After the Civil War a Constitutional Amendment was added to ensure that former slaves were not denied the right to citizenship by declaring any person born in the US to be a US Citizen.

Apparently large numbers of Republican lawmakers are currently taking issue with such a egalitarian fix. They claim 14th amendment was made for, and really should only apply to those dark skinned folks who were brought here against their will and had kids. Different dark skinned folks, those who parents came over the border and either stayed past the expiration of their papers or never had those papers, shouldn't get that right. Clearly their parents came here with the with only the nefarious purpose having children that we have to support.*

Maybe this actually is about economics rather than racism, but I certainly don't believe it.

(No, I haven't figured how they reconcile "Drop and Leave" with earlier cries of "They steal our jobs!".)
estro: (speculum)
( Jun. 7th, 2009 10:44 am)
While I am notably not a fan of the Twitter phenomena, I do understand its utility as a social networking device and thus as a amazing meter for social trends. I even understand its use for giving fans a sense of connection with their idol of choice.

However, it really isn't the best medium for delivering intelligible political critiques. Incomplete words, SMS abbreviations , and general spelling fail is, maybe, forgivable between preteens. But from a member of the House Finance Committee? Were I either a Republican or one of Grassley's constituents, I would be deeply ashamed.

(A quick looks shows that both both Britnney Spears and Paris Hilton have fewer spelling errors and more cogent tweets than Grassley)
estro: (speculum)
( Jun. 7th, 2009 10:44 am)
While I am notably not a fan of the Twitter phenomena, I do understand its utility as a social networking device and thus as a amazing meter for social trends. I even understand its use for giving fans a sense of connection with their idol of choice.

However, it really isn't the best medium for delivering intelligible political critiques. Incomplete words, SMS abbreviations , and general spelling fail is, maybe, forgivable between preteens. But from a member of the House Finance Committee? Were I either a Republican or one of Grassley's constituents, I would be deeply ashamed.

(A quick looks shows that both both Britnney Spears and Paris Hilton have fewer spelling errors and more cogent tweets than Grassley)
... I hate left and right media too, but this time it is CNET buying into sensationalist fear mongering.

The headline: U.S. Army warns of Twittering terrorists*

Dudes, get a fucking life. Twitter is good for mass communication directly to cell phones. Of course it could be used by terrorists. It could also be used by business folks, schools on field trips, etc. etc.

I am so tired of "$useful_technology could be used by terrorists" news articles.


*I share this link as a sample, not to endorse the activity. The article is not all that interesting, it is the title that is ridiculous.
... I hate left and right media too, but this time it is CNET buying into sensationalist fear mongering.

The headline: U.S. Army warns of Twittering terrorists*

Dudes, get a fucking life. Twitter is good for mass communication directly to cell phones. Of course it could be used by terrorists. It could also be used by business folks, schools on field trips, etc. etc.

I am so tired of "$useful_technology could be used by terrorists" news articles.


*I share this link as a sample, not to endorse the activity. The article is not all that interesting, it is the title that is ridiculous.
estro: (but I want to marry a princess)
( Oct. 22nd, 2008 06:41 pm)
The good sir [livejournal.com profile] mangosteen has an interesting pair of polls (and discussion) going on over on his journal. Well, I find them interesting because, at least in the case of the second, I think a lot of folks are masturbating their ideals rather than actually being honest with themselves. (The first one and the second one).

Now, while I believe that many of the "No deal" folks in the second case hold the ideals that voting is a moral requirement that no amount of money should dissuade one from. The question I ponder is "what makes it a duty?" Just the act of being a citizen? Or is it the voicing of your beliefs about a cause (causes) that one supports?

If it is the latter, then it seems reasonable that if voting is worth passing up $10K for the sake of making your voice heard, then it would be worth putting $10K (or a noteworthy amount of time and effort) into supporting those causes. Some of you have done that (Yay, [livejournal.com profile] xthread for stumping in Nevada. Yay [livejournal.com profile] fightingwords for your work with Just Cause. [livejournal.com profile] mikeys and others have donated to No on 8, w00t!).

But how many folk are telling themselves that they would pass up $10K for the sake of voting but haven't even bothered to do more than a "these are my positions" LJ post? If, upon reading [livejournal.com profile] mangosteen's second poll, you really believe voting on your causes are worth passing up 10K for, then you might want to consider giving of yourself to support them. A couple hours of your time phone banking, helping get fellow voters to the polls, and the like, can get more votes than just your one for your cause(s).

(An yes, I would totally take the 10K as I am broke and hungry.)
estro: (but I want to marry a princess)
( Oct. 22nd, 2008 06:41 pm)
The good sir [livejournal.com profile] mangosteen has an interesting pair of polls (and discussion) going on over on his journal. Well, I find them interesting because, at least in the case of the second, I think a lot of folks are masturbating their ideals rather than actually being honest with themselves. (The first one and the second one).

Now, while I believe that many of the "No deal" folks in the second case hold the ideals that voting is a moral requirement that no amount of money should dissuade one from. The question I ponder is "what makes it a duty?" Just the act of being a citizen? Or is it the voicing of your beliefs about a cause (causes) that one supports?

If it is the latter, then it seems reasonable that if voting is worth passing up $10K for the sake of making your voice heard, then it would be worth putting $10K (or a noteworthy amount of time and effort) into supporting those causes. Some of you have done that (Yay, [livejournal.com profile] xthread for stumping in Nevada. Yay [livejournal.com profile] fightingwords for your work with Just Cause. [livejournal.com profile] mikeys and others have donated to No on 8, w00t!).

But how many folk are telling themselves that they would pass up $10K for the sake of voting but haven't even bothered to do more than a "these are my positions" LJ post? If, upon reading [livejournal.com profile] mangosteen's second poll, you really believe voting on your causes are worth passing up 10K for, then you might want to consider giving of yourself to support them. A couple hours of your time phone banking, helping get fellow voters to the polls, and the like, can get more votes than just your one for your cause(s).

(An yes, I would totally take the 10K as I am broke and hungry.)
I didn't have a high opinion of the folks who buy into GOP rhetoric, but now I am actively afraid of them. These beasts are my fellow countrymen? Fuck that noise. As infeasible as it actually is, my hopes that California will secede are rekindled.
I didn't have a high opinion of the folks who buy into GOP rhetoric, but now I am actively afraid of them. These beasts are my fellow countrymen? Fuck that noise. As infeasible as it actually is, my hopes that California will secede are rekindled.
At this point, unless you are aiming for Colbert-esque humor, commenting on Sarah Palin's qualifications or stances on issues is just publicly masturbating your own self-righteous ire.

Her appointment was absolutely not about us or what we care about.

It wasn't even about the moderate right or what they care about.

She is the poster-girl VP for a people who are so completely not us that there is no common epistemological framework from which to build dialogue.

So, please, please, please, get over it already. Talk about something that is actually interesting.
At this point, unless you are aiming for Colbert-esque humor, commenting on Sarah Palin's qualifications or stances on issues is just publicly masturbating your own self-righteous ire.

Her appointment was absolutely not about us or what we care about.

It wasn't even about the moderate right or what they care about.

She is the poster-girl VP for a people who are so completely not us that there is no common epistemological framework from which to build dialogue.

So, please, please, please, get over it already. Talk about something that is actually interesting.
From here:
As of today, 113 US troops have died in Afghanistan so far this year. Last year 111 US troops were killed. (5 in 2001, 30 in 2002, 30 in 2003 (May of 2003 was "Mission Accomplished", by the way), 49 in 2004, 93 in 2005, and 88 in 2006). Currently there are some 33,000 US troops stationed there.

In other news, as of September 7th, Oakland has had 96 homicides this year.

During their awesome streak in 1988-1990, average game attendance at the Oakland Coliseum ranged between 28,239 and 35,805.
From here:
As of today, 113 US troops have died in Afghanistan so far this year. Last year 111 US troops were killed. (5 in 2001, 30 in 2002, 30 in 2003 (May of 2003 was "Mission Accomplished", by the way), 49 in 2004, 93 in 2005, and 88 in 2006). Currently there are some 33,000 US troops stationed there.

In other news, as of September 7th, Oakland has had 96 homicides this year.

During their awesome streak in 1988-1990, average game attendance at the Oakland Coliseum ranged between 28,239 and 35,805.
estro: (dAarmstadtarium)
( Apr. 7th, 2008 05:30 pm)
Paris protesters: well done.

So far 401 children removed, given that the Friday estimate for the the ranch's population was about 200 people this is getting sketchier by the minute.

Last Friday night I got to watch my instructor do a static trapeze routine in stiletto heels, a corset, giant false boobs... while blindfolded. And because clearly this was not impressive enough... she sang while doing it (as far as I can tell, all of the other acts of the evening lip-synced)

There are many excellent people in my life. Thank you.
Tags:
estro: (dAarmstadtarium)
( Apr. 7th, 2008 05:30 pm)
Paris protesters: well done.

So far 401 children removed, given that the Friday estimate for the the ranch's population was about 200 people this is getting sketchier by the minute.

Last Friday night I got to watch my instructor do a static trapeze routine in stiletto heels, a corset, giant false boobs... while blindfolded. And because clearly this was not impressive enough... she sang while doing it (as far as I can tell, all of the other acts of the evening lip-synced)

There are many excellent people in my life. Thank you.
Tags:
A 15 year old kid was shot and killed by Oakland police last week because he waved a sawed-off rifle at them. At the memorial vigil for this kid, police busted two guys for weapons violations.

What kinda fucked-up is it that folks who illegally sell/give weapons to kids go the memorial when one of those kids ends up dead for using them?

By the same light, it is almost a charmingly ironic fuck-you to people that are enabling this shit that the cops made a bust there.
Tags:
A 15 year old kid was shot and killed by Oakland police last week because he waved a sawed-off rifle at them. At the memorial vigil for this kid, police busted two guys for weapons violations.

What kinda fucked-up is it that folks who illegally sell/give weapons to kids go the memorial when one of those kids ends up dead for using them?

By the same light, it is almost a charmingly ironic fuck-you to people that are enabling this shit that the cops made a bust there.
Tags:
estro: (dAarmstadtarium)
( Jan. 18th, 2008 03:35 pm)
Every few weeks, or so, I encounter diatribes about the evils of gentrification, and how white hipsters are destroying poor neighborhoods of color by driving the residents away and bringing in the Starbucks.

This is true, in part (I know of plenty of fixie-riding, VW driving, ariels-as-a-hobby-and-ocassional-paid-gig white folk living in poor neighborhoods) however it is not even close to being the whole of the story, and there a couple of assumptions that seem to be built into these diatribes that have really irked me:

Firstly, all white folk who are not obviously poor but live in mostly non-white neighborhoods are being lumped in as active participants in this evil (even when they are artistes of some form). Secondly, that all of the blame for the effects of gentrification are being placed on outsiders. And thirdly, that there is absolutely no good to be had from anyone of better means moving into a poor neighborhood.

Most simply, gentrification is the movement of wealthier folks into a previously poor neighborhood such that the poorer folks are displaced. In the more complex situation of current urban gentrification, it also has the connotations of white people displacing people of color destroying culturally-tied communities. In most scenarios this is true, however it doesn't have to follow this pattern, and as much of the problem is the result of the nature of the invaded community, a cultural rot, as it is due to the influx of new residents.

This rot is not related to race, or only low income brackets, and it isn't even new (Beau and Luke Duke, along with cousin Daisy popularized a white-trash version of it on TV screens during the 80's, for instance) but as I am addressing the problems within impoverished urban communities of color, ghetto/barrio rot is mostly what I will be citing. I also want to clarify that I am not suggesting that this is endemic, but that there is enough of this rot to ensure that the communities most at risk from gentrification are not fragile gems, but are already sick and struggling and destroying themselves on their own.

A community that has a high murder rate, but won't talk to police officers ("Don't snitch." WTF? Those are your children and neighbors being shot!), that has high-unemloyment rate yet every third teenager on the bus is talking on an expensive cell-phone, and that has more mothers with baby-daddies than parents in dedicated partnerships is not well. Upkeep on the rot-ridden parts of the community weighs a whole community down.

I can understand that lack of family support and horrific media role-models probably directly contributes to young folk who are more inclined to try and hustle for immediate bling than invest in themselves so that they can survive long-term. I also understand that there is a lot of social inertia at work such that it seems impossible to make multigenerational community ethics more appealing than the flash of gangsta lifestyles. And I understand that there is a huge safety risk in standing opposed to, or even merely not being part of, neighborhood corruption.

This is exactly why outsiders, particularly of the kinda-well-off or better variety, can be a good thing: People with money can spend it in local businesses and will draw new businesses to the area (new businesses result in more local jobs and more money in general in the community). These outsiders can be active examples that there are attractive lifestyles outside of limited set otherwise visible in said neighborhoods. There is something to be said for keeping up with the Joneses when that keeping up includes simple things like yard care, good-neighborliness, and other things that reflect investment in a community.

Which brings me to the important part where gentrification so often (asymptotically approaching 'always') fails. Gentrification is only beneficial if the outsiders don't stay outsiders and actually become neighbors. A formerly abandoned warehouse or factory turned into a fancy condo or apartment complex in a poor neighborhood does absolutely no good as a gated island with residents who leave the neighborhood for all of their social, retail, and leisure activities.

And, although the numbers are small compared to the number of moving into neighborhoods for the hipster values, there are plenty of white folk who do spend time in the trenches trying to help out. Americore workers, for instance, really aren't subsidized enough to live anywhere but in the neighborhoods they are placed in.

I am not claiming that urban gentrification is a good thing, just that it is only a thing. And, at the moment, even as a bad thing it can't be worse that the rot that is already destroying the affected communities.
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