Monday, October 31, 2005

Playing Catch-up

Blog not dead, blog not dead!

I'm all moved in to my new cubicle, which is twice the size of my old cubicle. I have a PC again, and it works. I'm pissed off about this and nervous about this. I'll get back to my usual wordy self soon, I promise.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Bloke's Interruptus Mark II

I'm busy packing my desk up for my move to Mahwah. Yes, you read that right, Mahwah. Apparently it's from the Lenape word for "meeting", because it's where the Ramapo River meets something else. Not that I remember what the something else is. Anyway, if you recall, I don't want to move from the building I'm in to Mahwah, so I'm cheesed off again. I will be writing nothing interesting today, perhaps you should go read Fafblog, or Running Scared, or Blanton's and Ashton's, or something. Maybe now's the time you go check out my old defunct website, Welcome to the Church of Tami. Who knows where the future will take you!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Random Question

Am I the only one, who when she hears the phrase "culture of life", immediately pictures a Petri dish?

Is that just me?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Unpartisan Rant

I would just like to point out to you, gentle reader, that Republican and Democrat are not races of peoples, but rather political parties. They are not organized crime families, in which all members are working for the same illegal purposes.

I would also like to point out that although I am a Democrat, I do not consider members of other political parties evil. If someone truly believes that supporting fewer federal aid programs will help the country's economy, well, all I can do is disagree with them, because it seems to me that history shows otherwise. But that still doesn't make them evil.

Likewise, just because someone is a Democrat doesn't mean that they're part and parcel of a culture of corruption in the state of New Jersey.

Basically, what I'm trying to remind you all is that bad people cloak themselves in many different outer trappings. Being a particular party doesn't make you good or bad, every single person in this world is an individual, and deserves to be treated as such.

Still, if you find that you just can't get past the feeling that all Democrats in NJ are corrupt, then what about the Republicans? Are they exempt? Is the scandal breaking on the national level applicable to our local level? Can we trust that anyone who actually wants to be in power can behave morally once that power is achieved?

When someone tells me that they're voting Libertarian, I tell them that's fine with me. I've heard nothing bad about the Libertarian candidate for NJ governor, other than the silly (incomplete) statement he made about the 3 r's in the debate last week. If that man represents what you want, vote for him.

No, what I have a problem with is people who don't listen to facts and reason. I see smear campaigns and ideas with a complete lack of explanation or even credibility, and I see people blindly following the shiny campaign buttons.

Please, people, don't just believe what a campaign ad tells you. Read the papers, watch TV, and try and make a decision for yourself based on what you think the actual individuals running for office are like. Party affiliation is all well and good, but when someone isn't a good candidate, it shouldn't matter.

Rosa Parks, Civil Rights Pioneer


"We are saddened by the passing of Rosa Parks. We rejoice in her legacy, which will never die. In many ways, history is marked as before, and after, Rosa Parks," said civil rights leader Jesse Jackson.

"She sat down in order that we all might stand up, and the walls of segregation came down."

Parks was a 42-year-old seamstress for a Montgomery department store when she caught a bus in downtown Montgomery on December 1, 1955.

Three stops after she got on, a white man boarded and had to stand. To make room for him to sit alone, as the rules required, driver James Blake told Parks and three other black riders, "You all better make it light on yourselves and let me have those seats."

The other riders complied but Parks did not.

"No. I'm tired of being treated like a second-class citizen," she told Blake. Blake called police, who asked Parks why she didn't move: "I didn't think I should have to. I paid my fare like everybody else."

She paid her fare like everybody else. Take this as a metaphor, please - see if you can't try to make sure that you respect the rights of everyone else who's paid their fare. It will make the world a better place.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Pink Ribbon Challenge

You may or may not know that I'm big on cancer research and the American Cancer Society. You may or may not know that at the age of 18 I lost my mother to breast cancer. You may or may not know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Well, you know all those things, now, at least.

Please do me a favor and head on over to The Breast Cancer Site. One free click from your mouse can help provide a service that saves lives.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Never Start a Land War in Asia

And never post about abortion unless you want a lively comment area. The comments are worth reading, especially because there's someone who doesn't agree with me trying very hard to speak reasonably about it. I just don't see that enough.

Anyway, I've been crazy-busy today with work problems, and haven't had time to write more than one post. Rather than make up for it now, I thought I'd just point at a blog post I like over at the Corzine Connection: Doug Decieves on His Business Record

I found myself this morning kind of regretting that John Murphy hadn't won the Republican primary for this race; he seemed like a less frightening opponent. When I say "less frightening", I don't mean that I think his chances of winning weren't as good as Forrester's, I mean that the thought of him winning wasn't really near as scary to me.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Chapter 11, In Which I Explain It All

All right, I wrote a post that I labeled as offensive. That means that yes, I knew that what I was saying was offensive. Don't fool yourself, though, if I wanted to be really offensive, I would have used the dirty words that women aren't supposed to use. So now you know that.

Why did I resort to offensive manners, if not speech? Why did I go for the one-liner mean thing to say instead of a detailed essay explaining my point laboriously, as I am doing now? Because I was angry, and I expected people to get that.

I get angry at women who think that pro-choice laws should be taken off the books. I get angry when someone with the reproductive organs of her own that might have at some point in her life necessitated a choice tries to tell people that this choice should not be ours to make.

I will once again explain what I think that choice means - it means that you have a minimum of two options - two. If we are specifically talking about the choice to have an abortion or not have an abortion, then those are the two choices. If you find yourself newly but unwantedly pregnant, but you have religious beliefs that would prevent you from ever aborting the baby, then you may choose not to. If, say, religion doesn't play into it, but you find that suddenly you can't choose to terminate what may be a wonderful child, then you also may choose not to have an abortion. That is your business. If, however, there is a woman who finds herself expecting when she knows that she does not want a baby, for any reason at all, and she also finds that she is all right with the idea of pregnancy termination, then it is her right to choose to do so. Too poor, too young, too selfish, too tired, too sick, too single, too scared, I don't care - a woman's body is her own, and she should be able to make the choice about whether or not it bears a child.

Abortion is a serious matter, and either of the two choices will have serious consequences. I understand feeling strongly about it one way or the other. I understand having religious beliefs regarding this manner. I hit Google for the official United Methodist Church's (of which I believe Harriet Miers is a member) stance on abortion because I didn't know. I'm not a Christian, and I admit that I'm not familiar with what all the different factions believe. Well, it turns out that the UMC seems to be all right with the concept of choice, although very aware of how important a choice it is. Huh. So I guess it's not strict religious beliefs that have influenced Ms. Miers' stated position.

Well *now* I'm confused. I was all set to talk about how church and state are separated in this country, and that even if your religion is against something, someone else's may allow it, and it's at that time that we turn to the Constitution, and try and work out a way that people who live in the U.S. can choose what's right for them. The wind has completely been taken out of my sails on that one. If it's not the UMC that has Harriet Miers saying what she has said about abortion, then it must be personal choice, influenced by other factors in her life in addition to her relationship with god. Her personal choice as a citizen of the U.S., and as a woman.

When other women don't agree with me that it's a choice that someone should be allowed to make, it makes me angry. It's as if they're saying, "We, as women and human beings, are not important on our own. We must reproduce to be worth anything". It makes me feel as if they have been brain-washed into thinking that they're second class citizens. This kind of statement from someone who has supposedly been such a supporter of women's rights! It makes me even angrier if a woman past her child-bearing years says it, because it's no longer an issue that she'll ever have to wrestle with. When a woman who has no children, past her reproducing years... argh. When people try to take away the rights of other people to make choices about something they don't have to worry about, I find that extremely selfish and morally reprehensible. When I find something morally reprehensible, often times my temper gets the best of me, and I can become offensive.

Thus, we come full circle, where I feel I've given a pretty complete explanation of my previous post, and why I chose to insult the private parts of another person rather than go into detail. Insults convey anger better than this kind of wordy post ever can, plus people make it all the way to the end of an insult post.

Update: It has been pointed out to me that Ms. Miers is not a member of the UMC, she merely attended Southern Methodist University. Ms Miers, while in D.C., attends St. John's Episcopal Church.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Warning - Offensive Comment Follows

Miers backed abortion ban in 1989-Senate papers
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
U.S. Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, as a Dallas city council candidate in 1989, backed a constitutional amendment to ban abortion except when needed to save the life of the mother, according to papers provided on Tuesday to the U.S. Senate.
She probably did it because hers was already dried up and useless, even 15 years ago.

Treason Is a Serious, Serious Thing

I start each day by reading Poor Impulse Control, then Running Scared. PIC because it's just darned entertaining (What will her sister have said today? Did she talk to her daughter last night?) and Running Scared because I'm one of the authors over there, and if I don't see what the other people are writing, I might accidentally double-post. Oh, and of course all the other contributors are really good writers, that's important, too.

Today I was snagged by Jazz's post about Treason and Conspiracy at the Highest Levels. Jazz is talking about a piece on The Raw Story about a White House official "flipping" in the Plame case. The article talks a lot about Cheney being placed at meetings, but Jazz is by-passing the smaller arteries and goes straight for the jugular:
We thought Fitz was going for Cheney, but if he can place Bush at a meeting where the outing was discussed, long before Bush's categorical denial and statement that he would "get to the bottom of this" then all bets are off. If this speculation proves to be accurate, this will make Watergate look like a penny candy heist.
If indeed acts of treason have been committed by either our VP or our President, this is so serious I can't even wrap my head around it. Article II, section 4 of the U.S. Constitution says this:
Section. 4.

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Removed from office. I can't even begin to wonder what would happen. That'd be some legacy, all right.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Well *That's* Sad...

Charles Rocket, RIP.

I thought you were very funny in "Earth Girls are Easy", Charles.

Still Not Writing Original Stuff

But I'm reading it on other people's blogs. Perhaps you're familiar with the governor's race in NJ and my position regarding it. I certainly am, but that doesn't stop me from heading on over to Blanton's and Ashton's (where I'm laughingly considered a "contributor") and reading G.D. Frogsdong's opinions. Bit that I like best:
I've talked to a lot of people in the past few days in a sort of informal, unscientific poll and they all think the negative ads are so ridiculous on both sides that they have no impact.

"As Mayor of West Windsor, Doug Forrester voted to raise property taxes 200% and kill everyone's dogs. Doug Forrester, wrong for West Windsor, wrong for New Jersey, and wrong about everything since recorded history began."

"Jon Corzine voted to raise taxes 4,067,334 times in a six hour period while strangling your best friend. Jon Corzine, wrong for New Jersey, wrong for friendship, just plain freakin' wrong wrong wrong!"

Not At All Important

And yet, when I saw the photo on this MSNBC page, I was HORRIFIED. Horrified enough to share.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Chapter 10, In Which I Am In a Terrible Mood

Oh, I'm in a terrible mood. I just found out that my job is moving 29 miles north of here, and I live 28 miles south of here. I used to work up there. My first week I wrote an essay about how it sucked all the life and happiness out of me to commute to work 57 miles each way.

The gap in the polls for the NJ Governor's race is also making me dizzy with confusion. I cannot understand wanting to vote for Forrester. The man was Mayor of a town, and I really do not like the way he worked there. Corzine is a U.S. Senator, and I really do like the way he works there. Why don't people just agree with me? I'm so often right!

I'm in no mood to write. I probably shouldn't have bothered, but I missed you guys.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

NJ Gubernatorial Debate 2005 Number 2

This time, radio.

I went to what amounted to a listening party at the Stress Factory in New Brunswick. It was, in fact, a benefit for Corzine, with commentary done by Al Franken. It was interesting to learn, by the way, that live commentary at a debate that you're actually trying to listen to works very badly. I did enjoy Franken's words before and after the debate, but perhaps that exact format isn't something that should be repeated.

In fact, I missed quite a bit of the debate because of my irresistible urge to chat. It's like I've got a problem, or something. I did have a few favorite moments, and I'm recalling them mostly by reading the live blogging recount by Juan Melli at BlueJersey.

I loved the bits where the moderator would correct statements that were just wrong, like this one:
Email question: both wealthy individuals. Why take low-paying job? Will you take only $1 in salary?

Corzine: I haven't taken pay in Senate except for health benefits. Will accept a salary of $1 annually. Want job to make sure there is equal pay for equal work. All children insured.

Forrester: will donate salary to charity.

Moderator: taxpayers won't save $180,000 salary.
There was also a lot of "Is that a yes, or a no?" from Eric Scott, the moderator. That's very refreshing, really, because I really hate when the answer to a question gets lost in the cotton wool that they try to wrap their actual opinions in.

Surprising bit: both candidates said that they would sign a bill legalizing medical marijuana if it got to their desk. I'm in favor of that! I am *not* in favor of using controlled substances for recreation, but I'm absolutely in favor of allowing people in excessive pain to use prescribed drugs for relief. How is marijuana different from say, dilaudid in that manner? In my mind it's not.

Weasely bit: Forrester would *not* say the word "embryonic" when the stem-cell research issue came up. Kept hammering that he was in favor of stem cell research, but absolutely refused to say that there was a difference between adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells, even when Corzine asked him that directly.

I grudgingly admit that Forrester sounded good bit: on the question about whether or not the candidates support a new hockey arena in Newark, Forrester went in to a spiel about how doing that would be a gross misuse of Port Authority funds, and how with so many other obvious problems staring us in the face in Newark, the arena is a terrible idea. True, Corzine agreed with him, but I thought Forrester sounded good on this one.

Bit where I thought "finally!": Eminent domain came up pretty fast, with a specific question about Camden (Cramer Hill), and Forrester tried to link it to Petty's Island. Corzine actually got to state clearly that Petty's Island is not the same as the situation in Camden, it's a dump site for an oil company (Citgo), and *not* people's homes at all. Whether or not you support the project to redevelop Petty's Island, none of it involves ousting people from homes that they own.

Bit where I can't believe I didn't get it: Corzine suggested securitizing the tolls collected by the toll roads for a few years to create more profit, and I couldn't figure out what "securitizing" meant. It was as if I'd never heard the word before. It wasn't until I was driving in to work this morning when all of a sudden my brain yelled at me, "Securities! Get it, now?". Oh. Yes, I get it now.

In the end, I remain a strong Corzine supporter. I really feel that he's good at his job, and that he tries to make the country a better place to live, a great place to live. I like his work as Senator, and I believe that this would translate into me liking his work as Governor as New Jersey.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Does He Believe What He's Saying?

I mean, actually believe the contradictory horse poop that comes out of his mouth?

From Senators propose agency to help rebuild US Gulf:
Bush said he told them that, "I don't think Washington ought to dictate to New Orleans how to rebuild."

"My message to them was, we will support the plan that you develop. The point is, is that it comes from the local folks. And I recognize there's an attitude in Washington that says, we know better than the local people. That's just not the attitude I have," Bush said.
So why are all the damn reconstruction projects given out to YOUR FRIENDS?

A Situation I'd Like to Avoid

Guatemala halts recovery effort after mudslides
Hurricane Stan leaves 652 dead, 384 wounded; hundreds remain missing
GUATEMALA CITY - A Guatemalan Indian community, haunted by a government-sponsored massacre during the country's brutal civil war, refused soldiers' help Monday in recovering those killed in a week of flooding and mudslides and conducted its own searches instead.
For the record: I do not want things to get so bad here that the "regular people" don't trust the soldiers.

Also for the record: I think I might be fooling myself that it's not that way already in some area.

Monday, October 10, 2005

All on a Monday Morning

Well, Saturday night came and went. I decided I was being an idiot for being scared. Then it rained really hard and I didn't go anyway. I suck. Thanks to everyone who commented, though, it really helped to be able to discuss it. When it came right down to it, I acknowledge the fact that everything we do is dangerous - everything. It's just that it seemed to me for a short while that actually going to a place where the bomb threat was, on purpose, well, that didn't seem like it was a smart decision.

On a completely different note, this weeks Carnival is up:

On a New Jersey note: once again I found myself listening to 101.5FM and wondering why. This line brought up the question today: "Mussolini? He's been dead since 1948(sic)! Yeah? Well, he's still on the voter lists for Bergen County!" It was followed by a single person in the studio laughing, loudly. It wasn't that it was that bad of a joke, it was just the one-person laugh-track that was really creepy.

On another New Jersey note: Scott at Poetic Leanings has a good post on a recent Bob Ingle article. One of the points that Scott makes that I like best is that he's willing to condemn corruption from a Democrat just as quickly as he will from a Republican. It left me thinking about the fact that it relay seems these days that a lot of voters can't seem to distinguish between a single candidate and an entire party. I have always looked at the candidate as an individual when making up my mind who to vote for. It's an important step that I think everyone should take. Political party be damned, if someone's going to do a bad job, you should never vote for them.

In fact, if you recall, the reason I decided to back Corzine is that I went out and looked at his Senate voting record. You can go ahead and quote meaningless statistics about how many times he voted to raise taxes or against lowering them, or you can go out and look for yourself at those bills and what they actually said. When I did that, I liked what I saw, and thus, I declared my support. Whether or not every other Democrat in NJ right now is corrupt or not, I like the way that Corzine as a separate individual works. They're all separate people, and they need to be treated as such.

There you go: one post, all over the map, all on a Monday Morning.

Friday, October 7, 2005

I've Called in Chicken

A friend of mine is having a party tomorrow night, at a bar in Manhattan.

I find myself afraid to go.

I lived in Jerusalem my freshman year of college. I was in town one night when there was a grenade attack on the Wailing Wall - walking distance from where I was standing. I saw the soldiers who would normally have been standing around eating ice cream on a Saturday night all running in one direction holding rifles in both hands, instead of cones. I calmly went back home, no thought running through my mind about not going to the Wailing Wall ever again.

What was different then? Was it just that I was younger? Was it just that those places were always dangerous?

My plan for tomorrow night was to take the train into Penn Station and take the subway downtown to join my friends. I've done it dozens of times (although of late any city visits I made I usually drove in). Still, this time, I'm afraid. I have a part of my brain screaming at me that going somewhere that I don't usually go that's had a bomb threat against it in the past 24 hours is a stupid, stupid idea. This loud voice says things like no matter how unlikely it is that anything will happen to me, if it does, it will be my own damn fault. The quieter part of my brain that's trying to reasonably suggest that it is very unlikely that anything will happen to me, and I shouldn't miss this because of an expired threat is being beaten down, very effectively.

I don't want to be afraid, but I am. To put it inelegantly, this totally sucks. I wrote an email to my friend saying that I was calling in chicken.

Thursday, October 6, 2005

Al Franken Event to Support Corzine

Are you in the NY/NJ/PA area? Are you an Al Franken Fan?
Well, he's going to be at the Stress Factory in New Brunswick on Tuesday, October 11th. He'll be doing commentary on the radio debate scheduled between Jon Corzine and Doug Forrester.

This Tuesday Sen. Jon Corzine meets Doug Forrester in a live radio debate. You can listen to it yourself, or you can listen with Al Franken-- author of The Truth (with jokes).

We'll broadcast the debate over The Stress Factory Comedy Club sound system, and listen to the running commentary and comment by special guest Al Franken. Get to hear a debate like never before-- and join fellow progressives in supporting Jon Corzine and the Democratic party.
Click here to see the whole page (including ticket pricing information). I'm very excited to be going to this!

Stupid-ass Bill Idea Dropped

(hat tip: Brilliant at Breakfast)

Assisted-reproduction bill dropped
A controversial proposed bill to prohibit gays, lesbians and single people from using medical procedures to produce a child has been dropped by its legislative sponsor.
State Sen. Patricia Miller, R-Indianapolis, issued a one-sentence statement Wednesday saying: "The issue has become more complex than anticipated and will be withdrawn from consideration by the Health Finance Commission."
No kidding? More complicated than you thought?

Look the concept that people getting "vetted" for fertility treatments the way that people are for adopting babies isn't all ridiculous. There are seriously evil people out there who want children for very bad reasons - and I don't mean just because you think that no one else loves you, but your baby will. I mean very bad reasons. But the fact is that even if it were OK to do that for people who want to have a baby - and it's NOT, it wouldn't be OK to worry about what their religion or marital status is. It certainly wouldn't be OK to worry about their sexuality. This whole thing smacks so badly of xenophobia that I'm astounded her staff let her show it to anyone else.

Different does not equal bad. Get over it!

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Tropical Storm Tami

It's tropical storm Tammy, not Tami, guys.

(you're welcome)

Science Still Exists

Amidst all the politics, I caught a headline that had nothing to do with conservatives, or liberals, or religion, and only dealt with some people trying to make the earth a better place: Trio Shares Nobel Prize for Chemistry
STOCKHOLM, Sweden - France's Yves Chauvin and Americans Robert H. Grubbs and Richard R. Schrock won the 2005 Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday, for their work to reduce hazardous waste in forming new chemicals.
Nice to know that even though this stuff used to be happening in the U.S., at least it's happening somewhere, you know?

Monday, October 3, 2005

Thoughts for a Monday Morning

It's Rosh Hashana tomorrow - expect no blogging from this particular Jew for at least a day. I may blog Wednesday, I'm not exactly orthodox.

The is up over at The Center of NJ Life.

It bothers the hell out of me that someone who has never been a judge is nominated to be a Supreme Court justice. (See also, Running Scared).

Finally, a blogthing that was sent to me, "What's your inner European". Oddly, mine is the same as my outer one.

Your Inner European is Russian!

Mysterious and exotic.
You've got a great balance of danger and allure.