Newsflash: Republicans are hypocrites!

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"Eight years ago, a terrorist bomber's attempt to blow up a trans-Atlantic airliner was thwarted by passengers and revealed gaping holes in airline security only months after the Sept. 11 attacks.

But President George W. Bush, then on vacation, made no public remarks for six days about the so-called shoe bomber, Richard Reid, and there were virtually no complaints from the media or Democrats that Bush's response was sluggish or inadequate.

That stands in sharp contrast to the Republicans' withering criticism of President Obama — and some in the media — for his reaction to the Christmas Day incident on a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines flight.

Obama commented publicly on Monday and ordered a full investigation of the incident."

And then when they're called on it, they got nothing.

Obama was smart enough to know better... Bush wasn't.

Do not trust your beef.

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"Restaurant chains and beef processors defended their products' safety Thursday after a report that an ammonia treatment thought to kill harmful germs in meat isn't as effective as the industry and regulators believed.

The New York Times reported Thursday, citing government and industry records, that E. coli and salmonella were found dozens of times in testing for the federal school lunch program on ammonia-treated beef from Beef Products Inc. The meat was not served."

The ammonia disturbs me just as much as the e. coli and salmonella does. E. coli and salmonella have been around as long as bacteria has, and up until recently, we humans have dealt with it just fine. It's once we started screwing around with antibiotics and other fun stuff that we are getting the kind that are resistant to drugs and strains that can actually survive in the dirt itself.

Breaking News! Cutting back on antibiotics leads to less superbugs!

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"Aker University Hospital is a dingy place to heal. The floors are streaked and scratched. A light layer of dust coats the blood pressure monitors. A faint stench of urine and bleach wafts from a pile of soiled bedsheets dropped in a corner.

Look closer, however, at a microscopic level, and this place is pristine. There is no sign of a dangerous and contagious staph infection that killed tens of thousands of patients in the most sophisticated hospitals of Europe, North America and Asia this year, soaring virtually unchecked.

The reason: Norwegians stopped taking so many drugs.

Twenty-five years ago, Norwegians were also losing their lives to this bacteria. But Norway's public health system fought back with an aggressive program that made it the most infection-free country in the world. A key part of that program was cutting back severely on the use of antibiotics...

In the U.S., cases have soared and MRSA cost $6 billion last year. Rates have gone up from 2 percent in 1974 to 63 percent in 2004...

Dr. Satoshi Hori, chief infection control doctor at Juntendo University Hospital in Tokyo, says doctors overprescribe antibiotics because they are given financial incentives to push drugs on patients."

My favourite part?

"And drug makers aren't allowed to advertise, reducing patient demands for prescription drugs."

Good news on Coho salmon

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"Fisheries biologists in the Pacific Northwest are cheering a record return of coho salmon this year to the upper and middle Columbia River basin, where the fish were virtually wiped out 20 years ago."

Good news on marriage equality!

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"Legislation will come into force on 1 January 2010 which clarifies that same-sex marriages in California which occurred before Proposition 8 are to remain valid in the state."
Ok, that one is a minor victory considering Prop 8 was passed. But I was worried that they would invalidate after all the pressure.
"American couples are readying themselves for a midnight celebration at the State House in Concord, New Hampshire where gay marriage will become legal as 2010 begins."

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is where I live.

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"Eugene taxpayers spend $42 million a year on a police department staff of 327, but the city insists it doesn’t have enough money and officers to keep downtown safe....
Much of the downtown task team report appears to focus on more cops as a solution to the “unpleasant behavior” of the homeless, many of whom suffer from mental illness. Only one member of the 15-member task force recommended a cheaper, more direct and humane solution — spending a few hundred dollars a month to find each homeless person an apartment."
That's right: my local police force is spending even more money on locking up the homeless in our already ridiculously overcrowded jail. It's the latest scheme in the city's zeal to "clean up" downtown. They obviously don't care about the indigent as citizens in their own right, they are just a "stain" that needs to be cleaned out of their precious city center.

Quote of the Day-Fun with Racial/Religious Profiling

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“100 percent of the Islamic terrorists are Muslim, and that is our main enemy today. So why we should not be profiling people because of their religion?” ~Rep. Peter King (R-NY)
That's like saying 100% of Catholics are Christian. That having been said, they want a blank check for their witch hunt. I could give more of a rant, alluding to Japanese internment camps, but I think this is bad enough as it is.

Yet another reason why Wal-Mart is evil.

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"A recent case from the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts affirmed a jury verdict in favor of a female pharmacist who claimed she was paid less than her male counterparts."
Not only was she paid less, but she was fired for something that also happened during a male counterpart's shift even though she adhered to company policy. He was not fired, despite identical circumstances.

I'm breaking an old New Year's resolution...

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I brag that the only New Year's resolution that I've kept is to never make another one again. This year, I'm breaking it. My resolutions? To be greener by doing the following:
1. Go organic.
2. Eat local.
3. Compost more.
4. Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs.
I already recycle, compost some, try to keep the heat down, and avoid chemical cleaners, but I obviously can do more.

Do not trust your water.

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"California scientists hope studying 180 black mussels pried from algae-covered rocks in San Francisco Bay will provide clues into how many drugs and chemicals are polluting waters across the nation."
Note "how many," not "if." How many? They're not just talking about oil spills and other standard pollutants, they mean like birth control and hand sanitizers. And it's not just California, it's every coast in America. These chemicals are so pervasive that they have even been found in breast milk, for crying out loud. Unfortunately, I am on city water. I do use a filter, but am not deluded that it does anything other than remove the most common chemicals.

Dumbest Quotes of the Ought's

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"Is this chicken what I have or is this fish? I know it's tuna, but it says chicken."
~Jessica Simpson

There are some of the standards like Bushisms, and there are a lot more good ones. Check it out at the Huffington Post.

The Special K "Diet"

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There is a commercial on right now as Kellogg's does its usual "It's the New Year's so you have to lose weight NOW! And we're a valid healthy lifestyle, so eat Special K!" Now I normally ignore marketing ploys because I like to think that I am intelligent enough to see right through them, but this one sent my blood pressure through the roof.

Since I cannot find it anywhere, not even on YouTube, I will describe it to you. A mother and her daughter are sitting at a child-sized table set complete with chairs, doing cutesy crafty things. The mother, whom I estimate to be a size 6 at the very most, stands up to get the phone. But alas! The toddler-sized chair is stuck to her obviously huge ass! The horror! She does what any sensible woman does in this situation: she runs to the kitchen for a bowl of Special K.

Yes, ladies, because you cannot fit into your four year old's chair you are fat and should eat our product. Logic FAIL.

Most sane people would simply change the channel and leave it at that. But, as we all know, I am not sane. What do I do? I write Kellogg's.

"To whom it may concern,
I am writing in regards to a commercial recently aired which I found grossly offensive. In this advertisement, there is a woman who evidently finds herself to be grossly overweight because she cannot fit into a child-sized chair.

As women we are already bombarded with enough negative body imagery without being told that if we are larger than our young daughter we are too fat. Now if it had been an adult's chair, or an actually plus-sized woman, it might have been an appropriate message.

But as it stands, you obviously believe your target audience to have the common sense of a toad in order to fall for such faulty logic.

Rest assured that I will encourage everyone I know not to buy your products as a result,
SLiver of Jade"

First Gay Marriage in Latin America!

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"Two Argentine men were joined Monday in Latin America's first same-sex marriage, traveling to the southernmost tip of the Americas to find a welcoming spot to wed.
Gay rights activists Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre were married in Ushuaia, the capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego state, exchanging rings at an informal ceremony witnessed by state and federal officials.
"My knees didn't stop shaking," said the 41-year-old Di Bello. "We are the first gay couple in Latin America to marry."
Only seven countries in the world allow gay marriages: Canada, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium. U.S. states that permit same-sex marriage are Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut and New Hampshire."
And recently Mexico City. But my favourite part is this:
""The decision took me by surprise and I'm concerned," Bishop Juan Carlos, of the southern city Rio Gallegos, told the Argentine news agency DyN. He called the marriage "an attack against the survival of the human species.""
Pretty sure that as long as we have Octomom and the Duggars, the human race will survive. Maybe not in a form with which we can be happy, but certainly enough to satisfy Bishop Carlos.

I just love it when they make my arguments easy.

Do not trust your meat.

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"The mystery started the day farmer Russ Kremer got between a jealous boar and a sow in heat.

The boar gored Kremer in the knee with a razor-sharp tusk. The burly pig farmer shrugged it off, figuring: "You pour the blood out of your boot and go on."

But Kremer's red-hot leg ballooned to double its size. A strep infection spread, threatening his life and baffling doctors. Two months of multiple antibiotics did virtually nothing.

The answer was flowing in the veins of the boar. The animal had been fed low doses of penicillin, spawning a strain of strep that was resistant to other antibiotics. That drug-resistant germ passed to Kremer.

Like Kremer, more and more Americans - many of them living far from barns and pastures - are at risk from the widespread practice of feeding livestock antibiotics. These animals grow faster, but they can also develop drug-resistant infections that are passed on to people. The issue is now gaining attention because of interest from a new White House administration and a flurry of new research tying antibiotic use in animals to drug resistance in people."

Now before anyone goes off the deep end and says, "But it's for the health of the animal." No, it is not. Antibiotics are being fed to them en masse, which is the problem. There is a reason why you shouldn't take antibiotics without a doctor's supervision. Animals shouldn't either.

"Farmer Craig Rowles remains unconvinced.

It's afternoon in one of his many rural Iowa pig barns, roaring with snorting and squealing pigs. Some snooze in corners, while others hustle toward their troughs, their slop laced with a steady supply of antibiotics.

"If there was some sort of crossover between the use of the antibiotics in animals and the antibiotics in humans, if there was in fact a real issue there, wouldn't you think we would have seen it?" said Rowles, also a veterinarian who sells 150,000 hogs a year. "That's what the science says to me.""

Sir, you are a vet. Not a doctor, and certainly not a biologist. Drug resistant strains of various diseases are becoming more of a problem than ever before. That's what the science is saying.

"Back in Missouri, farmer Kremer finally found an antibiotic that worked on his leg. After being released from the hospital, Kremer tested his pigs. The results showed they were resistant to all the same drugs he was.

Kremer tossed his hypodermic needles, sacked his buckets of antibiotic-laced feed, slaughtered his herd and started anew.

"I was wearing a syringe, like a holster, like a gun, because my pigs were all sick," he recalled. "I was really getting so sick and aggravated at what I was doing. I said, 'This isn't working.'""

Most companies/producers are betting that people don't know/won't care what goes into their food as long as it's cheap, especially in this economy. But when you weigh the cost of organic food against the cost of cancer, which is cheaper?

Did you know that your new computer has a racism feature?

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Gee, you'd think that they'd have tested this before releasing the product. Oh wait, they must have. Which means that all of their beta testers must have been white. Well, it is a new development, after all.
HP's response?

""HP has been informed of a potential issue with the facial-tracking software included on some of its systems, which appears to occur when insufficient foreground lighting is available," an HP spokesman told BBC News.

"We take this seriously and are looking into it with our partners.""

Insufficient foreground lighting? They were in the same amount of light, in the same space even. What they were actually saying was: "You aren't light enough to activate it." Epic fail, folks.

A note from Captain Obvious

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"Reconnecting flood-plains to rivers will help reduce the risk of future flooding, suggest US scientists."
Excuse me, but did they evidently miss the importance of flood-plains in the first place? Amazingly, allowing nature to do what it already does will have less of an impact on the ecosystem, thus saving money on infrastructure to try to control high waters. And we all know how well those work.

Don't underestimate the short, fat redhead.

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I have been getting a well-deserved reputation for scaring away creeps that have wandered into my group of friends.
  1. One man smacked my arse as I was walking by, someone with whom I have never even had a conversation. With one glare and a sharp reprimand, I ensured that he never came back. The fact that he had, had previous transgressions with others did not endear him any.
  2. An older "gentleman" essentially stalked me before getting the hint that his constant attentions were unwelcome. Also never returned.
  3. A man did not get the hint that staring at my chest was unwelcome attention. And he assumed that he was safely out of my reach (arm's length). Now for me, that is throwing down the gauntlet. I kicked him in the sternum, really no more than a tap with the top of my foot. The shock on his face was priceless, especially as one regular in our group pointed out that our female friends, no matter how unassuming we appear, can actually stand up for ourselves.
Now I am short, overweight, knit, dress in skirts and look like the mild-mannered office wench that I am. Pretty unintimidating if judging solely on appearances. My friends know that I have taken martial arts, and currently doing kickboxing a couple times a week. Also, I have rightfully earned the nickname "Brendar the Barbarian."
This irritates me because these assumptions are often based on my weight. For example, when I told my father about incident number three while visiting for the holidays, he scoffed and denied that I was capable of such an athletic feat. I tapped his sternum with the top of my foot, while wearing a skirt and despite his attempts at defense. Then again, I should know better than to be surprised at his response.
Sure I knit, but that makes me even more dangerous as opposed to less. After all, you have two eyes. I have two needles. Men must just be really bad at math.
I suppose I should just relax and follow my kickboxing coach's advice and use people's underestimations of me to the best advantage.

Quote of the Day-Stop Calling on God to Win Your Arguments For You

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"The Bible says love thy neighbor as thyself. I would hope that we could debate the pressing issues in front of the American public on their own merits without appealing to the Almighty for obstruction, of which there seems to be no short supply in Washington. "

-Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.V., responding to accusations that Republicans were wishing ill health on the 92-year-old senator to thwart his crucial 60th Democratic vote for the health care reform bill.

The Poor Get Shafted... Again

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"As the economy falters and more people go without health insurance, low-income women in at least 20 states are being turned away or put on long waiting lists for free cancer screenings, according to the American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network."
Notice how this is specifically "low-income women." Not the poor in general, but women. Why? Because of mammograms and Pap smears (I have always hated that term, by the way, it has such a distasteful sound to it). Of course, this is not the first incident of poor women being the first to go when the funding runs out.

A truly Christ-like church.

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"Redeemer Covenant Church in Caledonia, Mich., decided on a different set of Christmas decorations this year: Instead of fresh poinsettias and artificial greens, Redeemer’s sanctuary is filled with canned goods and clothing that will be donated to the needy."
Just go and read it. You'll be glad you did.

Quote of the Day-Military and Religious Freedom

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This is the first time we feel positive about things there.”
-Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, on the improvement of the religious climate at the Air Force Academy.

Outrage of the Day-Sex Abuse in the Military

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"“A woman in the military is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq,” Representative Jane Harman, a Democrat from California, said at a Congressional hearing this year, repeating an assertion she has made a refrain in a campaign of hers to force the military to do more to address abuses."
Go read the article, but beware a rise in blood pressure.

No, kids, global warming is just a commie myth.

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"Until recently, the Build-A-Bearville website (part of the Build-A-Bear Workshop) featured online videos telling children about manmade global warming and the dangers it holds for the North Pole. In the videos, little animals learn about the problem and teach Santa Claus about it. The right wing has been outraged over the antics of these bears and penguins. One conservative called for a boycott of Build-A-Bear, and another said the the videos amount to “indoctrination.” In response to this right-wing pressure, Build-A-Bear has taken down the educational videos."
So now science = indoctrination to the evil communist left-wing radicals. Although anyone can see that it's really anything with which we disagree = indoctrination. Say it with me now, "The Greater Good."

Do not trust your food.

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I firmly hold that it is deplorable that the government has to certify our food as organic because we cannot trust the companies that grow our food to be honest with us. Case in point, went to a local, somewhat questionable meat market and the following conversation took place.

"Hi, I'm looking for organic meat, what do you have?"
"Oh, you mean free range?"
"Um, no. Organic."
Shrugs dismissively. "There's no difference, it's all a marketing ploy. Where've you been buying yours?"
"Insert name of another local, reputable meat market that only carries local, organic meats."
"Yeah, we're really the same thing."

*Facepalm* First of all, the clerk obviously had no idea of what he was talking about, or was hoping to make a sale by outright lying. Then tries to convince a potential customer that they carry the same products as a completely different store, despite being ignorant of organics. Yes, organic meat usually does equal free range. But free range does not equal organic. (Someone must have been sick that day in math class).

Guess where I am never shopping again?

Christians Protest Sunday Flights

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In short, a small, predominantly Christian island protests the local airport providing flights on Sundays. While I am not familiar with their local government, I am not certain if it would fall under their purview. But if it bothers you, then don't travel on your sabbat. (And no, I did not misspell "sabbath," stupid spellchecker.)

"Disinfectants 'train' superbugs to resist antibiotics"

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"Scientists know bacteria can become inured to disinfectant, but research increasingly shows the same process may make them resistant to certain drugs."
This is one of the reasons why I avoid disinfectants, despite slight OCD tendencies. So when my friends (invariably those with children) are addicted to bleach and Lysol, I shake my head because not enough logic in the world can persuade them that they are actually doing more harm over the long run than good. Because then you end up with fun stuff like this.
And the best part?
"Research was published this year showing that the disinfecting wipes used to protect against MRSA could in fact spread the bug, as the solution contained was often not sufficient to kill all the bacteria picked up, and hospital staff often used the same wipe to clean more than one surface."

"'Urgent need' to regulate sex toys, MP says

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No, it's not what you think. It's actually good news!
"When you're the young owners of a Toronto sex shop specializing in eco-friendly vibrators and other adult toys, getting the ear of a Member of Parliament can be a challenge.
So, entrepreneurs Kim and Amy Sedgwick started off slow. The self-branded “eco-sisters” wrote a letter outlining their concerns of a “dangerous” problem hidden away in Canadian bedrooms everywhere – chemicals used in the majority of Canadian sex toys that pose a potential health risk for women...
So while bisphenol A can't be used in baby bottles, and phthalates can't be used in children's mouth toys, there's no rules preventing their use in a vibrator, Dr. Bennett says."
Heck yeah! If it's not safe to put in my hypothetical child's mouth (the material, not the actual item) then it should not be considered safe to put in the organ which would theoretically produce said offspring.

"The Greater Good"

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I have a new philosophy when it comes to people who tout the "But think of The Children!!1!1!!" in order to justify whatever the heck their position is.

Discrimination based on sexual orientation?
"Think of the children!"
Response: "The Greater Good."

"Think of the children!"
Response: "The Greater Good."

The possibilities are endless! And if they're bringing out the kids card as a perfectly logical and just argument with the expectation that it cannot be trumped, then this response is equally valid. This is the latest example which sparked this remark, which is particularly hilarious when the activities that she condemns in Adam Lambert for are apparently acceptable in women.

Target Women: 2009 Lessons

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Fun with YouTube

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"But your Honour, he just needed killin'."

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"A judge is weighing a critical legal question in the case of a man who confessed to killing one of the nation's few late-term abortion providers: Can the man claim at his trial that the slaying was justified to save the lives of unborn children?"

Since I feel that the murder of a post-born person is wrong, does that mean that I can kill Bush for having taken us to war with the wrong freaking country? "He jus' needed killin'" is not a valid defense for crying out loud! I repeat: it was legal, and killing someone for what you believe to be murder is the height of hypocrisy. Even if I felt that abortion was wrong, I will quote my mother: "Two wrongs don't make a right."

Way to go Uganda!

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Uganda bans female genital mutilation, and anyone convicted of doing so can expect 10 years in prison and a life sentence if the victim dies. Again, another belated congratulation, but significant enough to deserve the attention.

Belated congratulations to Mexico City

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"Joining only seven countries and five U.S. states, Mexico City's legislative assembly voted overwhelmingly Monday to legalize gay marriage.

The vote changed the definition of marriage in the city's civil code from being between a man and a woman to the free uniting of two people. Assembly members also approved a resolution allowing married gay couples to legally adopt children."

Sadly enough, it took a 2-hour heated debate where the politicians "publicly questioned one another's sexual preferences and activities." Just because one supports marriage equality does not necessarily mean they they are automatically non-heteronormative, not to mention the fact that even appearing to be otherwise can often spell the end of a politician's career.

Sigh.* I know, I know, I shouldn't look a gift-horse in the mouth, but it still feels like a one step forward and another back situation.

And we're back after another unexpected break.

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Sorry about that, folks. I lost my job and my mind there for a little while. So until I get back into the swing of things, here's a cute little article for you to enjoy.

Happy Full Moon!

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It's the Blood Moon.
I was recently accused of having a penchant for rituals. Um, I am a Pagan who was raised Catholic. It's not like I'm into high ceremony or anything...

Polyamoury and the mainstream media

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Not only is it CNN, but they are actually asking intelligent questions from knowledgeable people.

Schrödinger’s Rapist

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An excellent article that everyone, no matter their gender, should read.
"Now, you want to become acquainted with a woman you see in public. The first thing you need to understand is that women are dealing with a set of challenges and concerns that are strange to you, a man. To begin with, we would rather not be killed or otherwise violently assaulted.

“But wait! I don’t want that, either!”

Well, no. But do you think about it all the time? Is preventing violent assault or murder part of your daily routine, rather than merely something you do when you venture into war zones? Because, for women, it is."
I have come across as being cold, bitchy, etc. because I have had to learn defensive techniques the hard way, such as making certain that a female friend or family member knows where I'm going if I'm out on a date. Even when I try to explain that these are necessary traits for women in our society, I have been told that I am merely paranoid. It's a learned response, people.
A guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced.

Newsflash: Halloween IS a Pagan Holiday

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"Hallowe'en is a perfectly lovely American holiday that came over with the immigrating Irish who escaped An Gorta Mor (what we were taught as the "Irish Potato Famine") in the 1840s. They brought some folk traditions connected with the evening before All Saints Day or All Hallows."

As someone mentioned in the comments, I would much rather have my brain in my head than in my anal orifice like this writer. Please explain to me how an American holiday came over from Ireland.

But ok, I get his point that he's trying to get across is the perennial favourite at this time of year: letting your kids dress up and mug your neighbours for candy is not worshipping Satan.

"Many modern Pagans celebrate Samhain at the end of October. Samhain is based on an ancient Celtic festival and is the third harvest festival, the Festival for the Dead, the beginning of the winter season and the New Year on the Celtic calendar.

It is rather a big deal...but it is not Hallowe'en. It's an important harvest celebration and a time to remember those who have died, whether in the last year or long ago. The Ancestors.

So, all these cranky churches and schools who refuse to celebrate the perfectly American (okay, Irish-American) holiday called Hallowe'en are brainheads."

The modern incarnation of Halloween has about as much connection with its original Pagan origins as Christmas or Easter do.

Outrage of the Day- Special Ed Kids Tortured

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"A group of parents say their children with disabilities experienced waterboarding-like torture” and other forms of abuse at the hands of two teacher’s aides at a Montana middle school.

Now, the teacher’s aides, Julie Parish and Kristina Marie Kallies, face felony charges of assault on a minor and endangering the welfare of children in connection with the alleged abuse in a special education classroom.

Witnesses say that students were subjected to water torture and forced to eat their own vomit. Further, parents say they suspect students were also confined to closets.

Parents noticed that students came home with bruises, bite marks, burnt fingertips and missing hair.

The students, who have a variety of disabilities including autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy, were unable to speak up about the problems due to their disabilities."

First of all, I thought that we left this shit behind in the '50's. Secondly, having volunteered with Special Olympics I cannot conceive of the type of person it would take to commit such atrocities. upon innocent children. My partner said it best, "Instead of jail, they should not be permitted to live."

Reversing Female Genital Mutilation

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"One day, when Sila Folow was an 8-year-old girl living in Mali, four elderly women held her down on the dirt floor of an outhouse and, in keeping with local tradition, used a sharp blade to cut out her clitoris and most of her labia. Her grandmother and other villagers held a celebration. Sila, bleeding and in terrible pain, could not walk for weeks. Like millions of other African girls who are forced to undergo female genital mutilation—a ritual many women say is intended to ensure that they grow up to become sexually passive wives who will not stray from their husbands—Sila never recovered. She eventually moved to New York, married, and had two children. But she was reluctant to have sex with her husband. It hurt, and the scarring made it impossible for her to feel pleasure.

This May, Sila, now 38 years old, underwent a simple but profound operation to undo the past. She traveled to Trinidad, Colorado, where Dr. Marci Bowers, a gynecological and pelvic surgeon, has recently begun to perform "clitoralplasty" or "female circumcision reversals" on African women. A relatively new procedure, it reshapes the anatomy and, in 80 percent of patients, restores pleasurable sensation. "I want my womanhood back," Sila told Bowers when she first spoke to the surgeon about the operation. "I just want to know it's there. To have the feeling that I can fight against this culture." "

It's enough to bring tears to your eyes.

Fun with funding in a recession

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Who's the first to go during a recession? Women.

"California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger - making last minute cuts to the budget - eliminated all of the state funding for domestic violence shelters. That's right - all of it.

Although the state Legislature submitted a budget with a 20 percent reduction to the $20.4 million the state provides to agencies that offer domestic violence services, Schwarzenegger slashed the funding by 100 percent Tuesday.

For Catalyst, which relies on state funding for nearly 35 percent of its operating budget, the affect will be "devastating," Executive Director Anastacia Snyder said.

"We're still in shock," Snyder said Wednesday afternoon. "We were bracing for the 20 percent cut, but did not believe the governor could, with a clear conscience, cut 100 percent of funding for services that keep women and children safe and alive."

If you're a resident of California, please click on Stop Family Violence's action alert to urge lawmakers to reinstate funding for the programs that save women's lives. If you're not in CA - pass this on to someone who is! You can also post the following message to your Facebook account, or tweet it: CA Gov Eliminates funding for Domestic Violence Programs. Lives will be lost. You can help! CA residents click"

Evidently material goods and the auto industry are much more important than human beings.

Racist Ohio Police Dispatcher

12:42 PM Posted In , Edit This 1 Comment »
"The OhioDaily blog reports on a “rogue” dispatcher from the North Canton Police who recently sent out a racist e-mail from her work account. Dispatcher Anita Malachowski forwarded this message:

“New “Air Force One” Tail Number and yes, please forgive me, I’m really sorry, I really, really tried not to laugh, but …………………..!”

Attached to the e-mail was an Photoshopped image of Air Force one with NI66ER written on the plane’s tail. As OhioDaily writes, “This type of message is offensive coming from anyone, but coming from someone in the position of dispatching police and prioritizing calls, it’s downright horrifying. The North Canton police have a hard enough job as it is without rogue dispatchers trying to incite a race riot or stirring tensions during the hot months of summer.”"

Even if it wasn't so blatantly offensive, it's still a gross misuse of police resources.

Outrage of the Day-Victim Blaming

12:35 PM Posted In , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »

"A downtown hotel being sued by a woman raped at gunpoint in its parking garage is claiming she was careless, negligent and "failed to exercise due care for her own safety and the safety of her children and proper use of her senses and facilities," according to court documents.

The victim's attorneys also argue the hotel has inadvertently identified her to acquaintances by asking them to testify."

So it's her fault for taking care of her children in a public area, and not the negligient security of the hotel. She was evidently asking for it by buckling her small children in. Then they broach her right to anonymity by bringing in character witnesses (i.e. people who were not present at the crime) to intimidate her.

Learning to spin...

8:56 AM Posted In , , Edit This 1 Comment »
I learned to spin at an SCA event yesterday, using a stick. Literally a stick off of the ground. I feel like the Macgyver of knitting! My lovely teacher let me have a go with her drop spindle, now I can't wait to get one!

More Bechdel Test Failures

8:51 AM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »
District 9

Ice Age (1 and 2)

Night at the Museum (Original)

Terminator Salvation

Transformers (Original)


X-Men Origins: Wolverine


11:08 PM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
A friend was recently under the mistaken impression that I was sleeping with another friend (male). He asked me why she would care, let alone feel the need to police my sexuality as a single woman.
I told him that as women, we are not supposed to be sexual creatures. And as such, we are taught to police each other's actions. For example, it is usually women who select which woman is considered a slut, rather than men. This contributes to the mistaken belief that women cannot get along together for any period of time.
These behaviours have been so ingrained into us so that we don't form bonds of sisterhood and thus threaten the patriarchy. We're supposed to be catty bitches who are too busy backstabbing each other to link forces and shatter the chastity belts we have imposed upon each other for our own "good."

Outrage of the Day- Baby Taken Because Mom Refused C-Section

10:51 PM Posted In , , , , Edit This 1 Comment »
"A woman in New Jersey refused to consent to a C-section during labor in the event that her baby was in distress. She ended up giving birth vaginally without incident. The baby was in good medical condition.

However, her baby was taken away from her and her parental rights were terminated because she "abused and neglected her child" by refusing the C-section and behaving "erratically" while in labor.

How is this legal?

A New Jersey appellate court has upheld the shocking ruling, and custody has been given to the child's foster parents.

The court's decision cites hospital records that describe the mother, V.M., as "combative," "uncooperative," "erratic," "noncompliant," "irrational" and "inappropriate." That's how we acted during labor, too ... but our babies weren't taken away, thank God.

The court opinion also focuses on the fact that the mother had been in psychiatric care for twelve years prior to the birth. But, as the Huffington Post points out, her psychiatric state would never have been questioned if the mother had not refused invasive abdominal surgery -- which was entirely within her rights.

Read the entire court ruling here.

Lovely, she was "irrational" and "inappropriate" for deciding what was best for both her and the child? Gah, I'm so disgusted with it all.

Is it wrong...

8:09 PM Posted In , , , Edit This 1 Comment »
That my mind went straight to the gutter after seeing these?

Hilarity with traditional views of marriage

8:06 PM Posted In , , , , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »

More fun at a convenience store...

5:24 PM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
I went into my local convenience store the other day and requested that my hot dogs not be placed in a styrofoam container. Because of the strange looks I got, I mentioned that it never biodegrades. This sparked a bit of chatter with one of the other employees about ecologically responsible practices.

The cashier who had been staring at us like we'd both simultaneously sprouted second heads, said in a rather disparaging tone, "Oh, I'm not green." Emphasis = sneer.

Unfortunately I had too much blood in my caffeine stream (thus the purpose of my purchases) to respond with what percolated through my brain as I walked out the door, which was: "Well, I'm rather attached to the planet upon which I live and am entirely dependent. But I suppose if I were as old as you, I'd say 'Fuck it, I'm gonna die soon anyway. Might as well take the planet with me.' "

I have got to stop shopping there, at least when uncaffeinated. Then again, I really shouldn't be surprised considering their entire marketing campaign is about how they're proud to be rednecks.

Honey, May I have control over my own body?

2:32 PM Posted In , , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
Just a quick hit...
"An Ohio lawmaker has re-introduced legislation that would include a father's rights in the abortion decision-making process. Under Roe v. Wade, fathers are left out of the equation when a woman considers whether or not to have an abortion that would end the life of their child....
Adams told the Daily Reporter newspaper that abortion centers would "need to get consent from the biological father" before the abortion can proceed and he called the measure a "father's right bill" to protect the interest of fathers who are given no say in the abortion process.
He also said the bill provides for criminal penalties for women seeking abortions who do not obtain consent properly.
Adams told the newspaper that, in cases when the mother does not know the identity of the father, the abortion would be prohibited.
"There needs to be responsibility for actions," Adams said. "As someone who is pro-life, this is also an attempt and a hope to keep the two people who have created that child together, and I suppose if you just go back to the simple beginning, there is merit to chastity, and to young men and women waiting until marriage." "
I love the "PC" title of the article, "Ohio Bill Would Include Father's Rights in Abortion Decision-Making Process." In other words, the father has final say over whether there's an abortion or not, but is not held to any responsibilities in raising the child, whereas the woman is.
And you're screwed if you're raped while passed out drunk because you can't get an abortion unless you know who your rapist is, with severe fines for producing a false father.
Then Adams even says that the whole point is just to create happy little families, when reality, studies, and psychologists all say that children do not create a happy marriage. And the statistics on divorce largely pertain to the baby boomers rather than us 20-30 something's. I only know of two instances in my generation where divorce occurred, whereas of our parents' generation my parents are the only ones I know of who have never divorced.
I am hopped up on energy drinks and ranting. Check out Strollerderby for a more comprehensive critique.

Big Brother, coming to a town near you.

10:58 PM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
Welcome to Tiburon.


Your presence has been noted.

The posh and picturesque town that juts into San Francisco Bay is poised to do something unprecedented: use cameras to record the license plate number of every vehicle that crosses city limits.

Some residents describe the plan as a commonsense way to thwart thieves, most of whom come from out of town. Others see an electronic border gate and worry that the project will only reinforce Tiburon's image of exclusivity and snootiness.

"I personally don't see too much harm in it, because I have nothing to hide," commodities broker Paul Lambert, 64, said after a trip to Boardwalk Market in downtown Tiburon on a recent afternoon.

"Yet," he said, "it still has the taint of Big Brother."
Not only is it Big Brother, but it's also xenophobic.

Americans are marrying "other species."

9:49 PM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »

The look on the co-host's face is especially hilarious as she's trying to politely tell him, "Shut up, you idiot."

I also can't help but think he's one a Creationist and never learned what a species actually is, let alone the difference between species and ethnicity.

And my second thought is, "Inbreeding: Keeping Bloodlines Pure Since 3150 BCE."

Sorry kids, you're the wrong colour to swim here.

9:42 PM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »
"More than 60 campers from Northeast Philadelphia were turned away from a private swim club and left to wonder if their race was the reason.

Kids at Creative Steps Day Camp were thrilled to go swimming once a week at the Valley Swim Club. But after only one trip to the private club, they were... "I heard this lady, she was like, 'Uh, what are all these black kids doing here?' She's like, 'I'm scared they might do something to my child,'" said camper Dymire Baylor.

The Creative Steps Day Camp paid more than $1900 to The Valley Swim Club. The Valley Swim Club is a private club that advertises open membership. But the campers' first visit to the pool suggested otherwise.

"When the minority children got in the pool all of the Caucasian children immediately exited the pool," Horace Gibson, parent of a day camp child, wrote in an email. "The pool attendants came and told the black children that they did not allow minorities in the club and needed the children to leave immediately."

The next day the club told the camp director that the camp's membership was being suspended and their money would be refunded.

"I said, 'The parents don't want the refund. They want a place for their children to swim,'" camp director Aetha Wright said.

Campers remain unsure why they're no longer welcome.

"They just kicked us out. And we were about to go. Had our swim things and everything," said camper Simer Burwell.

The explanation they got was either dishearteningly honest or poorly worded.

"There was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion … and the atmosphere of the club," John Duesler, President of The Valley Swim Club said in a statement."

Fort Worth Police Chief: That Faggot Had It Coming

9:28 PM Posted In , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
"Most residents of Fort Worth have never even seen the inside of a gay bar. Fort Worth's police chief Jeff Halstead is counting on that fact—counting on the average person's ignorance about gay bars and certain stereotypes about gay men—to get a half a dozen Forth Worth police officers off the hook for conducting a violent raid on a Forth Worth gay bar, the Rainbow Lounge, late last Saturday night. Seven men were arrested during the raid, which took place on the 40th anniversary of the raid on the Stonewall Inn that kick-started the modern gay rights movement, and one of those men—Chad Gibson—remains in intensive care with a brain injury. Gibson may not survive.

The officers who raided the Rainbow Lounge claim that the men in the bar made "advances" on them—and Forth Worth's police chief is backing them up:

Monday, police chief Jeff Halstead said the officers' actions are being investigated. However, he also said that officers that entered the bar during the scheduled inspection were touched inappropriately.

"You're touched and advanced in certain ways by people inside the bar, that's offensive," he said. "I'm happy with the restraint used when they were contacted like that."

Allow me to translate the chief's comments: "Them faggots in that thar bar touched mah officers and now they're complainin' about some rough stuff and one little ol' faggot with a brain injury? Those perverts should be grateful they're alive."

This is a classic example of the Gay Panic Defense. In the very recent past all a straight man who brutally murdered a gay man had to say was, "He made a pass at me!", and the jury would ignore the evidence and let the murderer off. The Gay Panic Defense doesn't fly in many courts of law these days but it still has currency in the court of public opinion. And the chief of police in Forth Worth, a major U.S. city, is attempting to use the Gay Panic Defense to convince the citizens of Fort Worth to ignore the evidence—to ignore photographic evidence and credible eyewitness accounts—and let his officers off."
I think the "accused" should use the classic defense of: "He deserved it, coming into a gay bar dressed like that. I couldn't help myself, and he knew what he was getting into. Wriggling his butt all sexy-like in that uniform..."

Would you like a side of homophobia with that?

9:13 PM Posted In , , Edit This 1 Comment »
"Two gay men kissed at a Chico's Tacos restaurant, prompting guards to eject them and a police officer to endorse their ouster.
Civil-rights lawyers say the security staff was out of line. Police, though, contend that a business such as a restaurant can refuse service to anybody, any time.

In all, five men were ordered to leave the restaurant. They say they were forced out by homophobic guards.

"It was a simple kiss on the lips," said Carlos Diaz de Leon, a gay man who was part of the group.

He called police at 12:30 a.m. June 29 because he said the guards and restaurant had discriminated against the group after two of his friends kissed in public.

The five men, all gay, were placing their order at the Chico's Tacos restaurant on Montwood when the men kissed. All five sat down, but the two guards at the restaurant told them to leave.

De Leon quoted one of the guards as saying he didn't allow "that faggot stuff" in the restaurant."

Funny, that's the same excuse a lot of places used when they refused service to African Americans.

"She said the city anti-discrimination ordinance protects people on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation in public places. Perhaps more troubling, she said, was that the police officer chose not to enforce that ordinance and might have contributed to discrimination."

Somehow I doubt that the same restaurant and police officer would have had a problem with two heterosexual teenagers doing the hormonal groping octopus thing.

And finally, the coup de grace:

"De Leon said he and his friends left the restaurant after an officer threatened to issue a citation for "homosexual conduct."

Hrm, I didn't realize that being gay is a crime in Texas.

Heterosexual Privilege

11:56 AM Posted In , , , Edit This 0 Comments »

On a daily basis as a straight person…

  • I can be pretty sure that my roomate, hallmates and classmates will be comfortable with my sexual orientation.
  • If I pick up a magazine, watch TV, or play music, I can be certain my sexual orientation will be represented.
  • When I talk about my heterosexuality (such as in a joke or talking about my relationships), I will not be accused of pushing my sexual orientation onto others.
  • I do not have to fear that if my family or friends find out about my sexual orientation there will be economic, emotional, physical or psychological consequences.
  • I did not grow up with games that attack my sexual orientation (IE fag tag or smear the queer).
    I am not accused of being abused, warped or psychologically confused because of my sexual orientation.
  • I can go home from most meetings, classes, and conversations without feeling excluded, fearful, attacked, isolated, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance, stereotyped or feared because of my sexual orientation.
  • I am never asked to speak for everyone who is heterosexual.
  • I can be sure that my classes will require curricular materials that testify to the existence of people with my sexual orientation.
  • People don't ask why I made my choice of sexual orientation.
  • People don't ask why I made my choice to be public about my sexual orientation.
  • I do not have to fear revealing my sexual orientation to friends or family. It's assumed.
  • My sexual orientation was never associated with a closet.
  • People of my gender do not try to convince me to change my sexual orientation.
  • I don't have to defend my heterosexuality.
  • I can easily find a religious community that will not exclude me for being heterosexual.
  • I can count on finding a therapist or doctor willing and able to talk about my sexuality.
  • I am guaranteed to find sex education literature for couples with my sexual orientation.
  • Because of my sexual orientation, I do not need to worry that people will harass me.
  • I have no need to qualify my straight identity.
  • My masculinity/femininity is not challenged because of my sexual orientation.
  • I am not identified by my sexual orientation.
  • I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help my sexual orientation will not work against me.
  • If my day, week, or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it has sexual orientation overtones.
  • Whether I rent or I go to a theater, Blockbuster, an EFS or TOFS movie, I can be sure I will not have trouble finding my sexual orientation represented.
  • I am guaranteed to find people of my sexual orientation represented in the Earlham curriculum, faculty, and administration.
  • I can walk in public with my significant other and not have people double-take or stare.
  • I can choose to not think politically about my sexual orientation.
  • I do not have to worry about telling my roommate about my sexuality. It is assumed I am a heterosexual.
  • I can remain oblivious of the language and culture of LGBTQ folk without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.
  • I can go for months without being called straight.
  • I'm not grouped because of my sexual orientation.
  • My individual behavior does not reflect on people who identity as heterosexual.
  • In everyday conversation, the language my friends and I use generally assumes my sexual orientation. For example, sex inappropriately referring to only heterosexual sex or family meaning heterosexual relationships with kids.
  • People do not assume I am experienced in sex (or that I even have it!) merely because of my sexual orientation.
  • I can kiss a person of the opposite gender on the heart or in the cafeteria without being watched and stared at.
  • Nobody calls me straight with maliciousness.
  • People can use terms that describe my sexual orientation and mean positive things (IE "straight as an arrow", "standing up straight" or "straightened out") instead of demeaning terms (IE "ewww, that's gay" or being "queer").
  • I am not asked to think about why I am straight.
  • I can be open about my sexual orientation without worrying about my job.
  • Growing up straight means that I have abundant suitable role models on which to model my behaviour.
  • Growing up straight means that I have appropriate socialization to show me the rules of the dating game, and how to come on to some that I want to attract.
  • Growing up straight means that I will not be rejected by family for my sexual orientation.
  • Growing up straight means that I am dramatically less likely to be driven by bullying to take my own life.
These are some great points that apply to privilege of any sort. I mean, add in Pagan and poly and then privilege is just a fun great big barrel of monkeys!

Bill O'Reilly Gets Spanked

6:19 PM Posted In , , , Edit This 0 Comments »

This is why I hate people

12:06 PM Posted In , , , Edit This 1 Comment »
A late term abortionist, Dr. Tiller, was murdered by an anti-abortionist over the weekend.
A) His procedures were well within the law
B) Killing someone for what you believe is murder defies all logic, and is damned hypocritical. In a church, no less.
Even better, a local abortion clinic had notified the FBI about Roeder the day before.

County Trying To Stop Home Bible Studies

12:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
"A local pastor and his wife claim they were interrogated by a San Diego County official, who then threatened them with escalating fines if they continued to hold bible studies in their home...
The county employee notified the couple that the small bible study, with an average of 15 people attending, was in violation of county regulations, according to Broyles.
Broyles said a few days later the couple received a written warning that listed "unlawful use of land" and told them to "stop religious assembly or apply for a major use permit" -- a process that could cost tens of thousands of dollars."
I'm not surprised at all, really. I've seen a handful of articles over the past couple of years involving the same issue with earth-based religious groups who don't have anywhere else to go (i.e. no church). They're common enough that I don't have any articles at hand to cite.
Most likely the real problem here is the neighbours complaining about parking and noise. Since the studies are on a weekly basis, the neighbours have to fight for parking and listen to "Praise the Lord!" and "Hallelujah!" every five minutes.
I don't know about San Diego, but here in Eugene, at least, we work out regular events with our neighbours before calling the cops. For example, someone I know hosts weekly play parties at his house and when they grew fairly large, he asked his guests to park at a nearby park and to keep the noise down because they are held on a weeknight. Then again, the BDSM community is rather accustomed to the nuances of not attracting attention.

Racist Mother Custody Case

11:46 AM Posted In , , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
"WINNIPEG - The mother of a girl who went to school with white supremacist symbols drawn on her body didn't see why her daughter should have to sit next to Muslims, a social worker testified Wednesday.
Nor did the mother appear to understand why it was hateful to laugh if someone beat up a black child, the social worker told a custody hearing.
"White pride is worldwide," the social worker recalled the mother as saying during one of several interviews last year.
"It's not a crime to have pride in who I am." "
"Child services removed the children last year after the girl showed up at her elementary school with white supremacist symbols and slogans drawn on her skin in permanent marker. The social worker said the mother admitted to drawing a symbol on the girl to "deliver a message to the school."
The social worker outlined numerous conversations with the girl's mother, including one in which the woman referred to an incident where someone she knew "beat up a kid" because he was black.
"If I laughed, I am apparently full of hatred," the social worker quoted the mother as
Who the hell thinks it's funny if a child is beaten?
"The mother questioned why her daughter should have to sit next to a Muslim classmate when that child's religious beliefs ran counter to her daughter's, the worker said."
You don't want your children exposed to other religions? Simple solution: private or homeschool. Although I shudder to think of what would have happened had the girl been raised in a homeschool environment.
"Child welfare officials also allege the children were exposed to drug use, something the mother has denied saying it's "not a white thing to do." In court Wednesday, the social worker testified the mother admitted to being on anti-depressants while the girl's stepfather had done heroin and smoked marijuana."
Naturally, the assumption that only people of colour do drugs pisses me off. My experiences of working within the judicial system showed me nothing if that drug abuse crosses all racial boundaries. Then they're trying to use anti-depressants against the mother. If they're legally prescribed and kept safely out of the kids' reach, that's not exposure to drug use. That's like saying to a diabetic, "You use insulin, therefore you're exposing your kids to drugs."

Knitting and SCA geekery combined

11:34 AM Posted In , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
Here's kind of a beginner's Guide to Period Knitted Stockings. Very little of it is actually SCA specific, but definitely helpful.
And then one that is SCA approved, but only on knitting in general.
Early "seamed" stockings, with a row of purls down the back to give the illusion of the sewn stockings at the time.

All Life is Sacred... Unless it's a Pregnant Woman

1:35 PM Posted In , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
Side by side analysis of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on the Terry Schiavo case vs. the Angela Carder case.

In short, completely opposite stances on the two issues. Read it: it's very short and succinct.

Woman Charged for Sacrifice

12:10 PM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
I don't belong to a sect that practices animal sacrifice, but at the same time I am a carnivore. So I see it as a bit hypocritical that a state with lobster as a main product should suddenly get up in arms over a chicken. Slitting a chicken's throat is a thousand times more humane than dumping a boiling a bound creature alive. (As any animals rights activist will tell you, it's all about the charisma of the animal. Mammals are at the top of the hierarchy- i.e. how much crap the average person could be moved to care. So the "cuter" the animal, the more we care about it. You don't see very many lizards on Animal Precinct, do you? No, it's puppies and kittens.)
In fact, early laws banning "animal sacrifice" were to disenfranchise legitimate religious practices rather than over any concern for the animal's well-being. Hell, kosher slaughter is actually quite humane and stems from the ancient Jewish sacrifices! So yeah, pardon me if I don't give two shits about the animal "cruelty" charge considering what slaughterhouses get away with. But that's ok! That's big business! We don't care about the little farms that cook their own chicken every night, but once you start mixing it with religion... Watch out!
The "journalist" left out some very important details: the size of the fire (was it a handsized or a bonfire?) Whose grave it was (a relative's or some random stranger?) How the rooster was slaughtered (slit throat or dismemberment?) And the greatest of all of them, the "expert" consulted on the matter isn't even freakin' Santerian! He was a freakin' Christian minister! No matter that Santerians eat the sacrifice instead of setting it on fire...
The woman was especially screwed for being a) female b) of colour c) possessing a non-Caucausian name and d) not belonging to the Big Three (aka Abrahamic religions). Now, that having been said, a graveyard is hardly the place to be doing this. I will blatantly "blame the victim" here. This is America, you committed the aforementioned sins. You have to be very circumspect about where you practice what.

More bad news- Suspects Can be Interrogated Without a Lawyer

12:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »
"The Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned a long-standing ruling that stopped police from initiating questions unless a defendant's lawyer was present, a move that will make it easier for prosecutors to interrogate suspects."
Am I the only one who's worried about how easily a jump could be made from "easer to interrogate suspects" to "waterboarding?" (Because waterboarding isn't really torture, ya know).
"The Obama administration had asked the court to overturn Michigan v. Jackson, disappointing civil rights and civil liberties groups that expected President Barack Obama to reverse the policies of his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush."
And please tell me I am not alone in noticing the tragic irony in the administration of our first African American president requesting that certain laws that were enacted in the first place to protect marginalized citizens be overturned?

Prop 8 Upheld

11:54 AM Posted In , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
Gods, of all the times when I have a reason to get stinking drunk....

And in other news, I hate people.

Ultraconservative Radio Talkshow Host Waterboarded

11:14 AM Posted In , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »

Yeah, you know why it "feels like" you're drowning? Because you effectively are, even though someone held your nose for you. Water forced down your throat and up your nose? That's drowning.

Oil Rant

2:28 PM Posted In , , Edit This 1 Comment »
The following is blatantly and unashamedly stolen from a friend's email rants.
Peak Oil is PART of the understanding that at some time in the future the oil will run out. The 'Peak' in peak oil is referring to the highest point of oil production for an oil well or an oil field. Unlike a water well which is refilled every time it rains there is no way to refill an oil well, so there is only a very limited amount of oil in the ground.
Now due to the way oil is produced and the machines that pull it up and the pipes that carry it, it can only be produced at a very limited rate. This means that a well is drilled, then a pump is put on and the oil starts to flow. A couple of decades later somebody with a clipboard and a lot of notes notices that this well has produced less oil this month than it has last month, and the month before, and the month before. This means that the well is past its peak and will never, EVER again hold steady or increase in its production. From that point onward it will be in 'terminal decline' meaning that while it may never run dry, it will fall off to the point of being useless.
This happens with every well, in every field, in every country. In fact back in 1971 it happened here in the US. That was the cause of the big oil shock and big price jumps you may have heard about. The US oil production had been falling for more than a year and then on day the amount we produced could not meet the amount we needed and everybody freaked. On a world wide scale this happened in July 2008, according to OPEC and Saudi Arabia and as you saw by the price of gas last year... everybody freaked.
It is a known and widely accepted fact that on a world wide scale we will never again be able to produce, or match, the amount of oil pumped up from the ground as we had in July 2008. In fact, on a world wide scale, our oil production is already in terminal decline. Oil production will gradually decrease until sometime in 2010 at the rate of about 5% to 7% per year. After 2010 the rate of decline goes into a "free fall" at about 17% to 25%.
"OK." You may think. "But what the hell does that mean to me and mine?" Good question. What it means in the personal scale is that the price of gas and electricity will rise, taking with it the price of food, clothing, and housing. At some point we will no longer have the energy to sustain this disposable lifestyle and we will have to go back to living like the Amish, or as we like to say, communal lifestyle.
Now here is the spooky part. According to the Saudi Arabian government, they peaked last year and they were among the last. There is a saying in Saudi Arabia, "My father rode a camel, I drove a car, my son drives a jet, his son will ride a camel."
Right now the world is using about 82.2 Million Barrels a Day of oil. That right about 3,616,800,000 gallons a day, or about 150,700,000 an hour, or about 2,511,667 gallons per minute, or about, 41,861 gallons per second. In understandable terms, 4 Olympic sized swimming pools every minute. A bar of soap or two is not gunna change much. The basic fact is that all we gotta do is wait a couple of years and oil use will change itself.
I am thinking when we run out of oil, or it becomes to expensive to use, our society is in for some deep shit problems. But thats just me.

Conservative Activists Argue Gay Marriage Threatens Religious Liberty

12:23 PM Posted In , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
My reaction: say what? *Sigh.* Honestly people. If churches, especially the Catholic church, can refuse to marry anyone on the basis of religion, then they can certainly refuse to marry them on the basis of sexuality. Some churches (I'm drawing heavily on the Catholic church as an example because that's what I was raised in) will even refuse to perform a wedding ceremony if you will not raise your potential children in their religion.
And just as churches have the right to say, "Nope, doesn't hold with our religion" people have the right to say, "Then screw you, I'm going to go find a church that won't hate me for living the way I was meant to." It's downright childish for them to blame their lack of converts on this one issue. People will attend churches that are loving and welcoming, not hateful and spiteful.
If anything, they should be mad that they are exposing themselves by refusing to do so. They have only themselves to blame.

Infiltrating the enemy

11:11 AM Posted In , , , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
So my last post got me to thinking: what would those nutjobs think about me? According to them, "feminism is the religion fueling lesbianism."
  1. I wear mostly skirts, and am transitioning out of pants completely. And even then I rarely dress provocatively.
  2. I attend church regularly.
  3. I am crafty and self-sufficient in that I knit, sew, embroider, etc.
  4. I rarely wear makeup or jewelry.
  5. I agree that unnatural foods, Walt Disney, and nuclear war is evil, if not for the same reasons.
  6. I wouldn't have an abortion, if not for the same reasons.
  7. I don't drink soda nor alcohol. Nor do I smoke.
  8. I wear my hair long.
  9. I would like to be a stay-at-home mom some day.
  10. I submit to my male partner in most things.
And yet...
  1. I haven't made any of the above choices because I am a woman, nor do I think that anyone should do anything purely because of one's gender.
  2. I am a feminist.
  3. I am a Witch.
  4. I am pro-choice.
  5. I am polyamourous, but faithful to my lovers.
  6. I am liberal.
  7. I do NOT blindly submit to my partner. If he asks for something unreasonable without an explanation, I'm sure as hell gonna put the brakes on.
  8. I am strong-willed, intelligent, and put both to good use.
  9. I love teh Devilz Muzik.
  10. I am bisexual.

They would probably say something about a wolf in sheep's clothing (they're overfond of that phrase), but I'd rather be a cunning wolf than a brainless sheep. I'm not even going to bother with "defending" my feminism because if anyone tries to tell me that I'm part of the problem instead of the solution then I'll tear them a new one. Until then, I couldn't care less.

Is it spoof or not?

10:04 AM Posted In , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
I'd say not, actually. Some of my favourites from it are: I promise to never question authority. I promise to never bring up my rights. Then, later on, there's a bit about how the government is corrupt and heading towards a police state. Although the "Scare 'em Sober" page is pretty accurate, although whether or not the accidents portrayed involved alcohol is another topic entirely. But then we get into the whole alchol is bad because drinking and driving is bad. That's like saying knives are bad because stabbing people is bad. Then there's Protest Gay Day and a blurb about how they're not a hate site. Made of fail.
Wow, and they say that people like me are attacking Christianity. I'd say that they're already doing a pretty good job of it themselves.
But if you want a site that is actually tongue-in-cheek, check out Landover Baptist. One of their current articles is titled "Divorced Conservatives Unite to Save the Sanctity of Marriage From Homosexuals!" Satire of hypocrisy at its finest.
Then there's the ever popular Dark Dungeons, courtesy of Chick Tracts. You know, I have been suicidal and have played tabletop rpg's. I can honestly say that all of the problems that contributed to the former had absolutely nothing to do with the latter. In fact, it helped me forget about my bigger problems for a little while as well as helped me to develop a support network of friends who helped me through those times. As someone who has been suicidal, the thought of anyone claiming that something so trivial as a game could drive someone to take their own life pisses me off beyond belief. Only someone from a position of privilege and self-righteousness could possibly make such an outrageous connection between the two.
That having been said, I've even played epic levels and I never got to the learn the "mind bondage" spell. :(

Care and Feeding of Your Poppet

9:24 AM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »
Many people hear "poppet" and think "voodoo doll." Close but not quite. Both are symbolic figures for sympathetic magick, but not necessarily for malignant purposes. Although most people associate them with baneful magick because they are so closely tied to the person they represent, perfect for the passive agressive, which is why most Witches can't conceive of creating one for themselves.
In fact, poppets can be used for many beneficial reasons: health, wealth, and the like. It's what you do with your poppet, or don't do, that could land you in trouble. You've got this "mini-me" all crammed with bits of this and that, pieces of your hair and/or nails, and stuffed with your energy. You don't just want to toss it in a drawer and forget about it.
  1. Do take care of your poppet as you would yourself.
  2. Do dispose of it properly: ritual burning or burying. If you flushed it, and then your life goes to shit, what did you think would happen?
  3. Don't leave it out where others can get a hold of it. Last thing you want is Fido thinking you got him a new chew toy that smells just like Mommy!
  4. Have a set timeline for the poppet and then dispose of it.
  5. Use common sense.

If you're asking how I know this or why I felt the need to write this, just don't put your poppet in your purse. And I've been wondering why I've been feeling overwhelmed...