Sunday, December 30, 2007

This is America

Via brownfemipower comes this story of an Icelandic woman detained by immigration, not permitted contact with anyone, and interrogated with little sleep, food or water.

It's all harrowing, but this part especially freaked me out.
I was photographed and fingerprinted. I was asked questions which I felt had nothing to do with the issue at hand. I was forbidden to contact anyone to advise of my predicament and although I was invited at the outset to contact the Icelandic consul or embassy, that invitation was later withdrawn. I don’t know why.
Emphasis mine. Serial rapists and serial killers, child molesters, wife beaters and child killers are all allowed to contact someone when they are arrested. Ladies who like to shop who happen to be from another country are not.

Although in a way this woman is lucky. She could have been Maher Arar.

Some things.

Some things you can try to choose for your child.

There are some things you, as a different person than they are, you cannot.

Among these include if they get to fucking live or not.

I know someone who has a DNR order for themselves. I know my maternal grandmother, before she died of lung cancer, had a DNR. I don't object to DNRs in general. If Katy Jones grows up and as an adult decides for a DNR (because she's not a "vegetable," she can communicate her feelings), I would support her fully informed, examined choice.

But to impose that on your child, to make a choice like that for them, strikes me as...well, I don't want to be insulting. But I don't think it's uncharitable to put them in the same category as parents who force their children to undergo FGM, or the parents who broke the bones of their children's feet so they could be more easily bound (or, for that matter, the parents who alter their children so they will never grow up).

Saturday, December 29, 2007

What is the point of this, exactly?

A missing woman police have been looking for returned home unharmed. Oh, that's good! She's not dead or killed by her husband or something. However, for the headline writers at apparently that's not good enough.
Illinois Woman Back After $250K Search
Authorities in Illinois Say Woman Has Returned; Department Spent $250,000 Looking for Her
Who cares how much they spent looking? It's like they're saying "Police spent 250k, and she's not even dead!" What the hell is wrong with them?


Now I have no idea what it typically costs to search for someone. Maybe that's a huge sum. Then do a story on how the police can't manage their budgets. Maybe they shouldn't have spent money on helicopters to search the forest or divers to dredge the river (however, if someone's last known location was a river in the doesn't seem so outlandish an idea, honestly). But the way this story (and the headline, specifically) is written puts blame on the woman. For being alive.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Surprise, surprise

Two people have been arrested in the terrorist act that destroyed an abortion clinic in Albuquerque earlier this month.

And, surprise surprise, it was all about controlling a woman.
According to criminal complaint, Baca's roommate told authorities that Baca allegedly confessed to setting the fire because his former girlfriend was scheduled to have an abortion at the clinic.
What an ass.

Now I wonder if the two fires at the Planned Parenthoods were related (one assumes that patients at the other clinic went there instead) or copycat-related.

Via The Curvature.

12 Days of Christmas

So my husband tells me the 12 days of Christmas actually fall *after* the holiday. Which I totally knew already. *koff*

Via Ren.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Not sure what more to say about this news.
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan - Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday in a suicide attack. Her death threw the campaign for critical Jan. 8 parliamentary elections into chaos and stoked fears of mass protests and violence across the nuclear-armed nation, an important U.S. ally in the war on terrorism.

At least 20 others were also killed in the attack on a campaign rally where the 54-year-old Bhutto had just spoken.

Her supporters erupted in anger and grief after her death, attacking police and burning tires and election campaign posters in several cities. At the hospital where she died, some smashed glass and wailed, chanting slogans against President Pervez Musharraf.
Some observations: One wonders what the U.S. response to this is going to be. And what it would be if Pervez Musharraf were not our "ally in the war on terror."

And there's always the thought that if this had happened in a country in Africa, no one in America would know.

I also find this oddly chilling.
"The surgeons confirmed that she has been martyred," Bhutto's lawyer Babar Awan said.
Emphasis mine.

This sort of political instability in a country that is our "ally" in a war on whatever always makes me think we're going to be demonizing them in the next decade. See also: Afghanistan, Iraq.

*added* Problem Chylde has a good link roundup.

Also, I'm annoyed at myself that I never really knew that much about Bhutto. The impulse when someone is murdered in such a horrific way (and, if I may add, cowardly way -- what's the matter, couldn't face the consequences of your actions? Had to blow yourself up after you shot an unarmed woman in the neck?) is to romanticize them. But I think it's possible to avoid that without being disrespectful to someone's memory or loved ones. However, I can't really judge the accuracy of the reporting as I ashamedly don't know much about the woman.

I've heard at least one person from Pakistan say they wouldn't have voted for her, which kind of makes me wonder if she was a polarizing Hillary Clinton-type figure. And I found the bloviating on MSNBC this morning (I swear, I watch that just to get off on being angry) about how hopes for democracy in Pakistan are over kind of, well, disagreeable. I'm sure the people of Pakistan are capable of overcoming. I think the real threat to democracy might be the guy who keeps declaring states of emergency and suspending their constitution, rather than a murdered woman.

I don't know. I think I'm having trouble coalescing my thoughts on this. Must be the toddler-related sleep deprivation. I guess I'll just shut my uneducated American mouth now, and read up on recent Pakistanian political history.

(Edited a bit to make my late-night ramblings less incoherent.)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


This is kind of mildly terrifying.
ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - Authorities are investigating a pair of suspicious incidents at two separate Albuquerque Planned Parenthood locations.

...The incidents follow a fire just weeks ago at Abortion Acceptance of Albuquerque. Federal and city investigators are looking into all three incidents.
Not terrifying in the "Oh, I'm so scared of the mean ol' people!" More like, these people are fucking morons. And that's scary.

Don't they realize all of the services Planned Parenthood provides? I know a woman who got affordable pre-natal vitamins there. A girl at my old job went there for pap smears and annuals. Or is wanting poor women's babies to be deprived of important vitamins and for poor women to die of undetected cervical cancer part of the whole pro-forced pregnancy agenda?

Also, regarding the fire at the abortion clinic a few weeks ago, are you fucking kidding me? That office was in the middle of a big medical plaza, with dentists and family doctors and whatnot. Are they willing to burn all that down too for their stupid little cause?

I mean, I have no problem with someone being so-called "pro-life." I also have no problem with people working for their pro-forced pregnancy cause politically (just know that I will be there, fighting against you). But this kind of "action?" Stupid. Scary stupid. Also, won't work.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy Festivus

Happy Festivus

Taking a few days away for atheistic winter festivities. I'll check the moderation queue still so feel free to air your grievances.

Happy Winter Feast Day, in whatever mode your ancestors chose to practice it.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Plucky Punk After Dark

Will I reveal myself as a total slave to the patriarchy if I mention that I find rugby players doing a pre-game haka the hottest fucking thing I've ever seen?

Oh my god of half-naked, leaping aggressive males. Swoon.

I think I could watch that all night long. Please.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

"Is this what democracy looks like?"

Today, police maced and tasered protesters trying to attend a city council meeting in New Orleans.
NEW ORLEANS - Police used chemical spray and stun guns Thursday as dozens of protesters tried to force their way into a packed City Council chamber during a debate on the planned demolition of some 4,500 public housing units.

One woman was sprayed with chemicals and dragged from the gates. She was taken away on a stretcher by emergency officials. Before that, the woman was seen pouring water from a bottle into her eyes and weeping.

Another woman said she was stunned by officers, and still had what appeared to be a Taser wire hanging from her shirt.

"I was just standing, trying to get into my City Council meeting," said the woman, Kim Ellis, who was taken away in an ambulance.

"Is this what democracy looks like?" said Bill Quigley, a Loyola University law professor who opposes demolition, as he held a strand of Taser wire he said had been shot into another of the protesters.

Quigley said he would explore legal action over the incident, which he believed violated public meetings laws.
Kactus has been posting about this at Feministe.

*Added* These police aren’t any more wholly to blame than the Abu Ghraib guards were wholly to blame. It seems to me the blame lies with the city council and whatever company is getting money for tearing down these homes and rebuilding yuppie condos in their place, and then trickles down from there to include the cops. All of them. Not just the cops.

I’ll go ahead and say it: It’s classist to blame it all on the cops, while the ruling class gets to look down their nose and clutch their pearls and say, “Oh, what brutes!” Don't ignore they systematic nature of this oppression by making it a singular incident of police brutality.

Kactus has a great post up here.

No more anonymous comments

Blogger now lets you use non-google logins to comment, so no more anonymous comments. If this leaves anyone out, please let me know via email.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

File this under "No shit, Sherlock."

Apparently, if you come down with cancer, and you don't have insurance, then you're totally screwed.
ATLANTA - Uninsured cancer patients are nearly twice as likely to die within five years as those with private coverage, according to the first national study of its kind and one that sheds light on troubling health care obstacles.

People without health insurance are less likely to get recommended cancer screening tests, the study also found, confirming earlier research. And when these patients finally do get diagnosed, their cancer is likely to have spread.
And George Bush recently re-vetoed (not a word? Hell, if Shakespeare can make up words, then so can I!) a bill which would have expanded health insurance coverage to children.

Remember, class, George Bush wants kids with cancer to die. Apparently.

Oh, Jack.

You totally rule. I blogcrush upon you.

What I want to know is, why do people with no children always seem to think they know how to raise them and what exactly is appropriate behavior for them?

For instance, I must have heard variations on this story about a thousand times:

"I was in the store the other day and some kid was throwing a tantrum and the mother (note - it's almost always the mother in these stories) wasn't doing anything! I hate stupid bratty kids!"

You know what? If you removed your kid from a situation the moment they start to have a temper tantrum then they learn that the moment they want to leave somewhere all they have to do is throw a temper tantrum. And kids are smart, it doesn't take them very long to learn this.

And it's more important to me for my daughter to *not* learn that than it is to me for you to not be annoyed for a few minutes.

Deal with it. It's called living in a functional society.

The funniest thing I've read in a long time.

I laughed so hard Abbie looked at me funny.


Okay, so I've trimmed down my blogroll because some people are apparently no longer blogging, and some people have taken me off their blogrolls (not sure why, really). So I need some new blogs to read again.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

But you know what I *really* hate?

Reproductive Biology professors who don't post their student's final grades in a timely manner.

C'mon! I'm dying of suspense over here! How am I supposed to brag about my gpa if I don't know what it is?

Bonus YouTubing, Eastern Europe Style

Как по-русски "awesome?"

YouTubing, Eastern Europe Style

Gogol Bordello rocks.

You know you love it.

Seriously. Eastern European Immigrant Punk. I love America.

Now go -- make them famous!

Friday, December 14, 2007

I Hate You, Hollywood.

Why do you keep taking scary movies from Asian countries and remaking them with white people? I thought this fad had passed with the horrible Sarah Michelle Gellar "The Grudge" and the terrible Jennifer Connelly "Dark Water." The original "Ju-On," while perhaps slightly plotless was perhaps one of the scariest movies I've ever seen (seriously, the lady-ghost slithering down the heebie-jeebies), and the original "Dark Water" had such a sad ending, I wept. The remakes were terrible, terrible films, and one would think you would stop. But no, you had to fuck around with "The Eye."

Here is the original trailer for "The Eye," or more accurately, "Gin Gwai."

Fucking scary. The scene where the protagonist is stuck in the elevator...eesh. Just rent it, okay?

Here is the new version
, starring Jessica Alba, in what appears to be a scene-for-scene remake. Just starring white people. Also, they give away the ending in the trailer, which annoys me.

Is this racism? Am I reading too much into it? I mean, Hollywood is perfectly willing to market foreign horror films to wide audiences when they're from countries where white people live (see also this), or if they speak english. And I think that's unfair, and that Hollywood is vastly underestimating American audiences.

We are capable of identifying with non-white characters. We are capable of reading subtitles. And we are capable of understanding a non-shitty script.

Well, most of us are, anyway. Stop catering to the lowest common denominator and underestimating your audience, Hollywood. Please.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Happy Birthday

Brian. Love you!

I am an Elmo enabler.

But I'm glad I'm not the only one.
And as I bring her into the living room, she begins to beg for her fix.

"Mell mo? Mell Mo! Mell Mo? Mellll Mooooo?"

"Not yet, baby. Let's have breakfast first."

"MELL MO??" her voice moves up a few octaves and decibels as she begins experiencing withdrawals.
I too am an Elmo enabler. When Elmo is even mentioned in our house, it's like that old stock footage of 60s era teenybopper girls screaming at the airport for the Beatles.

And you know, sure, Elmo is annoying. But it's hard to hate something your kid loves so much.

So, here are my two differing feelings about Elmo. Here he is, being kind of cute and funny, getting Robert DeNiro to explain method acting to him.

Kind of cute, no? "Well, I could be a New York taxi driver, or an out-of-shape boxer, or a cabbage." "Oh, be a cabbage!"

And here, in a frankly disturbing (but disturbingly entertaining) video, some stupid teenage boys set Elmo on fire. Seriously, might not want your young Elmo fan to watch.

Creepy. But oddly cathartic after seeing the "shoes" episode of Elmo's World for the 10,000th time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Dear white people,

Hi, how are you doing? Hope you're well. I know I don't blog about race issues very often. But I am a woman of color, and as a woman of color, something has been nagging at me lately. I have a question for you.

Let's talk.

Why do you always get so insulted when someone calls you out on your racist statements? Calling you out on your racist statements or actions is not intended as an insult to you. It's a request to stop committing racist actions or uttering racist statements.

It's not all about you. In our society, it is mostly about you, but sometimes it's about someone else.

So please, don't get our feelings hurt when you get called out. Rather, see it as an opportunity, like if you have some schmutz on your face, and your friend points it out so you can wipe it off.


Woman of Color

Ooo, evoluntionary neatness!

Ooo, cool. Scientists, those smarties. have figured out why pregnant women are able to adjust their center of gravity to accommodate the load they're carrying.
Harvard anthropology researcher Katherine Whitcomb found two physical differences in male and female backs that until now had gone unnoticed: One lower lumbar vertebrae is wedged-shaped in women and more square in men; and a key hip joint is 14 percent larger in women than men when body size is taken into account.

The researchers did engineering tests that show how those slight changes allow women to carry the additional and growing load without toppling over — and typically without disabling back pain.
Oh, evolution. You're almost always looking out of us.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Finals Done!

Now to watch the A+'s come rolling in.

Hehehe. Just reveling in my college girl privilege!

Sunday, December 02, 2007