Live Through This


¡Freak Flag Fly!

#FightWinLoveLive:

Question Are state same-sex marriage policies associated with a reduction in adolescent suicide attempts?

Findings This difference-in-differences analysis of representative data from 47 states found that same-sex marriage policies were associated with a 7% reduction in the proportion of all high school students reporting a suicide attempt within the past year. The effect was concentrated among adolescents who were sexual minorities.

Meaning Same-sex marriage policies are associated with reduced adolescent suicide attempts.

(Raifman, et al.)

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On T-Shirts, Bumper Stickers, and Grandparents


The question asserts itself, and then persists. And, you know, it’s weird how if we bother laughing it is because of the thought of a child being spoiled like that.Grandparenting-lie

But what the hell? We know it’s not actually a grandparent’s job to spoil a kid rotten, but what the hell is up with making them miserable?

And how does this work? Fatherhood is not the only perspective from which one is able to see a child about to absolutely fucking snap. We’re supposed to protect our children from the monsters of the world, not a grandmother who sees that tremble at the lip, that flush of the face, that tightening of the eyes in frustration at the thought that holy shit you mean everything on that page of homework is wrong? and follows her vaunted maternal instinct to push harder.

And we don’t even have to pick on infamous maternal instincts or women’s intuition. This just happens to be a specific manifestation of a general phenomenon, the sort of thing that says nothing about men and women, mothers and fathers, or anything like that. But if we’re so fucking wise, what’s the deal, then? What, you can’t read a face? Or is it that you just don’t give a damn?

You know, we teach kids these days to walk away instead of explode when the frustration builds like that.

It would probably be helpful to the lesson if we actually allowed them to do so.

Conservative Irony: Update


“And this is why we might suggest conservatives don’t do irony well. Sometimes it really does seem like a bad joke, when equality means supremacy, and freedom means the power to strip others of their rights.”

B.D.

Just a brief update on the NCLP, a moronic cohort who believe physical fitness is a religion.

They lost:

A San Diego Superior Court judge rejected a claim Monday by parents in the Encinitas elementary school system that teaching yoga in the schools is an improper attempt at religious indoctrination.

The ruling by Judge John Meyer, who heard the case without a jury, means that the Encinitas Union School District can continue to teach yoga as part of a health and exercise curriculum.

NCLP logoDean Broyles, president and attorney for the Escondido-based National Center for Law and Policy, had filed a lawsuit on behalf of a couple with two children in the school system. The suit sought to have the program ousted as a violation of state law prohibiting the teaching of religion in public schools.

Broyles said having yoga in the schools “represents a serious breach of the public trust.”

But Meyer sided with the school district’s explanation that it has taken out any references to Hinduism and its liturgical language, Sanskrit. Yoga, the judge said, is similar to other exercise programs like dodgeball ….

…. “We are not instructing anyone in religious dogma,” Baird said. “Yoga is very mainstream.”

Yoga supporters noted that it is used at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego to help military personnel wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan recover from injuries and regain self-confidence.

But Broyles said he “strongly disagrees with the judge’s ruling on the facts and the law.” During the trial he insisted that yoga poses are integrally linked to religious and spiritual beliefs.

“This case is simply about whether public schools may entangle themselves with religious organizations like the Jois Foundation and use the state’s coercive powers to promote a particular religious orthodoxy or religious agenda to young and impressionable schoolchildren,” Broyles said after Monday’s ruling.

(Perry)

It’s worth noting that Judge Meyer criticized the NCLP suit, noting the inaccurate information that seems to have come from dubious internet sources. “It’s almost like trial by Wikipedia,” Meyer admonished, “which isn’t what this court does.”

But, as usual, the idea of facts don’t matter to Christian fanatics like Dean Broyles.

Jacked


Flapjack disambiguationIt’s one of those things that gets lost in translation. I don’t know which movie it was, but at some point during the Harry Potter saga, I had to look up the word “jumper”, because it clearly didn’t mean the same thing in England as it does in the States. And so it goes. Lorry, flat, lift, jumper … flapjack?

A school has banned triangular flapjacks after a pupil was injured by one.

Dinner staff at Castle View school in Canvey Island, Essex, were told to cut the treat into squares or rectangles following the incident.

It is understood that the triangular version was banned after one was thrown, hitting a boy in the face.

Americans reading those sentences will naturally be aghast: How th’fuggidy get hurt by a flapjack? And, naturally, there is an answer.

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Conservative irony


Politically conservative groups in the U.S. don’t do irony very well. Or, as Rob Boston noted last month:

NCLP logoReligious Right groups spend a lot of time beating on church-state separation. TV preacher Pat Robertson once called that constitutional principle “a lie of the left” and said it comes from the old Soviet Constitution.

Not to be outdone, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association asserted that Adolf Hitler invented church-state separation

Others have been less hyperbolic but have still made it clear that they’re no fans of the handiwork of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

Take Alan Sears, for example. Sears runs the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the nation’s largest Religious Right legal group. He once called the church-state wall “artificial.”

Funny, though, how that “artificial” wall that the Religious Right tells us over and over doesn’t exist and was never intended by the Founding Fathers can come in handy sometimes – like when the right wing wants to attack yoga in public schools.

In Encinitas, Calif., an attorney named Dean Broyles has filed suit against the Encinitas Union School District, asserting that a voluntary yoga program for students violates church-state separation. Broyles runs a small legal outfit called the National Center for Law and Policy, which, according to its website, defends “faith, family and freedom.”

Broyles is proud of his association with the ADF and notes that he “has received extensive training in pro-family, pro-life and pro-religious liberty matters at ADF’s outstanding National Litigation Academies (NLA). Because of Dean’s pro-bono work, he was invited to receive special training at ADF’s advanced NLA. Dean is proud to be an ADF affiliate attorney and member of ADF’s honor guard.”

Was Broyles asleep when Sears explained that separation of church and state doesn’t exist? How else can we explain his use of the principle in this lawsuit?

‘Tis a fine question.

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Who Would Jesus Screw?


Detail of a Chick (tract)So here’s one of those … er … hypotheticals—you know, a what-if proposition that never really happens, right?—to consider: Imagine a pregnant, single woman working at a Christian college being called into the administration offices to be fired for engaging in premarital sex. Now, the first thing to mind is, well, it’s a private school, and a Christian one at that, so we can expect the institution to have some conduct standards others might find a bit odd.

But that’s where the story takes a strange turn:

Teri James, 29, told the news outlet that she did sign a two-page contract with San Diego Christian College that included a provision agreeing not to engage in “sexually immoral behavior including premarital sex.”

“I needed a job in this economy and so I never thought that anything would happen,” James explained to “Today.”

But James said she was humiliated after being pulled into her supervisor’s office last fall, where she was asked if she was pregnant and then was let go. After James lost her job, she claims the school offered a position to her now-husband, even though they were aware he’d had sex before getting married, too.

(Boldface accent added)

In fairness to SDCC, we should note that the school has not yet acknowledged that they offered the female fornicator’s job to a male fornicator, so Christians concerend about the delicate suggestions of hypocrisy in the name of faith can relax and just remind themselves that it’s a woman, and therefore a slut, and thus is only making it all up.

The rest of us will simply watch, with equal measures of amusement and disgust, as the school tries to talk its way out of this one.

In the end, it’s a matter of appearances. That is, one can see the evidence of Ms. James’ fornication; there is no hiding it. But her boyfriend, now husband? Well, he doesn’t carry pregnancies, so there is no visible evidence, so they can all just pretend he’s a virtuous man.

Or something. I mean, if you’re thinking, There must be more to this, well, there probably is. But nothing says those other aspects are obliged to make any sense.

If they can deliver ….


For my generation, those simplistic “educational” reels alleging to inform people about vital issues have become something of a cultural joke. To wit, The Simpsons, which frequently mocks these films, as in “Homer’s Odyssey” (nuclear power), or “Bart’s Friend Falls in Love” (sex education).

Thus prefaced, I would point to The Stranger‘s Eli Sanders, who notes:

On Friday, in the Washington Post, Washington Senator Maria Cantwell and Republican Susan Collins of Maine, wrote:

    There has been much talk recently about whether Republicans and Democrats in Washington can produce a bipartisan clean-energy and jobs bill. The answer is: We already have.

Already have produced, yes. Already passed in the U.S. Senate? No.

Which is why, with clean energy now at the front of everyone’s mind because of the very dirty energy that’s on perpetual display down in the Gulf of Mexico, Cantwell is headed to the White House this Wednesday (along with Harry Reid, John Kerry, and others) to talk with President Obama about what needs to happen—and what can, realistically, get through the Senate.

Which brings us back to simplistic informational films:

It’s simple: If they can deliver ….

I know, I know. It’s Congress, and trying to be bipartisan, at that. Still, though, if Sens. Cantwell and Collins can bring us everything that video promises, I’ll raise a glass to their honor, at least.

Best of luck to them.