October 7, 2018

Brett the Impartial

Last week, Christine Blasey Ford testified about how Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her back in 1982. Then it was his turn to say words. The Senate was ready to go on it, with the Republican majority ready to vote yes, but then Jeff Flake was cornered in an elevator, so Republicans grudgingly agreed to let the FBI investigate the claims for like five minutes. So nothing seems all that different as at the end of this week the full Senate voted on confirmation. Thursday evening right before, Brett Kavanaugh said some more words, this time in written form in the Wall Street Journal. Let’s see…

I was deeply honored to stand at the White House July 9 with my wife, Ashley, and my daughters, Margaret and Liza, to accept President Trump’s nomination to succeed my former boss and mentor, Justice Anthony Kennedy, on the Supreme Court.

Name dropping.

My mom, Martha—one of the first women to serve as a Maryland prosecutor and trial judge, and my inspiration to become a lawyer—sat in the audience with my dad, Ed.

Good for her.

That night, I told the American people who I am and what I believe.

Still more comprehensive than this FBI investigation.

I talked about my 28-year career as a lawyer, almost all of which has been in public service. I talked about my 12 years as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, often called the second most important court in the country, and my five years of service in the White House for President George W. Bush.

Well, yeah, this process is a job interview after all.

I talked about my long record of advancing and promoting women, including as a judge—a majority of my 48 law clerks have been women

Um, yeah, about that…

—and as a longtime coach of girls’ basketball teams.

I think I know the real reason you want this gig.
(more…)

September 15, 2018

Anonymous the Anonymous

Filed under: Assorted Politics,Check It Out,In the News — Katrina @ 8:42 pm

So last week the New York Times has published an Op-Ed by… no one knows! But they claim to be resisting the Orange Thing from the inside. Let’s have a look…

The Times today is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous Op-Ed essay. We have done so at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure. We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers. We invite you to submit a question about the essay or our vetting process here.

Intriguing. Do go on.

President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader.

In other news, the word “leader” wants to sue you for defamation.

It’s not just that the special counsel looms large. Or that the country is bitterly divided over Mr. Trump’s leadership. Or even that his party might well lose the House to an opposition hellbent on his downfall.

Awww, poor Orange Thing with all the shit he and his party brought on themselves.

The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.

I mean, he might know now. But then again, how would you know?

I would know. I am one of them.

Ah.

To be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of the left. We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous.

“We’re not like THOSE resisters. See, we’re totally cool with locking immigrant toddlers in cages.”

But we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.

Figure that out all by yourself?

That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.

I take it you’d like that “out of office” part to come sooner rather than later. Welcome to the club. It’s called “everybody”.

The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.

Nothing that doesn’t require $130,000 in hush money anyway.

Although he was elected as a Republican, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and free people.

“Free markets” is underlined.

At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, he has attacked them outright.

“He only seems to hate freedom when he’s speaking in his own words, but not so much when saying what someone else has prepared for him. I have no idea where he really stands!”

In addition to his mass-marketing of the notion that the press is the “enemy of the people,” President Trump’s impulses are generally anti-trade and anti-democratic.

You had the New York Times editorial department at this line.

Don’t get me wrong. There are bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative coverage of the administration fails to capture: effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more.

Yes, those are some of the negatives. Were you going to give examples of bright spots? No? Okay then.

But these successes have come despite — not because of — the president’s leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.

YOU DON’T SAY

From the White House to executive branch departments and agencies, senior officials will privately admit their daily disbelief at the commander in chief’s comments and actions.

Yeah, really. Whispered to one another in the halls. Hand signals across the table. New York Times anonymous op-eds. You know, privately.

Most are working to insulate their operations from his whims.

Because this is a thing that they need to do apparently.

Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.

Do they all just turn into him bragging about the election win nearly two years after the fact? I’d be surprised otherwise.

“There is literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next,” a top official complained to me recently, exasperated by an Oval Office meeting at which the president flip-flopped on a major policy decision he’d made only a week earlier.

If only he’d flip on this whole “wanting to play president” thing…

The erratic behavior would be more concerning if it weren’t for unsung heroes in and around the White House. Some of his aides have been cast as villains by the media. But in private, they have gone to great lengths to keep bad decisions contained to the West Wing, though they are clearly not always successful.

“So basically if you like what comes out of the White House, it was something we support and allowed to happen, and if it’s something you don’t like, it was just one of those things we failed to stop this tangerine freakshow from doing, sorry!”

It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room.

Pretty sure the only one in the White House who isn’t an adult is Barron, and he’s probably causing the least trouble. This statement is ridiculous.

We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t.

Do you want a cookie?

The result is a two-track presidency.

Oy…

Take foreign policy: In public and in private, President Trump shows a preference for autocrats and dictators, such as President Vladimir Putin of Russia and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and displays little genuine appreciation for the ties that bind us to allied, like-minded nations.

I’d call that a red flag.

Astute observers have noted, though, that the rest of the administration is operating on another track, one where countries like Russia are called out for meddling and punished accordingly, and where allies around the world are engaged as peers rather than ridiculed as rivals.

“Yes, friends, we the non-Orange Thing administration have been going behind his back and trying to be normal. Thanks for looking!”

On Russia, for instance, the president was reluctant to expel so many of Mr. Putin’s spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain. He complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia, and he expressed frustration that the United States continued to impose sanctions on the country for its malign behavior. But his national security team knew better — such actions had to be taken, to hold Moscow accountable.

Now Putin is going to punish him by… not letting him build a hotel in Moscow! All that collusion for nothing!

This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state.

…what?

Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president.

Why? Is he having a colonoscopy?

But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis.

“And by ‘constitutional crisis’ I of course mean ‘butt stuff‘.”

So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.

“One way or another” is underlined.

The bigger concern is not what Mr. Trump has done to the presidency but rather what we as a nation have allowed him to do to us. We have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.

Well, let’s give some credit to the red state voters who saw this lack of civility and were like “cool”.

Senator John McCain put it best in his farewell letter. All Americans should heed his words and break free of the tribalism trap, with the high aim of uniting through our shared values and love of this great nation.

Yeah, listen to the unity message from the guy who placed Sarah Palin on the national stage.

We may no longer have Senator McCain. But we will always have his example — a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue. Mr. Trump may fear such honorable men, but we should revere them.

Lodestar? Is that like a lodestone but shinier?

There is a quiet resistance within the administration of people choosing to put country first.

“Therefore, since you don’t know who I am, please just absolve all of us of this administration’s nonsense. Unless you like the nonsense, in which case, yeah, we meant to let that happen! Whatever the case, we’re American heroes! Yay, us!”

But the real difference will be made by everyday citizens rising above politics, reaching across the aisle and resolving to shed the labels in favor of a single one: Americans.

“Vote for me in 2020!”

July 8, 2018

Pruitt the Faithful

A few days ago, Scott Pruitt resigned as head of the EPA, the latest departure in this revolving-door-like administration. In doing so, he penned a letter to the Orange Thing. Let’s have a look…

Mr. President, it has been an honor to serve you in the Cabinet as Administrator of the EPA.

And you use the term “honor” very loosely.

Truly, your confidence in me has blessed me personally

I wasn’t aware Orange Thing was capable of blessing people. Or of having confidence in them for that matter.

and enabled me to advance your agenda beyond what anyone anticipated at the beginning of your Administration.

Be it through catastrophic environmental damage or nuclear war, his agenda of turning our planet into a smoking husk will be realized much sooner than anyone would have thought, yes.

Your courage, steadfastness and resolute commitment to get results for the American people, both with regard to improved environmental outcomes as well as historical regulatory reform, is in fact occurring at an unprecedented pace and I thank you for the opportunity to serve you and the American people in helping achieve those ends.

In other words, we’re way ahead of schedule on that 2°C rise.

That is why it is hard for me to advise you I am stepping down as Administrator of the EPA effective as of July 6.

Now that wasn’t that hard, was it? Take note, Sessions! And Sanders. And Nielsen. And the rest.

It is extremely difficult for me to cease serving you in this role first because I count it a blessing to be serving you in any capacity,

Someone has a cruuuuush…

but also, because of the transformative work that is occurring.

Look at those ice caps melt!

However, the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us.

Yeah, really, all the horrific accusations about you having a private e-mail server and running a child trafficking operation at a pizza restaurant- Oh, wait, that wasn’t you…

I believe these are yours.

My desire in service to you has always been to bless you as you make important decisions for the American people.

You talk to and about the Orange Thing as if his occupation of the White House is ordained by God or something-

I believe you are serving as President today because of God’s providence.

I believe that same providence brought me into your service.

Actually, Orange Thing appointed you- Oh, that’s what you mean. Weird.

I pray as I have served you that I have blessed you and enabled you to effectively lead the American people.

No entity real or imagined anywhere ever has enough power to make the Orange Thing an effective leader. All you’re doing is feeding his already dangerously high narcissism by speaking to and about him like some god-king, for reasons I’m not really sure I want to know.

Thank you again Mr. President for the honor of serving you

You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

and I wish you Godspeed in all that you put your hand to.

Because when you’re famous they let you do it.

Your Faithful Friend, Scott Pruitt

This has been Day 46 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 18.

May 8, 2018

Bird Battle

Filed under: Check It Out,Science,Sports!,Teh Interwebs — Katrina @ 11:45 pm

So, in this year’s second hockey related pleasant surprise, my Washington Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Penguins last night to advance to the Eastern Conference final. Yay!

I could discuss the six-game series and the plays and the sending the puck around and what all else hockey entails. Perhaps just lavish praise on the Caps players for breaking a 20 year DC sports curse. Perhaps, since I turned 35 two days ago, this new age means good luck for my teams, as on my birthday I went to the Nationals game and, what rarely seems to happen when I go to the game, they won! Last night too, though I wasn’t at that one, what with me having other stuff to do and the game being way the hell across the country in San Diego (with its very real risk of spontaneous swarms of bees).

But instead I’m going to devote this to the best thing ever…

The National Zoo in DC and the National Aviary in Pittsburgh going at each other on Twitter about the superiority of their respective team’s bird mascots! Enjoy! (Clicking the image opens the original tweet.)

(more…)

January 9, 2018

And Greenbelt Makes Three

Filed under: Check It Out,In the News,NYRA Happenings,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:15 pm

Usually when there’s a map of my region with triangles on it, it’s the Pepco Outage Map.

But here’s an awesome triangle for the region.

At one point farthest to the west, we have Takoma Park, the first of them, which did it May 13, 2013. The southernmost point is Hyattsville, the second, which did it January 20, 2015. And to the northeast, the third point, which did it January 8, 2018, is Greenbelt.

These three towns at these three points have all have lowered their municipal voting ages to 16! A move with lots of good reasons and lots to think about and lots of tweets back in the day.

I was there when Takoma Park and Hyattsville each sealed the deal. Sadly, I was unable to attend Greenbelt’s due to freezing rain encasing everything in ice. But at least the people who mattered were there.

The three towns are all right by each other, too. The idea is spreading throughout the region. College Park is inside the triangle, almost totally surrounded and must surely join in at some point! The geographical proximity commands it. You, too, Berwyn Heights, especially if College Park does get in on this. And you, New Carrollton, just outside the triangle to the southeast. Why should the Green Line terminus in Greenbelt have all the fun of being in a #16tovote town when you and your Orange Line terminus could as well? Also, perhaps you’d then provide a little encouragement to a certain town just a bit south of you, just off the above map…

Yes, I’m talking about you, Glenarden! Get it together!

August 23, 2015

New Hat!

Hey, check it out. I was playing Minesweeper because, well, I’m me, and look what happened. I won. Well, of course I won. I’m awesome. But I won a field that had every number on it. 😀

Okay, it was on the third try, but still counts.

You may also notice something different around here. Sure, Why Not? is totally new and improved! The color scheme and whatnot are… ugly as all hell like usual.

But it’s got a new hat!

And by that I mean new header. The winning Minesweeper field with every number because why not? I was tired of the old one.

Enjoy the brand new Sure, Why Not?. 😛

This has been Day 92 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 15.

December 29, 2014

Tyson the Christmas Troll

On Christmas Day, Neil deGrasse Tyson tweeted the following:

On this day long ago, a child was born who, by age 30, would transform the world. Happy Birthday Isaac Newton b. Dec 25, 1642

Hehehe. Cute. I shared it. Why not? 🙂

Then, as I should have expected, a bunch of idiots complained that this was offensive to Christians. Tyson tweeted a bunch of tweets on Christmas, all of them a little snarky, yet somehow this is the one that pissed people off so much.

How the hell is this even news? Is anyone that surprised?

Well, actually, I’m a little surprised. This Newton tweet was just a clever play on words. I can’t even find anything in it that would even be offensive to Christians.

If anything, it’s some of the other tweets they should take issue with. Like this one:

Merry Christmas to all. A Pagan holiday (BC) becomes a Religious holiday (AD). Which then becomes a Shopping holiday (USA).

Two problems with this one.

One, Pagan IS Religious. It’s so often that the non-religious calling out Christian hypocrisies talk about paganism as if it’s some other thing entirely, forgetting that pagans are also religious, just not members of an Abrahamic religion. This sort of statement implies that only the Abrahamic religions are truly considered “religions” and that those that aren’t are just something else. Which is, needless to say, rather disrespectful and othering.

Two, yeah, the USA is not even close to the only country that spent the past month in a shopping frenzy. Come the fuck on! 😆

But aside from that, well played, Tyson. Well played.

December 11, 2014

Christmas in Africa

Filed under: Check It Out,Christmas Time!,Musical Musing,Teh Interwebs — Katrina @ 11:00 pm

You’d think I should know better now after what happened last week, but I’ve continued browsing cool Christmas stuff on Wikipedia. And so far there has been significantly less child abuse.

I was looking through the Christmas Traditions article, with what countries all over the world do at Christmas. It’s pretty neat. Haven’t gotten all the way through it yet.

I had the radio on, playing the Christmas music. And guess what notoriously geographically-impaired song came on!

“There won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas time. The greatest gift they’ll get this year is light. Where nothing ever grows, no rain nor rivers flow… do they know it’s Christmas time at all?”

Umm…

Christmas in South Africa is a public holiday celebrated on 25 December. Many European traditions are maintained despite the distance from Europe.

Christmas trees are set up in homes and the children are given presents in their stockings. Traditional ‘fir’ Christmas trees are popular and children leave a stocking out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. The gift bearer is Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.

The Christmas meal is mince pies, turkey, roast beef or a barbecue outdoors. The meal is finished with Christmas Pudding. Christmas crackers are used to make noise.

Okay, I guess they don’t mean South Africa. Surely the rest of Africa is devoid of holiday spirit- oh…

Christmas Day is a public holiday in Nigeria which is always marked by the emptying of towns and cities as Nigerians that have been successful returning to their ancestral villages to be with family and to bless those less fortunate. As the towns and cities empty, people jam the West African markets to buy and transport live chickens, goats and cows that will be needed for the Christmas meals.

On Christmas Eve, traditional meals are prepared according to the traditions of each region. Rather than having sweets and cakes, Nigerians as a whole tend to prepare various meats in large quantities.

Huh. Okay, Nigeria seems to have this whole Christmas thing down. But then again, that song was more specifically about Ethiopia, right? And it’s not like they- oh, look at that!

Christmas Day in Ethiopia is celebrated on January 7. Many people who are Christian in Ethiopia, go to Church on the Eve of Christmas, and stay there all night until 4am the next day on Christmas while doing many spiritual prayer and rituals like Liturgy and Holy Communion.

Oh, snap!

Well, alright. Ethiopia has a lot of Coptic Christians. They in fact do know it’s Christmas time, just like Nigeria and South Africa. But maybe it’s just them, and that the rest of Africa doesn’t know about Christmas…

Or they do, since according to this map, only in Morocco, Mauritania, Libya, Tunisia, SADR, and Somalia is Christmas NOT a public holiday.

Though the song is from 30 years ago so who knows what’s different between then and now. And there’s some new version of it out now that seems to have changed the above line. That’s something. But the original is played frequently, complete with misleading information. And it’s stuck in my head now and I’m still annoyed because it’s three weeks into the Christmas music and I’ve only heard them play Canon twice with its nice lyrics of not-totally-sure-what-but-at-least-not-geographical-misrepresentation. :irked:

December 2, 2014

No Salvation for Male Teens

So apparently a homeless family of five sought shelter from the cold weather with the Salvation Army. Four of them were welcome, namely both parents, their 16-year-old daughter, and their 5-year-old son. The fifth, their 15-year-old son, was not welcome.

According to the guy’s father:

“They said he’s too old to stay on the women’s side, because of the women running around in their pajamas and they said he’s too young to stay on the men’s side in case some pervert wants to do whatever,” Lejeune said.

So he’s too dangerous to be with the women, while the men are too dangerous to him for him to be with them. Oh, God, it’s like wolf-sheep-watermelon riddle!

But seriously… what?! The Reason article calls it pedophile panic, but it’s quite a bit more than that. It’s yet another manifestation of the idea that teens equal trouble, both for themselves and for others. They are a danger to everyone, and everything is a danger to them. The curious ageist paradox that always seems to yield fewer rights for teens, who are never allowed a word in edgewise.

And it’s more ephebiphobic paranoia. “Help! It’s a teen! Is it a child? Is it an adult? Oh, Lord, I just don’t know. Let’s just shove it out of sight and not have to worry our heads with this freaky age-hybrid.”

The result? A young guy, whose only crime was existing and happening to be part of a family that fell on hard times, is forced to stay out in the cold, as is his family.
(more…)

April 29, 2014

Paglia on the Drinking Age

Filed under: Check It Out,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 10:53 pm

While it’s always nice to see articles in favor of lowering the drinking age, I’ve learned not to get too excited right away. The other day, a TIME article by Camille Paglia came out in favor of lowering the drinking age. Let’s have a look…

The National Minimum Drinking Age Act, passed by Congress 30 years ago this July, is a gross violation of civil liberties and must be repealed. It is absurd and unjust that young Americans can vote, marry, enter contracts and serve in the military at 18 but cannot buy an alcoholic drink in a bar or restaurant. The age-21 rule sets the U.S. apart from all advanced Western nations and lumps it with small or repressive countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

While I don’t care for the “it makes us similar to these piece of shit countries” argument, since its entire basis is “ewww… THOSE countries… THOSE people…”, the rest is right on. The drinking age is a violation of young people’s civil liberties and carries with it some nasty repercussions.

She goes on to briefly compare MADD with 19th century temperance activists (which seems a little unfair to the temperance activists :P). Then she mentions the marijuana legalization and uses that as a jumping point for lowering the drinking age, citing also that “The decrease in drunk-driving deaths in recent decades is at least partly attributable to more uniform seat-belt use and a strengthening of DWI penalties.” Which is the general argument against the pro-21 side’s “Raising the drinking age saved ALL OF THE LIVES!!!!”
(more…)

July 25, 2013

Estimating Earth

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Check It Out,Teh Interwebs,What the hell? — Katrina @ 9:14 pm

I hate this fucking game.

GeoGuessr

Go ahead. Give it a try.

I’m awesome at it. I think my highest score was up over 28,000. I often get over 25,000 anyway and seldom lower than 20,000. I’ve mastered the art of pinpointing the exact spot to within meters. I very rarely check Wikipedia or the like, and when I do, usually it’s a matter of “okay, I know the name of the town and what country it’s in, I’ve just been panning all over the country’s map looking for it and am getting impatient.”

And oh dear God, the constant panning! Dear Lord at the long barren usually-Australian roads. Yeah, I can pinpoint exact locations within meters after a LOT of panning and clicking down a road, hoping that there will be a sign showing the name of a nearby city or at least telling me what language is spoken in this place. Or the number of the road.

Only twice have I screwed up so badly that I didn’t even pick the right continent. Once wasn’t too long ago. A lot of locations in the game are in Brazil, and usually a sign or something in Portuguese can be spotted before too long telling this, along with rather obviously tropical scenery. Well, sure enough, at one point when I couldn’t identify any town names, was on some endless forest road, and saw some signs in Portuguese and finally guessed a random spot in Brazil and hoped it was close… it was in Portugal! :irked:
(more…)

March 14, 2013

Sacked the Gunman

Now for a quick-thinking, death-stopping edition of…

Here’s to You!!!!

So I raise my glass and say, “Here’s to you, Cypress Lake hero!”

I don’t actually know his name. Very few people do. But he’s a high school student who, when another student on his school bus pointed a gun at someone else and threatened to kill, he and two others leapt up and tackled him, likely saving one or more lives. Yay! They’re heroes!

So they went to school where they got awards and medals not unlike the final scene from Star Wars…

Oh, no, wait, actually he got suspended. For being involved in an incident “where a weapon was present”.

Well, NYRA and others are on it! My always awesome fellow board member Jeffrey Nadel is on the case and has appeared on a couple of news spots and radio shows talking all about it.

Also, here: SchoolBusHero.com

Go there, watch the video, and sign the petition. And get others to do the same.

Seriously, that principal just isn’t backing down on this, insisting that she “knows the full story”. After the original suspension, they made up some junk about the heroic student being insubordinate and uncooperative, something they added after this story got media attention and they wanted to cover their tracks. Yeah, sure, okay. 🙄

Because the student should totally have instead done nothing like a good little boy and watched his fellow students get killed. And because he didn’t allow people to die in front of him, he now has this suspension blemish on his record because “only I know the full story, he was uncooperative! uncooperative!” Genius!

Come on. Expunge the suspension and move on. The school fighting this is nonsense, even by school administrator standards.

December 17, 2012

Coventry Carol

Ever heard of Coventry Carol? Yeah, didn’t think so. It’s an obscure Christmas carol, existing pretty much only in choirs and whatnot.

Anyway, check it out:

Lullay, thou little tiny child
By by lully lullay
Lullay thou little tiny child
By by lully lullay

Yeah, yeah… lots to, um, think about there. That’s, um, some deep stuff.

Anyway, second verse:

O sisters too how may we do
For to preserve this day
This poor youngling for whom we sing
By by lully lullay

Wait… what was that?!

This poor youngling for whom we sing

You know what this means?!

youngling

Of course! It’s so obvious!

JESUS WAS A JEDI!!!

April 19, 2012

Mainstream

Filed under: Check It Out,Teh Interwebs,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 3:17 pm

I make a point occasionally to read back through not only my own writings on youth rights, but those of others, even ones that are years old now. The study and recollections are needed sometimes to feed the ever-present thoughts and considerations of the issue.

A little while ago, I reread Alex Koroknay-Palicz’s “The delay between the inarguable and the acted-upon”, about a professor who seemed to agree with all the reasoning behind lowering the voting age yet wouldn’t explicitly come out and say he believed the voting age should be lowered. Why? Because it felt like such a fringe view to take, and nobody wants to be the lone supporter of a fringe issue.

In other words, something we youth rights people hear all too often!

Alex goes on to suggest the solution is to have more high-profile people voicing support for our issues and organization, as well as making what positive changes for youth rights we can already. I agree with the second part wholeheartedly, since making real changes to ageist policies is a pretty clear “yes, we’re serious about this, and, yes, this is in fact realistic” sign.
(more…)

December 18, 2011

Play Ball!

Filed under: Check It Out,Christmas Time!,Think About It! — Katrina @ 3:24 pm

A few weeks ago, I read and reposted to NYRA’s forums an article by Alfie Kohn on children playing, and its being redefined to serve adults’ expectations of children.

Crap about how adults keep trying structure children’s play, making it all about and led by them, rather than just letting the children do it any way they want. Whether it’s “productive” in any way or not.

Totally agree. I found this part interesting, too:

3. Play isn’t just for children. The idea of play is closely related to imagination, inventiveness, and that state of deep absorption that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi dubbed “flow.” Read virtually any account of creativity, in the humanities or the sciences, and you’ll find mentions of the relevance of daydreaming, fooling around with possibilities, looking at one thing and seeing another, embracing the joy of pure discovery, asking “What if….?” The argument here isn’t just that we need to let little kids play so they’ll be creative when they’re older, but that play, or something quite close to it, should be part of a teenager’s or adult’s life, too.[4]

It brought back memories from college. A few times, I inexplicably carried around with me a miniature playground ball. And the looks and remarks I got were interesting. Of course, I threw it at a few of my friends’ heads and they weren’t too happy, but usually I was just strolling around campus, bouncing it around, or tossing it to people I knew and they’d toss it back. I was the first arrival at one of my classes and the teacher interrogated, “Why do you have a ball?” And I said, “For fun.” And he mulled this over and remarked that it’s perhaps therapeutic.

Therapeutic! Ha! Why must there be a reason? I just felt like having ball with me! It was fun. That’s reason enough.

Such boring and unimaginative people! Don’t have real fun. The desire has been squeezed out of them in a world that demands productivity at all times. And those who do have some unexplainably fun seem weird or immature. They’re just jealous! 😛

December 8, 2011

Politically Incorrect Contraception

Emergency contraception is available over-the-counter. No prescription needed! That is, unless you’re under 17.

But the FDA came in and said “why stop those under 17? this is safe for all young women capable of pregnancy!”

But then HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told the FDA, the people who actually know WTF they’re talking about, “nah, the idea of this being available to YOUNG GIRLS OMG sounds scary! so I’m going to say no to this and keep the current age restriction LOL”. And Obama supports her decision.

*sigh*

Really? I mean, I’m not surprised in a way. Typical pandering bullshit, trying not to make the Republicans too uncomfortable. And politics doesn’t like women or youth and therefore especially doesn’t like young women! So the Obama administration wants to make its policies less squeamish to the average anti-youth misogynistic Joe Six-Pack by not – gasp! – letting 12-year-olds access emergency contraception!

Sebelius claimed that she wasn’t so sure it was actually safe for those under 17. Because she knows better than FDA, the people who have to comb through mountains and mountains of research that’s been conducted before they come to such a conclusion. Right. Hey, Sebelius, you know what’s actually not so great for young girls? PREGNANCY!

Again, though, shouldn’t be surprised. Politicians reach astounding levels of cluelessness when it comes to just about anything about young people, especially their reproductive issues. They ignore any statistics and sense and just cover their ears and go “la la la la la!” and just pass more laws to hurt young people for their political gain. Hey, it’s not like those young people can VOTE! 🙄

Anyway, here’s a Change.org petition about it. And here’s a lovely piece by Scarleteen! And here’s a lovely paragraph from that piece:

It’s so tremendously important that your requests for rights like these be heard. And that the incredibly sound, sage things you say like this from reader Arai, “These politicians really need to get on the same CENTURY as the one young people live. All the questioning for contraceptives, abortion rights, gay marriage are real in today’s society,” or this from reader Katrina, “Politicians on both sides of the aisle reach unheard of levels of cluelessness when it comes to youth reproductive rights and needs,” are heard and seen. It is, of course just as important that they are also very thoughtfully and with great intention considered in choices like this, but we can’t help much with that part, save continuing to say things like that and continuing to be ardent supporters of youth rights, including reproductive rights.

Yes, that Katrina is me! 😀

June 27, 2011

Final Boss Defeated

And by final boss, I mean the Supreme Court has rendered its verdict in Brown v EMA, formerly known as Schwarzenegger v EMA. This was the case where California has been defending its ban of selling M-rated video games to people under 18. It went all the way to the Supreme Court. On November 2, 2010, day of the oral arguments, we NYRAnians rallied in front of the Court in defense of youth rights and free speech. And Usiel gave this amazing speech, of which I totally shot the video! And after that it was just a matter of waiting and seeing…

And today came the verdict at last…

7-2, in favor of EMA. Two dissenters were Stephen Breyer and (surprising absolutely no one) Clarence Thomas.

WE WON!!!!

Check out the official document here!

I’ve been retweeting a lot of remarks and articles today in response to this ruling, so here’s a nice roundup.
(more…)

March 17, 2011

When I Saw It…

Filed under: Check It Out,Foodz — Katrina @ 8:24 pm

Wow, my ass sure does hurt. From all the humongous gold bricks I shat.

:wow: :wow: :wow: :wow: :wow:

Five Alive?! In my United States?!

😀

December 2, 2010

Vindicated!

Filed under: Check It Out,Christmas Time!,Foodz,Teh Interwebs — Katrina @ 10:15 am

I hate cheese.

That’s one infamous thing about me that anyone who knows me even a little bit knows or will find out soon enough. When I first mention it, I get some strange looks and shocked reactions, as if I’d just praised Satan or something. Some wonder if I’m healthy. Some ask if or assume I’m a vegan. A college roommate said “but cheese is a nutrient!” (If that quote hurt your brain a little, that’s nothing. The same girl once told me that I shouldn’t carry such a heavy backpack or I’ll give myself cerebral palsy… yeah.) I’m not really a big fan of dairy products in general. Don’t care for yogurt. Only ever buy milk if it’s to have it with cereal. I like ice cream, of course, but most ice cream has very little milk in it anyway. I was glad to notice on a Cool Whip tub one time that it contains no dairy (or, well, at the time, it does now). I mentioned this to someone and the immediate response was “yeah, I know, that sucks, stick to Redi-Whip instead” or something like that. They just assumed the observation of no dairy was to me a bad thing, but not at all. To be normal, you must want lots and lots of dairy products.

Then I saw yesterday’s Cracked list, 6 Insane Conspiracies Hiding Behind Non-Profit Groups. Go read it. I’ll wait.
(more…)

April 22, 2010

Meet Mohammed

Filed under: Check It Out — Katrina @ 7:47 pm

Hi, everyone! Just thought you’d like to meet someone very special. Say hello to…


Mohammed! The Prophet of Islam! That is who this extremely crude drawing is meant to represent. Anyway, what kinds of things does our friend Mohammed here like to do? Let’s have a look at a few ways he spends his time, shall we?
(more…)

Next Page »

Powered by WordPress