Thursday, October 20, 2011

On Spirit Day

Today is considered to be Spirit Day.

This is about offering support to the LGBT community. In particular, it is about supporting the youth in the community. It is for those that are unable, or scared, to come out and be open about who they are. It is about the bullying so many LGBT persons face in their lives.

As was sadly seen recently, one young man did one of the series of It Gets Better videos, meant to bolster and support these young people. He then proceeded to get bullied and was driven to suicide. It was a tragic event. And it was a clear example of just how cruel society can be to a minor and misunderstood group.

So today, and everyday on, think better. Watch out for, and support those that are bullied for just being different, help them out and let them know they do not need to feel alone. And where some purple to show solidarity with them today. But think and act better from her on out.

Forgot to place a link to some nice words from actor Zachary Quinto on these issues.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Immunization Myths has a nice list of the myths that still often pervade thinking on vaccination. Please give it a read to be better informed on the issues, and misunderstandings.

MYTHS (and these are MYTHS)

  • Myth 1: Vaccines cause autism.
  • Myth 2: Vaccines contain mercury.
  • Myth 3: Vaccines contain toxic ingredients.
  • Myth 4: Vaccines have never been tested.
  • Myth 5: Vaccines don’t work because children who are vaccinated can still get the disease.
  • Myth 6: Improved living standards, not vaccination have reduced disease.
  • Myth 7: Infectious diseases are not serious; children are meant to get them.
  • Myth 8: Vaccines cause or spread the diseases they are supposed to prevent.
  • Myth 9: My child’s immune system will be overwhelmed.

Occupy Wall Street, the continuing

Before I go on to another topic I thought it was best to return to Wall Street.

Occupy Wall Street has continued, despite some confusion in the media.  There has been some rather sad and smug (Really?  Does Erin Burnett have to mouth the Streets thinking, try being a journalist?  You are not trying out for The Tonight Show, and Jeanne Moos job at CNN is currently filled by Jeanne Moos.  Thankfully there was some internal counter.) hostility in the media.  They've had blows from the police.  And they've got the regular outright contempt from the conservative mouthpieces.

I am jaded, but I can hope it has a way to hold on there, or ensure it stays bigger than a bit of real estate and echoing voices.  It has like-minded events popping up around the country.  We will see.

Salon has done some good work on the protest for those coming in late, or looking to better understand.

The Origins of Occupy Wall Street Explained
Occupy Wall Street: A Historical Perspective

Also to hear from people resonating with the protest, and the concerns and anger at the top tier in the country look through, We are the 99 Percent.

This was a nice graphic put up to explain the concern and problems of banking: (There really are no options being left in the system) (Wait until you see how uniform the news media is...)

And Jeff Sharlet put up some nice pics from the current NYC events.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

GOP - At Work...for somebody.

So what are Republicans doing for us all?

In Florida, they are trying to put smaller folk to work, hurtling briefly through the air.  Yup.  Republicans want to restore the Floridian sport of dwarf tossing.  It is apparently a matter of freedom, to be able to take someone smaller than you and throw them as far as possible...for AMERICA!  The fact that the Republican governor is backing this speaks to how sad his reign has been.

In New Jersey, the governor, and almost national primary loser, is continuing his brilliant work of costing his state millions while benefiting none. Really, it is quite amazing Christie has done it again and again. From right after taking office up to right now. This time it is a needed rail tunnel to NY. But know it won't happen AND NJ has to pay. After getting over $270 million from the federal government, he decided the project was to expensive. The government decided it wanted the money back then (The villains!). Christie balked, he doesn't return money he grabs, even when it isn't his own. But know he has agreed to return $95 million. So he welshed on a debt to the American people, and also has cost NJ nearly $100 million.  And the state of NJ is left with only an antiquate rail tunnel to service its transport to and from NY.

In Tennessee we see the continuing effects of a national effort by Republicans to deny the vote to...well, everyone if they could just be given office by fiat.  Among Republicans it seems to have become accepted that they can not win in the long run. Hispanics are a threat. African Americans are a threat.  The poor are a threat. Even the military, it seems, can be a threat to their electoral destiny.  So they have moved to remove them (the voters) from their path.  In the past we have seen the electronic voting booths deployed to effect. Misinformation is a go to way to get people to the wrong polls on the wrong day.  But the current method is reworking how you get a ballot to vote on. New restrictions are being given, more and more id's are needed, or a specific one.  And, as you can imagine, they aren't rushing to inform voters.  So now, and as we go into the more serious election year many voters are going to be in for a cruel surprise. Or people can stand up in their states and say no to this. Stand up for people like the 96 year old voter who is no longer an acceptable without hunting down an old marriage certificate from decades past, for a husband long since buried. The truth is voting fraud is rare. The crime against the electoral system comes in the mass of legit voters kept from engaging in their rights.  Maybe 5 million Democratic voters will be lost.

In the Senate the leader of the Republicans is too busy to work out an acceptable jobs bill.  Why?  They are playing PR games.  He was trying to push an old version of the jobs bill. Through this Democrats would have to vote down the presidents bill, which would make the papers.  Then the proper bill would pass through, but the half truth talking point would be born, the senate Democrats oppose Obama's job's bill. Not true. But wha tis the truth to Republicans these days when you've got optics.

In the House Boehner is tripling the tax dollars being spent to preserver the Defense of Marriage Act, and keep gays from marrying. Meanwhile he and Cantor fret about paying to help disaster victims.

In the creepy end of the Internet Beck continues to descend into his role of Col. Kurtz.  Sure he sounds like a weirdo. Sure he shoots out purely maddening conspiracies. But to add to that Beck is doing a kid's show, to teach the real history of American...just stew on that.

In my TV we learned that proudly right wing singers are fully able to spout right wing pap.  Hank Williams Jr. showed that while he does look like a country parody, he is one.  Though when I look at him he looks a good like that someone is reenacting Weekend at Bernies with him.  But enough with a guy that would compare Boehner with Netanyahu.  They are both screwing things up for their people in their own ways.

In the womb Republicans continue to push on to control and dictate use. One way they have worked to control reproduction rights is in defining life.  The effort is to at a minimum define life as starting at conception. Then they will demand that anything that risks or harms joined egg and sperm can be declared a crime. Then end result is that much of birth control will be criminal, as well as abortions.  You see some birth control acts to prevent implantation of the fertilized egg.  And most everyone accepts this birth control, but this conservative effort will kill the pill.  And the far right that started this know that is the result, they want birth control to be more limited and hard to use.  Because?  They want to control what you do in the bedroom.

Republicans at work, to toss dwarves, keep gays single, and control American wombs.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Occupy Wall Street - 3 Weeks in

So we enter week 3 of Occupy Wall Street. Has it been 3 weeks?  Partly it almost feels like it passes fast, from the comfort of home.  But also the lack of coverage from the start makes me feel vague about just when this began. I do remember a comment or two at the start.  A post here and there. But it was mostly a blip.

And that has been a problem (Just don't tell many of the protest supporters that.), communication out about what was going on. I heard about Occupy Wall Street and had no idea what it was. Some people planned to go an protest the big wigs...aaaaaand?  There are people doing protest all the time, is this a bigger one, what makes it stand out? Is it 5 people on a week long silent vigil? Is it 100 chanting? Is it 1000's...doing something?

You watch protest get setup all the time and you can become inured.  And of course those passionate and engaged in this protest hate that jaded quality, but what am I gonna do? I am not alone in this plenty of old hands in the progressive movement have tried to help and suggest ways to improve the work on the street.  And that has been banefully opposed for a long time.  Suggest contacting media with a formal explanation, is hissed at.  And that causes some sighing on the part of people like me.  It reminds me of a bit of work of Patton Oswalt where the hypothetical hippie wants to protest and want to be so standoffish, and subtle, that the protest is invisible. Not taking advantage of the media to get eyes on you is risky. Most of the time it means you can quietly fade away in the background, or go on years being more or less white noise.

Luckily that has changed. In not so good ways, as some cops have attacked protesters, which just helps the media get its rocks off. So the media is on board, until they get bored again. Then yesterday on the Brooklyn Bridge, the police did some mass arrest. This should get the protesters some later in the news show coverage, but still not stories that will open most news shows.

While the Occupy Wall Street concept is spreading some, sprouting up around the country, can it last?  Can it start gather up some more local interest?  Haven't seen it yet.  But it may come. Some more seasoned help may be good.

On Daily Kos they have now the first of the official statements from the protests. It's a statement voted on by people at the event to reflect the myriad of issues those present want to correct. Look it over.

TPM has a look at Week 3 of the Occupy Wall Streets, and considers where it is now.

But it is interesting to see the number of people online still pissed off when told that is unclear what the protest is aiming for. Sorry, the accomplishable goals still need to get lain out.  Media needs to get pushed into being engaged.  How aware is the country right now of it?  How aware is most of NYC?

Addendum 1:

Wanted to mention a good point made on twitter by .  
Think when observers claim  is unfocused, what they mean is the problems are "too big."
A good point. The issues we face are huge. And they are hard to express. So general anger can be good. But we have to be sure it does get positively focused at some point. Hopefully soon.

Addendum 2:
Also wanted to consider a good point made by Driftglass via the last The Professional Left podcast. In it he  noted the Million Women March from 2006. I remember it well. It had big political, social, and entertainment names down on the Smithsonian lawns speaking out. There were huge numbers. But there was no real coverage outside of CSPAN.

The idea that Driftglass posits is that  this is due to being unfocused, interested in all the issues that women face in the United States.

Seems like an interesting point, that I hope Occupy Wallstreet keeps in mind. But I do also wonder, did The Million Man March has a better focus? It got a lot of coverage, I think...All points to consider.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Doctor Who, coming to series end.

Well it is another Saturday. That means BBC is running another new episode of Doctor Who. And it turns out this is the series finale (of Series 6 of the new version of Doctor doesn't really matter). Doesn't feel like we've come to the end already, this half of the season went by so quick.

It speaks well for the series. The 13 episodes we get for a series seems to be never enough. But the brief taste of scifi fun keeps up from getting too complacent. But the latest run is ending, a race from the Western US and the death of the titular character, has taken us across time, through labor, through Hitler's window, and on back to London. Tonight should take us back to the United States, and back to the beginning of the current series.

I look forward to it. Right now the episode has finished showing in England, but in the U.S. we have to wait until tonight. I had hoped to start doing some analysis of the series before the second half started up last And I wanted to jump in as the episodes passed...but...well, it is occurring to me that rushing in is not the best plan. We have until next fall (except for a Christmas special this year) before we get new episodes.

So why rush into this. Better to do some post-series analysis of Doctor Who than give a rushed glib post. So that is the plan. For now I want to forward the idea of the Doctor being a fairy tale figure...later.