Friday, December 31, 2010

End of an Era

No, no, I don't mean the end of 2010, though I hear that's sometime around now. I mean sidra.vitale.net does not exist anymore, and this blog is maintained fully on blogspot.com now (see the URL above?). Why, you ask? Because this is and always has been a Blogger blog, and I used Blogger's FTP service to ftp the contents to sidra.vitale.net, which was a webhost with ftp access back-when and now keeps ftp access as some sort of legacy thing (Christ. FTP a 'legacy' thing. *shakes head* In Internet time, I'm fucking ancient.*) that's bound to die just like Blogger killed their FTP functionality last year or so, and no room/access to do something like install WordPress or MovableType. And so, there was no point to keeping it once it expired this year. And every dollar counts, you know.

I miss the innocent days of Internet's youth, I really do. Remember Gopher? Archie? Telnet? Remember Usenet? Building a computer from spare parts? (Dare I breathe the word...bboard?) Back in the halcyon days, http was one protocol among many. Wow.

Humans do tend to gravitate toward visual user interfaces, don't we? Although, texting has been giving the full-feature Internet a run for its money. It will be interesting to see what (new or existing) technology dominates in another 10-20 years.

The world has changed so much...but, *still* no flying cars. As I remarked in a recent Twitter post (speaking of the world changing), I can pretty much watch a movie anywhere in the world on a portable device of some kind, and yet, no flying car. The Future(tm) has its priorities wrong.

* Oh, don't look at me like that. If you're reading this post at all, you're most likely equally ancient in Internet time, or older. But we look *awesome* for our age, right?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Some Knob Decides to Boycott American Women

Idiot Starts Boycott of American Women.

Knock yourself out, kid. You just boycott away.

What I find interesting in his litany of complaints is essentially that American women are least likely to know that their place is to remain beauty-compliant, good cooks, and want to have (and presumably raise) gobs of kids. Because everything he's saying boils down to American Women (we are a monolithic group-mind entity, you know that, right?) acting like their needs and desires matter as much as his is offensive to his delicate masculine sensibilities. After all, to ol' Dougie here, it's not like women are real people or anything. So why do American women have to go around acting like it? What's the world coming to?!

Good luck on the boycott, Doug.

Friday, December 10, 2010

It Just Blows My Obstreperal Lobe Every Time

That you, male person in a suit jacket in a court walking purposefully with papers, assume that I, female person in a suit jacket (and, admittedly, sneakers rather than heels) in a court walking purposefully with papers, am not also a member of the ever-so-cool Lawyer Club. Just. Like. You. Only with different gonads.

This is supposed to be the twenty-first century.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

To My 4th-Grade Teacher Mr. O'Mary

Thank you, sir, for the moment when you called me aside and told me that I had very high test scores and asked me if I understood what that meant, and when I said 'no', told me the most important thing anyone in my life ever told me:

That means you can be anything you want when you grow up. You can do anything you put your mind to, that's what this means.

I say thank you, sir, for telling me that before anyone ever got to me and tried to tell me that girls can't do math. I say thank you, sir, because you believed what you said, and I believed what you said, far, far more than I believed strangers who looked at me funny for liking 'boy stuff.' I say thank you, sir, because I believe that statement circumvented a great deal of the stereotype gap for me so that I never doubted I could be a scientist if I wanted to. Not only did I believe I was as good as if not better than every man I ever met in the physics program at UC Irvine - I had my 4th-grade teacher to prove it.

I have never, in my life, questioned my ability to learn something, or be something, if I put my mind to it. Now, I *am* an INTJ, and learning things is what we do, but your simple statement codified my belief system for me at a young age, too young for me to even realize it. Well timed, sir, and well put. Thank you, sir, for helping clear my way.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Here's to Friends

Here's to friends.

And now for something completely different:

I shocked the hell out of the Tortoiseshell of Gondor the other day. Poor kitty. It all started (hey, wait, don't leave, everyone on the Internet likes cat stories, right?) while I was in the shower and I heard an odd noise, so I pulled back the curtain and the ToG was in the hall outside the bathroom, so I called her name to make sure she was OK, and when she trotted over, all "Mom's talking to me!" and reared up to put her front paws on the edge of the tub as I bent down to make eye contact with her (I'm nearsighted) she got this utterly HORRIFIED look on her face. I mean, her little kitty jaw dropped and her eyes got like saucers when she realized there was WATER coming from a THING in THE WALL. OH GOD, THE HORROR.

Needless to say, the ToG left the field of valor with some alacrity. Discretion, you know, being the better part, and all that.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

"Stop Being Such a Scientist!" - No, Stop Being Jackasses

On Living on Earth (NPR) this morning there was an interview with Randy Olson, who has written "Stop Being Such a Scientist", a book that, I understand from the interview, urges scientists to hone their communication skills and start telling stories because that's what you need to get people to understand and engage with whatever the scientific idea is.

Now, OK. Excellent idea. Scientists do need to do this. But, one of the questions asked of Olson at one point implies isn't this a condescending book, telling scientists (!) to learn how to talk down to dumb schlubs properly because the lay audience is simply that fucking stupid? Well, yeah. But here's the problem (Olson evaded this implication of the question pretty well): as long as we live in an American society that devalues and insults intelligence, you bet your ass scientists need a book to teach them how to sneak scientific knowledge into cool stories, and that such an approach is necessary. The problem isn't scientists learning how to tell cool stories, which is a skill of great value in any society because humans relate and learn through stories, but that America has raised generations of people to make fun of anyone who cares about shit enough to learn something complicated and be passionately engaged with their work, and to marginalize and ignore what they have to say.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bitch, Esq.

Given how much time I spend lamenting things, legal, feministical (that's a word, I just made it up is all) in addition to providing color commentary on life, the universe, and everything, should I change the name of this blog from ...Parenthetically Speaking to Bitch, Esq.?

Conundrums, conundrums.

Women, STRIDE!

I hate it when people shuffle, and especially that it's almost always women. It's a form of body language conveying infirmity, weakness, that the walker is unsure of their footing metaphorically as well as literally. Why do so many women do it? Because we don't know we're doing it, like so many other pieces of body language exhibited by women in this sexist society we've grown up in. We hold our arms in on the subway, too. We don't take up the bench. Because we're 'nice'. Because we're taught to defer to others, to wit, men. Because we're unsure of our position in society, so don't take up too much room, you know, or you might get slapped down by the mighty hand of the patriarchy. It's all part of the same thing, and if I see another woman shuffle down the street so fucking timidly today I may just have to kill her to put her out of my misery.

So much patriarchy to fight, so little time.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Little Things I Twitter/Plurk About Instead of Posting

Really, so much of my life gets compressed into 140 characters or less, leaving me circumscribed by an arbitrary limit (that isn't even 42, dammit) derived from text messages, which I hate *anyway*.

And so.

Point the first:

1. I have a barrelful of apples, since a half-peck of MacIntoshes were on sale at the Super 88 store the day after buying a giant bag of Galas from the Russian store on the corner, three days after buying a bag (only of 5) Braeburns from the organic farmer's market at Government Center. Yes, for a really good crisp apple, I will make a client wait on our way back to the office. I will even ask him to hold my umbrella. I have learned that lawyers must be thieves of our lives in between our lawyering, and if that means talking to my brother on the phone while waiting to go before a judge, such is life. And, oh, yes, children, I will eat these apples. For the apple is my favorite fruit, crisp and juicy with that sublime flavor of knowledge of good and evil. I may also cook some kind of apple sauce (not applesauce apple sauce, but some kind of liquidy entity with chunks of apples in it, and spices) and freeze it for those long months devoid of apples, or make a relish and pickle the heck out of some of them. Or...make an apple *curry*. Oh, small symbol of the loss of innocence, how sublimely delicious you are!
2. Fabric origami boxes! What a neat idea! fabricorigami.com. How clever. I wish I'd thought of it.
3. Funniest Thing I've Read in Weeks: translations from the feline: the flying mouse affair. Hysterical.
4. Speaking of things I wish I'd thought of, or things I wish I'd written (see #3), there's been a remarkable dearth of creativity on my part these past two years because I've been killing myself in the vain attempt to have more money. By working 2.33 jobs, also known as 2 jobs normally, 3 in the fall semester. This has now reduced to 1.33 jobs, known as 1 job normally, 2 in the fall semester. I expected my creative juices would start flowing again and make their presence known sometime after the end of the fall semester, with perhaps a lag for actual, you know, recuperation. What I have not expected is the sudden desire to do photographic projects. That's just weird. I hate taking pictures. I hate having my picture taken. I like photography, at least, in principle. Sometimes, when done by other people (Jeremy Wheaton, for one). And yet. Sudden desire to take pictures of people. And things. In very specific combinations. It's so odd.
5. Also, there have been small amounts of yoga.


Note that I have not restricted myself to 140 characters in discussing these topics. You lucky ducks.

Friday, October 08, 2010

The Number of Things About Which I am Displeased Keeps Growing

It includes things ranging from too many Dems without spines, oil creeping around in the gulf, toxic sludge elsewhere, land-based marine pollution, the need for all my income to be spent on paying off loans and credit cards when I also need it to continue working in some semblance of lawyerly attire, journalists that don't practice journalism, our broken immigration system, various other broken systems, the cat puking in areas difficult to reach to clean up (well, done, Tortoiseshell of Gondor), and today's rip in my skirt.

I am now 40, so my first post-40-birthday post should be cranky, yes? Good start.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rape Culture

I read a discussion by Christian men about how women should adjust their dress so as not to provoke their lustful desires. Now, as you can imagine, this lies with me about as well as the complementary application of the concept that if a woman dresses in a revealing fashion, she's asking to be raped. Which is, just to clarify, bull.

What I find repeatedly mind-blowing on a semi-annual basis is the idea that men are such sexual kleptomaniacs that they will, because of being overwhelmed by their lustful urges due to my wearing jeans that have stitching on the back pockets, commit a crime, and yet not be held responsible for it because we live in a world established by the Global Accords Governing Fair Use of Women. And a woman is public property, at least in the West.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Federal Judge in CA rules Prop 8 Unconstitutional

Really, you people should read judicial decisions but here's my translation of the Judge's summary of the evidence at trial and the two sides' arguments:

1. Plaintiffs (those seeking to allow same-sex marriage) offered clear arguments and expert testimony on the violations of the Constitution created by enforcing Prop 8;
2. Proponents (of banning same-sex marriage) engaged in a lot of hand-waving rather than produce actual facts in support of their case, and their proposed experts weren't credible.

As a result, Proponents "failed to build a credible factual record to support their claim that Proposition 8 served a legitimate public interest."

*reads more*

The Judge finds that Prop 8 fails both rational-basis (legitimate public interest) and strict scrutiny (narrowly tailored to a compelling government interest), violating the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment and denying plaintiffs their fundamental right to marry.

The Judge's equal protection analysis notes "[w]hen a law creates a classification
but neither targets a suspect class nor burdens a fundamental right, the court presumes the law is valid and will uphold it as long as it is rationally related to some legitimate government interest." Marriage, however, is a fundamental right.

The Judge notes further: "Most laws subject to rational basis easily survive equal protection review, because a legitimate reason can nearly always be found for treating different groups in an unequal manner. See Romer, 517 US at 633. Yet, to survive rational basis review, a law must do more than disadvantage or otherwise harm a particular group. United States Department of Agriculture v Moreno, 413 US
528, 534 (1973)."

"Plaintiffs challenge Proposition 8 as violating the Equal Protection Clause because Proposition 8 discriminates both on the basis of sex and on the basis of sexual orientation. Sexual orientation discrimination can take the form of sex discrimination."

"Having considered the evidence, the relationship between sex and sexual orientation and the fact that Proposition 8 eliminates a right only a gay man or a lesbian would
exercise, the court determines that plaintiffs’ equal protection claim is based on sexual orientation, but this claim is equivalent to a claim of discrimination based on sex."

"The trial record shows that strict scrutiny is the appropriate standard of review to apply to legislative classifications based on sexual orientation. All classifications based on sexual orientation appear suspect, as the evidence shows that California would rarely, if ever, have a reason to categorize individuals based on their sexual orientation. FF 47. Here, however, strict scrutiny is unnecessary. Proposition 8 fails to survive even rational basis review."

"[T]he state cannot have an interest in disadvantaging an unpopular minority group simply because the group is unpopular."

"The evidence shows that, by every available metric, opposite-sex couples are not better than their same-sex counterparts; instead, as partners, parents and citizens, opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples are equal. FF 47-50. Proposition 8 violates the Equal Protection Clause because it does not treat them equally."

The Judge held that Prop 8 violated both the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause, and enjoined the government defendants (that's distinct from the proponents mentioned earlier) from applying or enforcing Proposition 8.

Go forth, my friends and family in California, and wed, if you will it.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Living on Earth's (NPR) 1000th Episode

This episode includes a great history or overview of environmental politics, and a really stirring call from George Woodwell that scientists have an obligation today to be obnoxious (since simply setting forth the facts isn't being heard) to protect all people, b/c "the cost of failures...are going to be civilization itself."

The interview with Dianne Dumanoski about the "near miss" of the ozone layer hole clearly articulates the belief that the Earth was so robust there was nothing we could do harm it, which is what it used to be easy to think, even though it is demonstrably not true.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

You Are Focusing on the Wrong Thing, I Think. Literally.

It isn't that Women's Boobs Control Health, Wealth, and Earthquakes. I know, shocking. Try to control your disappointment.

It's that sexual stimulation is good for the circulation (and probably some endorphin release, too, IMO), not really that staring at boobs will extend your life. The study just reads that way.

Betcha $5 the same study of gay men would have different results.

This does, however, lay the foundation for an argument, I think, that the world really would be a better place if everyone got some every morning.

I am Furious.

GRRRRRRRR. "All Your Boobs Are Belong to Us"

I haven't read the decision, so I may have a more nuanced analysis later, but implied consent trumping an outright "no"? Are-you-shitting-me?

Any man who tries that shit on me is going to learn just how fast I can hurt him. Hint: Fast.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Big News: New Copyright Rules

Now legal in the U.S.: Jailbreaking your iPhone, ripping a DVD for educational purposes

Fair Use Legalized, Says EFF

Statement of the Librarian of Congress Relating to Section 1201 Rulemaking

The purpose of the proceeding is to determine whether current technologies that control access to copyrighted works are diminishing the ability of individuals to use works in lawful, noninfringing ways.


Cool.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Federal Judge Rules DOMA Unconstitutional

Fellow law types will get why this is important: The Judge conducted a rational-basis inquiry and found:

DOMA fails to pass constitutional muster even under the highly deferential rational basis test. As set forth in detail below, this court is convinced that 'there exists no fairly conceivable set of facts that could ground a rational relationship' between DOMA and a legitimate government objective. DOMA, therefore, violates core constitutional principles of equal protection.


Gill, et al, Summary Judgment Memorandum

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

All-Time Funny

You know, it's been 15 years and I still think my mother's response to a 1995 cover of the National Enquirer (or The Star, whichever) that informed us that the Martin Luther King Day earthquake in Northridge had

"Opened the Gates of Hell - President Puts National Guard on Alert!"

(with illustrative photo),

to wit, 'wow, this wasn't on CNN!'

is still one of the funniest things I've ever heard from anyone, anytime.

Happy birthday to a funny and much-loved lady.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Patriarchy, Thy Name is ...Everybody

Including women who should know better.

So, get this. A woman celeb gets filmed through hotel peepholes by a stalker and another woman celeb in the same industry says she asked for it by cultivating a certain fan base. That is such patriarchal bullshit my head would explode except for the fact that I've heard it so many times before.

Here's how consent works, people. If you shut your hotel door, you have an expectation of privacy in your room - it's your room, you paid for it, and you don't have to explicitly tell some possible frat-boy fan-base wanna-peep-tom that he doesn't have permission to film you through the goddamn peephole. The door, being shut, kinda covered that already. If she'd wanted an audience while changing clothes in her hotel room, she would have done it out in the goddamn hall, not behind a closed door.

Having a job that requires you to be attractive as you broadcast sports news does not change that.

Erin Andrews' Peeping Tom Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison

Monday, June 07, 2010

*A* Bhopal Verdict, But to What End?

Guilty verdicts in Bhopal gas disaster


Keshub Mahindra, current chairman of India's top utility vehicle and tractor maker Mahindra & Mahindra, was the highest ranking person convicted on Monday. He was chairman of Union Carbide India Ltd, a unit of Union Carbide, at the time of the accident.

Union Carbide's Indian arm was also found guilty.

Those convicted can appeal to a higher court, a process that in India can take years.

"It's actually going to be nothing. What is it? We're looking at maximum punishment of two years or a fine. If that's not the biggest joke, then I don't know what is," Rachna Dhingra, a Bhopal rights activist, said.

"There's nothing to be happy about."

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Man, Man, Man, Man, Man!

Welcome! To the Menaissance Festival!

*dies laughing*

I'm reminded of watching a stage production of Canterbury Tales and one woman (wife of Bath?) is singing "Amen" only it's "Aaaaaaaaaaaaa" followed by a delicious, "-Men!"

Can't remember a damn thing about that production 30 years later, but I remember that.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Awesome Article on Teens, "Fat", and Sex

On Heavy Girls and Sexy Time

I love all of it, but for those of you unable to read an Entire! Blog! Post! I quote the following:

I really hate that female desire is just completely erased in that MSNBC article. It chaps my hide something fierce. Because if it is the case that fat girls go through puberty earlier, why do we say “they grow boobs, so boys pressure them to have sex” rather than “they go through puberty, so they have sexual desire earlier than other girls.” Why was that not even thought of as an explanation? No. NOT POSSIBLE! Teenage girls? Actually wanting sex or sexual activity? No, it must be the boys who are making them do it. Puberty happens because of a rapid hormonal shift in your body. Those hormones do all kinds of things: make you grow boobs, get your period, grow body hair, and START FEELING SEXUAL DESIRE. Yes, so the girls who go through puberty earlier will start feeling sexual desire earlier than other girls. But we couldn’t possibly advance that as an explanation because if girls engage in sexytime because they want to, rather than because boys force them to, it doesn’t fit into our nice little narrative about how girls are being ruined by sex, does it?


Yeah.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Can Amaranth Fix Mexico's Dual Dietary Disasters?

Can Amaranth Fix Mexico's Dual Dietary Disasters?

The couple founded the non-governmental organisation Alternatives and Processes of Social Participation, which today is working in an area where three Mexican states converge - Puebla, Guerrero and Oaxaca - to conserve water resources and develop amaranth, a high-protein native grain.

"There was an initial agricultural investment to improve soil fertility, make compost and respect biodiversity," Hern√°ndez, director general of Alternatives, told this reporter ahead of the International Day for Biological Diversity, which is celebrated May 22.

But eventually the initiative took off. Under the organisation's supervision, the cooperative Quali has been working since 1994 to add value to certified organic amaranth grown on some 500 hectares by 1,100 farmers - indigenous Mixtecos, Popolocas and Nahuas in this semiarid region.


This is great - local development, native grain (and therefore well-suited for the climate), and high protein to help address malnutrition. I love it! Disturbing, though, that it's not seen as a success unless they're exporting to, oh, Switzerland. That seems to be buying into the U.S. homogenous, centralized-distribution food production model that encourages you to eat food from thousands of miles away as a matter of course, when, honestly, if you stop and think about it, that's pretty dumb.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

HOTD: Sitting in the Rain in Boston Public Garden

Rain plucks the pool's melody
as ducks forage. Watch!
The night surfaces.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Having Watched the New Miley Cyrus Video

When I watch a video it's often at work after hours, with no sound, since I have dialup at home and can't be bothered to watch videos online from there yet have no sound on my machine at work so can't listen from there. It's interesting, because obviously my focus is on the visual message and not the audio one, or how they mix together.

My thought on the..what's it called, Can't Be Tamed? video, is that it's a fairly accurate rendition of the Millennial or Gen X ("third wave", third+fourth, I'm not sure these days) feminist experience: Here I am breaking out of my cage, trying to do my own thing and be my own person, you can't tame me, and yet, no matter what I do or where I go, at the very end I'm still in the damn cage.

It's sad. This video, and women in general, deserve a happier ending.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Why Yes, I Am Awesome

There's a meme of sorts (not a meme. a movement.) going about the Internet that women should not be afraid to Own Our Awesome

And here's why:

Because I’m a woman, and I have accordingly been taught my entire life to view myself as lesser-than, to devalue my own accomplishments, to accept it when other people treat me as lesser-than and devalue me, which they (if they are men, especially) have been taught to do.


Well, my turn: I am awesome. I. Am. Awesome.

In 1993 I spent my summer teaching myself FORTRAN as a research assistant to the high-energy astrophysics department at UC Irvine and debugging a piece of computer code used to process data from black hole candidates. Figured out the iterative solution required, and implemented it properly. I rocked.

In 1996, I and 5 other women founded Web, by Women, for Women, a feminist anti-censorship website in direct response to the Communications Decency Act, and, a few years later, founded The 3rd WWWave of Feminism, another even more overtly feminist site talking about our experience as wired feminists. We got invited to speak at the Journalism and Women Symposium in 1998. We got mentioned in A Woman's Guide to Sex on the Web. We rocked the 'Net before most of the rest of the world got on board, and we still rock as individuals.

I write. I write well. I teach legal research and writing and am a published fiction author. Winner of the Writers of the Future contest. Know what? That fucking rocks. I fucking rock.

Last summer, in Alaska, I sang for the first time in about 25 years for my family, and the first time ever for some of the younger members of my extended family. And rocked 'em *back*, baby. (For the record, I sing every day, just not publicly. Any more. It just happened that way. People in Alaska cannot hear me singing in Boston.) 'Walking After Midnight' is my signature piece, and I killed 'em.

After being sworn in as an attorney, I represented, with my co-counsel, 26 residents of two towns south of Boston in fighting a proposed power plant in their area before the state licensing board that almost never says no...and obtained a critical 'no' to one aspect of the permitting request that may ultimately defeat the project entirely. GO US! GO ME!

The list goes on and I expect it to continue to go on.

So, Kate Harding asked, what's your power? What makes you Firstname Fucking Lastname?

I'll tell you.

You know, one time I was chatting with a friend about...something...oh, I forget, presumably some new thing I was learning or planning to, and she looked at me for a second and said, "Sidra, is there anything you *can't* do?"

And I thought about it, because it seemed like a serious question warranting a thoughtful answer, and answered, "No." There is nothing I cannot do. I may lack the talent or interest to develop genuine artistry at something, like line drawing, but anything that requires study and practice to accumulate a competency in, well, yes, yes I can. I can do that. Because I learn things, and then I build things using that knowledge. At my most fundamental, I analyse and build systems, it's a metapower, and I'm fucking good at it.

I am Sidra Fucking Vitale, and I can do anything.

Friday, May 14, 2010

For The Record - Not All Men Are Like That! - Yeah, We Know

Dear Men,

If you ever feel like saying to a woman, "not all men are like that!", I suggest you reflect on the fact that women, being well accustomed to resisting a world that insists all women be part of a monolithic bloc of pink, perfumed femininity in an attempt to express our own selves as individual human beings, we really, really, know that already.

It would be far more productive for you to instead say, in response to whatever it is you feel the driving need to distance yourself as a man from, "what a [sexist] asshole!" and actually criticize the behavior of another man instead of being so damned namby-pamby that you can't stand up to another man. Until you do, you condone men who are "like that", you demand we consume valuable time and attention soothing your ego saying "yes, yes, we know", and, in the process, you make yourself precious little better than being "like that" yourself.

HT: The Pursuit of Harpyness (awesome blog title), "Don't Tell Us."

Monday, May 10, 2010

Just a Note to Say I Love Alluringly Short

Just a quick rec for those of you who love words: Alluringly Short, by E. Mena, is an oasis. Drink deep and be refreshed, with links to work like Love Call, by Croatian poet Dubravko Deton (trans. by MiloŇ° Djurdjevic):

I will clothe myself in your voice, in your voice, and invisibly I will go out into the street. I will stand there with your voice, with your voice inside me, and houses will pass me by like tired, half-sunken steamships. And it will last a hundred years, a hundred years, until birds take over your voice, your voice, to remind me I have to move on.


Marvelous words.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Don't Ask Me To Vote For You, Then

I just read this at mysouthend.com, "Senator doesn’t agree with Leon de Judah church’s rhetoric, but supports its social services efforts" and I call bullshit.

Go read it, I'll wait. (Yes, that's my boss Mr. Ross being quoted, from my firm.)

Ready? Now then, lets address the argument:

If, as MassEquality posits, Senator Chang-Diaz's appearance at the church was an opportunity to "provid[] a witness to Leon de Judah that a progressive way of thinking about the world, and especially towards the LGBT community is ... right and just," then she needed to actually witness to Leon de Judah in order to pull that off. And there's nothing indicating that she did that, that she took advantage of the opportunity to witness and proclaim her alleged belief that you can be religious and gay-positive. (And obviously, you can, since many churches embrace their LGBT members.) So, bullshit. Because you witness by your actions, people, and her actions by attending this event without saying anything were simply "I support you", not "I love you but hate your sin of preaching against gay people."

Frankly, I'm pretty down on MassEquality for the offering this lame, after-the-fact justification for the Senator to try to use. And I'll be remembering this come donation time.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Well, what if we blame lying hypocritical men for earthquakes!

how do you like that?

Iranian cleric blames quakes on promiscuous women

For surely, lying, also being a sin, could be as much a cause of earthquakes as adultery. So, too, is slandering chaste women who are believers but indiscreet, considered a noxious thing to Muslims. Not to mention judging unjustly.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Haiku of the Day

I salute the sun
Face to the waking street. The
Cat sleeps in my way.


-- Sidra Vitale, 3/20/2010.

China as Company Town

Have just had sudden epiphany: China is the biggest company town in the world.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Iditarod Day!

It's been years since I've seen mushers start on their way or been on a dog sled myself, but no matter how far this girl goes from Alaska, you'll never take the Alaska out of the girl.

http://www.iditarod.com/ is the official site - ignore the blithering amoral twit former governor in the video.

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Saturday, February 06, 2010

Blogger Dropping FTP service

Blogger is dropping FTP service. I'm tempted to let this website fall by the wayside, because I use Blogger/FTP to update this site. We'll see.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Climate != Weather

It’s Cold and My Car is Buried in Snow. How Can Global Warming be Happening?

Easily, because climate is not the weather.

A few snow storms, cold snaps or even heat waves do not prove anything about climate change, because there is a significant difference between weather and climate. Weather is what we experience on any given day or even over a couple weeks. Climate describes a region's prevailing conditions—including such things as temperature, rainfall, wind, humidity and atmospheric pressure—over long periods of time. Climate is a good indicator of what to expect. For example, in the Midwest, one would expect cold winters. Whereas, in a Mediterranean climate, one would expect a generally milder winter.

Climate change refers to shifts in prevailing conditions observed over decades. One such shift is a long-term rise in global average temperatures. The current cold spells are occurring against this backdrop.