26 May 2010

Government for the racists, by the racists... wait...

I would like to take just a brief moment to thank the president for continuing to govern as though he has no spine.  In an act of blatant pandering, he has decided to send 6,000 National Guard troops to the states that share a border with Mexico, half of whom will be sent to Arizona.  

Just so we're clear, we need immigration reform, not an immigration army.  This does nothing to fix our extremely convoluted immigration system.  Not one thing.  (But this would.)  It simply lets hypocritical racists who view immigrants as aliens and not people get a victory in an election year. 

23 May 2010

Sunday news: there's a tear in my beer edition

I'm trying to spend the bulk of the weekend working on a long-overdue project that I owe to some of my crazy activist pals.  But one should always take a few moments to soak in the radiant rays of sunshine that are Sunday newspapers.  Here's a few kickers for you.
  • Dear Europe:  This is the point where you develop an affinity for sad country songs.  Save the last dance for me.
  • I'm reconsidering the issue of spawn.  Here's your one chance Fancy, don't let me down.
  • Perhaps if I weren't so cynical, I'd believe all these lines about Obama/Bush differences.  Waitin' for the love of a travelin' soldier.
  • Dear Graduates:  "entry-level" is now defined as somebody who's 35 and has an MBA.  One of these days.
And that's all she wrote.  You don't have to say you love me.  

18 May 2010

In the big rock candy mountain

Last week we took an adventure to the Jones Mountain Cabin, in celebration of my turning 27 years old.  We took the long way in, from Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park.  From there, we had to hike about 6 miles, crossing three mountains (up, down, up, down, up, down), and changing elevation from roughly 3800 feet where we started the trail to about 1500 feet at the cabin.  It took about three hours to get out there, but closer to 4 (for me) getting back.  We had to leave kinda early on Tuesday in order to avoid getting totally drenched, though it did rain pretty heavily (a cold ass rain too) the last mile or so.  

Because I assume you're bored and have nothing better do to, I present you with a few humble photos.  The trail was gorgeous the whole way, and we only saw one other person along the AT shortly after we got started.  After that, it was just us and the critters.  

 Some big rocks on the way in.  They reminded me of balls.
Elijah got to the cabin before me, and this was the scene upon my arrival.

Here's a front view.  This place was built by a moonshiner in 1908.

Looking down onto the fireplace from the upstairs loft.

 The view from Bear Rock Church on the hike back.

Nothing but untouched mountains. :)
Oh, and for those wondering about the outhouse, lack of running water, no electricity thing.  Yes, this delicate flower survived it fine.  Of course, I also avoided the outhouse since Elijah went in and came out with two ticks.  Delicate comes in handy sometimes.

17 May 2010

Filed under: things I don't understand

As the scandal around the repulsive George Rekers continues to swirl, Sean Bugg over at MetroWeekly raises a question that I share myself:  why is it that in these scandals, the powerful man who falls from grace ends up relatively unscathed, while the sex worker involved gets the short shrift? 

I don't seem to understand why people can't see sex work as legitimate work (ignoring, for a moment, that it's illegal in most places in the U.S.).  Some people do indeed choose this line of work as their preferred means to support themselves, while others find that economic hardship and systemic discrimination have limited their employment opportunities elsewhere.  Clearly there is a demand for people to do this work, and clearly there are dangers associated with partaking in it -- much moreso for the sex worker than the client.  Why can't we focus on making the work safer instead of ostracizing those who engage in it.  Moreover, why can't we do more to end the systemic discrimination issues (towards, say, transgender women of color), that make sex work the only option some folks have?

Obviously I have no answers here.  In the meantime, support groups like these friendly people.

16 May 2010

Sunday news: competence gap edition

We're here, we're queer, and...  wait, wrong speech.  This week we find ourselves, as usual, surrounded by individuals of less than stellar mental prowess.  And they run the world.  Of course...
  • How many overpaid idiots does it take to to stop a volley of crude oil shooting into the ocean?  Zero.  They're all too damn stupid to do it right, and they probably won't pay to clean up their mess.
  • Why is it that Democrats seem both spineless in governing and spineless in campaigning?  “I just think I bought the sizzle, not the steak.”  [ed. note:  I'm about as wackadoo a liberal as they come... oh, for a decent left-wing party in these United States...]
  • Do you wear lots of dress shirts and think it would be wicked kewl to design your own?  Well now you can! (Though you may want to visit the site in question when 40 million other people who just read the same article aren't there.)
  • Did you know that the WaPo is sort of stupid about the DC budget?  How about we stop shoveling money into gentrification projects (like the 5-year long "streetscape enhancement" around Columbia Heights metro and that damned stadium and the damned bougie street cars) and stop doing generally stupid things (like tearing down a school, sending the kids to a rat infested temporary school that's a hundred years old, and then spending money on "intermediate use" of the bulldozed school site because nobody ever bothered to issue an RFP for a new building or properly renovate the temporary building, like what happened to Bruce-Monroe).  Oh, and DC has the same tax rate for everyone making over $40,000/year.  How's that for progressive? 
And after all that, I got fed up and quit reading.  :)

09 May 2010

Sunday news: motherly love edition

Last Sunday happened to also be my mother's birthday, and, of course, today is a special Hallmark Holiday aimed at making mothers feel special.  I see it more as a plot by a one person to get two cards in a week.  So, here you go:  a motherload of Sunday tales to keep us all reproducing (ya know, if you want... totally cool if you don't).  

02 May 2010

Sunday news: pesky kids edition

Every now and again there's a month of Sundays (or two) wherein I don't read the news religiously, because other things are going on that require my attention.  Sometimes that's my bunny, sometimes my garden, sometimes some sort of community event/thingy, and sometimes it's just my bed.  In any event, here are some of the stories that benefited from my attention this morning.
  • Texas politics:  still weirdly entertaining.
  • Burma:  We're not tyrants anymore cuz we totally changed our clothes!
  • Annoying little twits who make less money than me party at bougie places I can't afford.  Oh, and they work at the White House, so they'll be powerful annoying little twits their whole lives (and they probably went to fancy schools and are bankrolled by their daddies).  Oh, and they wear pleated pants.
  • A friend tells me there's lots of space for a wind farm in central Illinois, and the white noise might help him sleep better.  But why do that when overconsuming fossil fuels is so much more fun?
  • Somebody please glue me to the BBC on Thursday.
And that's that.