except for one woman. And tellingly, “longtime courthouse observers have no memory of an Orange County jury convicting a police officer of a felony.”

Is this an isolated incident? Sadly it is not. Police officers are supposed to enforce the law, not be above it. However, until cops are actually punished for actions such as these, there will be corrupt officers who continue to abuse their power.

A friend of mine is a stripper. She called me one day freaked out after being pulled over. The cop pulled her over for weaving. She says she wasn’t and I believe her. She’s a good driver and she had an alcoholic father so never drinks alcohol herself.

The cop admitted he knew she hadn’t been drinking. He asked to search her car and she gave permission. (Something I vehemently disagree with. Don’t let anyone search your vehicle unless they get a warrant. It does not matter if you don’t have anything to hide, it’s the principle.) She sometimes does nude modeling and her portfolio was in the car.

The police officer found it and started looking through it. Blatantly leering over the pictures he made comments about her hot body. He found a nude picture he liked and asked if he could keep it. Then he asked if she worked at a certain strip club. He made it clear he knew the place and knew who she was. She was freaked out that he somehow knew where she worked so let him keep the photo. Then he asked her to autograph it with her stripper name. She was scared that he now knew her legal and stripper names but signed it anyway.

Thankfully, he let her go after that. But what he did was sexual harassment. Did she report him? No, because she didn’t think anyone would believe her because of her job.

Posted by Vixen as Political Rants, News at 12:01 PM CST


January 27th, 2007

Peace: It’s Still A Good Idea

US out of Iraq!

Today thousands and thousands marched in the streets to say End the Iraq War and NO to war in Iran. What did you see on tv? Did you see pictures of the actual crowds? Did you hear actual quotes from the speakers? Or did the mainstream media show fragments of protesters and downplay the actual numbers?

Want to see pictures of the actual protest? United for Peace and Justice has a Flickr group that is getting consistently added to. That’s where the picture above came from.

Americablog also has a good post.

Not surprisingly, BBC had better coverage the US media of the day’s events:
Mass US protest against Iraq war

In the buildup to war with Iran what most people don’t see are pictures of what life is really like there. This website has a short video showing everyday pictures of real Iranians. These are the types of people our government is trying to get us to believe are evil terrorists in their mad lust for more war, more profits, more control.

Posted by Vixen as Political Rants, News, Activism at 8:05 PM CST

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November 18th, 2006

Torture By Taser

Video Summary: An Iranian American UCLA student gets tasered, handcuffed and tasered again by white cops for not showing his college ID. Backstory below. My comments below that.

UCLA Police Taser Student For Not Showing ID

“LOS ANGELES — A cell phone captured video of a 23-year-old student being administered multiple Taser shocks by UCLA police on Tuesday.

The UCLA student was hit with the Taser shocks multiple times while he was in the Powell Library Computer Lab.

Another student recorded the incident on a camera phone. On the video, Mostafa Tabatabainejad can be heard screaming during the incident, which took place at about 11:30 p.m., the Daily Bruin reported.”

Community responds to Taser use in Powell

“An incident late Tuesday night in which a UCLA student was stunned at least four times with a Taser has left the UCLA community questioning whether the university police officers’ use of force was an appropriate response to the situation.


A six-minute video showed Tabatabainejad audibly screaming in pain as he was stunned several times with a Taser, each time for three to five seconds. He was told repeatedly to stand up and stop fighting, and was told that if he did not do so he would “get Tased again.”

Tabatabainejad was also stunned with the Taser when he was already handcuffed, said Carlos Zaragoza, a third-year English and history student who witnessed the incident.”

Watch this video. It is not an easy video to view. I cried when I heard Mostafa Tabatabainejad begging for mercy. But it is an important video to see. Watch this video because reading about the event is not the same as seeing what really happened. There are many versions of this video on the Internet but I picked this version because there are two video responses, one from an Iranian American woman and another from an Iranian American man, that I think should be watched as well.

Watch this video and think about the implications of living in a “Papers please” society. Think about racial profiling. Would a white, blond haired, blue-eyed frat member college student have been “randomly” asked for his ID? Watch a student ask for the cop’s badge number and see how the cop points the taser at the innocent bystander and threaten to tase him as well. Watch how the cops taser a man whose hands are handcuffed behind his back. Listen to the cops demanding this man stand up immediately after they send electricity jolting through his body. Ask yourself why an Iranian American was treated this way in a time where Middle Easterners and Muslims are often treated as suspect in this country by many of its inhabitants. Think about what kind of society tortures people to protect their freedom. Watch, think and ask yourself: Are we really free?

Posted by Vixen as Political Rants, News at 11:56 PM CST


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