Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I came here & just realized I have no idea what's going on in the political world... It kind of feels great :-D. News has been just so depressing lately... Though I was forced to listen to some sort of Beck-like hell in the car today (not my car, this was on my way to pick up my car. Don't ask, I don't want to talk about it anymore.) (Though it was amusing for a moment-- some caller was like "OMG they showed a HINEY on the tv!!!") That was truly the most disgusting bullshit I've ever heard, but if people really want to listen to & believe that discriminatory, racist, sexist crap, then go right ahead. I want nothing to do with you, to be perfectly honest. Personally, I'm sick of hearing about Glenn Beck. Literally. Thinking about him makes me nauseous. Hearing his name, or FSM-forbid, his voice (or worse yet, Palin's...) makes me want to puke. I don't want to ever go near either of them-- because if they were to be in dire trouble, I wouldn't want to be the one who has to save them. I would, of course, but I wouldn't want to. Those who continually incite others to violence and hatred, well... Karma's a bitch. But being a good person means helping those you don't want to... even if they appear to many to be the very embodiment of evil. (Being good is hard sometimes, isn't it? So much easier to be bad...)

Nothing much to say right now. My mind is clear, & empty :-P
It's a nice change...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hm? You know what, I don't know...

You know, today I don't have much to say - for once. It's been hell from the moment I woke up, & it's only getting worse every hour, but I don't want to talk about that. I've been going through a bit of an identity crisis for the past week (thought it's been in the back of my mind for years), but again, I don't want to talk about that either. Nor do I want to discuss how I've been literally screaming at my computer, or my iPhone, or the TV, or billboards on the side of the highway because of stupidity & ignorance & "politics as usual."

I don't know what to do with myself tonight... The world is my canvas. (Or rather, this blog is my canvas...) What shall I paint?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

"Hypocrisy: If they’re a Terrorist, you’re a Racist "-- By Storyteller Knight

All Catholic priests are rapists.
All members of the Tea Party are violent racists.
All Southern Conservative Christians are too dumb to tie their own shoes.

I can hear you all yelling at me right now. Yes, I know that it is wrong and unfair to blame an entire group of people for the abhorrent actions of a few. I find the above words to be disgusting and anyone who utters them to be ignorant and foolish. And yet, if we know that you shouldn’t associate and blame the actions of a few on a whole group, why does this statement, this mindset continue to be okay?

All Muslims are terrorists.

Do you see the hypocrisy here? If it isn’t okay to blame the entire Tea Party for the few members who’ve attacked members of Congress or yelled racial slurs at them, then it isn’t okay to blame the entire Islam religion for 9/11. That was a violent extremist group, no different from the members of the Tea Party who severed the gas line at Bo Perriello’s house. And if you, non-violent Tea Party member, do not wish to be associated with the psychopath who did that, you don’t get to call all Muslims terrorists or blame the entire religion for 9/11. Because if you do that, I feel that is perfectly within my rights to blame you for the attempted murder of an innocent man and his family and call you a racist. You can’t have it both ways. YOU CAN’T!

I’m sick and tired of this mentality that if a white man does something wrong, it’s an isolated incident of one psychopathic screwball and we shouldn’t blame all white men for what that one dude did. But if someone not-white does something wrong, it’s on that entire race or religion or sex/gender/orientation. It’s never just an isolated incident when the offender is not-white. It’s an epidemic. A problem we need harsher laws or new programs to try and correct or prevent.

So, with that in mind, I have to ask. Because one of the arguments that I’ve heard thrown out during the debate over the “Ground Zero Mosque” (which is actually more of a community center and two blocks away from Ground Zero, but whatever), is that the land around Ground Zero is Holy Ground. If a white guy wanted to build a strip club within a two block radius of Ground Zero, do you honestly believe it would have created the giant conflict this Mosque/Community center has caused? This is hallowed ground, after all. An area that is owed the utmost respect and highest honor from each person in America. Do you think Mama Grizzly Sarah Palin or Professor Glenn Beck would have rushed to rally the masses against such an establishment going on such hallowed ground?


As morally gray many Christians, especially conservatives Christians, find strip clubs, I haven’t heard mention from those who oppose the Park 51 project the ones that already exist within that two block radius. I’m sorry, but can you really refer to that two block radius as hallowed ground if no effort has really been made in the past decade to turn it into a more respectful, reverent community? But let’s just admit that it’s not really about the hallowed ground. Let’s just admit that the conflict over Park 51 has nothing to do with honoring Ground Zero and everything to do with what the white man thinks is okay. And strip clubs are in and a Mosque/Community Center is not. And this is not okay.

-- Storyteller Knight

Monday, August 23, 2010

Recapping & Updates - Taking a Break from life.

Thought I would share some personal stuff tonight. I'm done with politics for a while... (Easier said than done...) It's just too stressful. It's directly related to my "career goals" if you can call them that, but tonight, it's just me.

I've been feeling pretty crappy lately. There have been a lot of things going on in my life... serious money issues, losing really close friends, making a few new ones, questioning anything and everything about myself and the people around me. My family is always going through one thing or another, and life in general always seems to be more complicated than it needs to be.

You'll notice I didn't include a proper profile of myself here, other than my very first post... I will, eventually. I can't believe it's been over a year since I've started this, over 100 posts... and so much has changed, hasn't it?

Personal info: I'm a 21 yr old multi-ethnic female, almost 22. I identify as mostly heterosexual (but that is slowly changing...). I've said it before, I don't care enough either way. I'm getting kind of active in the GLBT activism scene, I've been to a pride parade & gay clubs & forums [without realizing ^^" I can be pretty dense about some kinds of things], but I don't really feel like I belong there yet... for now, I'm an ally. For the majority of my life, I've been a cross between a tomboy and a girly-girl-- my dad always wanted a son, and my mom loves girly things. At one point, I made it a goal to become more androgynous. I'd say I've pretty much achieved that overall. But I sometimes feel like I'm living a double life...

I have a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with a minor in Sociology (just a thesis away from a second major, apparently. But I didn't really notice the reality of that until I graduated. I was doing everything I could to avoid the thesis class...) I've never been in a real relationship, because a) every time I got close to someone, I couldn't admit how I felt or I was too shy/lacked confidence to take it further; b) I'm extremely picky about who I associate with, & I won't hesitate to stop talking to someone if I feel like they're being an ass (last guy I ever considered dating wouldn't stop asking "inappropriate" things after I asked him repeatedly to stop. That was the last straw...); c) I'm not entirely sure what I want anymore. I don't think I want to get married, and I don't know that I could deal with the whole process of meeting & breaking up (because, let's face it, over 50% of all marriages end in divorce, & I don't even want to think about the statistics of all other relationships. No one likes breakups, but they tend to hit me particularly hard). I've said it before, if it were that easy to meet people and start a relationship without that awkward "getting to know you" dating phase...

I might have mentioned that I've been dealing with depression since I was 12-ish. Too many reasons why. Very little has changed there, but I guess the time between major episodes is getting longer, which is a good thing. I've gone at least a full year without cutting. (Though honestly, I'm not sure why I ever started. I guess I felt like I deserved the pain.) I think I've hit the "quarter-life crisis." I swore to live my life with no regrets, but I haven't really kept that promise. Most days, I hate my life. But I'm lucky enough to a have a few really great friends (though unfortunately most of them don't live in the same state...) I have a job that's... well, I have a job. I seriously need to start looking for a new one, but it's so depressing to think about. I wish I were going to grad school, but I don't have any money. I wish I could move out of this house, but again, I don't have any money. I'm ready to make a lot of major changes in my life... including a move to D.C., once I can figure out how to afford it. If I want a job in public policy & advocacy, there's no better place to do it.

Still a vegetarian who rambles and enjoys a good rant, but I rarely touch my guitar or pick up a novel nowadays. I just don't feel like it anymore... Probably just the depression, but I would like to write a song again one of these days. I'm still a complete geek however. I have unfortunately joined the ranks of iphone owners, but I miss my blackberry... I haven't messed with Linux in a while, but my old Dell is about to become a test laptop for an Ubuntu dual boot... plus I have a "tower" of monitors & towers in my room, so eventually I'll get around to messing with that once I can get into the dam Bios (I don't know why, but I can't get in. It's an insanely old system and none of the usual tricks work.) I wasn't able to do Otakon this year, and honestly I wasn't sure I'd be comfortable going after all that's happened in the past few months, but next year is in the works.

I very rarely say anything when something's bothering me. This often leads me to eventually blow up or break down (as you may have seen here... I think that was a little immature of me to some extent, and even though I stand by what I said, it's a little embarrassing now... but I've been assured by several people that I didn't do/say anything I shouldn't have). That's part of why I started this blog. I may be a quiet person, but I have a lot to say, and sometimes I want feedback, or just to know that someone hears me and gets it. I needed a new outlet. I have several blogs & journals actually, but this is the only one that's truly public. The others are very personal, and one is completely private.

As for this blog... as with all of my blogs & journals & diaries, I tend to go back to the beginning & reread things... I know I've mentioned this before. It's kind of like watching myself grow up, or in this case, become more (openly) liberal lol. (Do liberals get a closet? Do we get, like, patchouli and soy lattes & shit while we're waiting to tell everyone we're bleeding-heart, knee-jerk liberals? Because I'll go back in... :-D Ok, looks like I feel a little better now...) Though in terms of the country, I'd be more than satisfied with a less centralized, more effective, middle-of-the-road government. I am a socialist (though I think some tenets of communism make much more sense), a bit of a utilitarian, but I prefer all things in moderation. A mixed economy works best. And ideally, we'd have free and fair trade; but until then, fair trade is more important... Oh wait, didn't I say no politics tonight? Sorry...

I got drunk for the first time ever Saturday night. (I've been tipsy before, but NEVER like that... Apparently I'm not so quiet anymore.) I usually can't stand being around people who drink just for the sake of getting drunk. Though I think now I understand why some of them do it... Overall, it wasn't a bad feeling, but I didn't feel safe, even when surrounded by good friends. So it probably won't happen again.

I guess sometimes I just have to remind myself of who I am, where I've been, & what I'm capable of doing. The hardest things to do in life seem like nothing right now... Because this is the second time I've lost someone I loved. (Though this time, I'm 98.34% sure it was strictly platonic.) As mad as I've been, and as much as I shouldn't, I still miss you :-(

My Final Comments on Park51

So much for civility. I suspect this is going to be an angry rant. You have been duly warned.

I woke up only to be seriously irritated by the comments on a video I had left open:

The comments I was reading are buried in there, close to the very beginning, but the bullshit continues. I am sooo sick and tired of this. I don't know what's gotten into the drinking water over the last few years, but it's like the angriest and most ignorant always feel the need to throw tantrums and spread fear and hatred, all the time, over things that for the rest of us should be non-issues. It's embarrassing. When someone is attacked when walking down the street on their way home from work and is accused of being violent and hateful, how is that not an injustice? Where do these bastards get off telling other people that their religions are hateful and violent, when these so-called "Christians" are the most hateful people I've ever had the misfortune to meet?

There is a point where understandable concern meets blind hatred. We've crossed that point a long time ago... Real Americans, Please Stand Up (NYTimes.com)

Before we are Americans; before we are Christians or Muslims or Atheists; before we are immigrants or citizens or Democrats or Republicans, we have to remember: we are human beings.

These lines that divide us are our own creation. We can break them down just as we built them up. At the end of the day, they mean nothing. Either we work together to make us stronger as a global society, or we work to break us down.

Whether or not you like Keith Olbermann, his comments on Park 51 the other night were spot on.

This is NOT a big deal, and I absolutely do not think that the developers of this community center should back down, give up their rights and "build somewhere else." I know this is modern-day America, where small groups of extremists think they speak for everybody [cough*teapartyfringe*cough] but the fact is, they don't. And for anyone even considering attacking someone or vandalizing the community center, or interfering with the personal lives of developers or construction workers or Muslims (or perceived Muslims, as the case was in the first video) in any way because of this community center-- I can't even say how I feel about you other than the fact that I'm truly disgusted. Because saying any more than that wouldn't be "polite."

Rights are being violated and ignored by the same people who claim to be strict constructionists (thank you, Shep). Those who complain that their constitutional rights are being restricted by people who are offended by something are walking all over the rights of these people because Those who argue to blindly follow laws refuse to follow the ones they don't like. It's an election year, and our sociopolitical world is engulfed in a hubbub of prefabricated discontent to shroud the legitimate concerns on legitimate issues. This is all just a distraction from the real issues- unemployment, poverty, homelessness, healthcare (still a long way to go on that...), food safety, education, clean energy... I could go on & on. (It's been argued that reducing unemployment would reduce the levels of pent up crazy and give more people something productive to do instead of screaming on the street corners. We should try it.) And that being said, I'm done trying to argue this. I'm going to treat it like the non-issue it is. (Though I'd say now it's the violent opponents who are the issue...) FTS. Peace out. I'll be with this guy -->

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Random Video time - Anti-H8 protest signs

So, I'm back from my night of debauchery lol... (First time drinking that much, ever. Don't ask me why I did it, I really couldn't tell you. The only "peer pressure" I've experienced this weekend was on I-95 with 2 cars directly on my right & a jerk driving so close behind me at 70 mph in a 55 zone that if I had tried to slow down, I would've been hit instantly. Cops didn't seem to care that much though...???)

So enough of that. Feels like I've been gone forever. And my head kind of hurts, but thought I'd share some vids til my brain starts working again...

I'll start with this cute video, as part of my decidedly-ongoing "End of Prop 8" celebration (since it's basically still in effect until December blogger-emoticon.blogspot.com). Oh, and since my John Mayor boycott is over too (don't ask... it's a Care2 thing), you don't have to pretend not to enjoy the music, like I did for 8 months. (Again, don't ask. I needed points to give clean water to Haiti and save a child from disease... A very worthy sacrifice. Besides, his comments were totally inappropriate, though I sort of kind of get what he was attempting to sort of say there.)

I'm off to enjoy an overly processed, frozen, sodium-filled french bread pizza & take a long nap.

Friday, August 20, 2010

This Rant brought to you by Storyteller Knight

Look, people, the new Mosque going up in New York will not be built on top of Ground Zero, okay? It will be built two blocks away. Mosques already exist within a two block radius of Ground Zero. THIS IS NOT A BIG DEAL!!! But, if you are hell bent on turning New York City into the Born-Again-Christian-Holy-Land, why don't start with the STRIP CLUBS that exist within the two block radius of Ground Zero. Or does the Born-Again-God need his pole dance on the sabbath?

--Storyteller Knight

Monday, August 16, 2010

“Why is it that hate comes out so easily, yet...love? It gets trapped inside.”-- [Author Unknown]

[sigh] I've been avoiding this place... I keep writing things, only to stop mid-thought because it's so irritating. Yet somehow, listening to L'Internationale gives me hope ^^" It's the "official" anthem of socialists, etc... And it really is beautiful. I really don't like how socialist ideology has been distorted in countries such as China & Russia & North Korea... They're the reason I say pure socialism could never work... Not yet at least. It's because of our individualistic nature that a truly socialist society can't exist here. Everyone's only in in for themselves and their own agendas, not for the good of the group as a whole. We see things like Prop 8 & this mosque controversy that prove that only some of us care about true equality... and the rest would like to believe that their way is the only right way, even when they're wrong. And somehow that makes them more "American" than those of us who actually believe in freedom, peace, and equality for ALL. I haven't been able to express these, or really any thoughts lately, because I am just so disgusted with the world. It makes me sick to my stomach. There's so much hate... so much anger. I've been remembering why I've avoided politics for so long... It brings out the worst in people. Though I think in some cases, that's been a good thing-- exposes the hypocrisy... and sometimes, allows us to rethink how we act and what we say.... or just know who to avoid.

And remember, there are always more polite, cheerful ways to tell stupid people to go fuck themselves. Like this:

Though really, we as a nation need to be more civil... It's embarrassing and appalling how we treat each other. This is getting too far out of hand. Dissent is fine of course, and we don't all have to agree on everything, but why can't we at least be civil about this? Haha, I feel like a kid stuck in the middle of a bad argument between parents... We need some marriage counseling, ASAP. (Or a good divorce lawyer lol) In all seriousness, I'm still a bit worried this is going to escalate into something major if we don't get a handle on this crazy. We have one side already armed & dangerous, & the other is starting to scream back too [finally...?], some people are trying to mess with basic rights while claiming it's going to make us all free & happy, & someday someone's going to snap & pull a Joe Stack on a grand-scale level... Some have tried, and thankfully failed, but it's only a matter of time before someone gets it in their head that this is a good thing... How do I know this is possible? Our last President bombed the hell out of a country or two as a "pre-emptive" strike. I remember sitting there in front of the TV crying... All of those innocent people murdered, and for what? We shouldn't fight anger with anger, violence with violence, terrorism with terrorism. Turns out there are a lot of people in this country who believe that using violence and force is the only way to win. I'm pretty sure our new President isn't so recklessly stupid, but people always disappoint me, so who knows. Not like these stupid wars are over yet anyway-- slowly ending, but not over. But lately, it feels like the more we try to get people to work together, to better ourselves, it's like the more we push ourselves further apart.

Last night, I received an email from one of the readers of that "article" I had commented on (see my last post for details on that...). She was trying to convince me to oppose the bill (S5.10 Food Safety Modernization Act)... I was pretty annoyed, since I thought I had made it very clear the night before how I felt about it, however I wrote her back. I had taken a look at her profile. It seems that we actually have quite a bit in common in terms of our positions on various environmental & animal rights issues. We both seem to want transparency in the food industry, an expansion of organic farming, and responsible farm practices. This bill, to me, seems to help with that. She sees it as hindering... Something as small as our interpretations of a bill stands in the way of working together on those goals... Something designed to help is just pushing us apart...

The community center, Park51 (a.k.a. the "Ground Zero Mosque") was meant to be a gesture of peace... It shouldn't be a controversy. It's not at Ground Zero, but 2 blocks away. It's a community center that combines 2 existing, tiny mosques into 1 big place for everyone to meet (and swim). The 2 mosques in the area are so tiny that they've had to turn people away. The mosque is only 1 floor, and the rest will be a pool and restaurants, etc. And even if it were much closer Ground Zero, and it were just a mosque, I don't see a problem with it. A mosque is just a church. Different religion, but technically the same god, and surprisingly similar beliefs to an extent.* A church is a place where people gather to celebrate, to mourn, to share. And to say that they are any less welcome than any other religious group is wrong... and incredibly disrespectful.

I may be an atheist, but I believe quite strongly in the freedom to believe and engage in any religion you so desire, so long as it doesn't hurt anyone. But from what I'm seeing right now, too many are letting their religion dictate others' lives, and it always seems to be one group in particular... So "Christians," do the Christian thing and learn to love and accept others for who they are, not what you want them to be. (This applies to Prop 8 especially.)

There were 19 extremists who attacked us, and they alone should be held accountable for their actions. (Well, also including anyone who directly helped them I suppose...). No one should punish a group for the actions of a few. So Rep. Peter King, and all who agree with him- the right and moral thing to do is to be tolerant and respectful of others' rights. YOU are the ones being insensitive and uncaring. I too knew people who were lost on 9/11. But as we've all learned, life has to go on... and that doesn't mean that we've forgotten.

* If you didn't know, many Muslims apparently believe in Adam & Eve, the "virgin" Mary story, Jesus' life & resurrection, the "Second Coming," Heaven & Hell, etc. And like most of the "public" TV/political Christians appear to advocate [cough*palin*cough], there's no separation of church & state... & as evidence for my claims (since it was my friend who took Comparative Religions), I've found for you this lovely chart.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fighting Paranoia & Misinformation

Still working on that immigration post, & the rest of the philosophy posts... One of these days...

"Fear is a tried and true political strategy..." -- Rachel Maddow.

It would seem I ruffled a few feathers today over something that seems a bit silly. What can I say? Blatant misinformation really annoys me. Especially when you can see the facts staring at you right in the face. So today, I got into a bit of an "argument" with some people on Care2 over an article one woman posted about the FDA's new Food Safety bill S.510. It's one thing if it's a news article from a reputable source, and contained factual information about the bill and it's effects on the general public. Here's the problem-- the "article" was written by Alex Jones, a well-known paleoconservative conspiracy theorist. It's a mess of lies, horribly deceptive and hysterically exaggerated; and these Care2 members have apparently fallen for it, and think I'm crazy for doubting. "...I could care less for those who do not want to listen." It's that kind of sentiment that keeps people divided, you know. I'm trying to understand what the bloody hell you're talking about!!! (-_-" They can be quite stubborn & paranoid... This is a very mild example, but you'll see. [See? I was polite... for the most part blogger-emoticon.blogspot.com] I run into the same people fairly often, and I sometimes give them a link or 2 to something debunking their conspiracy. One of these days, maybe it'll click. Mind you, these are the "extremist fringe" members I'm talking about here, some of them Tea Party extremists, and they've posted on my articles too. I can usually predict exactly what this group will post and rant about, & it's usually pretty far out there. Death panels at the dentist's & Obama's secret government healthcare armies coming for you in your sleep kind of out there.) The "article" basically states that the government is trying to make growing your own food illegal. Uh, what?? That has nothing to do with what the bill actually says.

So what is S.510?
Exactly what I just said it is. A Food Safety upgrade bill for facilities that grow or manufacture food that is sent to commercial retailers for public consumption. And what's so different about this bill from all of the other food safety bills we have? Eh. Not much. It (like most other bills) is pretty vague, but it has no effect whatsoever on your own personal garden, or most small farms either. Know what it does? Permits an agency to inspect your records if there is reasonable probability that use or exposure to your product will cause serious adverse health effects or death. Regulates food and drug testing. (Remember all of those spinach & PB recalls? The bagged salad & salmonella/fecal matter issue? This is to control that and fix it so that people are safer.) Anyone have a problem with this? No? Thought so. But as usual, there's a group of people screaming about the world coming to an end because of a few little safety regulations... (I got a bit irked when she suggested I "do some research and go read the bill" [to paraphrase], when I had just quoted directly from it, and provided a link to the exact same thing she thought she'd show me... Clearly she must've missed my link and quote... I also asked her to show me exactly what line she was referring to-- what was so alarming? (She had said it was "sugarcoated.") Really, I want to know what line says the government is going to come and confiscate my organic broccoli & arrest me for harboring illegal strawberries. As you can see, I have yet to receive an answer... [yawn] Really? Give me a challenge, why don't you. blogger-emoticon.blogspot.comDon't mind me, I must think I'm so smart because I read & analyze everything I see instead of believing a well-known liar lol...)

Oh look an UPDATE: She flat out ignored my request & the other girl who told her that the "article" is misleading & a conspiracy theory & not fact. Seriously? Seems it's been proven that it's all a bunch of unsubstantiated lies, but she continued with her "end of the world" rant. Oh well, we tried. Crazy ideas in this crazy world... Light's already on, hun. I'd check yours, though...

I'm going to watch Olbermann... He's so very amusing...

12 pm: UPDATE: I made one last post... I'm pretty riled up tonight. I know, I can be such a bitch sometimes... Could've just let it end with them talking shit about us... But I figured, why not clarify what I was talking about and call it a night... I've said my piece & my peace, I'm done with this. I've defended my argument. Bedtime! ^^"

10 am next day: ok, one last update - checked to see what happened after i left... the other girl came on & backed me up, etc. (& then everyone else called us brainwashed idiots & then went on to say that there is a special pill with just enough nutrition to keep them alive for a little while since there won't be any food left. (? what like a magic vitamin?) It's times like these when I seriously hope that most of the people in this country are just role-playing or something...)

They're entitled to their beliefs and such, but the level of imagination it takes to come up with this is just astounding...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Prepping for Elections... New candidate?

This will be pretty short.

I'm finally getting around to doing some research for the upcoming general elections... well, at least those in my own state ^^". It's time to elect our House Reps... I was planning on voting for the incumbent, Rush Holt, but I'm starting to like this independent candidate Kenneth Cody too.

Now, there are a few pretty big problems with this... Well, 1 big one really. Independents never stand a chance. (Plus he went to community college, which may or may not sit well with some people... He'll be up against Ivy Leaguers. His writing tends to be a bit simplistic, & his spelling could use some improvement blogger-emoticon.blogspot.combut enough nitpicking...) He sounds like a great guy overall... Rep material? Can't say just yet. He may be new to the scene, but he has heart, and for me, compassion & brains are the most important traits any candidate can have. He's a Democrat-turned-Independent (as I will be, once I remember to fill out my form & unaffiliate!), believes in bipartisanship & finding common ground to get things done for the betterment of all Americans; finding a path to universal health care; supporting small businesses; environmental responsibility & protection; limited campaign contribution & spending (something I was actually thinking about just this morning-- why there's such a need for insane amounts of money. I was thinking of issuing a challenge-- run a complete, legit campaign on a $50 budget. It's possible, just takes a little creativity... I know how I'd do it. This guy has a tally of how much he's spent: $234.40, of his own money, no contributions whatsoever. His website is a tripod.com site! :-D Frugal and fiscally responsible are very good.); his platform/slogan is Truth, Vision, Hope. It's a good place to start. Why not try something different? That being said, I do think he needs to be a bit stronger... especially because he's an indie. My advice? Take a stronger stand on positions, give more detailed answers... I get where you're leaning, & that you're open to compromise, but we like to know that you have ideas of your own to contribute too.

Though really, I still like Holt too... [<--click link over there for his positions on issues]. He's a Quaker (a religious group for which I actually have a great deal of respect), he supports everything I've ever asked him about, including environmental issues; opposes all the things I oppose, works well with our senators & OB's other rep Pallone, & other nice things... (The 4 of them got together to write a letter to Obama opposing offshore drilling... couldn't ask for a better team!) I'd say he's pretty progressive, especially compared to our other options... (Too many NJ tea party candidates -_-") He's tied for 1st place for most liberal Dem in the House (with 6 others, as of right now... someone needs to update the list!). And he has a PhD. in physics (not that it's really relevant to politics, but physics gets impossibly hard at that level, so he must be quite intelligent...Plus he was a 5-time winner on Jeopardy. Useless knowledge sometimes does come in handy...) Another plus, we pretty much match up exactly on the political compass tests (Hardcore Liberal! W00T!). Very rare find indeed...

Anyway, my Reps & Senators are awesome :-) and I'll be very interested to see how this plays out...

As for Mr. Cody... I'll be keeping an eye on him... (By the way, the Republican guy for my district is basically a cookie-cutter poster child for Wall St. In fact, he even wrote a mystery novel about Wall St...)

His opinion piece on MyCentralJersey.com
Kenneth Cody for Congress (his campaign website)
Views on Healthcare

Terror Babies? This Sounds like a Bad Hollywood Movie...

Warning: the following may be offensive to people of the Islamic faith, or people of Middle Eastern descent, or, really, anyone with a brain and common sense. I don't mean to be disrespectful, I'm just trying to prove a point. This is an example (rather accurate, unfortunately) of what I've heard from some very insane people, stemming from what they've dubbed the "Ground Zero Mosque." (Which, for the rest of you, is NOT a mosque but a community center, and is NOT at Ground Zero but 2 blocks away, in the old Burlington Coat Factory building near a church and an adult book store. There is no reason whatsoever for all this fuss; it's just discrimination against followers of Islam.)

Plot - Pregnant mothers sneak into America under the cover of nightfall, pretending to be lost "tourists" trying to find their hotel. Come morning, they have popped out 1 or 2 kids, & have assimilated into the communities by building Mosques all over the country, which they tell everyone are like "churches"-- however they are actually secret training camps for terrorists!!! When the children are born, they appear to be like all other little American children (except for their dark skin tone, of course.) However, when they are a bit older, they return to their "home country" to be raised and trained in the way of the jihadist terrorist. They will return when they are older... but for what purpose? Their mothers wear burkas to hide their faces and claim their religion makes them do it. But underneath all of that cloth is a Secret-Ops ninja costume for Operation Allah-- the day when Muslim Terror Babies take over America!!! [Mwhahahahaha!!!!]

Alright, I had decided against writing a review for Salt (because that movie was just... ridiculous), but again, reality has somehow become even more ridiculous. So in all seriousness- GOP "terrorist baby" conspirators-- take a chill pill and stop watching Angelina Jolie movies in your sleep. For those of you who haven't seen the movie but have heard of this ridiculous argument that proponents of the "Repeal the 14th Amendment!" camp constantly spout, well, now you know the whole plot of Salt (more or less). And if you've seen the movie, here's a quick summary- instead of Russians, these kids are the Middle Eastern equivalent of what conservatives call "anchor babies" (rude term for children of undocumented immigrants, usually only applied to Mexican-American children since apparently no Republican ever considers that people from other countries -- say Germany or Canada-- would immigrate here. Since they're born here in the USA, they are automatically citizens, under the 14th Amendment).

I shouldn't need to go on about how this is offensive on so many levels. I'm not even going to mention how wrong it is to assume that all mothers who come here for a visit, or to immigrate here to give their children a chance at a better life must have some ulterior motive bent on destroying America from the inside out. (Though I do have to wonder about the ancestors of Pat Robertson, Beck, Palin, Bachmann, & Limbaugh...blogger-emoticon.blogspot.com)

Maybe one crazy woman somewhere in the world got it into her head that this would be a good idea. Maybe. But I'm pretty sure that crazy woman is Texas state legislator Rep. Debbie Riddle. She seems to believe this insane plot is real-- methinks she's been talking with Fox. Though should I be surprised she's from Texas?

Ms. Riddle - Salt was just a movie. It's going to be ok.

UPDATE: Ex-FBI Official Debunks "Terror Babies" Conspiracy Theory --"There was never a credible report -- or any report, for that matter -- coming across through all the various mechanisms of communication to indicate that there was such a plan for these terror babies to be born..." (just more proof that proponents of this theory are all crazies-- or that the FBI's been compromised. RUN & HIDE!! blogger-emoticon.blogspot.com ~~ D.A.K.)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Random (Semi-Silly) Video Share

Video Share Day -- Just because I'm feeling lazy after a long day at work... ^^"

So in keeping with the Prop 8/gay rights theme, I thought I'd share this clip from South Park Season 11 Episode 2, Cartman Sucks. Butters is "caught" in a compromising position and is sent away to a conversion camp to "Pray the Gay Away!" At the end, he gives this cute little speech:

I <3 Butters...

Friday, August 6, 2010

It's Not Over Yet -- What's Next for the Prop 8 Case?

[Don't forget to check out the links!]

Apparently, it did post (the second time). Anyway, so I just wanted to elaborate on this really fast. Not to put a damper on that last post (the guest post), but this is far from over...

There are still 2 more trials (well, appeal & then trial) to go regarding the California case, and many politicians are reluctant to make this the big issue we need it to be. We haven't heard all that much from proponents of Prop 8 since the first trial ended. Why? Speculators suggest that issues such as the economy and immigration are enough of a distraction for conservative voters. (In which case, maybe it'd be a good idea to get DOMA & DADT repealed now ;-) Quick, before they pay attention again!) All I've personally seen are comments from reporters and pundits that the judge is biased because he is gay. I don't know if that's true, and frankly, I don't know if we should care. I think it's probably just a The question is, does it matter if a gay judge rules on a gay rights trial? Does it make a difference? [EDIT: Turns out it is possibly true. but not proven (SFGate. Very Questionable source), but was considered a non-issue. We shall have to see if it matters in the appeal... supposedly the lawyers have not yet decided (HuffPost) whether it will be of concern.]

I don't believe that his orientation should have any bearing whatsoever on his ability to give an impartial ruling, especially if you were to consider it as any other characteristic - gender, ethnicity/race, age, etc. It's just another trait at the end of the day. (By that same logic, "people of color" (as we have been called, much to my dismay) shouldn't be allowed to rule on issues of "race." Since that's just as much of a bullshit argument as orientation, I think it's safe to say that this will play out in our favor...) And I do believe his record (what little I've read of it, I'll admit) does indeed show that he keeps his personal ideology outside of the courtroom. The "smear campaign" against him is pretty weak... However, we do have to consider that it's very possible that no matter how "liberal" the 9th Circuit court is assumed to be, they could very well throw out the ruling on the grounds of a (at this point assumed) conflict of interest or other bias. For all we know, it could all be true. Should it matter? Of course not. Will it? We don't know. And for that reason alone, perhaps we should keep this in the back of our minds...

All of that aside, I've seen some evidence that the Supreme Court is already reluctant to take on this case. If the appellate court somehow rules to overturn the verdict, then the case will never make it to the Supreme Court... And even if the court also deems it unconstitutional, the Supreme Court can refuse to take the case, regarding it as a "state problem" or simply a California issue.

In terms of the case itself-- it was a seriously crappy defense, & based on that alone, yes, the ruling makes sense. And Judge Walker did an amazing job-- to make a long story short, he went above and beyond the requirements. It is highly unlikely that new evidence will be admissible during the appeal. It's possible, but very rare. (There's a lot of legal jargon that I don't feel like trying to rewrite, but basically, I believe the defense will have to prove that they were unable to provide the evidence because of some unforeseeable circumstance.) Based on that alone, I think the ruling will likely hold, at least in California. That was a court case based on the California Constitution, if I'm not mistaken. What about the rest of the country? Again, that's just California, & it's not the only case regarding same-sex marriage. I think it's vital that this case get to the Supreme Court, if only in the hopes of setting some sort of legal precedent that trumps any state laws. We already know that most of the justices on the supreme court already think that a ban is constitutional, by their own "research," including Ms. Kagan. They argue that it's a "state thing." At least 30 states have already banned same-sex marriage, whether by statute or constitution (& several have had multiple court rulings that upheld the ban). So it's have the Supreme Court interpret the Constitution to mean that the ban is itself unconstitutional, and/or push ahead to try to get an amendment passed. (Scholars argue there isn't much of a difference. Either the interpretation changes, or we change the document itself...) And to change the federal Constitution itself with an amendment takes 2/3 of the states - 35 out of 50 need to agree, and as only 5 out of 50 so far have agreed... This case is just a first step towards equality. It's nowhere near over... whether or not that ruling will be considered/applied universally, or if it will be argued that the ruling can only be based on that particular defense and applied only to that particular state... or thrown out altogether. It can still be overturned before it gets to the Supreme Court... & then the Supreme never has to get involved. (Though I have no doubt whatsoever that we'll keep fighting until we've achieved equal rights for everyone, no matter how long it takes.)

Still celebrating, in my own way. (I'll be waiting for that wedding invite someday!!!)

The appeal has yet to be scheduled. In the meantime, let's whisper amongst ourselves... :-D

Prop 8...

i doubt this is going to post, but thought I'd give a quick update before I get home. Other than disturbing children playing games of "terrorist," work is uneventful. The prop 8 judge has been "accused" of being gay. I'm wondering now, if the "accusation" is true, would it be construed as a conflict of interest, & as a result, would the ruling be declared invalid??
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Prop 8 Ruling - Guest Post by Storyteller Knight

So we're all thrilled about the Prop 8 ruling, and I am SOOOO very excited to present the first ever guest post, written by my awesome friend (and La Campanella Award winner) Storyteller Knight!! So, without further ado, Storyteller Knight!!

Okay, really?
by Storyteller Knight

Happy happy happy that Prop 8 was ruled unconstitutional. But, I'm reading up right now on how the case went down and my reaction is somewhere between O.o and -.-'

So basically the defenders of Prop 8 were like 'God the dictionary* says we're right, so you have to rule based on that'. And the opponents of Prop 8 were like 'here's a mountain of evidence as to why Prop 8 is unconstitutional and discriminatory'. And the judge was like 'defenders of Prop 8, I feel really silly ruling on this case because you really haven't presented one, please give me something.' And the defenders of Prop 8 were like "We don't have to prove anything" (that would be a direct quote, not me paraphrasing).

::sigh:: No longer surprised that Prop 8 was ruled unconstitutional.

Going forward, my gut instinct is that this ruling will hold. Because really? The dictionary? And even if it doesn't, I don't think neither the Appellate Court nor the Supreme Court will be able to rule against Judge Walker's verdict (even if they wanted to) without ordering a new trial, simply because the defenders of Prop 8 did such a piss poor job of presenting their case. They only called two witnesses and one of them was deemed inadmissible because his testimony was inept and contradictory (This guy argued that polygamy fit within his (note- his, not mine, not the judge's, not society's, his) definition of marriage (opposite sex, two people and sexual) because a man only had one ceremony at a time and since he didn't marry all five wives in one ceremony, each marriage is distinct and okay. He also agreed with the opponents of Prop 8 that same sex marriage would reduce prejudice and hate crimes, increase the standard of living and benefit the couples and their children but we shouldn't do it because God the dictionary the institution of marriage wouldn't like it)

It's like a murder trial where the defendant swears up and down that he wasn't at the scene of the crime and he says he's got a million witnesses that place him somewhere else. But he only calls two witnesses. And one of the witnesses testifies that the defendant wasn't actually at this somewhere else. He doesn't know where the defendant was, but he's sure it wasn't at the murder scene. Oh, and defendant totally had motive, means and opportunity to commit the murder, but he didn't do it. Probably. Meanwhile, the prosecution brings forth witnesses who saw the defendant commit the murder, evidence that the gun was his, his fingerprints are on it and present a pretty impressive motive. And then, in closing arguments, the defendant's lawyer says that the judge can't possibly find his client guilty because his picture is in the dictionary next to the definition of 'model citizen.'

No judge, along any step of the appeals can rule this guy not guilty without ordering a new trial demanding that the million people who the defendant claims saw him somewhere else testify. I feel like it's the same thing with the Prop 8 case. Judge Walker did the only thing he could do in ruling Prop 8 unconstitutional, because only one set of evidence was presented to him. Maybe he really believes that Prop 8 was constitutional and maybe he thinks there's mountains of case work and precedent that supports the ban. But he can't rule on any of that, he can only rule on what was presented during the case. And what was presented was the dictionary. And his ruling probably can't be overturned without the stipulation that evidence beyond the dictionary's definition of marriage being between a man and a woman actually be presented.

If I'm wrong here, someone please correct me. But if I am wrong, that's stupid. Because you shouldn't win a case like this simply because God the dictionary the institution of marriage you think you should without ever presenting any evidence as you why you are legally in the right. And the defenders of Prop 8 have yet to do that. And until they do, there is no judge out there (I hope) who will rule in their favor. Even if that judge wrongly believes on a personal level that Prop 8 is legal and constitutional.

So today we should celebrate all the stupid bigots of the world. Cause they actually make progress so much easier. :D

* "You only need to go back to your chambers and pull down any dictionary or book that defines marriage," Cooper told the judge. "You won't find it had anything to do with homosexuality."

Right, dude. Cause the dictionary never changes. -.-'

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Link Share: How Does SB1070 Conflict with Federal Immigration Law?

SCOTUS Blog- Federal Department of Justice Brief, Motion for Preliminary Injunction

And a lovely little breakdown: How Does SB1070 Conflict with Federal Immigration Law? - Blog For Arizona

Found it! A while back I was talking about the unconstitutionality of SB1070. I don't remember all that I said, & I don't have time to go look for it, but here's just a little bit of more exact evidence as to why it's unconstitutional. Proponents of the law say that it merely enforces the existing federal laws; however, SB1070 goes beyond federal law, turning a civil offense into a criminal one (I know I've mentioned that before...).

I'll be back later with a full post...

P.S. - In other news, the Prop 8 trial ruling is expected within the next few hours!
P.P.S.- Happy Birthday, President Obama!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Updates! Current State of the Union...?

Ok, so maybe it's been quite a while since I've finished a post. And there's just so much going on all over the place that I haven't been able to just stop for a moment to sort my thoughts and get them down. Between my vacation time this weekend, weird dreams, & attempting to read a book (when I really don't have the time to get past a chapter, speed reading and all, since I kept stopping to "argue" with the author...), & now I'm here trying to finish this post and a private one before I leave (for who knows where...). I'm sure you get my point. So I need to play catch-up with what's going on again. (Like when I took a week off to play video games & regain my composure after a total mental breakdown, & totally missed that whole Scott Brown thing... lol... Oh well, not like it turned out to be that bad overall.) Brief comments about the state of the country:

Single Payer Healthcare
-- Vermont is attempting to push through a single-payer program, but might be stopped by the federal law... The plan, championed by a grassroots organization and based on the idea of healthcare as an undeniable human right, advocates the abolition of all for-profit health plans in favor of a state-run non-profit system.However, the healthcare legislation passed this year has provisions for state programs that specifies that a state program cannot interfere with the insurance provided by large employers. (Kucinich attempted to get a waiver included in the legislation, but as usual, progressive ideas were quashed...) Story Available Here.

Arizona Immigration Law
--As far as I've seen, most of the Arizona law SB1070 is still blocked. Good news indeed... (Wondering if Hollywood/music scene is really against the law because it's become the "in" thing to do, or if they're seriously into it... Either way, works for me, I guess. We're humans first. Nationality second (though I can think of a ton of other things that matter more too). To add some weird news, Ms. Palin has decided she had to talk about our President's "family jewels" (to be polite here...) in relation to this law... Way to take the debate back to high school. (Not to mention it's kinda sexist -_-" C'mon, really? Yea, Democrats are wusses. But this phrase that basically means that only men have what it takes to get shit done? Bull. Though to quote the great Leopold "Butters" Stotch, girls just keep 'em on the inside :-D)

BP Oil Spill
-- The MSM continues to hide the fact that there's still oil all over the gulf and in Michigan too. (Article 1, Article 2). No, the microbes couldn't possibly have cleaned it all up already. Yes, normally oil would float, & perhaps it's not as visible in some areas, but you're forgetting that a) dispersants break it up into smaller & smaller pieces that spread out all over the place; b) those dispersants are HIGHLY TOXIC, not to mention the fact that crude oil is also HIGHLY TOXIC; c) oil can sink. Someone commented on a news article & told another person that they should "go back to science class. oil can't be on the ocean floor because it floats on water!" I think that had this commenter actually thought about science class, perhaps they would have remembered that the reason that oil floats is because it is less dense than water, however should the oil mix with something (say, a dispersant, or particles in the water like salt or debris...), it could easily become more dense than the water and sink to a lower level. Different oils have different densities. Crude oil on it's own is actually quite dense. When it's exposed to air, water, or bacteria, it gets denser-- the lighter parts evaporate away, leaving behind heavy sediment. (Look up Heavy Crude Oil.) So let's focus on cleanup & stop pretending the problem's gone just because we might not be able to see it.

Congressman Anthony Weiner's 9/11 Healthcare Rant
-- My favorite congressman Anthony Weiner went on another passionate rant recently over the 9/11 workers' healthcare. It was epic. (And I can't believe I missed it & had to find it on youtube on my phone at like 1 am Saturday morning... Luckily, his office sent me a link later, too.) It's one thing to be a passionate ranting lunatic when you're spouting lies and conspiracy theories and you do it all the time (*cough*glennbeck*cough), but Weiner is one of the few who actually sticks to facts and I love that he shows how he really feels... (If he's faking it, he should consider Hollywood; he really seems legit.) Democrats have to learn to get angry when they should be. Occasionally, sometimes it's good to lose your temper when people are being ridiculous. Sometimes, it's absolutely justified. When people's lives and livelihoods are at stake, have at it. I'll expect similar reactions once this BP mess is finally cleaned up...

Political Celebrity News
-- Ok, everyone's talking about it, so I'll just mention it really fast and get the "celebrity" gossip out of the way- Chelsea Clinton's dress was GORGEOUS. (And I don't usually like Vera Wang. Or excessively ruffly dresses. And omg Bill looks eerily thin... I think he looked a bit healthier before...) ^^"

Bush's Tax Cuts
-- Cute how Republicans want to extend tax cuts without paying for them, & add to the deficit, but anything Democrats propose has to be paid for and then some. Really, watching them bicker, from the outside, is just so amusing. Like hell should they keep the cuts. This is money the gov't should've had, so yea, time for the free pass to expire. We need revenue in order to fix a deficit, and Mitch McConnell's argument (that the tax cuts help the economy) doesn't really work here. If he were talking about people living below the poverty line, then yes, absolutely. If he were talking about the middle class, then yes, his argument would make sense. But the wealthy? Yea, no. This may be a bit obvious, but rich people tend to save money, & poor people spend. Every good economist knows that if you want to stimulate the economy, you give money to poor people, not to the wealthy. (Trickle-down theory doesn't work. It would be nice if certain people stopped "pretending" it does.) And tell me again how it's fair for the people who don't have money to pay taxes that ultimately benefit the wealthy, but the wealthy don't have to pay a dime? Seems a little backwards to me. So I'm with Greenspan on this one.

Petitions for Elizabeth Warren as Head of Consumer Protection Agency
--We're still trying to get Obama to pick Elizabeth Warren for the new consumer protection agency. The first time I heard about her, I thought she would be a shoe-in for the position (this was just before the bill was passed). But hopefully, with enough of an "outburst" so to speak, we'll be able to influence Obama to appoint her... Petitions:
Change.org (also for Credo)
Petition from Senator Bernie Sanders (D,VT)
Bold Progressives/Credo (Credo's really into this one, huh...)
Public Citizen

In the end, it seems pretty likely that she will be nominated. She's perfect for the job. Plus it was her idea in the first place, wasn't it? So, best of luck, Ms. Warren, we're fighting for you!

I'm off to find more ice for my knee. (I haven't a clue what happened the first time, but it was already bruised pretty badly before I smashed it into the corner of my nightstand... Ow...) Back to work tomorrow... And eventually I'll get back to a regular post.