Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Why what Dr. Tiller stood for - and his muder - is still relevant

As time dampens the feelings of outrage and connectedness we all felt after the murder of Dr. Tiller, the importance of bringing a stop to the dangerous rhetoric that the sorts of men like Scott Roeder and James von Brunn ascribed to becomes little more then background noise.

I cannot express how dangerous that sort of apathy is.

We must not let these situations become just another statistic or example of what’s wrong with American rightwing extremism. This time should be used rather then discarded.

What exactly needs to be done I’m not sure, but I know that doing nothing will only cause more division and more killings.

Jen Boulanger is the executive director of the Allentown Women's Center. Her piece, Come Together to Prevent My Murder, should be read by everyone.
I see a great opportunity for both sides of the issue to come together with the Obama administration to take action to prevent future violence. It is time for mainstream pro-life groups to step up and promote reasonable dialogue and stop the hateful rhetoric. At the same time, President Obama must also do more than just say he is outraged by Dr. Tiller's murder. He can work with his administration to put forth new and improved legislation that addresses the weaknesses of FACE, protects free speech, and provide local law enforcement with the ability to act quickly when protesters break the law which is often the first warning sign that violence might follow. The Obama administration needs to immediately convene pro-life groups, the Justice Department, pro-choice groups, abortion providers, and anti-violence experts to formulate a tangible plan before someone else is murdered.

There are effective solutions that both sides can agree to including safety zones around the entrances of clinics that allow patients and workers to enter and exit buildings and parking lots safely. Pro-life advocates can agree to assist law enforcement in identifying sociopaths like Scott Roeder, who have no qualms breaking laws. Restrictions on home pickets could be put into place that help protect providers who have been targeted outside of their homes. An alert system can be put in place so that authorities can act quickly to apprehend those who break laws designed to protect clinic staff and preempt any further acts. And FACE legislation can and must be improved so that there are clearer guidelines and more strict enforcement.

Dr. Tiller's murder could have been prevented. My murder can be prevented. President Obama, I need your help.
The least we can do for Jen, and women health care providers everywhere, is keep the dialogue going.

Because I can’t help but feel shameful that these sorts of pleas for help have to even be written.

Paleontologists rock my world - and lay the smack down on some creationists

I just read an interesting article, Paleontology and Creationism Meet but Don’t Mesh, over at The New York Times and I’m totally jealous. I’ve expressed my desire to go to the Creation Museum before, but I can just imagine the fun it would be to do so with a group of scientists.

(What? Your idea of a good time doesn’t involve Paleontologists and crazy religious wingnuts? You're missing out.)

Mark Lyons for The New York Times


My favorite part of the article was this:
Dr. Bengtson noted that to explain how the few species aboard the ark could have diversified to the multitude of animals alive today in only a few thousand years, the museum said simply, “God provided organisms with special tools to change rapidly.”

“Thus in one sentence they admit that evolution is real,” Dr. Bengtson said, “and that they have to invoke magic to explain how it works.”

That sentence sums up the entire problem with creationists; they can’t really explain anything. There is no science in Intelligent Design and why people prefer an arbitrary god to an arbitrary universe I’ll never know.

I also thought it was interesting that Dr. Mortenson, a lecturer and researcher for Answers in Genesis, the ministry that built and runs the Creation Museum, claimed that the reason his museum and the Paleontologists come to different conclusions is because they start with different assumptions. He says, “We will very strongly contest an evolutionist position that they are letting facts speak for themselves.”

Um, what? So basically he’s admitting they’re only looking at facts that back up their assertions and contest those that don’t.

Wow.

So check it out if you’re interested. Or don’t. Whatever. :)

[via Jezebel]

Monday, June 29, 2009

This moment calls for some tears..or at least some hair pulling

I accidentally deleted all my photos. Even though I keep separate folders for Holden and Ryan, everything else is gone.

Pictures of family, friends, pictures of every painting I've ever made, crafts I've made, pictures of myself, and tons and tons of inspiration photos are now gone. Gone.

I'm so upset I don't even feel upset.

The sad part is I backed up all the other picture files besides my own. Yes, because I'm an idiot.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A picture is worth a thousand words, but none of them are educational

There are certain iconic images or phrases that have the ability to sum up immense feelings and concepts in a single instant (great examples here).

Even though these intuitive grasp of reality can be extremely subtle, it doesn't make the statement any less powerful or the dichotomy any less glaring.

For instance, the Honduran military has exiled their democratically elected president, Manuel Zelaya, because they didn't agree with a referendum he was putting to a vote. Yet, yahoo has decided to feature a story about Shia LaBeouf and his feelings on the Wii game console.


Sometimes I just don't know what to think.

Sunday Roundup

I hope everyone's having a good Sunday.

I've got to admit I'm a little giddy because I just found out some crazy Kool aid drinking conservative whack job talked about my post, The Abortion Debate, on his blog. Even though I never said "forced-childbirth barbarians" it still makes me feel like I'm doing something right.

I mean, he actually used the words "feminist totalitarianism" and quotes Anne Coulter for Christ's sake. Though totalitarian feminist does have a special ring to it...

Random Picture:



Articles You Should Read:

1. Death by Bipartisanship

2. Banished Employee, Others Speak Out Against Abercrombie's Awfulness

3. Media Playground: Obama Calls on HuffPost, Michael Calderone Pouts, Ben Smith Calls Us Names, Dana Milbank Gets His Facts All Wrong. I know the title is ridiculously long, but I just loved reading Arianna Huffington give these boys a bitch slap. It was awesome.

4. Note to President Obama: Want to Fix the Schools? Look to Portugal!

Song/video:



Way to get people to see you as a competent thinker Meghan.

Thumbs Up:

1. A new, trans-inclusive version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) was introduced in the House Wed. by Barney Frank. Finger's crossed.

2. New measures aimed at reducing prison rapes are in the works. It's estimated that about 60,000 inmates are sexually abused each year so i couldn't be happier. Rape should never be part of a persons punishment.

People Who Get the Middle Finger:

1. Hundreds of formerly Episcopal parishes are meeting this week to unify as a new national church: the Anglican Church in North America. The catch? The group is scheduled to adopt church laws that will exclude women and homosexuals as bishops. Fuck You Angelican Church in North America.

2. Richard Nixon told a staffer that abortions were necessary in some situations. You know, like "when you have a black and a white." WOW.

3. Sorry Conservative MLA Doug Elniski, but the special STFU of the week was already taken. You're just gonna have to settle for the middle finger for telling students at their middle school graduation that, "Ladies, always smile when you walk into a room, there is nothing a man wants less than a woman scowling because he thinks he is going to get s--t for something and has no idea what."

Thanks Elniski. However would these young girls have made it in the world without your sage advice?

Special STFU of the week:

I don't think it could go to anyone but State Rep. Cynthia Davis (R-MO). In a her June newsletter she had the audacity to claim that childhood "hunger can be a positive motivator."
Who’s buying dinner? Who is getting paid to serve the meal? Churches and other non-profits can do this at no cost to the taxpayer if it is warranted. [...] Bigger governmental programs take away our connectedness to the human family, our brotherhood and our need for one another. [...] Anyone under 18 can be eligible? Can’t they get a job during the summer by the time they are 16? Hunger can be a positive motivator. What is wrong with the idea of getting a job so you can get better meals? Tip: If you work for McDonald’s, they will feed you for free during your break. [...] It really is all about increasing government spending, which means an increase in taxes for us to buy more free lunches and breakfasts.

As The Platform pointed out, a lot of the churches that provide meals are funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and last year "3.7 million meals were served by the summer feeding program at a total cost of less than $9.5 million."

I don't know about you, but that sounds like a great use of tax payer money. In fact, I think we should use the money that would go towards Davis' salary to feed even more children.

Olbermann sums it up nicely in his special way:



"Starving her brain..." Oh how I love you Olbermann.

Quote/Thought that makes me happy:
Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do. - Steve Jobs
There has never been another quote that has resonated more deeply with the core of my being more than this one. Cheesy but true.

Something you probably don’t know about me:

I'm left handed. So is President Obama. What can I say? We're both awesome. :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Daily Obsession - The Uniform Project

Ok, I'll admit it. I'm addicted to The Uniform Project.



In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, here's the rundown: Sheena Matheiken has pledged to wear one dress for one year, as an exercise in sustainable fashion.

From her page:
Here's how it works: There are 7 identical dresses, one for each day of the week. Every day I will reinvent the dress with layers, accessories and all kinds of accouterments, the majority of which will be vintage, hand-made, or hand-me-down goodies. Think of it as wearing a daily uniform with enough creative license to make it look like I just crawled out of the Marquis de Sade's boudoir...The Uniform Project is also a year-long fundraiser for the Akanksha Foundation, a grassroots movement that is revolutionizing education in India. At the end of the year, all contributions will go toward Akanksha's School Project to fund uniforms and other educational expenses for slum children in India.

Even though I realize this experiment is a little unrealistic for regular women (for one, the dresses were specially made to be worn front wards or backwards, Matheiken obviously has a closet full of things to accentuate the frocks, and she has the ability to make even the oddest outfits look good), I’m still happy we get to watch this whole thing unfold.

Plus, it’s for charity. And who doesn’t like things for charity?

Anyone can donate accessories or money to The Uniform Project and since I could use some donations myself, I’m gonna send one of my zipper hair bows. (Sorry the pictures are so crappy, but I was too lazy to bust out my camera so these are just gonna have to suffice.)





I don’t know if she’ll like it, but that’s what I got. I don’t really think anything else I make will mesh with her style. (I might also send her one of my Gerda Wegener necklaces. I don’t know. It’s kind of hard to know how people are gonna respond to them and I don’t want her to take it the wrong way.)

Anyhoo, that’s it for today. Now I’m off to alter some clothes I got at the thrift store…

Friday, June 26, 2009

My Survivor Mural Submission

I talked about the Survival Mural Project before, and I finally got around to making my submission today.

I’m really nervous about posting this for some reason. I kind of feel like I didn’t put enough effort into it or that people’s reactions might be negative. I have no idea why, that’s just how I feel.


There you have it.

At first I thought about painting something, but I’ve been uninspired lately. I also wanted to use a picture of myself because I think important issues like these should be given a face (albeit I would be lying if I didn’t admit I hope it’s not mine).

-You can find out more about the Survival Mural Project here.

Sometimes it's the little things in life

Some of you may have seen a picture of this Edward paper doll I posted on Facebook (what? you don't follow my every move? I'm crushed. Crushed I tell you).

Not gonna lie, I think it's a little creepy.


But as I was catching up on my reading, I saw this paper doll over at feministe and my first thoughts were, "now that's how you make a paper doll."


Seriously, how awesome is that? This is so much better then that Sarah Palin finger puppet I made forever ago.

I am totally gonna print this out on some cardstock right now...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Oh how the mighty have fallen

I’m having a hard time finding an interesting critical article about President Obama’s health care special last night, so I thought I would gloat over Gov. Mark Sanford’s fall from grace.

Yes I know it’s all a bit petty, but I don’t really care. So to all those sanctimonious conservatives out there, I have only one thing to say: Na na na na na.

I'm not all ashamed to admit that it makes me happy whenever any holier-than-thou person gets kicked in the face by karma. And if it happens to be a 2012 presidential hopeful, well just color me pink.

I do partly agree with Alec Baldwin (what is the world coming to?), that these sorts of situations are private affairs and we should give people their privacy. But at the same time, it’s hard to feel bad for a guy when he so willingly put himself on top of the "family values" pedestal.

I’m constantly amazed at the new heights of hypocrisy politics can bring out of people.

Conservatives are the people who exalt “traditional marriage values” above all else, but when they fall to the same "sins of the flesh" liberal men have been known to dabble in, we’re suddenly supposed to give them a free pass. How can anyone think that makes sense? (These must be the same people who didn’t see the irony in Sarah Palin having a teenage daughter that had been knocked up out of wedlock.)

We are talking about a man who said, “The issue of lying is probably the biggest harm, if you will, to the system of Democratic government, representatives government, because it undermines trust. And if you undermine trust in our system, you undermine everything,” on CNN while condemning Clinton and calling for his impeachment.

Where was his respect for privacy then?

Yes, we're all hypocrites in one way or another and maybe it's wrong to blame the whole ass backwards thinking of Christian conservative’s on the shoulder’s of men like Mark Stanford, but I don’t see anything wrong with judging a person by the standard in which they judge everyone else.

(For me, the most discerning part of this whole thing is his comments about "moral absolutes" and how "God's law indeed is there to protect you from yourself." That sort of language is always frightening.)

Ultimately, I don’t think Sanford should have to resign for making the same mistake that many people have, or will have, made themselves (though it appears some people are already calling for it within the GOP). I do think the issue of his disappearance to Buenos Aires without any word and the misappropriation of taxpayer funds should be properly explored, but I don’t doubt for a second that is being handled.

But as Carl Jeffers said, maybe Republicans should focus on their own families before they try to tell other people how to handle their own.

-Great article here about the new front runners of the GOP 2012 bid.

Can Romantic Partners Have Friends of the Opposite Sex?

I'm always annoyed with relationship articles (though why I continue to read them I'll never know). It seems like they're really only ever about three things: "training" your boyfriend, how you can change yourself for your boyfriend, or how men and women can't be friends.

(Oh, I guess I'm forgetting "75 Crazy-Hot Sex Moves." I wouldn't want to deny Cosmopolitan the credit of helping to delude people everywhere.)

When I saw this article on yahoo's homepage, I figured I'd check it out to see if they're still peddling the same lame ass information. (Hey I'm bored.)

And don't worry, they are.


Here are the "do's and don'ts" to having a friend of the opposite sex when you're in a relationship:
To beat the odds, follow these ground rules for opposite-sex friendships:

Don'ts

Tip #1. No secrets! All parties should know each other and know about the friendship. If anything should change in the friendship, your partner needs to know.
Tip #2. Time spent with the friend should never supersede time spent with your partner, unless there is a dire emergency.
Tip #3. Never make an agreement that can't be changed. The agreement should always be negotiable, so that if the friendship isn't working for your partner, it can always be modified or cancelled.
Tip #4. Never make your partner feel that he/she isn't the most important relationship to you. This is basically uncharted territory, so be aware and sensitive of your partner's feelings.
Tip #5. Never put your friend's needs first. By keeping your partner as your number-one priority, the mystery surrounding the friendship diminishes, and your partner will more likely view the friend as a real person and not just a fantasy.

Do's

Tip #6. To ensure comfort and trust, there needs to be a high level of maturity and self-esteem with all involved. Evaluate this with your partner and really talk about everyone's concerns and fears.
Tip #7. Ground rules need to be established from the beginning, i.e., what's okay and what's not for all the people involved. For instance, is it okay for the friends to get together when the partner is out of town? How much time is spent with the friend on a monthly basis? What do the friends do together? Is dancing okay? Is dinner okay? Each couple will have their own individual concerns and questions to consider.
Tip #8. Everyone needs to be in agreement that it's okay for the friendship to take place. No one should be left out of the process.
Tip #9. The person having the friendship needs to have strong, clear personal boundaries and open communication with their partner and their friend. They need to be up front at all times with their partner, letting him/her know when they're seeing their friend.
Tip #10. If the partner ever feels uncomfortable with the arrangement, he/she can speak up at any time. Their feelings and concerns need to be considered and taken seriously.

What? The only way to have a friend of the opposite sex when you’re in a relationships is if a) you’re partner agrees b) you never put your friend first c) you’re willing to cut off the friendship if your partner can’t handle it and d) you have open communication?

I’m sorry, but NO.

I agree wholeheartedly in the open communication points, but that’s because communication is the most important part of any relationship. I also agree that there should be no secrets (because you would only hide a friendship if you felt you had a reason to) and that you should promote the type of relationship where your partner does feel comfortable talking about how they feel.

That being said, I don’t agree that your partner should always come first. I know a lot of people feel this way, but I don’t and I don’t see how it’s healthy to exalt my partner over all the other people in my life. Why shouldn’t my friends be considered just as an important piece of my life as my lover? Yes, there are some situations where I think people do cross the line of appropriateness with their friendships, but I don’t think these sorts of blanket statements help or should be considered accurate.

I also don’t like the idea that if your partner doesn’t feel comfortable with your friendship that you should just sever it. Sorry, buddy. That’s not how the world works around these parts. Most of my friends are male and if my partner has a problem with that (which Ryan did for a period of time) then he’ll just have to adjust and get over it (which is exactly what happened).

I also don’t like the beginning statement that, “For most people, fear comes not from the friendship, but in keeping the friendship platonic, which can be difficult given that 90 percent of the time one of the individuals has experienced romantic feelings for his/her friend.” Is that true? I don’t think so. I can honestly say I haven’t had feelings for most of my guy’s friends.

And when I did, it was usually out of loneliness (and rum…lots and lots of rum) and not at times when I was in a relationship.

I’ll admit that it can be difficult to keep friendships platonic when you’re both single, but there is almost zero sexual tension when I’m in a relationship. I feel like articles like this are one of the reasons it’s so difficult for our partners to believe it’s simply platonic in the first place.

Maybe I’m just it blowing it out of proportion, but these sort of things really bothered me.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The media makes me want to hit things

I just read a great post over at Sociological Images about the media response of the four recently released Chinese Uighurs (pronounced “wee-gers”) from Guantanamo.

To say the reaction of some small minded ignorant individual’s pisses me off is a huge understatement. (Read this to get a good idea what I'm talking about.)


Images from USA Today


Let’s get the facts straight first: Uighurs are a minority group in China that often faces persecution for being Muslim. These men fled China as a result and were picked up by bounty hunters in Afghanistan who sold them to the U.S. military where they were subsequently sent to GITMO. We are talking about seventeen Chinese Muslims who did nothing wrong. Even the Bush administration realised they had made a mistake and cleared the Uighurs for release.

But guess what? When you imprison people for being suspected terrorists, even if they’re completely innocent, other countries aren’t gonna jump in front of one another to take them off your hands.

Finally, the island nations of Palau and Bermuda agreed to take the Uighurs off of our hands (for 2 million dollars no less), and suddenly, people decide they want to have a discussion about this. But does it have anything to do with the fact that we wrongly imprisoned seventeen men for years? Of course not. Their concern is over the idea that these men get to live in Bermuda. Bermuda for Christ sakes. What has the world come to?

I mean, the audacity of some former detainees. How dare these men enjoy an ice cream cone or a swim in the ocean. They only spent years in prison for no reason. And why is this such a big deal now? Where was this outrage when five Uighurs were released in Albania in 2006? Is it because Albania is one of Europe's poorest nations, but Palau is looked upon as some form of "paradise?" It all makes me sick.

The real question here is why couldn’t these innocent men be released in America? Oh, that’s right. We were too busy burying our heads in the sand and allowing people, like Newt Gingrich, to tell us that these men have terrorist ties and are much too dangerous to be allowed to walk the streets of small town America. Duh.

But we mustn’t ask those sorts of inquisitive questions of ourselves because if we do, then we’ll have to explain why we habitually accept our media’s part in providing a platform for people, like Newt Gingrich, to spew lies and misconceptions without holding them responsible. And we can’t have that now can we?

You can see clips here, here, and here where the media still claims that these men are terrorists. And here’s a news clip rationalizing detaining people in GITMO without due process because these four Uighurs are chubby. Incredible. I also loved this clip from The Young Turks.

World News Quiz

I just discovered this interesting World News Quiz over at the Huffington Post and I have to say I love it.

Here's the premise:
Americans are often chastised for knowing little to nothing about world affairs. Time to prove that you can do more than pick out your country on a blank map. Step right up and take HuffPost's World News Quiz. Show us your global-news prowess, compete with your friends and come back every Monday for a new edition.

And remember, you won't be able to look yourself in the mirror if your good friend Google helps you out...enjoy!

Not gonna lie, I'm a little ashamed I only got six out of ten. I read the news everyday, and HuffPost specifically, but I just had no clue about some of the questions.

The plus side though, now I know. See how that works? Brilliant.

Now I'm off to try some past tests and fill my head with more generally useless information. Feel free to do the same.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lest We Forget

As I was driving around today (or at least to the thrift store and then grocery shopping), listening to the Marilyn Manson "the best of" album Ryan had recently picked up, I realized I really like Marilyn Manson.



Marilyn Manson is one of those celebrities that people either love or hate - kind of like Paris Hilton actually - and I've noticed that a lot of people dislike him for what they think he represents more then the music he produces.

At one time I was one of those people.

I tend to hate most things that are mainstream and MM was essentially the mainstream music for non mainstream people. (Did that make sense?) It took me awhile to realize that being "anti-mainstream" can be just as disingenuous as it's counterpart.

And once I read Marilyn Manson's autobiography, I realized I had been wrong all along. Now I can honestly say MM is one of the only famous people I have any desire to ever meet.

Beyond his sparkling wit, I just really like all the different aspects to his music. "The Beautiful People" is one of my all time favorite songs.



Just more proof that you don't always think what you think you think and sometimes the person you know the least is yourself.

(Ok, I have no idea where that came from.)

Update: I just read a great interview of MM here.

Total Lady Boner

Is it weird that this picture of Michelle Obama and Maria Shriver got me a little excited?

(Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images)


I can't help it. It totally made me think naughty thoughts.

Monday, June 22, 2009

MTV's Safer Sex Ads (NSFW)

I know I'm a few days behind on this, but it bothered me so much I wanted to talk about it just in case someone hadn't yet seen it.

This is a new ad series from MTV that is supposed to promote safer sex:







WTF? Why do the people who make these ads feel the need to equate unsafe sex with violence?

I mean, I get the metaphor. It's just that the message behind "a bare penis equals a loaded gun" is really irresponsible. The people who make these ads don't even realize that they are helping to conflate the idea that the penis is a tool for violence. Not to mention they're perpetrating the idea that a woman’s body is inherently susceptible to such violence. (I'm uncomfortable with the pubescent qualities of the girl pictured as well.)

I also hate the idea that it's solely a woman's job to use protection because it then, by extension, means women are to blame when men don't use protection. It’s like a perpetual “whore of Babylon” complex that society can’t seem to let go of.

This is not how to get your point across people.

A much better example of how to promote safer sex are these ads from illustrator James Jean (who is amazing) for the French community-based organisation AIDES:



click to make larger


The difference is pretty obvious.

Not only do these ads avoid the violent message of the MTV ones, but they also send a positive message about sexual experimentation and freedom. All in all, AIDES is sending a much healthier message by not resorting to scare tactics.

This is just proof that shocking isn't always better. And sometimes something humorous will get you a lot further then something violent.

Plus I find the complete disregard for women who've experience sexual or domestic violence a bit reprehensible.

-You can also see a pretty entertaining animation video using the space/sea of body parts idea here. (I promise it'll make you smile.)

Feeling Blue

I'm feeling kind of blue today.



Probably has something to do with all the depressing ass articles I just read. Here's a few:

1. White House won't release visitor records

2. Teen Sentenced To Ten Days In Jail For Noose Attack

3. Obama, the Right and defendants' rights

4. Reggie Clemons and the Parade of Horribles

Some days it feel like there's just no winning.

sigh.

I do have to say that Obama's anti-smoking law makes me happy though.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Rainbows and 80s Music

Yesterday was one of our friend's birthday, so we decided to go to Liquid Joe's in celebration.

Photo from jotor


Liquid Joe's is a bar where different bands perform covers of 80s music. (Thursdays is 80s metal and Saturday is more 80s hits.) Ryan and I had been wanting to go for a while, so we were super excited.



The band, The Spazmatics, was really good and I didn't realize how many 80s songs I actually liked (thought it's definitely not my fav).



I drank Liquid Loves all night (pretty sure it's the same as this Jamaican Me Crazy recipe) and had fun watching our friends dance like drunken buffoons (which I mean in a good way of course).

I also made some rainbow cupcakes.




Aren't they adorable? They were a little time consuming, but totally worth it. I just can't help but be happy when I look at them.

All in all it was a bunch of fun. (Our friend Kathy did get a little excited trying to put ice down my shirt and ended up pushing me right off my stool and onto the floor. Luckily I was wearing shorts under my dress so it wasn't too embarrassing. There was also some weird guy who started dancing on me and playing with his nipples. Not gonna lie, it was kind of creepy)

So if you're ever in Utah, though I have no reason why you'd want to vacation here, make sure to stop by Liquid Joe's. I'll even go with you.

Just as long as you promise not to throw me on the floor. :)

Sunday Roundup

This week's round up is a little lacking, I know. but what can I say? The internet was holding out on me.

Random Picture:



The official portrait of the Obama family dog, "Bo", just made me melt.

Articles You Should Read:

1. Disturbing Study on Sexual Assault in South Africa

2. Is Fox News big enough for Shep Smith and Glenn Beck?

3. The Virginity Movement, Rebranded

Song/video:



Thumbs Up:

1. To all the father's of the world: thumbs up and Happy Father's Day.

People Who Get the Middle Finger:

1. Pittsburg County District Judge Thomas Bartheld who signed off on a plea deal that sent an ex-convict accused of raping a 4-year-old girl to jail for only a year.

2. A new study has found that one in four men in South Africa have admitted to rape and many confess to attacking more than one victim. (The abovementioned article is great. Check it out.)

Special STFU of the week:

Take it Bill O:



Wow. Bill O has this particular power - I think it's his super power in fact - where he can almost convince you he's sane and that you've finally found something you agree on, but then he just blows it all to hell.

Yes this man deserves more then a year in jail, but how is that related to Dr. Tiller? Dr. Tiller is behind the devaulation of children in this country? Really? By providing health services to women?

I got a tip for you Bill: Whenever you have the urge to say the words "Dr. Tiller," just shut up. Just shut the fuck up. I think it'll help.

Quote/Thought that makes me happy:
I have always regarded myself as the pillar of my life.
This is a quote by Meryl Streep. I just love it because it speaks to the heart of me since I have always felt the same. I honestly know there is nothing I can't survive (at least realistically - I'm not talking about juggling chainsaws while fighting a polar bear at the North Pole in nothing but a thong).

It's incredibly freeing.

Something you probably don’t know about me:

My brain just skips a beat sometimes, especially when it comes to names. I've straight up forgotten the names of people I've been friends with for a long ass time. It's always momentary, but I still feel like a total ass. I've even introduced Ryan as "Keith," my ex boyfriend's name.

But the worse, no doubt, has to be the time I called Keith his brother's name in the bedroom. Talk about awkward.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Senator Boxer and how too many people are missing the point

I’m always amazed at how a seemingly small situation can snow ball into a complete clusterfuck simply by the reactions it causes.

A perfect example is the Carrie Prejean situation. Her opinion that “opposite marriage” is the only type of relationship that garners “sanctity” isn’t shocking on its own. It was the consequent heralding of her as some sort of protector of Christian ideals and the backlash of such idiocy that caused such a response in people.

Another issue is with Senator Boxer's asking of Brigadier General Michael Walsh to call her “senator” instead of “ma’am.”

Here’s the video:



Can you believe the gall of this uppity bitch? How dare she politely ask to be called by her title! A man would never give in to such trivialities! Let the tar and feathering commence…

Wait a second....What about the time people were outraged, outraged I tell you, that President Bush called Pope Benedict XVI “sir” instead of the expected “His Holiness?” Or the time former President Bush scoffed a reporter for calling him "sir" - of which made so little news I couldn't even find a good link to put here?

(Oh, that's right. Men are allowed to demand while women are supposed to weakly accept...)

What a lot of people fail to realize is “ma’am” is a loaded term that is often used to demote women (similar to how “boy” is used to emasculate black men).

The reality is we live in a world where not using a woman’s title is often a deliberate attempt to be disrespectful and is probably the very reason Boxer was bothered by such disregard (example: female doctors are often called “Ms.” Or “Mrs.” while male doctors are given the respect of the title “Doctor.” Or the fact that Hillary Clinton was often referred to as “Mrs.” Instead of “Senator” while Obama was given that measure of respect reflexively). Senator Boxer has been in the senate for 17 years. If she felt the need to correct Walsh it’s probably because she felt she had good reason.

Male judges don’t hesitate to let it be known that they want to be referred to as “Your Honor,” or "Judge So and So.” Yet do we feel the need to chastise them or debate their “temperament?” No. It’s just considered respectful to use their title and within their rights to require such regard. Why isn’t it the same with women?

It should be no surprise that a woman would want to be called by her title just as much as a man would.

The problem here isn’t that General Walsh called Senator Boxer “ma’am.” In fact, it’s the standard title military personnel are taught to use. If Walsh had called the male senators “Senator such and such” and referred to Boxer as only “ma’am,” then it would have been inherently sexist. But he didn’t, so I am positive he meant no disrespect by using such titles. (That’s also obvious by the easy manner he accepted her wishes.)

The problem is that, because Boxer is a woman, her simple request to be called by her title must be evidence that she’s an uppity bitch, cuntface, Senator Dirt-bag, or any other misogynist term that can be thought of. (Just read the youtube comments to get a clear picture of the caricature Boxer has been reduced to.)

Boxer politely asked to be treated a certain way and Walsh politely agreed to do so. All this situation has shown us is that people can’t fathom the idea that a woman would stand up for herself when she is treated in a manner that bothers her.

So I applaud Senator Boxer for having the courage to ask for what she wanted and General Walsh for having the decency of character to respect her wishes.

Too bad I can't say the same for a lot of other people.

Can I lick you?

As I was looking for a specific article pertaining to a certain someone, I came across this:



I’m not one for celebrity crushes or any of that brouhaha, but WOW.

Johnny Depp can put a fire in my pants even on a bad day, but that three piece suit? Jesus.

Men in vests make me happy. Very very happy.

-via Jezebel

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Issues in Iran

I feel like a bad person because I just don’t care about Iran right now.

It’s not that I don’t feel sympathy towards the Iranians or empathize with their frustrations in having their voices choked off by an obviously rigged election.

I just don’t feel like this is an American issue.

What are we supposed to do? If Ahmadinejad remains president we are going to have to deal with him. If Moussavi becomes president we’ll have to deal with him instead. If Jesus descends from the sky followed by the four horsemen of the apocalypse we’ll…well we’ll probably all be dead.


REUTERS/Umit Bektas


AFP/Behrouz Mehri

My point is we’re going to have to try and form some kind of relationship with whoever the President of Iran may end up being. It’s not too bright to start burning bridges while the dust is still settling.

This is about Iran not America. This is their moment. Americans can do nothing but muck it up.

-I really liked what Sen. John Kerry had to say on this issue.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

If we don't stop Obama "dictatorship ... we'll lose our lives"

With the recent proof that we should be concerned over the rise of extreme rightwing violence, I don’t understand how a person can think this sort of language is acceptable.

From the post, "Stop the Dictatorship," by radio host Janet Porter [via Media Matters]:
In the same way he doesn't want to interfere with the so-called "elections" in Iran, he doesn't want to interfere with Tehran's efforts to obtain nuclear power. He'll give them until the end of the year to gain all the nuclear power they need to obtain their fundamental goal of wiping Israel off the map. But, rest assured, after that, he'll engage in some serious dialogue.

No, Obama doesn't want to dictate to other nations what they should do. Unless that nation is Israel. When it comes to Israel, he wants full dictatorship. I wouldn't be surprised if he were to appoint another unaccountable czar to rule over them.

[...]

In the same "Apology tour" highlighting America's arrogance for "dictating" policy, Obama also used his political power to try and force the European Union to admit Muslim Turkey into their midst. Thankfully, France and Germany wisely opposed his dictates.

And while we're on the subject of the arrogance of such "dictates," Obama, who said he wasn't interested in taking over the Auto industry, has done just - closing dealerships based not on their success, but on their politics. Those who opposed his candidacy are out of business, and those who gave him the most money remain open, even if their dealerships weren't successful. Auto czars and pay czars that answer to no one but the dictator in chief are making policy as we speak. They have taken over the banks, and now they want to run your health care.

This dictatorship must be stopped. And it must be stopped now. If we don't, we'll lose more than our strongest ally in the Middle East and the free market - we'll lose our lives.

Ignoring the fact that Keith Olbermann did an entire segment proving the Republican car dealership conspiracy is a complete fallacy, how can this seem okay?

She just said our lives depend on President Obama being "stopped."

wtf?

But who cares right? As long as it's not about Sarah Palin...

Ninja Tastic

Like everyone else, I'm interested to hear what President Obama plans to announce today in regards to giving some benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.

Unlike everyone else, I'm not gonna bitch about it not being enough (though I'm sure it won't be) or any other nonsense until I actually know what he's gonna do.

Instead, I am reveling in the fact Our President has ninja skills.













Take that Kim Jong-il.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I Feel Pretty

I love those days when you just feel good about yourself.

Today was one of those days for me. I just felt...pretty (as corny as it is to say).

I'm not especially insecure about my looks or think I'm ugly or anything. It's just that I've always been the "smart one" out of my friends so that's kind of how I see myself. (For the most part I'm totally cool with being average, but some days I can get in a funk - though I will always pick smart over pretty any day.)



I feel weird admitting that. I have no idea why since everyone has their days, but sometimes it feel like we don't have the freedom to be honest about our insecurities without people taking the wrong way.

But there you have it.

I hope you felt pretty too. :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

What's Making Me Happy

I feel like I’ve be bitching a little more than usual the last few weeks. And while that’s not too out of character for me, as I’ve talked about my tempestuous nature before, I do feel like I need to let my mind clear for a bit.

(Otherwise those feelings start to permeate other parts of my life and that is no good.)

So, this list of things that are making me happy should come as little surprise. I love to love things. And I love to make lists. You’re welcome.

First things first, I love the word “tempestuous.” Isn’t it just great? It’s one of those words you completely forget about until you’re in the middle of typing it. Good job fingers. Good job.

2. I just love this cover of Britney’s "Womanizer" by Franz Ferdinand. (I have to admit I actually like Britney’s version as well.) I can't help but smile when I hear it.



I also really like the American Rejects cover as well. You can listen to it here.

3. And look at this cake from Aleta Meadowlark at Omnomicon:



Isn’t it just adorable (it’s also a diet cake…go figure)?

I know I said my favorite color is white, but my second favorite color is rainbow for sure. I am going to make this in the next few days (though I’ll probably make cupcakes). It makes me happy just thinking about it.

4. I love the graphic poetry of W.C. Pelon. I have been browsing his site again today and here are three of my favorites:





You can see more of his work here.

5. Goths in Hot Weather has to be one of the silliest most awesome website I've been to in a long time. Check it out.

And that's it. Hope everyone's having a great day.

"The Regal Twelve" - pictures depicting powerfull historical women

I thought these pictures would make a nice follow up to my last post. I’ve been meaning to share them for a while, but you know how things go.

This is Alexia Sinclair’s "The Regal Twelve" series with which she won 2007's Harper's BAZAAR & Canon Fashion Photography Awards. Even though some are a little much, I think the idea is spectacular and the execution is very beautiful overall.

I found them at the website Wicked Halo (through Stumble Upon - it rocks) and here’s what the introduction said:
"The Regal Twelve" series is a suite of pictures depicting powerfull historical women combining photography, illustration, European backdrops, fashion models, historical treasures and symbolic references, digitally montaged to create works based on historical truths.

On this series, Alexia has said: "My influences range from Botticelli and de' Medici circle to contemporary couture fashion designers such as John Galliano and Alexander McQueen. All of the portraits are inspired by the styles and fashions of each monarch and are reinterpreted into a contemporary visual narrative."
Since the blog included links to all the wikipedia pages, I thought I'd do the same. (Don't feel bad. I didn't know who all of them were either.)


Elizabeth I (The Virgin Queen)



Alexandra Romanov (The Last Czarina)



Catherine the Great (The Enlightened Empress)



Elizabeth Bathory (The Countess of Blood)



Christina of Sweden (The Androgynous Queen)



Olympias (The Sorcerous)



Cleopatra (The Seductress)



Eleanor of Aquitaine (The Eagle)



Agrippina (The Poisoness)



Boudica (The Celtic Queen)



Isabella of Spain (The Catholic)



Marie Antoinette (The Extravagant Queen)


I know it’s silly, but I’m really annoyed she didn’t give Boudica red hair. I also think Christina of Sweden (my personal favorite) should have been in men’s clothing, but that’s just me nitpicking.

-You can see Alexia's whole portfolio at her website here.

Why Meghan McCains "Double Standard" is completely off

Sometimes I feel like I talk about the same issues over and over again.

Why marriage equality is a right and not a privilege. How abortion is more than just our personal opinions of right or wrong, and ultimately about whether women should have control over the autonomy of their bodies. That if a woman says “no,” no matter her manner of dress or her relationship with the perpetrator, its rape. It’s really that simple, and no matter how many people can be found to call the victim a slut, will change that. Another issue, seems to be the double standard regarding sexism in our society.

Though these days, it’s looking a little different.

I talked about the Sarah Palin vs. David Letterman issue before, but as I sit here, hearing yet another person (this time Meghan McCain with her article, “David Letterman’s Double Standard”) dressing this issue up as some kind of double standard between Republican women and Democratic women, I can’t help but feel that people are missing the point.

The double standard here isn’t among women with different politics. It’s among the same two groups, in regards to sexism and double standards, as it's always been: men and women.

The worse part about these baseless statements is that a quick Google search would have shown their allegations to be no more then hot air. The idea that Letterman “would never have considered doing the same about the daughter of a Democrat” is a complete fallacy.

Plain and simple.

Democratic Politicians, and their families, have had to deal with just as many offenses as any Republican politician. Meghan McCain’s own father, Sen. John McCain, made such a rude comment about Chelsea Clinton’s looks that he apologized to President Clinton. Chelsea was 18 at the time, the same age as Bristol. (Meghan's assumed ignorance of her own father's comments is a bit disingenuous because it shows us that either a) she didn't do even a basic search to see if the facts backed up her claims b) she's a hypocrite. Either way it makes her a bit redundant.)

Here are just a few more examples to prove my point:

- A major conservative radio host, G. Gordon Liddy, said he hoped Sotomayor’s menstruation didn’t affect her judgment.
- An “artist” put up a picture of Sasha and Malia with the words “nappy headed hoes” appearing above them.
- Michelle Obama described with the “angry black woman” stereotype or the “Obama’s Baby Mama” banner Fox used during the election.
- In another attack against Chelsea Clinton, Rush Limbaugh joked, “Everyone knows the Clintons have a cat. Socks is the White House cat. But did you know there is a White House dog?" And he puts up a picture of Chelsea Clinton. Chelsea Clinton is 13 years old.
- Nancy Pelosi being compared to Pussy Galore.
- I can list a thousand examples of Hillary Clinton having to deal with sexism, but Ed Klein’s allegation that Chelsea Clinton was conceived when Bill raped Hillary is one of the worst.

So what do these examples show us? That, ALL women who live semi-public lives have to deal with criticism and sexism from some people in the media. Both sides can keep a running list of the offenses its female politicians (and their families) have had to deal with if it makes them feel better, but it doesn’t really get us anywhere if we refuse to have an open dialog about it.

By trying to turn this into a political issue, Palin and Meghan are actually dismissing the real issue in an attempt to gain political sympathy.

I mean, does Meghan really believe that only her mother and Palin had to deal with sexism on the campaign trail? Anyone can see the idiocy in condemning the treatment of a political candidate (Palin) and the wife of a political candidate (Cindy McCain) while simultaneously ignoring the treatment of another political candidate (Hillary Clinton) and the wife of a different political candidate (Michelle Obama). Doesn’t make much sense does it?

The truth is, if you put yourself out there you are going to criticized. Palin and Meghan are being a bit hypocritical here.

Meghan attempted to use Al Gore’s son as an example, but it doesn’t really work when you compare him to Bristol Palin. Al Gore’s son wasn’t crucified because he stayed out of the lime light (I don’t even know what he looks like) while Bristol was paraded around and then chose to become the face of abstinence.

In comparison, the treatment of Bristol by the media was a lot tamer then the treatment of other young girls in the media, like Jamie Spears, or the treatment of any other young mother who doesn't have the privilege of coming from an upper class white family. (I wonder why that is? Maybe because it’s usually the right that attacks young mothers and this young mother happened to be was part of their special club? And the last time I checked, it was a member of Meghan’s own party who called her fat, not anyone from the left.)

Even Palin herself, criticized Hillary Clinton for whining about media scrutiny and stated that you “just have to plow through it.” (Not to mention Palin’s complete disregard for the fact that Obama himself said the media should back off of Bristol Plain and that he believes all “people's families are off limits” especially children.)

So what's it gonna be? Are we free to criticize everyone or are only the McCains and the Palins off limits? Are sexist comments wrong? Or are they only wrong when they're made about Republican women? Isn't that the very double-standard Palin and McCain are decrying?

Palin and McCain are right about one thing though, Letterman’s comments were sexist (And no, the same jokes wouldn’t have been made specifically about Malia and Sasha Obama. But this isn’t because they’re somehow immune to sexism because their father’s a democrat. It’s simply because the jokes wouldn’t fit, similar to the way the Palin kids won’t ever have to worry about being called “nappy headed hoes” or be compared with gorillas) and sexism against any woman, no matter her political affiliation or our personal feelings toward the woman, should be condemned.

But instead of taking this opportunity to have an honest discussion about sexism in our culture, and the impact it has on young women, the voices of the right have once again decided politics trumps rationality. They’re doing not only themselves, but all women, a huge disservice by turning this into some kind of women vs. women situation while ignoring the misogynist culture, and men, who’ve made sexist comments commonplace.

No amount of word twisting, ignorance, or misdirection is going to change the fact that this isn’t a political issue. It’s a human one.

But muddling the discourse with blatant misinformation might just make it that much easier to sweep it all under the rug.

And I don’t really see how any women, no matter what their political ideology is, benefit in that.

Side note: I also have a problem with the way Meghan refers to Letterman’s jokes as “about raping a 14 year old.” We all know this isn’t the case and I can’t help but feel it lends disingenuous feelings towards real situations of child rape. She then goes on to criticize Letterman for daring to have a political opinion, while praising Jay Leno who had made a similar joke in the past. wtf?

And I want to point out that Keith Olbermann, the poster man for the left, criticized both the joke about Sarah Palin and the treatment of Carrie Prejean in regards to the topless pictures.

-Meghan McCain Says There's A Double Standard For Republican Women, Avoids Her Father's Nasty Remarks [Jezebel]
-David Letterman’s Double Standard [The Daily Beast]
-Sexism Against Conservative Women Is Still Sexism [The Huffington Post]
-What Hillary Can Teach Sarah Palin [The Daily Beast]

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My Dream House

Is it bad that I would totally love to live in a house like this?

Ryan would probably have to get his own house, but I think it might be worth it.






I mean, who wouldn't want bows on their couch? And I am totally diggin that rose rug in the bedroom.

And don't worry, one comes in green too. (That metal kitty head on the posts is awesome!)



And I figured this guy could be my butler. Or man slave. Whatever.



-House images found here.

-Underware image found at Kitty Hell. (This site is hilarious!)