If You Commit a Crime, Are You a Criminal Forever?

Since starting Tiny Cat Pants, I’ve dropped acid.  Just once, because, you know, I’m a giant nerd and the feeling of being hot and somewhat nauseous and too full of orange juice outweighed the mild hallucinations I’m pretty sure I could have had if I’d just forced myself to stay up until four in the morning without drugs.  I don’t know.  Maybe I did it wrong.

But I did it to impress a boy (no, not that one), which, of course, failed.  And have never done it again (drugs or impressed a boy, I’m afraid).

Didn’t get caught, though.

Am I a criminal?

I have a couple of relatives who were alleged drug dealers in their younger days.  One stole a great deal of money from the other, because he allegedly knew the other couldn’t report it because a similar amount of money was allegedly missing from a local bar.  (It appears to me that the statute of limitations on most felonies in Illinois is three years, but I’d still like to be careful.)

That amount of money was enough to pay his way out of state and allow him to start his life over as a non-drug-dealer, for which we are all grateful.

He hasn’t dealt drugs in ten years.  He’s never robbed anyone since.

Is he a theif?  A drug dealer?

According to the law, he’s not.  He committed those crimes years ago and has gotten on with his life.

Why then, do we talk about illegal immigration differently?  There are very few crimes one cannot outwait the stigma of.  One might be considered a murderer or a rapist or a child molester for life, even if one only committed that crime once.

But theivery, tresspassing, car stealing, even assault are all crimes we can commit once, in our youth, and if we go on to become productive members of society (shit, if we just cease to be unproductive members of society) and, if enough time passes, we don’t have to fear being prosecuted any more.  We’re not “illegals.”

Why, then, do immigrants who enter the country illegally have to bear the burden of being considered “illegals”?  I’ve been looking through the federal statute and it’s clear that entering the country is illegal and faking documents in order to stay here and work is illegal.  But those both appear to be crimes that have a statute of limitations of ten years.

It also appears to me that, if one could come here and stay off the .gov’s radar for a decade–not working, not using taxpayer funded programs, just laying low, you’d be in a weird situation where you’d be in the country without proper documentation, but the goernment could not prosecute you for being here.

I guess I don’t really have a point except to say that it seems like calling them “illegals” as if they’re all in a state of constate illegality, as opposed to someone who did something once a long time ago, is an insidious debate strategy.

Oh, So That’s Why Folks are Homeschooling

I’ll give you three guesses which one of these guys is a highly-paid Metro Schools administrator:

Now every leader in history had a particular calling, the greatest leader in America that we know was Jesus Christ, there are other countries that knew Buddha, Mohammed, some just knew God, Allah, Yahweh; and then there were men, Attila the Hun, Hannibal, Mansa Mussa, King James, Lancelot, Russo, Socrates, Plato, Martin Luther, Gandhi, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Benjamin Wright, leaders whom we consider the great achievers.

This begs the question, though, if Lancelot is on the list, why isn’t Beowulf?

Ha, ha, ha.  I kid.

[Thanks to Bruce Barry for disturbing the shit out of me.]

El Bark-no

Hey, I’m not going to tell you how to raise your kids.  I keep my kids in a couple of sacks at the ends of two long tubes and once a month I chuck one into the toilet, just for kicks.

But you should not teach your kids that dogs say “El Barko” in Mexico.

(I have it on internet authority that dogs say “guf guf” in Spanish.  Too bad kids today don’t know anyone who can speak Spanish who could give them a straight answer instead of encouraging this nonsense.)

Local Baptist Church Hides Behind Griswold and Roe… Hmm…

Two Rivers Baptist Church’s lawyers are claiming “that [the church members suing them] had no right to the records given the separation of church and state, as well as constitutional rights to privacy of members whose names are on church rolls.” [emphasis mine]

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

On behalf of feminists and sex perverts everywhere, you’re welcome.

[h/t to Samantha Y.]

This May Change My Life

Yesterday, the Butcher was listening to the Dixie Chicks.

I said, “What are you listening to?”

“The Dixie Chicks.”

“The Dixie Chicks are on Madden?”

“No, on my iPod.  See, I just plug this here, flip that there, and…”

“You can run your iPod through the speakers?!”

“Well, duh, B.”

So, today, I have run my iPod–The Greenman–through my computer’s speakers.

In honor of that, I give you a random 10 from the Greenman.

1.  “Red Clay Halo” by Gillian Welch

2.  “Glory, Glory Hallllelujia” by Otha Turner

3.  “Three Days” by Willie Nelson

4.  “Dracula” by Gorillaz

5.  “Barbara Allen” by Emily Rossum

6.  “Rise up with Fists!” by Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins

7.  “This Room for Rent” by Sammi Smith

8.  “Some Broken Hearts Never Mend” by Don Williams

9.  “Married Man Blues” by Jessie Mae Hemphill

10.  “Jesus Built My Hotrod” by Ministry

My Strategy as a Feminist

Happily, there’s already a Feminism 101 blog where folks who are interested in getting up to speed on feminism can do so.  But feminism is not some giant monolith where everyone agrees on everything all the time skipping grimmly through the world in lock formation while we ruin fun for girly girls and try to make men feel bad for having penises.

Most feminists agree on the basic principle that feminism is about recognizing and forcing others to recognize women as fully human, equal participants in society.  How we go about that, what “fully human” means or what “equal participant” might entail are all up for grabs.

No one has really settled on that, which I believe is for the best.  Ideally, we should be working towards a world very different from the one we live in, one that, I would gather, most of us wouldn’t recognize as being the end result of our struggles.

You can see that kind of tension between anti-porn feminists and pro-porn feminists.  Anti-porn feminists complain that we did not struggle as hard as we did for as long as we did so that it would be easier for men to gaze at naked women pretending to enjoy having sex while they watch.  Pro-porn women argue that we don’t have to be Puritanical about sex and that there’s nothing inherently anti-feminist about women enjoying and feeling powerful through sex.

Neither side really knows what a woman-friendly future will look like and so they have vastly different ideas that regularly come into conflict about how to achieve that.  Do we get it by eliminating all instances of exploitation or do we get it by transforming what used to be exploitative into something we find empowering?

Who knows?

Clearly, we’re not going to settle that today.

But I did want to talk a little about my own feminist strategies and some of why I do what I do here.

For instance, I’m loud and brash and cuss like a sailor here at Tiny Cat Pants (even though in real life, I think I’m much less of a potty mouth and much more charming than I come across here–at least the conservatives always seem shocked that they like me and enjoy talking to me) precicely because, especially here, that behavior has certain markers.  Loud, potty-mouthed Southern women are usually poor white trash.

Learning “proper” behavior, learning to be demure and polite and soft-spoken is a way for white women to signal that we’re not trashy and that we deserve to be treated with respect.

In other words, we’re rewarded for being quiet and inoffensive–let the men talk while we get dinner together.

Fuck that.  I want to be in where the talking is going on.  I want folks to feel like, like me or hate me, they have to at least keep an ear open for what I’m saying.  I want the whole experience of reading me to be disconcerting enough that, every once in a while, your guard slips and some important idea gets through.

Why do I dog on conservatives as much as I do?

Because, at the end of the day, I don’t think that they’re idiots.

That may be stupid on my part, but I don’t believe that they’re idiots.

I do believe, however, that many of them are fortunate enough that they can arrange their lives so that their beliefs are never challenged.  They can live in neighborhoods, have groups of friends, and attend church with folks who believe pretty much what they believe and so their beliefs are continually reinforced without being honed through conflict.

And these people are making decisions for us, all of us, based on assumptions about groups I’m a part of, and they rarely have to interact with people who challenge those assumptions.

I hope to challenge them.

That’s also, in part, what’s with all the pictures of my tits and why I’m honest about my own insecurities and doubts.  I think a lot of folks here think that feminists are “not like regular women,” that we are not the kinds of people they can hang out in a bar with or flirt with or sympathize with.

But we are.

Anyway, I just wanted to stay a little about my strategies.  They’re not always the best ones and sometimes I have to rethink them and try something different.

Sadly, no one’s sending out orders from Feminist Headquarters.  Everyone’s figuring this stuff out as we go.

So, I’m going to fuck up occassionally, though not quite as often as would amuse the conservatives, I’m sure.