Compassion: Destroyer of Worlds?

Empathy and compassion? That won't save the world... Now COLD HARD CASH on the other hand...

September 28, 2011

Compassion is perhaps one of the greatest characteristics anyone can have. It’s what helps us build communities beyond our family. Compassion allows us to empathize with others, to see past our own greed and self-interest, and give help to those who need it.

As you can imagine, the Republican Party wants none of that.

And I’m not talking in hyperbole. Republicans genuinely believe that compassion for others is a sign of weakness. For a party that is so entrenched in American religious demographics, they have a funny way of showing it. In Texas, one of the most red states in the union, we’ve done away with last meals for death row inmates. Why? At first, it seemed as if it was a cost issue. After all, the last straw seemed to be an outlandish meal served to a man convicted of a hate killing.

Of course, the rationale had nothing to do with cost. It was about principle, said Texas Senator John Whitmore. I’ll admit that giving this particular inmate any sort of accommodation irks me, but there is enough uncertainty in the practice of executing prisoners that the smallest bit of compassion should be ruled out. Enough people have been found innocent at the last minute. Texas has executed prisoners and is proud of it. Our own governor got cheers when he said he never loses sleep over an execution.

And people wonder why we didn’t actually put our state motto on the license plates.

It’s “Friendship,” by the way, but good luck actually finding a Texan that knows that.

Death Row by ~skastonishing on deviantART

On the other side of things, Republicans seem positively giddy at the prospect of people dying from a lack of heath care. Ron Paul received cheers when Brain Williams asked if people should be allowed to die simply because they cannot afford insurance. The audience cheered and Paul didn’t give an answer so much as he went on and on about not giving people aid is the most compassionate thing we could do.

Let that sink in. Not offering aid to people, doing things like taking away social security, Medicare, and Medicaid so the poor and elderly die on the streets, is the best thing we could do for them, because letting them die like dogs lets them live the full extent of the choices they made regardless of external factors.


Somebody’s watchin’ me by =GenkiGoth on deviantART

But then, of course, you have Rush Limbaugh. The man is an institution. Or he has enough mass for orbiting satellites. Either way, he takes the cake. Listen to this:

If you skipped it because you were afraid the sound of Limbaugh’s voice might curdle all the milk within two hundred feet of you, he flat-out said that compassion has crippled us as a society. Then he went into full projection mode and claimed Democrats want an ignorant, poor society, ignoring the fact that progressives often champion things such as more education.

Seriously, though, if you can, just listen to this man. Compassion hurts us because we give to those who have nothing and make them dependant. I’m sure Rush would also argue against life guards since helping someone who is drowning robs the victim of the chance to really learn how to swim.

There are times when it is appropriate to show compassion. Being humble, knowing that we might be wrong, is what keeps us grounded. Allowing someone to die when we can, as a society, help that person is cold. It may seem “rational” to give everyone the freedom to die if they lack the thousands of dollars it takes to treat a disease, but it’s not freedom. “Compassion” is not a weakness. It’s what seperates us from animals that just hang around for the sake of survival.

And even though I don’t know if this guy is a Republican, I’m just going to thrown him in with the rest of these evolutionary throwbacks. Why? He explains why traders actually look forward to the economy collapsing and how they don’t want a balanced economy; they want chaos to make more money.


Gay for Truth and Vocabulary

If you're offended by the picture, you should really question your life decisions.

April 13, 2011

Let’s get something out of the way before I start a nuclear-powered rant.

I love words. The written word, or even the spoken word, is the greatest tool at our disposal for the dissemination of emotions, opinions, and points of view. Visual art can sometimes do a better job, but the right construction of words, the right application of grammar and syntax, is a beautiful thing.

That being said…

To the far right movement in America… suck my electronic text, you slopped-forehead evolutionary throwbacks.

The internet, for all its faults, is a forum where anyone, ANYONE, can post an opinion, a piece of art, or just use the combined electronic advancements of the last fifty years to watch cats do funny things.

Three small, almost innocuous incidents caught my attention this morning. My dear enemies in the Far Right (oh, where would this site be without you) did three things that showed me that not only are they getting craftier, they are now intruding on the realm of words, the aether of logos, and I am going guns akimbo on them.

Nuclear Bear _Strahlebaerchi_ by *pilzwolke on deviantART

Make “Gay” a Dirty Word

Please watch this video. It’s really short, but it shows just how desperate the Far Right is to make sure their agenda gets embraced by everyone instead of just white redneck hicks.

This is from “The Awakening” conference at Liberty University. Our dear speaker is going on about how “gay” implies an identity and how renaming it something else will give them edge.

Basically, he wants to make sure the Far Right phrases things in the context of “they must WANT to be gay.”

Among the more tasteful terms they wish to use to refer to homosexuality are – “Same-sex attraction,” “Same-sex intercourse,” “Sodomy,” and “Unnatural vice.” There could a whole article just on each of these, but let me say this.

“Gay” is about as dirty as “homosexual.”

If we need to just go back to scientific terms and refer to people as “homosexual,” “bisexual,” or whatever, fine. We’ll strip ALL the propaganda and tone form the conversation. Let’s see who wins.

And if we’re going to go around branding this graphically, allow me to be the first to stand up to the Caucasian vaginal penetration agenda.

Yeah, I said it.

Stand With Planned Parenthood by ~eclectic-acoustic on deviantART

Fact Are Irrelevant to My Argument

Senator Jon Kyl has a very… interesting concept of the standard debate. After getting in front of the Senate and stating that we must defund Planned Parenthood because abortion is well over “90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.”

I won’t go over the fact that this is a horrendously erroneous statistic, but whatever he might have said (he could have claimed ants invented Telemundo), the fact remains that the crux of his argument was the statistic. His office, though, responded by saying that his argument was not meant to be factual.

But the statistic was meant to illustrate a point…

But the point was the statistic…

But the statistic was made up…

I’m going to stop before I get sucked into a Möbius strip of stupidity.

Let that sink in for a moment. The argument that hinges on a false statement is still valid because… the statement was made. Yeah… I’m going to go ahead and state that Kyl is a pedophile who can’t get an erection unless he kills a dog, because, while not factual, it is relevant to my overall argument.

Ride the Tubes!

The Tea Party is getting some training in internet guerilla warfare. Watch:

Basically, they’re being told to blog, give out negative reviews to liberal films and documentaries, and otherwise clog the internet with as much conservative cholesterol as possible. This is not only a dirty tactic, it’s downright dishonest.

What would Jesus do? Would be comment on something without knowing what it was? Would he lie to hurt his enemies?

More to the point, what do they hope to accomplish by lying, but going to classes where the main purpose is to fool people? Lying can reveal truth if used properly, but to cheat and spew falsehoods for the sheer purpose of making someone else look bad, to spread “facts” you know to be wrong, is the lowest form of debate.

It’s not even debate. It’s sick.

antics number 157 by ~readmorebooks on deviantART

There you have it, folks. The Far Right conservative movement. I really wish I could say it’s the FAR right, but this has some bleed-through to the regular conservative movement. Words have power, and if we let these self-righteous hypocrites hijack language, we lose. It’s that simple.

Link time!

  • George Takei just oozes awesome… and this ringtone proves it.
  • And finally, while I’m not one to go for overtly sentimental films, this one about a poor, elderly villager who returns to school to learn to read got the teacher in me. I’d love to see it. That’s all for today. See you Friday!

Spics and Stones

It hurts if we let it hurt...

Warning: The following article contains terms that some might find offensive. If you can’t discuss profanity like an adult, get the frak out.

June 7, 2010

Words have power. But they’re like bullets. You have to use them in order to do any damage.

Last week, a South Carolina state senator named Jake Knotts was being interviewed on an internet talk show. Asked about Nikki Haley, a gubernatorial candidate who was recently caught up in a sex scandal, Knotts gave out perhaps the ignorant bigot quote of the week:

“We already got one raghead in the White House, we don’t need a raghead in the governor’s mansion.”

Knotts went on to say many other dumb things, but I’m not too concerned with those.

When the story broke, I saw reporters casually using the word “raghead” in their own analysis and reports. There was no hesitation to openly say this racial slur. On the other hand, there are plenty of other words they won’t use. Even though one of the first articles on dealt with profanity in general, Knott’s comments and the way they were covered made me think of the way we react and are allowed to use racial slurs.

When discussing this story, how many people reading this will actually get offended by me referring to the word “raghead”? A few people might cringe, but can I be faulted for being racist if I mention the term?

If I directed it at someone, then I’d be in trouble.

Racism doesn’t make sense. by ~Magggggg on deviantART

I’d never do it, but this is where the analogy of the bullet comes into effect. Intent, usage, determines whether something is bad or not. It’s a lot like science. It’s not uncommon to find anti-science believers who think science has given us nothing but nuclear weapons, cars that pollute our planet, and biological threats. None of these things, though, are intrinsically evil.

Nuclear energy fuels our growing population and energy needs. Cars and other vehicles made it possible to quickly ship food, raw materials, and people, all over the world. The science that gave us biological weapons also helped cure many other diseases and advance our standard of living.

Likewise, racial slurs by themselves, in the context of discussion, are harmless.

Am I still not offending anyone by writing “raghead”? Do the quotation marks make it okay?

Since I’m Hispanic, am I allowed to talk about the offensiveness of terms like “spic,” “wetback,” “beaner,” and a few other choice words? I can still write them, right?

I got a better one. Can I say the dreaded N-word?

Can I just write it?

Right here?


I promise to do so only the the strictest journalistic sense.

See, some of you probably already started to cringe a bit. It makes you uncomfortable. To be fair, it makes me uncomfortable too, but I have to ask myself why I get so worked up about this word but not the others I’ve been using. When discussing racial slurs, some are more acceptable to just discuss than others.

Comedy seems to be a key factor. Chris Rock, Richard Pryor, and a whole generation of black comedians use epithets with little protest. Not that people don’t get worked up, but some people just seem to get a pass to use these words. On the other hand, I’ve never really noticed any hesitation on using slurs for white people.

If Nikki Haley, for example, had talked about someone once calling her a raghead, no one would have batted an eye-lid.

Either we accept that words are words or we agree that certain words cannot be said because their mere utterance and existence is harmful. It’s like the debate over images of Mohammed. The commandment states that graven images are sinful because someone could worship them. If the image is not worshipped, it does nothing. Likewise, a word has no power unless it is used to harm, compliment, or otherwise convey information.

I’m going to gauge our evolution as a society by the time it takes for us to stop being afraid of words.