Dream a Little Dream of Me.

Kymberly Clem – Too Sexy for the Richmond Mall

Gah.  At what point does it become not okay to force your neuroses on other people?

In Richmond Kentucky, Kymberly Clem purchased a dress in the local mall.  The following day, the twenty year old Eastern Kentucky University student wore that same dress back to the mall.  Ten minutes later, a mall rent-a-cop approached her, made her turn in a circle while he “inspected” her, and then escorted her from the premises.

From the Richmond Register:

“He made me turn all the way around while he stared me up and down,” Kymberly said. “The only thing he said was that other people didn’t like the way I looked, so he wanted me to leave.”

The guard also said several women had complained because their husbands were staring at her, she said.

That’s right.  If you turn the head of some prudish old church lady’s husband, you’re too sexy for the Richmond Mall.

Even the people coming to her defense are just not getting it, though.

Her sister Kendra is quoted in the article, thus:

“It’s discrimination and she has the right to wear what she wants. We’re just trying to make people understand that you can’t (discriminate). I think as Americans, we have the right to wear what we would like as long as we are not showing any private body parts.”

Why the final caveat?  Why is there the presumption that showing “private” body parts in our society is inherently negative?

Similarly, a local blogger comments with the presumption that the body is to be hidden away, that nudity is intrinsically bad:

“It was short, but showed nothing that is illegal to show. Personally, I’ve seen worse on Eastern’s campus than what this young lady was wearing.”

“Worse”?  Define “worse” for me.  And why is your definition of “worse” any better than mine, or Kate’s, or Kymberly’s or Lenny’s Pizza Delivery Guy’s?

Some days, I just want to scream.

UPDATE: Elizabeth does a wonderful job of articulating exactly what’s wrong with this picture.  Don’t miss Michael’s comment, immediately following.

Filed under: Censorship, Equality, Fashion, Fundies, Rants, Religion, , , , ,

Thought Police Making Inroads

That thought is not permitted, Mr Smith., by suburbanbloke @ FlickrA peek above our garters to Viviane for this:

PITTSBURGH – Karen Fletcher, the Donora, Pennsylvania woman who ran the RedRoseStories.com Website, which the government charged contained obscene text pieces involving sex with and torture of underage characters, today pleaded guilty to six counts of “using an interactive computer service to distribute obscene materials.”

Fletcher, whose site had 29 subscribers worldwide and charged $10 per month for access – then her sole source of income – received, under a plea agreement worked out between U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan’s office, Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman and Trial Attorney Michael Yoon, both of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) of the Justice Department, and defense counsel Jerry Mooney and Lawrence W. Walters, a sentence of five years’ probation, including six months of house arrest with electronic monitoring, plus a $1,000 fine. U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti pronounced the sentence, and could have imposed as much as five years in prison, but the government agreed that such a sentence was not appropriate.

What’s really disturbing about this is that the court is deciding that written words can be deemed obscene, and that you, and I, can go to jail for writing down the things in our heads.  We don’t have to act on them, we don’t even have to want to act on them.  We write them down, we go to jail because somebody else finds them disturbing or offensive.

Not sexual images of underaged children.  Not threats.  Not descriptions of actual events.  Just thoughts in our heads unapproved by the state.  Under such a ruling, Lolita would land Nabokov in jail.  Didn’t we already fight this battle?  Oh yeah, we did.  Timothy Sandefur has the legal dissection over at Freespace.

Most of all, given the fact that the written stories in question are unquestionably fictitious, it’s hard not to see these prosecutions as simple moralizing: as attempts, in the Osborne Court’s words, at paternalistically controlling the heads of the people who write these stories. Now, the general public may find such stories highly offensive, but that is not gounds for prosecuting them. Just about everybody has some sexual fantasy or other that they would be extremely embarrassed to make public—fantasies they would never act out in real life.

My thoughts exactly.  But only of course, if the state approves them.

From whence came the art:

That image is titled That thought is not permitted, Mr Smith., by suburbanbloke, and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 license.

Filed under: Censorship, Education, Erotica, Literature, Literature and Literotica, Politics, Rants, Sex, , , , , ,

Lavonia, Georgia: No Strippers, No Water, No Integrity

MG_3019.JPG by real_deth @ Flickr

UPDATE: Elizabeth is also outraged and appalled.

Second UPDATE: Belfair Washington shuts down bikini coffee shop – “The county says the barely covered baristas were erotic entertainment, not allowed in Belfair.”  Stephanie Postier, a resident with her granny panties in an extremely tight knot, says, “You should have blacked out windows.  You should have an age limit to come through something like this.  This is adult entertainment and it is not for our town.”  Meanwhile, I think her top is cut a little too low, and she should be run out of town as well.

The Christian Right’s Ultra-Victorian masochistic obsession with stamping out sex and bare skin has reached new lows of self-denying asshattery in little Lavonia, Georgia.  Watching these morons cut off their noses to spite their scowling faces would be comical, were it not for the fact they seek to force the rest of us to join them in their retarded self-flagellism.

Via the Independent Mail, cometh the words of the Top Tard hisself, Mayor Ralph Owens:

“Several months ago, I proposed we take our reserve fund and pay off the bond fund for the water treatment plant upgrade, which would have resulted in a savings of over $1.2 million dollars in interest payments,” Owens began. “Since then, the city was offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get rid of a very undesirable business in Lavonia. The transaction has now been finalized, and we can make history for our city. By purchasing the Cafe Risque property, the city can now rid itself of that terrible business and the awful (Interstate 85) billboard blight (of advertisements for the café).”

The town has been collectively wanking off for years at the thought of those naked bodies out by the interstate interchange.  The club owner, Jerry Sullivan, opened his doors in ’01, and the doors stayed open right up until this past week, two years after his death.

The Independent Mail gets in a few aspersions, cheap shots tossed at a guy who can’t defend himself because he’s dead, accusing Mr. Sullivan of deceiving the City about what sort of (legal either way) business he was intending to open.  I suppose we should just take the word of the reporter for that, beings that he seems to have gotten his information from an obviously objective city council member – that one over there – the one with the really big torch.

What is apparently the tale of city council member David Howell is passed off as fact, without any evidence whatever that the reporter bothered to look any further.  It’s unsurprising that such mindless parroting of authority passes for journalism in the Orwellian America of the Bible Belt, but still depressing.

The heirs of the club eventually decided to sell the club, but refused to sell to the town.  The town of course took the honest and honorable, good Christian high road:

“Then several months ago, we heard the owners were trying to sell it,” [city manager Gary] Fesperman said. “We knew they would never sell it to us, but a third party, who does not want to be identified, offered to buy it for us. Just before noon (Tuesday) we closed on the property, and the keys were turned over to us. They (former Cafe Risque owners) won’t find out until (today) who really bought it.”

The town’s first order of business upon surreptitiously gaining title to the establishment?  Round up the villagers and light the torches.  The Independent Mail even has pictures of this glorious moment in Lavonia History, so check them out!

The news resulted in cheers and a standing ovation from the crowd, who then followed the mayor out to the Cafe Risque site. There, all of the signage was removed from the building by a tractor, dragged to the center of the parking lot and burned in a large bonfire as more onlookers clapped and cheered.

Rumor has it that the library is next.

From whence came the art:

That image is titled IMG_3019.JPG, by real_deth, and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 license.

Filed under: Fundies, Rants, Religion, , , ,

John McCain’s America

A peek above our garters to Greg Laden for this.

Take a look at John McCain’s America:

At a McCain event in Denver, advertised as “Open to the Public”, McCain’s Secret Service detail had Denver Police ticket, remove, and threaten to arrest 61 year old librarian Carol Kreck for attending the even holding a sign that said simply, “McCain = Bush”.

That’s right, in John McCain’s America, even little old ladies and libraries will be arrested for voicing dissent on city property.  Carol Kreck had it exactly correct.  John McCain does in fact equal George W. Bush, and that is exactly what this country needs less of, not more of.  I shudder to think what he’d do to Ms. Kreck’s library, should he attain the power for which he rabidly drools.

Filed under: Blogs In Our MonkeySphere, Censorship, Politics, Rants, Video, YouTube, , , , ,

Arrest him. The End.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Karl Rove, President Bush’s longtime political guru, refused to obey an order to testify before a House Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday.

Filed under: Politics, Rants, , , , , , , ,

Yet More Editing of Reality

Parodia de propaganda militar en la novela de ficción \

Parodia de propaganda militar en la novela de ficción by Jaume d'Urgell @ Flickr

Don’t like reality?  Rewrite it.

It’s long been the policy of the Republican party at large, and the George W. Bush administration in specific, to screw with science and edit out the parts of it they don’t like.  They’ve done it at the EPA, NIH, NASA, wherever they’ve been able to get a political hack to use as a mouthpiece between the scientists and the people.

It’s very Orwellian.

Guess what?  Yeah, still at it.

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney’s office was involved in removing statements on health risks posed by global warming from a draft of a health official’s Senate testimony last year, a former senior government environmental official said on Tuesday.

The former official, Jason Burnett, made the assertion and described similar incidents in a three-page letter to Senator Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat who is the chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. He then stood with her at a news conference at which she excoriated the Bush administration.

“History will judge this Bush administration harshly for recklessly covering up a real threat to the people they are supposed to protect,” Boxer said.

Only if we manage to get them out of power before they rewrite it, Senator.  What have you done lately to facilitate that?

From whence came the art:

That image is titled Parodia de propaganda militar en la novela de ficción “1984” by Jaume d’Urgell and is licensed by the artist under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 license.

Filed under: Biology, Education, Environment, Fundies, Politics, Rants, Religion, Science, , , , , ,

If We Had Wanted More Republicans…

Please follow directions. by tread @ Flickr

Please follow directions. by tread @ Flickr

…we’d have voted for them, damn it.  We didn’t.  We voted for you.

In 2006, We The People of the United States of America, as a group, decided we had finally had enough of the raping of the Constitution by the Republican party.  In no uncertain terms we threw them down from their high and lofty pedestal of power, from whence they had been dictating this republic into a theocracy.

It should have told you something.  Apparently, you’re as deaf as a rock to the subtleties of a sea-change election.  Let me make this a little more clear for you then.

Stop.  Get up off your knees, Congresspeople and Senators of These United States.  The time for sychophancy and capitulation is long over.  The man in the White House is no longer the defacto dictator in these parts.  You are not required to march to the beat of his drum.

Get us out of Iraq.  Now.  Not later.

Desist supporting the hair-brained religious pandering, the head-in-the-sand sex mis-education programs, the promotion of mythology over reality, and the invasion of our most intimate moments.  Get out of our bedrooms, and get Jesus out of our legal system, our marriage laws, and our taxpayer supported programs.  Bring back the secular republic our forefathers bled and died for, and so meticulously set up for us.

End the “Domestic Surveillance Program“, which is clearly a violation of the Constitution.  You remember that thing, right?  The piece of paper that stands as a wall betwixt us and him?  The supreme law of the land that he’s been ignoring since he took up residency in the nation’s capital?  Remember that?  Remember your promises to us that you would put an end to his shredding of the contents of that document?

Apparently, a bunch of you forgot all that stuff, that cool November night the election results came in.

Fortunately, we didn’t.  And equally fortunately, some of us are about to remind you.

From whence came the art:

That image it titled Please follow directions, by tread, and is licensed by the artist under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 license.

Filed under: Antiscience, Biology, Education, Equality, Fundies, Peace, Politics, Rants, Religion, Science, Sex, , , , , , , ,

A Fitting Tribute to Caesar

Morph: George W. Bush and Nero, Wm Jas @ Flickr

I love the Beeb.

A citizens group in San Francisco wants to pay an ironic tribute to President George W Bush when he leaves office – by naming a sewage plant after him.

The group, calling itself the Presidential Memorial Committee of San Francisco, wants the issue voted on at this November’s election.

“It’s important to remember our leaders in the right historical context,” said petition organiser Brian McConnell.

’tis an entirely fitting tribute to His Holiness, The Glorified Houseplant Who Would Be Caesar.  He’ll be leaving many years worth of shit to clean up.

I ❤ ‘Frisco.

From whence came the art:

:That image of His Holiness, The Glorified Houseplant Who Would Be Caesar is titled Morph: George W. Bush and Nero, and was created using Morpher by Flickr user Wm Jas:

Filed under: Antiscience, Entertainment, Fundies, Humor, Politics, Rants, Religion, Time Sink, , , , ,

Some Annoyances and Some Improvements

Ditching Yahoo!

Ditching Yahoo!

I’m really liking some of the changes I’m seeing to FireFox and its addons, to WordPress, and a few related notes.

Sage for Firefox is the feed reader I use, and there’ve been some improvements that I’m really grooving to, like the transparent RSS indicator in the top right corner of whatever page I’m reading.  I don’t usually like that kind of thing, but it’s a nice touch.

WordPress has been making major improvements to the dog of User Interface they put out recently, and I’m liking it much better.  They changed the way the image insertion works, and it took some getting used to, but I’m liking it.  It’s a time saver now that I’m getting the hang of it and they’re working the bugs out of it.  They finally implemented the captions box, and it works for the most part.  My only big bitch left on that?

The fracking thing erases my first paragraph when I insert an image at the beginning of a post.  That. Is. Really. Annoying.  WordPress!  PLEASE FIX THAT SOON!  kthnxbi.  (Crap, I forgot about it AGAIN, and it just dumped my first paragraph.  Crap, crap, crap.)  (Also, I’d like a little more control over color and font of the caption box, if that’s not too much trouble – transparent box should be an option…)

And that brings me to Yahoo!.  Jerks.

(Flames fly below the fold)

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: About, Rants, Testing, WordPress, , ,

Can They Sink Any Lower?

A peek above our garters to Thomas Brock of Bloviations, who turned us on to this story via Twitter.

Faux News, asshat mouthpiece for the far right wing nutters, is rather well known for its utter contempt of reality, but there are still a few people who consider it a legitimate news source.  Yeah, I don’t understand it either and yes it’s much like believing “pro-wrestling” is real, but just to drive the point home a little further, Media Matters runs this breaking story:

After putting up the photos of Steinberg and Reddicliffe, Fox & Friends also featured a photograph of Steinberg’s face superimposed over that of a poodle, while Reddicliffe’s face was superimposed over that of the man holding the poodle’s leash.

Below is a screenshot of Fox & Friends featuring the photo it used of Steinberg, with the original photo on its left. Comparing the two photos, it appears that the following changes have been made: Steinberg’s teeth have been yellowed, his nose and chin widened, and his ears made to protrude further.

And on the same story, read this from the Editor & Publisher:

NEW YORK The Fox News channel has gained wide attention today in the blogosphere for airing photos of two New York Times staffers that appear to have been doctored to portray the Timesmen in an unflattering light.

The photos depict New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg with yellowed teeth, “his nose and chin widened, and his ears made to protrude further,” according to a statement today by Media Matters for America. The other image, of Times television editor Steven Reddicliffe, with similar yellow teeth, as well as “dark circles … under his eyes, and his hairline has been moved back,” according to the Media Matters statement.

The photos appear to have been flattened or extended using photoshop tools.

On Wednesday morning’s edition of Fox & Friends, co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade aired the photos while discussing a piece in the June 28 edition of the New York Times. The piece pointed out what the newspaper called “ominous trends” in Fox News’ ratings.

What really surprises me is that this surprises anyone.  The disconnect from reality and actual journalism is about as big as the one in the White House.  I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

I was tempted to put up the example images from Media Matters, but I think I’ll let you just click on over there and see for yourself.

Filed under: Fundies, Politics, Rants, Religion, , , , , , ,

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