Sunday, April 29, 2007

Friday Critter Blogging, late

Maggie, looking pensive. Yes, that is a crook at the end of her tail.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Saturday, April 14, 2007

One Last Word

Some Notes on Revolution

Can't believe I forgot to put Twisty on the blogroll.

Can't Take the Heat

Anyone who reads feminist and political blogs is already aware of this, so I won't recap the details. Relevant links are at: Feministing, Amanda at Pandagon, Chris Clarke at Pandagon, and elsewhere.

I left this comment on Creek Running North, Chris Clarke's blog. Edited slightly here.

I don’t suppose I have anything new to say about all this, except maybe that Markos and his ilk have no idea how thick women’s skins really are. We must constantly monitor ourselves and our surroundings, judging this to be not worth worrying about, that a risk not worth taking, and the other thing just plain scary. If our skins were all that thin, we’d never leave the house.

I was talking with some friends - all of us middle-aged women - about the recent murder of a young woman who made a bad choice of companions. We all teetered on the precipice of “we don’t blame the victim, but what the hell was she thinking?” We started toting up the ways our behavior has changed since our days of youthful invulnerability - not walking alone after certain hours or in certain areas, not being friendly to strangers in bars, etc. Age and experience have made us all too aware that the world is particularly dangerous for women, regardless of age or beauty.

I admire an earlier commenter for confronting her harrassers, but the fact is my fat middle-aged ass is not capable of such a response. I’ll forgo the pleasure of a walk on a hot summer night rather than risk being tomorrow’s headline. I hope Markos is satisfied.

Friday, April 13, 2007

A Day in the Life of Joe Republican

From GrrlScientist:

Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards. With his first swallow of water, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe because some stupid commie liberal fought to ensure their safety and that they work as advertised.

All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance -- now Joe gets it, too.

Joe prepares his morning breakfast; bacon and eggs. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and the amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for the laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

He walks on the government-provided sidewalk to subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe's employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union.

If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn't think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

It is noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FDIC (or the NCUA, if he's part of a credit union) because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime. Joe also forgets that his in addition to his federally subsidized student loans, he attended a state funded university.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards to go along with the tax-payer funded roads.

He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers' Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans.

The house didn't have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification.

He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day. Joe agrees: "We don't need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I'm a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."

Friday Critter Blogging

First bug of the season to scare the bejesus out of me by dropping from some hidden spot onto the window next to me. It looks like a tarnished plant bug, but it's much bigger than my trusty Rodale garden guide says it should be.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut has passed away at the age of 84. He was an important figure for those of my generation, blending fiction and science fiction with a profound decency. He taught us new ways of thinking, not shackled to conventional religion or politics.

I was reminded of this reading the NY Times obit -

To Mr. Vonnegut, the only possible redemption for the madness and apparent meaninglessness of existence was human kindness. The title character in his 1965 novel, “God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater,” summed up his philosophy:

“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — ‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.’

You've got to be kind. So it goes.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

What's in Bloom

Pink Amaryllis, the last of the indoor winter bloomers.

Friday Pet Critter Blogging

It's spring, and a yellow-spotted salamander's thoughts turn to love.