my_window_seat: (Default)
Also sent an e-mail to StopTheWarMachine.org (see previous two posts). Unfortunately they don't have a contact phone number for follow-up.

Christ. Can't we just stake GWB through the heart and get this over with? I mean, aren't blood-sucking fiends supposed to dissolve into dust when you do that? Or has Joss Whedon just been leading me on all this time?
my_window_seat: (Kat Poison)
There's going to be a Pro-War Rally on September 11th this year.

No, this is not sarcasm, this is not a joke.

There is going to be a Pro-War Rally on September Fucking 11th this year courtesy of the Bush Administration.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/wn_report/story/335938p-286948c.html

This is fucking INSANE, people.

Hands up everyone in Albuquerque who thinks we shouldn't organize a protest of this rally here in our own town. And rope in every conceivable kind of media coverage available to document it.

And everyone in whatever town they live in - I don't give a bloody fuck if you're reading this in fucking Kurdistan right now - organize your own goddamn form of peacful protest SOMEWHERE - because how long do you think it will be before this kind of Nuremburg Rally shit doesn't affect you?

Jesus H Motherfucking Christ on Crutches in a Goddamned Sidecar.

X-posting. JESUS.
my_window_seat: (Default)
Thank goodness for something else to focus on besides my personal failures.

The Battle Royale in the Ongoing Plea for Ethics in Journalism Continues.

Too bad I didn't use, oh, about a hundred less words than I did.

::headdesk::

=================================

Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2005 13:43:38 -0400
From: "Slate Pressbox" <slate.pressbox@gmail.com>
To: "D." <*******@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: Meth Article is Clever but Irrelevant

Ms. M****,

I'll ignore your sarcasm just this once.

Ask yourself, who created the meth mess that we have today. And what
measure would you have the govt take to eliminate meth.

Jack

=================================
And my ever-verbose response:
=================================

Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2005 22:29:33 -0700 (PDT)
From: "D." <*******@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: Meth Article is Clever but Irrelevant
To: "Slate Pressbox" <slate.pressbox@gmail.com>


> Ask yourself, who created the meth mess that we have
> today. And what
> measure would you have the govt take to eliminate
> meth.

My first reaction to your questions is that the 'meth
mess' isn't immediately attributable to anyone other
than the individuals who choose to make and take it,
and who influence others to do so as well.

However, I think that an economy that reduces the
individual's chance to make a living wage probably
doesn't help the situation, nor does the increasing
amount of hamstringing in the educational system - if
young people get the idea from looking around them
that their future holds little promise, how much
incentive is there for them to stay in school and
'just say no' in the first place, particularly if they
have parents who are already users or they live
surrounded by other peers and adults who are?

The thing is, I'm not waiting around for the
government to change all that. Asking me what the
government should do to 'eliminate meth' is probably
one of the silliest questions I've heard lately -
seriously, Prohibition, anyone? The government's job
isn't to legislate against human stupidity - it's to
protect individual rights and freedoms, up and until
an individual chooses to use their freedom to infringe
on the rights of another person to deny them of
theirs.

However, the government's job is also to care for the
needy and the helpless in society. The tradional view
of liberals is that this is done by stressing
individual responsibility and emphasizing the quality
of life of the individual in an effort to strengthen
society as a whole. The traditional view of
conservatism is that this same responsibility lies
with the community, and that individuals should
subsume a certain amount of their personal power to
officials that they deem worthy of the responsibility
that those in power have to society.

As I see it, neither of these views seems to be a
leading concern of the current administration. There
appears, to me, to be a hegemony of power and
influence concerned solely with its own interests, and
no real thought for those in society who are
struggling - with debt, with lack of education, and as
a by-product, with an increased need to find escapism
in drugs. The court system, which was meant to be
government's tool to provide objective standards by
which it used power, and force when necessary, to
preserve individual freedoms, is now a tangled mess of
precedent and judicial activism that those with
greater resources can use to their own advantage, and
which those without those resources are penalized by
without hope of receiving assistance in improving
themselves and having the opportunity to make ammends,
learn from their mistakes, and become functional and
contributing members to society in the future.

As I said before getting sidetracked, I'm not counting
on the government to solve the problem. I don't think
that that's a reasonable or rational approach. I do
believe in the necessity of continuing to *try*
however. I don't think that there's a permanent
solution, but neither do I think that that's a reason
to shrug and ignore it.

But I'm not waiting for an amorphous outside force -
the government - to come in and sweep it all up and
make it all right. I believe that, like the president
you fingered for having a benny-abuse issue, that I
should "ask not what my country should do for me, but
what I can do for my country." If that means simply
being aware of the problems, and combatting them in
the only way I know how - on a personal, individual
level - then that's what there is for me to do. I try
to help people when I can, in the ways that I can. I
try to help my friends and the families of my friends.


And I try to make other people aware, not just of
problems, but of what they can do to be
problem-solvers as well.

This is where I see the role of journalism as having
the opportunity to be a force for change. You, as a
reporter, have the opportunity to inform and instruct,
and with the resources and contacts available to you,
and an audience of intelligent readers, you have the
ability to affect society for good. Not just to stun
people with facts or lull them into a sense of false
security by pooh-poohing the 'scare-mongers' - though
I don't argue your justifiable issues with Newsweek -
but you can be a source of information and truth and
can open the windows in people's brains and suggest to
them ways in which they can be actual contributing
members of their society, not just benchwarmers
criticizing those out there in play.

Be critical, yes. Be truthful, and expose those who
are taking the lazy way out by just printing bleeding
leads. But is it so much to ask that you take one
further step - to be a part of the solution, rather
than just pointing out who isn't properly pointing out
the problem?

Honestly, I'm a Bear of Very Little Brain, and the
machinations of politics more often than not go right
over my head and into the bleachers. But I do think
that the media can do more than entertain or distract
people from dealing with issues on a personal level.
I think the media can be a leading influence on
government, by making those under it aware of what
they can do when it isn't functioning properly.

I don't suppose any of that is in your job
description. But neither is what I do in mine. But
my question for you would be, isn't it when we do a
nominal bit more than what's expected of us that we
really and truly make a difference?

All Sarcasm Aside,
~D~
my_window_seat: (Default)
And for the icing on the cake - here's the response to the letter I wrote yesterday (see previous entry)

======================================

Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2005 11:50:50 -0400
From: "Slate Pressbox" <slate.pressbox@gmail.com>
To: "D." <*****@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: Meth Article is Clever but Irrelevant

Thanks for your dissenting note.

Jack

======================================

My reply:

======================================

Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2005 09:28:51 -0700 (PDT)
From: "D. " <*****@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: Meth Article is Clever but Irrelevant
To: "Slate Pressbox" <slate.pressbox@gmail.com>

No, really - thank YOU - I'll be sure to pass your
informed, thoughtful and obviously concerned views on
to the the families of the people I've personally
tried to help through this non-existant crisis. I'm
sure they'll appreciate it an awful lot.

Happy snarking, Jack.

~D~

======================================


No, thank YOU, you dissmissive, lazy fuckbag.

Great way to start my day - I was running a little short on targetless rage.
my_window_seat: (To Much of the Stupid)
Maybe it's just me, but it almost seems like a real crime to me for someone involved in something other than entertainment-related journalism to be so wasteful and dismissive of the opportunity that they have to be a real force for change in this world. I'm thinking of this because that was my reaction to Slate Magazine's article, Meth Madness at Newsweek and it actually pissed me off enough to write them a letter.

For all the good that does, I know.

It's just that I'm always offended by waste. Waste of resources, waste of energy - in this case, the waste of a writer's opportunity to affect an audience and give them information that they could actually use to make the world a better place.

No, it's much easier to, as ~R~ used to put it, be 'clever, clever, relevant never'. It's much more amusing to give the finger to Newsweek and show them up for being 'scare-mongers' - which they are, I won't argue that - than it is to provide an example of what it is that Newsweek should actually be - a magazine staffed with writers who wish to do more than sensationalize and stun their readers, maybe actually involve them in the story in a meaningful and worthwhile way. In a way that leads to a change in the American public's habit of being spectators in the Bread and Circuses parade of what we should be afraid of today.

Yeah, fuckin' hippie, I know. Well, fuck me then.

================================================
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2005 18:50:17 -0700 (PDT)
From: "D. " <********@yahoo.com>
Subject: Meth Article is Clever but Irrelevant
To: slate.pressbox@gmail.com

Though this can be said of just about any article -
you can't please all the people all the time, of
course - I found Jack Schafer's article on 'Meth
Madness at Newsweek' offensive and shallow.

While the death count due to meth may be low by Mr.
Schafer's standards, the effects of this particular
drug are painful and terrible in the extreme, maybe
precisely because it doesn't kill as many victims but
instead allows for thousands of walking wounded. If
the author of the article had perhaps personally known
as many people as I have who have gone from being
human beings to barely sentient corpses, he might not
be so dismissive of the horror that meth causes.
There are people that I know who would perhaps be
better off dead than continuing to just barely
survive, bringing pain to themselves and their
relatives and friends who have to watch the
disintegration of a functional person into a skeleton
with little more than an appetite to carry them
forward from one day to the next.

Taking the opportunity to poke fun at Newsweek is one
thing, but the time might have been better off spent
flexing some actual journalistic muscle and going out
to maybe interview some of the victims - the users and
those who try to help them out of their use - than
just gathering statistics and making clever jibes.
Perhaps suggesting ways in which the American public
could be involved in creating a cure, in the form of
activism to change existing 'war on drugs' legislation
or providing information on treatment programs or
volunteer opportunities for those who really give a
damn about being a part of the solution instead of
just being an audience - that might have been a
valuable use of the platform that journalism provides.

Just a thought.

~D~
Albuquerque, New Mexico

================================================

Yeah. Fuck me.
my_window_seat: (Default)
Today the Republican majority in the Judiciary Committee very literally pulled the plug on the Democratic representatives who were speaking in opposition to reinstating those portions of the Patriot Act that are set to expire in September. As in, turned off their microphones and ordered the court reporter to stop recording in session when testimony regarding the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay was introduced.

Yes, that's right - turned off the mic and stopped the court reporter from recording in session. As I understand it, this is not in any way, shape or form in line with the regulations that these hearings are supposed to be conducted under.

I'm watching the video of the Hearing right now.

Within the first six minutes of this meeting, GOP Chairman Sensenbrenner interrupts John Conyer in mid-sentence. Beligerance, blathering, and general whining about the 'minority Democrats' ensues - for a full five minutes. Yes, I watched the clock on this.

Sensenbrenner then proceeds to try to claim that the Patriot Act has nothing to do with prosecution of enemy combatants.

The Patriot Act Has Nothing To Do With Enemy Combatants. That's right, you heard it here first.

At 14:49 on the clock, Sensenbrenner strikes from the record John Conyer's opposition to his calling for extra rulings, and begins a series of repeatedly disregarding numerous calls for points of order, personal privilege, and parliamentary procedure, opting instead to wiggle his fat, white ass further into the driver's seat of this trainwreck of a hearing.

It only gets worse from here.

But the award for Cahones of Momentous Size goes to Rep. Jerrold Nadler for calling Sensenbrenner out for being a MORON - Sensenbrenner read out names of representatives that he claimed were not present, Mr. Nadler among them - Mr. Nadler who was sitting not more than 15 feet away from him, right in front of the whole damn room. Nadler then politely rides Sensenbrenner like the bitch that he is for being "fearful of elucidating any information beyond what he thinks 'proper' - are we afraid of learning about misconduct by agents of the executive branch that traduce civil liberties? If it happened, we should know about it."

Damn. I want to kiss that man.

And for all you librarians out there - Herr Sensenbrenner is calling for the names of all librarians who refuse to furnish reading material lists and names of patrons. Yummy.

Video of the hearing, audio of the interviews, and discussion boards on the topic are here:

http://www.therandirhodesshow.com/index_weekend.php

From the AP Wire: GOP Chairman Walks Out of Meeting )

Tyranny of the majority, anyone?

If you think this is BULLSHIT, you might want to spread the word. So far this isn't appearing on MSNB, CBS, FOX news, yadda yadda - it apparently isn't 'news' to anyone except C-SPAN.

I would also suggest watching this video footage, because relying on official transcripts released later will probably leave out all the testimony that Sensenbrenner called to strike - and that's a shitload of information, folks - he was striking out more than a 4th round draft pick. That court report will be more full of holes than a cheap lace curtain.

Want to write a personal e-mail to Sensenbrenner? Let him know what you think of his personal take on proper procedure for hearings - not to mention civil liberties?

Here ya go:

sensenbrenner@mail.house.gov

P.S. To fellow Firefox users: If you have trouble viewing the video clips and get an "rtsp is not a registered protocol" error message, here are instructions to fixa de bug:

What do I do if I get the message "rtsp is not a registered protocol"?

If you are running RealPlayer version 10 you need to make sure that Real-Time Streaming Protocol is enabled. To enable RTSP click on Tools on the RealPlayer menu bar then select Preferences. In the popup window open the Content category and select Media Types. Click on the Advanced tab and in the Other Media section of the popup window click the box alongside Real-Time Streaming Protocol.
my_window_seat: (Default)
1) Multiple-guess tests should only be used when specific facts, terminology, or information need to be memorized. If it's subjective or open to interpretation, why the fuck would you want answers confined to a Scantron bubble?

2) Being willing to meet with a student outside of class, on your own time, is the hallmark of an exceptional teacher. It says, "yes, I really do give a damn." It's also very likely to improve a student's performance.

In reaction to a test I just took in Communication for Teachers. I love the teacher, I hated this test.

Back to class...
my_window_seat: (Default)
As usual I stand alone on the rocky promontory of unpopular opinion on this one -

But I just watched The Village, and M. Night Shyamalan remains, in my estimation, a fucking genius.


It's not a fucking horror movie, people. It's only even a 'mystery' incidentally.

But anyone who's ever wanted to rediscover an innocence that isn't possible in the world as we know it - anyone who's ever dreamed of taking themselves and those they love to a kind of self-created and safe reality that could exist only in a world of their own making, however simple and far-fetched and even childishly based on fairy tale and wish-fulfillment -

That's the kind of person who might 'get' this movie.

Not to mention someone who has an attention span of longer than 7.4 seconds - who has the intelligence to appreciate some truly fine moments of understated and sincere writing, and subtlety and nuance of acting -

Phillistines - all of you - Phillistines...

[EDIT: I'm very gratified to find that I have company out here on the artistic cliffside - and must say I'm not that surprised. I know me some smart peoples, yessum I does. :) ]
my_window_seat: (Default)
Wow, was I in a foul mood today.

S'okay overall though, I guess. I realized it for what it was and just pretty much breathed through it, realizing that it wasn't due to anything other than fatigue. Haven't been able to sleep for shit for about a week now.

I'm telling you, though - days like this, folks ought to be glad that I don't carry firearms. Especially some of my classmates.

In film class tonight, while we were discussing some of the lighting characteristics in Citizen Kane, the twat sitting two rows behind me pipes up with, "Well, I'm an actor, so I understand and applaud Welle's use of dramatic key lighting to draw focus to just his actors - because that's always the most important element of the action taking place on a stage - everything else is just a distraction."

::beat - deep breath::

I came soooooo close to turning around and saying, "Oh, yeah, toots? Well, I'm a director, and I am now reminded of and understand Hitchcock's reference to actors - they may not be cattle, but they deserve to be treated like it. Now shut the fuck up before I use my pen to carve a dramatic statement into your neck, you hollow little bag of ego."

::sigh::

I wish I could have a voice-over narration for my life for just one day...
my_window_seat: (Default)
ohdeargod

I want the last two hours and forty-five minutes of my life refunded.

And [livejournal.com profile] viruswshoes - forget everything I said about Candide being a show that you 'must not miss'.

Or rather, even if you saw this particular production, you'd still have missed it.

I'd say a blasphemy on Bernstein and Sondheim, not to mention Voltaire, has been committed - but that would be giving dramatic credit where it most certainly is not due.

gggggaaaAAAaaaAaaaRrrrRRRRRrrrrrggghhhhh!

If you are running a community theatre, you do not do yourself or your cast and company any favors at all by taking on productions that you don't have strong enough actors to carry.

I just - I'm not even going to bother to rant. Unless you've worked in theatre, and unless you're familiar with this show - and unless you've seen in performed the way it's meant to be performed and then had the horror of seeing what was done to it tonight - well, anyway. Yeah, enough already.

::whimper::
my_window_seat: (Default)
From a brief exchange with [livejournal.com profile] jackandhishat , which, along with other things, I'd like to go into in a more coherent way - and which will not happen tonight.

Tonight, I think I need a dose of Eddie Izzard. I just do.

Anyway - a snippet of my disorganized thoughts on the concept of improving the world instead of just fucking whinging on about how shitty it is:

I think one thing that could be of incalculable value to a world spinning hideously off-center at the moment would be if more people would do something without profit motive to make it a better place. Specifically, volunteering.

And yes, I realize, everyone and their dog is so tied up with making ends meet that not everyone has the luxury, but what's sad is that so many don't realize that it's not as hard to find the time and resources to do something for their community as they might think.

And it doesn't have to be a drudgery. It can be giving something of yourself that you like doing anyway - just doing it in an environment where it aids or enriches someone else at the same time.

Have a favorite hobby? Say you're a freak for video games - go to an elementary school and give a one-off causual presentation about strategy or programming or the artwork or story editing used to create games. Do art much? Give a demostration in painting, or sculpture, or whatever damn medium/method it is you like - drawing, collage, photography, painting polka dots on birdhouses - WHATEVER. Like to read? Offer to do a story time at the library; if they already have a story time in place, fill a slot, if they don't - start one. Athletic? Go to a high school and offer to talk to a class about climbing, biking, swimming, weight-training - whatever it is you do. Are you a writer? Visit a retirement home - or again, a school, elementary or high school; teach a one-off workshop, or just conduct a discussion or critiquing group where you don't even have to talk much, just orchestrate.

I push the offering of services to school so much for why? Because teachers can use your help. In whatever capacity, however much or little you might be able to offer. Because they are trying to do so much with so very little, and every little bit helps. Because a break in routine always refreshes both the class and the teacher. Because it's something that nearly anyone can do, with anything they already enjoy doing.

Point?

Giving something of yourself, without expecting to get anything back other than the enjoyment of doing it, in whatever capacity and in whatever way brings you pleasure, adds a small spark of humanity and sanity back to the world. It adds some balance to the horror. Plus, it's something that takes your mind away, if only for an hour or two at a time, from all the things that are wrong in the world, while doing so in a constructive and meaningful way.

Go to an animal shelter or wildlife preserve and feed, walk or wash animals, even just once a month. Be a Docent at the Zoo or the Aquarium (bonus: you get free admission and get to see and touch stuff regular patrons can't. Heh.). Read a book to a senior citizen. Be a math or english tutor. Hold babies or play a game with kids in a Critical Care pediatric ward.

Stop fucking bitching about how horrible everything is. Do something to make it better.

This is where this rant just sort of dribbles off into nothingness and fatigue...
my_window_seat: (Default)
The whole Social Security thing.

What it seems like Bush is forgetting - or maybe never really understood in the first place - is that his plans to privatize this and anything else he can get his craven little mitts on really will only further disintegrate an extremely vital element of this little thing we call society.

Privatizing Social Security, while it means having more control over your own money (not a bad thing in and of itself), means that we are all one step farther away from being a part of the people around us. Giving a little something of our own to someone else in order to insure that the quality of life for everyone is improved, thus indirectly improving our own as well.

Every time someone bitches about paying taxes, I have to bite my tongue to keep from reminding them that for all the waste and incompetency involved in many governmental systems (as there is in any system, so STFU already, okay?) - it's there for a reason, and it makes your life better even if every damn dollar isn't going directly into your damn pocket.

Don't have kids? Paying for a decent public educational system still means that the kids in the neighborhoods near yours are going to be occupied with something besides slashing your tires and breaking into your house.

Drive a car? The roads you drive on are paid with taxes, so unless you levitate over them on a magical unicorn to get to work everyday, STFU about paying taxes.

Flush a toilet? Turn on the tap in the kitchen? Unless you have your own personal water source intergalatically teleported to you from a galaxy far, far away, my tax money and your pays for that cool blue stuff. Shut up. Just SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Social Security.

If I wasn't afraid that it would be taken seriously and set some kind of reality-tv-noir precedent, I'd sue the government to get all the money I've put into it, because I damn sure won't be seeing any of it, EVER.

But someone would take it seriously. A lot of people would no doubt take it seriously, and probably even follow suit. In fact, I'll be surprised if it doesn't happen, sooner rather than later.

What people don't seem to consider at all is that being involved only in their own welfare and security fails to take into account that they share the planet with a hell of a lot of other people other than themselves. And that letting someone else live in a way that makes it necessary to make choices between food and medicine is going to impact them, whether they realize it or not.

It's all alive. It's all connected. It's all intelligent. It's all relative.

I may hate most human beings, but I realize that pissing on humanity isn't going to improve the quality of it anytime soon.

You don't have to be compassionate to be a pragmatist.

Sigh...
my_window_seat: (Kat Poison)
At anaphase the homologues are separated from each other by shortening of the microtubules, and at telophase I the nuclear envelopes reform around the chromosomes. The DNA is then partitioned into each of the two daughter cells by cytokinesis. Because each daughter cell contains only one copy of each type of chromosome, at this point the cells are haploid. Now both of these daughter cells are ready to undergo meiosis II.

You know, this sounds like a completely foreign fucking language to me.

And this is totally supposed to make sense after reading two chapters chapter in a book and getting two 60 minute lectures.

What the fuck is a 'liberal arts education' supposed to be for if it really doesn't allow the time necessary to actually learn the shit they shove down your throat? Even for French, they require a minimum of two entire semesters before they consider you to be reasonably educated in it.

Why isn't science, to the non-science-minded, treated the same fucking way?

Enough bitching. Only halfway through the goddamn chapter.
my_window_seat: (Default)
You know you've been listening to too much Bill Hicks* when:

You see an empty condom box - not a little wrapper, but a whole box - in the school parking lot, and you're torn between thinking,

"Hey, you fucking littering scum, thanks for the reminder that there are just that many more stupid people fucking in their cars wherever I go!"

and

"Hey, as much as I hate you for being too fucking lazy to pick up your remainders of what passes for a sex life, but really - thanks so much for using a condom - the idea that you won't be passing your stupidity, selfishness and a host of finely cultured STD's on is really the best gift I've had all day. Thanks!"

::thinks::

On the other hand, is there really such a thing as too much Bill Hicks?

* apologetic nod to [livejournal.com profile] viruswshoes.
my_window_seat: (Frances)
If it wasn't bad enough that Bush won, here's an idea of what it's costing to 'welcome' him back - and some other ways that that same money could have been spent.

Just for, you know, perspective. And stuff.

=====================

From Salon:

Here's a sampling of inaugural costs and how some of that money could have been better spent, courtesy of the Center for American Progress:

$40 million: Cost of Bush inaugural ball festivities, not counting security costs.

$20,000: Cost of yellow roses purchased for inaugural festivities by D.C.'s Ritz Carlton.

200: Number of Humvees outfitted with top-of-the-line armor for troops in Iraq that could have been purchased with the amount of money blown on the inauguration.

$10,000: Price of an inaugural package at the Fairmont Hotel, which includes a Beluga caviar and Dom Perignon reception, a chauffeured Rolls Royce and two actors posing as "faux" Secret Service agents, complete with black sunglasses and cufflink walkie-talkies.

22 million: Number of children in regions devastated by the tsunami who could have received vaccinations and preventive health care with the amount of money spent on the inauguration.

1,160,000: Number of girls who could be sent to school for a year in Afghanistan with the amount of money lavished on the inauguration.

$15,000: The down payment to rent a fur coat paid by one gala attendee who didn't want the hassle of schlepping her own through the airport.

2,500: Number of U.S. troops used to stand guard as President Bush takes his oath of office.

26,000: Number of Kevlar vests for U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan that could be purchased for $40 million.

=================================

Have a nice fucking party, Mr. President.
my_window_seat: (Default)
Department of Education gives $240,000 to a PR firm to 'sell' the No Child Left Behind Act to minorities.

How about just putting the money where it belongs - into fucking PROGRAMS - to actually make it WORK - and THEN get the media to talk about you you !@#$%^&*() assholes?!? Huh? How many textbooks could that money have bought? How many teachers could have been assisted in paying for the additional schooling they'll need to keep their jobs? How many afterschool programs that have already been cut so that school budgets could accommodate the increased spending necessary for all this bullshit testing could have been rescusitated - while they - meaning WE THE TAXPAYERS - were paying for commercials?!?

You know what's the worst thing about this particular incident?

The Dept. of Ed. could have gotten a buttload of publicity for free.

You know how?

By making this craptacular program viable, functional, and useful to the teachers.

Because teachers, when they believe in something, will go over and above board to sell it to the parents.

Anyone who knows any teachers knows that these people - the good teachers, anyway - communicate with their students' parents. Just about every teacher I've ever known that was worth their salt would go out of their way to make sure that parents have all the information they need to make wise choices for their kids.

FUCK this system, this establishment.

I'm going to get my education - and take it somewhere where it might actually be useful.
my_window_seat: (Default)
Just e-mailed a letter to the Editor at the Alibi:

Dear Alibi -

I just read that the Bush administration is considering *permanent detention* of terrorist suspects - not convicted terrorists, but suspects who haven't even been through the military justice system due to 'lack of evidence' (link to Reuters story):

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=578&e=3&u=/nm/20050102/ts_nm/security_usa_dc

If there is anything at all that can be done on the local level to give opposition to this idea, can someone at the Alibi do a story on this, help the regular folks learn how they can do something constructive to keep it from happening? At the very least, make sure they know about it?

This is something that calls for a strong voice -
please, I hope to hear yours.

~D~

[EDIT: Slighty different version of this sent to Senator Bingaman, and Richard Romero and Dede Feldman at the State Legislature. If anyone else feels so inclined, you might want to send up balloons as well.]

Jeff Bingaman - senator_bingaman@bingaman.senate.gov
Richard Romero - richard.romero@state.nm.us
Dede Feldman - dedefeld@aol.com
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Jesus Christ God Almighty NO. Just FUCKING NO.

The Bush administration is preparing plans for possible lifetime detention of suspected terrorists, including hundreds whom the government does not have enough evidence to charge in courts, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

As part of a solution, the Defense Department, which holds 500 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, plans to ask the U.S. Congress for $25 million to build a 200-bed prison to hold detainees who are unlikely to ever go through a military tribunal for lack of evidence, defense officials told the newspaper.


http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=578&e=3&u=/nm/20050102/ts_nm/security_usa_dc

This has GOT TO BE STOPPED.

No. I just - damnit NO.
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"It is finished. Into thy hands, I commend my spirit."

Translation: Kill me already, okay?

And so, my Magnum Hopeless for Poli-Sci. I give you "The Politics of Education and The No Child Left Behind Act"

Hey, I was kind - I didn't include the 5 page complete bibliography. Just the page and a half of footnotes. Whee. )
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Because I've had to self-administer the hysteria bitchslap to myself more than once, I am qualifying this particular newsflash by saying that I haven't yet been able to find a story on this anywhere in the 'reputable' newsmedia.

It's showing up in a metric fuckton of other places, though.

Mandatory Mental Health Screening of American Children Passes

So, yeah - if you're a parent, you might want to be aware that the door has been opened giving the schools permission to legally test your kids without your knowledge or consent to determine if they fit into a multiple-choice-test determination of mental illness.

Excerpted quote from Congressman Ron Paul in reaction to the Bill:

"Soviet communists attempted to paint all opposition to the state as mental illness. It now seems our own federal government wants to create a therapeutic nanny state, beginning with schoolchildren. It's not hard to imagine a time 20 or 30 years from now when government psychiatrists stigmatize children whose religious, social, or political values do not comport with those of the politically correct, secular state."

I wish I could say that this is just hysterical scaremongering on the part of the tinfoil-hat-wearing underground press. But here's the actual report as recommended to the President. Don't believe me or the rest of the whackos? That's cool. Just read it for yourself.

President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health:
Goal 4: Early Mental Health Screening, Assessment,
and Referral to Services Are Common Practice



If the name alone - The New Freedom Commission - isn't one of the most bone-chilling pieces of Orwellian doublespeak, I'm - I'm -

At a loss for a witty description.

Pay particular attention to the 'Model Program' in Figure 4.2 - buried about 3/4 of the way down the page - The one whose goal is "To ensure that all youth are offered a mental health check-up before graduating from high school.

When you read it, it really sounds so - nice. They're really just trying to - make sure everyone gets the help they need.

Why is it that anything this administration does makes me want to look over my shoulder to see who's sneaking up behind me?

I'm really awfuly glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green and Delta Children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides they wear black, which is such a beastly colour. I'm so glad I'm a Beta.

Jesus.

I want the fuck out of this fucking country.

Further articles:

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=41606

http://www.washingtontimes.com/commentary/20041016-115134-4181r.htm

http://infowars.com/articles/brave_new_world/new_freedom_paul_amendment.htm

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