Monday, October 31, 2005

What's the difference between a gay man and a child-molesting priest in the eyes of the Catholic church?

One goes to hell, and the other goes to a different congregation.

It's just so good to see the hypocrites fall on their faces.

Well, no, it's horrible that any of this happened. I'm glad the Catholic church is finally taking a look at the log in its own eye rather than focusing on the splinters in the eyes of everyone else.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

We don't need no water!

"If there was a realignment going on, that's now over," said John Podesta, a White House chief of staff for President Bill Clinton who is now president of the liberal Center for American Progress. "It has crashed and burned."

Burn! Burn! Burn!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Gimmie a Gun:

I have noticed that the conservative Christian agenda has been getting a lot of press lately. They're screaming about conservative judges, pushing intelligent design in schools, and basically ruining the planet.

I'd like to volunteer to do my part and knock off a few.

Ok, no I'm not serious. I plant potatoes that grow sprouts because it's "beautiful life." I am sad every time I see road-kill. We all know humans are NOT my favorite species, but they're still worth capture-neuter-releasing.

I think, in some ways, humanity would have done better if we had participated in a more restrictive breeding program. Someone should have kept the wackos from inbreeding, and maybe culled the herd a little when the fighting started. Maybe castrating a couple of the males to lessen their aggressive tendencies would have helped. There are DEFINITELY some that shouldn't have bred because of real mental problems. I'm thinking we should put them in one of those habitats where there's a giant moat separating the "special" ones from harming the rest of us. They wouldn't even see the fences!

And some people, especially a couple of politicians, should have been put to pasture before they did any more harm. We should learn from those mistakes.

This is why I stick to hedgehogs. They're so much smarter than some of the people in the news. UGH.


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Harriet Miers Withdraws!!

This has really made my morning. :) I really hated her. "Bush is the best governor ever!" Ugh, make me puke.

The only scary thing... Bush still gets to nominate another future-judge. Maybe this one will have some background in, oh, constitutional law, or at least be less in awe of a coke-snorting false prophet.

I can dream, right?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Wal-Mart and Healthcare:

There's been a lot of talk about Wal-Mart and their role in the continuing health care crisis. From my work, I've found that the most profitable corporation in the nation has average salaries below the poverty line and provides health care for fewer than 44% of their employees. Even when they DO provide health insurance, their employees face expensive premiums in relation to their low salaries and delays of 2 years for part time workers, which Wal-Mart defines as anyone working up to 36 hours per week. In light of these and other equally condemning data, Wal-Mart appears to be using its power for ill, rather than for good.

As I do fact-finding work and write reports extolling the faults of Wal-Mart, I've been trying to figure out how much I believe and how much I'm doing because it's the right political move for "our side." I have to admit, the politics behind the criticism of Wal-Mart is very complex and sometimes convoluted. There seem to be groups who want to fight Wal-Mart regardless of what the fight is about. There are some who hate "the man" and big corporations just because of what they are and their influence over access to the free market.

I, personally, am not a critic of all large business. While I do like small, local businesses because of the quality of service, the diversity they bring to the market and because of the quality employment they can provide, I think that the "market" is becoming more global and large corporations will have the initial ability to connect nations who can produce and those who will purchase. I do not, however, support businesses that take unfair advantage of a nation's poverty or powerless residents to maximize profits regardless of the costs.

I am very skeptical of Wal-Mart's innocence in the many claims brought against them in regards to employment practices, gender equality, and general honesty of business practices. I think they've been a bad, bad corporation.

I don't, however, blame Wal-Mart for not wanting to provide health insurance to its employees, though I suspect they have less than altruistic reasons for their policies. Providing health care in the current environment flat-out sucks.

That being said, Wal-Mart cannot continue lobbying against health care reform while simultaneously refusing to participate in our current system that relies on employers to provide health care. I believe strongly that all Americans deserve health care, and that providing this care will decrease bankruptcy, loss of productivity, shortened lifespan and danger of quickly spreading of communicable diseases or pandemics. Wal-Mart needs to provide health care or use its tremendous world-wide influence to bring about change in the system. In the end, it really is to the benefit of all.

The report I worked on is still in a holding pattern. Meanwhile, it appears that Wal-Mart is bending to pressure to provide better access to its health care program. This is really a dynamic and engaging issue, at least to a nerd like me.


Thursday, October 20, 2005


I'm writing a report for Wisconsin Citizen Action. Look for it in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sometime in the next week. Darcy Haber will probably be quoted or mentioned. My name, of course, will be left out. :) Somehow these sorts of things lose credibility when people find out they're written by law students...

Oh, a couple other clues to help you find it:
1. It will be about Wal-Mart and other large companies in Wisconsin
2. It will feature numbers like $33 million and $65-$130 billion
3. The author will say things like, "According to a new report from Wisconsin Citizen Action..."

Maybe I'll find it online and post a link.

I think this is the most important thing I've ever written. I even had to compile data and crunch numbers. Anyone who knows me well should know what a big deal it is for me to have crunched numbers.

Sorry I can't write more right now. Head hurts, report due in 17 hours.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I Hanker for a Hunk of Cheese!!

When I was very young there was a public service announcement mixed in with other commercials during Saturday Morning Cartoons. Timer, a cheese-curd-looking fellow, taught me that cheese can be a delicious and nutritious snack to tide me over until dinner. What a break-through! I'm sure it changed my life forever.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, is Time for Timer. Please don't sue me.

(You need RealPlayer to watch it)
New Photo Gallery:

I have decided that me and Mike are serious enough to share an online photo gallery. I know, it's a big step, but I've thought about it for, well, a couple months, and I finally feel ready!

I'll be updating the gallery with photos of me, Yoda and Lola, Mike, Life and such from time to time. I'll try to post my updates here, too. :)

So, browse and enjoy!

Friday, October 07, 2005

After so much negativity, I need to include these Ig Noble prize-winners. I'm so glad someone's studying swimming in sugar syrup!!

Ig Nobel winners

Medicine - Gregg Miller from the US for his invention of Neuticles - rubber replacement testicles for neutered dogs that are available in varying sizes and degrees of firmness. "Considering my parents thought I was an idiot when I was a kid, this is a great honour," said Mr Miller.

Peace - A UK team for their pioneering research into the activity of locusts' brain cells while the insects watched clips from the Star Wars films.

Physics - John Maidstone from Australia for his part in an experiment that began in 1927 in which a glob of black tar drips through a funnel every nine years. Mr Maidstone shared the prize with a late colleague who died sometime after the second drop.

Biology - The University of Adelaide for "painstakingly smelling and cataloguing the peculiar odours produced by 131 different species of frogs when the frogs were feeling stressed".

Chemistry - A University of Minnesota team who set out to prove whether people can swim faster in water or sugar syrup.

Economics - A Massachusetts inventor who designed an alarm clock that runs away and hides when it goes off.

Nutrition - A Japanese researcher who photographed and analysed every meal he had consumed during a period of 34 years.

Literature - The many Nigerians who introduced millions of e-mail users to a "cast of rich characters... each of whom requires just a small amount of expense money so as to obtain access to the great wealth to which they are entitled".

Agricultural History - A study entitled The Significance of Mr Richard Buckley's Exploding Trousers: Reflections on an Aspect of Technological Change in New Zealand Dairy-Farming between the World Wars.

Fluid Dynamics - Pressures Produced When Penguins Pooh - Calculations on Avian Defaecation.
Oh... My... GW???

Our President is on a mission from God.

:::Bang head against wall:::

Someone needs to tell that man that the voice in his head is really from a chip implanted there when he was high on cocaine.

Where do I even begin? This is probably the most disturbing article I've read in a long time (yes, even moreso than "partial-birth abortions"). First, I'm terrified that his justification for doing things is his radical-right religion. His God tells him to kill people? Wait, what?? Didn't Jesus have something to say about that? And God tells him to dole out judgment against those he doesn't understand? I thought that Jesus said that the blameless should throw the first stone! What happened to the REAL commandment, to LOVE eachother???

God speaks with me, too. He says people like GW are dangerous.

I think the world might be ending.
Sometimes the best thing some people can do for the world is to die.

I think it's true even if you're not a cynic like me. I mean, really, some people will never change. They will never stop causing pain wherever they go. They will never stop hating and lying and destroying everything good and beautiful around them.

I think it's the most reasonable yet slightly morbid and dark thing I've though of in a while.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

An excerpt from Trauma and Recovery:

I'm reading Trauma and Recovery, by Judith Herman, M.D. for my Psychology and the Law seminar. I came across two sections that summarize my frustrations with our society's response to sexual assault, or lack thereof. I did some cutting to keep it more or less concise. Here you go:

"Women quickly learn that rape is a crime only in theory; in practice the standard for what constitutes rape is not at the level of women's experience of violation but just above the level of coercion acceptable to men. That level turns out to be high indeed. In the words of the legal scholar Catherine MacKinnon, "Rape, from women's point of view, is not prohibited; it is regulated." Traditional legal standards recognize a crime of rape only if the perpetrator uses extreme force, which far exceeds that usually needed to terrorize a woman.

"Efforts to seek justice or redress often involve further traumatization for the legal system is often frankly hostile to rape victims. Indeed, and adversarial legal system is of necessity a hostile environment; it is organized as a battlefield in which strategies of aggressive argument and psychological attack replace those of physical force. It provides strong guarantees for the rights of the accused but essentially no guarantees for the rights of the victim. If one set out by design to devise a system for provoking intrusive post-traumatic symptoms, one could not do better than a court of law. Women who have sought justice in the legal system commonly compare this experience to being raped a second time.

"Not surprisingly, the result is that most rape victims view the formal social mechanisms of justice as closed to them, and they choose not to make any official report or complaint. Studies of rape consistently document this fact. Less than one rape in then is reported to police. Only one percent of rapes are ultimately resolved by arrest and convition of the offender. Thus, the most common trauma of women remains confined to the sphere of private life, without formal recognitions or restitution from the community. There is no public monument for rape survivors."

And that's how it is. That's how it feels. What happened to me caused deep psychological injury. It disabled me for almost three months of my life six years after the fact. I will carry scars for the rest of my life. Yet because there was no knife, because I didn't realize my injury at the time, because the law cares less about the trauma and more about protecting innocent men from being accused (and thus ruining their lives) I will never, never have justice. Our society, our system, cares nothing about people like me.

But it's all ok, because at least we don't have crazy bitches screaming "rape" anytime they want to ruin someone's life. Whew! What a relief!