eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
The Department of Education has finally ruled that university gag orders on rape victims -- if you want us to investigate, you can't talk to anyone, even your parents -- are, who would have thought, violations of federal law. UVA said this was about protecting student privacy, and necessary to comply with FERPA, but fortunately the Department of Education finally saw through that. (Don't read the comments on the article; it will hurt.)

The case was based on a University of Virginia rule, but UVA is hardly the only place that has had such a requirement -- several American universities have attempted to protect their reputation as "safe" at the expense of rape victims, who are sometimes told by boards of inquiry that they can be expelled for talking about their cases. If protecting the reputation of the university involves harming rape victims, so be it.1

Other relevant links:
A story at the SAFER blog in which an Adelphi University alum talks about the obstacles to reporting rape, and her university's gag order.
Abyss2Hope's discussion of some of the social consequences of the gag order.



1 At my undergraduate university, in fact, various administrators frequently tried to keep women from reporting sexual assault -- one administrator tried to get rid of the anonymous sexual assault help line; she said that the rape counselor had to get the student's name and make her name her assailant or she couldn't take the call. This might've been legally true, I dunno, but there was no excuse for this: When this drove down the number of calls significantly, she then tried to use it as evidence of a reduced rate of sexual assault on campus, claiming that my university was one of the safest in the state.
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
So the campus republican club proposed a concealed-carry resolution before the student assembly. (Apparently forgetting that guns on campuses are forbidden by the state legislature, which would make it kinda hard for the undergraduate student assembly to pass said resolution. But whatever! People have the right to bear arms everywhere, right? I mean, private buildings, public buildings, places of employment -- you can take concealed carry with you where ever you want to protect yourself, right? RIGHT? Oh.)

And this is what the Chair of the College Republicans said about the issue: "People can bring guns onto campus illegally, but if someone wants to follow the law legally, they cannot."

No, really.
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
So I was reading a New Yorker article about Krystian Bala, a Polish author accused of murder, and I came across the following paragraph and was just -- boggled. One of these sentences is not like the others, guys:
Bala cast himself as an enfant terrible who sought out what Foucault had called a "limit-experience": he wanted to push the boundaries of language and human existence, to break free of what he deemed to be the hypocritical and oppressive "truths" of Western society, including taboos on sex and drugs. Foucault himself was drawn to homosexual sadomasochism. Bala devoured the work of Georges Bataille, who vowed to "brutally oppose all systems" and who once contemplated carrying out human sacrifices; and William Burroughs, who swore to use language to "rub out the word"; and the Marquis de Sade, who demanded, "O man! Is it for you to say what is good or what is evil?" Bala boasted about his drunken visits to brothels and his submission to temptations of the flesh. He told friends that he hated "conventions" and was "capable of anything," and he insisted, "I will not live long but I will live furiously!"
Now, okay, I'd like to smack the author of this article for other reasons, yes, but the sentence there that begins "Foucault himself?" Dude, what does that have to do with this paragraph, which is about things-Bala-read-that-he-liked? Did he READ about Foucault's sex life? No evidence of same here! What then does Foucault's sex life have to do with Bala reading about limit-experiences? Nothing, except that this is already an article about the ways Bala was influenced by postmodernism to ignore "truth" and "morality" and only do language games and thus kill people, and sadomasochism seems similarly edgey, dubious, and weird.

*facepalm*

Nov. 28th, 2007 12:00 pm
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
No, seriously *facepalm* here, guys. Because... in the state of Virgina, the Republicans have decided to make a loyalty oath part of their primary I am so not kidding. People voting in the primary will have to sign a form indicating that they will vote for the Republican candidate in November, no matter who wins the primary! I mean! Guys! WHAT THE FUCK. I don't care that it's non-binding -- it is so fucking ridiculous that there are no WORDS.

From The Roanoke Times and Salon.com's War Room.

Bay Area

Apr. 29th, 2007 10:18 am
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
So I was giving a bunch of Bay Area sports blogs a quick once-over this morning, and checking out various links. (Links, for example, where fans discuss Baron Davis' sartorial choices. I guess because it's sorta trying to keep within the NBA dress code while still expressing individuality.)

And I ended up at youtube, checking out a vid that's sorta Oakland-against-the-world, paralleling the criticisms of J-Rich and the Warriors and New Bay hip-hop. I basically just embed this video for [livejournal.com profile] fiatlouis. *g*







As one is wont to do, I clicked on some of the related links, most of which were crap. But one of them was set to Zion I's "The Bay." And one of the related links to that was ... holy shit, I said, is that really a music video for "The Bay?" Or is it somebody's mix? And no, no, that's Zion I's "The Bay." I didn't even know it had a music video, so I have to share it with everybody in the known world.







... and while I was typing this, I checked sfgate, and holy shit. That is an oil tanker that blew up and MELTED the upper deck of a freeway overpass. WTF.

Awesome, but random: Wikipedia has a page called WP: BALEET that redirects to the wikipedia deletion policy page. Ha!

ETA: Speaking of embedding, apparently we expect "LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL...AND EMBEDDED THUNDERSTORMS" here tomorrow. Per the National Weather Service. Embedded thunderstorms? Embedded in what?
eruthros: llamas! (llamas)
Best headlines of the day:

"Pomos wary of superfund."
My first take: postmodernists don't like superfund sites? Who huh wha ... Oh, oh! Pomo Indians. Right!"

"Study: Don't get divorced or fired."
Apparently they're bad for your mood, according to the subhead. Really? Whoda thunk?

"Developer condemns city." (In the Philadelphia Inquirer.)
Me: "the whole thing? Oh, wait. They mean city hall." Lo, I am slow on the first DST weekday.

***
Life goals:

One day, when I produce a TV show (I don't know how I'd get there from here, but that's irrelevant), I will commission an amnesia episode. You know, like the famous amnesia clip shows of yore (due South, I am so looking at you). Except that all the stories we frame as big, important stories... will be clips we've never seen before. It will be fabulous! It'll be the anti-clip show, with "flashbacks." You know you want to subvert the clip show, too! None of the "he was dreaming!" "he had amnesia!" "he was on trial!" "but it's not really a clip show, because we dubbed in new dialogue!" crap.

***

This is quite possibly the most hilarious quote regarding DADT ever. Regarding, of course, Matt Sanchez, the Marine Corps Times informs us that officials are "unable to confirm whether Sanchez had enlisted prior to the end of his film career or if Reserve Marines were prohibited from doing porn when not in a drilling status." These are important questions, yo! If you're a Reserve Marine, and you're not drilling, and you're in some gay porn: does that violate DADT?

Man, DADT: how are you so completely ridiculous? GOD.

But, on the other hand, think how useful this information might be to people who write in SGA.

Aside )

***

And one last link for those of you who, like me, are bitter about this whole stupid thing where Daylight Savings starts earlier and ends later: a University of California study, based on the Australian case, that argues that pushing DST back into winter actually increases energy use. Rather than putting daylight hours when we use them, it puts dark hours when we wake up -- so we get up, turn on the heater, the lights all over the house, and so on. And this turns morning into a peak-load time, increasing the prices of electricity in the morning. Yeah, a nice "free" way to conserve energy? Bite me, Congress.
eruthros: SG1: Daniel Jackson, text: "I never wanted to be an archaeologist... I wanted to be a lumberjack!"  (SG1 - A Lumberjack!)
Today, in The Bush Administration Argues Like A Five Year Old, the EPA will be presenting the following case to the Supreme Court: Greenhouse gases aren't airborne pollutants so they're not legally subject to our regulation. And even if they were pollutants, regulation would be too big of a step because it might cause more harm than good. (No explanation provided for same.) Also, regulating greenhouse gases is unfair to the USA, because the problem is global, so the developing countries get a free ride while we do expensive regulation. (Note from the bench: who is the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases? Hint: it's not India. Or China. Or any developing country.) Oh, and anyway, there's dispute about the causes of global warming so it wouldn't matter if greenhouse gases were pollutants because the EPA can't be expected to regulate without all the data. (One might then ask about the global-warming-global-causes logic statement.)

Okay, look, EPA and Justice Department guys: arguments that rely on a lot of "and, and, even if I had hit him, it would have been in self-defense?" Yeah, we laugh at those on CSI.

***

Oh, and people are talking about getting AH-nold to run against Barbara Boxer in the next California Senate race. PAH. Barbara Boxer = made of win. AH-nold = sucktastic but with really good image people. Voters = frequently idiots. "Arnold will kick ass! He's the Terminator!" You want someone to kick ass, you should have nominated his stunt double. DOUBLE PAH.

***

Jon Carroll, on the other hand, makes an effective argument in his discussion of the Warren Jeffs and FLDS trial. He does not make me cranky at all! Except, okay, he talks about the defense's argument that a fourteen year old girl was "happy" in her marriage and sometimes "volunteering" for sex to get to leave the house, so it clearly wasn't rape. And the very existence of that argument? Makes me CRANKY.
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (BtVS cheeseman nonsense)
Okay, I am posting way too much today, but ... I can't leave this transcript of an Ann Coulter interview alone.

Sample discussion, c&ped from Wonkette's transcript:
Ms. COULTER: I think that sort of rampant promiscuity does show some level of latent homosexuality.
DEUTSCH: OK, I think you need to say that again. That Bill Clinton, you think on some level, has — is a latent homosexual, is that what you’re saying?
Ms. COULTER: Yeah. I mean, not sort of just completely anonymous — I don’t know if you read the Starr report, the rest of us were glued to it, I have many passages memorized. No, there was more plot and dialogue in a porno movie.
And it gets weirder! Again c&ped: "Ms. COULTER: No. I think anyone with that level of promiscuity where, you know, you — I mean, he didn’t know Monica’s name until their sixth sexual encounter. There is something that is — that is of the bathhouse about that." It's all so mind-boggling that I could have easily cut and pasted the whole darn thing here. I mean! Ann Coulter's assertion that promiscuity = "obsession with your own — with your own essence" and is "reminiscent of a bathhouse."

Go read it and stare in astonishment. (Watch out for the comments, though, as there are a number of sex and sexuality-based ad hominem attacks on Ann Coulter. I mean, she makes no sense, and I call her stuff bullshit all the time, but some of the comments contain content that I find pretty darn offensive.)
eruthros: Ivanova from B5 saying "boom boom boom boom" to Londo -- angry icon!! (B5 - Ivanova boom)
From the NY courts document:

"Our conclusion that there is a rational basis for limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples leads us to hold that that limitation is valid under the New York Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, and that any expansion of the traditional definition of marriage should come from the Legislature."

Then they go into a bunch of stuff about Due Process and Equal Protection, but that's not the hinge point, for me. Nor is it the hinge point of the decision. "Rational." That's the word that pisses me off. And it's the basis of their decision: "Where no fundamental right is at issue, legislation is valid under the Due Process Clause if it is rationally related to legitimate government interests." Emphasis mine.

They're not just putting it off on the legislature, not just saying that it's not unconstitutional because of the way the law is written. That would be awful, but wouldn't make me as angry as this does. Because they're saying that there are rational reasons to keep me from getting married.

Those rational reasons appear to be:
1. Opposite-sex couples are more likely to have children accidentally, so we could say that it was valid to reward them for that and that "[the legislature] could find that an important function of marriage is to create more stability and permanence in the relationships that cause children to be born. It thus could choose to offer an inducement -- in the form of marriage and its attendant benefits -- to opposite-sex couples who make a solemn, long-term commitment to each other." That is, apparently marriage is a bribe to encourage us to have kids, or to make couples who have an unexpected pregnancy stay together. Because the on-purpose pregnancies of same-sex couples don't need encouragement. Or something.

"The Legislature could find that unstable relationships between people of the opposite sex present a greater danger that children will
be born into or grow up in unstable homes than is the case with same-sex couples, and thus that promoting stability in opposite sex
relationships will help children more." -- Right. Because prohibiting some parents from getting married will help children "more" than letting all parents form a "stable" relationships. And they don't really address this; they say "Our earlier discussion demonstrates that the
definition of marriage to include only opposite-sex couples is not irrationally underinclusive." That is, it doesn't fail to include same-sex couple with kids for any irrational reason, but for a rational one: bribery.

2. "Plaintiffs seem to assume that they have demonstrated the irrationality of the view that opposite-sex marriages offer advantages to children by showing there is no scientific evidence to support it. Even assuming no such evidence exists, this reasoning is flawed. In the absence of conclusive scientific evidence, the Legislature could rationally proceed on the common-sense premise that children will do best with a mother and father in the home."

Yep, common sense trumps science any day. Give me a nice significance test, with big sample sizes and good statistics, that demonstrates no apparent difference in the children of same- and opposite- sex marriages, and I'll just say "well, but common sense says..." Ahhh, the refusal to act until you have "conclusive" evidence. Please note that the majority opinion justices are not saying that they did not see evidence; they are denying that said evidence was "conclusive." (Also they are saying that evidence that the children of opposite-sex couples are better off could exist, which kinda boggles the mind, because the defendants would totally have used same in their case if they could've.)

I'm probably overreacting. But just. That word. "Rational." Gnargh.
eruthros: llamas! (llamas)
Yes, this is one of those posts that happens when your in-progress file gets too big, weird, and disconnected to do anything with. So why not just post the whole darn thing at once?

Weirdest BEA schwag:

Jelly Belly gummi rat from Coffee House Press. Nothing to do with anything, near's I can tell.
Magnetic Poetry's BEA-themed magnetic poetry, featuring words like schwag and tired and not and another and catalogue.
Red back massage thingy from Elloras Cave.
Inexplicable green alligator filled with water. I don't even remember where it's from. Or why anyone would advertise a book with a squishy water-filled alligator.

*

So I read Interpretation of Murder, which is... well, it features Freud, and I find the practice of Freudian psychology kinda funny, so it's hard for me to accept it as a thriller. I mean, totally ridiculous dialogue during psychiatric appointments, and Jung and Freud arguing about the supernatural, and Oedipal complexes in Shakespeare, and then at the same time, thriller. With standard death!porn -- you know, the bits where we see a murder from the murderer's pov, and don't give the victim a name, but call her "the young girl" or whatever. Bleh.

The basic problem is that this book doesn't fit in its genre, or even know what the genre is. (You have to know what the genre is to play with it.) I expected it to be a puzzle-thriller: the PR material was all about solving puzzles in Shakespeare and that sort of thing, so I figured it would be the da Vinci Code (which I, um, haven't read) except with Shakespeare and serial killers and Freud. I did not expect the puzzle to be "why does Hamlet act in some instances, and yet find himself incapable of acting on his uncle?" Especially since this puzzle is solved entirely without dialogue or investigation: it's a thought-puzzle in the mind of the narrator. Note to author: thought-puzzles do not make puzzle thrillers.

(Also, there's a bit where they talk about a psychiatrist sleeping with his patient, and there's already been a lot of dialogue about 19th century neurologists are just using sex as a cure, so. It's like the author's trying trying to do both the 19th and 20th century "nervous disorder" cures at once: The talking cure and orgasms. Ickitas.)

*
... they even made fandom_wank. Not that that takes much on slow wank days. Slow wank days. Heh. -- talking to friede about audiography

*

Totally disgusting discovery of the day: the Left Behind game. It's... I have no words. Since I have no words, I have attempted to share the horror with everyone I know. For example:
[livejournal.com profile] eruthros: Oh lordy. Have you seen the PR stuff about the Left Behind game?
[livejournal.com profile] friede: noooo
[livejournal.com profile] eruthros: Basically you wander the streets of New York with many large guns, trying to convert or kill Jews, pagans, Buddhists, gays, etc.
[livejournal.com profile] friede: ...
[livejournal.com profile] eruthros: And these people call themselves Christians!
[livejournal.com profile] friede: seriously. gar
[livejournal.com profile] eruthros: In fact, they protest against violent video games and how they make kids violent!
[livejournal.com profile] eruthros: And. Wah.
[livejournal.com profile] friede: *pets*
[livejournal.com profile] eruthros: posts link to Left Behind Games' website
[livejournal.com profile] eruthros: You can even play it MULTIPLAYER and try to take territory from other players!
[livejournal.com profile] friede: omg
[livejournal.com profile] eruthros: When presumably you're all trying to, you know, convert folks, apocolypse, blahblah etc. And yet.
[livejournal.com profile] eruthros: I AM SO HORRIFIED I HAVE RUN OUT OF WORDS.
[livejournal.com profile] friede: also AHHHHH
[livejournal.com profile] eruthros: Left Behind was creepy enough before it was, like, Grand Theft Soul.

Also? In this game the UN is a tool of the antichrist. Jesus Mary Mother of God. I ask you. And this, from the president of a Christian marketing organization: "I would assume, if there is violence, it's the cosmic struggle of good versus evil, not gratuitous violence." Right. Of course. It's not gratuitous! You're just killing all the Jews 'cause it's the end times! WAH. From the LA Times: "Ralph Bagley, a spokesman for the Christian Game Developers Foundation in San Diego, said he had seen demand for Christian games grow as parents rejected the escalating violence and explicit sex in mainstream games." And this is... not part of the escalating violence?

Also? Also? Look at what Michael Pachter, an analyst for the investment bank WedbushMorgan, said about this game: "The reason that I think this game has a chance is that it's not particularly preachy. ... I will say some of the dialogue is pretty lame —people saying, 'Praise the Lord' after they blow away the bad guys. I think they're overdoing it a bit. But the message is OK." BUT THE MESSAGE IS OKAY? BUT THE MESSAGE IS OKAY? I swear, I'm going to have an aneurysm over here, if that's what people think is a reasonable message.

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