Thursday, June 01, 2006
Teenagers who take pledges to remain virgins until marriage are likely to deny having taken the pledge if they later become sexually active. Conversely, those who were sexual active before taking the pledge frequency deny their sexual history, according to new study findings.These findings imply that virginity pledgers often provide unreliable data, making assessment of abstinence-based sex education programs unreliable. In addition, these teens may also underestimate their risk of exposure to sexually transmitted diseases...Previous research shows that survey respondents tend to answer questions about sexual activity according to their current beliefs, particularly if their current attitudes conflict with their past behaviors. Survey respondents may also underreport or overreport their health risk behavior.
I love Schwabbies... have been a loyal customer for years. I've always said the minute they go public I'm buying stock. They'll come change a flat tire or jump a dead battery for free... simply with the understanding that you'll bring the car in to get a repalcement from them. Their customer service is superb... always very fast, good prices. Their annual free beef promotion is a nice plus, too.
Shortly after I began patronizing their establishments, however I noticed (while admiring the taut, muscular thighs and buttocks of the guy squatting down to change my tire...) how they always have such kind, courteous, clean-cut and cute guys working the bays. Being young and single (and always looking for a summer job) I thought "Hey! Wouldn't it be great if I could get a job here and meet all these hardworking, adorable, sweet, mechanically-inclined guys?". Then I noticed. The only women I ever saw working at Schwabbies were behind the front desk. They answered the phones (maybe). Perhaps processed a credit card. Never saw one out in the bay. I thought about writing a letter, speaking to management...but knew it would be pointless. If there *was* discrimination going on, surely somebody would have filed a complaint by now? They're a HUGE tire chain, with "over 400 locations throughout the West!"
Over the years, that has never changed. Despite what pictures/disclaimers they have on their website, The folks working the bays are a) all male; and b) all white. Maybe Hispanic. Perhaps the latter is a reflection of the predominantly all-white parts of town where I've lived, but I would not be surprised if that were the case even in more diverse locations.
So, it was no surprise when I saw this article today on our local news website: Les Schwab Tires hit with gender discrimination lawsuit : snip:
"In 1996, I started at the bottom and worked up to sales and management for an independently owned Les Schwab Tire Center. But when Les Schwab corporate took over this store, they demoted me to bookkeeper," Strange said. "When I asked about my prior position, I was told 'No gal in the company would ever make that kind of money. Gals should work in admin.' I stayed for almost two years trying to move back into sales and management, but the company refused to consider me for that kind of job."
The women's charges, which allege Les Schwab failed to hire female applicants into sales and service department jobs, form the basis of the lawsuit.
The sales and service department jobs positions -- which involve mounting, dismounting, repairing and rotating tires -- are held mainly by men and are required for entry into more lucrative management jobs, according to the lawsuit.
The agency said it found that Les Schwab has excluded women from those roles for more than 50 years and only recently promoted one woman to the position of assistant manager. "
It's about time. Can't wait to see how this case goes. Maybe it's about time I did write that letter....
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Thursday, May 25, 2006
On the positive side, he's a demon with the broom and lawn rake. And per his father (who was working on the deck one day), "pounds a pretty good nail, too". Oy. So now all I need to do is teach him to push 9-1-1 , recite our address and the phrase "Daddy's fallen and he can't get up".
He brings me my towels after my shower. He brushes his teeth. Tries to brush his hair, and mimics me when I put mousse in mine. He is absolutely obsessed with drinking out of a cup/glass - either direct from the lip or sucking through a straw; and using forks/spoons. It's such a fine line between "yay! you're using a spoon!" and "You already ate your breakfast. Leave mine alone!." But he's so happy pushing around little orts of food while muttering "dis dis dis" to himself....
Sometimes it's scary what he picks up on. I've already had to tell Curt to quit groping me in front of the child... I worry we'll be in a check-out line someday and he'll reach up and tweak Mommy's nipple. Yeah, try explaining *that* to Child Protective Services!
As it is we won't be getting to meet my adorable nephew next month. Something about some super secret security detail blah blah blah.... Fucking terrorists. Maybe in September. IF he doesn't have to respond to any hurricanes. At this rate he won't get to meet HIS nephew until he graduates from college. Instead this month we're focusing on getting Curt's pottery studio up and running. We've got the kilns and wheel hooked up and ready to go. Plenty of elbow room cleared out in the garage/shed. I forced him to go buy clay & supplies yesterday, so now there's really nothing to stop him except a demanding toddler. We've already got a few people very interested in taking classes... this might happen yet!
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Friday, May 12, 2006
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Snips: "The United States has more neonatologists and neonatal intensive care beds per person than Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, but its newborn rate is higher than any of those countries," said the annual State of the World's Mothers report."
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Applicants for the course must have a bachelor's degree and be under 45. Male applicants must know the Quran by heart, while female applicants should know at least half of it.
Friday, April 28, 2006
Yes you idiot I KNOW "alot" isn't a word in the dictionary. If you spend any time reading my blog or comments I leave on other blogs, you'll quickly see that I'm the fattest-fingered typist you'll ever see. NOte hte very common DOuble capitalization at the beginning of sentences and the transposing of hte h and hte t in "the". Those my friend, are Mustang Sally trademarks. As is the passive voice and gratuitous use of run-on sentences.
I can barely summon the energy to take 5 minutes out of my precious daily existence to check for stray boogers on my face before walking out the door. Yesterday I put on navy BLUE socks with my black shoes and pants, BEFORE leaving the house. Yet, I DID NOT change the socks. Not even when I came home for lunch. Obviously, appearances do not mean a great deal to me. Not my real life persona, not my internet persona.
I catch spelling and grammar errors as I catch them, but I've never pretended to be a good copy editor. SOmeday when I write that best-selling novel I trust my publisher will hire a most excellent one to clean up my prose. Or not.
I have delusions of becoming the e.e.cummings of the blogosphere.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Thursday, April 20, 2006
"The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions, or a clash of civilizations. It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality. It is a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights, on the one hand, and the violation of these rights, on the other hand. It is a clash between those who treat women like beasts, and those who treat them like human beings. What we see today is not a clash of civilizations. Civilizations to not clash, but compete. ... ... ...
The Muslims are the ones who began using this expression. The Muslims are the ones who began the clash of civilizations. The Prophet of Islam said: 'I was ordered to fight the people until they believe in Allah and His Messenger.' When the Muslims divided the people into Muslims and non-Muslims, and called to fight the others until they believe in what they themselves believe, they started this clash, and began this war. In order to stop this war, they must reexamine their Islamic books and curricula, which are full of calls for takfir and fighting the infidels. ... ... ... I am not a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew. I am a secular human being. I do not believe in the supernatural, but I respect others' right to believe in it. ...
You are free to worship whoever you want, but other people's beliefs are not your concern, whether they believe that the Messiah is God, son of Mary, or that Satan is God, son of Mary. Let people have their beliefs. ... The Jews have come from the tragedy (of the Holocaust), and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not with their terror, with their work, not their crying and yelling. Humanity owes most of the discoveries and science of the 19th and 20th centuries to Jewish scientists. 15 million people, scattered throughout the world, united and won their rights through work and knowledge. We have not seen a single Jew blows himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people. The Muslims have turned three Buddha statues into rubble. We have not seen a single Buddhist burn down a Mosque, kill a Muslim, or burn down an embassy. Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people, and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them." (full translation by memritv.org)
Her name is Wafa Sultan. She's a self-described secular Arab-American Psychologist who went after the roots of radical Islam in a public debate on Al-Jazeera last week. And is now in hiding with a fatwa on her head.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
B.S. Point #1: They* place increasing demands on an overloaded healthcare system by going to ER's where they cannot be turned away.
Alisa's response: "Far and away the biggest strain on our emergency health system are the 45 million American citizens who are uninsured, not the illegal immigrants. 45 million is a number larger than the entire elderly population of this nation, larger than the entire African American population of this nation, larger than the entire LEGAL Latino population of this nation and larger than the entire country of Canada, and more than four times the entire population of Greece. Under Bush, the number of uninsured Americans has GROWN by over 5.2 million since 2000. Right wing pundits are pushing this b.s. to distract you from the real issue: More American citizens are sinking into poverty & losing health insurance than ever." If you're truly worried about an overextended emergency health system, push for universal health coverage.
Sally's Addendum to Alisa: The total estimated population of illegal immigrants is what: 7 Mill? And thanks to tougher laws that require E.R.'s to report the citizenship status of all patients, IME illegals only come to the ER when they have absolutely no other choice, for fear of deportation.
B.S. Point #2: They pay no property taxes to support the schools, which they overwhelm.
Alisa's response: No, but they pay rent and the landlords sure as hell pay property taxes. And you can be damned sure those owners are getting enough rent to cover those property taxes. So yeah, they pay property taxes.
Sally's Addendum to Alisa: Dude, does this mean we get to throw every child of apartment-dwelling American citizens out of our school districts, too?
B.S. Point #3: They do not register for selective service and do not serve in the military - forcing legal Americans to defend them.
Alisa's response: "All male immigrants – legal and otherwise – are required by U.S. law to register for selective service. Five percent of those serving in our military are illegal immigrants. The first soldier to die for the United States in the current war in Iraq was Marine Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala. He died for you. You are not in Iraq fighting for anyone . You are home, sending lie-riddled missives to strangers at 3 a.m. on your computer."
B.S. Point #4: The only tax they're likely to pay is sales taxes which they cannot avoid and can remain anonymous
Alisa's response: Due to their extremely low wages no, they don't pay much in sales tax. But that tax cut Bush gave the wealthiest billionaires in the country? Thanks to it, we're losing $69 Billion a YEAR in tax revenue. For that kind of cash, we could have paid for 40 Million of the above-noted Uninsured Americans to have health coverage. "Sixty-nine billion dollars PAID BY OUR GOVERNMENT AS A GIFT TO THE RICH OF THIS NATION is many, many times more than anything 11 million illegal immigrants working for $4 an hour could contribute." You worried about people sucking the country dry of services and doing nothing to contribute to those services? Start with Bush's billionaire buddies.
Sally's Addendum: Let's not forget the corporate thieves who incorporate in Grand Caymen to avoid their federal tax burden.
B.S. Point #5: They refuse to assimilate, learn English, and send much of what they earn back to Mexico.
Alisa's response: Studies show "that by the third generation all immigrant grandchildren – no matter where they are from or the legal status of their ancestors are completely assimilated English speakers. There is not a single third-generation Hispanic in the United States whose primary or dominant language is Spanish. NOT ONE. This is precisely the same assimilation pattern followed by the Germans, Italians, French and every other linguistic minority immigrant group to this nation."
And regarding remittances: "The same argument should be held against US foreign investments abroad. After all, the amount of corporate transfers of capital is greater than the amount of remittances sent by low-paid workers. Moreover, if the US is to oppose the money remittances of "migrant workers" - should the reverse argument be held? That is, should US corporations abroad NOT be allowed to remit profits to the United States?"
Sally's Addendum: My grandmother (2nd generation immigrant on one side) actually only spoke German until she was in grade school. Nobody is suggesting we throw her out. Well, except my Mom & the Uncles when she's being a bit cranky. And re: money going offshore and depriving our economy? Dude..... the Saudi's & citizens of other oil-rich countries own half the stock in just about every major bank/financial institution in the country. I'd be happy to see some of those profits stay here.
* They being illegal immigrants, of course.
Monday, April 17, 2006
Great quote I've seen in many places in the blogsphere lately, coined by Dem candidate for Maryland Senate, Jamie Raskin. Pump up the bumper sticker presses.
Why Women Should Be In Charge.
The owner, Bud is hoping to make some $$ from his women's clothing line - the proceeds of which he tells me will benefit breast cancer research, a battered women's shelter and the campaign for the first woman president (no matter which ticket she's on).
Monday, April 10, 2006
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Obviously, there's a huge question left here - please Maude tell me that they're not raising the cows *specifically* to butcher them in order to throw 'em into the railroad hopper?? Please tell me that they're only "recycling" the entire animal after they've died of natural causes after a long and happy lifetime of frolicking in the fields producing manure for the train instead? 'Cuz if not - this next sentence is really horrifying:
"It takes about 30 cows to power the train along its 75-mile route from Linköping to Västervik, one of the countryside's most beautiful stretches of rail."
So that would be what, 2.5 cows/mile efficiency? First it's cows..what's next? Rounding up stray dog/cats? Unclaimed human corpses from the morgue? I don't know... it's starting to sound like the basis for a creepy Stephen King novel, crossed with the Polar Express. Let's call it the Corpse Express. Maybe Tom Hanks will agree to narrate?
Friday, March 31, 2006
While the Monkey absolutely adores his furry big sister, and she's come to enjoy playing with him (which she does ever so gently, usually...) the truth is she still has not resolved herself to the presence of a new helpless and apparently imbecilic sibling who requires the bulk of our time and attention, and has yet to grasp the meaning of the word "No" or learn the boundaries of the alpha's in the pack (like, the console buttons peeking from the entertainment center). By the time she was 1 yr old, after all she was fully housetrained and understood that NO means NO. Why he can't make that same leap of understanding by now she does not get. That would not be so bad, except that she does have a hard time understanding that we're disciplining HIM and not HER. So we start telling the Monkey NO and she starts cowering in submission, even though she's doing nothing wrong whatsoever.
Monday, March 13, 2006
Monday, February 27, 2006
I believe Curt is out as I type buying my card at the last minute, in the time-honored Casa RiverRocks tradition. And maybe, if I'm lucky, some flowers. No carnations, honey. Mama likes the expensive flowers. But not everpriced red roses kind of expensive. Who likes flowers that bite (physically and financially? Oriental lilly & freesia kind of expensive. Though in truth, I prefer live flowering plants. He knows this. I received a lovely orchid for Valentine's Day. This is a trait we share, thankfully. He received 2 flats of super cheap perennials that aren't quite ready to be planted.
Pop sort of surprised me (Curt tipped me off) yesterday by bringing my grandmother and aunt for a visit to the new house. They brought cake and a lovely winter daphne with strict instructions to plant it by the front door. In this respect my family knows me well. Lets hope it smells as nice as the jasmine I left at the old place. I'd lugged that poor potted jasmine through 4 different moves. He was a staple on my front stoop. Until he fell in love with the particular light and gutter downspout of the front porch of the last house and I let him sink his roots in and start climbing.
Speaking of birthdays. The Monkey's 1 year event will be here in 2 weeks. I suppose I need to start planning my very first kids' par-tay. Mom is coming up, and I told some friends, but this is where being a child of divorce gets a little sticky. I do not want to set a precedent of having multiple parties for each step situation. Mom's a given due to her need to travel. But do I invite Pop & his stepfamily too? They, after all are the ones in town who provide sitting services when needed. So it would be rude to exclude them. OTOH, I want to invite some of the cousins on Mom's side as well.... which means aunts & uncles, too. Damn.
You know what, fuck it. I'll invite everyone, let 'em know who else will be there and they can choose to come/not as they'd like. Luckily, our house can now accomodate more than 2 visitors at a time.
Friday, February 24, 2006
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Friday, February 17, 2006
Here's an Interesting article from the Economist I came across while surfing today (I think via Clicked): The Mountain Man and the Surgeon: Reflections on relative poverty in North America and Africa.
The author compares two men making about $500/month each - one a former coal truck driver from Kentucky on public assistance, and the other a doctor in the Congo.
The overall gist seems to be "what are poor Americans complaining about?" and it's definitely slanted to the right (highlighting how the Mountain Man & family take advantage of gov't assistance), but it does provide an interesting "slice of life" comparison. And to its credit, it also highlights the high rate of domestic violence in the Kentucky subjects...
This, however cracked me up:
"How, then, to account for the apparent rise in poverty? It is partly a matter of definition. Some non-cash benefits, such as food stamps, housing assistance and Medicaid, are excluded from the calculation. And the raw data must be wrong. Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think-tank, notes that while reported annual income for the poorest fifth of households in 2003 was $8,201, their reported expenditure was $18,492. Nobody can explain this vast discrepancy." Um, HELLO???? Have you looked at the crime rate lately??
Hint to conservative think tanks: Maybe you should try factoring in UNREPORTED annual income: Record Washington marijuana harvest makes it state's 8th largest ranked agricultual commodity. How in the hell else do you explain that "A typical poor household in America has two televisions, cable or satellite reception and a VCR or a DVD player." ???
Which makes me wonder - how much does illegitimate criminal activity such as selling drugs contribute to the legitimate GDP? Which leads to... I wonder if that might not be why we don't crack down more on property/drug crime in this country?? It supports the economy in a sick and twisted way...
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
"I will tell you how to have more sex immediately.
You will clean up the kitchen.
But I hate cleaning up the kitchen! Can't I just whine for some ass and get it?
Sorry. However, when you have finished cleaning the kitchen, you will have whatever you want sexually and you will have a clean kitchen, and that will make you The Richest Man in Bedford Falls, George Bailey.
I was recently reading the online ravings of a very depressed Internet friend who is entirely dissatisfied with her life, her marriage, and everything. She can barely get through the day. She's on Prozac. She feels worthless, sucked dry from raising her kids, unproductive. She asked her husband to clean up the kitchen one evening. "I'm too tired," he said.
Jackass, you walk right back in there and clean the kitchen. I don't care how tired you are. You clean the kitchen. If I can't convince you to clean the kitchen, and she can't convince you to clean the kitchen, then perhaps your dick will convince you to clean the kitchen.
Hey, wait a minute. Are you suggesting some kind of sex-for-cleaning exchange? Doesn't that kind of logic turn people into commodities?
No, I am not. See, here's the funny thing. Women want to have sex anyway. We like to do that stuff. And we want to have sex with a useful person who has cleaned a kitchen or otherwise contributed to the basic maintenance of the household (instead of sitting on the couch playing X-box and scratching himself). Because people who can clean kitchens are hot. People who cannot or will not clean kitchens are not hot.
Some kinds of attempts to initiate sex are not hot. I once had the terrible misfortune of living in a very crappy apartment in Boston with these tiny thin walls, and one day as I was reading somebody's Sunday Times--okay, it wasn't actually mine--I could hear the guy next door whining, "Oh, come on. It's my birthday, dammit." That is not hot. I was tempted to put down my coffee and pound on the wall: "Hey, man! That approach isn't going to work! Quit bugging her and go clean the kitchen!" When your partner is a mother and small people are always whining at her, that approach will keep you from having sex for an extended period of time. If you are lucky, she will hand you a piece of string cheese to shut you up. She will not fuck you. I repeat: She will not fuck you. By acting like a toddler, you have killed whatever passion still exists inside your woman. She might put you in time-out. She will treat you like a child because you are acting like one. She will say, "I'm sorry, but I can't understand you unless you use your big-kid voice."
Monday, February 06, 2006
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
*2/9/06 UPDATE: There's some speculation that this story isn't all it's cracked up to be. Here, and Here . Which would be great - i would like nothing more than to rest assured that this kind of shit IS extremely rare in our military. I'm still not convinced of that. Even if Karpinski is exaggerating, this part still bugs me: "For example, Maj. Gen. Walter Wojdakowski, Sanchez's top deputy in Iraq, saw "dehydration" listed as the cause of death on the death certificate of a female master sergeant in September 2003. Under orders from Sanchez, he directed that the cause of death no longer be listed, Karpinski stated. The official explanation for this was to protect the women's privacy rights."
If, as the naysayers allege - the reports of these attacks are greatly exaggerated, and if, as they say dehydration doesn't kill that quickly (though they speculate heat stroke could), that still does not address WHAT WAS SO ODD/SENSITIVE about the manner of these women's deaths that anyone would feel the need to protect their "privacy rights" to begin with? If they died of legitimate causes then there'd be no need to cover up, would they? Why would a women's cause of death need to be hidden and not her male comrades?
Monday, January 23, 2006
Friday, January 20, 2006
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
"Is our Congress today in more danger than were their predecessors when the British army was marching on the Capitol? Is the world more dangerous than when we faced an ideological enemy with tens of thousands of missiles poised to be launched against us and annihilate our country at a moment's notice? Is America in more danger now than when we faced worldwide fascism on the march-when our fathers fought and won two World Wars simultaneously?
It is simply an insult to those who came before us and sacrificed so much on our behalf to imply that we have more to be fearful of than they. Yet they faithfully protected our freedoms and now it is up to us to do the same."
[Kennedy] said the administration maintained that the law delegated to a single officer in the executive branch "the power to effect a radical shift of authority from the states to the federal government to define general standards of medical practice in every locality."
Kennedy concluded in the 28-page opinion that the text of the federal law shows that "Congress did not have this far-reaching intent to alter the federal-state balance."
The scary thing is - when in 1970 Congress passed the Controlled Substance Act they did not have that intent, however Congress in 2006 most certainly would. How soon do you think it will be before we see a new bill introduced in the halls of Congress trying to federalize medical practice standards? Would solve so many tricky problems... Assisted Suicide, abortion providers, pharmacist ethics, pulling the plug ala Terry Shivo...
Blue Oregon illustrates just how much you can trust a Supreme Court nominee who is willing to say anything to get confirmed: To whit: Roverts assured Sen. Wyden before his confirmation that he would "be careful not to strip states of powers they traditionally have held" but then lookie here! He voted today with Scalia and Thomas to do precisely that.