DOMA. Prop 8. NBD.

I get that everyone’s all excited about SCOTUS repealing these laws as unconstitutional, but c’mon. Really?

These laws were unconstitutional. Of COURSE they were going to get stuck down. I’m surprised Americans didn’t have more faith in our Supreme Court.

I mean, if I can tell something is unconstitutional, then how could ppl who’ve studied the Constitution should be able to tell.

So, of course it was going to be struck down.

NBD.

Howevers – gentle reminder [ahem, to prod your reps] that it is still legal to fire someone simply because they are lgbt.

Employment-Discrimination-Maps

Hipster Book Quotes

I’m pimping a blog today. I just discovered Hipster Book Quotes. It makes me want to read more! I actually discovered it through Better World Books’ facebook page.

Better World Books: It’s a pretty awesome online bookstore. Basically, everytime you buy a book online through them, they’ll donate a book. I saw a “buy 3, and they’ll donate 6″ deal too! Pretty cool. They are so cool, & I kinda want to pimp them too, but there’s SO MUCH to say about them! So, I present to you this screenshot of their home page (links to them too):

And here’s the link to Hipster Book Quotes, complete w/ a sampling of what they offer. Hipster pictures w/ great quotes from books! Hence the name. (picture links to their site)

bully the movie

There’s a new movie coming out, “Bully”.

It’s gotten an “R” rating by the Motion Picture Association of America, ONLY due to the usage of the “F-word” in this film. But the words used are those of children, ages 11-17, told to other children. There are much more violent & adult-themed movies given a rating of PG-13.

But this movie, one that should prob be shown in schools, one that is teaching our youth of the real consequences of bullying, has been given an “R” rating, & will not be seen by those who need to see it most.

These kids already know these words. Geez, I am shocked by how much kids know these days. I certainly did not use any type of bad words when I was a kid. I never saw a movie that had the “F-word” in it until I was 18; and my jaw dropped when I heard it b/c I was in a large public space & there it was, coming off a huge movie screen. But these kids today? They hear bad words & see questionable content everywhere. I don’t remember songs with bad words on the radio when I was a kid either. But I hear stuff on the radio now; & even when they attempt to bleep stuff, you know what they’re bleeping.

Anyway, I’ve signed this petition. It was started by a Katy Butler, a high-schooler in Ann Arbor, MI. I heard about this on the Ellen show today (it was a previous episode on my dvr); and I had to post about it. Katy has started this petition to change the rating to PG-13 so that this movie can be seen by those who need to see it most.

Pls sign this petition: MPAA: Don’t let the bullies win! Give ‘Bully’ a PG-13 instead of an R rating!

You may also want to contact the Motion Picture Association of America: ContactUs@mpaa.org
Phone & Fax # for offices in major cities: http://www.mpaa.org/about/contact

Trailer for the movie:

the “mosque” at “ground zero”

You knew I had to talk about it here at some point, right? I mean, I’ve been tweeting & leaving comments on everyone’s fb statuses about it.

First of all, “mosque” is in quotes b/c it’s not a freakin mosque. It’s an Islamic Community Center. Yes, there will be a place for prayer there, but it’s a smaller part of a $100 MILLION Cultural Center. It will also have a swimming pool, a gym, basketball court, an auditorium, a restaurant (& culinary school), a library, and art studios. Are we calling it “the ground zero pool”? No? Then why “ground zero mosque”? Plus, wouldn’t it be nice to stimulate the economy ($100 Mill project) whilst adding to the community?

If you want to find a Mosque, there IS one INSIDE the Pentagon, open for worship, rebuilt after the 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon.

Are we criticizing Christian churches around the Oklahoma City building site? Why is it that American laws seem to apply or be exempt for Christians? Division of church & state doesn’t exist like it should. Lots of religious organizations receive tax-exempt statuses, then give money to fuel their political interests. It’s like certain things are ok, as long as you’re the “right religion”.

“Ground zero” is in quotes b/c it’s not at ground zero! It’s 2 blocks away. Though, there was a mosque already 5 blocks from ground zero (GZ); it was there for like 30 years!

Though, there are currently strip clubs way closer to GZ. & they’re planning to build a 55,000 sq. ft. mall right on GZ. How is a mall paying tribute to those who lost their lives on 9/11?!?! Mall to me means a bunch of corporate stores. Not even small businesses. Starbucks. The Gap. Banana Republic. How does that remember fallen heros?

Roger Ebert recently re-posted an op-ed piece that he originally published on Sept. 12, 2001:

A Green Field

If there is to be a memorial, let it not be of stone and steel. Fly no flag above it, for it is not the possession of a nation but a sorrow shared with the world.

Let it be a green field, with trees and flowers. Let there be paths that wind through the shade. Put out park benches where old people can sun in the springtime, and a pond where children can skate in the winter.

Beneath this field will lie entombed forever some of the victims of September 11. It is not where they thought to end their lives. Like the sailors of the battleship Arizona, they rest where they fell.

Let this field stretch from one end of the destruction to the other. Let this open space among the towers mark the emptiness in our hearts. But do not make it a sad place. Give it no name. Let people think of it as the green field. Every living thing that is planted here will show faith in the future.

Let students from all lands take a sunny corner of the field and plant a crop there. Perhaps corn, our native grain. Let the harvest be shared all over the world, with friends and enemies, because that is the teaching of our religions. Let the harvest show that life prevails over death, and let the sharing show that we love our neighbors.

Do not build again on this place. No building can stand here. No building, no statue, no column, no arch, no symbol, no name, no date, no statement. Just the comfort of the earth, to remind us that we share it.

But I want to be disintegrated by fire

I’ve always known I’d be cremated.  It’s never even been a question.  I’m from India, we don’t bury our dead, we cremate them.  The physical body is no longer, & the soul is freed.  No biggie.

I think more & more ppl in the US are now cremating too.  I think it’s becoming more widely accepted everywhere.

But I just saw this note on Time Mag’s website:

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint When You’re Dead that read…

With something called “bio-cremation,” a liquid chemical is used to dissolve the body, no fire or global warming emissions necessary.

The LA Times reports on funeral homes and crematoria are trying to get bio-cremation, a.k.a. alkaline hydrolysis, legalized in California. The process is not only environmentally friendly, it costs about the same as standard cremation—which is a lot less expensive than a standard burial:

The average price to the consumer for alkaline hydrolysis is expected to be about $2,500, similar to prices charged for cremation by fire.

Either process is far below costs far less than the $7,500 cost for a conventional funeral and burial in a casket.

Here’s the deal. I understand that the fire causes more emissions. But for one thing, I love fire. Fire is cool. Well, hot. But you know what I mean. It’s enchanting.

I don’t want to be dissolved by chemicals. That’s like the “black oil” & that other crazy stuff from the X-Files. It’s the stuff scary tv shows & movies are made of.

I mean, I work consciously to recycle, save water, conserve energy. I think about every last thing I throw away. I just replaced my wiper blades & am looking up the best way to recycle, or give them to be re-used.

I mean, I’m going to be dead for cryin out loud. Can’t I just have that one thing & be burned?

Do your ppl even get your ashes if they use the chemicals? & fire is natural. Earth, water, & fire. There’s no mention of alkaline in that.

you can’t win w/ health insurance

You just can’t get your own health insurance. You can’t. It’ll suck.

Though, my new company health insurance plan sucks too. So, which to pick?

Our company used to have our health plan through Kaiser Permanente. A handful of us were the only ones who liked it. Everyone else didn’t. So, we switched to Anthem, which everyone else loves, but I hate.

They love it b/c they use their own docs. Even w/ Kaiser, which didn’t really allow for that, they did, & just paid the extra surcharge.

Well, I don’t have a doc. So, when I had to make an appt just to get a refill on my old prescription, I picked a doc & called to make an appt. Was told there wasn’t an opening for 2 months. I told them I didn’t care who I saw, anyone was fine, I just needed a new script. 1 month wait for that.

What if I was seriously sick? It’d be 2 months? I’d be dead by then.

W/ Kaiser, I’d call in the morn & would get to see a doc that afternoon. It might not be *my* doc, but since everything was on the internal computer system, they had my complete health history right in front of them. If I needed an x-ray or blood taken, I’d simply go downstairs to either lab.

W/ the new Anthem, if I need blood work, I need to go to a special Quest lab. I don’t even know where those are. I’m not sure that x-rays are covered.

photo from flickr user Steve Rhodes - click to go to his photos

A co-worker thought she’d stepped on a nail, so called to get a tetanus shot. She was told she’d have to pay the co-pay for the appt, plus whatever the shot cost (this can be $85 or more, depending). She also found out that if she’d asked for the same shot the day before, it’d be just the $15 co-pay b/c it woulda been a “preventative procedure”. Now that she’d stepped on a nail (she thinks), it’s a “diagnostic procedure”. Um…. sounds like pre-existing condition to me.

But isn’t that the whole point of insurance. Doesn’t the word itself mean that you’re investing your money in the case that something does happen?!?! They’re the ones that are supposed to be there to FIX whatever happens. I know that’s how my car insurance works. I don’t get a new bumper before I’m in an accident.

You can’t give Texans power

What happens when you allow Texans to decide on what’s best for the children of tomorrow? They decide to re-write the history books. They will take out some of the Hispanic heritage information, & to put in more stuff about Country music instead. Here’s the article I read on Yahoo News. I’ve copied it below since Yahoo links don’t work after a certain period of time.

***********************

U.S. history textbooks could soon be flavored heavily with Texas conservatism
—Brett Michael Dykes is a national affairs writer for Yahoo! News

The nation’s public school curriculum may be in for a Texas-sized overhaul, if the Lone Star state’s influential recommendations for changes to social studies, economics and history textbooks are fully ratified later this spring. Last Friday, in a 10-to-5 vote split right down party lines, the Texas State Board of Education approved some controversial right-leaning alterations to what most students in the state—and by extension, in much of the rest of the country—will be studying as received historical and social-scientific wisdom. After a public comment period, the board will vote on final recommendations in May.

Don McElroy, who leads the board’s powerful seven-member social conservative bloc, explained that the measure is a way of “adding balance” in the classroom, since “academia is skewed too far to the left.” And the board’s critics have labeled the move an attempt by political “extremists” to “promote their ideology.”

The revised standards have far-reaching implications because Texas is a huge market leader in the school-textbook industry. The enormous print run for Texas textbooks leaves most districts in other states adopting the same course materials, so that the Texas School Board effectively spells out requirements for 80 percent of the nation’s textbook market. That means, for instance, that schools in left-leaning states like Oregon and Vermont could soon be teaching from textbooks that are short on references to Ted Kennedy but long on references to conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly.

Here are some of the other signal shifts that the Texas Board endorsed last Friday:

- A greater emphasis on “the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s.” This means not only increased favorable mentions of Schlafly, the founder of the antifeminist Eagle Forum, but also more discussion of the Moral Majority, the Heritage Foundation, the National Rifle Association and Newt Gingrich’s Contract With America.

- A reduced scope for Latino history and culture. A proposal to expand such material in recognition of Texas’ rapidly growing Hispanic population was defeated in last week’s meetings—provoking one board member, Mary Helen Berlanga, to storm out in protest. “They can just pretend this is a white America and Hispanics don’t exist,” she said of her conservative colleagues on the board. “They are rewriting history, not only of Texas but of the United States and the world.”

- Changes in specific terminology. Terms that the board’s conservative majority felt were ideologically loaded are being retired. Hence, “imperialism” as a characterization of America’s modern rise to world power is giving way to “expansionism,” and “capitalism” is being dropped in economic material, in favor of the more positive expression “free market.” (The new recommendations stress the need for favorable depictions of America’s economic superiority across the board.)

- A more positive portrayal of Cold War anticommunism. Disgraced anticommunist crusader Joseph McCarthy, the Wisconsin senator censured by the Senate for his aggressive targeting of individual citizens and their civil liberties on the basis of their purported ties to the Communist Party, comes in for partial rehabilitation. The board recommends that textbooks refer to documents published since McCarthy’s death and the fall of the Soviet bloc that appear to show expansive Soviet designs to undermine the U.S. government.

- Language that qualifies the legacy of 1960s liberalism. Great Society programs such as Title IX—which provides for equal gender access to educational resources—and affirmative action, intended to remedy historic workplace discrimination against African-Americans, are said to have created adverse “unintended consequences” in the curriculum’s preferred language.

- Thomas Jefferson no longer included among writers influencing the nation’s intellectual origins. Jefferson, a deist who helped pioneer the legal theory of the separation of church and state, is not a model founder in the board’s judgment. Among the intellectual forerunners to be highlighted in Jefferson’s place: medieval Catholic philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas, Puritan theologian John Calvin and conservative British law scholar William Blackstone. Heavy emphasis is also to be placed on the founding fathers having been guided by strict Christian beliefs.

- Excision of recent third-party presidential candidates Ralph Nader (from the left) and Ross Perot (from the centrist Reform Party). Meanwhile, the recommendations include an entry listing Confederate General Stonewall Jackson as a role model for effective leadership, and a statement from Confederate President Jefferson Davis accompanying a speech by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.

- A recommendation to include country and western music among the nation’s important cultural movements. The popular black genre of hip-hop is being dropped from the same list.

None of these proposals has met with final ratification from the board—that vote will come in May, after a prolonged period of public comment on the recommendations. Still, the conservatives clearly feel like the bulk of their work is done; after the 120-page draft was finalized last Friday, Republican board member Terri Leo declared that it was “world class” and “exceptional.”

Obama’s Cairo speech

Text of President Barack Obama’s speech at Cairo University, as provided by CQ Transcriptions.

obama cairo1 crdtGood afternoon. I am honored to be in the timeless city of Cairo and to be hosted by two remarkable institutions. For over a thousand years, Al-Azhar has had stood as a beacon of Islamic learning. And for over a century, Cairo University has been a source of Egypt’s advancement. Together, you represent the harmony between tradition and progress.

I’m grateful for your hospitality and the hospitality of the people of Egypt. And I’m also proud to carry with me the good will of the American people and a greeting of peace from Muslim communities in my country: Assalamu-alaikum.

(APPLAUSE) More

my old age

I’m getting old. I’m totally losing my memory all over the place. I used to have a memory like a steel trap.

I’ve had a lot of thoughts that I wanted to post about, but then when I’m in front of this page, I just forget what it was that I totally wanted to put down on here! This is frustrating for me, b/c this spot is 1st my place to keep track of my own thoughts & a place to put up things I thought were interesting.

I do have a voice recorder on my phone & a notepad on it. Somehow, I deleted all my notes. But I’m gonna visit this site more too, which I think will help. I have a lot of catching up to do on everyone else’s blogs!moonstruck

But you know how in Moonstruck, Cher’s getting all gray around her face, & she gets that transformation before the opera? Well, I kinda feel like I’m going through what she did. I’ve been getting these grays around my face that I’ve been plucking out. I think it’s getting to the time for me to stop plucking, & just dive in & color it.

I’m going to research hair color before I do it, though. Cause my hair’s pretty long, & I like to keep it as healthy as possible so that I don’t have to cut it as often.

Inauguration speeches

President Barack Obama Delivers Inaugural Address
at US Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Jan. 20, 2009

Full transcript as prepared for delivery of President Barack Obama’s inaugural remarks on Jan. 20, 2009, at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.

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