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May 31, 2004

I Miss My Bed

About a week ago, our waterbed burst like a blister. Since that time, I have not yet had one decent night's sleep. If you want to know where I slept two nights ago, read the lyrics to "Norwegian Wood" by the Beatles.

The waterbed replacement parts are on their way, so hopefully this won't last much longer. I was so exhausted today I slept in my son's bed until about an hour ago. Now, it's 4:30 am and I'm wide awake, blogging and watching "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." I'd watch "Bubba Hotep," which we just rented (Yo, Noz! We got it!!) but the DVD player keeps coughing it up. It'll have to wait until daylight when my husband sets it up to play on his computer. Oh, everyone's awake. My husband and son are playing "Dark Age of Camelot."

My sleep cycle is completely screwed until that bed arrives. Then I'll sleep like the dead.

I just ordered the Japanese DVDs "Kairo" and the TV series "The Ring." They should be arriving soon, too. I stumbled upon the TV series by accident. I have heard of it but it is so ridiculously hard to find that I never bothered to look for it. I already have the three Japanese "Ring" movies. I need to get "The Kingdom" I & 2. I have "The Kingdom" on tape, but I'd like the complete set on DVD. "Kairo" is supposed to be one of the better Japanese horror movies. It was completely butchered in the U. S. You may have seen the dreadful remake - it was "Fear.Dot.Com."

Posted on May 31, 2004 at 04:47 AM | Permalink | Comments (8)

May 30, 2004

Suckers! Fathers Rights Advocates Would Pay $37 For This Piece Of Crap?

World O'Crap put the thumbscrews to the National Fathers' Rights Association's boneheaded book about helping men avoid their child support obligations. It felt good to see someone else out there "get it" about fathers' rights groups. One of the commenters asked how the NFRA gets its funding, since it claims to be a "small nonprofit group." The small grassroots groups tend to get their funding not from big family foundations like Scaife but from membership fees and suckers willing to pony up $37 bucks for a piece of crap book that gives lousy advice that won't work.

Posted on May 30, 2004 at 01:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (33)

May 29, 2004

More On Emergency Contraception: Plan B

The Well-Timed Period has a couple of excellent posts about Plan B, the emergency contraception that would have been sold over the counter if the FDA had approved it. The FDA did not approve it because it believes (1) women would not be able to wrap their pretty little heads around how to properly use it, and (2) there is risk that others may slip pregnant women the pills without their knowledge. Like a woman won't notice she is bleeding and having severe cramps. Besides, why punish a woman for something like that. Punish the people who give her medication without her knowledge or consent. If someone desperately wants a pregnant woman to not give birth, he or she will find ways to prevent that birth from happening.

Also see my previous post about how to use most varieties of birth control pills as emergency contraception and how a woman's right to decide how to handle her own reproduction is in danger today. Reproduction includes giving birth, not giving birth, and deciding under what circumstances to raise her children once they are born (especially if she is single or divorced).

Posted on May 29, 2004 at 08:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

May 28, 2004

Friday Cat Blogging

I was reading in the bathtub this evening. I'll give you one guess who fell in. Yup. You got it. He was soaked. At least he's clean.

Here's Lucky peering down from his new favorite place to hang out - on top of the kitchen cabinets.

luckycabinet

Posted on May 28, 2004 at 10:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

Beware My Pointy Little Teeth!!!

How fitting... evil_smiley.gif [via iddybud.]


rabbit
Mean lil fellow, arn't you?


What Monty Python Character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Posted on May 28, 2004 at 04:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

In The Eye Of The Beholder - Being Rich

Dwight at Wampum linked to Money Magazine's Armchair Millionaire Lewis Schiff in an interesting discussion about what it means to be rich. He wrote, "The true definition of rich is the having the ability to purchase the things you want. The first part of that definition involves having income or assets. That is the portion the definition that is the focus of question to Schiff. The other half of the equation, and equally important, is controlling what you want. Assuming that you have a reasonable income, you can choose to borrow the maximum for which you qualify and buy a McMansion or even the real thing. You can choose to buy or lease a new luxury car every couple of years. You can choose to frequent the most fashionable and expensive restaurants. Or you can choose to be rich. It really is a choice."

I found this topic to be interesting in light of recent news that the housing bubble some people say exists is about to burst because of lower-than-expected home sales for spring. Kevin Drum has brought up the housing bubble on Washington Monthly before, and he mentioned the recent drop in sales. He wavers regarding whether or not there has actually been a bubble, and he tends to land on the pro-bubble side. I've noticed that there are more homes for sale in my area, being that it is spring - the traditional peak season to sell and buy homes - but they aren't moving as quickly as they could. This includes estate homes. I've watched several estates out here sit with "for sale" signs for two and three years before selling.

I thought defining what it means to be rich was interesting. Some of the talk had to do with living at or below your means. There was also discussion in the Money article about having the ability to buy what you want for yourself, controlling your own wants, having an emergency fund put aside (are you recession proof?), having financial security - not looking over your shoulder at creditors ganging up on you, and saving for retirement.

I believe that being rich is an illusion; that many people you think of as rich are really up to their eyeballs in debt and are one crisis away from disaster. I also think there is a difference between being rich and displaying your wealth for the world to see. The first job I ever had as a stage/TV/movie technician was as gaffer (lighting) at an M. C. Hammer concert. Everything you've ever heard about rock stars demanding only the colorful M&Ms and new carpeting in their private rooms is true. When I worked Barbra Streisand's $300 per seat concert in the mid '80s, you should have seen the rich women in furs who came into the room we set up for Babs (the one that used to be a locker room that we had to fumigate and put in plush carpeting and new furniture). These women tried to walk off with the furniture! They stole the bouquets. These weren't vases filled with carnations. They were HUGE displays of giant white calla lilies and other expensive crap. It was conspicuous consumption at its most conspicuous.

The irony of that concert was, because the Clinton's had attended, we had to walk through metal detectors. No guns would get through, of course, but a size 9 wrench and a nail gun make pretty damned impressive weapons. You should have seen some of the stuff we lugged around to set up the stages.

M. C. Hammer was a filthy rich mam when I worked that concert. At the time he was at the peak of his career. A decade later he was bankrupt due to poor choices. Wealth can be fleeting.

I just thought the topic was interesting. What does being rich mean to you? How do you define wealth? And is there or is there not a housing bubble?

Posted on May 28, 2004 at 03:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (10)

Moon Phases

I just added Moon Phases javascript to my sidebar above my search engine, and in the process found a couple of fun blogs. I found Moon Phases after I took the Honest Bloggers Quiz, which I found at Fatshadow. Tish found the quiz at Easy Bake Coven, who has the same Moon Phases javascript in her sidebar. She got it from Chapel.Perilous. I've heard of Easy Bake Coven but I've never visited it before. I've never heard of Chapel Perilous. They're both good blogs, and lots of fun.

I chose Daily Moon Phases (Current Phase), but there are other Moon Phases calendars you can add to your own web site or blog. Now all I need is a tide table for my blog and I'll be all set. Since I live two blocks from the ocean, knowing when the tides are in and out comes in very handy. No point in walking on the beach when the tide is in and the beach is the size of a postage stamp.

Speaking of calendars and moon phases, NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day for May 28, 2004 is of New York City as a celestial calendar. I had no idea that every May 28 and July 12 the sun sets precisely on the center line of every street. Check this out:


Today, if it is clear, Manhattan will flood dramatically with sunlight just as the Sun sets precisely on the centerline of every street. Usually, the tall buildings that line the gridded streets of New York City's tallest borough will hide the setting Sun. This effect makes Manhattan a type of modern Stonehenge, although only aligned to about 30 degrees east of north. Were Manhattan's road grid perfectly aligned to east and west, today's effect would occur on the Vernal and Autumnal Equinox, March 21 and September 21, the only two days that the Sun rises and sets due east and west. If today's sunset is hidden by clouds do not despair -- the same thing happens every May 28 and July 12. On none of these occasions, however, should you ever look directly at the Sun.

Posted on May 28, 2004 at 11:26 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

May 27, 2004

Go To Canada or Flunk High School: Here Comes The Draft

Moi at Bloggg sent me an e-mail about something that really pisses me off - the Bush administration wants to reinstate the draft. Here's the bill. Both men and women will be drafted in 2005. Gee, right after the Presidential elections. This draft bill has been on the books since JANUARY 2003, but it has not been in the news AT ALL. Vote these thugs out of office in November, and tell Kerry NO DRAFT. Not for a war for oil and imperialist power. The Rethugnicans in the Bush administration didn't serve their country. They got deferments. Let them fight their own fucking wars.

You can either run to Canada right now or flunk high school if you are turning 18 during this time. There is a high school deferrment.

Here's the bill, via thomas.gov. Commentary was added.

Pending legislation in the House and Senate (twin bills S 89 and HR 163) would time the program so the draft could begin at early as Spring 2005 -- conveniently just after the 2004 presidential election!

If voters who currently support U.S. aggression abroad were confronted with the possibility that their own children or grandchildren might not have a say about whether to fight, many of these same voters might have a change of mind. (Not that it should make a difference, but this plan would among other things eliminate higher education as a shelter and would not exclude women -- and Canada is no longer an option.)

Please send this on to all the parents, teachers, aunts and uncles, grandparents, godparents.... And let your children know -- it's their future, and they can be a powerful voice for change! Please also write to your representatives to ask them why they aren't telling their constituents about these bills -- and write to newspapers and other media outlets to ask them why they're not covering this important story.

Universal National Service Act of 2003 (Introduced in House)

HR 163 IH

108th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 163
To provide for the common defense by requiring that all young persons in the United States, including women, perform a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
January 7, 2003
Mr. RANGEL (for himself, Mr. MCDERMOTT, Mr. CONYERS, Mr. LEWIS of Georgia, Mr. STARK, and Mr. ABERCROMBIE) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services

A BILL
To provide for the common defense by requiring that all young persons in the United States, including women, perform a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

(a) SHORT TITLE- This Act may be cited as the `Universal National Service Act of 2003'.
(b) TABLE OF CONTENTS- The table of contents for this Act is as follows:
Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. National service obligation.
Sec. 3. Two-year period of national service.
Sec. 4. Implementation by the President.
Sec. 5. Induction.
Sec. 6. Deferments and postponements.
Sec. 7. Induction exemptions.
Sec. 8. Conscientious objection.
Sec. 9. Discharge following national service.
Sec. 10. Registration of females under the Military Selective Service Act.
Sec. 11. Relation of Act to registration and induction authority of Military Selective Service Act.
Sec. 12. Definitions.

SEC. 2. NATIONAL SERVICE OBLIGATION.

(a) OBLIGATION FOR YOUNG PERSONS- It is the obligation of every citizen of the United States, and every other person residing in the United States, who is between the ages of 18 and 26 to perform a period of national service as prescribed in this Act unless exempted under the provisions of this Act.
(b) FORM OF NATIONAL SERVICE- National service under this Act shall be performed either--
(1) as a member of an active or reverse component of the uniformed services; or
(2) in a civilian capacity that, as determined by the President, promotes the national defense, including national or community service and homeland security.
(c) INDUCTION REQUIREMENTS- The President shall provide for the induction of persons covered by subsection (a) to perform national service under this Act.
(d) SELECTION FOR MILITARY SERVICE- Based upon the needs of the uniformed services, the President shall--
(1) determine the number of persons covered by subsection (a) whose service is to be performed as a member of an active or reverse component of the uniformed services; and
(2) select the individuals among those persons who are to be inducted for military service under this Act.
(e) CIVILIAN SERVICE- Persons covered by subsection (a) who are not selected for military service under subsection (d) shall perform their national service obligation under this Act in a civilian capacity pursuant to subsection (b)(2).

SEC. 3. TWO-YEAR PERIOD OF NATIONAL SERVICE.

(a) GENERAL RULE- Except as otherwise provided in this section, the period of national service performed by a person under this Act shall be two years.
(b) GROUNDS FOR EXTENSION- At the discretion of the President, the period of military service for a member of the uniformed services under this Act may be extended--
(1) with the consent of the member, for the purpose of furnishing hospitalization, medical, or surgical care for injury or illness incurred in line of duty; or
(2) for the purpose of requiring the member to compensate for any time lost to training for any cause.
(c) EARLY TERMINATION- The period of national service for a person under this Act shall be terminated before the end of such period under the following circumstances:
(1) The voluntary enlistment and active service of the person in an active or reverse component of the uniformed services for a period of at least two years, in which case the period of basic military training and education actually served by the person shall be counted toward the term of enlistment.
(2) The admission and service of the person as a cadet or midshipman at the United States Military Academy, the United States Naval Academy, the United States Air Force Academy, the Coast Guard Academy, or the United States Merchant Marine Academy.
(3) The enrollment and service of the person in an officer candidate program, if the person has signed an agreement to accept a Reserve commission in the appropriate service with an obligation to serve
on active duty if such a commission is offered upon completion of the program.

(4) Such other grounds as the President may establish.

SEC. 4. IMPLEMENTATION BY THE PRESIDENT.

(a) IN GENERAL- The President shall prescribe such regulations as are necessary to carry out this Act.
(b) MATTER TO BE COVERED BY REGULATIONS- Such regulations shall include specification of the following:
(1) The types of civilian service that may be performed for a person's national service obligation under this Act.
(2) Standards for satisfactory performance of civilian service and of penalties for failure to perform civilian service satisfactorily.
(3) The manner in which persons shall be selected for induction under this Act, including the manner in which those selected will be notified of such selection.
(4) All other administrative matters in connection with the induction of persons under this Act and the registration, examination, and classification of such persons.
(5) A means to determine questions or claims with respect to inclusion for, or exemption or deferment from induction under this Act, including questions of conscientious objection.
(6) Standards for compensation and benefits for persons performing their national service obligation under this Act through civilian service.
(7) Such other matters as the President determines necessary to carry out this Act.
(c) USE OF PRIOR ACT- To the extent determined appropriate by the President, the President may use for purposes of this Act the procedures provided in the Military Selective Service Act (50 U.S.C. App. 451 et seq.), including procedures for registration, selection, and induction.

SEC. 5. INDUCTION.

(a) IN GENERAL- Every person subject to induction for national service under this Act, except those whose training is deferred or postponed in accordance with this Act, shall be called and inducted by the President for such service at the time and place specified by the President.
(b) AGE LIMITS- A person may be inducted under this Act only if the person has attained the age of 18 and has not attained the age of 26.
(c) VOLUNTARY INDUCTION- A person subject to induction under this Act may volunteer for induction at a time other than the time at which the person is otherwise called for induction.
(d) EXAMINATION; CLASSIFICATION- Every person subject to induction under this Act shall, before induction, be physically and mentally examined and shall be classified as to fitness to perform national service. The President may apply different classification standards for fitness for military service and fitness for civilian service.

SEC. 6. DEFERMENTS AND POSTPONEMENTS.

(a) HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS- A person who is pursuing a standard course of study, on a full-time basis, in a secondary school or similar institution of learning shall be entitled to have induction under this Act postponed until the person--
(1) obtains a high school diploma;
(2) ceases to pursue satisfactorily such course of study; or
(3) attains the age of 20.
(b) HARDSHIP AND DISABILITY- Deferments from national service under this Act may be made for--
(1) extreme hardship; or
(2) physical or mental disability.
(c) TRAINING CAPACITY- The President may postpone or suspend the induction of persons for military service under this Act as necessary to limit the number of persons receiving basic military training and education to the maximum number that can be adequately trained.
(d) TERMINATION- No deferment or postponement of induction under this Act shall continue after the cause of such deferment or postponement ceases.

SEC. 7. INDUCTION EXEMPTIONS.

(a) QUALIFICATIONS- No person may be inducted for military service under this Act unless the person is acceptable to the Secretary concerned for training and meets the same health and physical qualifications applicable under section 505 of title 10, United States Code, to persons seeking original enlistment in a regular component of the Armed Forces.
(b) OTHER MILITARY SERVICE- No person shall be liable for induction under this Act who--
(1) is serving, or has served honorably for at least six months, in any component of the uniformed services on active duty; or
(2) is or becomes a cadet or midshipman at the United States Military Academy, the United States Naval Academy, the United States Air Force Academy, the Coast Guard Academy, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, a midshipman of a Navy accredited State maritime academy, a member of the Senior Reserve Officers' Training Corps, or the naval aviation college program, so long as that person satisfactorily continues in and completes two years training therein.

SEC. 8. CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION.

(a) CLAIMS AS CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR- Any person selected under this Act for induction into the uniformed services who claims, because of religious training and belief (as defined in section 6(j) of the Military Selective Service Act (50 U.S.C. 456(j))), exemption from combatant training included as part of that military service and whose claim is sustained under such procedures as the President may prescribe, shall, when inducted, participate in military service that does not include any combatant training component.

(b) TRANSFER TO CIVILIAN SERVICE- Any such person whose claim is sustained may, at the discretion of the President, be transferred to a national service program for performance of such person's national service obligation under this Act.

SEC. 9. DISCHARGE FOLLOWING NATIONAL SERVICE.

(a) DISCHARGE- Upon completion or termination of the obligation to perform national service under this Act, a person shall be discharged from the uniformed services or from civilian service, as the case may be, and shall not be subject to any further service under this Act.
(b) COORDINATION WITH OTHER AUTHORITIES- Nothing in this section shall limit or prohibit the call to active service in the uniformed services of any person who is a member of a regular or reserve component of the uniformed services.

SEC. 10. REGISTRATION OF FEMALES UNDER THE MILITARY SELECTIVE SERVICE ACT.

(a) REGISTRATION REQUIRED- Section 3(a) of the Military Selective Service Act (50 U.S.C. 453(a)) is amended--
(1) by striking `male' both places it appears;
(2) by inserting `or herself' after `himself'; and
(3) by striking `he' and inserting `the person'.
(b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Section 16(a) of the Military Selective Service Act (50 U.S.C. App. 466(a)) is amended by striking `men' and inserting `persons'.

SEC. 11. RELATION OF ACT TO REGISTRATION AND INDUCTION AUTHORITY OF MILITARY SELECTIVE SERVICE ACT.

(a) REGISTRATION- Section 4 of the Military Selective Service Act (50 U.S.C. App. 454) is amended by inserting after subsection (g) the following new subsection:
`(h) This section does not apply with respect to the induction of persons into the Armed Forces pursuant to the Universal National Service Act of 2003.'.
(b) INDUCTION- Section 17(c) of the Military Selective Service Act (50 U.S.C. App. 467(c)) is amended by striking `now or hereafter' and all that follows through the period at the end and inserting `inducted pursuant to the Universal National Service Act of 2003.'.

SEC. 12. DEFINITIONS.

In this Act:

(1) The term `military service' means service performed as a member of an active or reverse component of the uniformed services.
(2) The term `Secretary concerned' means the Secretary of Defense with respect to the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Coast Guard, the Secretary of Commerce, with respect to matters concerning the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, with respect to matters concerning the Public Health Service.
(3) The term `United States', when used in a geographical sense, means the several States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam.
(4) The term `uniformed services' means the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and commissioned corps of the Public Health Service.

Posted on May 27, 2004 at 07:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (39)

Thank A Feminist

I'd like to thank Irene Stuber for forwarding this message to me.

Thank A Feminist

If you're female and...

...you can vote, thank a feminist.

...you get paid as much as men doing the same job, thank a feminist.

...you went to college instead of being expected to quit after high school
so your brothers could go because "You'll just get married anyway", thank
a feminist.

...you can apply for any job, not just "women's work", thank a feminist.

...you can get or give birth control information without going to jail,
thank a feminist.

...your doctor, lawyer, pastor judge or legislator is a woman, thank a
feminist.

...you play an organized sport, thank a feminist.

...you can wear slacks without being excommunicated from your church or
run out of town, thank a feminist.

...your boss isn't allowed to pressure you to sleep with him, thank a
feminist.

...you get raped and the trial isn't about your hemline or your previous
boyfriends, thank a feminist.

...you start a small business and can get a loan using only your name and
credit history, thank a feminist

...you are on trial and are allowed to testify in your own defense, thank
a feminist.

...you own property that is solely yours, thank a feminist.

...you have the right to your own salary even if you are married or have a
male relative, thank a feminist.

...you get custody of your children following divorce or separation, thank
a feminist.

...you get a voice in the raising and care of your children instead of
them being completely controlled by the husband/father, thank a feminist.

...your husband beats you and it is illegal and the police stop him
instead of lecturing you on better wifely behavior, thank a feminist.

...you are granted a degree after attending college instead of a
certificate of completion, thank a feminist.

...you can breastfeed your baby discreetly in a public place and not be
arrested, thank a feminist.

...you marry and your civil human rights do not disappear into your
husband's rights, thank a feminist.

...you have the right to refuse sex with a diseased husband [or just
"husband"], thank a feminist.

...you have the right to keep your medical records confidential from the
men in your family, thank a feminist.

...you have the right to read the books you want, thank a feminist.

...you can testify in court about crimes or wrongs your husband has
committed, thank a feminist.

...you can choose to be a mother or not a mother in you own time not at
the dictates of a husband or rapist, thank a feminist.

...you can look forward to a lifespan of 80 years instead of dying in your
20s from unlimited childbirth, thank a feminist.

...you can see yourself as a full, adult human being instead of a minor
who needs to be controlled by a man, thank a feminist.

-- Author unknown.

===

This article makes periodic trips around the Internet.
Whoever first wrote it, THANK YOU!

Irene Stuber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . istuber@undelete.org

Posted on May 27, 2004 at 03:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Two-thirds of Divorces After Age 40 are Initiated by Wives

Bold emphasis is mine.

After Age 40, Wives Seek 2 of 3 Divorces


May 26, 8:48 PM (ET)
By CHAKA FERGUSON

NEW YORK (AP) - Two-thirds of divorces after age 40 are initiated by wives, debunking the myth of an older man divorcing his wife for a younger woman, a new survey shows. "That obviously happens, but mostly it's women who are asking for the divorce," said Steve Slon, editor of AARP the Magazine, on Tuesday. The magazine will publish the results Thursday in its July-August issue.

"The Divorce Experience: A Study of Divorce at Midlife and Beyond" surveyed 1,147 people ages 40 to 79 who had divorced in their 40s, 50s or 60s. The questionnaire survey, completed in December, had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The survey found that women over age 40 seemed more aware of problems in their marriages, while men were more likely to be caught off-guard by their divorces. Twenty-six percent of men said they "never saw it coming," compared with 14 percent of women.

The increase in women initiating a divorce reflects the empowerment of women to leave bad marriages, said Linda Fisher, AARP's director of national member research.

"Thirty years ago, many of these women might not have been able to (divorce) because of lack of self-confidence and financial means," she said. "Women are more likely to have more self-confidence and the means to leave a marriage when the circumstances are untenable."

The AARP study found that most women said they filed for divorces because of physical or emotional abuse, infidelity or drug and alcohol abuse. Men said they sought divorces because they fell out love, they had different values or lifestyles or infidelity.

The report also found that most older divorced people move on to other serious relationships.

Seventy-five percent of women in their 50s reported enjoying serious, exclusive relationships after their divorces, often within two years. Eighty-one percent of men in their 50s did the same.

Posted on May 27, 2004 at 10:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)