Category Archives: Politics

Ron Paul: The Song; In which we discover my wish to be Weird Al

“Ron Paul: He’s a Libertarian” Parody song to the tune of New Age Girl.

Apologies in advance for how badly recorded it is…  On the plus side, I think I must have a death wish to continue kicking this hornets nest.

Columbia women, afraid their husbands will be recognized, ban in-town sex shop

The first sex shop in the city of Columbia, SC may be shut down after members of the City Council voted to effectively ban sex shops from the city.

Unhappy wives had been appealing to the council for weeks after the “adult superstore” got its business license on December 4, citing their fear that having an adult store so close to their homes rather than on the outskirts of the city would lead their husbands to frequent such establishments more often and risk their friends at the Country Club seeing their cars.

Shelby, a conservative Christian and devoted mother of four, asks how she is supposed to explain it to her children.

Despite the fact that my children have never once pointed to a store and asked me what it was, what am I supposed to tell them when they do?  Do they really need to know that mommy met daddy when she was paying her way through college as a stripper?  Do I really want them to talk about it when playing tennis at the Club?

The beautiful building next door

The store, located in one of the busiest and ugliest corridors within city limits, is further off the road than anything nearby, but this is not enough for many of the anti-sex women in the town.  Ann, a retiree who lives nearby, is worried about her grandchildren.

I realize that there are nothing but shoddy buildings and fast food restaurants on the street, but there are some good American businesses, like check-cashing places designed to take advantage of the poor.  We don’t want a business supporting healthy sex lives, that’s not what Columbia is about.  Now, a gun store would be just the thing for that location.

Not everyone is against the store, however, and a few voices have come out in support, including Ashley, a local student.

Retroactively changing the law to punish a specific business makes these prudes much bigger a**holes than the ones undoubtedly on full display inside the store.  Think of the children?  What exactly do these people think they had to do to make their children?

A member of City Council, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, “If they’d only given us free vibrators like we’d asked, it never would have come up for a vote.”

My Vagina is Destroying America or Love from Ron Paulians

Gross Comments from Around the Web!

The overall sentiment is that I am an idiot typical woman who takes money and support from unsuspecting, trampled upon men, an uninformed cunt, a mentally retarded liberal arts failure, a really ugly troll, I should either be raped or kill myself and I should definitely never reproduce.

Egregious Comments from My Site (with contact info!):

ashleylmillerhasapenis
purelovinsoul@hotmail.com
76.28.34.59

Guys, seriously this mental midget ashleyfmiller isn’t going to understand. Her points have no validity and is basically taking everything RP’s said and turning it on its ass with no rational, realistic, thought-provoking evidence. She is a troll, which is evident by her appearance as well as her “points”, if you can even call them that. We are wasting our time on our page. Ron Paul has 30 years of consistent service to us and she only has this tiny webpage designed to piss people off, so if you’re going to post, just post “Fuck you ashleylmiller” and be on your way. Spread Ron Paul’s message because he is the last hope for the American people, and anyone tha disagrees with that can eat shit. The part that upsets me the most is the people that most vehemently protest Ron Paul’s popularity will also reap the social and economic benefits Ron Paul will produce if he becomes president.

ashleylmillerhasapenis
purelovinsoul@hotmail.com
76.28.34.59

ashleyfmiller, you are a sad, pathetic excuse of a human being. Do the world a favor and get a hysterectomy so you can’t weaken the gene pool anymore than it is. You’ve taken every one of his points out of context and clearly have no fucking idea what you’re talking about. People like you RUIN this country and any real chance at change. He hasn’t violated his own philosophies, but sometimes I feel like someone should violate your civil liberties and lock you up for being a lying, hate mongering piece of scum that you are. Final note: you’re a cunt.

garvan
garvan@garvan.com
99.226.81.106
Submitted on 2011/12/12 at 9:49 am
Why do we support Ron Paul?

Because people like Ashley F. Miller are perfectly happy with the status quo.

But hey, I don’t have a vagina, so it’s not like I can get my rich banker boyfriends to pay my way through college like Ashley F. Miller.

Congrats Ashley F. Miller! Enjoy the payoff while you can.

The “basically youngish white men”, you denigrate tend to remember the treatment they get from the little “white girls” like you while you use shame and blame to turn us into slaves, just to sell yourselves up for a piece of one of the members of the 1%.

mari dejun
maridejun@gmail.com
84.134.109.185

full of shit – full of lies – fuck you ashley f. mliler.

GFRED
fastfreddy@gmail.com
98.73.61.29

I was going to watch some of your films to verify they suck but judging by your article I wont waste my time with a mike Moore disciple. You Hollywood guys and gals obviously dont realize that this is a republic not a democracy. we have a constitution which is the law and everything in this world is not free you have to take from one person to give to another and the mandate of that is a mix of socialism/communism the opposite of the “civil rights” that you advocate

chris
frat@gmail.com
98.73.61.29

Ashley F. Miller

Filmmaker, Writer, Editor and mental retard

Obama
dashajiba@gmail.com
71.59.13.26
ugly cunt. no guy would ever fuck you. you’re a 3/10 a best in your hideous picture. go kill yourself.

Gary
garyianhaynes@aol.com
78.42.173.93

Ashley F Miller!

Wow, you really are a piece of liberal shit !

Just do the world a favor and kill yourself.

Prophit.
aar104@gmail.com
75.227.134.107

in the name of Mike Mazzone

get raped

Taylor
taylor_2_u@yahoo.com
71.158.165.178

Why does anyone like a clueless c*nt? It’s not hard to understand. There are lots of clueless c*nts around, thus the disastrous state of this country. There’s not enough intelligence to make up for so many deluded, brainwashed idiots like you. You win – and everybody loses.

I’m Ugly!:

I can feel her cold dead eyed stare expanding throughout the multi-verse.

Let’s talk about the most important topic here.

That chick looks like a ginger version of Dobby the house elf from Harry Potter. I’d give her a drunk 5.5.

“I’d give her an [EXTREMELY] drunk 5.5”

Minor correction needed.

My Degree is Stupid:

“Ashley is currently getting her PhD in Mass Communication from USC, with a focus on social media and film.”

Enough said.

And what on earth can you do with a a PhD in Mass Comm?

Teach writing at some podunk community college somewhere in California, write critical articles about “Deconstructing Transgender Stereotypes in Scooby-Doo” and the like, and complain to your friends that no one will even look at your screenplay | novel | whatever until you have succeeded in driving all but your most similarly embittered friends away.

And what on earth can you do with a a PhD in Mass Comm?

Purchase a frame?

And what on earth can you do with a a PhD in Mass Comm?

Teach other liberal atheists how to generate propoganda?

My guess

What do you mean? She has an MFA from the FSU film school, which clearly makes her qualified to make judgments about political theory.

When the time comes you need not worry. Anglos will industrialize the slaughter to new found heights. That’s what amazes me the most about the multicult. They think the likes of Paul Krugman and Nancy Pelosi have tamed us. I suspect it will look like some old episode of the X Files with the monster just below the surface bursting through the thin veneer of the multicultic skin. Silly white girls with “PhDs in Mass Communication from USC, with a focus on social media and film” will wet themselves in terror and excitement… at least for a while. Latin women will be filled with admiration… at least for a while. Then everyone will want it to end… but it won’t.

Girls are cunts!

Whether she gets your completely rational response will depend on how she feels in the moment.

She’s a complete and total cunt whose main problems with Paul are the usual inaccurate tripe “he’s a racist fun die-nutbag”. Please, what bullshit.

It upsets her that a part of what she considers her dating pool doesn’t share her political catechism. It’s tough to date outside the faith.

by spreading your legs, you give implicit permission for a child to become dependent on you.

This blog posting would be more compelling if it didn’t read like some lit chick trying to come to grips with something O-so-hard-to-understand.

This is why it’s nearly impossible to have a conversation about politics with or give any real consideration to the political sentiment of, generously, unmarried women, probably more accurately – any women who aren’t all the way through menopause yet. It’s a shame they are allowed to vote, but that’s part of the death-spiral of the republic.

The delightful and scintillating commentary of local snowflakes excepted, of course.

Well, of course you don’t get why millions of conservative Americans support RP, Ashley. It’s because you’re a raging left-wing socialist, man-hating femmetard, reverse-racist, pro-distopian, overly-artsy-fartsy, overly-idealistic, anti-logical hollywood retard. Stop trying to understand the policies of Ron Paul, give your brain cells a rest and go back to your laweekly and your bong.

I feel the same way about child molesters that you feel about the unborn (they’re not really “human,” so please, by all means, waste the scumbags).

Stupid bitch. There’s only one good thing about the coming economic collapse and it’s that this type of clueless c*nt will be too busy staving off starvation to blather her inanities.

Anyhow, I read Ashley twice and still can not figure what she hates about RP… unless she just hates men.

Racist what?

It’s funny how the Jews always want to remind us of the Holocaust …

It’s absolutely absurd. The closest thing to a fascist in the room is the black guy with the big ears and funny name.

What’s she got against straight, white, single, young, non-religious men? Once again, the diversity crowd is all for diversity as long as it agrees with them. That must be why so many aesthetically challenged women buy into it. Gives them the opportunity to exclude people from the groups in the same fashion as they were excluded from the in groups in high school.

But, thee are reasons that Jews have been hated for hundreds of years, even though it is most likely just a subset of the Jewish population that is the cause of the hatred.

This open borders business is my biggest problem with libertarians. It is anti-nationalist and pro-globalist, like marxism and communism. I know libertarianism is the ‘in’ thing this year but it does not serve the interests of the white race which is more than just the top 1% country club set.

Non-whites don’t love and worship the jews like dumb whites do.

STUPIDHEAD!

you really can’t talk about the libertarian’s voting record, since no one will give them a chance to prove how they would vote.

Thank you for your article. Even though I think it is a load of inaccruate, fear-mongering, democratic tripe, I accept your RIGHT as a free-thinking American to express such ignorant views.

I hope you dig-in-your heels and vote for either Obomb-a or Newt World Order/Romney. That way once these candidates of your choice pass the NDAA, Patriot Act II and strip away your RIGHT to criticize anything about the government for fear of being labelled a terroritst, we shall all be spared your delirious rantings.

By the way, MOST doctors don’t believe in evolution. Probably because they can see the complexity of biological systems (that demands a designer), but aren’t a slave to research grants.

In reference to your commit……. “I’ve been trying to understand why smart people I know support Ron Paul and I just can’t get my head around it.”……well Ann Miller……..Maybe the reason you cant understand is simple ……YOUR NOT AS SMART AS YOUR SMART FRIENDS …….and psychological studies show that it is often difficult for people with greatly varied IQs to communicate………you said it your friends are smart and you cant understand them well said ann well said…….in the future listen to your “smart friends”

You should try reading a book before posting shit on the internet as if you actually know what you are talking about.

What a ridiculous article. Absolutely disgraceful, and it’s depressing to know that she is a human and has a brain and STILL is that stupid.

My vague and drunken point was that I’m pretty sure Ashley knows a lot more about Adam Lambert than she does Ron Paul.

The difference between people like her and the retarded is that the retarded don’t pretend that it is superior to be stupid.

I read that little pea brain’s screed, and the level of hypocrisy is amazing. She thinks Ron Paul is anti-science (because he has doubts about evolution) but she has a problem with Paul’s stance that life begins at conception. Seriously, how can one believe in evolution, yet deny when science says life begins?

Vague Death Threat

If logic and truth had any meaning, she wouldn’t be an atheist liberal. Only a piece of lead can have any impact on such a twisted, brainwashed brain.

TL;DR

It is clear to me that I missed the most important reason not to vote for Ron Paul: the people who are going to vote for Ron Paul.

No Profanity Ordinance? Bullshit.

Today I read a news story in The State and WIS that said the Columbia Police Department is going to be enforcing a “no profanity” law within the city limits.

The police spokeswoman said: “If they want to curse, do it in their own home. Why do you have to do it in park where they are other children, other people who will. This, it’s just quite frankly, pretty rude.”

Rudeness is not illegal and no one has the right not to be offended. Furthermore, there is no clear definition of what is considered profane. There is no list of forbidden words, phrases, or subjects available to anyone that I am aware of. Or is it like pornography, we are just supposed to know it when we see it? How can they justify this, or is it just an effort to put up signs to stop people complaining at meetings?

Furthermore, based on the ordinance that they are citing, I simply do not think that someone dropping an F-bomb qualifies as Disorderly Conduct as it is defined in ordinance 14-91, the ordinance listed on the sign.

It shall be unlawful for any person within the city limits to engage in the following conduct, knowing or having reasonable grounds to know that it will tend to promote or provoke a fight, assault or brawl.

Am I to believe that simply cursing within earshot of someone is attempting to provoke a fight? Is that something any reasonable person thinks? The ordinance is clearly NOT about profanity — the term “profanity” does not appear at all — putting that on a sign is an absurd stretch.

A law banning profanity would be unconstitutional, but the law they cite doesn’t even do that! They’ve just made it up!

Podcast Part II: Winning the War of Attrition

After we completed the main hour of the podcast, we continued our conversation and the guys over at “A Matter of Doubt” have been kind enough to put it up as a bonus clip.  This is where we get into the things that I am most interested in, LGBT issues, argument, and humanism.  I almost sound like I know what I’m talking about occasionally in here, even.

Yes, I’m pretty vitriolic online, and I am willing to call people wrong and be kind of… we’ll go with “emphatic”.  Somewhat dogged.  Win the war of attrition.  But in person, in real life, in real interactions, people are worth more than ideas.  People deserve to be treated well, people deserve to be loved for who they are, they deserve to be accepted.  You can have any opinion you want about their beliefs, but at some point you have to be willing to say, you know, I disagree with you and that’s not the most important thing about you.  We’re all worthy, we’re all equal, we’re all human.  And that’s the foundation of equal rights, that’s the foundation of why we care about the LGBT issues, it’s the foundation of why we think atheists should be treated the same.  And at some point you have to be willing to stop arguing.

http://www.amatterofdoubt.com/?p=187

Why does anyone like Ron Paul?

I’ve been trying to understand why smart people I know support Ron Paul and I just can’t get my head around it.  I get the sense that maybe the Ron Paul People I know just don’t realize what Ron Paul’s all about. That or they just don’t care.

The Ron Paul People I know are almost all straight, single, relatively young, non-religious, white men. Available demographics suggest that this is an accurate picture; there are others in Ron Paul’s camp, but it’s basically youngish white men.

They do not consider themselves to be Democrats or Republicans. Some of them hate the idea of rules, many of them hate the idea of having their money taken away in taxes, but none of them are stupid or without the resources to learn more about their candidate. And none seem to care about any of Ron Paul’s policies outside of cutting spending, regulations, and taxes.

Every Ron Paul Person I know comes out of the woodwork any time anything negative is said about the guy, no matter how true the statement and no matter how much that individual disagrees with Ron Paul’s position or behavior. I get the sense that libertarians are so excited to have someone on the national stage that they don’t want to see anything problematic with the guy, but he’s transparently a bad deal.

So, why are these people supporting a crazy, racist Christian fundamentalist?

Why People Love Ron Paul:

  1. He believes in reduced military spending
  2. Less taxes, less rules, less government
  3. He wants to end the “War on Drugs”
  4. He is “philosophically consistent”

That last one seems to be big — people seem to think that Ron Paul offers a coherent philosophy to deal with politics and that’s why they like him.

He’s very consistent on the whole taxes idea — he wants to get rid of the income tax, which apparently makes us all the property of the government, and his voting record shows this.  I can see the appeal, even if I totally disagree.

Ron Paul is Anti-Free Market:

But if we take this libertarian personal freedom thing to its logical conclusion, Paul would also be all for open borders and a completely open labor markets, right?  Yeah, but not so much — he’s very anti open borders.

The toughest part of showing any compassion or tolerance to the illegal immigrants … is the tremendous encouragement it gives for more immigrants to come illegally and avoid the wait and the bureaucracy.

So, bureaucracy good when it keeps the brown people out? Taxing the insanely rich is slavery! Letting foreign people work in America should be illegal!

He voted for building a fence on the Mexican border, reporting illegal aliens who go to hospitals, and for banning student visas from “terrorist nations”.  He’s all about reducing the military and allowing the free market, except when it comes to this for some reason.

Oh, it’s also great that he wants to get rid of the fed, I love this. You know who made the fed what it is today? A guy named Alan Greenspan. You know, Alan Greenspan, the most famous and powerful libertarian ever to work in the US government. He was a disciple of Ayn Rand and was part of the inner circle of her cult. Alan Greenspan almost single-handedly caused this recession. By all means, let’s fix the fed, but let us also acknowledge it was a libertarian that got us here!

Ron Paul Doesn’t Support Minorities:

He thinks the Civil Rights Act of 1964, you know that whole equality thing, was a violation of people’s rights and wouldn’t have forced anyone to lift the Jim Crow laws. He called MLKJr day “hate whitey day”.  According to Ron Paul supporters, this is OK because he wants to legalize drugs and end the death penalty, both of which would disproportionately go to help black men.

I don’t even want to go into all of the sketchy things that he’s said, I’ll just offer you this link and be done with it.  Suffice to say, the guy’s said some unkind things about minorities.

On top of this, he wants English to be the official language of the US and thinks government shouldn’t offer services in any other language.  How’s that for federal bureaucratic overhead?

A lot of people respect his position on gay marriage, which is that it shouldn’t be the federal government’s business even though he personally is opposed to it. It may not be the federal government’s business, but he’s certainly voted to enshrine homophobic behavior in federal law. He voted against including “sexual orientation” as a protected class in ENDA, meaning he thinks it’s OK to fire people for being gay, and he voted to ban gay adoptions in DC.

Ron Paul is Against Church/State Separation:

Ron Paul has a 17% rating with the AU, meaning he almost never votes in favor of a bill that would be promoting the separation of church and state.

The guy is crazy fundamentalist, no lie. It informs most of his political positions, including right to life stuff that I’ll address in a minute. But it also includes something that maybe some of my libertarian friends agree with. Ron Paul is one of the few politicians in DC willing to say anything negative about Zionism or Israel, and I know a lot of libertarians think that we shouldn’t be Israel’s protector anymore. But do you know why he doesn’t support Israel?

Despite the fact that many Fundies, known as Premillenialists, support Israel because their end-time theology tells them that it is necessary for the return of Jesus, Christian Reconstructionists like Paul have a different view, basically that the Israeli government isn’t the right one for the end of days and the right sort of Christians are now the chosen people of Revelations.

“I think of the Israeli government as different than what I read about in the Bible. I mean, the Israeli government doesn’t happen to be reflecting God’s views. Some of them are atheist, and their form of government is not what I would support… And there are some people who interpret the chosen people as not being so narrowly defined as only the Jews — that maybe there’s a broader definition of that.”

He and Sarah Palin can get into a fight over whose Christian end of days attitude towards Israel is the right one!

He often gets accused of being anti-Semitic because he’s anti-Zionism, and he may well be, but his position on Israel is all about religion. He’s generally isolationist anyway, so it works with the rest of his shtick.

And, while his faith isn’t his number one talking point, he sure does have a statement of faith on his website and includes a reference to it in his debates.

And, despite the fact that he thinks the education department should be dismantled, he also thinks that public funds should pay for private Christian educations and supports a constitutional amendment in favor of school prayer.  Again, not a libertarian stance at all.

Ron Paul is Rabidly Anti-Choice and Anti-Science:

This goes hand in hand with the crazy religious stuff, it’s all related.

This man, who is a doctor, does not believe in evolution.

This man, who is a doctor, believes that life begins at conception.

He has a somewhat complex view on abortion in that he believes that it, like murder, should be tried and controlled at the state level, not the federal one. That said, he has voted repeatedly for national bills that promote the pro-life cause and introduced a bill that would say that life begins at conception.

He voted not to authorize embryonic stem cell research multiple times. He has a 0% by NARAL, meaning he votes 100% against abortion rights. He voted yes on the Stupak Amendment to prevent health insurance companies from offering abortion coverage. Voted to prevent funding from going to schools that make the morning after pill available and to provide funding for abstinence only education.

He cosponsored a bill to take funds from a needy family benefit program to go to support non-governmental groups that counsel people not to have abortions.

Again, how is this not federal interference?

Ron Paul Helps Billionaires Not the Poor

This section, I know, is where a lot of libertarians are going to agree with his votes, but I have to say I think they don’t reflect well on him.

He is completely against environmental regulation and trying to find alternative energy sources.  Despite his claims that he’d rather have unions control the market than a minimum wage, he voted for legalizing union busting more than once.  Despite his supposed belief in the free market, he voted to ban shareholders from weighing in on executives’ compensation.  Extended the Bush tax cuts for the rich, expanded them, and undermined Social Security by changing the standards.

Voted against the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act to feed children and voted against a measure to ensure children had health insurance.Voted yes on a measure to prevent federally funded laborers to be paid the prevailing wage of the area, so that people making less than a living wage could be reduced even further into poverty!

Ron Paul is a Hypocrite

He is completely inconsistent, not just philosophically as a libertarian, but also on very specific issues like federal funding to local areas.  Which brings us to his response to Katrina.  You’d think someone who was so waffley about his own philosophical convictions when it comes to women’s rights and immigrants would be willing to waffle a little to save lives, after all he’s all sanctity of life, right?

Is bailing out people that chose to live on the coastline a proper function of the federal government?

But at least his congressional district in Texas doesn’t rely on tons of federal funding, right? Oh, no, it’s one of the top in Texas. Federal government using money to save people’s lives is apparently not OK, but him earmarking funds for his district is cool. More important than Katrina victims? Removing a sunken ship from a harbor and sending a few million dollars to Texan shrimp fishermen.

Ron Paul is a Little Nuts

But of course, my favorite part about Ron Paul is that he thinks the executive branch shouldn’t have very much power. The problem with that is that if you elect Ron Paul, he can’t do anything without violating his own philosophy because he would be the executive branch of the federal government.  Ron Paul just doesn’t make sense for anyone.

He thinks we should go back to the gold standard, which I think is pretty crazy, but that’s hardly the only place he goes a bit weird. On The Daily Show he said the following, I guess suggesting that he’s for regulations after he’s against them:

The regulations are much tougher in a free market, because you cannot commit fraud, you cannot steal, you cannot hurt people, and the failure has come that government wouldn’t enforce this. In the Industrial Revolution there was a collusion and you could pollute and they got away with it. But in a true free market in a libertarian society you can’t do that. You have to be responsible. So the regulations would be tougher.

And then there’s this:

I’ve been told not to talk, but these stooges don’t scare me. Threats or no threats, I’ve laid bare the coming race war in our big cities. The federal-homosexual cover-up on AIDS (my training as a physician helps me see through this one.) The Bohemian Grove–perverted, pagan playground of the powerful. Skull & Bones: the demonic fraternity that includes George Bush and leftist Senator John Kerry, Congress’s Mr. New Money. The Israeli lobby, which plays Congress like a cheap harmonica.

If people know this about Ron Paul and still want to vote for him, that’s obviously their choice, but I can’t help but feel like the only way you could vote for him would be in ignorance or denial of these facts.

A Matter of Doubt Podcast: Starring Yours Truly

Unrelated Photo!

A local very cool podcast about atheism and all things philosophy had me on to talk about atheist activism and the SC billboard campaign.  It’s got my deconversion story, horror of childhood religion, and limited occurrences of me going “um, like”.  If you’re into podcasts, you should give it a listen!  I have my super sexy horrible cold voice and everything.

http://www.amatterofdoubt.com/?p=174

Why Miley Cyrus is Cooler Than You Think: The Progressive South

What I was supposed to be when I grew up

When people meet me, even here in South Carolina, they almost always are surprised to learn that I am from the South.  I don’t have much of a Southern accent and I am not demure or interested in playing dumb.  There is, unfortunately, a prejudice that exists, even in the South itself, against people who are Southern.  There is an assumption that everyone here is stupid, poorly educated, and a redneck.

It’s not that the South hasn’t come by its reputation honestly.  There are Bible Thumpers, Tea Partiers, Second Amendment Freaks, and an education system that is more broken than not.  There are rural areas that don’t even seem like America to anyone who has lived near a town, and the problems and poverty that come with that.  But, while a Democrat may never win the state of South Carolina, 40% of the population votes for a Democrat.  You may be able to paint the South itself with a broad brush, but you lose a lot of you also paint individuals from the South with that same brush.

I have struggled over the years with embracing that I am from South Carolina, but I really am about as Southern as it gets.  I was a debutante, I was sent to cotillons when I was growing up.  My father hunts and fishes and collects rifles, my mother worked for Lee Atwater and George HW Bush.  When I was young, I spent most of my days with my babysitter/nanny who lived in a trailer park and we watched NASCAR, drank Mountain Dew, and occasionally I missed my nap and watched The Bold and the Beautiful.  The first time I ever got on a plane was to go see Graceland.

Before my breast reduction and dying my hair red, I think I could have pulled this off

And, even more embarrassingly, the thing I most wanted to be when I grew up was a country music singer.  I’ve never lost my love of singing or a (not so) secret desire to be a rock star, but I did lose my fondness for country music over the years.  But yes, there was a time when my favorite song was “Achy Breaky Heart” and I dreamed of being Dolly Parton.

I suspect many people reading this would think that this was a major handicap, something that I had to overcome to be the erudite, snarky, witty, and progressive person that I am today, but I think it was actually completely necessary for me to get here.  I only wish that I was better at embracing it and not being embarrassed by it.  In an attempt to embrace being Southern, I’m offering a paean for Miley Cyrus.

Miley Cyrus is a lot cooler than most people realize.  I’ll be the first to admit that her devotion to her faith is not something that particularly appeals to me, but the fact that she is Southern Baptist and still open-minded is something we should be celebrating.  And I confess that her music isn’t exactly my thing, as most of the teen music I like was written by people now in their sixties.  But the really cool thing about Miley Cyrus is that she’s a bona-fide red-state American who depends on red-state Americans for her career and she hasn’t let that stop her from speaking out against what she perceives as injustice.

The only tattoo I'd consider getting

She is a vocal supporter of marriage equality and LGBT rights.  This past May, she bashed both Urban Outfitters and Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum for being anti-gay.  She is so in favor of gay rights that she got it tattooed on her body — an equal sign for “equal love” on her ring finger.  And when someone disagreed with her stance on Twitter, she posted, “Where does it say in the bible to judge others? Oh right. It doesn’t. GOD is the only judge honey.”  Hell yes!

She fights in favor of reasonable body images for women. When people try to shame her for her weight, she says that her accusers are part of the reason there are so many women with eating disorders and states quite clearly that she has no intention of buying into it.  “I love MYSELF & if you could say the same… I don’t wanna be shaped like a girl I LOVE being shaped like a WOMAN & trust me ladies your man won’t mind either.”  That’s a feminist message about body acceptance, and an important one for the age group that she appeals to.

It’s easy to look at Billy Ray flag waving for Republican candidates, how very Southern they are, how vocally Christian they are, and assume that they are stereotypical, uninformed conservatives.  They are not.  Her grandfather, Kentucky Colonel Ron Cyrus, was a Democrat and a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives for 21 years and he was the secretary-treasurer for the AFL-CIO.  It turns out that Southerners have a wide range of political beliefs.

From the video

The inspiration for this post was a video in support of the Occupy movement that she posted this week on YouTube, as part of her celebration of her 19th birthday.  Most of the response among my friends on Facebook has been shock and a little bit of poking fun at her music and at the irony that she, of all people, was the big musician to support the Occupy movement.  But actually, it is not ironic and, if you’ve followed her, it is not surprising.  It is, however, marvelous.

Their surprise I can understand, not everyone is as obsessed with LGBT activism as I am, but it is when people dismiss her entirely that I get upset.  There is an article in the National Post that made my blood boil.  The writer describes Miley’s birthday party, which apparently included a unicorn, and then goes on to discuss the Occupy video:

At the very least, it seems Cyrus is interested in showing a more socially conscious side of herself now that she’s entered the twilight years of tween stardom. Like many people, 19 or otherwise, Cyrus has apparently been following the Occupy movement, and together with Rock Mafia (the production team helmed Cyrus hits including 7 Things and Can’t Be Tamed), she Tweeted a link to a video montage featuring footage of Occupy protesters around the world. Titled “Don’t Give Up – It’s a Liberty Walk,” a remix of the pop star’s 2010 track Liberty Walk features in the video, which Cyrus posted to YouTube with the following message: “This is Dedicated to the thousands of people who are standing up for what they believe in.”

This, we can only assume, includes unicorns.

That may be the most dismissive thing I have ever read.  I’m not going to go into a rant about how wrong it is to dismiss people for being young and female, because I might explode, but that’s exactly what’s going on here.  “Oh, she’s interested in politics and unicorns, how sweet.”

Why not?

Miley Cyrus is now a player in progressive politics, not because she is a politician, but because she has a voice that is heard by millions.  This young woman isn’t part of the “Hollywood Elite” — she is from “Real America” and her fans are all from “Real America” too — she is an ambassador to the red states.  But because she is young and because she sings pop and because she is from the South, many people are tempted to dismiss her out of hand.  Her conservative critics are wise enough to be afraid that her influence will lead young Christians away from the intolerant values of their parents, perhaps we should be wise enough to be very grateful to have her on our side.  Embrace her or not, she has influence with the people progressives have the hardest time reaching.

Maybe being from the South isn’t a handicap, maybe it makes our progressive voices that much stronger.

Hey, National News, That’s a Picture of Me!

I go to one protest and I get in the national news: Result!

I’m not sure why I looked so sad at that particular moment.  I’m going to say it’s because that’s how much I care about the First Amendment.  You all going to go along with that?  Excellent.

Columbia Coalition of Reason Hate Mail: Part I

I still don't understand how people are offended by this

We sent out a press release this morning about the billboard, and by the afternoon we’d had coverage on some local websites and by tonight we’d had interviews on local TV.

The comments on the news sites have been pretty negative, but the people actually contacting us have been very positive and grateful.  I’ve collected some of the angry comments from our e-mail and the news sites to share with you.  Everything is copy & pasted with no editing for grammar, spelling, or logic.

We are hoping to do dramatic readings of some of these.  I’ve numbered them so that you can easily comment on which ones are your favorites.

PASCAL’S WAGER

1. “To all atheists: If as a Christian I’m right …. then you lose. If you’re right … then you still lose. Good luck with those odds.”

2. “I would much rather live my life believing that there is one true God and find out later that there isn’t, than to live my life as if there isn’t, only to find out later that there is! I guess we’ll all find out for ourselves on judgement day. As for me, I know in my heart that Jesus died for my salvation and for the salvation of all sinners, and that one day I’ll join Him in heaven with the rest of the believers. Heaven or Hell is your choice… I’ll take the high road, thank you…”

ATHEISTS ARE ALONE

3. “Don’t Believe in God? You are not alone.” Unless you look at the really big picture and realize you are. Completely. Alone.”

4. “No, if you do not believe in God you are not alone. But you soon will be.”

5. “You’re not alone” are the atheists suicidal? depressed? I’m sure they are, i would be too if i were an atheist. let’s pray that they open their hearts and minds to God

MAKE SENSE?

6. “That true God. I was surprise why to say can’t believe God?! They people already know God is true in the Heaven. I believe GOD in Heaven! I never say that unbeliever God before. Should to be change post Believe God, and not say Godless period!”

7. “Madalyn Murray O’Hair, killed by one of her own followers and employees was the most widely known and hated of all Atheists. She, one of her sons, and grand-daughter were killed in a robbery gone bad committed by one whom she trusted. Her surviving son William J. Murray is the chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition, a non-profit organization in Washington, D.C., active on issues related to aiding Christians in Islamic and Communist nations. She felt so strongly about his becoming a Christian she had this to say about him. “One could call this a postnatal abortion on the part of a mother, I guess, I repudiate him entirely and completely for now and all times. He is beyond human forgiveness.” WOW! What a way for a mother to treat her own child over a difference of religious opinion in a country where we have a right to practice or not practice our religion freely. Way to go Atheists!”

8. What does the year 2011 mean?….. It means the age of JESUS. And he is coming back. Believe it or not.

YOU RUIN CHRISTMAS

9. “My question to the atheists and agnostics, what is the real purpose of the billboards during one of the most holiest times for Christian and Jews? Where were you in June?”

10. “”We’re your friends…” really? Friends don’t slam your beliefs during your holiest of months. If you’re our friends why not put the billboard up in June? The answer is because you enjoy slamming Christians. Give me a break. You have the right to do whatever you want, but have some class and put your signs up during another time.”

YOU GO TO HELL, YOU GOT TO HELL AND YOU DIE

11. “I THINK WE SHOULD PUT UP A SIGN RIGHT NEXT TO THAT ONE THAT SAYS “GOING TO ****? YOU ARE NOT ALONE” I WOULD DONATE. THE ONLY REASON US CHRISTIANS “PUSH” OUR BELIEFS ON ANYONE IS BECAUSE WE READ IN OUR BIBLES THAT JESUS CHRIST COMMANDS WE SHARE THE NEWS “SO THAT NONE MAY PERISH”. I SHARE JESUS BECAUSE I GENUINELY FEEL SORRY FOR THOSE THAT DO NOT KNOW HIM. TO KNOW JESUS IS TO KNOW PEACE”

12. “They might as well spend all their money on silly billboards…they can take it (to ****) with them…”

13. “The time will come when we can so OH WE TOLD YOU SO!! You say non Christians maybe be sitting by us in church-nah I don’t think so”

14. “**** is getting HOTTER as we speak! For those who don’t want to believe, that is your choice, but don’t beg for mercy on your day of Judgement!”

15. “People of all religious beliefs and backgrounds, remember one thing please. When it’s all over and you find that you were wrong, it’s TOO late then to make a change. So, be sure that what or who you believe in or don’t believe in is the right way to go, cause you only get one shot. I know where I’m going. Maybe I’ll see you there. If not, say hello to Hitler and Bin Laden for me, OK!”

16. “WIS/TV… Fred Edwords, national director of the United Coalition of Reason, said “Such non-theists sometimes don’t realize there’s a community for them.” /////////////////////////////​/////////////////////////////​////////////////// In a related story—it’s reasonable to say that what the Coalition doesn’t know, as well Is…if they stay their course—they’ll find their community—a very hot place known as…**** !!!”

17. “Atheists cease to exist once they die. They then become believers. Dont believe in God? I’m sure your boss will let you work for Christmas.”

HELL... hellooooo

MUSLIMS

18. “why don’t they do this campaign in countries like Iran or Saudi Arabia, i bet those atheists feel even more lonely! American Christians don’t force their religion on people,they, just like the CoR, like to get The Word out, but what you do with it, its up to the individual. The USA still has religious freedom last i checked.”

19.

(We need one about not believing in Allah. - An Allah coloring book. - You can get an Allah coloring book with Dealchicken coupons. - The Allah Christmas Book. Allah delivers guns and bombs to all the little future terrorist. - My personal favorite...Allah lights the menorah coloring book.)

SO ANGRY

20. “I believe in Him and I also believe I’ll boycott any advertisers that use Lamar billboards.”

21. “stupid tards why would you be sitting next to us in church if your not a believer ? i think you plan backfired instead of spreading your non existent belief in god anyone who quiestions gods existence will inevitably come to the conclusion there is a god.not offended, all things work to the glory of god.”

22. “This article made me sick and so do half of you posters. That’s what is wrong with the world today. You should be ashamed. I choose to praise God and if you choose not to, then that is your problem”

23. Its funny these people don’t believe in God but they use the money that says “In God We Trust”. Since you don’t believe in God try living without the money that has His name on it.

CRAZY

24. GOVERNMENT CONSPIRACY!!! MAKE THEM TAKE THEM DOWN!!! SOMEONE CLIMB UP AND PAINT OVER THE DON’T! THEN IT WILL BE A GREAT SIGN!!

25. For those who dont believe will be the ones who when the time comes will be demanding to be let into the Ark when the world does come to an end. For the way of life is through Jesus Christ and for the way to Death is those who choose not to believe.

26. do believe in God: so people need to watch out what the put on a sign. boy if my sister get hold of this she will be calling on God to take it down:

27. Why is it important that you tell the world you don’t believe? This is the work of Satan, you better believe it. I am sadden by this display.

28. I just want to let you know I am very offended about your billboards. Why can you all put this up and we cannot have billboards with God’s name in it for the good? I really feel this is not fair. Just remember God is watching you.

LONG FORM

29.

Just read on your home page in which you wrote “people who don’t believe in a god or gods can be decent citizens…” Gods? Most people (around here) believe in just one God. I think when you wrote “gods” you were being patronizing, no?

I used to be agnostic, so I understand where you are coming from. But I was a little offended by the “gods” reference. You are making fun! Look, Christians and religious folk used to really annoy the crap out of me, especially being the pragmatist that I am. But I think in the end I was more jealous that people could “let go” and accept something that was contrary to rational thought. They were more open-minded than I was and that really got under my skin. So I would make snyde comments like “do you believe in fairies too!” But really, I was just jealous that others could accept something that I could not.

I’m not going to preach. But from one former atheist/agnostic to another, I’d like you to consider one question. This is the question that ultimately helped me to become more open minded in my search for “what is?” No laughing, this is serious stuff and I want you to do your research and really, really ponder it…like for a year or more. Here goes: Why do atoms attract? (and, no, the answer is not “because God tells them to”, lol….or IS it) Remember: question everything, and let your intelligence set you free.

I can assure you that we are not making fun of religious people, nor do we intend to seem patronizing. The simple fact of the matter is that there are, in fact, people in this very community who believe in multiple gods. Both Wiccans and Hindus live in the greater Columbia area. We apologize if you felt offended.

As for your question, atoms are attracted to each other through Van Der Waal’s forces, electronegativity, and ionic or covalent bonding. As an archaeologist, I cannot speak definitively on inter-atomic forces and subatomic particle interaction, but there are plenty of physicists among us who would be happy to discuss the finer points of the theoretical physics should you ever feel inclined to attend a meeting or event advertised on our home page.

I thank you for taking the time to write and express your concerns to us directly, and I hope that my answer has proven satisfactory.

Sincerely,

Dustin Tucker
CoR Coordinator

Really? Hindus have multiple gods? They seem so nice, but that’s just crazy.

And thanks for the invite to your activities, but I’ve spent many hours participating in these types of discussions and the answers are always the same. But Justin, in your search for reason and understanding I don’t want you to forget about gravity. Its a big deal. That two objects are pulled together without a single physical, detectable thing binding them is quite the conundrum. Many physicist and scientist believe that there must be something there pulling these particles and objects together. However, this missing something is not detectable on our level or by our limited senses. Many believe it exists on a different plane or dimension all together. But it must exist. Otherwise, these objects are being pulled together by magic, and that’s not reasonable. Nonetheless, these things or invisible “forces” are well beyond our scope and certainly beyond our natural senses.

In reality, we are limited to only what we can see, hear, feel, touch and smell. To me, its incomprehensible to imagine what lies out there that we have no ability to know about or even comprehend because of our physical and sensual limitations. Science and reason are not equipped to tell us. Nor are they equipped to tell us they “don’t know” as that kind of defeats their purpose. Yet, the more we uncover, the more lucid it becomes that there is much more out there that we do not understand, including those things that we are unable to perceive. It could be anything. There is no denying this, it is simply a reasonable conclusion. Of course, what you do with that conclusion is up to you.

PALATE CLEANSER

30. “I am a Christian; I belive in God and the bible, grew up in Church etc. I am not perfect and I do sin quite frequently. We as Christians believe we are forgiven and are entitled to believe what we choose just as everyone else is; there is freedom of religion and freedom of speech in place to protect everyone and their beliefs.”