Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Fact Check

I've decided to implement a semi-regular category in this blog. We're calling it Friday Fact Check, as evidenced by the title of this thread.

The reason for this should be fairly clear to anyone who has been paying attention to politics in America for the past couple of decades or so. Conservatives and the rest of the country are functioning with two entirely separate groups of facts. Normally this would be a cue for any liberal blogger to start in on a rage about the FOX network and their lackadaisical attention to the truth.

I'm not going to take that cue. It's not FOX's fault. It's the viewer's fault. No one forces viewers to listen to those lies and no one forces viewers to believe those lies, especially when the truth is accessible through the not particularly taxing method of using a search engine or accessing one's own long term memory.

Seriously, people, this is not complicated. Here.

If we're going to have intelligent conversations on the issues of the day there are some facts we all need to stipulate as, you know, factual. Anyone unwilling to stipulate to certain facts is a liar. There's no reason to soften that statement or pretend otherwise. If you're not willing to look at clearly documented facts when they are presented to you and you continue to spread non-factual information after clearly documented facts are presented to you, you are a liar. Stop doing that.

Fact From Recent Days That Need to Be Recognized:

On The Verdict in the Roeder Trial:

Dr. George Tiller did not offer later term abortions to any and everyone who came in off the street. Kansas law is very clear and very strict when it comes to this issue. A viable fetus cannot legally be aborted and Dr. Tiller was consistently found to be complying with the law.

On One Small Aspect of the State of the Union Speech:

Presidents publicly disagree with the Supreme Court all the time. Unless someone is claiming that every president since 1973 has been ardently pro-choice, (in which case, stop talking to them because they are clearly too delusional to function) every Republican president has mentioned Roe v. Wade in at least one of the State of the Union speeches. Guess what? That counts as publicly disagreeing with the Supreme Court.

And finally, a specific response to the GOP rebuttal of the State of the Union, which was painful and sad in it's gratuitous attempts at both stagecraft and statecraft. The painfully obvious way in which you had both a Black lady and an Asian man front and center for the speech DID NOT FOOL ANYONE. How about, rather than try to convince people that you are diverse and accepting of many types of people you actually work on being diverse and accepting of many types of people? You can start by dropping the ridiculous purity test thing.

As to the content of the actual speech...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Trust Women

Happy national Blog for Choice Day.

Happy Roe v. Wade anniversary.

Trust Women.

That's what used to be printed on a button frequently worn by the late Dr. George Tiller used to say and this year's Blog for Choice question is: What does "Trust Women," mean to you?

In truth, my first answer is, "I don't know," followed closely by "Why wouldn't you trust women? What possible, logical reason could anyone have for not trusting women?"

I'd like to pause here to thank Dr. Tiller and all the other doctors who offer women abortion services, and the people who fought that women might have the right to safe, legal abortions, and people who are still fighting. Thank you. I value you and the work that have done and are still doing.

But back to the point. I've spent all day asking myself these questions; what does trust women mean to me? Why wouldn't you trust women? What reason could anyone have for not trusting women?

Why goddammit?

Why is it that women's choices have to be examined,and justified? Yes there is a moral aspect to the question. That's fine. They're my morals and I'm willing to take whatever possible ramifications come from them. I'm just not willing to die, not willing sit by while other women die.

Because let's be clear here. Anti-choice crusaders aren't fighting for fewer abortions. They're fighting for fewer safe, legal abortions.

Making abortion illegal won't stop abortion and it won't lower the number of abortions one bit. It never has and it never will. that's a fact that America needs to deal with.

This debate is complex and has many valid perspectives but it isn't a debate about the fact of abortion. It's about access to abortion without harassment. It's about not having to deal with assumption that women don't really know what we want and if we were just forced to sit through enough anti-choice, science impaired, rhetoric we'll realize that our destiny is to breed. It's about the need to force everyone to live by an arbitrary set of morals in an effort to validate some bizarre sense of superiority. It's bullshit and I'm not having it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Return of the Political Commentary: Change and the Modern Voter

"How's that change so far?"

"The President has done nothing!"

"Keep the change."

"I'll keep my liberty you can keep the change."

These are things that I hear all too regularly. I'm not talking about valid, rational criticism of the president. I'm talking about people who can't articulate thoughts more complex than can fit on a bumper sticker.

I love when people disagree with my political position. I live for it. It helps me learn. I hate ignorant people and I've found that the ignorance is spreading. The Civil Rights movement started, arguably, shortly after the Civil War and ended...never. Don't kid yourself. We're still working toward equality. The Women's Movement, the Gay Rights movement every attempt to engineer major social change in this nation is the work of decades. Yet all I'm hearing lately is "Why isn't the change happening? Why isn't it happening faster? WHHHHHHAAAAAAAA!!"



You have fun with that. The grown ups are going to have a conversation now 'cause it's hard to concentrate while you're screaming and kicking your feet like that.

In case you hadn't figured it out, I'm tired of people pretending that the president has done nothing at all and that the exact change they envisioned hasn't happened and as such they president is a failure and evil and WHAAAAAAAAA!

Stop it. Your ignorance is taking attention away from the actual issues that still need solving. Your millisecond, MTV, goldfish length attention span and your childish desire for instant gratification without any actual, you know, work is a waste of time, yours and mine.

(The next section is full of irony given the fact that I'm blogging. Yes, I'm aware.)

I spend a lot of time involved in various political/social groups. The key word in that last sentence is "involved." Now, I realize that people have jobs and lives and so on but it can't be denied that the Tea Baggers have jobs and lives too. They also have to desire and will to get up and go do something.

The aides at my Senators and Representatives offices know me by name. Some of them recognize my voice. I call them at least once a week and I've spent a not small amount of time debating them in an effort to get them to advise their bosses properly. I've had more than one conversation with my congressperson for the same reason.

During the election we had the time to get out on the streets and act in an attempt to get what we wanted. Guess what? It worked. Well done. That wasn't the end. It was the beginning. Sadly, what I see most often lately is people who aren't involving themselves any farther than whining about how things aren't going their way and exclaiming that they are not going to vote for Obama next year.

Stop for a moment and think about that. Progressives, who for some inexplicable reason convinced themselves that Obama was a Progressive, when he gave no indication of being one, feel that their best plan for actually getting the change they want is to wait until 2012 and then not vote for the incumbent Democrat.

See what I meant about the screaming and kicking their feet? Grow up people, change doesn't happen because you want it to happen. It happens because you force it to happen and it doesn't happen fast. Get to work or shut the hell up. I'm tired of listening to you. your temper tantrums keep getting in the way of my attempts to make change happen.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Second Entry of Non-Political Content

Although not knitting related but deal with it.

So one of the many things that people would not guess about me is that I love to make my own beauty products. No really. I am never happier than when I am mixing shit from the kitchen in anticipation of slapping it on my face. OK, sometimes I'm happier, but not often.

One of the best gifts I've ever gotten was a group of heavy clear plastic containers with screw on lids. Sadly I lost them in the move but they were a great place to store my beauty products.

So I found two new recipes for body scrubs and decided to try them both out in a head to head death match.


So one is a brown sugar scrub and another is a raw sugar scrub. They are very similar except instead of using brown sugar in one you use raw sugar.


1/2 Cup of White Sugar
1 Cup of Raw Cane Sugar (also called Sugar in the Raw)or brown sugar
3 or so Tablespoons of lemon juice
2 or so Tablespoons of oil. (I use extra virgin olive oil but any food grade oil will do)

Mix dry ingredients then add in wet ingredients until you get a paste. You're gonna be mixing for a while. It's almost impossible to keep this shit mixed. Take it into the shower and scrub it on dry. That allows for the most exfoliation.

You're gonna end up sticking to yourself, and the walls and your shower curtain. Also, the olive oil will not wash away as quickly as the sugar and can make things a little slippery so be careful. Sticking to yourself plus slippery tub floor has the potential to seriously hysterical and possibly emergency room visit resulting antics.

So I tried the brown sugar scrub on the left side and the raw sugar scrub on the right and to be honest there isn't much difference. The brown sugar version, with the lemon juice kinda made me smell like a Snickerdoodle which was cool I guess. The raw sugar scrub has less of a smell and the larger crystals of the raw sugar seemed to exfoliate more effectively. I would recommend the raw sugar scrub simply because of that but if you have super delicate skin I would go for the brown sugar.

OK, so that's not much of a death match. It was fun for me though.

Wash out your shower after you're done to get rid of the oil residue and wash your body as normal.

One of my other favorites is my aspirin facial mask. Take two or three uncoated aspirin some warm water, white sugar and a few drops of raw honey. Drip the warm water onto the aspirin until it starts to dissolve. Add a few drops of raw honey and a tablespoon or so of white sugar keep slowly adding water and honey until a paste is formed. Massage the paste onto the face, avoiding the eyes. Then get in the shower, scrub on your home made body scrub and do whatever for a few minutes. Your shower is your private time. I don't want to pry. Then scrub the mask gently off your face. The aspirin has a mild acid in it which can help the skin and I've found it help if you've got a zit or some inflammation.

Finally, olive oil = magic. I use it after my showers as a moisturizer, a base for most of my beauty products and , you know sometimes on a pizza or something. Try it. You'll like it.

Yeah, I had a little beauty day today. Now I'm feeling all pampered. It's loverly.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Look! Knitting Content!

So, I'm a knitter. I may have mentioned this previously. For the first time I have a knitting plan for the year. How is this different from previously years? Well, I have a plan. Last year I didn't have a plan. Yeah, Ok shut up, the plan is meaningless and will probably be abandonded by February. But for now, I have a plan.

I plan to knit from stash this year and let me tell you, as soon as I made that decision the whole world put every fucking skein of yarn I could possibly love on ridiculous sale. The universe likes to tempt me.

First I'm knitting this hat for my sister.

Then I'm going to finish my Clapotis.

After that's finished I'm going to knit myself a new Headline News because I lost my old one. I'm probably going to end up making some mitts to go with it. Those will be finished just in time for it to get insanely hot here in Florida. (OK, the plan may have some flaws.)

At some point I'm probably going to finish my Groovy Socks.

After that I'm felting myself a knitting bag because the only ones I've seen that I like are hundreds of dollars and, just no. that isn't going to happen.

So that's the plan. Let's see how long it lasts.