Sunday, December 30, 2007

Fuckabee's Secret Past

Apparently Huckabee (or Fuckabee, as I not-so-affectionately refer to him) has a dirty past that for some reason has not come up in the campaign coverage. Gee, could it be that someone is being paid off to not mention Huckabee's numberous brushes with the Arkansas Ethics Committee?

In a November 30th interview on NPR's On the Media, Max Brantley, editor of the Arkansas Times, mentions some of the details of Huckabee's questionable use of the governor's mansion operating account, and "a laundry list of Huckabee's brushes with the Arkansas Ethics Commission, something he wishes those national columnists would take the time to learn about."

Brantley mentions Huckabee's misuse of the operating account to purchase meals, a dog house, dry cleaning, and other personal expenses. Huckabee also claimed furniture donated to the governor's mansion as his personal furniture, then changed his stance when he realized it was illegal for him to claim the furniture as his own property, claiming he was misunderstood and misquoted. Gee, that sounds just like his claim on December 28th that yes, he was aware that martial law had been lifted in Pakistan, but he was asking "Would it be placed back in?" due to Bhutto's death. Oh, that makes perfect sense, sure. And, great grammar.

I honestly don't know what I'll do if Huckabee gets the Republican nomination. For him to get even that far would be frightening. Bush has done so much in the past 8 years to erode women's rights and access to health care that it's hard to imagine it could get worse. But electing a man who signed a statement by the Southern Baptist Convention saying that women should "graciously submit to their husband's sacrificial leadership"and believes that birth control pills and emergency contraception (the morning after pill) cause abortions (he's a member of the National Right to Life committee)- yeah, that would definitely be worse.

Friday, December 28, 2007

What Didn't Kill Benazir Bhutto

I happened to glance at today and couldn't help but notice all of the contradictory headlines about Benazir Bhutto's death.

Click to enlarge

The Interior Ministry of Pakistan has so far given the following causes for Bhutto's death:

  • a fractured skull from hitting her head on her car's sunroof lever
  • a fractured skill from hitting her head on her car's sunfroof lever due to the explosion of a bomb
  • a bullet
  • a bomb
  • schrapnel
  • shot by a suicide bomber (why would the suicide bomber shoot her rather than blow her up? I'm just sayin')

Then in the upper right corner (see green arrow) is the headline: "Outstretched gun fires 3 times at Bhutto". The video that comes up when you click on that link is so blurry and dark it's impossible to tell if that video was even taken on the day and at the location where Bhutto died.

Then under the story about the confusion surrounding Bhutto's death is yet another video where a doctor describes Bhutto's wound as "a big wound that usually occurs when something big with a lot of speed hits that area."

Well, that really clears things up. And to think that Bhutto had been critical of Pakistan's current President Musharraf's government for not doing enough to protect her. What a paranoid...oh, wait...


About four hours after I posted this, changed it's headline:

Click to enlarge

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Okay, I know nobody asked, but, it's my blog, so: you know what I hate?

People who are "against" having signs, ATMs, drivers tests, or ANYTHING available in languages other than English due to the logic that if people are going to live in the United States, they should learn to speak and read English.

Why does this tick me off? Becuase the majority of people who were born, raised ,and "educated" in the United States do not have a good grasp of either spelling or grammar!

Here are some of the most common misspellings that irk me:

  • People using "loose" when they really mean "lose", as in, "Don't loose your car keys." AHHHHHHHHH!
  • People slaughtering the phrase "moot point". I actually saw a guy in his forties send the sentence "I guess this is a mute point." today. TODAY.
  • "irregardless". And for those of you who say that it's in the dictionary, yes, it is, and this is what Merriam Webster says about it:"Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance. Use regardless instead." says "Irregardless is considered nonstandard because of the two negative elements ir- and -less. It was probably formed on the analogy of such words as irrespective, irrelevant, and irreparable." So people - STOP SAYING 'IRREGARDLESS'!
  • Incorrect comma usage. This makes me nuts. There are people who have no idea how to use them, there are people who just don't use them, and there are people who overuse them.
  • Incorrect apostrophe usage. This also makes me nuts. "boys" means more than one boy. "Boy's" is possessive, and refers to ONE BOY, as in "The boy's shoe fell off."

People who move to the United States from another country should, for their own sakes, attempt to learn to speak English if they don't already. I know many people that who have moved to the US from other countries and have learned to speak English. But hey, let's keep in mind that the majority of people growing up in Europe and South America learn more than one language, which is not the norm here in the United States. And the people who learn English as a second language as adults - I understand why they would make mistakes with spelling and grammar. I speak some Spanish, but since I don't use it every day, I'm not completely fluent. I'd love to be, but it's not easy to do that. I can read and write fairly well in Spanish, but I'm horrible with the accent marks when writing - I'll just never get those.

But why is it that most of the time, the people muttering "Well, if they wanna live here, they better learn to speak our language" are the ones who don't speak their own language well?

Friday, December 21, 2007

PSA: Women Lack Testosterone to be Funny

For all of the women out there who didn't know, I just wanted to bring you up to speed. It's official. A professor said so, based on his very official and well conducted scientific study:
"Professor Shuster believes humour develops from aggression caused by male hormones. He documented the reaction of over 400 individuals to his unicycling antics through the streets of Newcastle upon Tyne."

Are you fucking kidding me? This idiot thinks that unicycling through a town and judging people's reactions is an accurate way to judge whether women can be funny? Clearly the concepts of intellectual humor, and the scientific method, escape him.

And what does aggression have to do with humor? By that logic this guy must find muggings and rapes absolutely hi-fucking-larious.

Maybe it's just because of where I live, but I've seen people do some pretty strange things in public: flossing their teeth while walking through a mall, talking to themselves, yelling sermons about brimstone and hellfire, peeing in bushes... I think people who are accustomed to seeing strange behavior develop a tendence to tune it out. God forbid you make eye contact with the nutty people, they might latch on to you and follow you. Who wants that?

And how is riding a unicycle funny? I appreciate different types of humor - good slapstick - like I Love Lucy's "Vitameatavegamin" episode. I saw it on TV recently and could not believe how hard I laughed. I also love intelligent humor. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of comedians who are capable of it.

But I think a lot of humor has the "Boy's Club" flavor - listen to Comedy Central and many of the male comedians' humor does exclude women at some point or other. Jokes about how women are crazy, gold diggers, PMS, "does this make me look fat", etc. Yeah, how original, just like "Take my wife, please!"

I think there is a serious lack of comedians who realize this and not only don't alienate or exclude women with their humor, but actually include them with humor that is unique to women.

Say that to Dave Attell, and he'll probably think "What, jokes about cramps?" Yeah, because women have nothing else to say that might be funny. Obviously.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


If you haven't seen the movie Idiocracy, you should rent it. Not only do you get to enjoy Luke Wilson, but the movie is actually funny and it has a point: stupid people keep having kids, and it's just a matter of time before the stupid people take over the world.

My boyfriend and I saw it a couple of months ago, and we're convinced this is going to happen. Just hopefully not within our lifetimes.

My company had a major software release early this morning. Our department "holiday lunch" was planned for yesterday. But someone didn't like the idea of our whole dept. all being out for lunch at once, since we may be needed to help answer calls and help customers. So our lunch was canceled at the last minute yestereday and rescheduled Yes, today. The day of the software release. It was done at 3am, so all of our customers are seeing it for the first time today.

I am not making this up.

That decision was made by someone Higher Up. Nice going.

So today, I was supposed to help with support until noon. They had me down to do support via web chat. Fine. First they said I had to go to the help desk area. OK. After standing around for 30 minutes, they gave me the login info and said I could do this at my own desk. Ooookay.

So I go to my desk, try to log in, and get a message saying that my ID or password is invalid. I reboot and try again. Same message. I email the two people coordinating this effort. One emails me back and says she'll be over as soon as she's off her phone call.

I read, surf the net, catch up on the news. At 10:45 I send a reminder, saying "Remember, I'm only scheduled to do support until noon." No response.

At 11:45 we hear that our department holiday lunch is again cancelled because everyone is needed to help field calls and emails from customers about this new software release. The company will be ordering chicken for us. This means we have to have "working lunches" - eat at your desk in 10 minutes, then back to work.

Fifteen minutes later an email is sent saying that the sporadic login issues have been resolved and there are no calls coming in anymore. But we still can't go to lunch. Grand.

At 12:03 my phone rings, the woman says she'll be right over to log me in to do web chat support. I said "No, it's after noon. I was only supposed to do chat support until noon." She said "Oh, right..."

Then the emails start flowing about how all of the calls/emails have stopped and everything is great and there are no problems. But we still can't go to lunch, and the food's not here yet, as of 12:24 pm.

Oh, and my coworker just found out that our company ordered food from FUCKING POPEYE'S! I shit you not! They expect us to eat that crap???

This is all true. Every. Last. Bit.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Hey W...WTF???

I was web surfing today, and happened to stumble across something really odd. I swear, I'm not trying to pick on George W. Bush, but I do occaisionally look at, simply because some of W.'s, well, "Dubya-isms" are hilarious. As a former English major, the fact that the leader of our country has such abysmal grammar and speaking skills blows my mind. And yes, I love word games and puzzles.

Anyway, I clicked on the "Fresh Dubya" link, and the first quote led me to the "Repeat Offender" section, which list many of the words, phrases, and verbal blunders that routinely make appearances in W's speeches.

The one that I happened upon was W's repeated use of the phrase "married well". The site lists 75 examples of W using this phrase in speeches, dating from March of 2001 to December 6th, 2007.

If you look through the list of examples, it's really mystifying. It's obvious that W intends the phrase as a compliment, usually to a man. Only once does he apply it to a woman (Elizabeth Dole), but then adds that Bob Dole got the better deal, and he, of course, also married well.

My understanding of the phrase "married well" is that a person married into a family of elevated social connections, prestige, and wealth. The only definition I could find online confirmed that: "in a manner affording benefit or advantage; 'she married well'".

Personally, I've always thought that people who place such importance on social prestige and position as a determining factor in choosing a spouse are more likely to marry the "correct" person and just have an affair with people that they are attracted to. I think that's why there is such a long-standing tradition of marital infidelity amoung politicians, especially those from the old "blue blood" families (Kennedy). After all, if your primary concern is that your spouse enhance your social connections and prestige, then love, or even attraction, are not going to be your primary concerns.

So is Bush complimenting these men on marrying into families of high social standing? On marrying the "correct" type of woman? On marrying, in essence, Stepford Wives? I can't really come up with a scenario in which the phrase "you married well" doesn't make my skin crawl. Your thoughts?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Honesty - How Refreshing!

This post is not intended to start a debate about presdiential candidates. I am simply remarking on a specific instance pertaining to a specific candidate.

Yesterday there was a headline on about how Obama's admission of past drug use would be his Achille's heel. I clicked on the article, and it stated that the admission was in his book "Dreams of My Father", which was published in 1995. In the book Obama admits to trying marijuana and cocaine while he was in high school.

Ok, so it's not as if he was trying to hide these facts - he admitted them in a book that he published 12 years ago.

Second, it's not as if he was caught in the act of an illegal activity while trying to keep it a secret (ahem, Senator Craig). Obama was open about his experimentation with drugs years before he thought of running for President.

Honestly I think it's a smart move. Admit it up front, and people have nowhere to go with it.

The thing that actually made me respect Obama was reading about his appearance on the Tonight Show. Jay Leno asked Obama "Remember, senator, you are under oath. Did you inhale?"

Obama replied "That was the point."

THANK YOU! Thank you Obama for being honest about something that most candidates would do anything to hide. Thank you for not trying to follow Bill Clinton's ridiculous lie of "...but I didn't inhale" which anyone with half a brain knows is a load of crap. Thank you for admitting that you are human (and not only after you lied, and then the truth came out anyway). Thank you for being real.

It's a much appreciated breath of fresh air after George W. Bush's hypocrisy. To those who say that Obama would be the first President who has admitted to using cocaine - the key word is "admit". George W. Bush never admitted to using cocaine, but there is plenty to suggest that he was arrested for cocaine use and avoided formal charges thanks to his family's name and influence. There are also sources that quote his former sister in law Sharon as saying that W. and his brother Marvin used cocaine at Camp David as adults more than once. Which isn't smart when you want to have a future in politics, especially for a position as high profile as the Presidency. But Bush is also the man who as governor of Texas, was against the previous governor's philosphy of leniency for first time drug users, and backed a no tolerance policy.

If Obama had lied and gone to such lengths to cover up his past, that would be one thing. But his candor about it takes courage, and I have to admire that.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Answer to "Who to vote for" Anguish?

Try it and tell me what you think.

Frailty, thy Name is Insecure Man

So now at work, I have to work regularly and rather closely with a person I don't like much. I don't dislike him, I just don't like him much. The main reason is because before I got my current position at my company, when I was in the humble Help Desk, he didn't acknowledge my existance. I mean, even if we passed each other in the hallway and I smiled and said "Hi," he would not acknowledge me or my polite greeting in any way.

When I was promoted to my current position, which entails a lot more responsibility and is therefore much more high profile, I immediately became visible to this guy. Suddenly when we passed in the hall he was the one to say "Hi, how are you?" while I stared at him in shock and finally managed "Hi".

I don't like people who do that. I think it's pretentious and elitist. It's the invisible caste system in the supposedly egalitarian USA. When I worked in the Help Desk I was beneath his notice. Flying under the radar. Invisible. In other words, non-existant.

Because this person has never made the effort to acknowledge me, he knows next to nothing about me. He doesn't want to know much, which is fine, I have no desire to hear his life's story. He spends most of his time creating and sustaining the impression that he is a Very Smart Guy. It takes a lot of work, I can tell. He works primarily from home, so when he comes in, he carries a large backpack which holds his laptop and briefcase. Why he has both, I don't know. He seems to be going for the "absent minded professor" image, but I've seen some holes in it. And he recently realized that.

The sad thing is that when I brought up a question in a recent meeting about researching what caused a particular event, so that we would have a better idea how likely it was that that event would occur, he dismissed it as "Oh, that doesn't matter." I then asked if he knew what caused the event, and he said that he didn't know. So...then doesn't it make sense that we should find out, and asess the liklihood of that event occuring?

Well, of course it does. But my questions poked a hole in his image, so he dismissed it. To think, I, who used to be invisible to him, had poked a hole in his absent minded professor image!

The next day in another meeting he casually stated what caused the event, as if it was something he had known all along. I said "So, that's what causes that event? That's what I thought." He said "Yes." and looked at me, then averted his eyes.

So that's what I will be dealing with. Questioning every single thing I hear that doesn't make sense. And I have a feeling there will be a lot of them.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Wow...How Freakin' Tacky

I hate jewelry commercials. I really, really hate them. They just portray women as such gold diggers, and perpetuate the idea that all a man has to do to keep his woman happy is give her jewelry. And that's all a woman wants, right? We don't need respect, or to be treated as intelligent individuals, or a partner who knows our individual likes, preferences, hobbies, etc. The generic gift of jewelry will make every woman happy! And you don't even have to put any thought into it - the jewelry stores conveniently come up with a special gift for each holiday, so just shlep in, ask for whatever the specialty gift of the moment is, and take that home. You don't have to put any thought at all into it. And regardless of your wife/girlfriend's personal taste, she'll love it, because she's a woman and all women automatically love all jewelry.

And then I read about the New York Times' recent piece on "push presents", which is just gross. The name is gross, the idea is gross, and the attitude of the women who push this idea of their partners is gross. Grossest of all was the quote from a woman whose husband gave her a pair of diamond earrings after 17 hours of labor: "I wonder what 17 hours of labor will get me next time?"

I think the worst part is that a jewlery supplier, of all people, attributes the growing popularity of the "push gift" to "assertiveness in women". So, assertiveness in women apparently means more assertive demands for jewelry. Sigh. Unfortunately, those jewelry commercials that I hate so much do have a target audience that falls for them.

And before anyone says "There's nothing wrong with getting a gift for a woman who has recently givent birth!" let me say no, of course not. When a freind of mine had a baby a couple of years ago I got her some nice bath gels, lotions, and bath salts so she could pamper herself. But what I find disturbing is pregnant women who drop hints to their partners that they want a gift for giving birth, and hint for things like tennis bracelets, diamond earrings, etc. The fact that jewelers are starting to market to this trend with slogans like "She just had your child, now give her s set of twins" for advertising diamond earrings and having "push gift registries", to me, is consumerism at it's worst.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

What. The. Fuck.

Just as I was starting to give Hillary Clinton a little respect for not repeatedly pointing out that she's female or playing the "gender card" during her campaign, she goes and says this:
"I want a long term relationship. I don't want to just have a one night stand with all of you." -- Sen. Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail in Bettendorf, Iowa, as quoted by ABC News.

Thanks Hillary. Thanks so much. Go ahead and build up that stupid ass stereotype that the only way women can understand anything is if you compare it to a relationship. What, did she watch those asinine Swiffer commercials where the woman breaks up with her mop and become inspired?

I'm going to go get some Advil, a towel and a bag of frozen peas, then bang my forehead into my keyboard about 20 times.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Gee, What a Great Idea, Say No to Sexism!

This is one of those rare articles that made me want to bang my head against my keyboard - multiple times. "Feminist Pitch by a Democrat Named Obama" is so many things - condescending and sexist are the first two words that come to mind. The irony is that the article and many quotes managed to insult me and pander to gender stereotypes while writing about feminism and "women's issues", whatever those are supposed to be. Writer Robin Toner acts as if she is the first person to make the breakthrough discovery that hey, maybe it's not the best idea for feminists to automatically vote for female candidates. Gasp! Amazing! So Robin, you mean that we should research candidates and vote for the one who we think will do the best job, regardless of gender? Wow! How revolutionary!

Frankly I'm insulted that anyone would assume that I, or any woman, would blindly vote for a female candidate based only on her gender. Unfortunately, as the article shows, there were at least four women, all of whom happend to be intereviewed for this article, that did previously think that their duty as feminists included automatically voting for the female Presidential candidate. I guess it's too much to hope for that these four women are the only women in the US who would make such an important decision based on gender alone.

This does make me want to scream. Then I think, is it really that much of a stretch? I'm sure that there are people out there of all races and ethnic groups that would be tempted to vote for a candidate based solely on race. But I still think that's stupid. I never felt an obligation to support Alberto Gonzalez because we're both Hispanic.

But then the quotes from the women interviewed just add insult to injury. “I finally went with my heart. I like his leadership style.” said State Rep. Janet Peterson of Iowa. Great. I can hear the naysayers now: "Just like a woman, she makes all decisions with her heart, based on her feeeeeelings."

Author Alice Walker's description of Obama as “someone who honors the feminine values of caring for all.” made me gag. "feminine values"? I wasn't aware that Alice Walker was put in charge of defining universally accepted "feminine values". And then to say that "caring for all" was a "feminine value"? AHHHHHHHHHHHHH! What, men are only supposed to care about "some"? Way to reinforce the stereotype of women as mothers Alice, thanks so much. Gee, we're so caring, we care for everyone, unlike men...WTF??? Far be it from a women to make a decision based on facts or logic...let's consult our warm fuzzy list of Feminine Values and see which decision makes my uterus the happiest.

And it doesn't stop there. Obama's campaign COO, Betsy Myers, says “His message is about listening, bringing people together, the skills women appreciate,". Again with the warm fuzzy feel good pop psychology about "what women want". Gee, why do I get the feeling that she just finished reading "Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus"? After such overt and unabashed pandering to women voters, I'm surprised Obama hasn't started supplying free massages, mani-pedis and martinis at his speeches and town hall meetings.

I think my favorite paragraph was:
Bonnie Campbell, a former Iowa attorney general and Justice Department official, said she took Mrs. Clinton to her church last week and was struck by how many women came up to her saying: “I’m so proud of you. You couldn’t possibly know what it means to see someone like you running.”

"Someone like you"? What does that mean, someone with a vagina? That as long as she meets that requirement she has your vote?

The whole thing makes me sick. How many gender stereotypes jumped out of this article and smacked you in the face? For crying out loud, we're all PEOPLE. I know plenty of women whose political views frighten me and whose views on equality and reproductive freedom scare me and make me wonder if they traveled to modern day America via a time machine. If they ran for President and there was a male candidate whose views I was more in agreement with overall, how ridiculous would it be for me to vote for the female candidate because she's a woman? And to the women who are supporting Hillary Clinton based on her gender alone, what kind of message does that send? That it doesn't matter which woman is elected, one's as good as another?

Personally I never did a happy dance after hearing that Hillary Clinton was running for President, even though I'm a woman and a feminist. Of course, as anyone who has done any research or reading about feminism knows, there is no one school of thought that All Feminists Believe, any more that than there is one school of thought that All Men Believe or All Minorities Believe. But I never had a tearfully happy Kodak moment after seeing Sister Hillary at the podium, speaking for All Women. I don't know, I guess I don't think it's an automatic win for women everywhere. I could write an entirely separate post about how I think many things about Hillary Clinton are not exactly feminist (staying with a husband that everyone knows has cheated on you multpile times, anyone?), but she's playing the game, and playing it without repeatedly pointing out the fact that she is female, which I have to give her credit for.

In the end, all politicians are whores for registered voters, and will do whatever they need to do to win as much support as possible. It's just a shame that deciding who to vote for comes down to choosing the lesser of two evils.