Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday - the holy hell I'm getting old edition

Hey. I probably don't have much time because the battery on the laptop is slowly dying and the baby has been asleep for just over two hours. But, for the love, I need to get some of this stuff out of my brain.

* Aging Gracefully

Sure, it's great in theory until more and more people in your house approach and/or surpass your height and can tell you when it's time to dye your hair again. And ohmygodmom it's so gray now. What happened?

Hmmm, child. I have some theories.

As I was sitting with the dye on top of my head today, I decided to tackle my eyebrows, only to realize upon having a good close look that a whole bunch of them are gray now too. White really. Like invisible. So, not only do I still have bushy eyebrows in the places I don't want them, I have to fill in the rest because it's so sparse up there.



But enough about me.

* Birthright citizenship

Oh for the love of Thor, where am I even supposed to start with this one? This is the new sexy issue for the presidential candidates to argue about, one that is so deliciously enticing to them because it feeds off subtle (and not so subtle) racism.

There are some (far too many) people in this country who don't seem to understand that birthright citizenship is actually part of the Constitution. It's in the 14th Amendment. Anyone born subject to the jurisdiction of the country (i.e. within the borders is one of the ways), is a citizen by birth. End of story.

This whole rhetoric is based on a lot of half truths and flat out lies about illegal immigration in this country that have been spun so far out of proportion that it's hard to see where the little snippets of truth really are anymore. Candidates are getting defensive about their use of the term anchor babies, refusing to see that it's offensive. The children born here are citizens. Period.

If anything, they're actually born at a pretty significant disadvantage since their birth doesn't automatically confer any benefits at all to their families. They can't petition to have their parents stay, their parents can be (and are far more often than most people realize) deported. In those cases, the children often leave the country with the parents because the only options for them to stay are if there is a family member not being deported, or getting placed into the foster care system.

This movement underfoot to remove this type of citizenship is a bit on the preposterous side when you consider what would actually have to happen if it were to be eliminated - a Constitutional amendment. The last amendment ratified in modern times was the 27th, having to do with Congressional salaries. It took 202 years to be ratified. The 26th amendment lowered the voting age to 18, a far more recent amendment, passed quickly. In 1971.

The equal rights amendment was never ratified because there was too much disagreement about it. The likelihood that an amendment removing birthright citizenship would even get through Congress and even make it to the states is minute; the chances of it ever being ratified, virtually nonexistent.

Let's not make this any more than it is - political posturing that feeds on fear and racism.

* Ashley Madison and the fallout

The site is disgusting. I hate that it exists, I hate that there were so many registered users, I hate that there are people all over the country (well, world, I suppose) hurting because of the fallout of the data hack. I'm concerned (enough) about the users who were revealed to be on the site, but I'm more concerned about their spouses and families.

There are a few things I wanted to briefly discuss though, food for thought if you will.

- The data is reporting that between 90-95% of the users were male. Assuming that many of them were on the site in the hopes of finding a female affair partner, you have to wonder how many of them actually met someone physically in person through the site...or if they were all talking to bots the whole time. Chances are decent, in my mind, that just because someone registered on the site doesn't mean they had physical contact as a result.

- Having said that, intent matters. Intent fucking matters a lot, because looking for an affair requires someone to willingly discard their personal integrity and honesty in the relationship they're supposed to be faithful in. That first step is the biggest one. If you don't want to stay, leave. Don't cheat. FFS.

- Even as hard as it is to feel sorry for those who've had their affair seeking revealed, the size and scope of this data breech should be alarming to anyone. Just because this group is hard to conjure sympathy for doesn't negate the enormity of the information being hacked here.

- There are many more victims than those revealed to be on the site. Their spouses and families are victims here too, though those releasing the information may believe that they're doing them a favor. Finding something like this out is hard enough, but to have to do it all so publicly ups the ante for all involved. Nothing like public humiliation to go with your ordinary humiliation.

* Frat Houses 

There is yet another story this year about signs being hung from fraternity houses telling parents to drop off their freshman daughters there, (and mom too).


So funny. Not.

For the love.

When I was a freshman in college, I rushed sororities. Not because I had any interest in it at all, but because my Mom REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted me to do it. Fine. Whatever.

I got all dressed up and tried to be nice to a bunch of strangers. Then we went for a walk down the row. Most of the frats had guys outside, organized, watching us walk up and down the street. A few had drug out the couches so they could be more comfortable during the viewing.

One held up signs rating us as we walked by. I left and didn't go back the next day.

Over 20 years ago.

This shit isn't new, but it's still fucking disgusting. This isn't just one fraternity at one school. This is what rape culture looks like, you guys.

* This week in post racial America

There was a group of black women, members of a book club, kicked off a winery tour train because they were being too loud. Those who refuse to see that this is racism at work defended the action as necessary because of the noise level. Except that groups of white women haven't been kicked off in the past, no matter how loud they were. Mmmhmmm.

There are two competing dialogues about the anniversary of Katrina going on right now, and the distance between them reveals a lot about the state of race in this country. In the area hardest hit, whites are far more likely to be pleased with the rebuilding efforts and progress, while blacks are far more likely to say that work still hasn't been done.

It has taken a long time, but there are finally some real changes taking place in Ferguson. A judge issued an order withdrawing all outstanding arrest warrants that are more than a year old and reissued all licenses that were suspended for reasons like missing a court date or failing to pay a fine. There are accusations of a strong bias in the legal system there, amounting to what is referred to as a debtors prison that disproportionately affected blacks. This will clear the records of many people. Change, goddamn...it's slow and hard, but every step forward counts.

Alrighty then, my battery light is flashing and I'm being paged by a tiny man. Rage on, my friends, rage on.

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