Cool Quote, Bro

[Content Note: Homophobia; dehumanization; Christian supremacy.]

After Ireland voted overwhelmingly to legalize same-sex marriage, it was only a matter of time before some cool bro at the Vatican had some cool shit to say about it:

"I was deeply saddened by the result," Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's secretary of state, said at a conference in Rome on Tuesday night. "The church must take account of this reality, but in the sense that it must strengthen its commitment to evangelisation. I think that you cannot just talk of a defeat for Christian principles, but of a defeat for humanity."
A defeat for humanity! Holy shit! Why wasn't Bruce Willis sent in a moonbuggy with an Aerosmith power-ballad to take it out then?!

Pro-tip: Using language that sounds like it came off the script of a 1990's Michael Bay film to describe a referendum that makes the institution of marriage slightly more inclusive makes you sound like a hyperbolic dipshit.

Obviously, everything about this quote is terrific [insert Michael Bay SPARKS! here], but what I love most about it is how it manages to simultaneously imply that all of humanity is Christian and imply that anyone who supports marriage equality is not human.

Keep up the great work, Vatican!

[Commenting Guidelines: Please take the time to make sure any criticisms are clearly directed at the Catholic Church leadership and not at "Catholics," many of whom are themselves critical of the failures of Church leadership.]

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Duggar: Where Was Child Welfare?

[Content Note: Sexual abuse.]

One of the questions that has been asked here and elsewhere regarding the Josh Duggar sexual abuse case is where was child protective services during all of this. And a new item at In Touch, which broke the story, starts to provide answers to that question:

[The] case did not end when Springdale, Ark. police closed their investigation in 2006 because the statute of limitations had run out...

Police referred the matter to the Families in Need of Services agency, which has jurisdiction over minors. The Department of Human Services (DHS) was then brought into the case, In Touch has learned. Nine months after those agencies entered the Duggar molestation case, Josh Duggar sued the Arkansas Department of Human Services. A trial was held on August 6, 2007.

The results of the investigation into the Duggars and Josh's trial are sealed. But a source familiar with the Duggar investigation told In Touch it was likely that Josh "appealed the DHS decision or finding from their investigation." The source notes that DHS had the authority to apply "restrictions or stipulations about him being at home with the victims."

"Josh would be considered an in-home offender, giving DHS the authority to do an investigation. As part of your appeal rights you can request a DHS hearing to challenge what they found and their ruling."
There has been no comment from the family on the DHS investigation, nor whether "their family was monitored by a state agency after the 2007 actions and forced to undergo counseling by a licensed mental health professional."

An earlier article in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette confirms that investigators had "filed a 'family in need of services' affidavit with Washington County Juvenile Court," and that one of their reporters had discovered the "sealed Washington County Circuit Court file for Josh Duggar vs. the Arkansas Department of Human Services" in 2007, which noted that a "trial in that case took place Aug. 6, 2007."

So, child protective services was contacted by police and did get involved and made some kind of ruling that the Duggars didn't like. They appealed the decision, which resulted in a trial, the outcome of which is unknown.

It's impossible to say exactly what happened here, but it sure looks like child welfare intervened on behalf of Josh Duggar's victims, and he (and his parents) used their wealth and influence in order to undermine that decision.

[H/T to Aphra_Behn.]

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Immigration Reform Dealt Another Blow

[Content Note: Anti-immigrant sentiment; racism.]

So, last November, President Obama announced a series of executive actions on immigration that were to provide at least temporary relief to nearly five million undocumented immigrants in the US and shield immigrant and migrant children from deportation if they were brought into the US without documentation. Despite the fact that conservatives immediately began caterwauling about executive overreach, the President was obliged to take executive action to address immigration because Congress refused to do it. In fact, Congressional Republican leadership explicitly and publicly urged the President to take executive action when they didn't want to take a position.

In December, Judge Arthur Schwab, a Republican-appointed judge in a federal court in Pennsylvania, turned a pretty typical immigration case into a referendum on the constitutionality of President Obama's executive actions on immigration policy, in order to declare aspects of them unconstitutional. "declared aspects of President Obama's executive actions on immigration policy unconstitutional."

Then, in February, after 26 states said they wanted to bring a lawsuit against the Obama administration to halt the executive order, US District Judge Andrew Hanen blocked the President's executive actions to give those states "time to pursue a lawsuit that aims to permanently stop the orders."

The Justice Department appealed the ruling, and, yesterday, a federal appeals court denied the administration's request to lift the hold imposed by Judge Hanen.

The ruling comes in a lawsuit filed by Texas and 25 other states against actions President Obama took in November. Many of the initiatives were scheduled to take effect this month.

The appeals court found that the states had sufficient legal grounds to bring the lawsuit and that the administration had not shown that it would be harmed if the injunction remained in place and the programs were further delayed.

...In a statement, Ken Paxton, the attorney general of Texas, said Mr. Obama had tried to impose "a drastic change in immigration policy" without the consent of Congress. The appeals court decision is "a victory for those committed to preserving the rule of law in America," Mr. Paxton said. "We will continue to fight the brazen lawlessness that has become a trademark of the Obama administration."

...In the 70-page opinion, two judges wrote that Texas had shown it would incur significant costs in issuing driver's licenses to [undocumented] immigrants who would be allowed to stay in the country.
So, to recap: Congress refuses to take action on immigration reform; Republican leadership tells Obama to do it via executive action; Obama issues executive order; conservatives do everything in their power to stop executive order and whinge about "brazen lawlessness," despite the fact that it ain't liberals who have traditionally argued for a strong unitary executive and that President Obama was doing what the legislature refused to do.

Meanwhile, an injunction is granted because it might cost Texas some money to issue driver's licenses to undocumented workers. (Okay.) And the administration couldn't prove "it would be harmed if the injunction remained in place," but never mind the millions of undocumented immigrants who are harmed by these delays.
Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, said that part of the intent of the lawsuit was "to delay, to confuse and to instill fear" among immigrants. "The consequences are devastating," she said. "Our communities suffer every single day." She acknowledged that carrying out the programs would be "a harder challenge for our communities" after long delays.
And there you have it.

The truth is, there are plenty of politicians in this country who want undocumented immigrants and migrant workers to be here but only if they are undocumented and are thus exploitable. They don't want to give them rights in exchange for their labor, and they certainly don't want to give them a livable wage, because that would be bad for business.

Profits over people. As usual.

And they justify this heinous position with lies about undocumented workers who don't pay taxes, and ghost stories about undocumented workers who rape and murder (white) citizens, and concern trolling about how undocumented workers harm documented immigrants and their families.

Anything so that we might ignore that undocumented workers are humans, vulnerable humans, more likely to be exploited and harmed than hurt anyone else.

People who work here and live here and pay taxes here and make a life here deserve the rights we all (are meant to) enjoy. It's really just that simple. At least, it should be.

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Open Thread

image of two lion cubs, lying on the savannah

Hosted by lion cubs.

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Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker themiddlevoice: "If you could write a letter to anyone (and not worry they would read it), what would you write?"

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Fun with Black Holes

[Content Note: Hypothetical death.]

Amanda Gefter for the BBC: "The Strange Fate of a Person Falling into a Black Hole."

I'm not even going to excerpt it; just go read the whole thing, because it's so terrific and so fascinating!

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Quote of the Day

[Content Note: Misogyny.]

image of Tom Hardy, from the film 'The Drop'

"No. Not for one minute."—Tom Hardy, during promotions for Mad Max: Fury Road, answering this actual question asked by a reporter in the year of our lord Jesus Jones two thousand and fifteen: "When you were reading the script, did you ever think: Why are all these women in here, I thought this was supposed to be a man's movie?"

Despite my delight at his terse reply, I'm not hurrying to the kitchen to bake Tom Hardy any cookies, because that's exactly the answer anyone should be giving. But, the thing is, Tom Hardy doesn't even want any cookies! After he gave this answer [CN: moving gifs at the link], his co-star Charlize Theron said, "Good for you," to which he replied, "I mean, it's kinda obvious."

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Number of the Day

[Content Note: Homophobia; food insecurity.]

$1.4 million: The amount of money spent by the state of Indiana "fighting five federal court cases that challenged the state's ban on gay marriage. ...According to information provided by the state attorney general's office, Indiana paid more than $1.4 million to attorneys who represented plaintiffs. The state paid an additional $7,000 on other related costs in the lead case."

This, despite the fact that a majority of Hoosiers support same-sex marriage, then and now, and despite the fact that 1 out of 6 Hoosiers rely on "food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families."

Our Republican state leadership not only acts in contravention of the will of the people; it will use the people's tax dollars to defy us, while many of us go hungry.

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Primarily Speaking

image of a clown car filled with seven clowns, whose faces I have replaced with GOP candidates
Beep beep! The clown car has arrived! From left to right: Republican presidential candidates Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Lindsey Graham, and Carly Fiorina.

You know the primary season is in full swing when I start spending my time doing Photoshops as BEAUTIFUL and IMPORTANT as this one!

The GOP Clown Car is hurtling down the Reprehensible Politics Promenade at full-tilt now, and here's just a cool headline at the Washington Post: "The Koch brothers try to rein in the GOP presidential clown show."

"Send in the clowns! But not so damn many of them!"—The Koch Brothers.

Of course, the Koch Brothers aren't the only billionaires with money burning holes in their pockets! Larry Ellison, weirdo billionaire, is also fixing to get it on the act, and it looks like he's putting his money where Marco Rubio's mouth is, or whatever.

And in case there are any other conservative billionaires who have money to burn, but haven't found any candidates among the hundreds already running at whom they want to throw their dollars, George Pataki says he will announce his candidacy later this week. Terrific!

Boy oh boy, if I were an eccentric conservative billionaire who hated giving money to people in need but loved buying gold toilets and Republican politicians, I would be SO MAD at all these candidates! You know how conservatives hate choice! The field is so cluttered with bozos at this point, it's like trying to find the perfect piece of garbage at the biggest garbage dump in all of Garbageland!

In other clown car news, Rick Perry is hanging out in Iowa. And Carly Fiorina is hanging out in New Hampshire. "We were here first! So you have to like us best!" Or something.

On the other side of the aisle, Bernie Sanders is letting loose [CN: video may autoplay at link] about the one percent and "a casino-type capitalism, which is out of control, where the people on top have lost any sense of responsibility for the rest of the society." YES!

And Hillary Clinton has just embraced the fuck out of the pantsuits meme, offering a t-shirt called "the everyday pantsuit tee." LOVE. (I also love that it goes up to a size 28. That's not all-inclusive, but it's a lot more so that most political campaign sizing.)

Talk about these things! Or don't. Whatever makes you happy. Life is short.

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Sophie the Torbie Cat asleep in my inbox on my desk
Titchy Sophs, sound sleep in the inbox on my desk.

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

The Cure: "Pictures of You"

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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Racism; appropriation; war; death] Ben Becker recalls the origins of Memorial Day, and how it was co-opted into a broad remembrance of fallen soldiers: "What we now know as Memorial Day began as 'Decoration Day' in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. Civil War. It was a tradition initiated by former slaves to celebrate emancipation and commemorate those who died for that cause. ...While historians have gone a long way to expose the white supremacist history of the Civil War and uncover its revolutionary content, the spirit of the first Decoration Day—the struggle for Black liberation and the fight against racism—has unfortunately been whitewashed from the modern Memorial Day."

[CN: War on agency] My pal Andrea Grimes on the latest anti-choice fuckery going down in Texas: "The new restrictions would raise the burden of proof that abused, abandoned, and neglected minors must meet when taking their case to a judge, and would give judges five business days, rather than two business days, to rule on a minor's judicial bypass application. This delay could extend the process of judicial bypass by more than a week and push some minors past the threshold when legal abortion care is allowed in the state. ...[Sponsor Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock)] denied that the bill is intended to limit access to abortion care in Texas."

[CN: Death threats; racism] Twitter has finally suspended aggressively violent and dangerous conservative troll Charles Johnson after he tweeted that he was accepting donations for 'taking out' social justice activist DeRay Mckesson (one of the amazing activists profiled here). Johnson tried to claim he was speaking metaphorically, and Mckesson called that shit right out: "For someone who considers themselves a journalist, I firmly believe that he understands the power of his words. And his words are his words. 'Take out' functions in a certain way. And if I got on any media outlet and said something to the effect of 'take out the police,' nobody would think that I was talking about an exposé." Damn right.

[CN: Death; torture; trafficking] Just awful: "Malaysia has begun exhuming bodies suspected to be migrants buried in 139 grave sites close to the Thai border. Authorities believe the migrants were held for ransom in jungle camps by gangs of human traffickers. Thousands of migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar have left for Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia in recent weeks. ...[A]uthorities in Myanmar have charged 20 people with offences related to human trafficking. They were arrested from a vessel carrying 200 migrants from Bangladesh that was rescued last week."

[CN: Rape culture; rape apologia] The public defense of Josh Duggar by everyone who knows him continues, care of one of his sister's father-in-law. And this guy repeats the common assertion that people are gloating: "There is blood in the water and the sharks are in a feeding frenzy. Finally, the Duggar family's opponents have found what they have been eagerly waiting for: shocking revelations of scandal by Jim Bob and Michelle's firstborn son, Josh." I'm sure, because the planet is a big place, there are people who are gloating, but the idea that critics have been "eagerly waiting" to hear that girls were sexually abused is contemptible. Don't project your utter lack of concern for victims onto us, bub.

Oh good! I was just saying last never that we need more media monopolies: "Charter Communications Inc, controlled by cable industry pioneer John Malone, offered to buy Time Warner Cable Inc for $56 billion, seeking to combine the No. 3 and No. 2 U.S. cable operators to compete against market leader Comcast Corp."

[CN: Misogyny] People in Australia are quite rightly asking why it is that tampons and pads are not considered an "important health good," and are thus subject to the 10% Goods and Services tax. I mean, they know why. (What a mystery for the ages!) They are asking for that particular expression of misogyny to stop.

Whoa! "Madagascar is known for its incredible biodiversity, but even so scientists were surprised to find that one species in particular that's unique to the region, called the panther chameleon, is actually 11 different species in one." I love panther chameleons; they have to be one of the most beautiful creatures on Earth.

And finally! This dog says fuck solidarity when it comes to the question of who pooped in the kitchen lol!

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Photo of the Day

image of a double rainbow over Dublin

A double rainbow appears over Dublin, captured on Friday by Karl, as the people of Ireland voted overwhelmingly in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage:
Ireland has voted by a huge majority to legalise same-sex marriage, becoming the first country in the world to do so by popular vote in a move hailed as a social revolution and welcomed around the world.

Some 62% of the Irish Republic's electorate voted in favour of gay marriage. The result means that a republic once dominated by the Catholic church ignored the instructions of its cardinals and bishops. ...The result prompted a massive street party around the gay district of central Dublin close to the national count centre.

...Irish deputy prime minister and Labour leader Joan Burton added: "The people of Ireland have struck a massive blow against discrimination."

And quoting the late American politician and LGBT rights activist Harvey Milk, she said: "Hope will never be silent."

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Floods in Texas and Oklahoma; Tornado in Mexico

[Content Note: Extreme weather; death. Video may autoplay at link.]

Terrible storms struck parts of Texas and Oklahoma again last night, leaving at least four people dead and a dozen missing.

Record-setting rains left officials in Texas and Oklahoma scrambling to assess the scope of the damage and destruction Monday as an emergency coordinator told reporters that a dozen people were missing in one county.

The 12 people missing in Hays County, Texas, come from families who had gathered for the long weekend, said Ken Bell, emergency coordinator for San Marcos, one of the cities hardest hit by the storms and flooding.

...The severe weather has left at least four people dead, including one in Texas and three in Oklahoma, and washed away hundreds of homes. The storms are easing up, but it doesn't mean the threat is gone.

The torrents that those storms dumped are still too much for river and creek banks to contain, and runoff was peaking early Monday, threatening continued flooding, the National Weather Service warned.

And rain relief is not coming to everyone.

A flash flood emergency was issued Monday for several areas in south-central Texas, including the city of Austin and Hays County. Thunderstorms were moving over the area and an additional rainfall of 3-6 inches was expected, according to the National Weather Service.

Forecasters warned that with the ground already saturated, even a small amount of new rain could have devastating consequences.

"Only an inch or two of rainfall could quickly lead to more flash flooding concerns," the weather service said.
Hundreds of homes have been washed away, and this week's forecast is predicting more thunderstorms, hail, high winds, flash flooding, river flooding, and tornadoes.

Just across the border in Mexico, at least 13 people were killed, many more injured, and hundreds of homes were destroyed by a tornado that hit the northern city of Ciudad Acuna. The area also continues to be threatened with more inclement and dangerous weather.

How's everyone doing?

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to leave links in comments to relief and aid for the area. And please remember, if you have money to make donations, that pets and livestock are always in need after extreme weather events, too.

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On Josh Duggar, Continued

[Content Note: Sexual assault; misogyny; victim-blaming; silencing; religion.]

Since the news broke that television reality star and conservative Christian role model Josh Duggar had sexually assaulted at least five girls, there has been an awful lot of defending Duggar, and his parents, among conservative Christians (for example), and there have also been a lot of pieces written about the Quiverfull movement and how the particular brand of patriarchal Christianity, with its aggressive hostility to female agency and endorsement of purity culture, may have contributed to the environment in which the abuse and the subsequent cover-up took place.

There are people who shocked and appalled that anyone could possibly defend Josh Duggar, and there are people who imagine that the only way something like this could have happened is inside the insular world of the Quiverfull conservative Christian movement.

But, of course, to those of us who are familiar with the rape culture and its systems, the rallying around Duggar, even despite his admission, is hardly surprising and hardly rare. Every time there is a victim making public allegations, there are people who defend the accused—and, the more famous he is, the more likely he is to be stridently defended and his abuse tolerated.

screen cap of a tweet authored by me reading: 'While the Duggars' particular religious beliefs are deeply patriarchal & hostile to female agency, it's not uniquely to blame.'screen cap of a tweet authored by me reading: 'We live in a culture that silences victims and protects abusers, and religion is just one part of that system.'

Patriarchal religion functions not unlike many other male-centric systems throughout our culture in which sexual abuse is just as routine as the cover-ups that follow-up and the rallying around male perpetrators in the instances when those diligent cover-ups fail. The military, male athletics, fraternities, Congress, the entertainment industry, etc.

To exclusively blame the Duggars' religious culture is to miss that this entire chain of horrific events is emblematic of the larger rape culture.

Which, frankly, is no more helpful than using religion, and its prescribed forgiveness, to wash it all away.

Every male-centric patriarchal system protects abusers in this very way: Cover up the crimes, blame the victims, avoid meaningful accountability, protect the abusers, abet the abuse, center harm to the abusers should their crimes become public, urge forgiveness, decenter the victims.

(And that's only when the crimes are undeniable. When there are merely allegations made by survivor(s), then add eleventy fucktons of attacking and trying to discredit and silence the victim(s) to that strategy.)

When one has spent as much time immersed in trying to understand and document and deconstruct and dismantle the rape culture as I have, Josh Duggar's crimes, and his parents' and community's attempts to cover them up, hardly look scandalous. Unfortunately, they look entirely typical.

This is how patriarchal systems operate; this is how people who arrange their lives by those systems' odious tenets behave.

Sure, let us talk about how the particular brand of toxic masculinity to which the Duggars subscribe functions to abet abuse, to protect abusers, and to make women and girls extremely vulnerable to abuse. That is absolutely a conversation that needs to happen.

But let us not pretend that system exists in a vacuum.

If we don't connect that system to the larger rape culture, and to the other systems in which these same dynamics manifest over and over, then that conversation only functions to other religious conservatives in order to excuse our own accountability in upholding the rape culture across other systems in which we enjoy participation.

And let us further understand that one of the most dysfunctional systems for many survivors is the family.

For some survivors, their family is their rock, and they couldn't imagine surviving the trauma of sexual abuse without their family.

For the rest of us, our family—even if it isn't the source of our abuse, which is incredibly common—is a source of profound secondary trauma, as we are silenced, blamed for our own abuse, our pain ignored, urged to keep quiet so as not to shame the family with our embarrassing victimization, obliged to salve our parents' and/or siblings' discomfort with our abuse, denied access to therapy, denied access to justice, disallowed from talking about our experiences, our trauma turned into a family secret that we are expected to fiercely guard lest someone get the idea that our family isn't perfect.

Some families behave like this because of religion. Some because of community perception. Some because the leaders of the household have no capacity for sensitively and effectively addressing sexual abuse whose victims are children or young adults. Some for other reasons, for combinations of these reasons.

Some because they're making lots and lots of money of pretending to be a perfect family on TV.

There's no one reason, not even religion, that families fail victims in their midst. Religion may be part of the reason, maybe even a big part, of why a family conceals abuse and protects a predator son at the expense of victim daughters. But it's never the only reason.

The Duggars' religion is, for a ceaseless avalanche of reasons, utterly contemptible to me. I have no wish to defend any part of it. But I very fervently do not want their religion to take the fall, all by itself, for sexual abuse and the subsequent cover-up and apologia.

Because we don't need to be having conversations about how weird those religious weirdos are; we need to be having conversations about how alarmingly typical those dynamics are, everywhere we allow them.

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Open Thread

image of three colorful lava lamps

Hosted by lava lamps.

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The Virtual Pub Is Open (+ Programming Note)

image of a pub Photoshopped to be named 'The Shakesville Arms'
[Explanations: lol your fat. pathetic anger bread. hey your gay.]

TFIF, Shakers!

Belly up to the bar,
and name your poison!

Monday is Memorial Day in the US, and several of the mods will be traveling and/or doing Memorial Day type things that day, as will lots of readers, so we're going to take Monday off and we'll see you back here Tuesday.

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The Friday Blogaround

This blogaround brought to you by blue ink.

Recommended Reading:

Socchan: On String Orchestra Dragons

Stephanie: Getting Started in Tech's Social Justice Movement

Alona: [Content Note: Racism; colonialism; ciscentrism; heterocentrism] This Is What Happens When a Brown, Indigenous, Immigrant Queer Walks into a Wildlife Training

Jim: [CN: Sex abuse; victim-blaming; homophobia] Argentine Judges Reduce Sentence for Child Predator, Saying Six-Year-Old Victim Showed 'Homosexual Tendencies'

Emily: [CN: Homophobia] Senate Bill Would Prohibit LGBTQ Discrimination in Adoption and Foster Placement

Lisa: [CN: Racism; description of violence] Bessie: Unapologetically Black, Female, and Queer

MG Staff: Meet Amanda Saab, the First Headscarf-Clad Chef on Primetime Television

James: [CN: Disablist language] The Groundbreaking History of Star Wars Toys

Leave your links and recommendations in comments. Self-promotion welcome and encouraged!

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Dudley the Greyhound lying on the couch with his head on a pillow
This guy. ♥

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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Quote of the Day

[Content Note: Sexual abuse; rape apologia.]

Janet and I want to affirm our support for the Duggar family. Josh's actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, 'inexcusable,' but that doesn't mean 'unforgivable.' He and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities. No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story.

Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things. The reason that the law protects disclosure of many actions on the part of a minor is that the society has traditionally understood something that today's blood-thirsty media does not understand—that being a minor means that one's judgement is not mature. No one needs to defend Josh's actions as a teenager, but the fact that he confessed his sins to those he harmed, sought help, and has gone forward to live a responsible and circumspect life as an adult is testament to his family's authenticity and humility.

Those who have enjoyed revealing this long ago sins in order to discredit the Duggar family have actually revealed their own insensitive bloodthirst, for there was no consideration of the fact that the victims wanted this to be left in the past and ultimately a judge had the information on file destroyed—not to protect Josh, but the innocent victims.

Janet and I love Jim Bob and Michelle and their entire family. They are no more perfect a family than any family, but their Christian witness is not marred in our eyes because following Christ is not a declaration of our perfection, but of HIS perfection. It is precisely because we are all sinners that we need His grace and His forgiveness. We have been blessed to receive God's love and we would do no less than to extend our love and support for our friends. In fact, it is such times as this, when real friends show up and stand up. Today, Janet and I want to show up and stand up for our friends. Let others run from them. We will run to them with our support.
—Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, on Facebook today.

There is so much wrong with that, I hardly know where to begin, and I'll leave you to parse out every little bit of heinousness in comments.

I will simply point out that Huckabee's pretense to care about Josh Duggar's victims is reprehensible. The family claims on the one hand to have sought counseling for Josh Duggar and his victims, but then admits that the "counseling" for Josh was just being sent away to live with a family friend. Are we then to trust that his victims were given access to legitimate counseling services?

We are meant to ignore that Josh Duggar, in his statement to People, says: "I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life." He was concerned that continuing to abuse girls would ruin his life. His life.

And, in his statement regarding his resignation from the Family Research Council, he requests prayers for himself but not for his victims. He doesn't give a fuck about his victims. Neither, seemingly, do his parents, who concealed his crimes until the statute of limitations for prosecution had passed.

Huckabee, whose candidacy has been endorsed by the Duggars, can wax poetic about the Duggars' "authenticity and humility" all he wants, but the only qualities that are relevant to this situation are their interest in accountability and their sensitivity to survivors.

Both of which are decidedly lacking.

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