Friday, July 30, 2010

Red, White, and Boots (What I Wore)

I am going to try and post more outfits over at Sunshine and Bones. Even though I feel super vain for doing so, my entire life is basically online so I don't see why not. Plus, I've been super inspired by fatshionista (flickr and community). Of course I don't own a lot of clothes so I don't know how often I'll be doing this, but we'll see.

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Anyhoo, I'm posting a link in case anyone is interested. Whether I'll do so every time I haven't decided yet. Why I have to over think everything I have no idea.

Female Teachers Getting a Pass

Another story about another female teacher who can't seem to get it through her freggin head that children are not appropriate sexual partners. It makes me sick. Why do we give these teachers slaps on the wrist just because they happen to have vaginas? I don't care if you're a man or a woman, if you, as a grown ass person, think a 13 year old or a 15 year old would make an attractive partner then you are sick in the head.

Excusing the behavior of these women because teenage boys aren't as harmed by unwanted sexual advances as teenage girls is ridiculous. Not only does it reinforce the idea that men (or BOYS in this case) are horn dogs who can't be sexually harassed, but it also implies that women aren't capable of being held fully responsible for their actions. Which is bull shit obviously.

I can't even write a proper post I'm so angry.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jim Webb, Hardball, and Affirmative Action

I don't really like to watch Hardball with Chris Matthews, but the guy they have hosting world news on BBC America right now bores me to tears. So last night Matthews won out and I got this little gem to show for it:




Did anyone else just feel the urge to claw someone’s eyes out? What I really want to know is why MSNBC still brings Pat Buchanan on to talk about race issues. Buchanan has shown time and time again to be a racist (not to mention the time he referred to pedophilia as “gay stuff”). For Buchanan to sit there and tell us that we have to be more moralistic and resort to an Olympic model of meritocracy is infuriating and completely unsurprising from a man who has had every opportunity available to him. White men are “diminishing?” Jesus Christ. Nothing pisses me off more than the “downtrodden white man” motif (well at least besides rape jokes).

First of all, the post Jim Webb wrote that Buchanan, Matthews, and Eugene Robinson are talking about is entitled “Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege.” Yes really. Now, no where in the article does Webb actually use the word “myth” and it’s highly likely that the editors chose the title, but it’s still not a very good way to start. Webb’s overall point though, is that many white people suffer too. Poverty isn’t a fun ride for anyone.

John Cole:
“I think a lot of people are missing where Jim Webb is coming from in his op-ed. I’m not going to defend the entire thing, but I think you need to understand that Webb comes from a portion of Appalachia where poverty is so deep, so ingrained, that the idea in those regions that there is some sort of “white privilege” is in fact laughable. To them, the privilege of chronic unemployment, life in a tarpaper shack with no medical care, food stamps but no grocery store, and not much of a future doesn’t look like that great of a deal. And you need to understand, there are a LOT of people in this situation. I regret the way the piece read, and I hate the title, but Webb is talking about addressing the deep-rooted poverty he’s seen his entire life in the back hills of VA, WVA, Kentucky, and elsewhere. I don’t find that message to be much different from the lesson Shirley Sherrod was trying to pass on regarding class v. race. In many regards, I bet Sherrod and Webb would agree.”
Webb isn’t saying that other minorities haven’t suffered (though it can kind of read that way). He’s only pointing that not all white Americans, especially Southern Americans, were sitting on their plantations eating bon-bons while their slaves worked the fields. As Webb points out, “blacks and hard-put whites [were] both dominated by white elites who manipulated racial tensions in order to retain power.” The vast majority of whites (we’re talking like 95% here) in the South never even owned slaves. Even today upper class whites are often given preference over lower class whites (a recent New York Times piece points out that a “upper-middle-class white applicant was three-times more likely to be admitted than a lower-class white with similar qualifications”). All of these are perfectly valid points and concerns Webb brings up.

But here’s where Webb drops the ball; even though the vast majority of whites in the South didn’t own slaves, Webb ignores the reality that they still benefited from the degradation of blacks. Around this time the idea that being white was something special in and of itself became very popular. Yes it was propagated by wealthy white slave owners to try and stop white indentured servants from teaming up with black slaves (like they had been doing) and to keep poverty stricken white families from fighting against the system, but none of that changes the fact that the belief that being white is some sort of accomplishment still permeates our society today. Anyone who ignores the reality that blacks were considered less then human, and that those beliefs have affected race relations in this country, is being ridiculous. There are definite class issues that need to be addressed in this country, but to turn the attention to federal programs meant to help minorities instead of the people that are benefiting from keeping the poorest class poor is not going to solve the problem.

I also have a major issue with this statement that Buchanan reiterates in the above clips:
"Those who came to this country in recent decades from Asia, Latin America and Africa did not suffer discrimination from our government, and in fact have frequently been the beneficiaries of special government programs. The same cannot be said of many hard-working white Americans, including those whose roots in America go back more than 200 years."
What is the point of this statement other to try and stoke white resentment and “other” immigrants even more so then we already do? The very language of this conversation subtly asserts that whites are more deserving of any special treatment that exists. Another statement trying to make this about immigrants:
"In an odd historical twist that all Americans see but few can understand, many programs allow recently arrived immigrants to move ahead of similarly situated whites whose families have been in the country for generations."
This is actually pretty clever on Webb’s part since shifting the attention away from blacks and onto immigrants allows him to ride the wave of resentment and entitlement a lot of people feel over immigration.

When you get to the core of it though, part of this whole debate boils down to what the purpose of affirmative action today is. Is it still to try and make up for slavery and Jim Crow laws? Is it to promote greater diversity? Is it a combination of both those things? Another question we have to ask ourselves is how much affirmative action really harms poor white men (since Webb conveniently forgets that white women have benefited the most from affirmative action). Without any numbers on the subject, which I can’t even guess how we would go about getting, all statements on the subjects are basically assumptions. Considering the overwhelming evidence that white Americans are better educated, wealthier, and live in nicer neighborhoods then other racial groups, I find it hard to believe affirmative action is this blight on our society that is keeping the white man down.

Charing Ball:
“Let’s lay out the hard facts: there are about 29.6 million small businesses in this country generating about $9 trillion in revenues. Only 7 percent are minority-owned and only 1.4 million (5 percent) of them are black owned. Another 1.7 million (6.5 percent) are Hispanic owned. They (all minority owned businesses) account for $694 billion or 7.7 percent of the overall revenues.

And what about the other facts, which Webb ignores, that shows that 73% of all college students in the US are non-Hispanic non-Jewish whites compared to the 27 percent combined college student representatives of all other races. And while 48 percent of all poor people in America are white, that percentage only accounts for 11 percent of the total white population. Compare that with the 34 percent of American blacks, the 31 percent of Hispanics and 13 percent of Asians, who are living below the poverty line."
Webb says, “Nondiscrimination laws should be applied equally among all citizens, including those who happen to be white,” but this is already the reality. Nondiscrimination laws protect everyone. (The fact minorities seem to need that protection more than whites says something about the reality of race issues in this country.) Webb can claim "these programs have damaged racial harmony" all day till he’s blue in the face but it still misses the point. (And is Webb actually saying there was great racial harmony before affirmative action?) As long as a person named "DeShawn" is less likely to get a job interview, will make less money at the job he finally does get, worry about harsher prison sentences, and have less education opportunities than a person named "Jake," affirmative action will still have a purpose in our society.

This isn’t to say that affirmative action is perfect or that whites living in poverty don’t deserve help. But to try and blame affirmative action, instead of the very system that required affirmative action be created in the first place, is short sighted and misplaced to say the least.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Americans Are Progressive On Most Issues

Last night I found myself in the presence of someone just awful and I'm still kind of pissed about it. Even worse then the fact this particular person found it necessary to make a sexist comment every chance he got and referred to President Obama as "that n*gger," was the fact he was also a cop and suffered from serious alpha male issues. Every conversation he felt the need to try and reassert his "manliness" and dominate all of those around him. It was horrible and has made me kind of stabby today.

This video is a good reminder the world isn't only filled with thoughtless jerks though:


I think I'm going to look into the polls he mentions in this video and maybe do a few posts about them. The fact there are often large discrepancies between what people actually believe and how the media portrays those views is particularly interesting to me. I'm also interested in the ways Americans aren't progressive.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Keys on Main

I've mentioned Keys on Main before (even a few times I think), but that's because it’s really the only bar I go to. I'm not a big drinker and I don't do the club thing. For me, a dueling piano bar is perfect. I can sit with my friends and have a good time without worrying about personal space issues or dealing with sloppy drunk people. Plus I'm one of those people who sings ridiculously in the car, so it all works out.

Pics from last night:

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I totally sat at random tables in order to get these pictures since there was a man sitting right in front of me ruining all my pics (I've found people are quite accommodating if you just ask). That older man with the white hair was so hilarious. He was really drunk and kept dancing and playing air guitar. He was wearing sunglasses, but one of the lenses was popped out which made it all the more funny. It was awesome.

Anyhoo, great night all around. Hope you guys have a good weekend. Cheers.

Friday, July 23, 2010

San Diego Comic Con vs. the Westboro Baptist Church

There has been a few Westboro Baptist Church counter protests recently, but none have been as entertaining as the one at the San Diego Comic Con.

From Comics Alliance:
Unbeknownst to the dastardly fanatics of the Westboro Baptist Church, the good folks of San Diego's Comic-Con were prepared for their arrival with their own special brand of superhuman counter protesting chanting "WHAT DO WE WANT" "GAY SEX" "WHEN DO WE WANT IT" "NOW!" while brandishing ironic (and some sincere) signs. Simply stated: The eclectic assembly of nerdom's finest stood and delivered.
Nerds in awesome costumes opposing the vile Westboro Baptist Church? Yes please.

Some pics:

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You can see more here, here, and here.

ShakesPalin

The "refudiate" brouhaha with Sarah Palin and how she compared herself to Shakespeare is old news by now. But you know what's even more awesome then trying to claim you're Shakespearean in your inability to speak proper English? The #ShakesPalin tweets on twitter.

My favs:

Midsummer Night's Dream:


Romeo and Juliet:


Richard III:


Hamlet:



I love it.

-via Buzzfeed

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Shirley Sherrod and Fox News

This blog could essentially be one thunderous applause for Rachel Maddow. I can't think of one time where I've watched her show and felt like she was off about something (that doesn't mean she's perfect of course). While I enjoy Keith Olbermann's shameless pretentiousness, Maddow has a solid rational presence that gives everything she says extra credibility I think. She just gives off the impression that she looks at each situation and takes the road that makes the most sense. And I can respect that.

Anyhoo, this segment last night about Shirley Sherrod and Fox News was brilliant.




Her point that the Obama Administration has allowed Fox News to have too much sway in its administration is an interesting one. I think she also clearly shows that Fox News will always try to show Obama in a negative light. I don't think this is much of a surprise to anyone, but it bears repeating.

I'm glad the White House apologized to Sherrod today and offered her a new position. Hopefully a good lesson was learned.

Maddow also talked to the NAACP President Benjamin Jealous about how this situation has attempted to stoke racial tension among white people. You can see the video here.

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Preschool Woes

As most of you know I have a son named Holden. He's four and a total monster and he's going to be starting preschool this year.

Gratuitous pictures of the most adorable thing I've ever made:

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The problem is I have no clue how I'm supposed to find a pre-school. We make too much to qualify for Head Start and I'm having difficulty finding a public school that offers pre-school (is it too much to ask that these schools update their website every few years). Considering the fact I don't even have a birth certificate for Holden, I realize I've probably dropped the ball on this one. I'm just unsure as to how I'm supposed to narrow down the options. Maybe if I knew some people with kids it wouldn't be as much of a problem, but I don't. I somehow made friends with the few childless twenty year olds Utah has to offer.

I also feel kind of panicky that I'm going to be sending him away. Even though I know it'll only be for a few hours during the week, the part that knows and the part that feels don't really match up. I also worry how he'll be with the other kids. Sometimes not having siblings really shows in the way Holden interacts with other children. (He's also bossy as all hell to the neighbors.) I sound like I'm really overprotective huh? Holden has never been with anyone other then family and the thought of just dropping him off with some stranger is a weird one. (Of course I'm not going to make a fuss about it or let my anxiety get in the way of what needs to be done.) I know everything will work out fine and that everyone has these feelings, but I hate being unsure about something. I'm only glad that Holden was born in January and had a little more time until he had to go.

Anyhoo, if you guys have any tips that could help me that would be great. I guess I could always ask my neighbors where their children went.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Week Sometime Last Month in Pictures

I posted these pictures over at Sunshine and Bones a little over a month ago. Since I don't feel like blogging too much today, I thought I would re-post them here (though I did share the second to last picture).

You're welcome.

These pictures were taken on one of the rare nice days in Utah. It was sunny, but not too hot, and everything had finally turned that really green color of the warmer months. Utah weather is far too finicky for my taste and it was nice to be outside this week.

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I finally decided to try my hand at growing herbs. Unfortunately for me, I seem to have a black thumb but so far the herbs are holding out. There is something deeply satisfying about having herbs growing on my kitchen window and being able to clip off a spring of rosemary whenever I want. Plus, buying the herbs in plant form cost less then ten cents more then buying cut herbs in the produce section. So really there's nothing to lose.