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Archive for June, 2006

Car Trouble

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

You know what sucks?  When you car breaks down.

You know what sucks more than that?  When both cars break down at the same time.

You know what sucks even more than that?   When it's going to cost around $1500 to get both of those cars repaired and you don't have the money.

My car alone, needing a new a/c air compressor, is going to be over $1000 (add to that the $85 to have her towed to the shop); that's more than one paycheck for me.

We're trying to see if The Worm has a credit card that can handle the amount, and we'll just work at paying that off.  So far, not so good.  And don't look at me - past experiences have taught me that I'm too bad with money to own a credit card.

So saying things will be tight for the next few months is putting it lightly.  Ah well, the Ramen noodle diet always worked well in the past and I could stand to lose a few pounds.

Why I Love My Sister

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

Because she's a cynical yet witty bitch like me.

IM Conversation had just a few moments ago:

Me:  People...I hate them.
Her: What's to like?

“Not Allowed” Is Sometimes Ok

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

Kamehameha Schools in Hawaii are under fire for their exclusive admissions policy. While I'm usually the first to rally behind equality for all, and rage against discrimination in any form, I don't see a problem with the Kamehameha Schools allowing only native Hawaiians admittance.

Read the article and see if you don't agree:

Hawaiian school admissions questioned

By MARK NIESSE, Associated Press Writer

A wealthy private school created exclusively for its indigenous people is asking a federal appeals court to allow it to continue its race-based admissions policy.

Fifteen judges on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals were scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday in San Francisco about whether the Kamehameha Schools can continue to limit enrollment to Native Hawaiians.

While the courts have generally ruled against favoritism in education based on race, the Kamehameha case is different. The school receives no federal money. And its policy was based on the will of a Hawaiian princess 10 years before the monarchy was overthrown.

"Her whole intent was to provide a means for educating her people so they could compete in a society that was changing so quickly," said Kekoa Paulsen, a spokesman for Kamehameha Schools.

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit initially ruled 2-1 against Kamehameha's admissions policy last August. But the full court announced in February it would reconsider that decision. The admissions policy has remained in place while appeals are pending.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of an unnamed white student who was denied admission in 2003.

"We've had a lot of conflict, including the Civil War, about treating people differently based on their race. I think we're mostly past that, but unfortunately Kamehameha wants to go back to an era of privilege for citizens depending on what race you are," said Eric Grant, a Sacramento, Calif., attorney representing the boy, who recently graduated from a public school.

Kamehameha Schools was established under the 1883 will of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop as part of a trust now worth $6.8 billion. Part of the school's mission is to counteract historical disadvantages Native Hawaiians face in employment, education and society.

Admission to the elite school is first granted to all qualified Native Hawaiian students. Only one in eight eligible applicants get in, and tuition is 60 percent subsidized by the private trust.

Of 5,400 students enrolled at the school's three K-12 campuses, only two do not have Hawaiian ancestry.

The case is an emotional one here, with Native Hawaiians claiming they are rightfully entitled to a quality education, and taking that away would further undermine their culture.

Following the initial ruling against Kamehameha last year, 15,000 people marched through downtown Honolulu in protest.

"We're not asking for a handout. We're asking to be able to take care of our own," said Miki Kim, a 1976 Kamehameha Schools graduate who organized a rally last fall supporting the school. "This country is not fair."

Private schools have long had their own, particular set of ideals and standards for the students they allow to be educated within their walls. I see absolutely nothing wrong with a Hawaiian private school wanting to accept only Hawaii-native students; especially if the school is tailored towards Hawaiian children and their needs in making it in a non-Hawaiian world.
The school has operated thus since 1883 and - obviously - has done well for itself and its students. Why mess with a long-held tradition that is unique to the Hawaiians?

Because someone sued. Because someone, obviously a non-native Hawaiian, felt a desire to attend a school not for him and that he, likely, never would have fit in with. He - and/or his parents - took his ruffled feathers to the courts, and now, after over one hundred and twenty years, this school may have to change its ways; indeed, it's core values.

Yes, yes, of course it's about equality; at face value it appears to be nothing more than denying people because of their race.  It's more than that, though.  Hawaiians are proud of, and trying to keep their culture strong.  Where is the harm in that?  Whom are they hurting by having an exclusive school in their home state, other than nit-picky people who feel a need to stick their hands in everything?  This isn't about race.  This about a culture and a struggle to preserve that culture.

A great injustice will be done if Kamehameha Schools are forced to open their doors to non-native Hawaiians.

Fuck This Shit

Thursday, June 15th, 2006

No, I'm not really pissed off (amazing, isn't it?) but it is - admit it - an attention-grabbing title.

My sis, being the awesome person that she is, has provided me with not one, not two, but three Westbank Shoppers from which I can share with you the sad, sad state of the ignorant Southern mind. Be afraid; be very afraid.

There are many great Hotline call-ins in these issues, but I'll milk this out and just give you just one - a teaser, if you will - to start:

Cat-Astrophe

I'm calling to complain about my neighbor and his cat that sprays my tires every night. I want to let both of them know that I'm aware of what they're doing, and they will pay. I'm going to get myself a male cat, and I'm going to train him to spray your tires. There, smoke that in your pipes!

As usual, the sheer stupidity of these call-ins nearly stuns me into wordless astonishment.

So this neighbor, purposefully, goes out every night with his cat and they both (which is how it reads) pee on this person's tires?  Obviously that isn't happening, but still, does this individual honestly believe that the neighbor has somehow trained his cat to piss in a specific place - every single time?

Let's say he does believe this insanely preposterous idea - his intention to buy a male cat and train it to whiz all over the neighbor's tires just blows my mind.  I've yet to meet the person that could train an un-neutered, male cat to mark his territory on command and in a specific place.  If he can accomplish this, he's smarter than he comes off in this rant.

The cat goes outside and pees.  It's what cats do.  Generally, if there are tires in the vicinity, cats pee on them - and anything else nearby that may be standing still.  I don't know why male cats like to piss on tires; I'm not a male cat.  But I can safely say that the male cat in question does not have some ulterior motive in mind when he's marking this guy's wheels.  He's not in cahoots with his owner to urinate all over the caller's tires in defiance;  he sure as hell isn't thinking, "Boy this will sure piss that idiot off" while he's peeing.  He's a cat.

Smoke that in your pipes?!  That's fucking hilarious.  To the asshat that called this in, what in the hell were you smoking in your pipes?

Private: Same Sex Marriage = Masturbation

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

Haven't you ever wanted to crawl inside the minds of the ultraconservatives? The ones who think the end of the world must be nigh if homosexuals have the chance to join in holy matrimony? The ones who cry the loudest and take it as a personal affront that the government would even allow others to a differing moral code?

The Washington Post article, "For Foes of Same-Sex Marriage, It's the Thought That Counts", gives you a few such glimpses; it isn't pretty.

Thought the best part of the entire article, hands-down, is the small snippet about Sandra Rodrigues, a Utah woman who proudly admits to spending the family's "vacation money" to come picket and shout her thoughts in front of the Russell Senate Office Building for the past week.

Sandra displays a sign - one she likely had her children carefully color in - that reads: Stop Same Sex Marriage: It Endorses Masturbation.

You first thought is that she's one of the nutjobs from Westboro Baptist Church. Who else goes around wielding such blatanly ignorant and absurd signs? But, no, you soon, sadly, realize that Mrs. Rodrigues is simply a small-minded, all-American, ultra-conservative hypocrite - a minority, to be sure, but a forceful and frightening group all the same.

Does she really believe the silliness she's Sharpied onto her posterboard? Is there some deeper meaning that those of us slightly higher on the evolutionary scale aren't getting?

Indeed, there is:

"If same-sex marriage is endorsed," she explained, "then you're going to have children think it's just another option to have pleasure."

Thank you for clarifying that, Sandra, dear. In other words, gay people marrying cheapens the whole "matrimony" deal? If those silly gay people can get "married", then straight children will just lose all sense of what the "institution of marriage" is all about, is that it?

In other words - your words - gay people aren't capable of love. By your reasoning, gay people only want to get married for a lark - maybe for the sex, since we all know they're sex-fiends of the highest order, right? Or maybe they don't even really care about getting married. Most like, they all decided to push the marriage issue just to piss you conservatives off. Of course, it's all part of the "gay agenda"; they're all in kahoots. I mean, everyone knows they're all out to secretly turn everyone in the world gay, isn't that it, Mrs. Rodrigues?

Did it ever cross your mind that gay people may want to join together - spiritually, religiously and legally - with someone they are in love with; someone they want to spend the rest of their lives with? Could it not be as simple as wanting to be able to experience that act and receive the same benefits as every other American while doing it? Isn't that the entire concept of "freedom for all"?

The problem with people like Sandra is that they see homosexuals as something different from themselves. Homosexuals are, to them, "freaks", alien creatures who can't possibly feel the way they do or be interested in a monogamous, loving relationship as they might. As long as they see "gays" as something other than human - something other than American - they will never change.

People such as this will continue to spread their bigotry - not realizing the hypocrisy of the stance they take. Shunning a group of people who are different, in the name of a God that supposedly has LOVE FOR ALL. Denying others the same rights they practice in a country that supposedly stands for FREEDOM FOR ALL.

There’s Hope Yet For This Government

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

In the news today: The Senate on Wednesday rejected a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage...

There is still some hope, after all. There is still a little ray of light shining with the possibility that there are enough people in our government that understand the concept of "freedom and justice for all". It just heartens me to know that some disapprove of amending our Constiution to fit a conservative group's moral values.

The article:

Supporters lose in gay marriage ban vote

By LAURIE KELLMAN

The Senate on Wednesday rejected a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, dealing a defeat to President Bush and Republicans who hoped to use the measure to energize conservative voters on Election Day.

Supporters had predicted they would gain votes this year over the last time the issue came up, in 2004, but actually lost one vote for the amendment in a procedural test tally.

Wednesday's 49-48 vote fell 11 short of the 60 required to send the matter for an up-or-down tally. The 2004 vote was 50-48.

A majority of Americans define marriage as a union of a man and a woman, as the proposed amendment does, according to a poll out this week by ABC News. But an equal majority opposes amending the Constitution on this issue, the poll found.

"Most Americans are not yet convinced that their elected representatives or the judiciary are likely to expand decisively the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples," said Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), R-Ariz., a possible presidential candidate in 2008. He told the Senate on Tuesday he does not support the amendment.

The tally Wednesday put the ban 18 votes short of the 67 needed for the Senate to approve a constitutional amendment, which requires a two-thirds vote.

But the defeat is by no means the amendment's last stand, said its supporters.

"I do not believe the sponsors are going to fall back and cry about it," said Sen. Orrin Hatch (news, bio, voting record), R-Utah. "I think they are going to keep bringing it up."

The House plans a redux next month, said Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.

"This is an issue that is of significant importance to many Americans," Boehner told reporters. "We have significant numbers of our members who want a vote on this, so we are going to have a vote."

The defeat came despite daily appeals for passage from Bush, whose standing is troubled by sagging poll numbers and a dissatisfied conservative base.

The Vatican also added muscle to the argument Tuesday, naming gay marriage as one of the factors threatening the traditional family as never before.

Democrats said the debate was a divisive political ploy.

"The Republican leadership is asking us to spend time writing bigotry into the Constitution," said Sen. Edward Kennedy (news, bio, voting record) of Massachusetts, which legalized gay marriage in 2003. "A vote for it is a vote against civil unions, against domestic partnership, against all other efforts for states to treat gays and lesbians fairly under the law."

In response, Hatch fumed: "Does he really want to suggest that over half of the United States Senate is a crew of bigots?"

Forty-five of the 50 states have acted to define traditional marriage in ways that would ban same-sex marriage — 19 with constitutional amendments and 26 with statutes.

The amendment would prohibit states from recognizing same-sex marriages. To become law, it would need two-thirds support in the Senate and House, and then would have to be ratified by at least 38 state legislatures.

Seven Republicans, many from New England, voted to kill the amendment. They were Sens. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Susan Collins of Maine, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, John McCain of Arizona, Olympia Snowe of Maine, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and John Sununu of New Hampshire.

Two Democrats voted for the amendment: Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Robert Byrd of West Virginia.

Three senators did not vote: Democrats Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and John Rockefeller of West Virginia, and Republican Chuck Hagel of Nebraska.

I especially liked Sen. Hatch's infuriated response to Sen. Kennedy's very well-said statement, "The Republican leadership is asking us to spend time writing bigotry into the Constitution...".

A miffed Hatch responded with, "Does he really want to suggest that over half of the United States Senate is a crew of bigots?"

There's really no need to imply something that is such an obvious truth, in my opinion.

I was angered, though not surprised, to see that Bush made "daily appeals for passage" to the Senate concerning the vote. So many other pressing and important matters to be dealt with in the world, and Bush is wasting his - and our - time trying to push his personal beliefs and old-line morals on a supposedly "free" nation. Freedom is all good and dandy, he seems to declare, as long as you play by my rules; in other words, you're only free to do that of which I approve. Ah, the ultra-conservative mindset. It's really something else.

Still, it makes me feel better to know this didn't make it through the Sentate - that we have some good Senators in there who happen to possess common sense, and can grasp the concepts this great nation was buit upon.

As I said, there's hope yet.

See Both sides see political gains from gay marriage amendment for more on this issue.

Mini-Myrtles Update

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

I promise a better and more thorough update soon - I'm actually stuck home today unable to get my gimp ass around.  I over exerted myself hobbling around the Myrtles at midnight, looking in windows and doing dares with this fun couple my sis and I found to hang out with.  Today, I can barely walk from the bed to the bathroom.  Ah, such is life - it was worth it.

We didn't necessarily get "haunted", not like we would've liked, but it was a fun time and it's always awesome to be able to say "I spent the night at The Myrtles!"  A few "odd" things happened, but I'd rather write them out in a more coherent state as the pain pill I'm on right now to soothe the aching legs will definitely cheapen the story.

I hope everyone had an interesting and fun 6.6.6 and I feel sorry for the folks that were staying another night at The Myrtles, as the local Satanic group were planning an overnight there last night.

I'm off to bed - just wanted to let you know the ghosts didn't get us, but I'm laid up anyway!