Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Jamie defined

It's ridiculous, I know, but it's pretty funny too. And I think that's the point. Cause then you can be all "oooh which one is me? oh, none of them? hilarious!" or "my name is code for a huge penis! AMAZING!!"

1. Jamie
A sweet girl with a cheery disposition on life, love and friendship. A cute girl.
Frank: That girl seems really nice
Tom: Oh yea she's such a Jamie.

Frank: So was she hot or what?
Tom: Cute smile great body, she was such a Jamie.

2. Jamie
i) A "Jamie" is a term used for a larger than life penis
ii) "Jamie" is the god of sexual intercourse.

i) Man goes up to a girl in a bar...
"Heyyyyy, my friend Jamie thinks you're hot!, would you like to meet him?

ii) Girl to her friend.
"OMG OMG OMG he filled me RIGHT UP, that guy is SUCH a Jamie!"

3. Jamie
The king of stealing, is a fucking criminal mastermind of stealing. Is never caught and is very mischeivious.
'you a complete jamie dude'....'i cant beleive you just pulled a jamie'

4. Jamie
A complete cunt, hated by everyonee and extremely vain when he shouldnt be (:
fucking hell i hate that jamie kid so much

5. Jamie
1. hoe, slut, hooker, prostitute.
2. to flash or moon
"That Jamie is fine, but but but that ones a killa"
-Shake by Ying Yang Twins

I was on the trampoline last night and Jamied every passing car.

6. Jamie
A cute blonde who is taken but you would still like to go with.
Travis: Jamie will you go to prom with me?
Jamie: ...

7. Jamie
A name for an Aussie who is a tree hugger. This species of human is usually identified by his usual profanity after they lose a game of sorts and their long standing bad mood afterwards. They also often seem to like to torture themselves or have not figured out how to use an air conditioner. Tends to go for women half his age and drinks like a maniac. Also known for weapons development. This species is also very metrosexaul and concerned about his or her weight. Their usual diet consists of veggies with the occasional unknown fluidly substance. (Generally on weekends). This species is also very intelligent and very dangerous. Never offend a Jamie -- it's as bad as cornering chuck Norris minus the round house kick. Usually just a hussy fit with a following keyboard massacre. If you happen to befriend this interesting species it can be very very nice to you. Tends to be a socail creature when not busy..if its busy and you talk you better hope your well hidden.
Jamie: I got to go to work now im going to miss the bus.
Person: the bus dude u have a car
Jamie: no I want to save the environment I AM CAPTAIN

Friday, August 1, 2008

Following up

A while ago, I posted a blog about the U.N. classifying rape as a weapon of war, and the blog includes some information about the number of women in the U.S. military who are raped or sexually assaulted by their own troop members. I came across this CNN story yesterday, which is about a House panel investigating the way the military handles reports of sexual assault among its own troops.

Here's something pretty outstanding from the article:

In 2007, Harman said, only 181 out of 2,212 reports of military sexual assaults, or 8 percent, were referred to courts martial. By comparison, she said, 40 percent of those arrested in the civilian world on such charges are prosecuted.

Defense statistics show that military commanders took unspecified action, which can include anything from punishment to dismissal, in an additional 419 cases.

But when it came time for the military to defend itself, the panel was told that the Pentagon's top official on sexual abuse, Dr. Kaye Whitley, was ordered not to show up despite a subpoena.


I don't know, obviously, why she didn't show up or if it's even true that she was ordered not to show up; regardless, I hope action is taken and that someday women in the military will be more comfortable reporting such crimes, and that the military as a whole will take their reports seriously. From everything I've read on the topic, the way the military treats most of these cases is indefensible.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

So long to a legend

Ken Griffey Jr., who I may have mentioned a few times in this blog before, was traded today from the Cincinnati Reds to the Chicago White Sox.

Sad day, for me personally, for a number of fans, and for the Reds. When Junior came to the Reds, it was supposed to be the beginning of a Reds dynasty. It didn't end that way; in fact, the Reds have done nothing but lose games since Junior put on a uniform. That fact, however, has very little to do with Junior himself, and a lot more to do with the rest of the team on the field in those years. You know, the team that the owners and GMs put together. The only thing anyone can really say about Junior and his game is "too bad he got hurt so ofen." He's had a number of injuries as a Red, all well-documented, all of which came from playing baseball. Now he's 38 years old, has screws holding his leg together (and possibly other body parts, I'm not quite sure), and he isn't the same player we got eight years ago. It happens.

What shouldn't happen is a town getting so down on one of baseball's greatest players that I am made to feel like he is better off NOT playing here. Cincinnati doesn't deserve to have star sports players. And by "star," I mean good. Because when this city does have them (Junior, Barry Larkin, Chad Johnson, Corey Dillon, and hell, even the Bengals "star" coach, Marvin Lewis), the city shits all over them. Supposed baseball fans here, for the most part, can't stand Junior. They couldn't stand Barry Larkin either. And both of those players went to high school here! Larkin grew up in Cincinnati, played for the Reds his whole career as an outstanding shortstop, and when it was all said and done, people couldn't wait to see him go. Is it because they're black? I don't know. Judging by the way this town treats Adam Dunn, who is white, it seems like anyone is fair game. Anyone, that is, who is good at what they do and get paid nicely to do it.

I don't know which provides the fuel for the fire, the fans or the media. Both, I know. Both are horrible, and should just shut the fuck up already. Junior is gone now, you got what you wanted, move on. But no. 700 WLW AM aired a faux promo today, the day Junior was traded, that included clips of the press conference from when Junior first came to the Reds and ended with the line "Now the question remains, who will be the next Reds half-asser?" Because, you know, that's all Junior has done as a baseball player is half-ass his way through his career. That's why he has 608 career home runs -- the sixth most ever in the history of the game. That's why when his hamstring was literally torn off his bone, he had surgery to screw it back in place and came back to play baseball for this team. That's why he signed a ridiculously cheap deal to come here in the first place. To half-ass it.

Giving me a fucking break WLW. I know you're a bunch of assholes that consistently try to one-up each other on the controversy carousel that is your hatred radio station, but at least try to do it with some humor or sarcarsm. Or, I don't know, find an appropriate target for your hatred and anger. Junior isn't the reason the Reds suck. They're going to continue to suck tomorrow too, while Junior puts on a jersey for a first-place team. I'm sure you couldn't stand the fact that he wanted nothing to do with your station. (Gee, I wonder why.) So don't bother to try to ask yourselves why that was and do something about it. Instead, take your cheap shots. Puff out your chests. Whine. Cry. Whatever. Lose listeners such as myself. I never listened to anything other than Reds games on WLW anyway, and now those are a thing of the past as well. I don't need blathering idiots to try to sell me on Ken fucking Griffey Junior being a half-assed player. It is, in fact, one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard on that station. And that is saying something.

I wish Junior all the best, and I guess I'm now an instant White Sox fan. It's a bittersweet ending to a bittersweet story full of bitter people. But this town doesn't deserve someone of Junior's caliber to grace it's baseball diamond. This town's attitude toward him and others is nothing but disgrace. I feel for Adam Dunn; he already takes an obscene amount of unjustified criticism here, and with favored-whipping-boy Junior out of the picture, Dunn will get buried under the local sewage that poses as fans and sports talk radio. He and his agent need to do some work this offseason and find another team for Dunn to play for, because Cincinnati surely isn't worthy of his talent.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Why I've been M.I.A.


No new blogs from me recently because I can't tear myself away from playing Viva Pinata. It's just the cutest game ever. You have a garden in which you grow plants and attract animals, then you can build houses for the animals, name them, mate them, feed them to other animals, etc. It's adorable, and incredibly addicting. I would love to hear parents explain it to their children though. This game calls mating "romancing" ... and some of the "romancing" dances are a little out there.

So, that's what I've been doing for the past week. Completely monopolizing the TV/Xbox.

The bad part is, the second Viva Pinata game comes out next month, so there's really no end in sight. And on top of that, I have the new Civilization to play, which I'm super excited about. And then, Rock Band 2 comes out in September!! The set list is looking good. I've played the first one an obscene amount. So much so that, at times, my fingers hurt for days.

I might have a problem here.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A birthday miracle!

In my last blog, I had said I would like a new cell phone for my birthday (which is today, by the way) because mine had quit ringing. Everything else about it works just fine still, but no ringing or other audio was coming from the phone. Quite annoying.

I took it in yesterday, thinking I'd be getting a new phone altogether, but to my surprise they were able to fix it! Just took the back off, took out the battery, blew some compressed air in it, and it worked! Very exciting, and saved me at least $100 ... for now, anyway. I'll have to get a new eventually, I'm sure. But to treat myself and my phone, I got a new ringtone: the Super Mario theme music. Yay!

My birthday is obviously the most important thing that's happened on July 6, but here's some other events on this date (thanks to Wikipedia):
  • In 1785, the dollar was chosen as the form of currency for the United States.
  • In 1885, Louis Pasteur successfully tested the vaccine for rabies.
  • In 1928, the first all-talking movie was shown: "The Lights of New York."
  • In 1933, the first Major League Baseball All-Star game was played at Comiskey Park.
  • In 1942, Anne Frank and her family went into hiding.
  • Frida Kahlo, Nancy Reagan, Merv Griffin, Janet Leigh, Ned Beatty, George W. Bush, Burt Ward, Sylvester Stallone, Geoffrey Rush, Nanci Griffith and 50 Cent were born on this day. And for the record, 50 Cent is a year older than me.
  • William Faulkner, Louis Armstrong and Roy Rogers died.
  • The countries of Comoros, Czech Republic, Lithuania and Malawi celebrate statehood/independence days.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Give the gift of gifts!

My birthday is coming up alarmingly soon. Alarmingly, I will be 32 years old. That doesn't sound right at all, but so be it. I feel like I'm 23, I know I act like I'm still 23, and that's the inverse of 32, so I'm close, right?

If anyone is wondering what to get me, I have a suggestion: This amazing set of Super Mario wall decals from Blik ...


How fun would it be to have a game room decorated like that?? Of course, that would require me owning a house ... so if you REALLY want to be a good friend, you can buy me a house and I'll take care of the decals myself. :)

Blik has a lot of interesting decals. I hope to one day be able to buy some and put them to good use. I especially like the ones in the threadless category.

Other birthday gifts I'd like:
  • Money!
  • DVDs of the movies Bull Durham and High Fidelity. (I cannot figure out how I don't own these yet).
  • Gift cards!
  • A new cell phone. Mine stopped ringing. It still works, but if you call or text me it doesn't ring or beep. So unless I feel/see/hear it vibrate, I have no idea when anyone's trying to get in touch with me. Fun.
  • Gift certificates!
  • A Ken Griffey Jr. T-shirt that is not red.
  • A new bed.
All of this is a joke. I don't expect any gifts. But one of these years, I will throw myself a proper birthday party and invite everyone I've ever met in my life and expect them all to bring fabulous gifts.

Ray and I went to the Reds game tonight, and thanks to my place of employment, we had really nice (and free!) seats. About 20 rows behind the Reds' dugout. Great view of the game, was nice to see Jay Bruce's two home runs and Adam Dunn's bomb of a home run, but the loss sucked. I am 0-3 this year. Blah. However, we did get to see Mr. Redlegs up close and personal, at the end of our row:


He's pretty terrifying, but you can't look away.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

603 is a winner on 6-30

Ken Griffey Jr.'s 603rd career home run happened to be a game winner tonight for the Reds. Exciting stuff! He didn't start the game, but he hit this in the bottom of the ninth after being put in at the top of the ninth. The Reds were down by one, they had a guy on second base, Junior comes to bat, one swing and the Reds win. So pretty. Surprisingly it's only his fifth walk-off home run ever. And four of the five have come with the Reds. Weird on both accounts. What's more is, the Reds are now ahead of the Pirates in the standings ... by 0.01 percent. Hilarious. Look out Astros, we're coming at you for fourth place!!

By the way, two years ago today Adam Dunn did something that has happened only 13 other times in the history of Major League Baseball: He hit a game-winning grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs. That means the Reds were down by three runs, had the bases loaded, there were two outs, and Dunn knocked one out of the park to win the game by a run. It's incredible to think about how rare that is to see. Here's the game story, and there's a link to watch his grand slam there too.

Can't let June 30 pass without noting the semi-death of Windows XP. I haven't used Vista yet, not even once anywhere, so I have no idea if it's as bad as everyone says. It sure hasn't gotten good word-of-mouth reviews though, and I generally hate changes that involve how I use my computer, so I'm going to avoid it as long as possible. At least Microsoft will still be supporting it with updates and whatnot for a few years.

Also on this date, in 1986: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that states could outlaw homosexual acts between consenting adults.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Aggravated minimums

It's always weird to learn about something for the first time and then see it come up again very soon after.

I was watching Miami Ink last week, and one of the clients on the episode was Mark Lunsford. He is the father of Jessica Marie Lunsford, a 9-year-old girl who, in 2005, was abducted from her home, sexually assaulted for three days, then stuffed in garbage bags and buried alive. This was done to her by John Evander Couey, who was a repeat sex offender and who lived about 100 yards away from the Lunsfords. Couey was sentenced to death and three life terms in prison. Since then, Mark Lunsford has been all over the country, speaking before many state governments, trying to get Jessica's Law passed, which calls for mandatory minimum sentences for someone convicted of raping a child under the age of 12. He's been successful; at least 33 states have passed some form of the law, and I think more have since that list was made. According to the CNN video below, it's 42 states.

After I saw that episode of Miami Ink, I wanted to know more about the law, and wanted to see if Ohio had passed a version of it. (It has.) So I spent a couple hours looking into it, and reading about repeat sex offenders, sex offender registries (Couey was a registered sex offender), and what, if anything, can be done to stop repeat sex offenders from getting to the point where they rape and/or kill a child. Pretty depressing reading material, no doubt.

Then today I came across this video, of James Fagan, a state representative in Massachusetts, arguing against Jessica's Law because of its mandatory minimum sentencing. That state has recently passed a version of the law in the House, and I assume it now goes to the state Senate. Here is a link to the video, and here is the transcript of what he said:
When we face it in this situation, why is it so wrong? Let me tell you why it's so wrong. It's so wrong because in these situations, until and unless the lady in Shrewsbury and people of her ilk have the opportunity to do away with the right of confrontation, which I'm sure they'd like to, that 6-year-old's going to sit in front of me, or somebody far worse than me, and I'm going to rip them apart.

I'm going to make sure that the rest of their life is ruined, that when they're 8 years old, they throw up, when they're 12 years old, they won't sleep, when they're 19 years old, they'll have nightmares. And they'll never have a relationship with anybody.

And that's not because I'm a nice guy. That's because when you're in court and you're defending somebody's liberty, and you're facing a mandatory sentence of those draconian proportions, you have to do every single thing you can do on behalf of your client. That is your oath and obligation as a trial lawyer, to confront the witnesses against your client, which in this instance will always be a child, who will undoubtedly be permanently dreadfully scarred.

He's not saying it's right to be so harsh with a child in court, or even advocating that defense attorneys should act in such a way with a child on the stand. He's saying that defense attorneys will have no other choice but to resort to such measures, because their client is facing a mandatory minimum sentence. And in this case, the state of Massachusetts, the minimum the House bill sets is 10 years. So he is basically saying that, under this law, in order to defend someone accused of raping a child, defense attorneys will need to inflict more damage on the child while in court because the attorneys' backs are against the wall in terms of sentencing. In other words, the law is bad. Mandatory minimum sentencing for raping a child is bad, he is saying.

Why? Because of his example about defense attorneys? Even though most people with any common sense know that no defense attorney is going to behave the same way toward a child who has been raped than they do toward an adult who has been raped? With an adult, there's all kinds of leeway to "blame the victim" and create doubt about consent. How does a defense attorney do that when there's a 9-year-old on the stand? The issue of consent is taken away; courts have already established age-of-consent laws, and they sure aren't ages 12 and under. And you can't really say a 9-year-old was "coming on to you" or is a whore or use any other standard victim attacks as any kind of plausible defense in a child rape case. So what, exactly, are these defense attorneys going to do under this law that they don't already do before the court in cases of child rape? Defense attorneys already have clients accused of this crime, and obviously those clients already face some kind of sentencing if convicted. And if a defense attorney's job is to try to get his client acquitted, wouldn't defense attorneys already be behaving this way in court during such cases? Or is it that they don't do so now because it's possible that their client would get, say, five years as a sentence as oposed to the mandatory 10 years, and somehow 10 years is just too much for raping a child, so more drastic measures need to be taken in court now to avoid a conviction?

Perhaps this state representative feels all mandatory minimum sentences are wrong, and that the court should be responsible for doling out appropriate punishments. I can see that point, but I'm not sure that's what he's arguing for in this case. And if that is his point, he has gone about it in the most backwards way possible. There's a lot of validity in saying that courts are designed to serve justice and therefore should be setting the sentence for a convicted crime. I can't find any validity to his argument about defense attorneys though. Not to mention the fact that this law is for child rapists. It's a little different to have mandatory minimum sentencing for child rapists than it is, say, drug dealers. (Who spends more time in jail? I wonder.)

It gets even crazier if you look into the details of the bill that the Massachusetts House has passed. Their version of the bill does not include mandatory minimum sentencing for a "regular" child rapist. This is what their bill does include for mandatory minimums of 10 years for a first offense: crimes of aggravated child rape when a weapon is used, when the victim is drugged or when the perpetrator is in a position of authority such as a teacher, coach or clergy; three new crimes of aggravated forcible rape, aggravated statutory child rape and aggravated assault and battery on a child; and the minimum would be applied to someone previously convicted of crimes against a child. As far as I can tell, if you plain ol' rape a child, this doesn't apply to you. Because apparently "aggravated child rape" is soooo much worse than "child rape with force" (what an oxymoron that phrase is), the latter of which could technically result in very little jail time.

There are some good points raised concerning how mandatory sentencing might affect the way these cases go through the justice system, specifically the concern that the child or witnesses won't testify or would have trouble testifying against a family member (if that is who raped the child), and therefore the case won't ever get to court in the first place. Doesn't that already happen though? There have to be a number of such circumstances already in the legal system where child abusers don't go to court because someone won't testify or even press charges in the first place. (And let's not lie to ourselves about how often the accused is a family member; it happens all the time.) The above linked article also indicates that plea bargaining is harder to do when mandatory sentencing is involved. How do you plea bargain from raping a child to a lesser crime? Does that work the same as it does in cases that involve adults? If a man rapes a woman, for example, he can plead to gross sexual imposition instead of rape, and thus a lesser sentence. Does that happen now with child rape cases? Plea bargaining down to a lesser crime, so that the defendant spends less time in jail? Is that something that should happen when it comes to raping a child? Should we be trying to make it easier for child rapists to serve less time, by allowing them to plea bargain? I understand how the legal system works, but I am failing to see how it is helping anyone but the defendant in this instance. I guess the argument is it's better for a child rapist to be convicted of a lesser crime and at least serve some time than it is for a child rapist to go free altogether.

(As an aside, here's an article about how the GOP in Massachusetts sees Jessica's Law as a political opening in a heavily democratic state. In it, Mark Lunsford says “Don’t politic our kids anymore. Don’t debate their safety.”)

I think it's obvious that one of the reasons behind Jessica's Law and the idea of a mandatory minimum for a convicted child rapist, other than just to make sure the person is punished, is to keep that person in prison longer, to hopefully stop that person from committing the same crime again. I don't know the recidivism rate for child rapists specifically, but everything I've read indicates that someone who sexually abuses a child is more likely to commit the same or a similar crime again than other criminals are.

The overall societal goal, I would think, is to find a way to stop repeat sex offenders altogether. Take this guy, for example. This is a local case of a guy who is a convicted sex offender who was released from jail six weeks ago and already arrested again for the same crime. In fact, his previous arrests led to tougher laws here for people who expose themselves to children. He has been convicted of it in the past, has to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, served time in jail, got out of jail, and six weeks later was arrested again for the same crime. And not just one instance either; two different jurisdictions have pressed charges against him since his release, in two different cases, and two other jurisdictions suspect him of committing crimes as well but haven't filed charges yet. What's scary about this guy is he's gone from exposing himself to children to being charged with child enticement, because he tried to lure three girls into the woods. That is quite different from whipping out your dick in front of kids.

It's easy to look at this guy's history and say "well, he's just going to keep doing it." Clearly, serving time didn't deter him, nor did having to register for life as a sex offender. But legally, what can you do with this guy? The laws are what they are; you can't lock someone up for life for exposing himself to children (though it is now a felony if you keep doing it, thanks to this very guy). And you can't lock someone up because they might commit a worse crime later. That's not how our system works, nor should it be. Can you rehabilitate someone like this guy? It seems doubtful, but I don't know if it's even been tried with him specifically, or with success on any repeat sex offender. But it seems that if you can lock up some who commits sex crimes against children, a longer sentence hurts no one except the person who committed the crime. And it might help keep him from doing it again, or at least not give him the opportunity to do it again for a longer amount of time.

I wish Mark Lunsford all the best on his quest to get this law passed everywhere he can. I admire him for taking up the cause. I also hope something can be done to find a way to deal with people who continue to commit sex crimes against children before it gets to the point where they have raped or even killed a child. But if they do get to that point, they can spend their lives in jail for all I care. Ten years minimum doesn't seem like all that much to me.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Playing with your words

This site is oddly addicting: Wordle

I don't know if it's because I'm into words and typography and design (my job involves all of those), or if I'm just weird, but I can't stop playing around with it. Here's the one I was just messing around with:



And here's the original words (courtesy of Ani Difranco):
i'm no heroine
i still answer to the other half of the race
i don't fool myself
like i fool you
i don't have the power
we just don't run this place

*****

I recently learned that there is a reality show on A&E about the two Coreys (Haim and Feldman), conveniently called "The Two Coreys." If you grew up with me, you know how much I loved the Coreys, especially Haim, whose posters were plastered all over my walls. (Along with my NKOTB posters, of course.) I haven't really kept up with either Corey over the years, though I did see Feldman at the MGM in Vegas once, but I still can't believe I didn't know about this show, which is now in its second season! After looking at the Web site, I think I'm too afraid to watch it. It just looks sad. I've heard all kinds of past rumors about Haim, and I'd rather think of him as the boy in The Lost Boys and Dream a Little Dream than a recovering addict/porn star, or whatever he's been up to lately.

A reality show I do watch, and LOOOVE: So You Think You Can Dance. I don't know what it is exactly about this show that makes it, in my opinion, so much better than nearly every other reality show, but I freaking love this one. If it weren't for Mary, one of the judges, it'd be perfect. The dances are usually really, really good, and more than anything that's what keeps me coming back to it. I guess it's the former dancer in me. Watching the show makes me want to go take classes and get my body moving again. I don't yet have a favorite dancer, but I find myself leaning toward Kourtni. I love her tattoo, and she's twice danced to Ani's music, and she's probably an underdog in the competition. But it's just week three of the show, so we'll see what happens!

*****

Lastly, this looks pretty amazing. It's an online musical (?) from Joss Whedon, called Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. I don't know much about it, but Neil Patrick Harris = I'm sold.



Teaser from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

American Asshole?

I've been doing some reading about the clothing company American Apparel -- why, I can't really explain. I'm pretty sure I clicked on an article from consumerist.com that lead to more clicking that landed me on an article about the company's founder and CEO, Dov Charney. I also had recently read a discussion about how hard it is to buy clothes that are made in this country, and American Apparel is one of the few major clothing companies I can name off the top of my head that actually makes clothes here, so I was interested in reading more.

Anyway, it would seem that there's a lot to like about the company, even if you don't like its clothes. As mentioned, the clothes are made here, in L.A., and not overseas in a sweatshop. The factory in L.A. is not a sweatshop either. By all accounts, the company takes good care of its factory workers, paying them $12 to $18 an hour (the numbers I read vary), offering health care and other benefits, etc etc. The company and its founder have been praised time and time again for how the company is run and for being sweatshop-free. The only criticism, business-wise, that I've come across is that it's not unionized, and that unionization is frowned upon. (Shocker!) It really does sound like a good company, one of the few good ones you might read about in an industry long accused of using child labor and having horrible working conditions overseas.

However, the article I happened to click on was about the founder and a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him recently. Much has been said about Charney's sexuality, sexual exploits and sexual tendencies. To all that, whatever. Whatever he wants to do, have it. Couldn't care less if he walks around naked or jerks off in front of a reporter (who, by all accounts, was just fine with him doing so). But the claims in that article are just ... wow. And weird. I have no idea if they're true, I have no idea how this lawsuit will turn out (other sex. har. suits against him have been dismissed or settled), and I'm not going to assume he's guilty of what he's being accused of. It doesn't bode well for him though, given his already-questionable track record with female employees, which seems to be documented all over the Internet.

As if that isn't enough on its own to make me question the guy, he had to go and say stuff like this:

“Feminism is extremely restrictive. You can’t call a woman a bitch, you can’t call her this, you can’t call her that. But that’s what life’s really like. Yet she can do whatever she wants. It’s out of balance and that’s why young people haven’t embraced feminism, because it’s out of balance.”

And this:

“Out of a thousand sexual harassment claims how many do you think are exploitive? There are almost no sexual harassment charges from men against women. They’re not acceptable – it’s considered that only women are the victims.
Women initiate most domestic violence, yet out of a thousand cases of domestic violence maybe one is involving a man.” And this, Charney decries, “has made a victim culture out of women.”

But don't worry, because he also said this!

“I don’t want to be paraded around like I’m trying to demean women. That’s not my point. I love women. I care for women. They make great contributions to American Apparel.”

For fuck's sake. Way to take one clothing company I might actually consider buying clothes from based solely on its business practices and turn it into one I have very little interest in anymore because its owner is a complete asshole. Actually, I'm pretty sure I own a few band T-shirts that were printed on American Apparel shirts. But it sure won't be something I seek out in future purchases.


To sort of step away from Charney (I feel like I need a shower), I have to mention this review of the 15-year anniversary edition of Liz Phair's "Exile in Guyville." For the record, I love the album, but I probably won't pick up this copy of it. (Doesn't sound like there's much good going on with the extra features.) The review is a positive one. Glowing, one might say. But the fact that the guy who wrote this managed to work in the idea that guys (in general) should take some credit for the album because "they preened for her, dicked her over, and taught her how to push back, inspiring her and making it necessary for her to write these songs in the first place" is just asinine. Sorry guys, you don't get to be proud of being a dick. Even when such behavior might help shape a good album.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A 'new' weapon

I barely have the energy to write about this. It's such a draining topic, and it's so easy to get bogged down in the awfulness of it all. However, I can't not mention it, so short blog entry it is.

This week the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution classifying rape as a weapon of war.

"The document describes the deliberate use of rape as a tactic in war and a threat to international security.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said violence against women had reached 'unspeakable proportions' in some societies recovering from conflict.

The UN is also setting up an inquiry to report next June on how widespread the practice is and how to tackle it."

(See story here.)

Despite my wonderings of what, if anything, this can do to eventually help prevent such acts in war, I am glad the UN has officially recognized rape as a war weapon and how big of a problem it has been, is, and can become, and I'm glad they're discussing it and at least trying to see if anything can be done about it. It's nothing new; rape has gone hand-in-hand with war since, well, war. (How old is the phrase "rape and pillage," anyway?) Hopefully we are at a time in our history where enough people on this planet give a shit about how women are treated that something can be done other than talk about how awful it is. If nothing else, this seems like a step in that direction.

I've been reading article after article about rape and war, all of them horrifying. I'm not going to link to all them, but if anyone wants to look further into the issue, a quick Google search will bring up more than enough reading material. This site has good, though somewhat outdated, articles. Also, Eve Ensler wrote an editorial about Condoleeza Rice's statements at the U.N.

Here's more lovely news concerning rape and war: U.S. Department of Defense statistics show that 2,947 sexual assaults were reported in 2006. These are sexual assaults within our own troops. As in a male U.S. soldier assaulting a female U.S. soldier. I highly recommend this piece in the L.A. Times, and this article as well, which also talks about cover-ups and lack of any real punishment in some of the assaults reported, for more reading on the topic.

**Edited to add:
I can't believe I forgot to include the NYT's op-ed piece by Nicholas D. Kristof
about this topic, which was published before the U.N. meeting on the topic, and which is what alerted me to the meeting in the first place. Some excerpts that, to me, drive the point home:

Painfully slowly, the United Nations and its member states seem to be recognizing the fact that systematic mass rape is at least as much an international outrage as, say, pirated DVDs.


Systematic rape has properly been found by international tribunals to constitute a crime against humanity, and it thrives in part because the world shrugs.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Books! More books!

Got an e-mail today from Barnes & Noble with a huge 50% OFF CLEARANCE!! notice, and when asked if I wanted to go shopping online, I surely said yes.

End result, eight books will shortly find homes on my bookshelves ... hopefully. They're pretty full at the moment, despite having recently bought two of those huge-but-cheap, six-feet-tall, five-shelf deals. Those are in addition to my other bookshelves. Yikes.

Anyway, here's what all I picked up. And for the record, these eight books cost a total of $38. Free shipping is good stuff.

Fiction:
Seven Types of Ambiguity by Elliot Perlman
The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice
The Kindness of Strangers by Katrina Kittle
The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd

Nonfiction, which I'm most excited about:









YAY!! New books are the best. I'm particularly looking forward to the last one and the Nancy Drew one.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

High blood pressure

I've done some reading tonight, and really need to share some big news. I didn't know any of this before tonight, so I figured some of you might not know either.
  • GLAAD exists to grow the ranks of the gay "movement."
  • The real danger in gay marriage: more adoptions and test-tube babies.
  • Gay marriage will lead to a totalitarian state.
  • Kids need a mom AND a dad, or they're screwed.
  • If we hadn't done away with sodomy laws, there wouldn't be gay people!
  • Gay marriage tears at the fabric of the Constitution. Aww. Sad.
  • Gay people = raping children's minds.
  • Old, ugly women shouldn't be on the front page of newspapers.
Get to know thy enemies here and here.


It's just sad that people are so afraid of something different from themselves. If you take the time to read those transcripts, I highly recommend reading the comments posted under them as well. There's some good points made.

One of the things that kills me about the above people (the links, not the people in the picture; that would be a whole other blog) is how all this crap applies only to gay people. "A kid needs a mother and a father." OK, then let's talk about the number of kids who live in single-parent homes, and why it is that so many do, and why that doesn't seem to be nearly as much of a "problem" as two men or two women raising a child. Just because they were (mostly, I assume) conceived naturally by a man and women? It then makes it OK for the mother or father to not be around while the child grows up? One of the shows also mentions how gay marriage will lead to divorces and legal battles and "psychological disruption." Because heterosexual marriages don't lead to the same? Or maybe it's just more acceptable to be upset about a marriage ending if it's a "real relationship" between a man and a woman?" Look out for all those gay legal battles everyone! They're fierce!

One of the guys does mention that the institution of marriage is in a decline, and goes on to say gay marriage will only further that decline. But there's no talk about why the institution of marrige is declining in the first place. If you're so worried about it, why not focus your energy on that issue, which should be far more important to these people who claim to so strongly believe in marriage. But nope, gay marriage = end of society. And eventually the human race, since, you know, gays can't reproduce.

I know this is the second time in this blog's short life that I've discussed gay marriage. I highly doubt it will be the last. One might be surprised to know I'm not gay. Not even a little. I just want everyone to be able to do the same things everyone else can. I don't want someone's backward view of the world stopping my (female) friend's girlfriend from being able to live in this country because she's from another country and can't get any kind of domestic partner-type visa to live here, even for a little while, and even though her country does offer that type of visa to non-citizens. And that's not even marriage! Not to mention I'm so amazed at how idiotic people are about the "gay" issue in the first place, such as the douchebags above, that I can't help myself from reading their nonsense. You have to know what you're fighting against, after all.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Marriages and brain matter

In light of this little quibble AP and some bloggers have going on, I think I'll refrain from quoting AP articles for a while so I don't get in trouble.

(You see, that's funny because no one is reading this blog but me, as far as I can tell.)

I'd like to say congratulations to 80-something-year-olds Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, a couple who has been together for 50+ years, and today become the first gay couple to be married in San Francisco. I wonder if they ever thought this day would come in their lifetimes (well, it kind of already did in 2004, but still). I have yet to ever hear any logical argument against gay marriage. The whole "marriage is an institution between men and women" defense is simply hilarious these days. How do you argue that something that works
only half the time, and in which fewer and fewer people are taking part in, is even an institution any more? How does something that doesn't even affect you at all somehow affect you? I hope this law sticks in California, that other parts of the country wise up, and that someday this won't even be given second thought. Also, it looks like science is coming up with more and more evidence that being gay isn't a choice. A new study shows that the brain hemispheres of gay men and straight women are about the same, while the hemispheres of straight men and gay women are the same (in that they're both asymmetrical). Not that science is ever going to convince people who, well, don't believe in science.

In what could be good news for me, coffee helps you live longer! (I type as I sit here drinking yet another cup of it.) Or at least might help you live longer, maybe, if you're a healthy woman. Woman I am, healthy ... not really. But I'm still putting this one in my court, since it's one of the few vices I have that might have some health benefits.

I'm absolutely fascinated by this.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Braised Stuffed Hearts

There's this great blog out there, Shorpy, that posts amazing vintage/historic photos. It's a site you can easily get lost in for an hour and not even realize it. Here's a great example:















October 1942: "Share The Meat recipes. To supplement the voluntary weekly meat allotment of two and a half pounds per person, housewives are turning to the unlimited supply of 'variety' meats on the market. Beef or calf hearts are among these meats which are rich in iron and vitamin B. Wash and slit the hearts, remove gristle and blood vessels. For the stuffing, chop an onion and a stalk of celery into two tablespoons of fat and cook for a few minutes. Add two to three cups of soft bread crumbs and season to taste with salt and pepper. Thyme goes well with heart - add a pinch to the stuffing. Fill hearts with stuffing and sew up the slit with coarse thread. Brown the hearts on all sides in fat, then place in a covered baking dish or casserole. Add a half of cup of water, cover closely and cook until tender in a very moderate oven (about 300 degrees Fahrenheit). Calf hearts require about one and a half hours, beef hearts will require much longer - four to five hours. Make gravy of the pan drippings and serve the hearts piping hot, garnished with crisp greens." Photograph by Ann Rosener for the Office of Emergency Management.



Yum!

If hearts aren't your thing, and, say, movie popcorn is, you should probably know if you have a choice between a large tub of popcorn and a medium bag of popcorn, often times you get more popcorn in the medium bag. According to this guy, anyway. Learn something new every day! I saw the Incredible Hulk this weekend, and I'm sad to say we bought a large tub of popcorn instead of a medium bag. If only we had known this information sooner, we could have saved a dollar. (Pretty good movie, by the way.)

A very cool thing I learned about today: the latest version of Real Player lets you download nearly any video you watch on the Internet, including Flash files. This is probably old news to some, but not to me, and I can't wait to play around with it. Though I am a little scared about how many stupid videos will end up on my hard drive ... such as King Kong Kitty.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Testing

Figured I'd go ahead and get this first entry out of the way by posting some items of interest to me as of late.

I just read this article in the NY Times (and yes, it's seven months old; I clicked on a link to it from here) about women in the workplace. It's pretty disheartening. I'm not big on the corporate world to start with, and much prefer to do my work on my own rather than be involved in corporate goings-on, but on the off-chance I ever do decide to start climbing that ladder, it would seem there is a fairly thin line to tread.

An excerpt:
"Victoria Brescoll, a researcher at Yale, made headlines this August with her findings that while men gain stature and clout by expressing anger, women who express it are seen as being out of control, and lose stature. Study participants were shown videos of a job interview, after which they were asked to rate the applicant and choose their salary. The videos were identical but for two variables — in some the applicants were male and others female, and the applicant expressed either anger or sadness about having lost an account after a colleague arrived late to an important meeting.

The participants were most impressed with the angry man, followed by the sad woman, then the sad man, and finally, at the bottom of the list, the angry woman. The average salary assigned to the angry man was nearly $38,000 while the angry woman received an average of only $23,000."

Too bad for me, I suppose, that "sadness" is hardly ever my first reaction in that kind of situation.



Keeping with the NY Times theme, they have a book review up for "Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It" by Elizabeth Royte. Sounds fascinating to me; I've never been a fan of bottled water, because I could never buy into it actually being better (whether better tasting, better for you, whatever) than the free water from my tap. The only argument I'll agree with when it comes to bottle water vs. tap water is the convenience factor. It's much easier to haul around a bottle of water than it is a glass of water. That's still not enough to convince me I need bottled water in my house. My Brita seems to do the job just fine ... even though I don't really believe that it filters much of anything, the Brita is an easy way to keep water cold.

One thing I'd really like to know more about is this information from the book:
"New numbers surfaced: each year the bottles themselves require 17 million barrels of oil to manufacture, and, one expert tells Royte, 'the total energy required for every bottle’s production, transport and disposal is equivalent, on average, to filling that bottle a quarter of the way with oil.'"

If true, how can you argue for bottled water? Especially when it's well known that major bottled water companies Aquafina and Dasani are just bottled tap water?

More information about the book can be found here.

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