Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"Yes on 26" Starts Off New Campaign by Disturbing Their Own Viewers

When initiative 26 (the "personhood" amendment) hit Mississippi a couple years ago, we documented their lies, misinformation, and general fail. It appears that they are back to push a new personhood amendment because their page is rapidly filling up with the most idiotic and revolting statements people can make.

Rest assured, DFFT will fight these people every step of the way - and not because we love abortion, but because we strongly value freedom and bodily autonomy. We oppose any government attempt to force a person to donate his or her blood, tissues, or organs to anyone else for any reason. Also please remember that the one time we had an opportunity to make such a choice, we chose the pregnancy. We have not ever and hope to never need to choose abortion. That is our personal preference. 

That being said, I want to focus today on a (possibly) disturbing image of a miscarried fetus and the incredibly harsh comments that followed.

This would be a very disturbing image for me as a mother who experienced a 23 week stillbirth if I still had properly working emotions. Not only does it give me flashbacks of my dead son but it also seems to imply that I, as a pro-choice woman, did not consider my son a person in any sense. This is untrue, of course, because I did consider him to be a future person and member of our family. But at no time did I think that he had any legal status. How could he? He did not have the ability to carry out even the simplest privileges of a born citizen - to breathe American air and experience his environment - much less carry out any duties.

Not everyone on "Yes on 26" appreciated this graphic image either. Two women and one man (all against abortion) told the page that this picture was too disturbing to them and possibly to others who had experienced miscarriages and stillbirths. The gentleman even said he would have to hide the post because he couldn't bear to see it. I am not going to post their names or comments because I do have respect for those who grieve. But guess who didn't show any respect? "Yes on 26" sure didn't bother taking it down. Better yet, some of the commentators retorted that it wasn't disturbing or, if it was, that folks needed to see it anyway so they could see what they were killing. I don't feel any remorse for showing you those comments below:

Never mind how this picture makes you feel, sir. Never mind if it makes you relive the agony of losing a child you desperately wanted. We've got to get these icky pictures in front of America and its children so they'll know that abortion is...well...icky. I hate to tell this guy but he could wave a thousand pictures of people dying or dead from horrid diseases and that won't make me vote to force people to donate their organs. Life is full of suffering and it is always good when we can give of ourselves to help alleviate another person's suffering. But it has to be a choice - not a legal imperative. And there's no need for you to so unapologetically rejoice in your fellow man's suffering. Where's your compassion for the born? You have none.

Well, hooray for you that you love women who, by your definition, are murderers. You are going to push for legislation to send them to jail for their abortions, right? And why do you need to gratuitously share these "loving memories" to fight your fight? Yes, I'm aware that the family has posted many pictures online and given everyone permission to share them; nevertheless, do you not stop to think that maybe they aren't making that decision from a good place right now? Do you not stop to think that maybe there are better ways to honor that family's decision than by slapping the picture on every pro-life site you can find like it was a cheap porn ad? Hell, I'm feeling pretty crappy for showing the picture now (so much so that I learned how to hide it) but I can't think how I will make my point if I don't. But you seem to have no concern for whom the picture hurts - you can only think about how many unborns you can save and then discard once they take their first breath.

I don't feel particularly happy about including this picture either but it's so crucial to my point. Perhaps this is a simple declaration of hope but, in context with the other posts, it sounds like, "Didn't bother me so it shouldn't bother you." I get that people need to believe their loved ones are in Heaven but please don't assume that your lack of pain is shared by us all. My mother desperately believes in Heaven but she has grieved for the loss of our son. You do not want to tell her that the picture shouldn't upset her. You really don't.

Here we have the worst offender - the commentator who drove me to write this post. Not only does he feel no sympathy for his fellow pro-lifers who were hurt by the photo but he lectures them and goes so far as to blame them for offending him! I hate to tell you, dude, but unborn babies are pretty revolting. Have you seen one come out? They're pretty revolting too until they get cleaned up. Isn't that why you guys parade the pictures around after all? Because they are shocking and revolting? 

And how dare you tell these grieving parents how they should feel or what they should look at! Does your picture of your dead cousin show him all mangled and bloody or is it a pleasant picture? It makes a difference. These parents shouldn't give a single thought to what offends you or what you expect. You don't control us and you don't speak for us.

I can already tell this next battle is going to be dirty. It's already begun. It's going to compel me to write and to relive my experiences until I have to double my blood pressure medicine. But one thing you won't see me do - you won't see me drag out pictures of my dead son and tell everyone to post them all over the internet to support my pet causes. Not because I'm ashamed of him but because I care about other parents out there who are grieving and do not need to be traumatized again so that I can make a point. I'll tell my story, yes, but I won't whore out pictures of my grief to win votes.

"Yes on 26" and their crew, however, seem to have little compunction about doing so. I guess we'll continue to discover their true colors again as this battle rages on. As for me, I'm not going to post a link to the family's blog or other pictures even though they've given everyone permission. I just don't feel like it's the right thing to do.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Skepticon Fundraiser by DFFT and Twink A Dinks .

Deep-Fried FreeThinkers and Twink-A-Dinks team up for a Skepticon Fundraiser!

Hello Everyone,

Skepticon is fast approaching and Tweenky and I look forward to attending again this year. As of today 7-29-13 Skepticon has raised right around $7600 of the $40,000 they need to make Skepticon happen.

So Deep-Fried FreeThinkers and Twink-A-Dinks have teamed up to help raise funds for Skepticon. Twink-A-Dinks is graciously going to be donating 50%-75% of all profit of her "Skepticon Exclusive Dinosaur Chocolates" to Skepticon. The other 50-25% will be going towards raising funds to help get 4 more Mississippians to Skepticon this year. It is rumored that a couple hundred pounds of milk chocolate has been set aside just for this event!

So what are these "Skepticon Exclusive Dinosaur Chocolates?" Well, they are cute, little nommy chocolates that look like this: 

You get a Bronto, Steggy, Tritops and T-Rex
Awwwwww how cute!!

They will be available in the following packaged sets:

Get 2 of each (total of 8) for $10.00 + S/H - Skepticon = 50%
Get 4 of each (total of 16) for $20.00 + S/H - Skepticon = 50%
Get 6 of each (total of 24) for $25.00 + S/H - Skepticon = 50%
Get 14 of each (total of 56) for $50.00  Free S/H - Skepticon = 60%
Get 30 of each (total of 120) for $100.00 Free S/H*  - Skepticon = 75%

*The $100.00 set will have special packaging so that you can gift the chocolates to 10 others. Each package will contain 3 of each dinosaur for a total of 12 per package.

You can even gift the chocolates to someone else entirely - just leave a special notation about where you want them shipped before final check out.

Click below to join the party


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Christian Flag Pledge Acknowledges Zombies?

"I pledge allegiance to the Christian Flag and to the Savior for whose Kingdom it stands. One Savior, crucified, risen, and coming again with life and liberty to all who believe."

I never got the chance to say the pledge and didn't even know about there being a Christian flag or a pledge to it until a few years ago. Interestingly enough, it caught my eye when I read it the first time. I knew the reasoning behind the words to the American Flag's pledge well enough, but this Christian one at me at a loss.

Being a Jehovah;s Witness throughout my school years gave me the honor of standing in the hall for the first few minutes of class everyday. I could still hear the pledge and even asked my parents about it but they never mentioned anything about a christian flag.

After reading about this in a recent article, I finally sat down and googled the pledge. The first thing that caught my eye was the line about "whose kingdom it stands." It seemed odd to me that Christians would need a flag to show the worth of their devotion on a daily or weekly basis. Wasn't there something about "make no graven images or idols before me" in the Bible? Maybe it was just in New World Translation and not the King James version.

Then the second line caught me and all the "Zombie Jesus: lines I had even heard jumped out at me. I mean, they really waited or are waiting for him to rise again and walk amongst them. Yeah, no zombie referencce there -nope not at all!

The "liberty to all who believe" line also made little sense when the zombie notion came into play. The only liberty I see happening is gonna be the gun-toting, hammer-swinging or sword-slashing people clearing out all the zombies.

Monday, July 22, 2013

2013 "Beat the Heat" Update

Good news and bad news, folks! We've successfully raised enough money to buy the special air conditioner/heater combo unit. It arrived on July 12th and the family is enjoying it. I'm hoping to get a picture soon to share with you all.

The bad news is that we are still about $600 short of our goal to buy 5 or 6 regular A/C window units for families here in Mississippi. July is almost over and August is looking to be incredibly hot. Many of our poor and disabled people cannot afford to replace broken air conditioners. Others are living with only box fans and open doors for circulation.

There is still time to help! Even the smallest donation helps us bring relief to a family in need. Please consider helping us by donating or spreading the word. And to those who have already donated, thank you so much!

When the event is over, I will write a final post that will provide pictures and a full accounting of the funds.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

"10-22 the 10-56 we got a 10-96 unsub" Wait? WTF did he just call in?

Ever wonder what those police officers are calling in with those number codes? You might be surprised at what they are telling fellow officers and dispatch.

A close friend of mine, Nate, had recently told me of a few of his experiences while doing some "ride alongs" with the local police. Nate is in the LEJA program at WIU and got offered a chance to come along for a few "ride alongs" with officers. He shared a few stories about doing bar walkthroughs and watching the underage patrons trying to leave unnoticed. He talked about being in those shoes when he grew up, using his older brother's ID to get into the bars at age 18 back in 1997. Nowadays it is still the same shenanigans and lies to get inside if only to look cool and dance. Only the bravest of them would attempt to buy a drink themselves - most were denied and escorted out.

Afterwards, he told me about having to ride in the back of the squad car with an unsub. They answered a call about an individual walking along the street edge and sometimes entering the traffic lane. There were apparently several concerned drivers and passersby that had called it in. When they arrived though, all was not as one would expect. Nate recounted the experience as follows.

"When we pulled up, the individual appeared to be intoxicated and was barely maintaining balance while walking along the westbound lane of Main St. He was dirty from falling down a few times before we arrived. His shirt was torn at the shoulder and there was some blood visible." 
"After detaining the unsub on the sidewalk, the officers began asking procedural questions like:
"Where are you coming from?
"Do you have any ID?
"Do you know where you are?
"How did your shirt get torn?" 

I told Nate that all these questions didn't seem unusual to me. I've been pulled over before and asked, "What are you doing out this late?" Of course I was 17 and on my way home from work and it was 10 mins after underage curfew but I knew the police would ask such information seeking question. It's routine, right?

"Yea, the questions were pretty much routine but the unsub's answers or lack of answers caught my attention more than anything. He said  he was 'coming from the living room' and his wallet was 'on the lamp stand' and pointed towards a nearby fire hydrant."
When asked if he knew where he was, the unsub promptly answered, "In my damn house!" 
"Who let you in here anyways?" 
"Did Sissy call you again?"
"The second officer called in the stop, I heard him say 'Dispatch 10-22 the 10-56 we got a 10-96.' The officer then turned toward me and said, 'We are going to take him in with us. You may want to move your stuff over.' I went back to the car and grabbed my iPad, notebook and coat then waited for the officers to place the unsub in the car. All the while I was trying to figure out what a 10-22, 56 and 96 were; they weren't all that familiar to me. It was a time I wished I had brought my iPhone instead of the work phone"

I laughed at this point and said "I guess you were walking." As Nate continued, I googled *police 10 codes* and started scrolling.

Nate said, "They grabbed a D.A.R.E shirt from the trunk and placed it over the unsub's shoulder to help keep any blood from getting on the seat then placed him in the passenger side backseat. The second officer said, 'Be careful when you step around from the back of the cruiser.'  I was like, 'Um, you want me to ride next to him?' He just smiled at me saying, 'You'll be fine - just keep to yourself until we get to the station.' I was thinking, are they playing a joke on me? I wanted to ask him what 10-56 and 10-96 were, but didn't want to be a total nub. I was pretty sure a 10-22 meant negative or something along those lines and 56 was an intoxicated person on foot"
 I replied, "Yea I had to look them up as soon as you said them." I didn't realize how many they used and for what. Then again I speak in a totally different type of code on a daily basis.

Nate continued "Lucky you, I had to endure the entire 18 minute ride back to the station sitting next to a bleeding guy that was mumbling the whole way. I didn't know if he was gonna flip out with me back there or puke on me or what. I held my stuff close to my chest and kept watching him without making eye contact. I just wanted out of there. I wasn't really scared but I had no idea what I was dealing with or how to react and what the hell was a 10-96?"

Was it really that bad? I mean yea, I know what 10-96 is now that I looked it up but it couldn't have been that bad. He was in cuffs, right?

Nate replied, "Yes, but because of the shoulder injury, he had his hands in his lap and they were handcuffed but still. I just really felt uneasy not knowing. You know what I mean?"
Ok, I can relate as a person who hates not having all the information. When I go into a project or work or anything really, I like to know as much as everyone else and not be the "ill-informed" one in the room.

So as Nate finished telling me how he was finally able to look up the 10-96 and saw that it was code for "Mental Subject." The unsub was given medical treatment for his shoulder injury and transferred to a temporary holding cell. Awaiting an undetermined fate, as Nate wasn't sure what happened to him next. Its worth mentioning here that at least 29 percent of jails hold patients waiting for a hospital bed.*

 Nate then said, "I can't believe they didn't call for another car to take him. He could have gone all psycho on me back there!"

I informed him that not all people that are mentally ill were dangerous and that about 1 in 4 adults suffer from mental illness of some sort. We said our goodbyes and well wishes, but not before getting permission to share this.

I know that what I shared with him will make him want to learn more and be better prepared. I know he will be reading this as well. (I hope I got it all right, tongue in cheek)

I'll even add this from the book Tweenky is currently reading (*Surviving Schizophrenia, Torrey 2006 5th edition):

1. There are at least as many individuals with schizophrenia homeless and living on the streets as there are in all hospitals and related facilities.
2. There are more individuals with schizophrenia in jails and prisons than there are in all the hospitals and related facilities.
3. There are increasing episodes of violence committed by individuals with schizophrenia who are not being treated.
8. At least 40 percent of all individuals with schizophrenia are receiving no treatment at any given time.  

I hope you too will seek more information before jumping to conclusions and I am thankful that the 2 officers knew enough about mental illness to get the unsub some help and not just treat him as a drunk walking down the road.