Thursday, August 04, 2005

Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons

For you are chewy and taste good dipped in chocolate.

So I went twice to the rennaisance festival this year with my child. And despite the wonder and awe that crossed her face upon occassion I was struck by the rampant materialism that had replaced the wonder and awe that I used to enjoy there. What happened to the summer days spent innocently (or not so innocently) flirting with cute men covered in dust? Where went the handing of a favor to the knight at the joust or the joy of being thrown a rose by a man on horseback? Where were the fairies running to and fro and peeking out at you from the shadows? Gone were these moments of fantasy.

My daughter's experience was a petting zoo, a butterfly ride, a short peek at a pretend knight on horseback, and a ride on the largest rocking horse ever. She was thrilled to see a climbing wall and a carosel, but did not see a fairy queen or a dragon. She was entranced by the Jacob's Ladder, offering to seperate her from 5 dollars on the off chance she could successfully climb and win twenty, but there was no garden of copper roses or groups of rennies wandering around with a lyric or lymrick. The worst moment for me was when she stopped to hear the bells from the joust arena toll the TransSiberian Orchestra's Christmas medley.

The days of yore are fading from the place that purports to keep them alive. Of course, to be fair to that fair kingdom, it could be that the magic had faded with my youth. As the parent of the small creature asking for money for drinks and snacks and rides and wooden swords, I could easily have transformed the magic of days gone by into rampant materialism on my own. Without any external changes having actually occured.
Either way, I miss the dragons.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Ecofeminism-- What the fuck is that?

Hey all! There is a growing beleif that many of the environmental issues we face could be changed for the better if we approached them in a similar way we approach the problems faced by women in our society. This is not one of those ethics of care ideologies that ask us to quit being adversarial or such, though I know those have some merit as well. Eve Online is a good place to start for info on Ecofeminism.

Have fun checking it out!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Funny yet Sad, as most of it is true.

Some Advice From Your Public Defender

Reply to:
Date: Tue Apr 26 10:49:28 2005

First, let me say I love my job and it is a privilege to work for my clients. I wish I could do more for them. That being said, there are a few things that need to be discussed.

You have the right to remain silent. So SHUT THE FUCK UP. Those cops are completely serious when they say your statements can and will be used against you. There’s just no need to babble on like it’s a drink and dial session. They are just pretending to like you and be interested in you.

When you come to court, consider your dress. If you’re charged with a DUI, don’t wear a Budweiser shirt. If you have some miscellaneous drug charge, think twice about clothing with a marijuana leaf on it or a t-shirt with the “UniBonger” on it. Long sleeves are very nice for covering tattoos and track marks. Try not to be visibly drunk when you show up.

Consider bathing and brushing your teeth. This is just as a courtesy to me who has to stand by you in court. Smoking 5 generic cigarettes to cover up your bad breath is not the same as brushing. Try not to cough and spit on my while you speak and further transmit your strep, flu, and hepatitis A through Z.

I’m a lawyer, not your fairy godmother. I probably won’t find a loophole or technicality for you, so don’t be pissed off. I didn’t beat up your girlfriend, steal that car, rob that liquor store, sell that crystal meth, or rape that 13 year old. By the time we meet, much of your fate has been sealed, so don’t be too surprised by your limited options and that I’m the one telling you about them.

Don’t think you’ll improve my interest in your case by yelling at me, telling me I’m not doing anything for you, calling me a public pretender or complaining to my supervisor. This does not inspire me, it makes me hate you and want to work with you even less.

It does not help if you leave me nine messages in 17 minutes. Especially if you leave them all on Saturday night and early Sunday morning. This just makes me want to stab you in the eye when we finally meet.

For the guys: Don’t think I’m amused when you flirt or offer to “do me.” You can’t successfully rob a convenience store, forge a signature, pawn stolen merchandise, get through a day without drinking, control your temper, or talk your way out of a routine traffic stop. I figure your performance in other areas is just as spectacular, and the thought of your shriveled unwashed body near me makes me want to kill you and then myself.

For the girls: I know your life is rougher than mine and you have no resources. I’m not going to insult you by suggesting you leave your abusive pimp/boyfriend, that you stop taking meth, or that your stop stealing shit. I do wish you’d stop beating the crap out of your kids and leaving your needles out for them to play with because you aren’t allowing them to have a life that is any better than yours.

For the morons: Your second grade teacher was right – neatness counts. Just clean up! When you rob the store, don’t leave your wallet. When you drive into the front of the bank, don’t leave the front license plate. When you rape/assault/rob a woman on the street, don’t leave behind your cell phone. After you abuse your girlfriend, don’t leave a note saying that you’re sorry.

If you are being chased by the cops and you have dope in your pocket – dump it. These cops are not geniuses. They are out of shape and want to go to Krispy Kreme and most of all go home. They will not scour the woods or the streets for your 2 grams of meth. But they will check your pockets, idiot. 2 grams is not worth six months of jail.

Don’t be offended and say you were harassed because the security was following you all over the store. Girl, you were wearing an electronic ankle bracelet with your mini skirt. And you were stealing. That’s not harassment, that’s good store security.

And those kids you churn out: how is it possible? You’re out there breeding like feral cats. What exactly is the attraction of having sex with other meth addicts? You are lacking in the most basic aspects of hygiene, deathly pale, greasy, grey-toothed, twitchy and covered with open sores. How can you be having sex? You make my baby-whoring crack head clients look positively radiant by comparison.

"I didn't put it all the way in." Not a defense.

"All the money is gone now." Not a defense

"The bitch deserved it." Not a defense.

"But that dope was so stepped on, I barely got high." Not a defense.

"She didn't look thirteen." Possibly a defense; it depends.

"She didn't look six." Never a defense, you just need to die.

For those rare clients that say thank-you, leave a voice mail, send a card or flowers, you are very welcome. I keep them all, and they keep me going more than my pitiful COLA increase.

For the idiots who ask me how I sleep at night: I sleep just fine, thank you. There's nothing wrong with any of my clients that could not have been fixed with money or the presence of at least one caring adult in their lives. But that window has closed, and that loss diminishes us all.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Free Speech and Content Discrimination

Content Discrimination is the restriction on speech based on viewpoint or ideas expressed, as opposed to regulating the time, place, and manner of speech. In order for the government to win a legal challenge in a case of content discrimination, they must prove that the restriction serves a compelling government interest. Ensuring that their President is not met with questions he is unprepared or unwilling to answer is not compelling in the eyes of the law.
Due to the growing pattern of removal of indiviudals with opposing viewpoints from publicly funded events the "Denver Three" and other victims of this discrimination have started the "Don't Privatize My Freedoms" campaign. This campaign is intended to expose the White House pattern of removing citizens from publicly funded events if there are indications they may hold opposing voewpoints. An examination of this pattern shows this issue does not solely effect young people wearing t-shirts that are intended to broadcast anti-agenda messages but also applies to teachers wearing "protect my civil liberties" shirts and college students wearing Young Democrat shirts.
This administration is engaging in content discrimination in violation of the 1st amendment, to join in support of the fight, visit and read more about the issue.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

White privilege ... a bit from my latest paper take two.

The issue of white privilege examines the things whites in our society take as a given, that minority members do not have. Many members of white society, while willing to agree that the placement of hazardous treatment facilities in communities of color is wrong, are unwilling to admit that they themselves are over-privileged just as minority members are underprivileged. By turning a blind eye to the issue of white privilege white society perpetuates the behaviors and beliefs that allow them to obtain that privilege to begin with. Peggy McIntosh identified approximately 50 privileges held by whites in our society that are not held by most minorities in her essay, “White Privilege: Unpacking the invisible Knapsack.” Some of them are directly applicable to the issues faced by communities victimized by environmental racism.

Ø If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.

Ø I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.

Ø I can be pretty sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only member of my race

Ø I can be casual about whether or not to listen to another person's voice in a group in which s/he is the only member of his/her race.

Ø I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.

Ø I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied in, rather than isolated, out-of-place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance or feared.

These privileges are a given for most members of white society. They are the every day interactions we take for granted, and as a result, we do not understand the complaints members of minority groups’ voice with regards to these interactions. There is one additional privilege missing from Ms. McIntosh’s list:

Ø I fell reasonably certain I can purchase a home in a neighborhood where there are no hazardous waste cites and feel secure the neighborhood will remain that way.

The issue of whiteness as property is another uncomfortable area to examine.

Historically, in our society, members of white society have held the majority of the political power, the land, and the military power. With that historical racial success comes an inheritance of privilege. Whiteness as property is not an examination of white society today choosing to disenfranchise minority groups but rather compares the rights and advantages members of white society have inherited from their predecessors with those inherited by minority groups. A NCES study indicates that children of parents who did not attend college are less likely to succeed in college than children whose parents did attend college. This is true even in cases where the first generation college student is given family support and encouragement. “Whether high school graduates enroll in postsecondary education and whether postsecondary students reach their degree goals depend on many factors, but those whose parents have no education beyond high school are considerably less likely to succeed than those whose parents have completed a bachelor's degree. Students who are nonwhite or from low-income families tend to be disproportionately represented among those whose parents have low education. Multivariate analysis confirms that parents' education remains significant for gaining access to postsecondary education and for persistence and bachelor's degree attainment at 4-year institutions even after controlling for other factors such as income, educational expectations, academic preparation, parental involvement, and peer influence." National Center for Education.

Members of white society are more likely to have parents who completed college than minority members. Therefore they themselves are more likely to finish college, as are their children, and their grandchildren, and so on. There are inherent benefits that come from being white and they are the privilege of belonging to a class who has historically held the power.

Few of these issues are considered socially comfortable and frank examination of the majority of them usually angers non-minority society. But despite the fact that many if not most individual whites are not racist and not actively choosing to disadvantage minority classes, our society as a whole chooses to make this small percentage of our members bear the majority of our environmental burdens. As a result, we as a society, and as individuals, have an ethical duty to examine the current system, and effect positive change to better spread the cost of our environmental excesses more evenly across all of our society members.

Monday, May 23, 2005

24 signs you have grown up

Normally I do not go in for these "10 signs your from the 80"s" types of emails but this one was so tragically true to life, I felt it needed posting. Enjoy!


1. Your houseplants are alive, and you can't smoke
any of them.
2. Having sex in a twin bed is out of the question.
3. You keep more food than beer in the fridge.
4. 6:00 AM is when you get up, not when you go to
5. You hear your favorite song on an elevator.
6. You watch the Weather Channel.
7. Your friends marry and divorce instead of hook up
and break up.
8. You go from 130 days of vacation time to 14.
9. Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as "dressed
10. You're the one calling the police because those
%&@# kids next door won't turn down the stereo.
11. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex
jokes around you.
12. You don't know what time Taco Bell closes
13. Your car insurance goes down and your car
payments go up.
14. You feed your dog Science Diet instead of
McDonald's leftovers.
15. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.
16. You no longer take naps from noon to 6 P.M.
17. Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of
the beginning of one.
18. Eating fast food at 3 A.M. would severely upset,
rather than settle, your stomach.
19. You go to the drug store for ibuprofen and
antacid, not condoms and pregnancy tests.
20. A $4.00 bottle of wine is no longer "pretty good
21. You actually eat breakfast food at breakfast
22. "I just can't drink the way I used to,"
replaces, "I'm never going
to drink that much again."
23. 90% of the time you spend in front of a computer
is for real work.
24. You drink at home to save money before going to
a bar.

Friday, May 20, 2005

The gift that never needs dusting...

It all began one year when my parents decided they did not want to give the usual christmas detritus to our family. They wanted to give gifts that meant something but would actually be more meaningful than a "deluxe car jack and emergency travel kit" or a god awful sweater that is never to be worn. They went to World Vision online and bought each of my family members a goat for christmas. We made tree ornaments to go with the gift cards and gave our family gifts that went to really needy families in underdeveloped countries. Most of our family was as excited and happy about these presents as we were, and we have been giving them to each other ever since.

I began looking at heifer international when I realized that World Vision had a less secular purpose. While I have never questioned god, I question what man teaches in her name, and had no desire to spend my money furthering those teachings. I went looking for an organization that would allow me to assist needy families in learning to better their lives without religous overtones. I found Heifer International.

Heifer International promotes an end to world hunger through a sustainable development ideology. Not only does your donation of a bee-hive go to a needy family but with it training on how to use and care for the hive. Additionally each recipient of a Heifer gift must pass another gift on to another needy family in the future. So a recipient of Rabbits must pass on two female and one male rabbit to another family.

Their program promotes a sense of community and turns recipients of charity into those able to pass along charity, a healthy and amazing transistion for these families. So for the upcoming holidays or birthdays, or for fun, buy a gift that will not sit on a high shelf in the guest bathroom or stay buried deeply within a drawer, instead, buy something from the Heifer International gift catalouge.

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