e_juliana: (focus)
I've had an emotionally sucktastic few days, complete with massive anxiety, catastrophizing, abandonment fears, insomnia, tears, and rage. The knowledge that this is coming to the forefront because of hormones only helps a little bit, because the anxiety is here to stay, at least until November 4th. (And if my hopes come true and the U.S. comes down for Obama, I'm going to be twitchy as fuck, just waiting for one of the racist assholes that have been getting riled up by the Republican campaign to do something monumentally fucking stupid.)

But! I saw this amazing story on Jezebel, and followed it to the original story, and I got over myself. Mostly.

The title of homecoming queen is typically reserved for the head cheerleader or student class president, but not so at one Texas high school where this year's queen saw hundreds of onlookers moved to tears as she was crowned.
Kristin Pass, 18, was named homecoming queen Friday night at her Texas High School, beating two other finalists for the crown.

"There wasn't a dry eye to be seen," said Carolyn Pass, the mother of newly crowned queen Kristin Pass, who was born with Down syndrome 18 years ago.


Read the full story, because it's kind of entirely awesome.
e_juliana: (hatehatehate)
From Wired:

Why French DSL Service Is Like a Rude French Waiter

PARIS -- France has more broadband DSL customers than most countries, including the United States. But if you happen to be one of the millions of customers having major problems with your connection, then life can be a living hell. High-tech service in France is like service in a Parisian cafe -- intermittent and snooty.

Not a day goes by when 60 Millions de Consommateurs, the French equivalent of Consumer Reports, isn't inundated with complaints from DSL subscribers about a faulty connections, abusive pricing practices or incompetent technical support. Nearly half of all complaints are DSL-related, the publication says.

"Imagine if one customer out of four complained that a bakery's bread was not fresh," the publication wrote.


The rest of the article is interesting, and the level of service described would have most Americans howling in rage. I just adore the fact that bread is held to the highest expectations in a major publication. Brilliant.

And now I want a warm roll and dark chocolate. Le yum.
e_juliana: (kickass)
Subject to every doubt that can retard
Or fling it back upon an earlier time.


There are times when I wonder if the U.S. has been dropped through a wormhole into the 1950's.

Seriously. Look at the current craze for pencil skirts and spike heels. It's illegal for perfectly loving couples to be married and to have a child in some states. The charge of "unpatriotic" is levelled against those who dare to criticise the government. Not to mention being embroiled in land wars - plural - that we are fucking up royally whilst rattling our sabres at another country. And finally -

Cross burnings in North Carolina. Fucking hell.

Don't hang back with the brutes, y'all. Just don't.

edit: There also the matter of parents being forbidden to teach their child about Wicca, which happens to be their religion, but I'm inclined to look at that as a poor ruling by an uneducated judge. Either that, or it's a test case to see if this country really can be turned into a de jure theocracy...

Huh.

Apr. 11th, 2005 09:34 am
e_juliana: (hoag's object)
Andrea Dworkin has, apparently, died. I learnt this from Susie Bright's blog, and I'm glad that I got the news from someone who had a solid perspective on her instead of the usual knee-jerk "Dworkin is a castrating bitch" summary.

Which is not to say that I agreed with all or even most of Ms. Dworkin's stances. She often made me, the queen of "can't we all just along?", quite nervous. Still, every revolution needs its radicals and its fringe shouters to draw attention to issues that most people never even thought of and to fucked-up situations that were considered the norm. I appreciated her ferocity in the times I felt as if every male I knew figured that women had acheived parity within the system and that I should stop complaining about sexism.

I did not appreciate how her blunt statements were often used as a cudgel to make more centrist women back away from feminism. "Look at Dworkin! She says penetration is rape and says she is a feminist! Therefore, every feminist is a man-hating bitch!" I did not understand how she did not turn her scathing view on those people.

Still, she had valuable things to say, and for that I appreciated her. RIP, Ms. Dworkin.
e_juliana: (kickass)
"We have to protect people"

President Bush wants 'pro-homosexual' drama banned. Gary Taylor meets the politician in charge of making it happen ...

An excerpt:

What should we do with US classics like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof or The Color Purple? "Dig a hole," Gerald Allen recommends, "and dump them in it." Don't laugh. Gerald Allen's book-burying opinions are not a joke.

Earlier this week, Allen got a call from Washington. He will be meeting with President Bush on Monday. I asked him if this was his first invitation to the White House. "Oh no," he laughs. "It's my fifth meeting with Mr Bush."

Bush is interested in Allen's opinions because Allen is an elected Republican representative in the Alabama state legislature. He is Bush's base. Last week, Bush's base introduced a bill that would ban the use of state funds to purchase any books or other materials that "promote homosexuality". Allen does not want taxpayers' money to support "positive depictions of homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle". That's why Tennessee Williams and Alice Walker have got to go.


Apparently, Bush and Co. aren't happy with denying civil rights to people not "lucky" enough to be het. Now, they seem to want to erase any mention of them onstage. What's next - banning "Will and Grace"?

Indeed.

Nov. 9th, 2004 12:36 pm
e_juliana: (yes)

YOU ARE CATNIP


What herb are you?
brought to you by Quizilla


Let's see, what else is going on?

I saw Helen Thomas speak on Friday. She was... impassioned. I quite enjoyed the talk, but about 50 people (out of 2,000) left during her remarks. Their loss. One of the women who organized the event (it was sort of a "rah-rah women" event) said that they had expected her to be more positive and talk about being a trail-blazer in the Washington press corps. I can't help but laugh and wonder exactly who they thought they were getting.

Inherit The Wind rehearsals have started. I'm trying to figure out when I can meet with my actor for Santaland Diaries.

Just trying to maintain my personal haven in the face of the national adversity.

To that end, I finally kicked my ass into running this morning, after an almost two-week hiatus. One of the hallmarks of my SAD is a week-long discombobulation following any sort of Daylight Savings adjustment. It can get nasty.

I swear, one of the best sights available in the Cities is the southwest corner of Lake of the Isles as sunrise makes its first beginnings. The midnight-blue giving way to coral sky reflected on the lake, with the Minneapolis skyline visible in the distance. So pretty.

Also speaking of pretty, we saw the Northern Lights on Sunday night!! Yay borealis!!! Zach had never seen them before, and I've missed them so. It was a pale-green curtain, just above the horizon. Lovely.


Still contemplating career moves. We shall see....

Some Links

Nov. 4th, 2004 10:24 am
e_juliana: (stare)
[livejournal.com profile] calligrafiti - A Plan for the Left

[livejournal.com profile] pix_kristin - America, Let's Just Be Friends

[livejournal.com profile] jmhm - Go Ahead and Feel Rotten

[livejournal.com profile] serasempre - A Born-Again Christian Persepective

[livejournal.com profile] paperdol - No Time For Whiners

edit

[livejournal.com profile] stephl - A Ray of Light

The person under discussion is one of the most beautifully-souled people I know. If we had more Nillys in the world, humanity would be much better off.


And finally, from [livejournal.com profile] jonquil - A Parable:

Once upon a time there was a man named John Woolman. He was a Friend, which made him quirky, but even by Friends standards he was odd. John believed with all his heart and soul that God did not approve of slavery, and John lived by his beliefs. He would not wear dyed clothes, because indigo was made by slave labor. He would not wear cotton, because cotton was grown by slaves. Year-round he wore undyed woolen clothes. Think of him as a vegan Birkenstock-wearing radical.

When John Woolman was alive, Quakers as a group were unusually wealthy -- it didn't hurt that going bankrupt could get you read out of Meeting, because it was seen as dishonesty. This meant that some Quakers owned slaves.

Every year Quakers hold a Meeting for Business. Most of the Friends I knew dreaded this meeting. Every Friend who is present and has a leading must be allowed to speak, generally at length. No decision can be reached until the meeting has a consensus, which means that every single person present accepts (or at least will not openly reject) the decision. By the time it's all over, you start wondering if you'd have been happier in a more authoritarian Church.

Every year, for years on end, John Woolman came to Meeting for Business and denounced slavery. There he was in his weird funky clothing, standing up and insisting that slavery was wrong and that the Friends should witness against it. And all the tired cranky Friends listened to him and said, "Oh, there's John again. Can we please close the meeting?"

Eventually, after years of John Woolman, the Friends denounced slavery. After that, the Society of Friends became the heart and soul of the abolitionist movement in America. And eventually slavery was made illegal.

That is the story as they tell it in Richmond, Indiana. Like any good story, it changes in the mouth of each generation. However, there are three things in the story that I know to be true.

There was once a man named John Woolman.
He fought a long and hopeless battle for justice.
He changed the world.



And my thoughts - I sincerely wish we had a viable third party. A Moderate party, drawing from the Left and the Right. But we don't, and we can't for a while. The Right is too powerful and unwilling to let go of many of its constituents. If the Left went along with this plan, it would weaken it so much that the result would effectively be a one-party system. The problem is, it's already happening to an extent. Liberal and progressive thinking are the hallmarks of my party, and that mindset is by definition open to new ideas and in favor of group action over central authority. We have organizational problems built right in.

So, the third party is not an option right now. Okay, then what? We focus on 2006. We take back Congress. We become just as loud and just as organized and just as passionately focused as our opposition.

Bruce Springsteen is right: "It is time to move forward. The country we carry in our hearts is waiting."

Let us not slide into despair. Rather, let us feel rotten and punch our pillows for a bit, and then get up, dust ourselves off, and plunge back into the fray. Once more into the breach dear friends, once more.
e_juliana: (sandman)
That's great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane and Lenny Bruce is not afraid.
Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn - world serves its own needs, dummy serve your own needs.
Feed it off a knock speak, grunt, no, strength, no, Ladder start to clatter with fear fight down height.
Wire in a fire, representing seven games, a government for hire and a combat site.
Left of west and coming in a hurry with the furies breathing down your neck.
Team by team reporters baffled, trumped, tethered cropped.
Look at that low plane! Fine, then. Uh oh, overflow, population, common food, but it'll do.
Save yourself, serve yourself. World serves its own needs, listen to your heart bleed
dummy with the rapture and the revered and the right, right.
You vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright light, feeling pretty psyched.



Bush is currently leading in Ohio by 136,221
If there are 250,000 provisional ballots outstanding. The highest number I've seen.

And 90% of those ballots are good, as they were in 2000. That leaves 225,000 votes.

If 85% of those ballots prove to be for Kerry, about the number that Gore got in 2000. That leaves us with 191,250, giving us a lead of 55,029.

If there are only 200,000 provisionals, following the same calculation would leave us with a lead of 16,779.

If the provisional ballots are only 175,000 that leaves us with a deficit of -2,346 that will leaves us in a position to get an automatic statewide recount.

Or, to put it another way, an automatic recount is triggered by a margin of 0.25% or between 13,000 and 16,000 votes.


Not done yet.

Still, it's brought home what I've been saying for the past year - this really doesn't feel like my country. Not with these results, not with democracy in action. The American people have spoken, and over half of them don't want me or my friends here.

I doubt we'll see actual civil war. It's more likely we'll see riots in the cities. As our civil liberties continue to get stripped, people will merely hide in their houses and pray for a 'strong leader'. Well, America, you voted for him. Let's see how this turns out.

Huh.

Oct. 26th, 2004 01:36 pm
e_juliana: (you rang?)
(by way of b.org)

Apparently, some groups in Chile are calling for Bush's arrest when he visits there in November. They are accusing him and his administration of war crimes and violating the Geneva convention, and have taken it to the courts in Santiago. I have no idea if anything will come of it, and I doubt that any paper in the U.S. will pick it up, but it's damn interesting.
e_juliana: (raven)
Remember Seymour Hersh? The man who broke the My Lai story, who broke Abu Ghraib? He has some things to say that everyone should hear, and he said them over 7 days ago....

The Iraq war is not winnable, a secret U.S. military unit has been "disappearing" people since December 2001, and America has no idea how irreparably its torture of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison has damaged its image in the Middle East. These were just a few of the grim pronouncements made by Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporter Seymour "Sy" Hersh to KQED host Michael Krasny before a Berkeley audience on Friday night (Oct. 8).


The Berkeley story on his talk

"You read those stories where the Americans, we take a city, we had a combat, a hundred and fifteen insurgents are killed. You read those stories. It's shades of Vietnam again, folks, body counts..."

A snippet of the transcription of his Berkeley talk.


And another link:
Entire platoon arrested for refusing to go on 'suicide mission' in Iraq.
e_juliana: (stare)
People keep saying Bush is going to win on November 2. Even people voting for Kerry are saying that. This needs to stop. Power of positive thinking, folks. If you want Kerry to win, if you honestly believe that we need him to win as the first step toward healing our country, then do the following (courtesy of somewhere in the Democratic Underground forums):

KERRY IN A LANDSLIDE KERRY IN A LANDSLIDE
I'd be the last person to suggest that the election is in the bag and we can just sit back and wait for Bush to be crushed. There's a great deal of work that must be done. But, why NOT approach the closing weeks with a unified confidence? Whenever I hear a jittery Dem concerned about 'polls' I just say: KERRY IN A LANDSLIDE. I could go into an extended explanation of 20th century polling methodology in a 21st century election. I could quote statistics on new and un-polled voters. I could point out that worrying about a NATIONAL poll is utterly pointless. But, I just say: KERRY IN A LANDSLIDE. Enough said. And, as far as kool-ade drinkers go? You can't change a 'mind' that won't engage. Screw 'em! Project unshakable confidence. KERRY IN A LANDSLIDE. Let them sputter. As far as I'm concerned, a Bush win is unworthy of consideration. KERRY IN A LANDSLIDE. Go away. The best they've got is stealing yard signs and Bush is out preaching to his so-called 'base' while real conservatives are attacking. KERRY IN A LANDSLIDE. As I say above, it doesn't mean sitting back and waiting. It does mean going into the final weeks with utter confidence that a MASSIVE TURNOUT will elect Kerry and send the chimp whimpering back to his 'ranch' an even bigger, and more miserable failure than his Poppy.


Liberals (that is NOT a curseword!) have a regrettable tendency to believe reason will triumph over emotion. In such a high-stakes game as this, it is proven not so. It may feel odd to say 'Kerry in a landslide' when the polls show a close race, but we must think positive.

Other tidbits:

Germany would consider deploying troops if 'conditions there change'

Germany might deploy troops in Iraq if conditions there change, Peter Struck, the German defence minister, indicated yesterday in a gesture that appears to provide backing for John Kerry, the US Democratic presidential challenger.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Struck departed from his government's resolve not to send troops to Iraq under any circumstances, saying:"At present I rule out the deployment of German troops in Iraq. In general, however, there is no one who can predict developments in Iraq in such a way that he could make such a binding statement ".

Mr Struck also welcomed Mr Kerry's proposal that, as president, he would convene an international conference on Iraq.

Germany would certainly attend, Mr Struck said. "This is a very sensible proposal. The situation in Iraq can only be cleared up when all those involved sit together at one table. Germany has taken on responsibilities in Iraq, including financial ones; this would naturally justify our involvement in such a conference."


Why conservatives must not vote for Bush

Quite simply, the president, despite his well-choreographed posturing, does not represent traditional conservatism -- a commitment to individual liberty, limited government, constitutional restraint and fiscal responsibility. Rather, Bush routinely puts power before principle. As Chris Vance, chairman of Washington state's Republican Party, told the Economist: "George Bush's record is not that conservative ... There's something there for everyone."

Even Bush's conservative sycophants have trouble finding policies to praise. Certainly it cannot be federal spending. In 2000 candidate Bush complained that Al Gore would "throw the budget out of balance." But the big-spending Bush administration and GOP Congress have turned a 10-year budget surplus once estimated at $5.6 trillion into an estimated $5 trillion flood of red ink. This year's deficit will run about $445 billion, according to the Office of Management and Budget.


Lastly:

The anti-Sinclair thread on DU

(And if you do like this stuff, [livejournal.com profile] jmhm does it more often and much better.)
e_juliana: (kickass)
He can even make me love Oprah. (Okay, I already respected her for the marathon thing.)

There was Oprah, doing what she does so freakishly well, cheerleading and extolling and impressing upon, getting women up and getting them angry and demanding that they exercise their hard-won right to vote and demanding that they quit dissing their feminist ancestors, the ones who worked so damn hard for suffrage and for freedom of choice and for the right to tell powerful white sexist Republican men where they can shove their repressive sexist antichoice bigotry.

This was her fabulous, much-needed message: Take your rights for granted at your peril, ladies. Move, or else. Choose how you want the laws to treat and respect you and your body -- or someone else, someone who hasn't touched a vagina for 30 years and who thinks sex is only tolerable in the dark, fully clothed and with a respectable prostitute, will choose for you.

Sound like a cliché? Same ol' quasi-feminist rally message? Not exactly. Not this time. Just imagine this:

Imagine Bush filches another election in November. Nations mourn, black clouds gather, children cry, colons spasm, the remaining shreds of the American experiment wither and die.

And within a very short time, as many as 30 U.S. states have recriminalized abortion and made repressing women and hating sex fun again, as young American females everywhere who thought their right to choose was pretty much incontrovertible and indisputable and unfailing and who therefore didn't bother to vote in '00 or '04 suddenly go, oh holy freaking hell.

Hello, 1950s. Hello, coat-hanger surgery. Hello, millions of despondent daughters of uptight parents. Hello, dead or mutilated teenage girls who suffer botched procedures. Hello, a fresh national nightmare, revisited, regurgitated, reborn. And hello again to smug right-wing males who've wanted to put women back in their place for the past 50 years. Check that: 200 years. Check that: forever.



For a nifty kit and other groovy stuff, as well as information on registering to vote, check out Smart Women Vote.

Vote or Die, women. It's starting to get that simple.
e_juliana: (sandman)
California Supreme Court Annuls San Francisco Gay Marriages.

In its decision, the court focused on whether the mayor had the authority to marry gays rather than the broader arguments of whether equal protection under the Constitution must include gay marriage. Briefs in a lawsuit raising the broader issue are expected before a lower court next month.


Dammit.
e_juliana: (kickass)
Are you registered to vote?

Are you sure?

Here's why I ask.

Apparently there are groups out there who buy copies of the voter registration rolls, then send in new registrations for registered voters giving them a new address. It's really a more sophisticated version of the whole thing with the felony lists in Florida in the last election - however, people aren't being REMOVED from the voting rolls, and hence there's no red flag being raised. After all, people DO move and send in change of address, so there's no reason for them to suspect voter fraud. And there's really no way to trace this, so there's really no way to detect this. But in effect what it means is voters are removed from the rolls - after all, if you're unknowingly registered in another precinct, how can you vote at yours? I was lucky...I have the job flexibility and transportation to go down to the election board and find out the problems, but I'm betting a lot of the other people with the same problems don't. And there are a lot - at my precinct, during the period we were at the polls, which was pretty slow, there were only about five or six people in and out, including us. And of those, me and one other guy found ourselves off the rolls, and one woman said she'd had the same thing happen to her during the 2000 presidential election and had to spend the entire day down at the election board.


I've asked my local election board, and they say that there's been no such complaints with them. However, given the current political climate, I think that being incredibly pro-active about your right to vote is a good way to go. So, call and check. Make sure you're eligible and registered properly.

And hey, if you're a recently naturalized citizen? Make sure that you are registered in the party you actually want to be in.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Dario Cruz has lived in the United States for 16 years, but just became a citizen last week as he and about 200 other immigrants were naturalized.

Dario Cruz takes citizenship oath at the University of North Florida last week.

One of the things he had always wanted to was register to vote, but when he was offered the chance to do that right outside the ceremony, he knew something wasn't right -- the place on the form where you're asked to choose Democrat, Republican or independent was already filled out.

"It's like one side," Cruz said. "You don't get to choose."

According to Cruz and his family, every form was checked off Republican.
e_juliana: (mystery)
12 reasons why gay people should not be allowed to get married
1. Homosexuality is not natural, much like eyeglasses, polyester, and birth control.

2. Heterosexual marriages are valid becasue they produce children. Infertile couples and old people can't legally get married because the world needs more children.

3. Obviously, gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

4. Straight marriage will be less meaningful if Gay marriage is allowed, since Britney Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage was meaningful.

5. Heterosexual marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are property, blacks can't marry whites, and divorce is illegal.

6. Gay marriage should be decided by people, not the courts, because the majority-elected legislatures, not courts, have historically protected the rights of the minorities.

7. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire counrty. That's why we have only one religion in America.

8. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

9. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

10. Children can never suceed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why single parents are forbidden to raise children.

11. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society. Heterosexual marriage has been around for a long time, and we could never adapt to new social norms because we haven't adapted to things like cars or longer lifespans.

12. Civil unions, providing most of the same benefits as marriage with a different name are better, because a "seperate but equal" institution is always constitutional. Seperate schools for African-Americans worked just as well as seperate marriages for gays and lesbians will.



      
Marriage is love.
e_juliana: (Default)
This is an article that the Star Tribune published on Sunday - a diary of a teacher in her third year, the year before teachers either get tenure or laid off. It is heartbreaking and incredibly well-written. If you or someone you love teaches, odds are you recognise her experiences. The Strib removes stories after a while, so I'm also putting the full text behind the cut-tag:

Welcome to my world )
e_juliana: (Default)
It's from an Tom Paine interview with Chris Hedges, who is the author of the book War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning:

There is a kind of suspension of self-criticism, both as a nation and as a person that takes place in wartime. And that’s part of what removes the anxiety of normal daily living. We’re no longer required to make moral choice. Moral choice has been made for us by the state. And to question the decisions of the state is to be branded, not only a traitor, but to be pushed outside that kind of communal entity within a society that war always creates. And that’s a very difficult, lonely and painful experience.

So most people, not necessarily because they’re bad people in any way, but most people find it emotionally far more convenient, but also far more pleasurable just to go along. The problem is, under poor leadership, or wandering into a war where we shouldn’t be, we can find ourselves in heaps of trouble.


I just wanted to remember that, since that's especially how I feel in this country these days.

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