Saturday, April 29, 2006

Anti-Family Bastards.

Tell me, all you frightened, so-called "Pro-Family" homophobes, how is it that this is remotely pro-family?
In These Times has a moving interview this month with rancher Samuel K. Beaumont, whose five-year legal battle to keep the Bristow, Okla., ranch that he and his late partner, Earl Meadows, shared for 24 years is chronicled in the documentary film "Tying the Knot." After Meadows died in 2000, "a gaggle of his long-lost cousins went to court and evicted Beaumont from the 80-acre ranch, taking at once his home and his livelihood." The case is not unlike Laurel Hester's battle to leave her pension benefits to her gay partner, though where Hester's story led to a change in New Jersey policy Beaumont has encountered much resistance.

Beaumont and Meadows raised five children on the ranch -- three from Beaumont's previous relationship with a woman and two who "we kind of adopted along the way," Beaumont says. Although Meadows left the ranch to Beaumont in his will, which was also signed by a notary public, the judge hearing the case decided that another signature was required.
Show me the straight family that has been hurt by gays and lesbians getting married, adopting, or leaving each other property the way that this family has been hurt by legally sanctioned homophobia.

What, what, is so dangerous about homosexual humans getting to live normal lives and do things the rest of us take for granted? Where's the big threat?

In truth, it's the relationships of gays and lesbians that are under attack, and their families that are being torn apart. The "Pro-Family" homophobes are in fact anti-family.

See also this post a few days ago at Feministe about the similarly Orwellian nature of the term "Pro-Family" in the context of abortion.

Friday, April 28, 2006

I Guess I'll Keep At This Then...

Friday Random Ten

1. I Held Her in My Arms - Violent Femmes
2. Big Time - Peter Gabirel
3. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love and Understanding - Elvis Costello
4. Clint Eastwood - Gorillaz
5. Oh Bondage, Up Yours! - X-Ray Spex
6. Hanging on the Telephone - Blondie
7. Judge Not - The Wailers
8. The Floor Show - Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack
9. Sheep Go to Heaven - Cake
10. Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division

Looks pretty good...

Viva Bush?

Here in New Mexico, one of the dreaded "swing states," its common to see cars with bumper stickers saying "Viva Bush!" Courting the socially conservative Hispanic vote here was probably a big reason went red (ugh, it's still shocking to type that) in 2004.

I guess those days are over.
WASHINGTON - President Bush said Friday the national anthem should be sung in English — not Spanish — in a blunt rejection of a new Spanish-language version. He also expressed opposition to a national work stoppage called for Monday to dramatize the importance of immigrants to the U.S. economy.

..."I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English," Bush said.
Wow. I'm not sure how daring to sing the national anthem in Spanish is supposed to keep immigrants from learning English, or what language you speak has to do with being a citizen of a country with no official language, but what do I know. I'm not the president or anything.

The song, called 'Nuestro Himno,' sounds like a bit of a protest song. Judging from the offhand offensiveness of the president's remarks, protest is necessary.

And speaking of protests, in a move I think inspired by this movie, Monday is going to be a nationwide "Day Without an Immigrant."
NEW YORK (Reuters) - From mighty meatpacking plants to tiny taco stands, U.S. businesses are making plans to deal with Monday's nationwide pro-immigration boycott, which could keep millions of people away from their jobs.

Contingency plans range from juggling schedules to hiring temporary workers to closing down altogether, companies say.

Organizers say millions of immigrants and their supporters will participate in the demonstrations, scheduled to protest legislation that would declare illegal immigrants felons and erect a fence along much of the U.S.-Mexico border. Such job actions could close down several major cities, they say.
I'm curious to see how this goes down in Albuquerque.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

More Pregnancy Whiney-ness

Lately I feel less like I'm having a baby and more like I'm turning into one.

Aliza over at babyfruit posted this a while ago.
I am convinced that I've figured out the 3rd trimester already. These 3 words sum up how I've been feeling this last week:



Pee Pee

That's it. There isn't more to say right now. I am satisfied that I've got it all figured out.
Preach on, sister. But there's more! Let me expand.

On being sleepy...I am fucking tired, yet I have this bizarre insomnia. It's like I've become anorexic but with sleep instead of food. (Note: it's 3:15 a.m. and I'm posting this, yet on the verge of falling asleep.) I'm assuming it's anxiety related. Either that, or it has to do with the fact that there is literally no position I can be comfortable sleeping in. On my back and my legs fall asleep. On my side pins my shoulder and activates my ulnar nerve palsy, which wakes me up. Lying down alone gives me heartburn.

On being weepy...bursting into tears is my new response to any emotion. Happy? I start crying. Sad? I start crying. Angry? Crying. It's frustrating. I get disgusted with myself. Which of course makes me cry.

Pee pee...umm, I'll leave that one undiscussed.

Let me add some though. How about hairy? The hair on my head has never looked so thick and luxurious. Unfortunately, neither has the hair on my face. I'm more glad than ever I invested in an epilator.

Or how about wobbly? My joints are so loose I feel like I'm barely holding together anymore. My lower spine does this thing where it sort of collapses flat when I lay down, which is of course horribly painful if I try to turn over. My hips feel half ripped out of their sockets. My pelvis kind of rolls around when I walk. It's weird and vaguely unsettling.

Speaking of vaguely unsettling, I am starting to feel guilty about the lack of bonding transcendence I'm supposed to be feeling whenever the baby moves. What were cute little pokes last month have become full-body rolls and tumbles. It's really unsettling. I know I'm supposed to get this earth goddess look on my face and glowingly feel a sense of loving awe or something, but I keep visualizing a giant fish flopping around inside my abdominal cavity.

Naturally all of this complaining makes me feel like a big whiney baby, especially when I know there are a jillion women trying to get pregnant who would give anything to feel what I feel right now. I feel all kinds of guilty about it.

Which of course makes me want to cry again.

Sigh. I think I will try for sleep now.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Friday Random Ten?

Sounds fun, all the cool kids are doing it.

1. "Lonesome Cowboy Bill" - Velvet Underground
2. "Warrior in Woolworth's" - X-ray Spex
3. "America Street" - Edwin McCain
4. "Salvation" - Rancid
5. "Jack the Stripper/Fairies Wear Boots" - Black Sabbath
6. "Mexican Wine" - Fountains of Wayne
7. "Axl Rose is Love" - Mary's Danish
8. "Why Does the Sun Shine" - They Might be Giants
9. "Bang the Drum all Day" - Todd Rundgren
10. "What Do I Get" - The Buzzcocks


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Freudian Ickiness

Still around, still pregnant, blah blah blah. Nearing the end of my seventh month and I feel like I am going to be pregnant for the rest of my life.

Then the baby moves, which kind of feels like I've swallowed an eel but in a wholesome way, and I feel okay about it.

Have I mentioned it's a girl? It's a girl! I feel good about the opportunity to unleash a confident hellcat woman on the world.

Then I read stuff like this and fear for her future.
You then explain to the child that you will hold the key to her precious heart until the day of her wedding. On that day, you will give her away like at all weddings, BUT in doing so you will also “give away” the key to her heart to her now husband. The key and lock are actually functional and your son-in-law will place the key in the heart to open it.
The "key" to her "heart?" Not only is this a teensy smidgeon away from being a chastity belt, it's chock-full of creepy Freudian symbolism.

Seriously, the girl has a lock, which can only be opened with a special key? Ew.

Not to mention the whole ownership of the girl's sexuality. It's as if the father is saying to the future son-in-law, "Here's your prize for being a man in our society...a virgin girl!" Notice the girl doesn't get to keep the key. It's her father's, then her husband's. As one of the commenters at the Pandagon post made me realize, if they really wanted to encourage girls to have the self-confidence to wait to have sex until they're ready, they would give the girls the stupid key to keep.

This is the religious fundamentalism I see creeping in to take over our society. What will it be like for my daughter when she's my age?

I hope this is somewhat cogent. I've been highly sleepy lately.

**ADDED, upon remembering. See also pertinent discussions at Pharyngula and Feministe.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

We're a neglected state seeking negative attention...

You know you've lived in New Mexico too long when you see this headline:
Screaming Intruder Jumps White House Fence
And the first thought that pops into your head is, "Please don't be from New Mexico..."

Secret Service spokesman Eric Zahren identified the man as 40-year-old Brian Lee Patterson, whose last known address was in Albuquerque, N.M.

I swear, other things happen here besides the plague, crotch-burning grannies, and crazy people who try to break into the White House.

For instance, the Democratic Party of New Mexico has called for the impeachment of the president. That's pretty cool.

But apparently people still don't know where or what New Mexico is. As part of my job I talk to people from all different parts of the country, and I can tell you this type of shit happens all the time.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Poor Fundies...

Recently, all the religious right has been singing "It's Hard out there for a Pimp," and I think skippy and PZ have figured out why. Two things, not including that study showing prayer probably has no effect on health, happened recently that would put a cramp in any decently fundamentalist world view.

First, at Pharyngula, paleontologists have discovered a new fossil that provides another link in the chain between fishes and land vertebrates.
This creature is called Tiktaalik roseae, and it was discovered in a project that was specifically launched to find a predicted intermediate form between a distinctly fish-like organism, Panderichthys, and the distinctly tetrapod-like organisms, Acanthostega and Ichthyostega.

...The analysis of the fossil clearly positions it as an intermediate: it has a more mobile skull/neck than a fish, and although its limbs are clearly fin-like, they also have features that presage the digits of tetrapods.
The really interesting thing, I think, is that this creature fills in a gap, but then creates more. One of the cooler things about science (vs. religion) is that you can't really ever answer all the questions.

A good scientist will never say, "This is how it is. The end." Science is a process that develops a picture of how things are most likely to be given current evidence. Religious dogma, however, makes grand declarations that close lines of inquiry. Often with threat of torture. (Ask Galileo.)

In other news that Jerry Falwell will likely overlook, skippy points out the recent discovery of a Gnostic text that appears to be a copy of the Gospel of Judas.
the account goes on to relate that Jesus refers to the other disciples, telling Judas "you will exceed all of them. for you will sacrifice the man that clothes me." by that, scholars familiar with Gnostic thinking said, Jesus meant that by helping him get rid of his physical flesh, Judas will act to liberate the true spiritual self or divine being within Jesus.

unlike the accounts in the new testament gospels of Matthew, mark, Luke and john, the anonymous author of the gospel of Judas believed that Judas Iscariot alone among the 12 disciples understood the meaning of Jesus teachings and acceded to his will.
I find early Christianity fascinating because there were so many different variations, including the vaguely Buddhist-seeming Gnostics. It's interesting to think what geopolitics would be like if these sects had each flourished, or if a different branch of Christianity had become 'mainstream.'

Also, it gives a huge slap in the face to Bible literalism. I've always wondered how people could take the bible word for word when its contents had been translated a million times over, and the books included had been picked and choosen from many, many texts.

I don't want to sound like I'm begrudging anyone their religious beliefs here. But, apparently we atheists are considered the scum of the earth by the rest of America, so I feel justified.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Via First Draft (via Body and Soul), here's a great idea for leftover Mardi Gras beads (I know I have a huge boxful).
OK this is your chance to take action. Yesterday I posted that the Army Corps of Engineers informed officials that they need an additional $6 billion to rebuild the levees for the New Orleans area. Bush is making no promises he will ask Congress for the funds. In fact his point man in NOLA indicated there will not be full funding. Levee funding is presently being decided in Congress. This appropriations bill will be debated after Congress's spring recess.

In that time let's be heard. Let's deliver a message that George Can SEE.

Let's go Wild with Levee Beads.
Send George Bush your beads with the message to fully fund the levees.
Check it out, there's the address, and even a video to help illustrate.

I'm even willing to send out some beads in your name, that's how many I have.

(Not the cool ones though. Lol.)

**UPDATE** Scout at First Draft asks that you send pictures. There's some already, go see. I'm sending mine tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Welcome, skiptonians!

Thanks for the link, skippy! And for coining that term (you know the one we mean...)!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Don Imus is an Asshole.

I'm relieved that journalist Jill Carroll, recently held hostage by a group of serious cowards in Iraq who clearly need to re-read their Quran and Hadith, has just been released (physically) unharmed.

As a condition of her release, Carroll was forced to make a propaganda video in which she said she had no issues with her captors and was treated well.
In a video, recorded before she was freed and posted by her captors on an Islamist Web site, Carroll spoke out against the U.S. military presence. But in a statement Saturday, she said the recording was made under threat. Her editor has said three men were pointing guns at her at the time.
Emphasis mine.

It took literally two seconds, as many other blogs have already noted, for the jack-offs of our society who dare to think themselves the more patriotic amongst us to start up with the misogyny and the racism.

It's easy to excuse this sort of thing coming from the knuckle draggers like the commenters at a certain certain blog I will not link to or name (rhymes with 'little green no-balls'). But mainstream shows like Imus In The Morning should hold themselves to a higher standard.
MCGUIRK: She strikes me as the kind of woman who would wear one of those suicide vests. You know, walk into the, try and sneak into the Green Zone.

IMUS: Oh, no. No, no, no, no.

MCCORD: Just because she always appears in traditional Arab garb and wearing a burka.

MCGUIRK: Yeah, what’s with the head gear? Take it off. Let’s see.

IMUS: No, no. This is not –

MCCORD: That’s why the Arab world called for her to be released, because, you know, she defended Iraqis. She was against the war in Iraq and, I wouldn’t be surprised if —

IMUS: Well, so are we. So am I!

MCCORD: Exactly. She cooked with them, lived with them.

IMUS: This is not helping.

MCGUIRK: She may be carrying Habib’s baby at this point.

Emphasis mine.

I can't imagine what it would be like to go through an ordeal like this, held at gunpoint, begging for your life, a crime victim for fuck's sake, only to be released into the snake pit of American insta-celebrity, where people feel free to say flat out that you were literally in bed with the men who psychologically abused you for weeks.

How dare they? That video could just as easily have ended with Carroll's decapitation. Urgh, this makes me so furious! If I were Jill Carroll I would sue that rich white motherfucker Don Imus for all he's worth.

Everybody should send him hate mail.

It would be nice if he at least apologized for the conduct of his producer and sidekick, and for his own seriously weak 'golly gee, don't say such things' statements.

Gah, sometimes people really piss me off.

Story originally found via Majikthise.