Monday, August 29, 2005

Donate and Help Now

Help the victims of Hurricane Katrina:

Donate to The Red Cross.

ADDED: A bunch more links here.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Ignoring Women's Equality is not Democracy

A few days ago sexist conservative asshole Reul Marc Gerecht of the American Enterprise Institute appeared on Meet the Press with a statement that nearly shocked me into silence.
Women's social rights are not critical to the evolution of a democracy.
Umm, excuse me?

On behalf of the fighting suffragists of the 1900s I'd like to pass on a hearty "Fuck You!" to Gerecht and his ilk.

Is that the type of democracy Lucy Burns went on a hunger strike for, was force-fed and tortured for?

Is this the democracy women like these fought and bled and died for while Reul Marc Gerecht was getting his hair and makeup done waiting to appear on TV? I don't think so.

At least I hope not.

Less than 100 years ago, women did not have the right to vote. It seems like so long ago, but when you stop to realize that women who are still alive today were literally second-class citizens when they were born it starts to get creepy.

Who knows, maybe in 85 years young women will whisper to each other in properly modest, hushed tones about there still being women alive who used to have equal political footing to men. If we don't keep an eye on bullshit like this that might just happen.

Quite possibly the coolest quiz result since that Captian Kirk one.

Via Mimus Pauly of skippy the bush kangaroo.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Buy me presents.

August is my blogiversary. I almost forgot. I've been blogging for three years now.

Whee. It's like Mr Toad's Wild Ride around here.

Everybody buy me a present.

Also, check out the very updated blogroll. Added several blogs I've been reading off of other people's blogrolls for awhile, deleted a few blogs that either haven't updated in months or that I've stopped reading.

Of special note is Leery Polyp, who I started reading after my unfortunate maternal misadventure, and who just had her baby!

She is almost as cute as the baby panda.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


So this is what I've learned watching the Panda-cam at the Animal Planet website.

1. Pandas are cute.

2. Pandas eat a fuckload of bamboo.

Via the Hedgeblog, who has some cutie animal videos of her own.

Michelle Malkin changed my mind. I was wrong. Racial profiling is really great! It will totally stop terrorist attacks!

Not only does it really, really work...
Essentially, police were stopping more African-Americans than Caucasians but finding fewer criminals among the former. Why? Not because blacks commit proportionately fewer crimes than whites do (the data vary according to the type of crime and other factors) but because police were looking at the wrong factors when they stopped people, Harris says.
But really it's so obviously the only solution to the problem of terrorism, because there have never been white, female (no, not female, never female, terrorists are never white females,), Christian terrorists. No, they are all Arab and Muslim and male.

There are no crazy Christian groups causing havoc in the world today, let alone in the United States.

No, all terrorists hell-bent on destroying our government are Arab foreigners.

of them.

(Whew. Thank the gods for Wikipedia!)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Reason 3,241 Why Racial Profiling is a Bad Idea

Because freaked-out white people can't tell their brown people apart.
LONDON - A Brazilian shot to death a day after botched bombings in London had walked casually onto a train before being gunned down by undercover officers, according to leaked footage that appeared to contradict earlier police reports that said the man disobeyed police orders.

...A man sitting opposite Menezes saw a man boarding and firing his first shot from a handgun at the Brazilian's head from 12 inches away, according to the report obtained by ITV.

The report also said that, while Menezes was shot eight times, three other bullets were fired but missed.
Emphasis mine.

Not that I can't say that after a terrorist attack by Norweigans, I wouldn't freak out when approached by, say, a Swede, but that's why I'm not an armed police officer.

Jeeze, they shot at him 11 times from 12 inches away! Even if he was guilty of something, in a free society under the rule of law the police do not shoot criminals in the face at point-blank range in front of the commuting public.

As I'm writing this I realize I honestly don't know if this is more of a case of racial profiling gone wrong or just fatally overzealous police work. I don't know which is worse. Would it be less offensive if they had peaceably arrested him (well, he wouldn't be dead so obviously that would be a better outcome...but it would still be offensive, I think...), or if an actually Arab guy had been shot at 11 times from 12 inches away?

I don't know. But either way it is fucked up and shouldn't have happened.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Somebody hire me.

Isn't there some sort of job out there I could get that didn't involve
typing all day?

Isn't there?

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Party Pics!

So I finally uploaded the pictures from Timmy's Welcome Back Party. Take a look!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Support our Troops

By sending other people's children to save your own ass!

Over at This Modern World there are two excellent posts ("Support the Troops," and "From the Mailbag") about the hypocrisy of 'supporting the troops' as long as the troops are a faceless idealized mass comprised of no one you know.

The gall of this particular woman, speaking from within her flag-draped halls, drooling over the sight of a uniform, really gets to me.
It was a large home in a well-to-do suburb north of the city. Two American flags adorned the yard. The prospect's mom greeted him wearing an American flag T-shirt.

"I want you to know we support you," she gushed.

Rivera soon reached the limits of her support.

"Military service isn't for our son. It isn't for our kind of people," she told him.
Her kind of people? And exactly what kind of people are her kind of people?

As someone with a family member (my brother-in-law) in the army right now, and scheduled to go to Afghanistan sometime next year, this sort of thing really gets to me. When you see those be-magneted cars (and Tom is right on the money pointing out how insincerely impermanent a magnet is...)you have to wonder. How is that supporting the troops, and, say, Cindy Sheehan trying to get Bush to answer for his deliberate misdirection not supporting the troops?

How is putting a magnet on your car more supportive of the people being sent to die than demanding the government not send them to die for no good reason?

It seems to me the right in this country has a much harder time supporting the troops than the left. If you take supporting the troops to mean more than just saying that phrase. For instance, halfway through Fahrenheit 9/11 I was struck by the fact that this was the most 'pro-troop' piece of media I had seen since the war started.

The best parts of that film illustrated what's going on with the military in this country. The people who are the most screwed by the American way of life are the ones going to defend it, either out of a hope of making a difference (as the boy in the letter to Tom Tomorrow felt,) or because economic realities leave them little choice in terms of a career (as the kids of Flint, MI discovered in Fahrenheit 9/11).

They do it so the flag-wearing suburbanite women of the America can shoo away military recruiters while muttering 'not for my kind of people' under her breath.

Well, she's right. The military is not for coward, hypocrite assholes like her kind of people.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Support our troops

With hatred and homophobia!
A fringe Kansas church that claims Americans soldiers deserve to die in Iraq because the church was the target of a bombing attempt plans to demonstrate at the funeral of a Moorhead soldier.

Sgt. Bryan Opskar was killed on July 23 when a roadside bomb exploded. A military spokesman says the 32-year-old Marine was conducting combat operations near Ar Rutbah, Iraq.

Ten members of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) of Topeka, Kansas, plan to picket for 30 minutes before Opskar's funeral in Moorhead on Tuesday, said Shirley Phelps-Roper, church attorney and daughter of church minister Fred Phelps.
Fred Phelps...possibly the only person in America who's a bigger ass than Ann Coulter. I don't really even understand why they're protesting this person's funeral...they're not even gay.

It seems to me this is the natural conclusion of the whole 'Support the Troops' thing. Turn the 'troops' into one big idealized blob of freedom-spreading automatons and it's okay to use them as a platform to complain about slights against you, or to ignore the fact that they're going crazy and torturing people cooped up in a little jail or that they just wanted money for college and now they're fighting for their lives...and so forth.

Support the troops? How are you doing that, exactly, with those little yellow magnets on your giant gas guzzling SUV?

Via Sisyphus Shrugged.

HAVANA - Ibrahim Ferrer, a leading voice with the hugely popular Buena Vista Social Club of vintage Cuban performers, died Saturday, his representative in Cuba said. He was 78.
This guy was a serious badass. He even has a cool birth story.
Originally from Cuba's eastern city of Santiago, Ferrer was born on Feb. 20, 1927, during a dance at a social club after his mother unexpectedly went into labor.
Seriously. Born in a social club in Cuba in the twenties. What a great start to a great life.
Lookit me, I'm still alive!