Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I hate Clarence Thomas

Supreme Court decisions for the 2009 year were handed down yesterday and as usual, Clarence Thomas goes further right than even Rush Limbaugh (a friend of Clarence Thomas), and even made the one dissenting vote on the case of the strip search at a middle school (Thomas said it was permissable for a school to do a strip search, whenever and wherever they feel).

I have hated Clarence Thomas since he came onto the national scene. I revile him. He is a hypocrite of the highest order and a hater of his own ancestry (which is one of my largest disgusts). This man used affirmative action to get ahead, he only got into Yale Law School because in 1971, when Thomas was admitted to Yale, the school was agressively pursuing affirmative action, 10% minority student body. The school also offered him financial aid because of his race. He then was appointed to positions often because of his race, including but not limited to role of Supreme Court Justice.

Thomas has been since his very start, opposed to the Civil Rights Voting Act of 1965 and at ever turn tries to overturn it. This from a man who has trampled on the backs of the very people who got sprayed, beaten and lynched to enact the Civil Rights Act. The man is whiter than white. This is a man who yearns for the good ol'e days...of Hoover (yeah when there were such things as Whites-only lunch counters).

The more I read about him, the more I think he is seriously ill, how else can you explain this "House Slave" mentality? He is always wanting to please "massah," like a modern day age Stockholm Syndrome - his captors are all the white men, i.e. George H. Bush, who gave him power. Thomas has voted or made decisions against minimum wage, the Family Leave act, maximum work hours and at times frowned at certain aspects of the Bill of Rights.

When I think of Thomas I think of two things, one a man who climbed this ladder and see's others at the bottom trying to climb the same ladder and kicks the ladder away and two a man who daily wishes to scrub away the color of his skin. Pathetic.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Experience At Sak's Fifth Avenue

Sorry for the delay in posting - busy week and it is still not over - aye!

So last week I was in Los Angeles, CA for work. It was very interesting to be on a team with four ladies. Guess what we did every night....that's right, shopped! Los Angeles and really the state of California is not the best place to shop as they have high taxes but you know how it is when four ladies get together, the one thing we all have in common (as far as pastimes go) is shopping.

On the second day of our stay in Los Angeles we ended up in Beverly Hills at no less than Saks Fifth Avenue (the one Winona Ryder shoplifted from!). This was truly an adventure in how the other half lives (and by other half I mean the rich half).

Everything in the store was $1000 or more, except the sale items which were priced generally between $200 - $700. For someone who clips Michael coupons to save $.50 off a dollar, this was clearly out of my realm. I joked that I probably couldn't even afford the paper shopping bag given at this establishment.

The store itself is lovely, four floors of women's clothing, each designer has their own section (I loved Oscar De La Renta's pieces, beautiful!). The ground level was purses, shoes and cosmetics. Everyone who worked there was very nice, nothing like Pretty Woman, no patronizing or looking down their nose.

When I first entered I sincerely believed I couldn't afford anything in there but the more we went exploring (the team alloted an hour for the store), the more I realized it wasn't about that I couldn't afford it, as much as I could not justify wasting money in that manner. There was this beautiful dress that I really liked, pretty and perfect for summer, on sale for $369. I could definitely afford that, but is that a good use of my money? My student loan for graduate school is a monthly payment of $313 - less than the dress! For $369 I could educate a child in India for two years in an English speaking private school, two years of education that could significantly improve their lives vs. a dress that I would wear maybe a few times, than either I would get tired of it or grow out of it, or in my case, spill some food on it.

This whole Saks Fifth Avenue experience has brought to my mind many questions - who are these people who shop there? Isn't there a better use of money than wasting so much of it on clothes, particularly clothes that will go out of style? There are starving people around the world, who live on $2 a day, how does one who spends $4000 for a pair of Gucci pants, look someone poor in the face? Isn't this just a massive example of excessive opulance? Why are these clothes so high priced? Why are people shopping here? What do the people who work there make? Why don't the people who shop here make better use of their money?? Does anyone care?

Friday, June 19, 2009

John Kerry's Letter About Iranian Elections

Love him or hate him, I think John Kerry wrote a thoroughly intelligent and mindful letter about the recent elections in Iran to the New York Times, and to which I agree with, hence I am copying it here.

The grass-roots protests that have engulfed Iran since its presidential election last week have grabbed America's attention and captured headlines -- unfortunately, so has the clamor from neoconservatives urging President Obama to denounce the voting as a sham and insert ourselves directly in Iran's unrest.

No less a figure than Senator John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee in 2008, has denounced President Obama's response as "tepid." He has also claimed that "if we are steadfast eventually the Iranian people will prevail."

Mr. McCain's rhetoric, of course, would be cathartic for any American policy maker weary of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's hostile message of division. We are all inspired by Iran's peaceful demonstrations, the likes of which have not been seen there in three decades. Our sympathies are with those Iranians who seek a more respectful, cooperative relationship with the world. Watching heartbreaking video images of Basij paramilitaries terrorizing protesters, we feel the temptation to respond emotionally.

There's just one problem. If we actually want to empower the Iranian people, we have to understand how our words can be manipulated and used against us to strengthen the clerical establishment, distract Iranians from a failing economy and rally a fiercely independent populace against outside interference. Iran's hard-liners are already working hard to pin the election dispute, and the protests, as the result of American meddling. On Wednesday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry chastised American officials for "interventionist" statements. Government complaints of slanted coverage by the foreign press are rising in pitch.

We can't escape the reality that for reformers in Tehran to have any hope for success, Iran's election must be about Iran -- not America. And if the street protests of the last days have taught us anything, it is that this is an Iranian moment, not an American one.

To understand this, we need only listen to the demonstrators. Their signs, slogans and Twitter postings say nothing about getting help from Washington -- instead they are adapting the language of their own revolution. When Iranians shout "Allahu Akbar" from rooftops, they are repackaging the signature gesture of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Mir Hussein Moussavi, the leading reformist presidential candidate, has advocated a more conciliatory approach to America. But his political legitimacy comes from his revolutionary credentials for helping overthrow an American-backed shah -- a history that today helps protect protesters against accusations of being an American "fifth column."

Iran's internal change is happening on two levels: on the streets, but also within the clerical establishment. Ultimately, no matter who wins the election, our fundamental security challenge will be the same -- preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. That will take patient effort, and premature engagement in Iran's domestic politics may well make negotiations more difficult.

What comes next in Iran is unclear. What is clear is that the tough talk that Senator McCain advocates got us nowhere for the last eight years. Our saber-rattling only empowered hard-liners and put reformers on the defensive. An Iranian president who advocated a "dialogue among civilizations" and societal reforms was replaced by one who denied the Holocaust and routinely called for the destruction of Israel.

Meanwhile, Iran's influence in the Middle East expanded and it made considerable progress on its nuclear program.

The last thing we should do is give Mr. Ahmadinejad an opportunity to evoke the 1953 American-sponsored coup, which ousted Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh and returned Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi to power. Doing so would only allow him to cast himself as a modern-day Mossadegh, standing up for principle against a Western puppet.

Words are important. President Obama has made that clear in devising a new approach to Iran and the wider Muslim world. In offering negotiation and conciliation, he has put the region's extremists on the defensive.

We have seen the results of this new vision already. His outreach may have helped to make a difference in the election last week in Lebanon, where a pro-Western coalition surprised many by winning a resounding victory.

We're seeing signs that it's having an impact in Iran as well. Returning to harsh criticism now would only erase this progress, empower hard-liners in Iran who want to see negotiations fail and undercut those who have risen up in support of a better relationship.

- Senator John Kerry (D)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Boogey Man

This week see's me in California...Los Angeles to be exact.

Something that happened this week in Washington D.C. has gotten stuck in my craw. There was a shooting at the Holocaust Memorial Museum by this white supremacist. He killed one guard, a black man (who was so kind he opened the door for the killer).

This killer should have been on some FBI watch list, he had been in jail, lived on a Neo-Nazi commune in Idaho and even had some hateful postings on a website. Why is it that the vast majority of Americans are more afraid of the Arab Terrorists (in turban) versus the homegrown type?

Take for example the guy who killed Dr. Tiller in Kansas, that murderer was also on some FBI watch list, or Timothy McVeigh, all of these jerks were American born and raised. Why don't we fear them to the level of paranoia we do foreign looking terrorists?

I think its easier to fear those that don't look like us than to admonish or even consider that their are hateful people who look just like someone's son, father, brother??

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

What happens to hotel soaps?

With all the traveling I am doing, I have had some time to ponder and one of those times, my wandering mind led me to question; what happens to the hotel soaps?

I am referring to the used soaps - not the one's left in their package but the ones we use. (oh lets be honest the ones that I leave in the package, I take with me to collect).

I searched all over the web (our new source of immediate information) and it seems that hotels just throw the soaps away. Now mind you I wouldn't want to use someone else's grimy soap, but isn't there anything else that could be done with these bars?? Someone suggested using them for heavy duty cleaners or recycling or going through some purifying process and than sending them to poor people.

Well either way, I'm going to continue searching, all suggestions welcome (but no guarantee that they will be given serious consideration).....

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Dr. Tiller's Murder

I am copying this from a press release I received (I think they say it better than I ever could!).

Dr. George Tiller's Murder
The rampant terrorism and violence against women and health care professionals who dare to provide women's health services took its latest victim when Dr. George Tiller was brutally gunned down in his church on Sunday in Wichita, Kansas.

This assassination is the culmination of a coordinated assault by the right wing. This included the demonization of Dr. Tiller by Bill O'Reilly, who ran dozens of hit pieces targeting him as a "murderer," and by "Operation Rescue," which prominently called him "America's Doctor of Death."

The murder of Dr. Tiller is the foreseeable outcome of a climate of bigotry and vilification fostered by the right wing, normalized by the media and parts of the U.S. government.

Now me, Virginia Gal talking. I am disgusted at the likes of Randell Terry (Operation Rescue) and Bill O'Reilly who all but held the gun for this man's murder. They incited the violence and now sit back and say, "no it wasn't me."

What angers me most about this whole situation and the entire pro-life movement is their blindness to others suffering. Do you know that 15 million, thats 15,000,000 CHILDREN, die each year from malnutrition. Where is the moral outrage there?!! MALNUTRITION - for God's sake we are talking about an obselete disease here!!

Instead of trying to bring more lives into the world, why not care for the lives already out there? Or is this just racism on the pro-life movement's part, because as Bill O says of the 60,000 abortions done by Dr. Tiller, those were 60,000 American citizens, so I guess those lives are more important than say the children of sub-sahara Africa or the Indian subcontinent? Its more important to spend money on gunning down legal doctors than shelling out a few dollars so a kid in Brazil can eat for a day? I guess you can explain your rationale to God when you get up there, cause to me there is no excuse to ignore the living. I am disgusted by this whole thing and can only pray for Dr. Tiller and his family in this sad time.

Monday, June 01, 2009

June Funny

I am again traveling this week for work (to Michigan, upstate New York and Columbus, Ohio). I thought we could all use a laugh starting out the work week! My good friend H had this list when she was living up in B-town and it would make me laugh and laugh. Even as I'm reviewing the list, I'm laughing like a ninny, lol. Its super long, so I'm only putting down a few of the suggestions. I had to share - enjoy!

Ways to Order Pizza by the Phone
1. If using a touch-tone, press random numbers while ordering. Ask the person taking the order to stop doing that.
4. Order a Big Mac Extra Value Meal
5. Terminate the call with, "Remember, we never had this conversation."
6. Tell the order taker a rival pizza place is o the other line and you're going with the lowest bidder.
13. Do not name the toppings you want. Rather, spell them out.
23. Change your accent every 3 seconds.
35. Tell them to double-check to make sure that your pizza is, in fact, dead.
41. Amuse the order taker with little known facts about country music.
48. Order a slice, not a whole pizza, and have it be delivered
53. Order 2 toppings, the say, "No, they'll start fighting."
58. Use expletives like "Great Ceaser's Ghost" and "Jesus Joseph and Mary in Tinsel Town"
63. Start the call with "My call to (pizza place), Take 1, and. Action!"