eruthros: Ivanova from B5 saying "boom boom boom boom" to Londo -- angry icon!! (B5 - Ivanova boom)
So remember how Johannes Mehserle, a white BART police officer, shot and killed Oscar Grant, an unarmed black man, last year in Oakland?

And remember how a couple months ago, the jury returned a verdict of involuntary manslaughter? And tacked a "gun enhancement change" on top of that? Rather than the second-degree murder or voluntary manslaughter charges the prosecutor was asking for?

Well now Mehserle has been sentenced! To two whole years in prison (minus time served, of course). The shortest possible sentence. Yes. Two fucking years. Why?

Because the judge rejected the gun enhancement charge on the grounds that the jury must not have understood it.

Oh, and also because he's concerned about everyone's tone:

"The judge said he received more than 1,000 letters from the public advocating the maximum sentence of 14 years for Mehserle and that he was concerned by their anger." (from a different Bay Citizen article on the trial)

ETA: Oscar Grant Sr, Oscar Grant's grandfather, said: "Knowing how the judicial system in this country works, I was not surprised. Two years is just a slap in the face." (from sfgate.com's article on protests in Oakland)

No kidding.

ETA2: Scenes from the protests in Oakland tonight by Oakland North. According to the SF Chronicle, 500 police and Homeland Security officers are blocking off the 250 person protest.
eruthros: Ivanova from B5 saying "boom boom boom boom" to Londo -- angry icon!! (B5 - Ivanova boom)
So I was following various feedreeder links and I ended up at a post that was talking about a Rick Barber for Congress ad that's so awful that I can't get past ".. what?" Warning for images of American slavery, the Holocaust, other situations involving slavery, and amazingly offensive and insensitive comparisons of those to taxation.



transcript/paraphrase )

It's the sort of thing that I wouldn't have found out about in the days before the internet -- he's a Tea Party republican running for representative in Alabama, so not a giant name, before blogs I probably wouldn't have heard of him until after the election. But, just, seriously? Seriously taxation is slavery? Seriously comparable to the Holocaust? I mean, I know the tea party has pulled that comparison before, and will again, but there's something about the smugness of this ad, the defense of excise taxes while calling income taxes slavery, and the use of Abraham Lincoln as an anti-government mouthpiece that make me particularly "... what?" and it.
eruthros: Ivanova from B5 saying "boom boom boom boom" to Londo -- angry icon!! (B5 - Ivanova boom)
Here is a thing that makes me really sad: this sign [note: link contains image of Holocaust victims], at the anti-health care march in Washington D.C. today. Which, okay, is horrifying enough as a piece of political rhetoric, if you presume that the people in question don't believe in it, it's horrifying enough as a parallel between mostly-white mostly-Christian Americans who don't want health care and, you know, the torture and deaths of Jewish and Romani and homosexual folks, but what really horrifies and depresses me is the idea that the person holding that sign, the person waving that sign around, might not just be doing it as political rhetoric, might actually believe in that comparison. How horrifying is it to think about the mostly-white mostly-Christian mostly-conservative anti-health care folks imagining themselves to be the same as Jews and Romani and queer folks in Nazi Germany? To think about what they must believe to make this comparison in all seriousness? To make the comparison between socialized medicine and genocide? I am just "..."

Also, linking to the above at Think Progress reminded me of how much I hate reading comments on progressive blogs. I skim the front pages of a number of progressive blogs, and I usually don't read the comments -- there are so few blogs that think about intersectionality, that really try to keep out the misogyny and the homophobia and the transmisogyny and the racism and the ablism. I read the comments on this post about a racist sign in an Georgia bar a while ago, though, and just -- this is exactly it, this is exactly the problem. Here are some things I learned about the TRUTH about racism from reading comments, which I have put behind a cut because they hit just about every -ism ever )
eruthros: ST: TOS, Spock holding a kitten (ST: TOS - Spock and kitten)
1. This may be the most hilarious thing I've read in the news today:

The line of protesters spread across Pennsylvania Avenue for blocks, all the way to the capitol, according to the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency. People were chanting "enough, enough" and "We the People." Others yelled "You lie, you lie!" and "Pelosi has to go," referring to California congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.

I read that and then went, "what, seriously? Your chant was 'you lie, you lie?'"

So [personal profile] thingswithwings and I tried to do some in-living-room chanting, and determined that it's really hard to stay in unison on "you lie, you lie" because it has no rhythm, and also because it's all vowels. Both of which would make it impossible to hear from a distance. Then we tried to figure out how you'd possibly chant "enough, enough" for ten blocks; I tried doing a bunch of different inflections: "enough! enoooough. enough? ENOUGH!" but that was more hilarious than successful.

Then we tried to parse the chants: where, we asked, are the objects of these chants? Enough what? You lie about what? We, the people ... in order to form a more perfect union?

[personal profile] thingswithwings: They should really just hire the left for their chants.

2. I went to the state fair last week! I saw horses and bunnies and went on many rides and ate extremely unhealthy food. (We started the day with frozen bananas, because [personal profile] thingswithwings was like, "wait, I thought that was just on Arrested Development!" And then the day went nutritionally downhill from there.) The one problem with our state fair was a lack of horticultural stuff -- I wanted giant zucchinis, competitive butter sculpture, and berry preserve competitions! That's totally one of the fun parts!

3. You probably haven't seen me around much on dw lately. This is because I slid my thumb out of joint* while in the Middle of Nowhere about five weeks ago, and it didn't heal right -- usually it just pops back in, but noooo. I'm about one week into three weeks of a really irritating hand brace that makes it difficult to type**. Also I have yet more physical therapy, but at least I get to play with non-Newtonian solids for resistance training.

Anyway, that is just to say that you likely won't see me commenting as much or at any length, and if you talk to me on IM you will find me slow and mostly lowercased.

*This is normal for me; I have congenital hypermobility.

** And also impossible to use a can opener -- I'm lucky that I'm not a different kind of person, or that could be a real problem. As it is, I can chop vegetables decently using two fingers to support the knife, so I'm okay.
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (BtVS cheeseman nonsense)
1) So, the tea party protests. Okay, so, there's a lot to be said about the fakeness of it, about the way it makes little to no sense, about the Fox News promotions of the tea parties. But what bothers me most of all? Is how some proponents of the parties are calling it teabagging. Like, mostly, they stick to "tea party," but occasionally there's a teabagging or two, and seriously, guys, that's not what I think of when I hear the word teabagging.

Fortunately, Rachel Maddow has already attempted to get through a description of the teabagging tea parties without laughing, and failed miserably, so I don't feel alone in this:







2) The National Organization for Marriage -- an anti-gay-rights group -- is starting a new campaign. It is about how lots of people are against gay marriage. They are calling it "2 Million for Marriage." They are abbreviating it 2M4M. Which, hmm, M4M stands for Men for Men -- there's actually even a dating website named M4M, so it's not exactly UNDERGROUND SLANG. And, even better, 2M4M is when you're a couple looking for another guy to have sex with. Well DONE, National Organization for Marriage! (They also forgot to register possible variations of their domain name, such that 2M4M.org now points to a pro-gay-marriage site.)
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)
1) I need the election to happen now, because of how I spend my days reading blogs and violently skyrocketing from joy and sniffles to despair and anger to complete bafflement and hilarity.

I mean, seriously, firefox's new most-visited feature informs me that, after from igoogle (my home page) and you guys, all of my most commonly visited pages are either political blogs or stuff for the super sekrit project.

2) I now have early-morning physical therapy appointments twice a week. So I'm getting up when it's still dark, going up to the office to be hit with sticks, and I have to pay for it. This hardly seems fair.

3) I cut myself on my bialetti coffee maker this morning. One of those nice deep gouges in the knuckle. How is that even possible?

Politics

Aug. 23rd, 2008 11:32 am
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (BtVS Tara avatar avatar)
Hey, look:



Barack Obama has selected an old white guy as vice-presidential nominee, for those of us who were concerned about the lack of old white guys on the ticket!1

But at least he seems to be a moderately liberal, if somewhat confused old white guy.


1 Note: to translate to mainstream media, read "experienced" for "old white guy."
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
On a new proposed US Health and Human Services Department regulation:
The administration drafted the proposal to implement laws prohibiting recipients of federal funds from penalizing health practitioners who refuse to perform abortions or provide abortion referrals.

The draft proposal covers Catholic Charities and other employers who object to abortion, by defining their insurers as health practitioners. It would define abortion as any procedure or drug that terminates a human life after conception, "whether before or after implantation."
This means, of course, that health insurance plans could choose not to cover contraception because it's against their religious beliefs -- it's basically a regulation drafted to keep California and New York (and a few other states) from enforcing their laws requiring insurance companies that cover viagra to also cover various forms of contraceptives. AND IT"S DEFINING CONTRACEPTION AS ABORTION TO DO IT. ON A FEDERAL LEVEL. YOU GUYS.

More here.

Apparently this has been open to public comment since August 7th; was there some big hoopla about it that I didn't notice 'cause of being out of the country?

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