Thursday, September 30, 2010

LGBT Suicide "Epidemic" - Tragic, Avoidable, & I'm really pissed off.

Um, wow. I'm telling you now, be prepared for an angry rant. Such a horrible situation already, and now I'm seeing all of these hateful, bigoted comments-- including this one person (who has been quoted in many AP news articles) who seems to implies that it's his fault? I'm assuming it's just been taken out of context, but her comment as written makes it sounds as if his choice of sex partner is entirely to blame- not the people who felt obligated to exploit him, to expose his private life to the world without his consent. Even if it's not what she intended, that's how it sounds, and it only points out so many problems in our society that many are unwilling and/or too uncaring to address.

You're probably wondering what I'm talking about... Rutgers student Tyler Clementi committed suicide. Why? There were likely many other issues, but in addition to anything else he may have been dealing with, his jackass of a roommate outed him by secretly recording Tyler having sex with another man using a webcam (activated from a friend's room), and streaming the video live on the internet. Oh, and planning to do it again 2 days later, and announcing it on Twitter.

And why am I so pissed off? This is too infuriating for rational thought... I'm just sick of it. And don't say my anger is misplaced-- the only thing that pisses me off more than someone who does something so cruel and hateful is someone who defends them or blames the victim

"Had he been in bed with a woman, this would not have happened," said Lauren Felton, 21, of Warren. "He wouldn't have been outed via an online broadcast and his privacy would have been respected and he might still have his life." (pick a news site, any site. HuffPost, ABC, whatever.)

(Lauren, if you're reading this by some weird twist of fate, please don't take it personally. I thought the name was kind of randomly placed in the first article I read, so I tried to do some research. I think I may have an idea of who you might be from what I've pieced together from news articles and what appears to be your website(?), and I'm not trying to attack you, but I'm just very concerned about what your statement implies. I'd love to know the original context. We'll take this as a lesson in "it's not so much what you said but how you said it and/or how it was portrayed.") For a moment, I'm going to assume she simply meant that this happened because he's probably gay or bisexual, and a lot of people have a problem with homosexuality for whatever reasons and therefore feel a need to pick on and harass those who are. I really want to believe that's what she meant. I'm sure it is, and I'm just over-analyzing things as usual. But honestly, that is not what it sounds like, and honestly, I don't believe it's true either.(Can I also mention, before I get too into this, that same-sex sexual encounters don't necessarily make a person gay, and it really isn't the place of anyone to define another's sexuality. That being said, as there is evidence of Tyler frequenting forums for gay men, among other things, I'm going to assume he was probably gay or bisexual. Either way, it's no one else's fucking business what he was doing.)

What it sounds like is that this crime happened simply because he's gay, like the fact that he enjoyed having sex with another man is some sort of dirty crime and implies a "well if you had done what you were supposed to be doing..." Like "had you not gone and fucked up your life by doing something consensual that you clearly enjoyed doing, you never would have convinced your friends to out and exploit you on the internet by secretly spying on you and broadcasting it to the world. Had your roommate seen you with a woman, he totally would have shut off the camera and left the room, because he's just oh so cool like that." That is what it sounds like. Not "his roommate was being an asshole because he doesn't like gay people" but "you totally brought this upon yourself by getting caught fucking a guy."

So do you believe his roommate wouldn't have videotaped him having sex and broadcast it to the entire world, had Tyler not been with another man? So all of this happened simply because Tyler was a closeted homosexual? It has nothing to do with his "friend's" lack of integrity and respect or the fact that he can't mind his own fucking business and has to hurt the people around him in order to make himself feel important or special??? Not to even mention his accomplice? (It was from her computer that the roommate activated his webcam and broadcast the video feed.) What the fuck was she thinking?

What they did was not only incredibly rude and invasive and disrespectful, but cruel. Once is one thing- still horrifically wrong, but the idea that they could do it over and over again, without any feelings of remorse or guilt or anything of the sort, is absolutely appalling. And they get a slap on the wrist of "invasion of privacy," maximum (but highly unlikely) 5 years in prison maybe a little fine, and that's the end of the story? Whatever happened to expulsion, charged with a hate crime, etc.? Does this not violate some sort of school honor codes, since clearly neither cares about a moral code??? (And yes, I would definitely consider this bullying/harassment, which does in fact fall under the category of "hate crime," and the fact that via Twitter, the roommate announced that he "found out my roommate is gay" does seem to indicate that his subsequent actions against Tyler were directly related to the "fact," or his belief, that Tyler is [hypothetically] gay. By definition, that qualifies for "hate crime" status.) According to Tyler Clementi himself, Rutgers does in fact have a policy where a recorded invasion of privacy can lead to explusion. Though the issue was that there wasn't an actual recorded copy of the encounter, just evidence that it had been shared via Twitter and a video chat site. Also, Tyler had repeatedly attempted to change rooms once he figured out what was going on, but never got the go-ahead. Why is that? What is so infuriating is that none of this should have happened, from the roommate's actions to the RA's actions to Tyler's death...

You know, I really was wary when I read a blog post earlier about the "gay suicide epidemic" in Minnesota. The deaths of 3 teens within a year is incredibly sad and tragic, but to call it an epidemic... I don't doubt that it had something to do with bullying and the fact that they were a part of the LGBT community. I'm just wary about calling anything an epidemic... but they're right. Epidemic - n. A widespread and growing problem.This is a huge problem. And you know what it is? Bullies, intolerance, bigotry hatred. Those who can't tolerate other people for WHO THEY ARE. 9 out of every 10 LGBT students are bullied in school.

And they are also 4 times more likely to commit suicide.

Just last week a 13-yr old in California killed himself because of bullies and gay jokes. 13!! He told his parents that morning that he was gay (and they were very accepting), by lunchtime he had been pushed down a flight of stairs, and by the time his parents got home, he had attempted to hang himself from a tree. He died Tuesday in the hospital. A few days before he died, another 13 year old in Texas shot himself because of harassment. A 15 year old in Minnesota hung himself. Another 15 year old in Indiana...

How can anyone be so cruel?! How can anyone not be horrified by what's going on? I don't understand how or why anyone can be accepting of this. Believe me, I know how it feels to want to die, and what it takes to reach that point... I also know what it's like to be the victim of "gay jokes" and harassment. Not only from kids at school, but from my own family. And now that my "label" is shifting, I can't even think about talking about it.It's strange - just this morning I was excited and somewhat relieved that my boss is openly gay and has a partner, and everyone at work seems so cool with it. I thought maybe, if things do begin to shift in that direction for me, if I am bi, I might be ok with sharing it. I would feel supported. And just a few hours later, I was hit with all of this again. I can't imagine what it would be like to have to deal with this at 13. As much as I'm still struggling with some of it now... Life at 13 was hard enough as it was-- I remember how it was to want to be able to be yourself at such a tumultuous time in your life, and know that should you ever appear to be "different," a long period of shunning and bullying and harassment and teasing awaited you.

Right now, I'm just too pissed off to continue this... Children aren't born with intolerance, it's learned. For young children, "different" doesn't exist until it's been pointed out, until it's created. So please, please please please teach your children to love diversity & not hate or fear difference.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

School Year?

Well, now I've seen proof that we atheists & agnostics know far more about religion than followers. I thought perhaps the poll/survey was a tad on the exaggerated sign, but maybe it's more accurate than I thought. I took the quiz as well, scored a 13 out of 15 (& had I properly read the question on my tiny iphone screen, I would've realized I hit the wrong response to one of them... & I completely guessed on the other.) I get that they're Catholic & have no real reason to know Jewish holy days, etc, but really? They couldn't tell the difference between Yom Kippur & Hanukkah, let alone when they occur.

But oddly enough, that wasn't the original topic that was brought up. Oh no, I shut them up really fast about that & completely changed the topic. So my coworker starts, "President Obama (imagine a slightly nasty tone) wants to make the school year longer!" This is the closest we've ever come to a real political conversation at work-- I wasn't about to pass it up, so I immediately chimed in with "A longer school year has proven to be effective in other countries. It does depend on other factors as well, but they could just extend the school day or week rather than the entire year." And then they start talking about "oh but it's too hot! They'll have to install Central Air conditioning everywhere!" & "Now why can't they just get rid of all of those holidays. They have all of those Jewish holidays off. Why don't we just get Christmas for us, and, what's it, what's that holiday they have around our Christmas, Yom Kipy? No wait, what's it called? It's like 8 days or something."
Me - "Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement. You're thinking of Hanukk-"
Coworker - "It's Yom Kippur, isn't it?"
Me- "Hanukkah!"
Coworker - "Oh! Yea, that one. Why don't they just get that, & we get Christmas for us, & that's it?"
Conversation goes on like this for several minutes, until I go-- "Many other countries already have a longer school year. Japan & France often have school 6 days a week - M-F & half a day Saturday. And their test scores tend to be much higher than ours."
Coworker - "Yea, & all of Asia! They all do so well on math scores..."
Me - [I'm not going to touch that...] "We actually score fairly low on math and reading compared to other industrialized nations. Their school systems have proven to be far more efficient." [this is me trying to tone it down, even though it seems that they now agree with me & have completely forgotten they were about to trash talk Obama :-D Dude, you owe me one.]

But simply lengthening a school year doesn't solve much without reforming the school system in general, including standardized testing & teacher performance. Like I said, our goal should really be making our school system more efficient... It would be pretty pointless to have the kids sitting around for a few more hours of doing the same old useless shit that's not getting them anywhere.

So other than that, my day has been relatively... eventful. Painfully so. But that's a story for another time-- I'm off to read the newspapers & see what's going on in the world. Post to (eventually) follow.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Updates!

Sorry they're late! Ok, so apparently my wifi is relatively stable today, & almost as fast as usual, so let's give this a shot.

  • Obligatory Sunday Anti-Tea-Party comments: I really REALLY have to insist you check out #teapartymovietitles on Twitter (yes, I know, Twitter is infinitely stupid & a huge waste of time. But this is so worth it. Especially when TP members jump in with their own suggestions, & the whole thing just goes right over their heads...)
  • Environmental News: Stop BP's Next Drilling Disaster. Petition via Greenpeace, regarding BP's plan to drill a new well in the Arctic, off the coast of Alaska.
  • What's Happening in Washington?
  • Caribou Barbie: Does anyone care? I still don't.
  • Can't we All Just Get Along? Peace & Unity In the US: Check out One Nation Working Together. This weekend's the big event!!
  • Immigration Reform: Still no word on the DREAM Act. It's on hold until after the elections. If you missed my earlier posts on it, the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act provides a conditional path to citizenship for undocumented minors who arrived in the US under the age of 16, provided they are accepted into college or join the military for at least 2 years.
  • Stewart/Colbert: Huge rally on 10/30 in DC!!! Wish I could be there :-(
    • Miss Colbert's testimony on immigration & jobs? Check it out here.
  • Coffee Party USA: Big convention was this past weekend, but due to internet issues, I missed it all...
  • LGBT rights: Did I share this last week? No? Ok - NYT: Despite Setback, Gay Rights Move Forward. Even if the DADT repeal was filibustered, there's still the federal court decisions on DADT & the ban on adoption by same-sex parents-- both were declared unconstituaional! In fact, a court even ordered that the Air Force reinstate Major Margaret Witt, who was fired under DADT. So change is coming... Fingers crossed.
    • Need your fix of anger today? Check this out: Why Gay Marriage is Dangerous. So let's all raise our fingers high in the air in unison - Fuck you very much. That being said, now's the time to donate to organizations like HRC & Marriage Equality USA!

Sunday Updates To Be Delayed

So... Things last week did not go particularly well. But I can't even get into it, because my internet's all fucked up right now. So I will attempt to get this week's updates done ASAP... but it may take a little while. This page isn't loading properly, in fact I can't even see the bottom half, & refreshing only makes it worse. Stupid network... (As I type this, it's cutting in & out, so I'm going to have to jump to it when it cuts in...) So yea, expect updates another time; it just takes too long to attempt to navigate this mess. (Gah, even the "publish" button is cut off. I have about 1/100th of a millimeter to click on -_-")

Thursday, September 23, 2010

State of the Union in 100 words or less!

Wow... Today's a pretty big day. First off, happy Sexual Freedom Day everyone! And a very special happy Celebrate Bisexuality Day!

So here's what's been going on in 100 words or less (& in no particular order):

The Defense Authorization Act was filibustered, the DREAM Act & DADT were put on hold. The ban on gay adoption was declared unconstitutional yesterday in FL. Major points of healthcare law, including Patients' Bill of Rights, go into effect TODAY! Sharron Angle wants to get rid of medical care for autism. I don't like her. Obama renews Middle East peace talks. FB founder Mark Zuckerberg plans to donate $100 milliion to struggling Newark school system. Chris Christie is pleased. It takes some heat away from his $400 million mistake. Caribou Barbie Palin announces her plan to plan to announce her run for president.

Only 86 words? Sweet. Stay tuned for Sunday updates (although my internet is shaky, so they may have to wait until Monday...)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Updates - What's going on out there?

Ok, let's try this. I still haven't finished that special post, because I've barely been home this weekend & haven't really been in the mood either. But I'm in such a great mood now, I figured hell why not see what's going on in the world. I'm going to try to make this a weekly Sunday thing. This way, we can recap last week and prepare for the new week all at the same time... Well, it sounded like a good idea before I said it :-D

Alright, here we go:
  • Obligatory Sunday Anti-Tea-Party Op-Ed: Tea Party Talking Points, Translated Ok, enough silly fringe talk, let's get back to reality.
  • Environmental News
    • Gulf Oil Spill Update: BP well has officially been declared dead. Now if only we could get a proper cleanup going... The oil's still there, & the dispersants...
    • Well this is just ridiculous - a Care2 blogger has issued a challenge, it seems. Wear only 6 items of clothing for an entire month. Buying less clothes is one thing, but simply wearing less is far more difficult for those of us who work, especially when we get dirty at work or have other obligations that require specific attire. And I DO pretty much wear the same outfit every day! (Uniform at work, though I do alternate between shirts & pants, & wash it all every few days or as needed.) Yes, life is easier when you don't have to think about what to wear in the morning, but for the majority of us, it's just not that practical or viable. I can only say that constantly doing tiny loads of laundry in order to have clean clothes & underwear for work is a bigger waste of energy than it's worth.
  • Food & Diet: It seems that science continues to support what I've been saying about HFCS. (Which I guess makes sense, since my opinion is based on that science to begin with... I had this whole long rant on myspace regarding this, & myths surrounding soy...) Research regarding its effects on metabolism has been utterly inconclusive. As of right now, independent research it really is no worse for you than regular sugar. Sugar is sugar is sugar (though I would really suggest you go with more natural sugars, like beet or stevia or honey. Not because they're "better or you" or anything like that. Less random chemicals added, less refining, etc. But again, sugar is sugar. They're all pretty high in fructose, including honey and agave nectar, so seriously, just limit your sugar intake and you'll be fine.) It's not particularly good for you, like any other refined sugar product, but it's not going to kill you any faster than that other crap you're eating. It's the amount you're eating, not the product itself. But of course, it is in no way, shape, or form a "natural" product. Sorry, but it really pisses me off when items are marked "all natural" when they contain loads of artificial preservatives, flavorings, sweeteners, or colors. I'm so sick of green-washing -_-" but I'm also sick of the holier-than-thou attitudes of the Whole Foods/Trader Joes shoppers who snap at me for drinking a non-organic soda from Pathmark every once in a while. To each her own, ok? I may be a nature-loving eco-geek who screams at her mother for attempting to throw out an uncut 6-pack holder (that stupid plastic ring thing) on her birthday ("You're going to kill a dolphin !!!") & then fishes it out of the garbage & chops it up & then hides it with the recycling so it doesn't end up in the ocean, but jeez, lighten up a bit! :-P
    • Also, you can check out this: Food Myths Busted. (most of it seems like old news, but still interesting.)
  • What's Happening in Washington?
    • w00t!! Elizabeth Warren has been appointed to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau! Sort of. We did it! (or rather, Obama realized that she really is the best candidate for some sort of advisory position regarding the bureau, & our incessant urging probably helped somewhat... maybe.) As the case may be, Warren is now a presidential economic advisor regarding the Bureau, and will be assisting the president in choosing a director... So... Looks like the job may not be hers. Harsh, man... Chins up, fellow liberals & progressives. It's not over yet.
    • I'm starting to think that all politicians from Alaska are a little loopy. Unemployment benefits are unconstitutional?? I'm not even going to touch that, read it for yourself.
    • It seems the GOP doesn't know what to do about the healthcare law. How about leave it alone. Or help us make it better.
    • Between Palin & Angle & this O'Donnell character, I just really don't want to know. I don't care if she's dabbled in witchcraft or whatever she thinks she did (since Wicca has nothing to do with Satanism or Satanic altars...). So have I. I still have my Book of Shadows. (I wrote this really long spell/poem in calligraphy, I can't bear to throw it out!) Really, I just can't get past this whole "masturbation is adultery" thing. Last I checked, you had to be married to commit adultery. And she was a teenager when she said that, talking about other teenagers... who were probably not married. So what she's saying is you can't have sex with yourself, or someone of your own gender, or someone you're not married to, or allow yourself to ever feel or express any of your own 100% natural sexual urges even if you're not married because God gets angry & throws a tantrum when you're cheating on your non-existent spouse with your hand? And somehow it appears to make her feel like less of a person because her boyfriend doesn't need her in order to have an orgasm? And somehow that means she doesn't matter at all and might as well not be there? Hmm... Methinks her 1999 logic is a wee bit flawed, yes? News flash, honey: you can do it too, and I'm sure your boyfriend, or invisible husband, won't mind. Hopefully you've learned that by now. Plus I'm pretty sure the Monty Python gang had a go [video] at something like this too XD.
      • P.S. - this woman is so damn annoying as a teen [video]. Typical nonsensical & religious crap. And the fact that she still seems to stand by a lot of it is pretty sad IMO. But Eddie Izzard was awesome, as he still is now.
    • Tax Cuts: According to CNN, some economists believe we should extend the Bush Tax Cuts for everyone. I respectfully disagree. Middle class & lower class, fine, I've come to accept that as a necessary action, but the wealthy? Don't ever ask me to agree with you on that. I may not be a financial expert, but I'm not bad at math. Or logic. The government needs money to do good things for the country. The rich people have lots of money. Poor people don't. The poor people are great at spending money (because they have to in order to survive), and the rich people are great at saving money (because they have that luxury, among many others). Therefore, if you're going to take desperately needed money anyway, take it from the people who actually have it while either reducing or maintaining the burden on those who don't. Duh? We already know that "trickle-down" theory is complete and utter bullshit, so don't bother. Like I said, the rich are great at saving money. There's no reason why they should invest it in society voluntarily if they don't have to (other than the few altruists in the bunch). The top 2% will be just fine. A person doesn't need a $10 billion bonus in order to survive, but trust me, a $400 paycheck every few weeks is desperately needed if that's all you can get.
  • Caribou Barbie: Does anyone care? I don't.
  • Can't we All Just Get Along? Peace & Unity In the US: Check out One Nation Working Together.
  • Immigration Reform: It would seem that we'll finally get a proper vote on the DREAM Act this week!!! If you missed my earlier posts on it, the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act provides a conditional path to citizenship for undocumented minors who arrived in the US under the age of 16, provided they are accepted into college or join the military for at least 2 years.
  • Stewart/Colbert: Huge rally on 10/30 in DC!!! Wish I could be there :-(
  • Coffee Part USA: This upcoming Friday begins the Convention in Kentucky. If you can't make it (like me...), you can check out for information about what's going on, or watch the live stream of the conference here [video].
  • LGBT rights: Well of course we'll always have bigots & homophobes who want to make homosexuality illegal, but those of us who actually give a fuck about equal rights for all can...
    • TAKE ACTION: Via Care2 & the Human Rights Campaign, a Petition to pass ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) to prohibit employers from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation. Federal laws currently only prohibit discrimination based on age, ethnicity, religion, nationality, & gender (not including transsexuals/transgender people, however.) Though my lovely state has a pretty decent anti-discrimination policy, if I do say so myself... at least, compared to the federal laws. We all still have a long way to go regarding marriage rights, however. (We recognize same-sex domestic parnerships, or a civil union with almost all of the same exact rights as a marriage, but thanks to DOMA, well... "Nevermind." Now's the time when we should miss Corzine (as if there ever were a time when we shouldn't. I had nothing against the guy except his smear campaign during the election & the fact that not much major happened during his term, which is why I preferred the Independent...) If it had ever been put before him, he would've signed same-sex marriage into law... & our current moron said he'd veto it. But enough about us, let's get on with the rest of the country...
    • DADT: In addition to the DREAM Act, Harry Reid has included a repeal of DADT in the Defense Authorization Bill (which authorizes more military spending -_-" A worthy trade off? I hope so.) With the recent court ruling that DADT is unconstitutional (!!!), there has been a significant push for repeal now. Let's hope it goes through! (Haha, though I have to say I'm a little disappointed that I no longer have a surefire excuse to get out of military service should I ever be drafted. But if it keeps soldiers safe within their own ranks, and protects them from unfair abuse and discrimination, I'd gladly give that up!)

So, look at that! I got through the whole week's news without getting depressed too! Not bad. Anyway, I'm off to tell yet another "I want a threesome with a black girl!" bastard to fuck off. Don't ask, I don't want to tell. Well, ok, it sounds like a nice policy at face value, in some areas. You know, when someone's job or safety isn't on the line. No one should ever be forced to reveal information about their private lives. However, as that isn't the case...

I read a story of this one woman... She was a sergeant, I believe, and several of the men under her found out that she was a lesbian. They raped her, repeatedly, over the course of a year, and forced her to do other kinds of demeaning, violent sexual acts, under threat of telling the commanders her secret and getting her fired . And then they told them anyway. She was discharged from the army. The men never received any sort of punishment whatsoever. This woman lost everything because of this horrible law... her privacy, her safety, her rights, her peace of mind, her body, her career, her life. And thousands of men and women are abused everyday and can't say a word for fear of losing the careers they've spend their entire lives working towards-- a career in which they have literally put their lives on the line for their fellow soldiers and citizens. Because of who they love. Because of hate and fear and bigotry and religious zealots forcing their misguided beliefs on others. Tell me how that's just.

If my fucking state can promise that no one will ever have to be subjected this kind of treatment because of their orientation, why can't my government? Why can't the military?!?!?  

I guess I wanted to be upset tonight.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

And now for something completely random- Unnecessary Censorship

Yesterday, it was rum, today it's white wine, & no, I haven't had a proper night's sleep.

That being said-- has anyone else noticed that in the "censored" version of Train's "Hey Soul Sister" (I know, you're probably thinking the same thing I did - what the fuck needs to be censored in that song??), the word "virgin" is dreadfully distorted? And if that weren't unnecessary enough, there's a bit of an issue with how it's been distorted... In their quest to shield a very common word from the precious little virgin ears of customers' children, they turned "virgin" into "blowjob." Tell me how that was a good idea XD

In other news... I'm currently watching the Minnesota Twins game (vs. the White Sox. No, not a fan of either team, as my Bronx Bombers are forever my boys, no matter how much they kinda suck right now; but a friend is from MN) & sipping on wine, avoiding the inevitable bedtime. Just re-enabled an old account... Yes, that one, just to chat, eventually. And already the old habits are coming back -_-" Oh well.

So today sent me an email about endorsing a candidate from my district. I'm sorry, but incumbent Rush Holt vs. capitalist Republican Scott Sipprelle?!?! How the hell does anything MoveOn stands for match with Sipprelle??? Even though he did beat the official TP candidate in the primary, he's still TP endorsed! (Apparently a fan lives down the street from me, with the Gadsen Flag on his/her lawn amidst a bunch of Sipprelle campaign signs.) I'm finally getting some time to relax & write, but I've been avoiding politics again (you know, other than that...), so who knows what I'll post next... Oh wait, I have an idea. So stay tuned. :-P Oyasumi nasai, minna-san.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I was wrong. (There is rum, therefore this is probably completely random.)

Mmm... Enjoying a fresh, homemade strawberry daquiri (with touch of rum, of course ^^" ), watching Olbermann & Maddow, messing around with my new Kindle (it's sooo thin!!!), & e-book shopping.

I was wrong, birthdays don't always suck. They may be weird, and make us feel old, but they don't always suck.

Warning: this may not be entirely coherent. In other news... I haven't really been following politics, as this whole primary thing has me bored as hell. Last I heard, Democrats are talking about voting on keeping the tax cuts for everyone. I was appalled when I read that, until I read further-- they expect the vote to fail, which will allow moderate Dems & Repubs to basically say "oh well, we tried, but the only way we we were able to at least keep some of them was to vote yes for you guys!" It's a cop out. They need to keep up the illusion of working together, or trying to "do the right thing," in the eyes of their constituents. Even though supposedly there is this huge public consensus now that the cuts really have to go, at least for the middle class (which is actually cut off at $100,000. And everything up until $250,000 is taxed at a lower rate, so even people making more than that are still getting something... sort of.)

Oh crap, what did NJT do now?? (Watching Olbermann...) Ah. Koran-burning employee got fired... they said it violated the company's ethics code... & since NJT is part of the state gov't, firing him is unconstitutional... -_-" Ye-a, well I'm kind of on their side with this lol. At least, I really really want to be. But that whole separation of work life & personal life thing is really important-- companies shouldn't be able to penalize employees (or potential employees) based their personal life. This includes facebook! What we do on our own time is none of their damn business... That being said, guy was a jerk. And if the "Tea Party kind of way" of doing things is being rude and disrespectful and stupid, then I sure as hell know I want nothing to do with them. I think my count of sane, respectful TPers I've met is still at 3.5. If anyone wants to prove me wrong, you're more than welcome to comment or send me an email, or hang out at the Coffee Party website/facebook page.


 Albino baby otters! Aww!!!

Ok, excuse my hormones & the booze. It's bedtime, I'm tired & no offense, Rachel, but I'm just flat out tired of politics today. Time to grab another glass of frosty strawberry goodness (maybe without the rum...) & head to bed.

Happy Birthday, Me...

So here we are, yet again. My 22th birthday has finally arrived, and with it a multitude of major life changes... College graduate, employed (thankfully), with quite a few new scars, & without a few familiar faces, no longer just an open-minded ally but possibly a member of the shortened acronym, &... Well, I have no idea what happens next. Come January, everything will change again... But I think I might like it. Maybe... Some things.

Also, last night was the final big night of primaries...

I sense a tumultuous year ahead.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9 Years Later... Remembering September 11th, 2001

So... I wasn't going to post anything, but I thought perhaps I should. No politics. Not today.

For those of you who may not be aware of it, today is the anniversary of the attacks on the WTC & the Pentagon. It's probably the only day that I can remember exactly where I was...

It was the beginning of 8th grade, first class of the day, and I was sitting in reading class, in a clean, black desk right by our teacher... We were going over a story, and a quiz... and suddenly, every 5-10 minutes, small groups of children were being called down to the principal's office. No one knew why. Naturally, we began to panic. Did something happen? Why won't they tell us what's going on?  Someone came to the classroom to talk to our teacher. She came back, suddenly very concerned, and told us to stay calm, that they didn't want the younger kids to hear us and worry. They would make an announcement, but something very terrible had happened. The children who were being called down... their parents were involved. Soon after, another announcement came over the PA system-- the principal, in a very somber tone, told us that a plane had crashed into the WTC building... that they didn't know many details... And then, moments later, the second plane hit.

I remember sitting there, in shock, hoping not to get a call and trying to sort out in my mind what was going on... & I remember someone turning on the radio, trying to find some more details. I remember watching it on TV, and how just a few years ago my sisters and I had taken a picture with the towers in the background. I found it recently... I still have it. From some parts of my town, by South Amboy and up towards the Hudson, you could see the smoke. It seems so far away, but we could see the smoke... To me, to us-- NYC, & the entire country, the entire world, was changed forever. I remember this the most, that in spite of all of our differences, at that point, we were all the same. We all felt the same things, we worked together instead of against each other, we cried together... united.

And I remember how bad I felt that my 13th birthday party was that weekend... when we were all in mourning, & there I was asking people to celebrate something that suddenly seemed so trivial. After families were destroyed, and friends were killed.  My father worked near there, and I can't even begin to describe how I felt when I heard there was an attack in Manhattan. He was supposed to be in that building later. He was lucky... he was just home a few hours late. Other fathers weren't. And afterwards, tens-of-thousands were tortured and killed abroad because of the actions of 19 extremists. So many have died and suffered. It's 9 years later, and the pain doesn't stop. Reliving this now, reliving the fear, and the collective anguish... It's hard not to cry. That day, it was like the world stopped. Everything was silent...

And even now, it's not over. It's something I think about every single time I see the NYC skyline. It looks so empty. 9 years later, I haven't been there yet... I can't. I remember the statues standing in Port Authority for years, and the plans for the memorial... The memorial still isn't built, but it could never replace who was there. Something's missing. We won't get it back.

I won't be one of those people who says "never forget," because to some extent, I want to. As my mother told me that weekend, eventually life has to go on. It's the way they would have wanted it. It hurts, and it's scary, but we can't lose hope, or let pain and fear control us forever. We can't continue to live in the past. And we certainly can't blame everyone for the actions of a few. I don't want "never forget" to be "never forgive."

We miss you.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Philosophy of Politics - What part of Legal Immigration Don't You Understand?

Well, this is informative. I've mentioned many times before that the legal immigration process is long and complicated... It's a pretty shitty system, to be perfectly frank.

I had this long post typed up, but you know what, it doesn't really matter. I want to keep this short, because there's just so much that could be covered, and frankly, I don't feel like it. So, where do we begin? Literally, I guess, in this case. Where do we come from, how did we get here, what is our point in life? Existentialism aside, there are millions of answers for each question that are not only relevant to the political sphere, but directly influence law and society. Let's face it-- the "world" as we relate and attempt to understand it is more metaphysical than physical. Borders, countries, towns, etc. exist because we say they do; they are "real" because we collectively believe them to be. Language aside, a country is as "real" as the boundaries and people that comprise it. Therefore, it exists. However, who is to decide these arbitrary boundaries? Who gets to decide who gets to cross the lines and for what reasons?  History says might makes right, and maybe that's how things have been, but that doesn't mean it's how it should be. You can say something is yours, but that doesn't necessarily make it true.

Part of the issue is also identity- determining where one belongs, who one is, is based on so many dimensions of being. As much as we would like to pretend it doesn't matter, or move past it as a means of identification, skin color and geographic region of ancestral origin have a great deal of influence on one's identity. Where one lives, who one associates with... How one comes to exist in a location! The very term "immigrant" refers to a person who used to live in another geographic region bound by symbolic lines on a sheet of paper, under the rule of a different sovereign "state." However, immigrants existed long before those lines or states. (Definitions do change over time, remember?) Migration itself is a natural part of human existence. However, we've made it into a legal issue, when in reality, it has little to do with justice.

Anyway, those are just a few brief thoughts on the subject... I would rather not get too into this tonight. My point is, it's not as simple as we would like to pretend it is. It isn't as simple as "fill out this paperwork, take a test, and BAM! You're a citizen now, here's your flag & passport." It's just as much as a political process as anything else. Where you come from, how old you are, who you know (family, friends, & "friends in high places"), how much money you have, your occupation. No matter where you go in the world, these are the things that matter to them more than what's in your heart, who you really are, & what you're trying to do with your life. To live on the other side of a "natural boundary" such as a river, which may be just a few hundred feet away... if one side has a greater chance of survival & safety, and the only thing you have to do is get across the river to have a better life for your children, who wouldn't do it?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Politics, as usual...

I'm Ba-ack! lol

Alright, that was a lovely little break, but what can I say, I love politics or something like that. This weekend is shaping up to be... interesting, to say the least. Why, you ask? Well, let's see. Beck & Palin are throwing themselves a little shindig in "honor" of 9/11-- you know, the same Glenn Beck who said he hated 9/11 families & widows because they complained too much? Yea, well apparently, for a "reasonable" price, starting as low as $65, you too can be a part of the hypocrisy!!! YAY! Not enough excitement for you? Meet up with the Westboro Baptist Church, or find the Dove World Outreach Center for a book-burning sure to enrage thousands, if not millions all over the world. Because only the Bible is worth reading-- but only certain lines. After all, Jesus must've been really high or something when he said to love everyone and be tolerant of others, right? The damned hippie. Can't have that, now can we? Woo-hoo.

Right, what was I saying? So we have the Bigot Parade on one end of the city, & Al Sharpton's little party/picnic a few blocks away... I don't see that going well, but then again, I'm pretty sure I'd believe one side to behave themselves more so than the other.

Oh, and by the way - Speaking of tolerant - Has someone sane actually hacked into Palin's Facebook account? Because seriously, that last comment sounds nothing like her-- well, her writer, I mean. (I don't think Palin can spell antithetical, let alone pronounce it.) She  might want to look into that... or get herself tested for dissociative identity disorder. Her sane side is still being smothered, but she's trying to get a message out to the rest of the world - "help!"

UPDATE:  This weekend's meeting of hateful Book-burning "Christians" has been "postponed"! Seems the leader is slightly delusional and thinks his agreement not to burn a Qu'ran on Saturday is a good enough reason to move Park51. (It is NOT being moved. And if someone tries, I swear, I will be there to protest, and I will be loud. Religious tolerance and freedom will not bow down to intimidation, fear and intolerance. Park51 stays where it is.) Seems he thinks first Amendment rights should only belong to him and his followers. "Now, we all have the constitutional right to freedom of religion here, so I won't do something offensive that will anger millions of people around the world and potentially cause international backlash and violence towards Americans, if you move your rec center a few blocks to the left-- no, a little further.... further... No, you're still too close, try the other side of that big salty puddle over there. You know what, on second thought, why don't you all just go back to the Middle East, because we don't want your kind over here and we just think you'd be so much more comfortable back where you belong."

Would it be so horribly depressing if I mentioned I honestly didn't actually make most of that up? (I'd say "big salty puddle" is mine... &... hmm... Oh, & that thing about angering people-- but not the second part of that sentence, that international backlash thing since that's actually pretty damn real. But yea, those 2 parts are mine.) Not from Terry Jones, for the most part, because I honestly don't feel he's worth listening to, but comments on news articles, and blogs, & youtube, & on the news... This is what "dialogue" in our country has been reduced to. Bullshit. And as much as I can't stand Palin, or her suddenly-sane writer, this time she's actually right (for once). Sort of. (The first part of her post, equating burning a Qu'ran to building Park 51, a community center with a prayer room, is complete and utter bullshit. What we've come to expect from her anyway.) "...mean-spirited religious intolerance"? Before I even get into all that's wrong with that (namely, the person it's supposedly coming from), I have to say, that's exactly what ALL of this has been-- from "bastard children," to sex education & abstinence, to the same-sex marriage, to abortion, to anti-Semitism, to anti-Islamic sentiment, to the supposed Al-Qaida members themselves. Is there anything I've mentioned that isn't in some way directly tied ro religious intolerance? Are any of these issues separate from "well, my God says..."? And can you say that none of the protests, or bickering, or violence directly connected to these issues are mean-spirited or intolerant? Of course not. Instead of building walls between ourselves, we should be working to break them down. But religion itself has become a bulwark for intolerance, when we're told it's what will make this world a better place... I'll believe that when I see it. Yes, religion plays a huge role in the development of morality and societal rules. But no one religion is more important than any other. We are NOT a Christian nation, but one of multiple, interconnected belief systems, multiple cultures and peoples. And we have to learn to respect that. I may not like what you have to say, or what you preach, or hell even how you practice, but as long as you're not hurting anyone, whether that pain be physical, emotional, symbolic, whatever, go right ahead, do what you like. Just stop pretending we have to believe in it too.

Now, about this Palin comment... o boy... I'll be nice and not say anything... here. You can check out my rants page for that (look over at the top of the side panel). Latest comments are always at the bottom...

And last but not least, let's throw in a promotion - Check out

Monday, September 6, 2010

Just putting it out there... In case you've forgotten.

Yikes. I've been reading comments on this article on The Frisky (Kristen Bell turning 30 makes me feel sooo old & I still have a decade to go... -_-" minus a few years), and things got pretty nasty... So I just wanted to point out that I'm not trying to be professional here, this is my own personal blog on random things & sociopolitical issues & it's just for fun. I have serious posts, I have very informal posts, & I'm not really here to look like a newsletter or news site.

In other news, I'll be back later in the week to get back on track in terms of the world outside of my new blog & the forum I've been buried in for the past 10 days...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Boycott! Yay! What?

I'm running out of ways to keep my mother from making me take her to Target without having to tell her why I don't want to go. I'm very wary of boycotts to begin with, because more often than anyone else, it's the workers at the bottom who pay the most... but it really can be a very effective way to make a statement. In fact, the shareholders have already insisted that Target be more cautious about who they donate to, and have urged them to reconsider donating. HRC has also gotten involved. So I decided that, while I'm not actively involved in the boycott, I'd rather not shop there... Tom Emmer is truly a very unscrupulous, cruel person, and while I am quite aware that Target donated to a group supporting him because of the group's pro-corporate agenda, I'm really disappointed that they would choose to step on their employees and constituents in favor of typical capitalist bullshit. Disappointed, but not at all surprised. So if it keeps my money away from jerks like Emmer, and makes Target's corporate branch rethink their contributions and the effect they have on the community, then so be it, I guess I'm officially unofficially boycotting Target. Still. Even though I really really want Archer Farms fruit leather, & they're the only ones who sell it. Until this mess is somehow cleared up, I'll just have to go without... (I'm shocked though that I've managed to deal with the Discovery boycott for so long... I haven't watched any of the networks in over 170 days, and my withdrawal symptoms have almost completely gone away! :-D)

You know what, I think I had a point in here somewhere... I was reading through old posts I never published, and really, one of these days I'll get back to regular posts. I'm finally going back to work, after my schedule was botched for an entire week, and I couldn't contact a manager to change it. (And then I did, and it STILL wasn't changed.) I really just don't want to go through the pain that is looking for another job, but I seriously have to... This past week completely screwed me over, financially. Just when I thought it'd be stable.... So I guess I traded financial stability for peace of mind this week. Great, but I still need to pay my bills!!!

Right, a point... Um... Check out my Twitter account for updates and other cool things! Woo!

P.S. - Oh, and did I say OKC was the greatest thing I could've done for myself? I take that back, this new forum is AWESOME. Not sharing what it is, but it's very unlikely you'd be interested anyway... well, unless you're like me, that is. Ja, mata ashita!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Again with bashing the 20s!

The Big Life Challenges Facing the 20-Something Generation | Media and Culture

Again with this!! Why is this the next big topic?? :-D

^^" Kind of happy right now. 1 part of the "identity" crisis is over for the most part, & all it took was an episode of Millionaire Matchmaker, a day of web-surfing, & a pile of waffle fries. (I love Bravo!!!) All is well in my world... [haha...yea right! ] Just thought I'd stop by and share.

This is what happens when I randomly get a week off from work, have my car towed, stop suppressing thoughts, & watch way too much TV. Now do you see why I stick with politics & social issues?? lol... I'm up for a trip to the bar, how about you? Not so much for drinking, but people-watching sounds like fun... I've spent way too much time alone at home.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Still taking a break from the world... (at least, talking about it), since this "identity crisis" doesn't seem to be slowing down. It's weird being a 20-something now. The New York Times did an article on it recently. It's like being stuck between the teen years and adulthood, with little preparation or closure. College has little to do with the "real world" to some extent-- it's mostly for grad school. It's so far removed from life that when we leave, it's like... now what?? In addition to that, I feel like I personally have reached a point where all of the thoughts and feelings I've suppressed up until now are just... not worth hiding anymore. Life's too short. That's why for this past year I've been so open about things... I'm sick of trying to be someone I'm not. Though then I have to ask myself, well then who am I now? What does this mean for my future?

I remember the article talking about how the 20s have become an extension of our teens-- moving back home, crappy little jobs, not even thinking about starting a family-- and it has less to do with the economy than it has to do with a general shift in the views of society. (And the tens of thousands of dollars of debt we put ourselves into, just to get a mediocre job...) We live longer, and our goals and values have changed over time. No longer is life all about career and family-- there's so much more to the world. And for that, I am thrilled... I thought it was just me. We're in our 20s! We're still young-- there's no need to "grow up" so fast. There's more to life than a cubicle and a mini-van. Life's too short to waste climbing the corporate ladder. There's a whole big world out there to explore... I want to enjoy my life, not hate it.

I need to find a new job... & I hate that I'm not getting ready to go back to school. I was good as a "student." That works for me. I occasionally get texts from my former roomie about how things are going for her, and our other friend occasionally asks me for help with papers and stuff like that... and after dropping my sister off at school this weekend, I'm even more determined to get in to the grad school there. (Harvard & Princeton had NOTHING on that campus!! If I had seen it back then, I would've done anything to go there... [sigh] Ivy League... ew.)

Anyway... There are a few other things I need to figure out, so until then I'll probably be working on one of my other blogs. If you're interested in the process, send me an email and I'll send you a link.

And last but not least - I will be preparing for NaNoWriMo this year, so if I'm writing here instead of working on my novel in November, feel free to yell at me 50,000 words won't write themselves, you know, and I'm not supposed to start until November 1st. (I highly doubt I can wait that long to start. Feeling pretty inspired right now...) The story I'm planning is probably a little more on the "mature" side than what most people write for NaNo (and thankfully will not be a parody of a romance novel, like one of my other novels :-D), but I think it's the only way I'll ever get around to actually writing this story down, so... yea. It's kind of personal, deep, dark, etc (and fictional, of course), and deals with all sorts of things that I've never really thought about (or that I've never shared) before... so I don't know if I want anyone to read it. Everything you thought you knew about me... would change.