Friday, December 28, 2007

Do Opiners opine how they say they opine?

Opine--intransitive verb: to express opinions
transitive verb: to state as an opinion

Editorial--an article giving opinions or perspectives

Opiner--n. a frequent commenter, supporter, or editor of blog Opine Editorials. [my definition]

Opine Editorials claims to defend "marriage on the firm ground of reason and respect for human dignity" and that they are open to dialogue out of mutual respect.

Let's take a gander at the defintion of dignity, shall we?

Dignity: "1. The quality or state of being worthy of esteem or respect."

Now, throw the "human dignity" aspect of their motto in their and you get the idea that Opiners believe humans are worthy of esteem or respect.

Observe the following comments and see for yourself how accurate this is:

Marty said: "The "inner city" (read "African American") experience has proven to everyone the importance of a father in a child's life.

I wonder why white lesbians are ignoring the evidence?

Racism perhaps? Or just plain old sexism?"

(Because yes, all lesbians are really just sexist and racist. Perhaps if they learn to like dick a little bit more, they will stop being so narrow-minded.)

Or how about this article, in which they already assume that which they set out to prove, among other things?

The article starts out with a logical fallacy:

"Objectively, marriage is both-sexed by its very nature.

The nature of something is its essence, its core, its reason for being. One can acknowledge the nature of marriage but one cannot construct it out of thin air"

How, pray tell, can something which is man-made (marriage) be something "by its very nature?"

Something may have sociologically started as one definition, but definitions have changed throughout the course of history for many, many things... marriage being but one of them.

By this reasoning, the fact that marriage is now same-sexed in some states and countries, also means that this type of marriage is also "the essence" of marriage.

Oh, and read here Renee's obsession with "coitus" and lesbians. (in which she implicitly denounces all lesbians because her college roommate was one):

"Unlike other relationships, only heterosexual who engage in coitus, have to assume the possibility of another human being being created from the sexual act. So I'm a 'homobigot' is I say... a man's penis is more well endowed then a gorilla three times his size, so he can please a woman with a forward tilted vagina with face to face intercourse?

In high school/college my best friend was a lesbian, since I use my real name in my profile, I rather not to speak too much in detail, because some people reading could know who I'm talking about. I'll say, she had issues with men and abuse. She was lonely, especially seeing her girlfriends getting attention from guys. I have to admit though this wasn't good attention. Guys would seriously say some wicked awful things to her, she became more and more depressed. She started not to take care of her appearance, and self esteem was very low.

We were close, until I met my husband. My husband wasn't a 'guy', very early on, it became clear one day we were going to get married. She became very angry how nice my husband was while dating. She couldn't stand me being happy with a man, she rather enjoy hearing me bitch out how horrible the guys I was with and how SHE would be there for me."

First, respect for human dignity, means ALL humans. Not just heterosexuals who are "capable of coitus." And it also includes all lesbians. I have a feeling that Renee's hatred of lesbians stem from a relationship she almost had with this alleged roommate, and perhaps her own internalized homophobia. (yep, there I said, I think she's a closeted lesbo). Just my own opinion, though.

Here is Chairm's own description and explanation of the SSM debate in regards to their motto:

"Identity politics tends to create self-serving short cuts that cut out far too much. When people find themselves lost in the woods, they regret the short cuts taken and become frustrated and panicky.

That is not something rarely experienced in this day an age of identity politics. This is not peculair to gay identity politics, but the SSM campaign illustrates it most flagrantly.

SSMers propose a replacement for marriage recognition but they have come to believe their own publicity. They truly believe that marriage already has been replaced and that the rest of the world will inevitably catch-up with them.

But they are in the woods, lost, with only hopeful short cuts to get them from one place to another.

There is more wrong with SSM argumentation than the issues of elegibility, however, it is such an obvious problem since the SSM campaign is all about revamping the line-drawing. How can they possibly hope to find their way out of the woods without owning this fundamental aspect of a special relationship status?

Perhaps only through willful ignorance, based on clinging to misrepresentations.

I think we should continue to invite SSMers to do better. And, of course, we need the patience and resolve to remain diligent and to promote improved understanding of all sides.

The standard that is evoked in our motto is a guiding light that we must strive to adhere to even when others run off into the woods to get lost in darkness.

We defend marriage on the firm ground of reason and respect for human dignity."

*pause, to wipe a tear from my eye*

Again, apparently "human dignity" only applies to heterosexuals. Or to those who are happy in heterosexual relationships and will realistically marry someone of the opposite sex. And, apparently when gays ask for marriage rights, they are self-serving and playing identity politics. He could easily take the more humanly dignified route and gay people the benefit of the doubt, and seek to understand why gay people are seeking marriage rights for their relationships. Instead, he pettily dismisses their arguments without a clear argument as to why, exactly, they are so "lost in the woods."

Really, Chairm. I invite you and your cohort to do better.

Opiners also frequently deny that same-sex marriage is a civil rights issue. Again, the respect for human dignity thing...

Going back to the definition of dignity, if one is to indeed respect that humans are worthy of respect (as they claim), one should acknowledge that often in issues of civil rights, the claims of offense of those seeking civil rights often go unheard for decades.

If one is to respect that humans are worthy of respect, one should also recognize that the rights of the minority need to be acknowledged, too.

If one is to respect that humans are worthy of respect, one should respect that their actions and/or words are offensive to an entire group of people.

Observe Renee's article here. In this article she (again) insists that gay marriages are "unnatural" (see above for my reply to this) because they are void of procreative ability.

She states, "No amount of human consensus can change physical and biological reality. A while back a friend of mine pointed to a bumper sticker on a car (from California, of course) which read Repeal Entropy and it's a bit like that. Same sex marriages may happen, but the folks going through their motions may as well participate in ceremonies to reverse gravity or get licenses to allow them to breath water."

To which the self-labeled "Culturologist" responds, "It would be interesting to have some systematic data on how African-Americans feel about the homosexual lobby's attempt to hijack the language of the civil rights movement."

Is anyone else bored with this argument? I am. I've already addressed it. Here. Here. Here. Oh, and here.

And here.

Enough said.

Now, getting back to the topic of human dignity and their other claim of "Petty insults or ad hom attacks or profanity are strongly discouraged. These detract, rather than add, to the discussion."

Observe here which petty insults and ad hom attacks are allowed, encouraged even, so long as it goes along with their anti-gay message:

One of several Jose Solano posts. (though On Lawn does do some scolding here, thanks).

One of "Culturologist's" comments:
"...In this sense, not only are homosexual 'pairs' (the very term is wrong here) absurd, they are anti-difference. This may seem a strange thing, given the constant cry of the pro-SSM crowd for the toleration of 'difference.' In point of fact, it is the difference of the fundamental binary of human existence that they reject."

Another Jose Solano quote about gay people: "We have a deconstruction work of our own to do in dismantling the myth that somehow a man having anal intercourse, or other thoroughly aberrant sexual behavior, with another man could possibly relate to a marriage regardless of any “lifetime commitment.” We must without any compromise whatsoever continually emphasize that it is not only preposterous to imagine such a relationship could possibly constitute a marriage, but that the relationship itself is an absurdity, an act of grave depravity. You see, the anus is simply not designed to be penetrated by the penis." [emphasis mine]

And consider this gem by Jose Solano:

"It is important to remember that everyone dies. If it’s not disease that kills us, it’s accidents or world cataclysms. Populations are reduced by nature itself and we do not need artificial means of birth control or human destruction. We must emerge from the very primitive mentality that calls for human sacrifice to solve world problems. When abortionists consider destroying the unborn, defenseless human being, in the interest of humanity, they should contemplate aborting themselves. This is said just for contemplation to emphasize that non-hypocritical altruism calls for self-sacrifice not murder or suicide.

There is meaning in the natural birthing and dying process which those obsessed with materialism fail to understand. The foundation of this meaning is compassion, compassion for the aged, for the infirmed, for the unborn.

[I have no problem drifting from the thread as tangentially significant issues enter the conversation.]" [emphasis mine]

I fail to understand why someone would be more interested in a not-yet person than an actual human being. But that's a whole other can of worms. Mkay, Jose. Go ahead and try to "abort" an adult, we'll see where you end up.

And consider this ad hom by On Lawn, the ringleader of the brigade:

"[John Hosty] is a classic pathological liar."

Per On Lawn's request to keep Opine Editorials honest, that is just a mere recent accounting of personal attacks that Opiners have made (in the midst of claiming others are "abusive" and traverse personal boundaries, nonetheless!).

Here's another. From Renee:

"You have to understand the ideology of Jane Know is nothing more then of a con artist..... She isn't a feminist..."

My attempts at clarification were predictably unmet by Renee or any of the other Opiners, even after I explained my ideologies.

Observe On Lawn's immediate reply to this: "Jane,

What would you define as your brand of Feminism? How would you describe Renee's brand of Feminism?"

Yes, right after I had just defined my brand of feminism. And right after seeking clarification as to Renee's brand. I have yet to get any answers from them.

But I am not surprised.

In summary, my point is that no. The Opiners do not opine the way they say they opine.

Thus, I may venture to their blog when I am bored. I may continue to voice my opinions. But my main goal will continue to be to get my message out there...and to continue to support my allies in this battle...a battle that we will inevitably win.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Just wishing you all happy holidays. I've been out of town for several days visiting family and friends. But I plan to be back on the blogosphere shortly.

Hope you all had wonderful holidays, as we bring in a new year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Lesbians and "Normal" Women: A true comparison of STD rates and transmission

A good friend recently sent this article to me. It is titled: "STDs two and a half times More prevalent in lesbians than Normal Women"

If you are offended by the words vagina or penis or penetration, just stop reading now.

If you don't have time to read the afore-mentioned article (although it's really short), the general gist is that a.) lesbians aren't "Normal Women," b.) bacterial vaginosis is more common among lesbians, and thus c.) lesbians have twice the STD rates than heterosexual women.

Oh, and d.) The word "lesbians" doesn't deserve capitalization. But "Normal Women" does.

Anyway, the article states, "Public health professionals admit that the problem with tracking the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases among lesbians is the lack of research. What studies have been undertaken, however, show that most women in such relationships have had sexual relations with at least one man in the past and can transmit possible infections on to other women, sometimes years later. Commonly, such infections can include Chlamydia and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) the infection that has been linked to cervical cancer."

Point of Clarification #1: that such infections can include Chlamydia and HPV, doesn't mean that they actually do.

I work at an STD clinic. I see STDs every single day. (I do love my job, by the way). I have seen them all. Let me break it down for you. Many STDs require something penetrative that also acts as a "microorganism depositer," if you will. This includes Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, HIV, and hepatitis B. That means the little bacteria or viruses are present in the actual semen or discharge from the urethra and are tranmitted during "coitus." Conversely, a female's cervical or vaginal secretions can also transmit these to her partner's penis. But that requires more in-depth penetration, if you will. Or if an infected lesbian is sharing sex toys with her girlfriend, a lesbian could become infected this way. Problem is, not many lesbians are infected in the first place.

HPV is different in that it can be spread from skin-to-skin contact. If someone has a wart on his penis, it is likely shedding the HPV virus. And through unprotected sex it can be spread to the female partner's cervix. It can also end up on someone's mouth through oral sex. Or a wart on a cervix can be spread to a penis. And, again, if an HPV-infected lesbian shares toys with her girlfriend, she could infect the girlfriend (if they don't use condoms on the toys).

Syphilis in the primary stage (when a chancre or other "wet" symptom is present) is also spread through skin-to-skin contact. So is Herpes Simplex Virus (Type 1 and 2).

Point of Clarification #2: Bacterial vaginosis is not that scary.

Now, let's delve into bacterial vaginosis (BV), shall we? As this is the "STD" that lifesite's article was most interested in. Per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which is the STD guidelines and gold standard among all health-care professionals in the U.S., BV is "is the name of a condition in women where the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina is disrupted and replaced by an overgrowth of certain bacteria." In other words, it's not caused by any outside bacteria. It is an overgrowth of the bacteria that is found in every woman's vagina. In actuality, not much is understood about BV. It is found more frequently in women with multiple sexual partners, women who douche, and women who use IUDs (Intrauterine Devices). While women who have never had sexual intercourse are rarely affected, it does happen. Thus, while sex may be a contributing factor, and sharing sex toys among lesbians can be a cause, the fact that it also occurs in virgins makes it... not really an STD.

But, since it is a bacteria that occurs in the vagina and has been linked to sex in most people, it is commonly listed under STD sections of medical books and articles, and even the CDC.

For one, as far as STDs go, BV is probably THE MOST benign. It is so benign, in fact, that non-pregnant women whose tests show that they have BV are commonly only treated if they are symptomatic. Why, might you ask? Probably because the risk of allergic reactions to the treatment (a commonly prescribed antibiotic) are actually higher than the risks associated with BV.

Secondly, as I already mentioned, BV isn't really an STD. See this article for more info ("Bacterial vaginosis, although not clearly an STD, is prevalent in lesbians and bisexual women"). To imply that lesbians have double the rate of STDs than heterosexual (excuse me, "Normal") women is strongly misleading. Re-read my point about penises being a main cause of many STDs. The LifeSite article took results from one small study (n=360) about BV, and made a sweeping generalization that lesbians have twice the rate of ALL STDs. That is grossly. horribly. terribly. inaccurate. Particularly among women who ONLY sleep with other women. And women who have never slept with men.

For example, one study showed that lesbians had a "7 percent increased likelihood of reported STDs per male partner in women who had sex with men compared with those who did not." You see, it is the penis that is more likely to spread STDs than a vagina. That's not bias, that's clear biology and scientific fact. A penis + vagina and a penis + penis both = higher STD rates. Vagina + vagina does not.

I am curious as to whether this study counted bisexual women among the "lesbians" category. Because bisexual women's sexual health needs are different from lesbians'. (ie- one has to take into account that penis). The LifeSite article also doesn't provide a link or reference list to the original study, so one can not even look back and read it for oneself. Interesting. It seems that for an article to make such a blanket negative statement about one "subculture" as they call it, one would provide a link to the original research to let the readers decide for themselves. But I don't expect that from LifeSite. They apparently are not interested in fairness and accuracy.

For example, the last sentence of the article ends like this, "The April 2000 edition of the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reports of two lesbians diagnosed with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which is usually caused by untreated Chlamydia or gonorrhea."

Yes. A whopping, extraordinary amount of lesbians. Two. Two cases of a condition that may or may not be caused by an STD, but can also be caused by tampons, irritation, sex, or any other number of infections or irritants. Oh, and for the record, 1 million women in the U.S. alone get PID each year. If two of them are lesbians, then obviously this is an epidemic. (note the obvious sarcasm).

My only other main point of contention with the article is the use of the word "Normal" to signify "heterosexual." I knew right away, before even knowing what the hell LifeSite was, that this was gonna be a bad, bad article.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

For B (1970-2003): A World AIDS Day Blog

In honor of B for World AIDS Day, 12/1/07.

You were too young.

Once she was beautful. I think she is beautiful still.

How does this happen?

Your name kept coming up, your name was everywhere that night.

Every time we listen to that song.

A moment of perfect grace. You are ravishing.

We kept coming back. Coming back to you.

I'll never forget the way you looked.

We knew it was you.

The night you died, we all went bar-hopping. I'm sure you would approve.

Your name still comes up every time we go out. To that one bar. To where it used to be.

When so much is yet to be writ-

We went looking for you once. Your grave was unmarked.


Yet we kept finding it anyway.

We laughed and reminisced through the jukebox of frosted glasses of cheap draft beer and smoke-filled rooms.



Why save your songs for spring? There are more.

We held back our tears. Then we cried.

The Soul of the World awaited him and he would soon be a part of it.

We cried.

You are ravishing...

What is a stranger doing in a strange land?

We wondered. I wondered, what happened?

We hid from you before. We didn't want you to tell on us. We danced and we hid.

Then we drank with you.

And we cried.

You saw us anyway. And you told on us.

I'm sure you would approve.

We all do now.

Once he was beautiful. I'm sure he is beautiful still.

A Guest Blog by Fannie in Response to Opine Editorials

In light of some craziness in my personal life, Fannie has graciously offered to post a guest blog in response to an article by Opine Editorials "Does Jane know what she says she knows?"

I may return shortly with articles of my own, but right now I have neither the time nor the inclination. Thank you Fannie!

Her article follows:

In response to Jane Know's previous article about Renee, the On Lawn
moniker wrote a largely unsubstantiated piece about Jane Know. Most
hypocritically, he claimed that Jane wrote an article about Renee that
lacked evidence (or, rather that is was full of "hate-filled lies").

I'm somewhat embarassed to admit this, but I spent more time than I wanted to, attempting to get On Lawn to substantiate his article. Even for
the sake of his own credibility, he refused to do so. He sort of tried here, but avoided most of my questions and provided evidence that did not support his claims on others. The Opiners claim to be open to dialogue out of "mutual respect and understanding" and they admonish us (being Jane, John, John Hosty, and
I) to ask for clarification if need be. Yet, when we do ask, our
requests are ignored, reprimanded, or assigned sinister motives.

In the paragraphs that follow, I will present evidence as to how On Lawn
wrote an article without using any evidence to back it up.Disregarding
his article's accuracy or inaccuracy, an article without evidence is
nothing but a rant.

Let's take it from the top, On Lawn said:

1. "Fallacy Findings is out to attack Opine again. You will
remember their last attempt, where they tried to take our discussion of
an explicitely non-violent statement and claim it meant we were in
cahoots with a violent hate group."

"Again," he says. When was the last "attack"? (Alas, let me do On
Lawn's substantiating for him. Is he referring to this article? If so, why would he refer to it, claim that Jane was "out to attack" Opine in this article, provide his own characterization of the article, yet NOT provide a link to the article? Omission #2, (Omission #1 being not providing a link to Jane's article about Renee.)

Who does On Lawn mean by "their" and "they"? Doesn't Fallacy Findings
have but one author, that person being Jane? (This current article is
the first guest post on Jane's blog). Yes. Jane is the sole author.
Inaccuracy #1. But wait, On Lawn changes his story here when he says that by "they" he really meant Jane, "and the commenters that signed off wholesale on her fallacies." Then perhaps he should correct his mischaracterization. In his article he specifically referred to Fallacy Findings and followed with a sentence saying that "they" did something. Mischaracterization #1.

What exactly does he mean by "in cahoots with"? (On Lawn did, actually,
answer this one by saying that in cahoots means "allegiance," "common
cause," or "collaboration." Is he denying that some Opine Editorials
bloggers claimed to have a common cause with Watchmen? For some
background, it was On Lawn who originally posted the Watchmen article on
Opine Editorials and, after providing a link to the Watchmen mission
statement, said this:

"This might be a good place to discuss how much Opine has in common,
and not in common, with their statement.

Your comments are welcome. Are homosexuals the chief enemy of the
natural family? Are they thinly veiled hate-mongers? I will save my
commentary for the comment section also."

The purpose of his post, perhaps written while not knowing the Watchmen
are a hate group, was for the Opiners to discuss whether they indeed
had a common cause with the Watchmen (ie- "in cahoots with"?). A few
ultimately decided that they did. At least partly. Therefore, it was not a lie for Jane to at least imply that the Opiners and the Watchmen share a common cause. (Mischaracterization #2).

2. "Of course, the value of controversial mis-truths is not lost
on her and her unquestioning readership -- she repeatedly refused to
correct her mistakes claiming she had none in that article."

What "mistakes"? How is her "readership" unquestioning? How does On
Lawn know that all of her readership is unquestioning? How does On Lawn
know, for that matter, who constitutes all of her readership?
(Claims For Which No Evidence is Provided #1, #2, and #3).

What "controversial mis-truths" is On Lawn referring to?

3. "In reading this I am left to wonder how people with
hate-sensors that can go off with someone blowing their noses, why they don't detect
the hate filled lies on their own site."

What hate-filled lies, exactly, is he talking about talking about?
(Claim For Which No Evidence is Provided #5)

How does he know these alleged lies are "hate-filled"? (Psychic
Venture into Another's State of Mind #1)

How are these statements lies? (Claim For Which No Evidence is
Provided #6)

4. "It is embarrassing to read when she gets so filled with rage
and punch drunk...

How does he know that Jane is "filled with rage" and is "punch drunk"?
(Psychic Ventures into Another's State of Mind #2 and

Does his site not advocate for attacking an argument as opposed to the
person making the argument? (Personal attack #1)

5. ...that can't keep her story straight from one moment to the
next. These one sentence paragraphs have only two paragraphs between
them, that is if you count the witty repartee "ha ha ha *snort*" a

The sentences of Jane's that he quotes do not support the argument he
is attempting to make: namely, that Jane can't keep her story straight.
His purpose is more to support his ridicule of her "witty repartee" and use
of succint paragraphs. (Non Sequitor #1). Anyway, if
On Lawn wants to read an article with no sense of humor, he's gotten

5. "Jane is complaining that she is being called a feminist, and
complaining that her feminist credentials are being questioned. But
worse than that, I'm afraid her conjecture is unfounded."

Jane's quotes do not support the argument that On Lawn has made:
namely, that "Jane is complaining that she is being called a feminist."
(Non Sequitor #2)

He follows this thought with a contradictory statement that Jane is now
"complaining that her feminist credentials are being questioned."
Which is it On Lawn, is she complaining about being called a feminist, or
complaining about not being called a feminist? (Internal
contradiction #1).

And, how is Jane's "conjecture unfounded"? On Lawn has come to a
conclusion without making the necessary arguments for his conclusion.
Not everyone takes his word for it that another's conjecture is
unfounded. (Claim For Which No Evidence is Provided

6. "She complains about comments being deleted about as often as
she paraphrases them incorrectly."

Since she allegedly complains about comments being deleted so often, On
Lawn shouldn't have had trouble producing a direct quote from Jane.
Not that this sentence is relevant to Jane's original article about Renee.
(Claim For Which No Evidence is Provided #8, Personal Attack

7. "Too much of what Jane says is straight from her own imagination."

On Lawn is again delving into the inner-workings of Jane's mind.
(Psychic Venture into Another's State of Mind #4, Personal
Attack #3)

To sum up this article, I'd like to end on the words of On Lawn
himself, with a key name inserted.

"In the efforts of good will and mutual respect, [On Lawn] is
offered to make corrections. In efforts of accuracy and truth, [On
Lawn] is expected to support [his] claims better. [He] has a wider audience
than the echo-chamber he runs."

I made a simple request that he verify his claims about Jane since he
is accusing her of evil characteristics. Is he unable to verify his
claims, or does he irresponsibly rant about others without feeling the need to
back up his words with, you know, evidence? Does he even believe what
he is saying about Jane? And, one is left to conclude that when
certain members of Opine Editorials write articles about others, these articles
are more unsubstantiated rants than substance.

Chairm, too, wrote his an article of Jane that, rather than including
reasons and evidence, included his conclusions. And questions. It is
up to Jane to answer Chairm if she wishes. But given the
mischaracterization and unsubstantiated claims that have already been
made, and left uncorrected, at Opine Editorials, I wouldn't blame her
for not wanting to go back there.

[Jane's note: I may eventually get around to answering these articles. Honestly, I am flattered that they wrote two articles about me. And I will give them the time they deserve. However, time will tell if I think they deserve any time at all. ;-)]