Sandy Hook

Dec. 17th, 2012 11:49 pm
anotheranon: (barbarians)
I’ve not been watching too closely because while I’m horrified I’m not shocked (and if I know more details it will feed my already overactive misanthropy). This is, what, the second mass shooting this year? Fourth in ~2 years? Isn’t it terrible that I don’t find this surprising anymore?

A lot of explanations and possible solutions have been proffered. I’ve read about raising kids to be more compassionate, regulating violent movies and video games, tighter gun controls, and I think some of these (especially the latter) might help to some degree, but I suspect American's strange relationship to guns comes from deep seated, cultural values/myths that no law is going to help abolish.

Random thoughts below )

This is just spitballing, I know I'm not showing my work with links or anything, nor do I have answers. I don’t know what kind of mental health policies would help catch potential mass shooters before they snap; I don’t know what needs to change in the culture to make people not feel like they need guns.

Feel free to debate in the comments, but keep it civil.
anotheranon: (politics)
I did not stay up late to watch the returns. I felt that that way lay madness, though admittedly I could also be pretty confident my state would go blue (which it did).

"My" guy won. I use the quote marks because Obama has always been too socially conservative for my tastes. However, I did see a lot of socially liberal measures passed - 3 states for marriage equality (including mine!) and two for marijuana decriminalization, and hopefully this will show the Democrats that there IS support for a progressive agenda, if they would just develop spines!

I'm not saying they shouldn't "reach across the aisle", but that they should loudly and vigorously call out their political opponents who won't.

I said back in 2008 "Great! We got rid of Dubya, now let's hold Obama's feet to the fire" and that still stands.

I'd love to see an end to the excesses of the Patriot Act and to the drone attacks, but I'll settle for some campaign finance reform. I'm cynical that even that will happen, but hopefully at least things won't get *worse*.
anotheranon: (politics)
(Wow, two posts in one day! It's like I'm a blogger or something!)

I've been silent on the current U.S. election season because the debate has been better discussed elsewhere and I have little interest in creating yet another option for a flame war.

For what very little it may be worth, I don't think Obama is the Second Coming or that Romney is the devil incarnate. Maybe I'm cynical but what I see are 1) two politicians who are more interested in maintaining/getting power than in serving the electorate, who will say whatever it takes to get elected and 2) two parties equally beholden to corporate campaign money, and like Molly Ivins said, "ya gotta dance with them what brung ya".

However, I've recently become aware that several of my FB and RL friends are of a Republican ilk. Happily most seem to be of the fiscally conservative school, which I suppose is up for debate. Personally I have no problem with taxes or socialized health care because I'd rather live with an educated, healthy populace in a country with good roads, but I'm no economist, so I'll leave that debate to those more aware than I.

No, my grievance with the modern Republican party is that their economic policy invariably goes hand in hand with a particularly 1950s social conservatism that denies LBTQI people civil rights and women bodily autonomy. The fact that the rather venal leadership shamelessly caters to the worst excesses of Christian fundamentalism doesn't help either.

I'm an atheistic bisexual woman. What on earth could the Republican party offer me? Obama may be no saint (I'm particularly angered by his maintaining the expanded executive powers claimed by Bush II, the expansion of domestic secrecy, and the never-ending and unchecked drone attacks), but I'd rather vote for the guy who will ignore me over the one who will slap me in the face.

Shorter version: what this guy said. I can get behind a debate on economic priorities, but denying civil rights is untenable.

Feel free to comment, but know that if I see the tiniest flicker of flaming your comment will be summarily deleted - keep it nice.
anotheranon: (busy)
House: Still up to my eyebrows in boxes and scheduling. We have 3 days between closing and moving, so I'm using the time to have the air ducts and fireplaces cleaned - I figure it will be easier without furniture potentially in the way.

We still haven't tackled the unfinished part of the basement. I can't speak for D., but I know I've been avoiding it. I've already gone through the fabric stash twice but dread facing whatever else I've accumulated over the years.

Current events: I'm still stunned about the Colorado theater shooting, and my heart sinks a little more every time I see that the victim count go up. The continuing coverage isn't informative beyond that - developments are slow, yet the demands of the 24 hour news cycle means that the media is filling the time with foolish speculation. I really hope this doesn't get pinned on geek culture or fans; my personal guess (I do it too, yeah, yeah) is that the Holmes chose the theater simply because he knew the premiere of a summer blockbuster would be packed.

Between this and Salon's cruelty on the border story, I am reminded why I don't follow news as closely as I used to. I don't ENJOY being misanthropic, but <rant>What is wrong with these people!? I get that illegal immigrants are breaking the law (need for immigration reform is another rant), but they shouldn't have to die for it. Leaving water in the desert assures that at the least they're alive to be sent back to their countries of origin. And the acts of the border control agents in the article are pointless sadism for...what? Because they can (also saving rant how law enforcement sometimes attracts power mad bullies)?</rant>

Fencing: wearing myself out with tiring "dancing" footwork and trying to get out of the bad habit of attacking out of range. Also, I'm involved in creating a fencing fashion blog (details forthcoming).

Tangential: the complaints about Twitter and Facebook destroying written communication holds true, at least for me. [livejournal.com profile] dustdaughter has rightly pointed out that with only 140 characters, everyone winds up sounding like Rorschach from "Watchmen", and while typing the comparatively huge tome above I found myself mixing tenses, repeating verbs, and dropping articles left and right. Maybe this is another bad habit to break.
anotheranon: (women)
Any of you who have been reading me for awhile knows that I'm a firm believer in better living through science and therefore the whole current (and recurrent) debate in the U.S. political scene about birth control is on the face of it a non-starter for me. I've been saying for years that it's the 20th (21st!) century, get with the program already!

Turns out I've been naively optimistic. Sara Robinson's article Why Patriarchal Men Are Utterly Petrified of Birth Control -- And Why We'll Still Be Fighting About it 100 Years From Now is a sobering reminder of how slowly the wheels of progress turn.

Given that it's been available my entire life, it's easy for me to forget that the existence of safe, effective birth control has created huge changes in the roles of women, of family, of sex, and in the power dynamic between men and women. We're only 50 years into this huge change so while I think resistance is ridiculous, I shouldn't be surprised that conservatives are still trying desperately to put this genie back in the bottle and will be for [sigh] hundreds of years to come.

I like to marvel at how far people have come in just my lifetime, and it's dispiriting to be reminded how much further there is to go.
anotheranon: (humble)
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No. Not because I'm not supportive (I've written about this before) but because I don't have a leg to stand on: I'm not one of the 1% but I am employed and insured and have generally been luckier than many in the past few years.

In addition, I'm reluctant to back any cause I don't understand completely and it seems that the Occupy movement encompasses so many different agendas and grievances that it would be impossible for me to know them all. If I participated I'd feel like a fraud at best, or ignorant at worst, and given that the Occupiers are accused of being these and more it wouldn't help them if I joined in.
anotheranon: (politics)
I have not been living under a rock. I am aware there are things going on in the wider world, I just don't often write about them because others do it better and I find it frankly depressing to follow the news too closely. But two things are so much on the radar that I find it impossible not to comment:

OWS )

Sandusky and the cult of football )
anotheranon: (politics)
I am reposting this as many have, though this evening the "Let Women Die" bill passed Congress makes me feel like this is a futile gesture :(

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] james_nicoll at Mississippi Personhood Amendment
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] soldiergrrrl at Mississippi Personhood Amendment
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] twbasketcaseat Mississippi Personhood Amendment
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] gabrielleabelleat Mississippi Personhood Amendment
Okay, so I don't usually do this, but this is an issue near and dear to me and this is getting very little no attention in the mainstream media.

Mississippi is voting on November 8th on whether to pass Amendment 26, the "Personhood Amendment". This amendment would grant fertilized eggs and fetuses personhood status.

Putting aside the contentious issue of abortion, this would effectively outlaw birth control and criminalize women who have miscarriages. This is not a good thing.

Jackson Women's Health Organization is the only place women can get abortions in the entire state, and they are trying to launch a grassroots movement against this amendment. This doesn't just apply to Mississippi, though, as Personhood USA, the group that introduced this amendment, is trying to introduce identical amendments in all 50 states.

What's more, in Mississippi, this amendment is expected to pass. It even has Mississippi Democrats, including the Attorney General, Jim Hood, backing it.

The reason I'm posting this here is because I made a meager donation to the Jackson Women's Health Organization this morning, and I received a personal email back hours later - on a Sunday - thanking me and noting that I'm one of the first "outside" people to contribute.

So if you sometimes pass on political action because you figure that enough other people will do something to make a difference, make an exception on this one. My RSS reader is near silent on this amendment. I only found out about it through a feminist blog. The mainstream media is not reporting on it.

If there is ever a time to donate or send a letter in protest, this would be it.

What to do?

- Read up on it. Wake Up, Mississippi is the home of the grassroots effort to fight this amendment. Daily Kos also has a thorough story on it.

- If you can afford it, you can donate at the site's link.

- You can contact the Democratic National Committee to see why more of our representatives aren't speaking out against this.

- Like this Facebook page to help spread awareness.



anotheranon: (eggman)
Given the proliferation of media coverage and FB/LJ "where were you?" posts, I suppose it's inevitable that I'd write about the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

snipped, 'cos this got long )

I'm posting this publicly and leaving comments unscreened. Discussion and vigorous debate is encouraged, but flames will be vigorously put out.
anotheranon: (books)
What I've been reading:

Kim Newman's "Anno Dracula": What would have happened if Dracula hadn't been killed at the end of Bram Stoker's novel? Newman plays in the London of 1888 with every prominent vampire and Victorian you can think of, so if you're familiar with the genre and time period it's an adventurous running in-joke - but if not there's lengthy notes at the end that describe his influences. I heard about this novel years ago but wasn't able to get a copy until it was reissued this year. I hope the sequels come out as well!

Jeff Sharlet's "C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy": this is a continuation of his research into the Christian Right elite that he started in 2008's The Family. Using interviews with members and the Family's own documentation, he demonstrates that these aren't the outrageous Bachmanns and Perrys, but wealthy, well positioned (usually) men who are content to work slowly to achieve their goals of rolling back social progress: in their world LGTBQs would go back into the closet, the poor would be content with their lot, women would shut up and act nice, while they paternalistically run everything. What's most chilling is how firmly they believe that they are God's instruments, confusing their own egos with divine will. Not a happy read but very much recommended.

Leslie Kean's "UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record": I know, I know: most UFO books are by nutty believers or stern debunkers, but this is one of the most sane, sober treatments of the subject I've ever read. Shoving the assumption that UFOs = aliens aside, the contributors to Kean's book recite their experiences and suggest that unknown things in the sky need to be taken seriously as flight hazards and defense threats. Excerpts here.

Jon Armstrong's "Yarn": I'm not done with it but I'm including it anyway because it's a compulsive read - I almost dread getting to the end because it means I won't get to read Armstrong's clever use of fashion/textile language to describe SeattleHama, a future capital of sex and fashion, with violent sales-warriors and specialty yarn-stealing (and hallucinogenic drugs that make you see everything as fabric. I want some of this drug). A tailor is on a mission to get an illegal fabric to ease the suffering of a former lover, and his story is told in flashbacks along the way. It's described as "fashionpunk", and you can read the first chapter online.

trying

Aug. 13th, 2011 05:49 pm
anotheranon: (790)
I often wish I got downtown more often, but it's been a hassle of late.

Today's plan was to join the local SlutWalk (not as racy as it sounds - it's protesting against sexual violence) and hear the speakers until we got tired/hot. Due to delays on Metro, poor directions at the website, and thwarted attempts to top off fare cards on machines that were undergoing maintenance, we almost missed it. By sheer good luck we emerged from underground just in time to meet the march heading towards us.

It was a short walk and once we found a place to sit by the stage I was able to connect with M. and [livejournal.com profile] ladyaelfwynn, who I had tried to meet beforehand but it just kinda didn't happen. I'm glad this didn't turn into another of my poor organizational/herding cats fiascos!

Lamentably I didn't get to see much speaking - it started pouring with the first speaker so D. and I made a mad dash for the nearest Metro stop. Even with umbrellas, we were soaked. On the plus side, we were not overheated :P

So the transit was a pain in the ass, but it was good to stand and be counted (because WHY ARE WE STILL HAVING THIS CONVERSATION??) and see my friends. On the up side, the last time I went to a protest I got a cold that turned into a several-month sinus infection, so a fallout of wet socks just isn't as bad.
anotheranon: (Default)
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My boring, decidedly preppy khakis in beige and gray.

I got them mostly because I needed some basic summer-weight pants for work, and fencing + weight gain meant that my previous stylin' pairs from Anthropologie no longer fit. Not willing to see my hard earned $ go to Rick Santorum and his ilk I couldn't replace them there so I had to settle for JCrewish basics.

You were my favorite, Anthropologie. I loved you! Why did you go all Sith on me?
anotheranon: (eggman)
Despite my busy-ness, I have been keeping up with the news in a limited way. What with Libya, Japan, Bahrain and elsewhere it's all a bit much too much to take in effectively.

I've had to back off following all of the news about the Japanese nuclear reactor. Fortunately or no, that hit the news not long after I watched The Battle of Chernobyl, which while an excellent documentary about the unsung heroes and heroics involved with the 1986 explosion cleanup, it's also high-octane nightmare fuel even if (like me) you didn't grow up under constant terror of nuclear holocaust*. No matter how complete and quick the cleanup of the Fukushima plant, it seems like a recurring theme with nuclear accidents is that the damage goes on and on, even when it disappears from the news cycle - the environment is essentially poisoned for centuries and those who don't die outright from exposure are burdened with ill health for the rest of their lives.

As such, I just can't watch that coverage anymore. Unlike the rebellions in the Middle East, it just reads as so hopeless to me.

*Tangentially, it's not that I didn't grow up on this planet in the 20th century, but I gather that I'm unusual in that I didn't have nuclear fear drilled into me by parents, teachers, etc. It's not that the adults around me weren't cognizant of the news, it just wasn't mentioned. I don't even remember doing "duck and cover" drills at school.

I was 13 when Chernobyl hit the news, and while everyone understood it was a terrible tragedy, there was no handwringing about it happening HERE, ANY MINUTE NOW.

Is it just me, or did I get off really lucky in not being pre-emptively traumatized by the Cold War? Or were my parents/teachers really shamelessly naive?
anotheranon: (Default)

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anotheranon: (eggman)
I can sometimes have a grim view of humanity. Not of individual people, mind - I maintain that many if not most people are basically good, or at least content to live and let live.

No, it's groups of people that I have little hope for. Reading this account and analysis of bullying only gives fuel to the suspicion I entertain on my worst days that given the slightest peer pressure, most people will bully or put up with the bullying of others. They do it because they can, because it's an easy way to feel good about themselves, and bystanders will do nothing out of fear of backlash. Which I get, kind of - standing up and standing alone is difficult and scary.

It's not even exclusively a "high school pressure cooker" thing either, though that's where I learned the damn hard lesson that when it mattered, no one would get my back. I think the link makes an excellent point that people never outgrow that need to take the easy and ugly way, and this is reflected in political discourse and lingering discrimination against the out-group du jour.

As an adult I can be more pragmatic, almost to the point of acceptance that This Is How Things Are, whether I like it or not. Not everyone is cut out to be a rebel or hero, they have their own problems, and expecting different is just banging my head against the wall.

Then... I see something like this (HT [livejournal.com profile] attack_laurel) and it reminds me that there is generosity, and compassion, and bravery in masses. It heartens me, makes me expect and demand more of people and of myself, as much as it angers me that this seems like such a rare thing.

Despite the gloom/doom lead-in, I'm trying to write a happy post here! Got any examples of human selflessness, bravery, joy? Leave 'em in the comments.
anotheranon: (Default)

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  • 14:55:51: RT @sbearbergman: RT @cmpriest: Feeling a lot of love for people guarding books in Alexandria right now. May the gods smile upon combat ...
  • 14:57:04: I just love the idea of "combat librarians". Reminds me of Mieville's "bookaneers" in Un Lun Dun.
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  • 11:28:55: RT @pimpernel1789: Thinks there should be more gold and silver braid in our lives
  • 12:01:51: More (&!#)( snow.
  • 13:15:06: RT @Jennison: A tangible #Facebook accessibility issue raised & explained by @mattmay http://bit.ly/fIADfb #socialmedia #sm #gov20
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  • 19:07:25: RT @BR3NDA: Mohammed Sameer: Egypt, Internet cut off. A massacre will follow. Please help. - http://foolab.org/node/7892
  • 19:12:07: Following #egypt thru Twitter/internet. Cynically, this MUST be huge news if mainstream US news is deigning to take notice :(

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anotheranon: (Default)


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  • 15:51:36: RT @glennluther: I just renamed my wireless network at home to "FBI surveillance van #2128," just to mess with everyone in my building.
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  • 09:10:25: Early and cold and windy...again. Getting tired of this!
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  • 10:31:41: RT @KnightLAT: Good story on the conservative activist who 'manufactured the outrage' against the Smithsonian show "Hide/Seek" http://bi ...
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  • 11:59:20: RT @danphilpott: I think I'd buy a GPS device just to get Brian Blessed's voice doing autonav directions: http://bit.ly/ii2w6I
  • 12:04:12: These are FANTASTIC: http://www.littlehottieswarmers.com/ . Not a paid endorsement, just a satisfied customer.
  • 13:05:42: RT @mightymur: RT @Tabz: Firefly Between the Lines Auditions end on the 18th! Get yours in! http://fireflybetweenthelines.com/
  • 15:11:49: RT @io9: Dec. Books Bring Guerrilla Tailoring, Alchemy, and Plenty of Zombies http://io9.com/5708818/ - guerilla #tailor ! #fashion #costume
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