Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dating Survey

Lol, ok, so I missed writing about things other than politics, and I've been meaning to finish a post on romance for like ever. (Please forgive this paragraph, I promise I won't be talking like this the whole time!) Before I delve into the specifics of the sex and dating survey I did last year, I thought I would try to answer some of those questions myself, since I chose not to formally submit my own survey...

- 21 yr old, Upper Middle Class, Multi-ethnic female, (mostly) heterosexual (to be honest, I score about a 2.5-3 on the Kinsey scale, actually... Right smack dab in the middle. Mostly because I don't really care, I'm just not that interested.) and not in a committed relationship.
- Currently single, & the line "she says she doesn't want a boyfriend; she's better off with friends" is exactly how I feel about that. Really wouldn't mind either way, but I'm just fine without one.)
- Not in a relationship of any sort Why? Because I tried getting into thinking about that whole "dating" thing, both offline and on, and it's just not for me. Couldn't stay interested long enough, and I guess I just don't like people. :-D (No, I'm just picky about who I associate with... I can tell within a minute or two of talking to someone whether or not we'll get along or if I want to get to know them. A lot of my closest friends are the same way... So very weird.)
- What is dating? Let's not go there again. I think it could be an event or a state/process. Just don't get me started on stupid societal norms... (I know, I know, there's a reason for it and all, but I don't see why there has to be so much pressure on people to date and get married... It's not that big of a deal anymore, being married or not... Oh look, I answered 3 more questions already.)

Alright, that's enough of that.

Those who know me may know 2 things about me- 1. I don't trust anyone; and 2. I don't want to fall in love. I'd say even fewer really know why. (Contrary to popular belief, it's not because of things that happened in the past. Well, not directly or entirely. Has some influence on how I go about things, but other than that, it doesn't mean anything anymore.) It's a combination of feelings for me, this "love" thing -- at first, happiness... then feeling so stupid for feeling happy or even having such thoughts... I've put so much emphasis on keeping my mind in control. It's complicated... I hear the songs and see the places that remind me of everything and anything, including recent experiences, media, and how I'm told things are "supposed" to be. And I don't know how to feel anymore. It's dizzying, like I don't know what to think or like anymore, because the confusion and feelings are so overwhelming that I get lost trying to fight back memories and impositions on the way I live my life. So yes, I resist "love" and things related to it (with the exception of infatuation... That never goes anywhere anyway.)
I've been reading all these stories over the years, in various books and manga. Though one particularly stood out to me... It was about two 15 yr olds, a boy and a girl, who grew up together. I'm sure you can guess where it was going. As I was reading, I couldn't help but think how awkward it must be - how awkward it was. To wake up one morning and the boy you always thought of as a brother suddenly looks... different. You're suddenly jealous when you see him talking to other girls, even though he's been friends with them as long as you have. Your hands accidentally brush together, and you both blush. Suddenly you care if he sees you in your bathing suit. Your parent's brush it off as "adolescence" and "teenage hormones." You don't know what it is. Your heart beats faster, your breath catches in your throat... It certainly seems like something weird is going on. Your friends tell it you it's just "love."

(EDIT: On second thought, I think it's best that this story dies tonight... Fate is scary as hell. I'd like for things like this to stop happening, thanks. The Cosmos likes to play cruel jokes on me...)

I've been told that love is not a feeling, but an action. I don't actually agree with that, to be honest. It's more of... an interpretation of feelings. I think it's about feelings of attachment and connection. I think that the things we do may be out of love, or because we love someone, but the actions themselves are not love. Expressions of love, but not love. Chemical changes in the brain cause various psychological and physiological reactions that we interpret as emotion. How we feel influences how we act. I said last time I discussed this stuff that I don't really believe in dating-- the initial stages, at least. It's not something I would be interested in pursuing at this time in my life... I guess it just doesn't seem as natural as relationships should be. I believe in logic and lust and attachment, not so much heart-throbbing passion. In evolution, there's no need for "love," so is it even real? Isn't it more likely to be an offshoot of lust, empathy, attachment? It's so confusing- both in definition and in experience.

It turns out, I'm not the only one who has trouble defining love or dating. The actual paper is insanely long, but I created a shorter version for you. If you participated, I want to thank you again for helping me out! It was really fun, actually... And learning about this side of my friends was quite interesting. We don't talk about these things often. So here they are, the results of my dating & sex survey! (If you want to download a copy, see me for a different link.)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Republicans Object To Bill For Homeless Veterans (VIDEO)

After you read the article (which I'm assuming you probably won't... but I embedded the video anyway), take a look at Sen. Coburn's (R-OK) letter. (These are the comments McConnell was referring to in the video.) As much as I dislike Coburn's usual comments, I have to say I actually agree with him on this - not on objecting to the bill (as I find it difficult to find reasons not to support it...), but to many of his suggestions for cutting wasteful spending so that this bill is paid for. I'm a bit surprised actually-- his ideas would be wonderful, earth-friendly changes that I think Congress should implement regardless of how how it effects the passage of this bill or any other.
Coburn suggests:
- eliminating nonessential government travel, which he believes will save $10 billion over the next 10 years (saves gas, reduces pollution, and saves wasted time AND money. Sounds like a plan to me, as long as we can establish that Palin leaving the confines her house and/or her usage of any form of media counts as nonessential government travel -- and just for this, we can pretend she's a part of the government.)
- reducing unnecessary printing which would save $4.4 billion (again, over the next 10 years... that's a lot of wasted paper!).

Other money-saving/raising suggestions he mentions that I think are probably worth exploring:
- collecting $3.4 billion in unpaid federal taxes from gov't employees (how he knows that, I'm not sure, but frankly, I wouldn't be one bit surprised if it were true);
- disposing of unneeded, unused government property (I'm assuming he means land moreso than items, but either way, land could be opened up to organic farming or clean energy development a.k.a. solar & wind farms, and items = recyling! YAY, SENATE YARD SALE!!!);
- & finally, eliminating bonuses for government contractors who go over budget or are behind schedule. (Maybe I've only taken 1 formal HR class, but I could've sworn my professor said that most bonuses were supposed to be based on merit, which includes timeliness and staying within one's allotted budget... If they do a great job, by all means go ahead, but I'd like to see maybe just a little discretion here. So from a business standpoint, this one is kind of a given. Bonuses are supposed to be earned-- hear that, Wall St?!)

It's a rare day when I stand up for a Republican, especially one I don't particularly like. But I think in this case, it's really worth hearing what he has to say (which again, so surprising, after his comments on the health care legislation...). He also suggests cutting spending to government programs; perhaps some, however I adamantly believe that the Pentagon's budget should be the first to get cut. I do believe that we should get this bill passed, and it would be an auspicious gesture indeed if Democrats and Republicans would work together to do something great to help out our vets in need.

Why is this bill important? Well, let's see- vets are far more likely to develop PTSD and other stress & trauma related disorders. (Imagine reliving the worst thing that you've ever experienced, every day, causing a complete mental breakdown. And even if you think you're "cured," even decades later, any memory, any trigger, can send you right back to that point at any time.) Add to that the high rates of substance abuse among vets, plus coming back from war and attempting to jump back into the job market, and you have all the makings for a lifetime of misery, homelessness, poverty, and poor health. As many of us know, homeless shelters and programs can only do so much, and millions of people (vets and civilians) are often without any help at all. Vet programs in our country attempt to give our servicepeople mental health & substance abuse counseling, health care, employment assistance, housing, and food. It takes quite a lot of help for many to be "reintegrated" into civilian society.

This bill seeks to enhance and expand these programs, prevent veteran homelessness, expand a grant fund for veterans with special needs (including having dependents), assist veterans with obtaining housing, extend eligibility for health care for vets with disabilities, etc.

For more information about the bill, veterans services, or what you can do to help veterans (or get the bill passed...), check out these links:
S.1237 - Homeless Veterans and Other Veterans Health Care Authorities Act of 2010

United States Department of Veteran Affairs
National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
Senator Coburn's Letter to Minority Leader McConnell (pdf)

Monday, June 28, 2010

"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. "-- St. Augustine

It's very strange realizing just how much you've traveled, and yet how much more there is to see. In the US, I've been as far north as New Hampshire and straight down the coast down to the tip of Florida, to California not once but twice (forgot about my flights to/from LAX & all the stuff we did there...), unintentional stop in Oklahoma (never going there again...), layovers in Texas... I've been to many cities in Canada, to Australia and Scotland and the Bahamas... (All English speaking places, because I'm not fluent in anything else yet!) It doesn't seem like a lot compared to a few people I know, including my parents, but it's amazing in a way... It's like each time I travel, the world gets smaller, but bigger at the same time. The exotic becomes the familiar; the distance, shorter; and foreign, home. I leave the safety that is Old Bridge, where I've grown up for 18 of my 21 years, where I (unfortunately) know everyone and run into old gym teachers at work. I love seeing the world and learning about everyone and everything in it. It's like renewing that sense of wonder so characteristic of childhood-- everything is new and amazing, like your imagination come to life only a million times more incredible than you could ever dream... To see the places you've only read about in books tower before your very eyes, to taste the unique treasures of every corner of the globe, feel the rush that is discovery of a "new world." You have the opportunity to meet people you never thought you'd know... I met a very good friend during my time in Australia, and we still chat almost every day. And to think, I what if I had never met her? To think I almost never "met" this person, or several other good friends, because I was way too shy to say hi first (really... I should probably work on that...) What if I had never gone abroad, or what if I had picked a different school in Australia... Are we meant to meet certain people, or is it all really just random coincidence? I personally believe that all things happen for a reason (even if that reason is simply because a chain of events can only end in 1 possible result...), so who knows. Maybe there's something to learn from each person we meet in life, and there's certainly plenty to learn from each place and culture we visit. As St. Augustine said, the world is a book. You can never know how the story goes if you don't jump in and explore it. Life isn't forever, and we only get one shot at this. (Unless of course you believe in reincarnation, in which case, have at it...) So let's make it count, yea? There's so much to see and do... Jump in, no fears, and see where life takes you. (Except of course for rational fears, including those regarding the 8-legged creatures that are taking over the world. It's not paranoia if they're really after you! lol :-D Though in my defense, my... phobia is tantamount to that of my sister's fear of ladybugs. Potentially poisonous creepy-as-hell thing with too many legs, vs. cute little spotted harmless thing... And they say my phobia is irrational!)

At the same time, you develop a paranoia living in a place like this, where the world seems so small... You never know who you'll run into...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Random fun things - quizzes and such.

Ok,so maybe I have 3 posts waiting as drafts right now, but this is much more interesting at the moment. Apparently one group has already started their 2012 presidential candidate quiz (you know, where you pick your views and see who you match with?) I just completed 2 for the 2008 election, got Obama (big surprise there, lol... I did too much research for that 1 vote, so I'm well aware of why I chose him.) Turns out for 2012, he's also my highest match (95%. That's higher than the first time I ever took the 2008 test... something of a 55%. Which apparently is about where I stand with McCain circa 08. Granted a lot's changed in the world since then and the questions address slightly different things... Though I'm really sad Nader isn't on it, nor is Kucinich or Weiner or Grayson... Everyone on the quiz list has expressed some interest in running in 2012, & Nader has already said he's not ruling it out... Where are you, Nader?!)

Here are my results - (the top candidate is a hypothetical person who agrees 100% with you - you might as well put your own name down, because such a person is not likely to exist). 95% Obama, 85% Biden (?? Well, I guess he is 2nd in line after all and should have a plan just in case... But let's hope things don't come to that... Not that I don't think he'd be interesting, I just don't want anything bad to happen to our current president -- or any other for that matter. Wishing ill upon someone is disgusting... As much as I dislike Mrs. Palin, both politically and in terms of personality, I would never ever wish anything bad happen to her. Do I think she deserves some things? Probably. She does it to herself sometimes. It's Karma. Speaking of which, my crazy mother must have done something right for someone- she received an anonymous religious thank you card with $50 in it... Doubt it's anyone from her church, as she hasn't been there in months, and last I checked, charities didn't send your money back to you... And since my family is notorious for giving away more money than we should to friends, family, charities, etc, to the point where my parents filed for bankruptcy at one point, I'd like to think the universe makes sense again.) I think it's hilarious that way down at the very bottom is none other than Rush Limbaugh at 8%. (I apparently overlap with Palin more than Limbo, with a 13%... I want to know what! I think it's probably charter schools... I don't disagree with supporting charter schools, and I'm not a fan of vouchers for private schools. That may be the 1 thing we agree on... Ah yes, I believe it is.)

Where do you stand? Who's your candidate?

2012 Presidential Candidate Selector

P.S. - Hope you'll be attending Hands Across the Sand in a few hours!!! :-)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mini Review/Analysis of "Get a Brain, Morons: Why Being Liberal Really Is Better Than Being Conservative"

Article: Get a Brain, Morons: Why Being Liberal Really Is Better Than Being Conservative | Belief | AlterNet

I'm not going to come right out and say one is better than the other - I know what I believe, and I can't say that my beliefs are better or more important than someone else's. I don't think that's right or fair. However, that being said, the author does bring up some valid points about why liberals and conservatives disagree on many things - ethics. (Haven't I talked about this before? Several times...) So if you want, you can ignore the whole liberal vs. conservative views on issues whatever like I did (^^" I'm tired, and I don't care) & just focus on the stuff about debating the differences in our core values. We can argue til we're dead about the issues, but getting to the root of the matter is more interesting and more effective. Even just take it down a notch, away from the issue & down to the logic behind why it matters. For example, part of the Republican dogma is about being self-reliant -- you take care of yourself. Liberals generally believe that, while being self-reliant is a wonderful thing and should be encouraged, not everyone has the ability or opportunity to do so and therefore part of being a good citizen is helping those who cannot help themselves. (As this is a Christian value, it's weird that a lot of the religious right disagrees with this idea on a larger scale... They say individuals can do charitable things if they want to, but I don't think it can ever really be enough... Plus we need to orchestrate job training, create more jobs instead of automating everything, start creating new things instead of "improving" on the old. HD may be nice, but is it really that spectacular? No. How about let's spend more time on curing cancer, eh?) Liberals believe in maximizing human and civil rights, fairness, and individual liberties- thus the name Liberal (from liberty? Hi? Yea.) which, generally, we believe are often infringed upon by corporate interests, as well as government -- whereas Republicans and a lot of other conservatives are more likely to emphasize morality/purity and authority. Many may prefer to let corporations do what they want in the name of capitalism and the free market, because that's part of how they define liberty. Many liberals would likely agree that it's more important that we all have the right to clean, non-polluted air, whereas some conservatives might think that it's more important that we all have the right to pollute if we so choose to... (Think non-smokers vs. smokers, in public places... Sorry, but your rights end when they infringe on mine! I choose not to pollute my body with crap like that, therefore keep your chemicals and tar to yourself, thanks.) So at the end of the day, we're both trying to increase individual freedoms (um, with the notable exceptions of those who advocate for keeping DADT, banning abortion & gay marriage... No one is infringing on your "right" not to see guys making out with each other. Mostly because that's not a "right." Nor is it any of your business... [unless of course you make it your business by joining Aarin and checking out all of the g-pg-13 yaoi you want... as the hardcore or uncensored stuff is a little more than I'm interested in, unless there's a really really good storyline or it's just plain hilarious. Then we just fast forward during... Right, ok, I'll shut up now ^^"])... We just tend to "bump heads" a little often trying to do it. We disagree because we simply value different things. Like when I was arguing with someone about the Patriot Act. I am against it, as I find it to be intrusive and unnecessary, whereas the other person thought it was a good idea because they felt it increased their safety.

This is where you see my "left libertarian" side come out - if you feel the need to go through excessive "security" measures and have your every move tracked in the name of "fighting terrorism" to feel safe, then go right ahead. That's your business.

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

I can't say that I'm comfortable with losing civil rights and privacy in favor of allowing the government to see what I'm reading today, or watch my IMs or phone calls because I've had a copy of a shorter version of the Anarchist Cookbook "hidden" on one of my laptops (sheer curiosity about a "banned" book... It's not illegal to own in the US, and you can buy it on Amazon new, but it's often frowned upon, as more than half the things in it are felonies if acted out-- aside from the fact that most of the "recipes" are wrong and will get you killed before you can be arrested. It's a very interesting read nonetheless... I just honestly hope no one's stupid enough to take it seriously...) even if I have no plans whatsoever to ever try anything in it (except picking an old Masterlock, because I totally forgot the combo ^^") and I've said that many times now. (In fact, friends and I used to purposely start throwing in trigger words and make up the most random conversations just to mess with anyone who could be reading our messages. It's even more amusing on the phone, because of random wiretapping... You never know. Yay for instilling paranoia in the people!!!) And some new security rules are just...???. Like having to take off flip-flops at the airport. It's all out there in the open, what the hell else is there to see? A microchip implanted in the bottom of someone's foot??? Trust me, if someone were trying to sneak a bomb onto a plane in their flip-flops, 1. they're about as bright as a burnt out light-bulb, and 2. you'd probably notice, unless you were too. A knife, maybe, but there's really only so much you can do with a knife that small... I wouldn't really consider them to be a threat. Don't get me wrong here, safety is absolutely a priority, right down there at the base of Maslow's hierarchy, between sleep and friendship... It's just that sometimes you really have to wonder how effective these things are, and just how far we have to go to stop feeling so scared about everything. What will it take for us to feel secure as a people? An authoritarian nanny-state (which is NOT true socialism, no matter how much the ignoramuses think it is [rolls eyes] sorry, in a combative mood after dealing with Murphy's Law for an entire day.) where we're told how to feel in the morning? I don't think so. I have a big problem with laws that are meant to target criminal behavior but affect more innocent people than "guilty." I've been searching high and low for evidence that the Patriot Act has actually been effective. I haven't found any, friends haven't found any, because there apparently really isn't any... Why our government officials felt a need to renew this bullshit, well who really knows. Other countries have passed laws to intentionally block the Act from affecting their own citizens' civil rights and privacy - that's how broad this is. There are necessary safety rules, and then there are paranoid delusions-- and sometimes I really wonder if we too often cross that line...

And again I've forgotten why I'm here :-D. Oh well. Anyway, I'm exhausted & I have a long, painful week ahead of me again-- staying overnight at work for inventory... should be fun, I guess. We're all coming in wearing pajamas, and I'm going to bake brownies & muffins & stuff... If I'm not too exhausted from the long day before...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ok, one last comment on immigration & then I'm done.

How Arizona Got Its Out-There New Immigration Law

Short article that mentions several different perspectives of the situation (race, legality, corporate/business, nationalism, worker's rights, desperation, political sphere, media). Last one author mentions is especially valid.

Anyway, regardless of whether you feel Arizona's law is a good idea or not, at the end of the day immigration is not a state issue but a federal one. But then again, that's only if you follow the Constitution, like a good little Republican should. And what Republican governor does that anymore...

Friday, June 18, 2010


What is Democratic Socialism? (PDF)

Just found this today... Apparently there is an official Democratic Socialists of America party... was not aware of that ^^" (Googled it. Don't remember why...) But it's a summary of everything I've been talking about for the past few years... (And I guess more proof for me that it's possible... After all, socialism is supposed to be the inevitable goal of democracy, isn't it?) Maybe it's because I was just reading something or other about the Soviet Union (probably because of Hetalia) and thinking about how somehow the idea of communism has been contorted into an authoritarian dictatorship... (In which case, maybe it's because I found a copy of the Communist Manifesto in my room... Forgot my ex-roomie gave that to me. Lost my original somewhere...) Again, I find it astounding that many people can support many tenets of what socialists believe, but freak out and scream about how evil it is... without ever really thinking about what it means. Anyway, I've successfully negotiated my way out of working tomorrow (despite my supervisor's wishes... but the managers promised I could pick, so I picked the day I wanted), so I finally get a day off!!! In other news, the Hands Across the Sand event is a week from tomorrow, all across the world... Ocean-lovers in Germany, Ireland, England, Canada, and several other countries have planned to join us. Should be nice. See the banner at the bottom of this page for a link to details!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

To Barry, from Kiely. We need to talk.

I had most of this post written up several months ago, but "circumstances" lead me to hold off... Part of it's because I have this thing I do, pretending everything's ok when it's really the farthest thing from it... Even here, where I could say whatever I want to... I don't. And I think that should be understandable. What is in plain sight isn't always the truth, nor is it always real. It's what someone wants you to see. As is this. So I thought maybe this time, we could add a little more honesty. (Not that everything on this blog is a lie. A bit more optimistic or extreme than I really feel, perhaps, but never an outright lie.)

So let's start with this - I get emails from Obama's campaign people for some reason or another (probably to do with healthcare. Which, by the way, we should really get back to fixing... Like I've said, I don't actually really like the final bills all that much, it's a start, and we need to do better. Though I think the tanning thing is hilarious... & could be pretty effective). I usually delete them almost immediately after opening (I refuse to donate to political campaigns, regardless of who it is or how I feel about them. So DSCC, you can stop asking, because you're not getting a dime out of me!) but one was interesting. The sender was looking for stories from first time voters (from the presidential election), and what lead up to the vote - ideas, thoughts, impressions, etc. While at the bus stop after work, I decided I'd give it a shot. Why did I vote the way I did? What was it that made me want to vote for him? And how have I, and my political views, changed since?
I'm still writing out that story, so I guess I'll save it for another time. (Maybe when I ever get around to that stupid Palin/drilling note...) But, as for how I feel right now -

Now... Well, I think a lot of the people I talk to on a regular basis know how I feel about what's been going on for the past few years... As you may know, I was not originally going to vote for Obama. In fact, I was really considering McCain (pre-Caribou Barbie) and of course my personal favorite, Ralph Nader. I've been skeptical about this whole thing since the beginning, but that's the way I am about almost everything, so... It didn't seem like that big of a deal this time. I could buy into hope. I wanted things to change. And they have, on some levels. And in a weird way, despite the fact that things aren't all that much better, and on top of years of depression & such, I think he really has renewed my hope for our future... It was the push I needed to actually start caring about things again. (And the day of the election was the same, in another way... So weird, but that night, everything started to make sense again. Weird bonding experiences with my 2 best friends at the time... Even if one of them was a Palin fan, lol...) On the outside, I keep saying that it's only been so long, there's still time to see what happens. And yea, there definitely is. The funny thing about life is that anything can happen, if you just wait and see. It's not over until it's over, and I'm content with waiting to see how it goes. I mentioned before, the important things are a work in progress, so I can deal with that. But... in a way, time doesn't last forever... We don't have forever to wait for things to get done. I'm not the type to demand that things happen immediately (with the exception of technology... I am a very impatient person, thanks to certain people in my life, but I'm working on it.) but I get frustrated when it takes a long time. Like ending these stupid, pointless wars... and closing Gitmo... and reforming the immigration process, and everything that goes with that... and reducing our dependence on oil... and ditching DOMA and DADT and letting gay people get married and adopt kids... and fixing the issues of NCLB (I think the idea behind it is on the right track, but the execution is all wrong...)... fixing healthcare and health insurance, Medicare, working to end poverty and hunger and illiteracy and hatred and fear... helping people work with each other instead of against each other... protecting the environment. These are the things I do really care about. I know what I think is the right thing to do, and I know for the most part what I can do to help. And I'll be honest, the unemployment/economic situation didn't really hit me until I had to actually obtain a job (well, an internship, for senior seminar. Senior sem does that to people though-- the rest of the world doesn't exist until that thesis is handed in...) I have A LOT of things going on in my mind, ADD included, so I try to focus on things that are really relevant before everything else... Most things I won't form an opinion about until I've learned more about it. And that opinion is edited often -- half the time I change my mind entirely. I have mixed feelings about anything and everything, all the time. I like to plan things out before I can fully commit. (And I absolutely HATE being late, or when others are really late, because it totally throws off everything... Unless I have things to distract me. Then I don't care.) The first thought shouldn't be about the process but the destination. What's the point of what we're trying to do? What are we trying to achieve? And then we can figure out what needs to be done. The process is long and complicated, and I don't have the time nor attention span to sit there and plan it out... So that's why I chose to stick with specific goals for now, based on whatever research I find time to do, & I'll iron out the details as I go.

Speaking of which... Mr. President - The remainder of the post that I neglected to share with the world regards you, why I voted for you, and how I feel about the job you're doing now-- the differences between Candidate Obama, President Obama, and the guy I would've voted for had I not decided you would also be a good choice. (I didn't vote in the primary...) I guess this is your 2 year review (lol... like you care about what I have to say... not that I'm saying you don't care about people, just that I'm pretty sure few people care what I have to say, and you have far more important things to think about... ^^" Ok, I'll shut up now and get to the point of this...) I do have to say, first and foremost, I do still really like your overall personality-- not as the President, but as any other person. Policy-wise... Good efforts, but I seriously think you may have lost track of the goal here (assuming you believed in and planned on executing the goals you laid out during your campaign... Yea, I know, I had to campaign for things too. Politicians lie and say what they have to in order to get elected... But still, we're assuming here...) Trust me, I know how wonderful power feels sometimes, and how it changes you... It's all part of the job. Zimbardo proved it can and will happen to anyone, no matter how altruistic and selfless they may be. But this is just getting a little too repetitive, don't you think? Renewing the Patriot Act? Gitmo's still open? These little side deals with politicians are sketchy. I know that it's how the game is played, and everyone does it, but that doesn't mean it's not sketchy... I was hoping you'd be better than that. Yes, most of the immediate problems we're facing have to do with Bush 1 & Bush 2, and presidents past, but if you're going to claim responsibility NOW, I need more than words. I need action. On some things, I can see that you're doing the best you can. On some things. And yes, I can see just what total nitwits the GOP members are being. It's reprehensible. And as much as I disagree with the majority of what they say and do (though sometimes they really are right about some things, and sometimes I agree with them more than with other political groups on specific issues), I'd like to think that they're doing what they think is right. But I wonder now, are you still? I joined a facebook group that keeps track of your accomplishments, because I didn't want to lose sight of the good amidst all of the bad. I've been trying to stay positive, despite all of the things that keep adding up... (Another thing I do too often is stick up for people who are picked on, even when I can agree that to some extent they deserve it. I do it for the younger girls at work, I did it for Bush, and Clinton, McCain, hell even Palin on occasion-- though she really does it to herself...) The you I see now isn't the same as the guy I voted for, and I think you know that all too well... People change, and change can be good, but I don't think that what's been happening lately, what you've been saying lately, is a good change. I keep up with Politifact and Factcheck so that I know what promises are being kept, what's not, what things mean... 1 page of 19 promises broken (some of which I doubt people actually care about... and one or 2 REALLY BIG ones that can still be kept [hint hint.]), 13 pages of promises in the works (I'm not going to count them), and 8 pages of promises kept or a compromise made. Honestly, not bad, but it could be better. And maybe I freak out over little things sometimes (like some things in Arizona, and the sheer stupidity of some people online...), and try to ignore what I don't want to think about anymore because it's too depressing (like the oil spill. Or the wars. I've been watching Food Network for the past 2 weeks instead.) We all do it... I shouldn't, and I try not to, but I do. It's too much. So for that, I'm sorry you have to go through this every day. I once thought that someday I wanted to be President. I know now it's the last thing I'd want to do for a living. (Yes, I'm totally saying I'm much more likely to be a Lithuanian hit-person before I run for President. And that's a big deal, because I'm a pacifist who can't even kill bugs [with less than 7 legs].) You're a brave man for wanting that job, and for that I thank and applaud you... But we need you to do it well. I need you to do it well. When you wake up tomorrow morning, I want you to ask yourself if you're doing the right thing. It's what I ask myself every day, every time I have to make a tough decision (and every time I post something here...). A few months ago, I had to tell someone that I couldn't be friends with them anymore... for a second time. It sounds like it should be easy, but it was and still is the hardest thing I've had to do in a long time. To try to reason it out, why it had to be done, why it was the right thing to do... Why it would be better for the both of us in the long run, no matter what it takes to get there. And every day, I have to tell myself that, and remind myself why I did it. I know that people say things they don't always mean, and I know that we all make promises we can't keep or we forget about. So please... I voted for you for a reason. You ran for a reason. You won for a reason. Please don't forget why.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Life... Past Meets Present (and bursts out laughing...)

Alright, enough of the half-assed posts. I know I'm getting stupid-- I can feel my brain cells dying every time I go to work, or watch TV instead of reading, even if it's C-Span and the "news" or some sort of learning show (which is basically what I watch. Comedy Central, Food Network, C-Span, MSNBC if it's interesting-- I've noticed it has a more aesthetically pleasing layout than other channels, but other than Maddow & occasionally Olbermann, it's seriously annoying/boring-- CNN, ABC, BBC... Since Discovery refuses to back down on Palin's nature show -_-"...) I can't remember the last book I read cover to cover [that wasn't a graphic novel... I read tons of those. Fast. I don't have time to read anything else :-( ... ] though I'm going back to the library more often now, and buying more books (mostly used, of course, as usual. Conserving trees!). My spelling and vocabulary are going downhill, and I swear I'm picking up the lamentable grammar of my co-workers... Trying to brush up on history, including all the things we never learned in school... & learning what really happened as opposed to what text books have to tell you (a lot of things really were wrong... apparently the Tea Act was an anti-smuggling tax cut supported by Ben Franklin... It didn't raise the tax on tea at all!!! It has very little to do with actual taxes! Hell, it was a discount program for tea to help a dying company stay afloat - no pun intended, if you get what I'm talking about... It just was supposed to extend Britain's monopoly on tea so the company could sell its way out of bankruptcy... Like "buy American!" and Cash for Clunkers, lol... Mind-boggling. Thank you, capitalism-- oh, how I loathe thee...) I picked up an algebra book the other day, so I can refresh my memory... You would think that after AP calculus, and all of those stats classes and research projects I would remember a thing or two about logarithms and multiplying equations. I'm a future psychologist... I'll use stats, if anything, for research papers, but that's about as much as I need to know... But I'm determined to take the GREs this year, and find a grad school I can afford (even if it's not Columbia...) and an apartment, with or without a roommate. I can't say that I'm thrilled to be out of school and working - ok, so it TOTALLY sucks. Probably because I have no life and the job i have is not in psych. Plus most of the people I work with are rude, self-centered assholes, and as much as I like helping people, customer service is... not my mug of soy mocha latte.

So I've been feeling pretty down lately... various reasons, but I think I just need to go back to school... (Though at the moment, I'd be extremely satisfied with just quitting my job... Again, it's not that what I do is so bad, it just that it's everything I've been trying to avoid - my life is my job -_-") My life currently consists of work, driving my family around, talking to the 1 or 2 friends who aren't too busy with work/school to chat, and attempting to catch up to the rest of the world... in more ways than one.

So, what else is going on in the world? Graduations? Here's a post for you. Good luck with that. President of the US talking about gulf shrimp being ok to eat? Here's a [facepalm] for you... (I get that it's important that family businesses can make it through this, & that many scientists have determined that the areas where the oil hasn't hit yet are relatively safe enough, but I don't care if he's trying to be optimistic, that seems just plain irresponsible... I'd rather people be safe and not eat potentially dangerous things than have to deal with mass food poisoning not only from the oil but from the dispersants and such... All those chemicals are not good for people, not to even mention the mercury...) Need a good psych-related laugh (at the expense of a Republican friend) to brighten your night before you head to bed and ultimately work? Here's a link for you too... Oh! I just remembered something... I met a sane tea party member today. That brings my count up to 3 and half. And guess what??? We AGREED on something!!! See, the sane ones aren't so bad. It's just the crazy, hypocritical ones who are annoying and embarrassing and hilarious... (Like this Rand Paul business... or that Barber guy, the latest youtube sensation... The South is so very funny... well, the parts not smothered in greasy, deadly goo.)

History lesson of the day! -- Rachel is currently working on an interactive map of all of the oil spills in the US in the last decade... Louisiana is a greasy black blob. Also, as I am attempting to read a book this week, I will update this later with some other sort of interesting fact. I think every post will end with something interesting... Why not. Let's all learn something new!

So, goodnight, whoever you are. This half-bottle of Pinot Noir & I have a lot of catching up to do... (And I have a 3am alarm... Damn, I hate this job sometimes... lol)
(posting from my phone isn't working anymore...?!) Finally home from work... It was a weird day all around, but there were a few awkward highlights -- we were a little surprised to see a t-shirt that said "WHITE KINGDOM!" on the tag (does anyone remember in what movie they kept screaming that? I'm pretty sure it's "Let's Go to Prison," but don't remember exactly when... Funny movie... good times...) followed by a rather rude customer comment of "fire all foreigners"... (There's a lot of xenophobia where I work... & a lot of old, conservative, incredibly rude people..) I'm starting to really wonder about this place, lol...

In other news, just waiting for some crazy religious cult to start ranting about the floods in AR & OK being a "warning from God..." O hey, here it is... And I quote:

18 dead
22 missing
40 = Judgment.

[rolls eyes] Soo... fun day of weirdness...

Hoping everything is going as well as can be hoped... & that everyone else is found alive and well. Let's keep in mind the 20 who died-- including the 6 children :'-(  --and their families...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

There's something so disturbing about a grown man talking about gay people and "poo poo" in front of his church...

Hmm... Had some sort of comment to make about something or other, but the sheer stupidity of this video has me boggled at the moment... Perhaps also because I don't want to associate eating chocolate ice cream with tossing salad, thanks. (If you don't get it, good for you.) Most of my closest friends back at school have discussed some of the following with me (with a few notable exceptions) but I'm beginning to sense a few things we didn't consider...

This was all just some offhand conversation we had while hanging out in our apartment (yea, we're geeks, we randomly talk about such things... maybe we were watching Tyra or something...)

Part of psychology is determining how much of human behavior is innate and how much is learned, as well as how we express or act on our innate desires and instincts based on what society teaches us is the normal way to act on them. So my roommate and fellow psych geek and I were talking about Kinsey and such, and "designer genes" and the whole "create-a-baby" genetic mapping/cloning thing that's been growing in some areas of genetic counseling. Both of us personally believe that science has given substantial evidence that homosexuality in both men and women is largely a natural, genetically coded, innate biological occurrence (made "abnormal" by societal views and lack of diverse and thorough research). And thus, that argument leads to the argument of the probability of finding a "gay gene" or specific brain pattern mapping... and the biopsychosociological repercussions of such a discovery... If it would cause scientists and doctors to try to "cure" them - which is, we agreed, rather unethical, as it is not a medical illness or any sort of disease in any way shape or form-- or... well... If parents could change the sexual orientation of their unborn child... would they? (I decided that if I were crazy enough to have a kid in the first place, and found out they would be gay, I wouldn't change a thing. Doesn't matter to me. Though I think I'd very much like to have a gay son... [Part of discussion was the social aspects of being a gay man or gay women. Women are still discriminated against, but overall are more accepted than gay men...] She said she would love it too, but if given the choice would probably "make him straight," to protect him... It's really sad to think about it, but I guess it could save his life in some ways... While many people are more accepting nowadays, there are still so many who say and do the most hurtful things, often in the name of religion. They've bullied, tortured, killed... Protested at funerals. Would I want to make my son's life harder than it has to be? And then part of me wants to just scream "it shouldn't matter!" Why should that even matter in my [hypothetical] decision? It should never, but it does... We shouldn't create people to suit the rest of society, but mold society to fit us... Why should anyone have to suffer for who they are? For who they love?) Would the discovery of the actual gene (since they've found chromosomal consistencies already) help or hinder social progress for equality? Would it simply be written off as some sort of curable illness? And I realized today, while surfing a (completely unrelated) forum, that if we look at sexuality as being innate and genetic... isn't it then also possible that evolution would eventually just...?!?? Biology is funny like that...

[Granted this argument today came to light in the midst of a watching Ugandan meeting of uneducated ultra-conservative religious anti-sodomy, anti-fisting  "Eat da POO POO" hate speech proponents (Ooooh, believe me, I couldn't make that up... It's on youtube.) Apparently accepting homosexuality is accepting people eating each other's shit [excuse the vulgarity]. Oh dear... That and the fact that the guy is  up on stage in a robe giving a very enthusiastic play-by-play of gay scat fetish porn-- before he tells the kids to leave the room-- and saying that it's what all gay people do... "This is what he wants to bring to Africa, as a "human right," to eat the poo poo around our children!!!" and the people scream and boo... I mean really, wouldn't anyone who sat through 2 Girls, 1 Cup feel the same way? ...And then when you ask them if they're against women, because women sometimes eat poop and vomit and share things they shouldn't? [rolls eyes] Also, this is sadly on the same continent where it is a widely held belief in many remote areas that raping a lesbian "cures" her, and raping a virgin cures AIDs... (The majority of all reports worldwide occur in Africa, along with the world's highest incidence of rape, including child-rape and molestation... Primarily because of these myths... which does nothing to "cure" AIDS, just spreads it.) So... yea... We really should up that whole modern sex-ed thing over there as well, as it's been a SERIOUS issue for quite some time now. Though we can blame 16th century European "sex-ed" for that, as it was their idea in the first place... Ugh...]

But anyway... Scientifically speaking, all variations both within and between are genetic mutations of sorts. Those variations help an organism to survive long enough to reproduce, passing on those genes... But if the organism doesn't pass on their genes, then their genetic line dies out... So scientifically, that hypothesis ("dying out") should fully be supported. However, studies show that perhaps there is some other sort of adaptation taking place here, perhaps kin selection - basically, by helping to raise raise siblings' or relatives' kids, or adoption... Either way, that's actually a lot cooler than it sounds, because it's like evidence of fast evolution. (Usually it takes thousands of years, while these "adaptations" are relatively instant.) There's a reason why you are the way you are (which we have solid evidence for in terms of skin colors and facial features, and now we're getting evidence for other aspects of life). Point here is, there's been quite a bit of research on this subject, especially evolution in recent years, and we're still researching and learning as we go. I think a wonderful aspect of all of this research is the fact that the vast majority helps to destigmatize and re-normalize natural human behavior. There are so many behaviors and thought patterns that have been criminalized over the course of history, thanks to fear, ignorance, and intolerance. We don't know all that there is to know about humanity. We're still learning about ourselves and our world... But at least we've progressed. At least, enough to not go around ranting and screaming- "DON'T EAT THE POO POO!!!" in church. There's still a long way to go, but someday...

[In case you somehow seriously misunderstood something, in no way am I using this as an argument against homosexuality - I would NEVER. I am a firm believer in loving whomever you want to (though let's stay within the species and absolutely no children). Love knows no bounds, remember? Besides, where would I get my yaoi/BL fix then?? I'd need a whole new desktop picture! (squee-worthy LxLight this month...) Who would I shop with?? Who am I supposed to talk to about how hot Hugh Jackman looked in that last movie??? Speaking of which, when is his next movie?  *v*)]

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Hm... I keep hearing this song at work. I can't stand it, but every time I hear it I start thinking about change. Everything feels weird again. Like I want things to go back to normal, back to the way they were before I ever left school... My old friends, my old apartment (the first one. Miss the window in the kitchen...) and roomie... But that's not "normal" anymore, is it... I'm not in school anymore, I'm not going back in August... I have a job, a car... Life goes on. Yet ingrained in the very fiber of my humanity, is the uncontrollable urge to resist that which we cannot change-- change itself. Even as a small child, I've tried to fight back, keep things the same... I miss what I lose. Maybe more so than miss... obsess. Panic. I think perhaps that's why I'm so determined now to be open to change... Trying to be flexible and just accept that things can't and won't stay the same, just because I want them to, is really hard...

If there's anything I've learned about major change over the years, it's that it happens when you're not looking. If it surprises you that things are different, you just weren't paying that much attention. It happens - there's a lot going on in the world. But if you can pay close attention, there's so much you'll notice... Things happen really gradually, and there are always signs... You just have to be aware of them. Everything happens for a reason. Cause and effect. Not to say you'll always be able to predict exactly how things will go, or to stop the change from happening... But it gives you the opportunity to brace yourself, adjust, adapt, and regroup so that it doesn't completely broadside you. And sometimes it gives you the opportunity to speed it along...

Life is short. I want to enjoy it while it lasts. I've spent too many years feeling miserable... So here's to change.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Congrats!!! & Voting...?

Congrats to Storyteller Knight for winning the La Campanella Le Series Meillure Award for her superhero series Cat's Eye Private Investigators!!! Way to go!

So I went to vote in the primary election today - don't ask me why, it seemed like a fun idea at the time (and it was. I got to go for a walk, & it's a gorgeous day... The people there were really cool & funny, & clearly they hadn't seen many people from outside of that room today... I just hope that guy I saw in the car across the street from where the kid was playing by the school wasn't a kidnapper or a pedophile... He was creepy.) (Liked one candidate way more than the others, so figured I'd help out...) Update - Used so many words to say something so simple. To vote in today's primary, I had to declare an affiliation, so obviously I chose the lesser of 2 evils (especially considering the "tea party approved" Republican candidate who I cannot stand) and went with the Democrats-- well ok, the candidate I wanted to vote for was a Democrat up against people I don't particularly like. So I decided to help the guy out. The rules have changed a little bit, and this is my first ever primary election... "you do whatcha gotta do." So until I fill out the paperwork, I'm considered a Democrat by the state... Still an independent of course (going with the argument that registering to vote with them isn't the same as joining, as joining usually includes donations and such as well), but as there are more independents in NJ than Democrats (the next biggest group), a lot of people have to go through this process... What a waste of paper! We should be able to change it online or something, lol... Or do most people just not bother changing it, or voting in primaries? (I think it's the latter. I was "maybe number 17" for my ward & district... Granted I went when most people were at work, but it wasn't that early either...)  Either way, the paperwork to go back to being an "official" independent is on  my desktop ready to be printed whenever... I hope the person I voted for appreciates this! lol

Anyway, this is a mini-post, so back to the real world...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Breaking News - Oil Well Explosion in Hood County, Texas

Breaking news - a landlocked oil well & natural gas line in Texas just exploded, injuring 6 people. This morning, an oil well exploded in West Virginia, killing 7... and it's still on fire. (Had a very hard time finding news articles for these things. Literally happened like 10 minutes ago, saw it on CNN.)

UPDATE - At least 3 people have died...10 people are missing... :-(

Can we PLEASE start moving away from fossil fuels??? Fellow FB treehuggers and I supported and promoted a startup company called Water for Fuel that's been attempting to tackle America's energy issues by building hydrogen engine conversion kits. As you may have guessed, the $1000 kit is designed to replace a traditional gasoline engine with one that splits the atoms of common tap water into usable hydrogen energy, while only emitting oxygen (and presumably any minerals in the water?) No one should have to put their life at risk for oil. We have safer, cleaner alternatives... So please, let's end this before someone else gets hurt...

Our hearts go out to the families of these disasters...

Undocumented Immigrants and Taxation

t r u t h o u t | "The Price That We Pay" - Undocumented Immigrants and Taxation

An article about undocumented immigrants who pay taxes every year (but will never see any benefits from it...) I was just going to read this and move on, but ...well, you know, the comments just got me so annoyed...

When someone refers to a job as "stolen from an American citizen," they're forgetting some very important points - for something to be stolen from someone, they must be entitled to it/own it in some way. Last I checked, a person has to prove first that they deserve that job and earn it. That job belongs to no one but the company until it's earned. If any person was offered that job, they must have something the company wants (skills, experience, and/or in many cases willingness to take lower pay). And that's enough to earn them that job. It's the business world, it sucks, but it is what it is. Everyone else who wants that job has to prove they're the best candidate-- therefore, if you lose, you lose. Nothing was "stolen" from you unless you already had the job and someone cheated and pushed you out of it. It has nothing to do with whether or not you have "citizenship" on a chunk of land, it's business. And hey, odds are that if that person wasn't there to do that job for a lower wage, the company would probably have outsourced it. There's no guarantee that an American citizen would get it, nor that they would even be paid a higher wage than what the undocumented person earned. (For all we know, it's minimum wage all around!) You're mad at the wrong people here. It's the businesses that you should complain about. If you want the government to stay out of business and people's lives, this is what you get. Make hiring them and outsourcing illegal or don't. Make up your mind.

Second, someone started ranting about how immigrants paying taxes must be "liberal bs." So 1, you didn't bother to read the article, and 2, there's TONS of research (including this article, and this news story, and this one...) that immigrants have been paying taxes in this country for decades. The IRS even helps them in a way - a person can have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number if they are ineligible for a social security number. Studies say over 8 million file taxes every year, which is estimated to be about 2/3 of the current undocumented population. Every time they get a regular paycheck, taxes are taken out automatically. And in either case, they get almost NONE of that back in benefits or Social Security. (They may be eligible for a refund check, but that's usually the most they get, if anything ever.) Every time they rent or buy a house, they're paying property taxes. They're paying in but not cashing out, so that the rest of us will get our checks when we're old enough. Not to mention (yet again) that every time someone buys something in this country, they pay state sales taxes! Their American-born children will get the same benefits as any other citizen, but in terms of "welfare" it's not enough to live off of. Someone needs to do some more research before completely dismissing fact for "liberal" fiction...

Then there's that whole "I'm so annoyed they don't speak English! They should be legal!" This person ranted for a good while about people needing to speak English in America. What? So to be "legal" in America one must learn English? While I do think we should've probably just picked a national language way back when so we wouldn't be wasting time with this stupid argument, and it would certainly make communication easier, I was rather peeved when I heard that from our President as well. We are not a melting pot anymore. Frankly, I thought the latest update was the salad bowl thing-- you know, pluralism & all... And for that, I present you with this-- This is America. Speak whatever language you want. (yea, the Facebook protest/ban is over... There's no way I could take another day of that though... It so neatly organizes data and groups for me...) It's strange though, the huge difference between the academic world and half of America (the half that also doesn't include any of the business world)- to be bilingual, or fluent in something other than English (even if your English isn't perfect) is seen as such a gift, such an accomplishment... It's highly prized and opens so many doors...

For now, I'm washing my hands of this immigration business. Maybe I'll end up updating an old post, maybe I'll share something to the twit crap, whatever. It's not the only thing going on in the world, and I think perhaps I've spent far too much time on this issue. (Though I probably really should go wash my hands... I probably have pesticide all over, even though it's more or less edible and organic... That & who knows what kind of germs I'm spreading right now -_-" It looks like strep and acts like strep, but it's not strep...?)


Saturday, June 5, 2010

And Now, for Something Completely Different... But not really. Pictures!

Every week I like to check out this gallery of the top political cartoons. Some are eh, but others... hilarious. Thought today maybe I'd share a few, maybe comment every now and then, just to mix things up. (And if I'm not horribly mistaken, clicking on the picture should enlarge it... maybe.)

Remember way back when I was joking about splitting the US down the middle and we each take a side? If you haven't noticed yet, in the bottom corner it says "I didn't notice anyone trying to sneak across." And you wouldn't! Maybe we'd be sitting on the fence, as I would from time to time... Mostly to see what's going on on the other side, I suppose. But just think how different each side would be... And yet, how similar. We're all human. We're all Americans. We do what we do because we love our country despite it's problems, and we want to see it flourish. We all have the same problems, just different ways of solving them.... And I see a social experiment coming on... Think the APA review board would let me get away with it??? I'm totally serious :-D
And obviously this whole border with Mexico thing too has people pretty divided (regarding immigrants crossing over it, I mean... Though frankly, and I know this wouldn't sit well with many Mexicans, I wonder if we could work out some sort of deal that kind of combines us in some way... After all, technically speaking the we're the ones who invaded Mexico by annexing Texas. Texas had claimed independence from Mexico, but they were the only ones who believed that... [Texans had an annoying habit of seceding from whatever country they belonged to. So I say let's just let them be independent & see how that works out. Good luck.] Then the Texans decided they didn't like the boundaries, & claimed that the borders included land & a river that they absolutely did not, including huge parts of (what became) 3 other states. (There's all this junk about saving Texas from a Mexican invasion, but it's not invading when it's yours, so...) Polk was an idiot who thought it would be a good idea to steal Texas, thereby declaring war on Mexico (even though Mexico flat out told him to butt out), stealing the land, killing everyone in the area. Somewhere in this Cali declared independence from Mexico, The Americas forced whoever was alive to sign a treaty (somehow I don't think gunpoint counts...) giving them and called it a day. To put it simply, the US invaded Mexico, stole their land, and made them give us more. All the future war heroes were there - Grant, Lee (another idiot... He didn't like them, but I miss the old Radical Republicans, back when Republicans stood for civil/human rights... So much nicer than our modern ones, IMO...), Stonewall... We eventually gave Mexico a few million dollars to shut them up (despite the fact that the land they gave up was worth far more than that - Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Cali, New Mexico, Texas-- and we shoved them back to the Rio Grande. The southern border of the US is all stolen property... I couldn't blame them if they started shouting "Take Our Country Back!" like those silly tea party signs. At least then it'd make some sense. Speaking of which...

Even though we've seen a drop in private hiring, and a surge in government hiring due to the census, we're still in a MUCH better situation than we were before... And I've seen recent evidence that this was not due to the "natural" ebb and flow of the market, but had a huge boost from the stimulus bills-- and as a result (as most provisions are about to expire), we're going to see a drop this summer... Housing is down, construction is down, wages went up a smidge but private sales aren't going up anymore, so... There's a bit of a hiring freeze. Unemployment will take a hit once the census people are done (though I'm thinking a lot of them are probably around my age, since that's a huge hiring target group for that type of job). Teachers are going to see a plunge as well, I'm sure. But despite all of this hardship, and the fact that the country is breaking down on the political front so to speak, things are still better than they used to be... We are still progressing, as slow as the process may be.

This one's a bit older, I believe... And kind of creeps me out, because I was in some forum a few weeks ago and a few cops were there talking about this exact thing and how they do actually have a scale (these particular cops, not all cops in general)...(Granted, in November I had spent a little too much time following related conversations on Stormfront -- a "white nationalist/supremacist & neo-Nazi/KKK" site-- & the Nation of Islam - a "black supremacist/separatist/nationalist" website for a Social Theory paper on hate groups. Scariest 3 hours of my life. I'd like to not run into these kinds of people IRL. One group from one of the sites would call me names & try to kill me, the other would call me names & probably let me live but kill someone while dragging me around with them, & I'd really rather not ever get involved... Ack. Instead of writing my paper, I instead wrote a list/article about why both were absolutely insane. [One group had 2,000 members join immediately after Obama won, which crashed the server. They panicked that the "white rule" was going to end - their words, not mine. Even Fox's "Papa Bear O'Reilly" called them out on their hateful spamming of his polls. The other group is basically the same, except they're also much more homophobic, & most of their hateful speech is offline and their skin tone is a bit darker. Both groups pretty much worship Hitler and blame the Jews for ruining the world... so... ye-a... Fucked up.] That part was fun, but writing my paper at 5 am before class wasn't so much...)

"100% Natural, for that Naturalized U.S. Citizen Look. Protects Against Police Harassment"-- Someone needs to give this to Boehner, 'cuz he doesn't even look human anymore... Most humans aren't naturally orange.

Hmm... Lesser of 2 evils?

Now this one is just too true...

Someone on FB/Care2 suggested plugging the leak with Beck & Palin so they'd be useful for something other than humor, but Limbaugh's mouth is just too big... (Plus I think that probably counts as physical violence, so I can't condone it...) But the good news is, recent attempts have been working to at least lessen the flow and contain some of the oil... Once we get it stopped, we can get to cleaning up (trying to see if somehow GP or Environment America would sponsor a trip down there... I think I could take off from work, I just don't know about plane tickets, HAZMAT suits or sleeping arrangements...) Also, while it's wonderful that so many organizations and businesses are chipping in hundreds of thousands of dollars towards cleanup costs, BP MUST BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERY DAMN PENNY!!! ^^" Sorry for yelling. (Poor Australia, too, lol. They keep looking forward to Obama's visit, & he keeps canceling at the last minute to fix massive problems here and get shit done...)

Another friend was talking about how other countries and indigenous peoples are forced to abide by the boundaries set by European invaders. (Reminds me of that whole "might makes right" argument. Right and wrong are determined by whoever is currently in power, the strongest and loudest are the ones who will make the rules, etc... The strongest bully determines the legitimacy of everything...) I really want to quote this all, but if my post ever shows up you can read it all for yourself... (But until then, here's the link to the article - Arizona One-Ups Itself: Public School Has Black, Hispanic Faces On Mural Changed to White « SpeakEasy. Look for BulletProofAir's comments. Article is sad, but the comments are lovely if you ignore the stuff about old people. I think they meant our grandparents, whatever category they fall into and not Baby Boomers (our parents) or even Gen X (today's young parents). Funny though that kids born after mid-1990s are Generation Z, the "New Silent Generation." We're breeding media-obsessed introverts... How weird is that? P.S. - What happens after them anyway --after generation Z??... Oh... Wikipedia says our kids will probably called Alpha.) What was I talking about again? lol...

[UPDATE- Principal apologizes, admits mistake, plans to go back to how it was. ]

So... let's try one last pic, cuz I'm getting bored...

I assume most people have heard about what's happening to text books...again. This happens every once in a while. I can't remember exactly when the last time was, but I remember talking about it in school when I was about 11 or 12... and again in high school. California is boycotting the textbooks. I believe every state should. Private schools can do what they want-- that's their prerogative. Christianity and it's "family values" have had a massive effect on history, but this is just overstepping boundaries. History is always rewritten to suit society, but a small minority should not dictate everything.

You should see what Fox wrote on this. (I'm not going to show you, it's just too embarrassing... for them. At least, it should be. I also just skimmed the list of articles on the page... So sad, really. I think some of their writers are in denial...) Though I trust PBS and college students  far more then I'll ever trust Fox again. I know that HuffPost may have wildly exaggerated some claims, but I found one blogger's play by play of the radio broadcast of the meeting, and a neutral college student's list of the biggest changes, as well as several other neutral sources including Politifact (which claims that some of the really-liberal sites' extreme accusations are half-true). (Even found a conservative Texas education site that refutes Fox's ludicrous claims... What a nice find... Though Fox wasn't entirely off on one point - these textbooks could verily end up anywhere in the country. It does depend on individual states, as the agency says, but that doesn't invalidate Fox's claim. So hey, Fox finally got something right!) While I think some of the changes could be great if the publishers could manage to be non-partisan about it ( for example, discussing the pros and cons of government regulation), others are so blatantly biased that it's actually offensive. Like how publishers now have to stress how awesome capitalism is compared to socialism/communism (which, btw, are NOT the same thing). Like taking out how race/ethnicities, religions, and genders have shaped society and history-- right there you're already taking out the history of music, which is HUGELY tied into so much of history... Women's rights, including suffrage, careers, and marriage... Gay rights, the Civil Rights Movement... Hell, we can even go waaay back to the Great Awakening and the Second Great Awakening which led to the abolitionist movement! The Quakers too! How can you downplay that or cut it out? Also, I fail to see how they plan to take religion out while promoting "Christian values and the influence of Christianity on our Founding Fathers"? We as a "nation" (for lack of a better word at the moment) began as a group of settlers seeking religious freedom. Granted the whole witch hunt thing kind of fucked that up, and the pushy religious people who insisted on converting everyone to "save them from hell" kind of fucked that up a bit too, but the whole point was that the ideology of certain religious groups was not supposed to be forced on anyone, and a person should be allowed to believe in whatever he or she wants. Again, I'm not saying that religion isn't a huge part of our history, and that Christianity hasn't had an effect. But it's not the only religion that's influenced us, and I believe it's modern ideology and corresponding political agenda do not even remotely resemble the influences or teachings of our Deist Founding Fathers. In fact, Deism conflicts with most of Christian teachings... (google it.) Plus back then, the vast majority of those religious movements served as a progressive, liberal force for good, helping to free cultural groups from unfair social restraints. (Remember, the current group is only considered "conservative" in present times because it seeks to maintain or preserve how things were...) I also love how anti-miscegenation laws for "Caucasians and Mongolians," and the Oriental Exclusion Law, etc are being written off as not being racist towards Japanese people during the internment camp period of WWII... Because "Italians and Germans were there too!" Yes, that should absolutely be mentioned. It's not something we really learned much about in school growing up. I'm learning more about it as I type this and research... But I wouldn't exactly market it as proof that internment had nothing to do with racism. The Japanese were the first to go, for the aforementioned reasons. FDR and the newspapers said some pretty nasty things about Japanese-Americans, but I can't find anything about the Italians from that period... The German-Americans had a bad rep of course, and apparently 10-15% had a Nazi affiliation so it's hard to be surprised that people were freaked out and angry. But for the most part, they and the Italian-Americans were just "enemy aliens." (Not to mention the fact that even with anti-Italian sentiment back then, a lot of people regarded Italians and Germans as Caucasian and not a minority "race" as they are of European descent, so...) The Japanese were the only ones to have racial epithets added to the "war crime" of being of the same ethnicity as the enemy.

And now for something completely different. Since I sort of changed topic. On a completely hilarious note, apparently some extremist conservatives started freaking out that Christmas and the Constitution were going to be written out of textbooks... Best April Fool's joke ever? lol... (Followed by some crap about how liberals hate America and the Constitution -_-" Seriously, what the hell are these people on??) And guess who started those rumors? Turns out to be the very same Fox anchor from above ^, Gretchen Carlson-- the one with the ludicrous claims. Turns out those claims weren't even the crazy ones... And like a true Fox-er, she didn't bother to say anything when someone proved that she was wrong.

From -
Addressing Jason Moore, a Texas parent who planned to speak at Wednesday's hearing, Carlson said: "So, one of the proposed changes, Jason, is actually to start history class in the year 1877, which would be a big problem for a lot of people, would it not? And eliminate references to certain holidays, Founding Fathers, the Constitution! I mean, no surprise that Christmas, they want to get rid of that because they've been doing that for the last couple of years, but c'mon, the Constitution?"

Which brings us to today's moral - it's not technically a lie if you really believe it's true when you say it, but if you're going to stick with your story when you're proven to be wrong... (Speaking of which, great news - a lot of alarm bells can go away now, we finally have evidence that it was a huge misunderstanding that wasn't immediately rectified... If you don't know what I'm talking about, good for you.)

Alright, I'm sure if you're still reading you really must be bored today... (I was. I'm sure I've infected enough people today, so spent the rest of the day in my room alone, writing and playing video games... I have yet to see a doctor, but I know I have strep -_-" Ugh. There are some things sisters should never share, and an infection is certainly one of them.)

(All cartoons copyright of their respective artist and/or publication. I'm just using them here for "educational purposes," under Fair Use law or whatever it's called ^^")

random musings from work

Seems there are only 2 possible reactions for every kids TV show watched again as an adult- it's really deep & sophisticated & enlightening, or you wonder how you managed to watch such crap & still turn out relatively normal. (power rangers is on @ work. the original series. it's mindboggling how bad it is...)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Does Immigration Cost Jobs? Nope.

Does Immigration Cost Jobs?

I don't remember how many times I've read this article from But the fact of the matter is, immigration, whether legal or illegal, has little effect on available jobs. It actually helps us more than many people may want to admit (even with the whole healthcare issue). This will have to be brief, but yes, I do support some amnesty for some immigrants in certain situations - those under 18, especially those who are enrolled in school and intend to go on to college (as I don't believe children should be punished for what their parents do); anyone seeking asylum (which really should go without saying. That's the whole point of asylum!); some families, workers, etc. This is a tough issue for me, honestly, because I can understand the trials and merits of both sides of the argument... I don't consider immigration to be that serious of a crime, regardless of how someone gets into the country (I'm including visas in this too... it's complicated), and I believe that most people who do enter the US illegally with the intention to live and work here would actually prefer to come here through the "proper" means.... So amnesty does seem like a good choice, at least for the people already here. If they do not want to be citizens, they should be allowed the option of a guest work visa... But at the end of the day, it's still a visa, and the rules for that should be followed as well. (Again, visas are complicated... The rules for different types of visas are different; and sometimes you can get it renewed and sometimes you can't or you have to wait a few months; sometimes you can't go back home and you get stuck between countries... As much as I wanted to stay in Australia, my student visa would have run out eventually, and it's not like I wasn't in a position to arrange to stay longer... If you are able to get a visa, there are many international organizations that can help you try to obtain citizenship or a green card, especially if you get "stuck.") However criminal behavior such as gang violence, murder, armed theft, & these "terrorists" are another story-- by all means, punish away, within reason. Legalizing and taxing certain drugs would help with some of those problems. For the worst offenses, deportation has often been considered to be the top punishment, though I'm not sure how effective that really is... If they got here in the first place, who's to say they won't come back? Fences and walls too are a bit useless... 2006, President of Mexico vs. President Bush - conflicting viewpoints over the Secure Fence Act. Another example - Berlin Wall, anyone? There are ways to get around these things. It may be difficult, but where there's a will... I do have to wonder if granting amnesty would really encourage more people to come here undocumented, as opponents claim. I think if there is a way we could restrict it to people who were already here... It may not be all that realistic, but neither is trying to round up and deport every single undocumented person in the country, or stop every person trying to enter. Someone once pointed out that a major difference between immigration in the 1900s and today is that we had well-known sites like Ellis Island to centralize the whole process... Maybe that could help us facilitate and organize things today?

I don't personally see amnesty as being a reward for committing a crime, but I can see why some people might. And I can understand why some people may feel threatened by outsiders coming into our "home" and "taking over." After all, that's how the indigenous populations felt too... And every assimilated generation of the "melting pot" era. But I cannot, as a human being, condone kicking other human beings out of their homes and lives and shipping them "back where they came from" simply because they didn't fill out some paperwork and pay a few hundred dollars in legal fees. Though thinking about that reminds me of what my history teacher said... That whole "triangular trade" thing, since apparently using "slave trade" is "inaccurate" according to the Texas SBOE [rolls eyes]-- He talked about it being undocumented (forced) immigration, and the only thing that kept the majority of people from wanting to "send them back where they came from" was their economic value to society. He also pointed out how things have changed. Modern immigrants come here willingly (for the most part. I'm not sure children can really count there...), and do contribute immensely to society in so many ways, including economically. (And unfortunately, many people are still treated like slaves all over the world...) But that whole "send them back" sentiment is alive and well. Even for legal citizens...

And on that note, I also wanted to point out something else... The reason I chose to use "undocumented" vs. illegal is because of something learned in one of my counseling seminars. It's the same as punishing children - you don't actually want to say that the child is bad but that the behavior is bad. Emphasize the behavior. Otherwise, it dehumanizes the situation and has a profound affect on stigma, social perception, and self-view. (This all makes more sense in psych-world... Sort of plays into the reasoning behind "political correctness" -- which can get REALLY annoying-- but there's a lot of reasons for why it's important.)

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Because you just can't claim it's ignorance anymore...

Love how Palin-ites keep saying that we know "nothing about the real world" or "just don't get it," or "all Palin speaks is the truth!!!"  Cute, really. It's things like this, and other groupthink, and cruelty, and stupidity that make it so embarrassing to say we're the same species...

A longer, more serious post will follow, as I'm too busy enjoying tearing her latest "argument" apart with some lovely math and statistics. Lots of fun research... (This regarding her latest FB note stating that environmentalists are the "nonsensical hypocrites" to blame for the BP spill because we're so busy protecting the earth from humans' destructive practices that we outsource jobs and therefore make drilling dangerous. Her words, not mine, straight from her Facebook page. "Some of these countries don’t care for planet earth like we do – as evidenced by our stricter environmental standards." Uh-huh... that doesn't sound hypocritical at all right there. If caring for the earth is so horrible, why are you praising the"stricter environmental standards" that you're trying to overturn in a federally protected wildlife refuge? Apparently it's our fault that the deregulated oil companies outsource jobs overseas to get around our "strict environmental standards" for drilling in international waters and ignore federal laws regarding safety and financial responsibility, including what they pay in taxes. Apparently we just sit around and lie about how dangerous and destructive drilling is, and apparently this whole BP blip on the charts is just an example of that. "...your protests and lawsuits and lies about onshore and shallow water drilling have locked up safer areas. It’s catching up with you. The tragic, unprecedented deep water Gulf oil spill proves it." Whoops, silly us, Ms. Palin. Wow, we had no idea drilling was so not-dangerous... We're so sorry!!! Just think what would have happened if the BP rig was in shallow water! Maybe in water, say, 160 ft deep? Because it's never happened before, has it?? Maybe twice as many pelicans would have died! How well you meat-eaters would eat! Oops. Oh well, maybe precedent will work for BP and they'll claim sovereign immunity... Where were they based again? [sigh] And here we thought deep water out in the middle of one of the biggest fishing regions in the country was the safest place to bore a giant hole in the Earth's crust and see what comes out so we could pour it on a few pelicans and dance around as it makes teh prety colers in teh waterz. Oh wait, no we didn't. You did. But I guess our "nonsensical" desire to develop more safe, clean alternative energy sources that would create non-outsource-able jobs in America and free us almost entirely from our dependency on fossil fuels is just too hypocritical of us. We should totally just move that messy little spill onto land. It couldn't do any harm whatsoever... Guess you caught us on that one! No, we just want to make America... oh, what was it you said? "...Less prosperous on a dirtier planet." Because you're just so right, Ms. Palin-- "There’s nothing clean and green about your misguided, nonsensical radicalism, and Americans are on to you as we question your true motives." True motives? We're tree-huggers! We wear our flowery little hearts on our hemp ankle bracelets, just above the dolphin henna tattoo! What need is there for ulterior motives? We're too hopped up on pot!)

This might take a while. "Now do you get it?" Yes, m'am, we do get it. You are a complete idiot.

A Letter from Senator Lautenberg (D, NJ)

I think it's rare that I should actually receive a response from Sen. Lautenberg other than "I received your message. Thank you, have a nice day :-)", but I thought I would share this little form letter anyway... It's something I can relate to, and something I care about... 

(Just occurred to me - the word I've been looking for is "undocumented."  They're not "illegal" they're "undocumented"...)

Dear Ms. [you don't need to know that...]:

Thank you for contacting me about comprehensive immigration reform. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

As the son of immigrant parents, I know the United States is often a refuge for those who long for freedom and opportunity. Most immigrants have worked hard to become contributing members of our communities, and the United States has always prided itself as a country that welcomes people seeking better lives for themselves and their families. In the 110th Congress, I voted to advance comprehensive immigration reform legislation; unfortunately, this legislation failed to pass the Senate.

In April, I joined fifteen of my colleagues in sending a letter to President Obama expressing my support for passing comprehensive immigration reform legislation this year. The letter states that comprehensive immigration reform legislation must improve our border security, help reunite families, modernize our existing immigration programs, and ensure that all workers and business pay their fair share of taxes. Please be assured I will continue to support meaningful comprehensive immigration reform that is practical and fair.

Thank you again for contacting me.


Senator Frank R. Lautenberg
 (image died. grr...)

I also had (& secretly recorded, lol) a talk with my mother a few weeks ago about what it was like to immigrate to the US. (She knows I was asking for my blog, and that I wanted an interview... I don't think she'll mind too much anymore ^^") She said that it was really popular at the time to marry people just for citizenship, and she knew a lot of people who did it. This was 1973. My mom was only 13 at the time, and her parents had taken care of all of the paperwork. It was a lot easier back then. Standards for citizenship weren't as strict... or expensive. She told me about life back home in Guyana (in South America), before she came here. She's from one of the wealthier families in the capital, so she apparently lived in a nice area. Her family owned a lot of land- a plantation (which she still owns a part of today, apparently...) with servants... (She said they were paid well...)  But Guyana was a relatively poor place, owned by Britain until it gained independence in 1966 and became a republic in 1970... And as things happen in a lot of poor formerly British colonies, there was a period of sharp economic decline in the early 70s, violence broke out (likely including a few crazy people from Jonestown & the People's Temple), and it was no longer safe for her to stay there. (Things have declined rapidly since... My mother says things have changed so much there... Ut's basically become like a third world country in some parts. Guyana has the highest suicide rates in ALL of South America...) Both of her parents were already in the US. Her father was a doctor, her mother worked as a nurse. They had been here at least a year or so before my mother joined them, and her siblings followed much later later. Her parents were not citizens when she arrived, but she told me that if they had been, she would have automatically become a citizen-- however, the government changed the laws at that time anyway. "Then I became a citizen before my parents did. My dad never did it, but my mom did, eventually." Her father died just after I was born... I don't know the details, because she doesn't talk about it. I was supposed to visit him in Guyana when I was about 6 months old, but there were complications with baggage (as in, diapers and things had to be shipped there 6 months in advance, so mom went alone...) She sometimes says that she misses Guyana and wants to visit again someday, but she doesn't regret coming here. They came here for the safety, to be with their family, to have a chance at a better life.

If someday I ever leave this country, I would hope my new home would welcome me with open arms, regardless of whether or not ... and not brand me a moocher and a nuisance, as the citizens here have been doing for the past few centuries... (I'm assuming this post will be part of my "what it means to be American" train of thought...) I think it's interesting that Canada requires you to prove your worth before you can apply for citizenship. Kind of sucks, because they look for specific professions and skills (none of which I have. I'm not a brain surgeon or an architect... and I have no desire to try either.) It kind of doesn't leave room for entrepreneurship, but I guess that's more of an American thing (there are tons of government grants and tax credits and things for people who try to start businesses and stuff... Oh, capitalism. How I loathe thee, yet have little choice but to accept thee -- for now. Someday, Corporate America, I swear I will take you down, piece by piece, from the inside out. My father says I have to wait until he retires though... That's like 10-15 years from now! I can't wait that long... I'm still working on that whole patience thing. It's not working out.)