A New Semester

Hopefully, this is my final semester of coursework at UW. I am enrolled in two seminars; Sociobiology and Advanced Research Methods. Both look to be great classes, with excellent instructors. I'm also the Graduate Assistant for Sociology of Gender. I'll be lecturing a bit in that class, so that should be a good time.

The first week of classes is always a time of adjustment. This semester, however, has been more lumpy than usual. I am not as organized as I'd like to be, and I've already missed a workshift because of it. I'm not sure why this semester has gotten off to a rougher start than usual, but here is a partial list of the stressors that come to mind...

I have a metric fuckton of reading to do for my seminars
I want to keep up on my workout schedule
I want to maintain my morning meditation schedule
I am trying to eat a better diet
I want to find time for writing, both academic and this blog
I feel like I should be more politically active (I want universal Health Care!)
I want to get as much done on my thesis research as possible
I need to get enough sleep to stay healthy

The past few days have gone by in a blur, and I feel like I haven't gotten much done. To alleviate that feeling I've spent the last few hours getting all the articles for my seminars downloaded and put into folders, and I've also been getting my Google Calendar loaded with all my assignments. I feel simultaneously better and overwhelmed. Seeing the work all spread out before me like that is daunting, but it also removes the need for concious thought. I know what is to be done each day, without wasting any cerebral resources on it.

As for this blog, I am not certain what will be appearing on here. I have, however, decided that it is time for another poll - see the right sidebar.

I still don't play WoW...

...but good goddamn Felicia Day is hot.

If I thought it would get me any closer to her, I'd log on right now...
(Thanks to Raksha for bringing this to my attention.)

Poke Glenn Beck in the Eye

More often than not, the news makes me sad. Recently, it’s been all health care this and health care that, and Ann Coulter putting Zeke Emmanuel on her “death list,” and some crazy birther ripping up a poster of Rosa Parks at a town hall meeting – seriously, who hates Rosa Parks?

In the last few days, however, there has been a string of news stories that have warmed my withered and blackened heart and brought a smile to my face. No, I’m not talking about Michael Vick getting signed by the Eagles – that just made me uneasy – nor am I referring to Hillary being asked what her husband thought of foreign affairs – that just made me come up with jokes about picking up girls while on a goodwill tour of other countries…

No, I’m referring to the current exodus of advertisers from the TV show of right-wing asshat, Glenn Beck. In the last few days, major corporations have been fleeing Beck’s idiot hour like rats being attacked by Somali pirates. He’s lost Lexis-Nexus, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance, Travelocity, SC Johnson, Sargento, ConAgra, Radio Shack, Roche, Sanofi-Aventis, and my personal favorite, Geico. The caveman and talking lizard company won’t even be on TV with Glenn Beck. And rightly so. In recent months he has really stepped up his game. In addition to his usual schedule of incoherent screaming, crying, and drawing bizarre connections between Obama, Nazi Germany, and his handicapped daughter, he has added calling the president a racist to the docket. Well, to be precise, he called the President a racist who hates white people and white culture. If race baiting was an Olympic event, Beck would be suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs.

Of course, it would be too much to expect the Fox network to sanction him for this behavior, nor can we expect corporate America to actually have a conscience. No, it was the hard work of an advocacy group called ColorofChange.org that actually got results. By emailing their 600,000 members, they were able to solicit enough support to actually tug on the purse strings of big business by threatening a boycott of products advertised on Beck’s show. It’s beautiful really – Beck was attempting to rouse the ire of whites, and instead he pissed off the black community so much that they actually reacted effectively. He has moved people to action – against him. I absolutely love it.

ColorofChange is still pressuring his other advertisers to pull their ads, and they want you to add your voice to the outcry. At ColorOfChange.org you can sign an online petition, or better yet, you can write to his advertisers directly. Currently, folks are asked to write to the CEO of Red Lobster, and to WalMart’s Director of Ethics – which, incidentally, has got to be the most oxymoronic title in corporate America.

You should do this. You should do it in the name of responsible broadcasting… or in the name of corporate responsibility… or in the name of poking Glenn Beck in the eye… or, just in the name of making the Black Pope happy – you want me to be happy, right? My life is so hollow – help me out here…

Are "Ordinary Americans" Really This Stupid?

I love democracy. I love it as much or more than the next guy – especially when the next guy is a whacked out teabagger who has been whipped into a frenzy by the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity. As our legislators wade into the festering cesspool that is the health care debate, the right-wing talking heads have encouraged their devotees – so called, “ordinary Americans” - to assault every town hall meeting with a barrage of half truths and irrational frothing about everything from assisted suicide to Obama’s Muslim Kenyan origins. In an attempt to protect our Democracy from the dangerous Socialists who want to institute horrible Nazi reforms like giving everyone the ability to see a doctor, these thinly-veiled lynch mobs have disrupted town hall meetings all over the US, and prevented any realistic debate about the issue. The fact that just out-yelling your opponents is completely counter to the ideals of our Democracy apparently hasn’t occurred to them yet, but even if it did, they certainly wouldn’t let a little detail like that deter them from their appointed mission.

In fact, some of them are taking that mission so seriously that they’re prepared to take the next illogical step. Numerous Democratic lawmakers have reported receiving threats by phone, email, and in person. Just as you’d expect from the ignorant “guns and god” demographic, these threats involve promises of violence and death for legislators who support the health care bill. It’s only a matter of time before some lunatic hopped up on huge doses of Glenn Beck and Pabst Blue Ribbon actually demonstrates his interpretation of the 2nd Amendment and drops the hammer on a Democrat. Of course, Beck and the rest will abhor the violence, even though they are actively fomenting it with fear mongering and disinformation. According to them, the government is going to tell us all which pills to take, force us all to stand in line for hours in pools of your own blood, and euthanize grandma when she gets too expensive to care for.

Folks, I’ve looked the bill over – and notice I said, “looked it over,” because the PDF is over 1000 pages long. When someone says they’ve read the bill, please feel free to call shenanigans because they’re full of crap. At any rate, I’ve looked it over, and from what I can tell they really aren’t going to bureaucratize us into death camps, no matter how many times those wankers on Fox News say so.

The truth is, the majority of Americans have nothing to lose in this battle. The number of uninsured and underinsured is always a subject of debate, but the experts all agree that those numbers are rising steadily every year. The Census Bureau reports that the families hit hardest are those with incomes between $25,000 and $75,000 a year – which is the bulk of “ordinary Americans.” Hand in hand with the rising uninsured number is a decrease in employer coverage, which also hits the 25 to 75k crowd the hardest. So tell me again why these “ordinary Americans” are protesting a bill that will help them the most?

It comes down to this – they have been lied to. Worse yet, many of them lack the cognitive skills to know a lie from the truth. That's right - I'm outright calling them stupid. Given that they are stupid, those who would lie to them to further their own political ends are despicable, but those who would do so for something so base as ratings deserve to be placed in the very same dystopian healthcare systems they predict. When Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh are bleeding out while standing in line for government health care, THEN I might support euthanasia.

Technical Difficulties

Apparently, Blogger is borked...