kaigou: Zoë from Firefly (2 bang)
I don't know who originally said it, but the current furor in USian politics over abortion, rape, and federal assistance reminds me of some wise words my mother once told me, when I was still too young to understand the depths of it all:

"If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament."
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (W] live and learn)
If you figure unions have had their days and come and gone, well, think again. Every single day you work, you're going to experience at least two benefits, and probably more than that, that you're getting thanks to a union.

If you like getting a half-hour for lunch every day, thank a union.

If you're glad your employer can't make you work 10 to 16 hour days, 6 days a week, thank a union.

If you think an 8-hour days for 5 days a week is a sane limit (and enjoy weekends), thank a union.

If you like getting time-and-a-half when you do have to work overtime, thank a union.

If you're under 16 and don't like the idea of being worked until you literally pass out, thank a union.

If you're black and appreciate getting the same pay a white person would get doing the same job, thank a union.

If you're a woman and appreciate getting the same pay a man would get doing the same job, thank a union.

If you're hispanic and appreciate getting the same pay a white person would get doing the same job, thank a union.

If you're over 40 and glad that a company can't deny you health benefits because of your age, thank a union.

If you're over 40 and it matters to you that you be offered the same training options and advancement as younger employees, thank a union.

If it matters to you that your employer can't pay you $1.50 an hour or some equally unlivable low wage, thank a union.

If you attended a public secondary school, thank a union.

And ten more reasons... ) Now that we have that clear, here's a rudimentary overview of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA): the current system vs the proposed changes, pluses & minuses... ) ...and a short history example of what our forefathers and foremothers went through to get us these benefits. )

Unions are the workers, and if we as worker bees can be productive, safe, well-treated, respected, and paid a fair and livable wage, this will benefit the companies in the end, just as much, because we are the companies, too.

Last, a few words before opening to comments. )

Lastly, from emptywheel, Flight 1549: this miracle brought to you by America's unions.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (W] round up)
Just came across this gem about the Wall Street bailout, from Rachel Maddow.

What is this Wall Street bailout and how is it being managed?

Still taking shape, still hard to understand. Let’s try a metaphor.

Money is Halloween candy. And those Wall Street bankers are, metaphorically speaking, our six-year-old child, who went out and got more candy than we’ve ever seen or imagined. Trick or treat?

And with all that candy sitting there, we parents -- the taxpayers -- hired a baby sitter to supervise our child. Only instead of hiring a grown up, who wisely fears what happens when six years old do what they like to do best -- eat all the candy all at once -- we instead hired a seven-year-old babysitter: the federal government.

So, what happened? The six-year-old ate more candy than it should have on the seven-year-old’s watch, and got sick all over the carpet. And now that we’re paying and sending home the seven-year-old babysitter, we got her take on this disgusting, huge, mess of a crisis we’re now in... and our seven-year-old babysitter turns to us and says, “Well, the problem here is that you’re now out of candy. You’re going to need more candy.”

And that, roughly, is my layman’s understanding of what just happened to our economy. We left a kid with too much candy, Wall Street and its money, under the supervision of a babysitter who is not all inclined to babysit. And we should have known better, because the babysitter we’ve hired told us explicitly, a generation ago, what it thought of supervision:
In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem. [RONALD REAGAN, JANUARY 20, 1981]
Neat. But, if that’s what you think of government, you probably shouldn’t get to run one.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (know and not-know)
California (and several other states, I think?) has something called a civil union. I've heard this over and over, during the Prop-8 ramp-up, and always followed with "but this is not equal, we want marriages".

Uhm. What's a civil union?

No, I don't mean that sarcastically. I really am not sure. I mean, when I got married, we did not see a priest, and did not get consecrated by a church, and just had a secular JP do the schtick. If our state had allowed the judicial version -- where you go stand in front of the judge and s/he says, "okay, you're both agreed and neither are chewing the scenery so here's your paperwork, move along now," I would've been fine with that. My understanding all this time has been that if you do not get married in a church, but get married by the civil arm of the judicial system (since creating a union in the criminal system would be, well, less than thrilling), then you have a civil union. We even say it that way, too: "we had a civil ceremony," as opposed to "we got married in a church."

So what is a civil union, if that's not it? And are civil unions something you only get if you're unionizing with someone of the same gender? If Cali has civil unions, is this something that's an option to anyone, regardless of the combined genders of party A and party B? Or is a civil union some kind of 'mini-marriage' where you get benefits A, B, and C but not D, E, and F? Say what?

In some ways, sometimes I feel rather baffled as to why the churches and/or religios are so up-in-arms, outside the knee-jerk homophobic OMG EVULLL reactionary crap. )

Then again, I'm of the opinion that it's good the state can't tell a church what it can or can't do. What I can't get behind is this notion on the part of churches that it's perfectly reasonable for a religion to turn around and tell the state what to do. I guess some religions (you can insert exactly which religion is the most recent egregious violator) seem to think the wall separating church and state is permeable, if uni-directional, which makes for an odd lead-in to a concluding remark that you can't have it both ways.

And about Obama's statements about gay marriage... )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
[originally written as reply elsewhere, and posted here instead b/c of length & topic.]

Constitutional law, economic policy forebearers, and a few other points. )

Frankly, fearmongering about how the world will change if someone (anyone) is elected president is just muddying the waters. I mean, my life, and our world, has changed radically in the past eight years. For crying out loud, eight years ago I had an excellent job, I had top benefits, our nation was running a surplus, and for the most part, things were manageable, if not pretty damn good. Now we're so far into debt that our country owes $30K for every man, woman, AND child; we're fighting two different wars and we just bombed Syria; health insurance and medicine costs are astronomical; our environment's screwed; New Orleans remains in shambles and no one even remembers Biloxi and Ocean Springs; the Patriot Act is still around and the govt still maintains constitution-mutilating rights to spy on its own citizens; we have a pro-torture policy in violation of the Geneva Convention; we have a president who violates constitutional and legislative due process using line-item vetos and signing statements to negate laws even as he's signing them into law; and a good chunk of the jobs I qualify for are now being occupied by workers in Montreal and India.

Yeah, from where I stand, when someone says, "the world will change! it will be completely different from what it's like now!" I say: I sure as hell HOPE so.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (want a revolution)
My god. Even I'm better at staying on topic than that woman.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (something incredible)
tipped to this by [livejournal.com profile] brithistorian

If you were to ask me what a political ad should be like, ideally, this just might be pretty damn close. )And I say that because it works like your usual thesis: here's are problems A and B, and here are solutions C and D. Very concrete, if generalized, with some kind of indication/invitation of where to find more information. I'm sure you heard thousands of ads like this for other topics -- about home insurance, about medical issues, about local events, even retail has a use for this pattern.

What works here is that it's not with pretty pictures, music selection, and a paid voiceover person, which in the end (regardless of argument or source) often makes me feel like I'm partially being swayed by who has the best production values and can pay for the best voiceover talent. Nope, here it's the candidate doing the talking, and I don't know why, but that just seems to me to be...

I'd say "powerful" but that's cliched. More like, "fundamental".

Or maybe it's something else, like the fact that this unexpected -- but hopefully short if intense -- migraine-headache is just making me see things. Heh, suddenly the intended tags for this post seems rather apropros.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (break out of prison)
[unlocked once I felt more confident that I'd managed to avoid unintentional inflammatory speech]

No matter where you stand in the political spectrum, there's no doubt that right now, as Americans, we really are seeing our world change. I remember visiting a friend, hanging out in his room when we heard his roommate yelling for us to get into the living room. There, we watched a live news feed of the citizens of Berlin pulling down the Wall. I felt like my legs had gone out from under me. To see something that had existed my entire life, crumbling under the force of people willing to say: no more. Amazing. Awesome. Breathtaking.

At the start of the Democratic primary, as the potential nominees dwindled down to two, at times it no longer mattered whether I agreed with both or neither or even the political positions. It was the simple fact that a major party, one of the major parties, could have a black man and a woman neck-and-neck. One way or another, this country would no longer be the same. No longer just white men lined up on the ballot sheet to command our highest offices. For the first time in my life, there was the potential, that the potential of "anyone can be president" would become, finally, an actuality.

In that sense, I find myself marveling at McCain's pick of VP. No matter how you look at it, one way or another, in November, this world I know will no longer be the same. That children across this country -- and those watching us from across borders and oceans -- will see that when this country tosses around the ideal of "any citizen could one day be president" that it's not hollow, it's true. Anyone, black, white, male, female, could achieve a high office of this land.

That said, over the past few days I've also found myself increasingly frustrated, but the only way to express that is to divide the politics from the personal. )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (x sign up ahead)
I know that to some degree all politicians do this, just like Hollywood and even some book publishers. We joke about a review that says "not even the least bit exciting" and the blurb on the movie that says "exciting" or the original "hoped it'd be the best of the year but terribly disappointed" becomes "best of the year". Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's anecdotal because I've never seen any before/after, it's just always seemed kind of odd when a blurb only says "exciting" or "riveting" and no other context. Most of the time, hey, without an original context, you figure, well, I guess that's an accurate quote.

However, this has got to be the most egregious example ever. Read. Watch. Compare. Discuss. ) I can't possibly be the only person who finds this offensive, undignified, and dowright simply unbecoming. If you have a point on the merits of an argument, then you argue the merits and you make your point. But if you find it necessary or useful to so thoroughly twist another's words in order to prove your point, this says far more about you than it ever will about your opponent.

Maybe you have a valid argument, maybe you don't. What you do have, beyond all doubt, is an utter lack of integrity -- and a now-proven willingness to engage in dialogue both deceitful and dishonorable. And that, my friends, I cannot, and will never, respect.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
(Normally I would be more diplomatic and less partisan, but this is one issue that really steams me.)

This ad nails the one reason I just can't believe McCain has any comprehension of what it's like for those of us with mortgages, with incomes that pay for that mortgage with only just enough left over, let alone what it's like to know that your 401K is only barely going to be enough and that social security may not be much but at least it's something you can count on, eventually. Or what it's like to know that your choices are between paying off bills and having groceries or not doing that and being able to see a doctor. Or what it's like to buy disposable contact lenses in sets of six because that way you can wear one pair for six months and make the sets last for three years and save the cost of annual eye appointments -- you can see well enough out of glasses that are six years old, so it's not perfect, so sometimes you get headaches or your eyes hurt, the cash just isn't there so you deal and you know you're dealing but you deal.

I just cannot believe, deep down, that someone who says to be rich you're making "five million or so" is someone who has any comprehension of what the rest of us are facing, day-to-day, trying to make ends meet.

Okay, so maybe someone of the so-called "rich" (and I'd say, myself, that "rich" is a household income over 300K or so) might be able to sympathize with we of the lesser incomes, but I can't believe that someone could empathize. And frankly, I don't want anyone's goddamn sympathy. I'd just like some freaking health insurance that I can freaking afford.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (bang)
Washington, D.C., Apr 15 – Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, who represents Arizona’s Sixth District, today released the following statement regarding his vote against the Plain Language in Government Communications Act, which is estimated to cost $2 million a year. The bill duplicates numerous executive orders and agency initiatives.

“Bad bill. Voted no,” said Flake.

[via The New Republic]
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
(If I'm critiquing a neighbor, does that count as a review?)

Yo, neighbor, you suck.

Last night I drove past your house after sunset. Apparently you seem to think you're quite patriotic, but tonight I shall probably be arrested for spray-painting across your house, lawn, and truck that you're not patriotic but an OVERCOMPENSATING IGNORAMUS.

I could pretty much guarantee that you've never been in the armed forces, sir. )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (x ganesha no obstacles)
Boy, that phrase has taken on a new meaning around here.

When we bought this house, we didn't know until we were driving through West-by-god-Virginia that we were purchasing a house in the 100-yr flood zone. (Gee, thanks for the warning, assholes.) Given the type of loan, flood insurance would be mandatory -- there goes about $750 a year. Lovely.

The hidden teeth-kick in that tidbit? The BFE (base flood elevation, aka the big fucking exasperation), as last measured by FEMA, was 612.8 feet. Our house's oh-so-pedestrian concrete slab (and thus the foot-level of our only living space) is 613.5 -- not quite a foot outside the BFE, but close enough. Reason for our insurance cost? Our garage floor -- on the opposite side of the house from the creek -- has an elevation of 612.6. That's point-two feet: only 2.5 inches below the BFE! Not even a bloody half-foot! Barely a quarter-foot!

My grand scheme all along -- because you just know I've had one -- has been... )

On the other hand, go ahead. Ask me about levees, flood walls, flood zones, urban reforestation, ephemeral ponds, edge growth versus deer population, retaining wall construction, microclimates, elevation measurements, wet and dry flood protection, or building berms. Go on. I can take it.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (x boots)
Rather than get into this on anyone else's journal -- especially anyone patently against my position -- I'll say it here. I made no attempts to be civil, because I'm pissed. Do not think for even a heartbeat that this means I feel no remorse for the dead: I am not heartless, I am furious. I am angry that those children were fish in a barrel, and thus, with all due caveats of this being my opinion...

The argument that outlawing guns will prevent murder is absolutely moronic.

I got a newsflash for you. Murder is illegal regardless of means, and it don't make even a speck of difference how it's done. I can kill you with a knife, and if we're in a district that's outlawed any knife whose blade is over 11", then I put away my chef's knife and I could murder you with a paring knife, if I get you in the right spot. I could slide a screwdriver between your ribs in just the right angle and skewer your heart. I could beat you over the head with a broken chair leg. I could drown you, I could suffocate you, I could throw you out a window. Or, I could go cheaper by the dozen, and still not need a gun.

Timothy McVeigh didn't use a gun. He used fertilizer.

It's still murder.

In fact, it's a fuckload easier for me to get ahold of a paring knife, a screwdriver, or even fertilizer, than it is to get a gun. And I don't just mean the background check or the three-day waiting period, I mean also that guns are damn well expensive. But I don't see anyone outlawing fertilizer, or paring knives, or screwdrivers, or even windows more than ten feet off the ground that don't have bars to prevent a body being thrown through them. No, I don't think that's a ridiculous response. Frankly, I think it's a good analogy because it reveals just how ridiculous it is to say that outlawing guns will cut down on murders. Bullshit. You know the old adage about the better mousetrap? It works for human vice, too: it doesn't matter what you allow or outlaw.

People determined to kill, will find a way.

Okay, so you take away our right to private gun ownership. Do you realize what this means? How much empirical evidence do you need? Look at Chicago, New York City, Washington DC: they have the highest murder rates of any cities in this country... and, curiously, they're also the cities in which private gun ownership is outlawed. The second amendment does not exist in those precincts; private citizens have no means nor right to defend themselves and their homes. And of course the criminals still have guns: if they gave a shit about the law, they wouldn't fucking be criminals.

Face it. People will commit murder. One way or another. Nothing you can do will change this. )

Don't you feel safe now?

Gee. I sure do.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (x old factory)
I've long been aware the concept of 'the liberal media' is a complete joke as concerns major newspapers or (especially) television. But what does it say to you when... ) a major media corporation won't show -- or even mention -- a reporting segment done by its own foreign correspondants? The days are long gone of being unable to edit on-the-fly for unsuitable family material, so I see that as little excuse (and the piece is clearly edited after the fact, with a large number of shots and locations). Its non-inclusion gives me pause, almost as much as its content.

Battle for Haifa Street

And if you've any ideas on new words or how to take back the old, do speak up.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (don't matter don't mind)
Remember the stink about Ellison (the first Muslim elected to Congress) opting to be sworn in on a Quran rather than the xtian Bible? Well, he's clearly not just an articulate and thoughtful person (judging by his track record) but also pretty damn savvy...

Ellison to be sworn in using Quran once owned by Thomas Jefferson
by Fred Frommer, Associated Press, January 3, 2007

Washington D.C. — (AP) - Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, will use a Quran once owned by Thomas Jefferson during his ceremonial swearing-in Thursday.

Read more... )

from minnesota public radio
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
I've heard this comment before, even from a few women I've known personally, and it always puts me in the strange spot of not sure whether to laugh hysterically, smack the person, or just grab the woman's purse, snatch her wallet, tear up her driver's license, any credit cards in her own name, and her voter registration card. I'm sure you've heard the comment, at some point in your life:

I hate feminists.

Maybe we're a little unclear on the concept, people. To say, as a woman, in an industrialized society, that you hate feminists is sort of like... oh, I don't know. I can't even think of an analogy asinine enough to match it, let alone with the additional hypocrisy when spoken by a woman. Three words, and you, too, can reveal yourself as an mindless twit! Come on everyone, it's easy!

Get a grip and learn a little, because those words just demonstrate your ignorance. I say ignorance, because the popular notion bandied about at times, as implied by the explanations given by the same women speaking, usually carries a certain presumption of behaviors/values. They're all wrong, dead wrong; feminism is not a mono-culture. Feminism does not automatically mean MAN-HATING. It does not automatically mean ATHEIST. It is not equivalent to LESBIAN. It does not necessarily mean PRO-ABORTION. And no, it does not even require a belief that ALL PORN IS EVUUL.

The one element that drives all mainstream feminism, really, is simply: women are equal to men. So you know what that means, class? Men can be feminists, too. I've had the good fortune to know that every single lover I've ever had is a feminist, because every single one of them looked at me, at all women, and saw an equal.

But that's okay! You can still hate feminists, but here's what I expect you to do... )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
I seriously heart the Rude Pundit. Today he's writing about the random searches in NYC [read more about what to do if you walk into one], and observes:

This is the warped logic of our discussions of civil liberties: if you are a good, lawful person, then you shouldn't mind having yourself probed, spied on, and frisked. Principles like the Fourth Amendment are merely covers for the guilty.

Read the whole thing.

And this, I want stapled on the forehead of every politico on the hill, right where they can see it and can't frickin' miss it, no matter what:

In an ideal America, government should be open to the sunshine and air, and citizens' lives should be private. But the Bush administration has reversed this foundational principle.

Which in a nutshell sums up the majority of what has me so uncertain about the state of our nation, these days.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
So you've probably heard about the Alabama proposal to ban all books by, and/or about, homosexuals. That's what prompted this rant by Hal Duncan on the Homosexual Agenda, over at Notes from the Geek Show. Read it. It's snarling and frothing and all the things a good rant should be, directed at the author of the Alabama bill and his cronies who let the bill die through abstaining, not through standing up and saying it wasn't acceptable.

Because we will not just stand against you, Gerald Fuckwit Allen. We will not just draw “a line in the sand”, batten down the hatches and defend our way of life in craven terror, bigotry and paranoia as you do. No, we will hunt you down and take the fight right to your fucking doorstep. We will unleash the full force of our fury in a hissy fit the like of which you've never seen. Handbags at dawn, Gerald Fuckwit Allen. We challenge you. We call you out, if you’re man enough to face us. Don’t worry. We don’t want to fuck your scrawny ass. We just want to kick it into next year.


kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
锴 angry fishtrap 狗

to remember

"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

October 2016

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