Sunday, May 31, 2009

George Tiller is Dead

So the crazy evil assholes have finally done it. What more can I say?

Here's a very good article that everyone should read about today's murder:

No Mercy

"This has been a long time coming, and no one has played a greater part in the run-up to the doctor's death than Operation Rescue. Their leaders -- and all of the group's enablers -- should be cowering in shame today."

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Young Conservative Rappers

Okay, I had to log on just to share this video. I haven't seen anything this funny in years. I mean that--years. I found it on The Huffington Post.

"The Young Cons" are apparently some conservatives from Dartmouth College who think a good way to spread their beliefs is through rapping, specifically with their "Young Con Anthem."

Lest you think this is a parody, I direct you to their website, where they lay out their goals in a lengthy mission statement hailing "Ronald Reagan, Martin Luther King Jr., and arguably Jesus [as] the flag-bearers of the true conservative movement.

If you watch it, and everyone should, you can tell that these guys really ARE serious. Poor babies! Somewhere in meat-space Vanilla Ice is hanging his head in shame.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

African Immigrants Living In Texas Just Aren't Patriotic Enough

At first, I wasn't even going to bother to read this article when I found out it took place in Texas. That fact is enough for me to feel fairly confident that the story was going to involve a great deal of stupidity and racism.

Okay, so here's what happened. Debbie McLucas is a supervisor at Kindred Hospital. Last week she decided to hang an American flag (measuring three feet by five feet) on a pole in the office that she shares with several other supervisors. This flag was also in sight of hospital visitors and the families of patients.

After receiving multiple complaints from patient families, visitors and another supervisor who shares the office with McLucas, her boss told her to take it down. How does Lucas respond? Does she follow her boss's instructions and take down the flag? Does she ask to hold an office meeting about the incident? Nope! Instead she became indignant at the fact that one of her co-workers were among those who had a problem with McLucas playing interior decorator at the hospital. She then decided to contact the media and sob to one of the television stations about how she is supposedly being deprived of her rights.

What, is this person like five years old or something? No, I take that back. At five years old, my daughter knew that she was fully capable of expressing herself without whining and crying and making pouty-faces. Why is it so many white people love talking about personal responsibility except for when it might apply to them and their actions?

McLucas can choose to feel upset or insulted, if she wants to. Nobody is trying to take that right from her. However, she has no right to place a flag there. It's no different from common workplace rules about what sort of personal items employees can display on their desks. In fact, what she did was especially outrageous because her display wasn't even limited to a desk display. For goodness' sake, the flag was 3'x5' and hoisted on a pole! It simply wasn't appropriate in that location.

To make this even more ridiculous, McLucas goes on to point out how the supervisor who was among those who complained "has been in the United States for 14 years and is formerly from Africa". Now, can someone please tell me why this one person's ethnic background was relevant to what occurred? The news article doesn't mention the ethnic background of anyone else who was involved in this. Why do YOU think that is?

The higher-ups informed McLucas that there were others who complained about her . She can choose to focus on her co-worker's feelings about it, but that doesn't make the co-worker responsible for her having to take it down. It was the boss who made the decision. If it interferes with their ability to serve their customers, then it's exercising good business sense for them to disallow it. Nevertheless, she decided to cry about the fact that the hospital decided not to let her have her way on THEIR property. I have a deep disdain for people like her. Compared to what others in her workplace are dealing with, her tantrum looks absolutely ridiculous to me.

This is private property. There's no reason why McLucas should be allowed to redecorate as she sees fit, especially without getting prior approval from her boss, at the very least. It would be stupid for them not to inform her how inappropriate her actions were, given the fact that they want to remain in business. Patients and their families have to deal with the hospital surroundings at a time when they may already be experiencing difficult, and sometimes heart-wrenching, situations. That's why corporations today spend a lot of money making hospitals more attractive. If some dumb-ass wannabe-interior decorator like this supervisor decides they should be the ultimate arbiter of what the office will look like, it really defeats the purpose of spending all that money.


All McLucas did was call attention to the fact that she is utterly unprofessional. It would have been more professional for the person who put it up to take it down as she was instructed by her boss. However, the supervisor who handled the matter discreetly and through the proper channels from the very start wound up being the one who followed the boss's orders. That makes it even more apparent who is the more professional of the two.

I certainly hope the hospital officials will remember this when her next evaluation comes up. If the hospital ever has to make cuts in her department, who do you think will be the first to go? The employee who handled her views on the matter in a discreet manner and through the proper channels? Or the sniffling wannabe-victim who took it upon herself to play interior decorator and then cried to the media when she didn't get her way? My bet's the crybaby would definitely get the axe first, as she should.

Kindred Hospital has decided to let McLucas put her flag back up after this bogus story appeared claiming that they didn't allow any shows of patriotism at the workplace. She even got a call from the hospital's local CEO apologizing for what happened. So, did she win? To answer that, maybe those who supported her racist bullshit should ask themselves a few questions.

Do you really think that the CEO called and apologized because he cared about the crybaby's feelings or because it was a good PR response to quell the negative attention she brought the hospital? The fact that the CEO had to get involved only makes it more likely that this incident is going to work against the unofficial office-decorator in the future. Nothing good ever comes from bringing the heat down on your boss from her/his bosses. This was most likely a career-deadening move. Sometimes you can feel like you won the battle, but still end up losing the war.

I'd like to offer my congratulations to Debbie McLucas, winner of this month's Special White Woman Award.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Toilet Paper Adventures

About two weekends ago, The German, VanGoghGirl, and I were hanging out at the apartment together. I had to use the bathroom and, when I went in, I almost forgot to check and make sure there was toilet paper on the roll. That has become a problem here. I'm the only one who seems to care about putting a new roll of tissue on the bar when it needs to be replaced. More than once, I've used the toilet only to find there's no toilet paper within reach. I wind up having to yell to one of them to bring me some tissue. It's not a good position to be in, because sooner or later it's going to happen on a day when I'm the only one at home.

I've been fussing about this, but no one seems to pay any attention around here. Well, I decided that it was about time I let them see what it's like to be in my shoes. After all, they've just been taking it for granted, because they know that I'll replace the toilet tissue when they leave it empty. They even laughed and told me it's my fault because I should just check to make there there's tissue before I sat down. That's true. However, that doesn't mean it's okay for them to leave it empty and I just know they don't always check for tissue before they use the bathroom. Sometimes you're in a rush and you don't remember. You just take it for granted that people will show a little courtesy in the bathroom. At least, I think you should be able to take that for granted, but that doesn't seem possible around here. Okay, well two can play that game!

This time, when I went to the bathroom, I used the last of the tissue. Instead of putting a new roll in place, I went and found a sharpie marker and wrote a little message for the next person who'd use the toilet without checking for tissue first. About a half hour later, I hear my daughter in the bathroom saying, "Oh no-oo-oo! Come on! This isn't funny!"

I beg to differ.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

British Parliamentarian Speaking at University of New Orleans

New Orleans Palestine Solidarity and the General Union of Palestinian Students - UNO Present:

The historic first New Orleans appearance by British Member of Parliament
GEORGE GALLOWAY


Featuring an introduction by New Orleans community leader Norris Henderson (founder of VOTE: Voice Of The Ex-offender and former director of Safe Streets Strong Communities) and a performance of Debke (traditional Palestinian dance). Refreshments will also be served.

Tuesday, May 19, 7:00pm
University of New Orleans Performing Arts Center
Recital Hall, Room 109

This event takes place on Malcolm X's birthday, and is dedicated to his memory.

Please see the bio and video clips below to learn more about this historic event. More information, including video and more, is also online at http://nolaps.blogspot.com and http://www.georgegalloway.com.

George Galloway in debate with TV journalist:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=249JaIaubVw

George Galloway testimony on Iraq in US Senate:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrdFFCnYtbk

George Galloway at Anti-War Demonstration:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFzPm2GWtLA


A brief biography of George Galloway:

George Galloway is the Respect Member of Parliament for the London constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow. He was first elected to Parliament for the City of Glasgow in Scotland in 1987. He has been elected five times to the House of Commons and is now one of the more senior members. For fourteen out of fifteen years he was the elected Senior Vice Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party's Foreign Affairs Committee.

George Galloway was born in the Scottish city Dundee. He left school at sixteen to become a factory worker with Michelin Tires, where he joined the Transport and General Workers Union and remains a member to this day. He was the youngest ever elected chairman of the Labour party in Scotland at the age of twenty–six, having become a full-time party organizer three years earlier.

In 1983, he moved to London as the General Secretary of War on Want, the international development agency, leaving the post upon his election to parliament in 1987. He first became involved in the Palestinian cause in the early 1970's, regularly visiting Lebanon and becoming an activist in support of the PLO.

In 1980, he formed the British Trades Union Friends of Palestine and became its first General Secretary. In 1982, he founded the Emergency Committee against the invasion of Lebanon. In 1990, he was one of the leading opponents of the war in the Gulf although he had never visited Iraq and would not have been welcomed there as he was a known opponent of the Iraqi government, not least over the Iran - Iraq War. In 1990, he was awarded Pakistan's highest civil award, the Hilal-i-Quaid-i- Azam, for services to the restoration of Democracy in Pakistan.

In 1998, he founded the Mariam Appeal named after the Iraqi child Mariam Hamza, who was brought to Britain amidst great controversy for cancer treatment. The Appeal campaigned around the issue of cancers caused by allied use of Depleted Uranium weapons in the Gulf.

He is a founder of the Stop the War Coalition UK and is currently its Vice-President. The Stop The War Coalition mobilized two million people to protest against the war on Iraq (the largest demonstration of people in British history). In 2003, George Galloway was expelled by Tony Blair from the Labour Party for his opposition to the illegal war on Iraq. In 2004 George Galloway founded RESPECT–The Unity Coalition, the anti-war party. Within weeks RESPECT had won the elections of June 10th in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

George Galloway is the author of “Downfall: The Ceausescus and the Romanian Revolution” 1990, “I’m Not the Only One” 2004. And he is the author of a forthcoming biography of Fidel Castro. He is a frequent broadcaster, author, and public speaker. He was awarded “Parliamentary Debater" of the year in 2003, by the Parliamentary Press Corps.

For more information on this event, call 504 319 5984 or email nolaps@nolapalestinesolidarity.org.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Psychology of Cheating

I love this video because it touches on behavioral economics and ablism--two issues that are not often discussed together. Dan Ariely, an economist and the author of the book Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, talks about his hospitalization when he 70% of his body was covered in burns. When it was time to change his bandages, his nurses chose the "quick pull" method that results in intense pain for shorter periods of time, as opposed to the "slow pull" method that causes less intense pain over a longer period of time. His intuition was that the latter approach would have been better, but the nurses wouldn't listen to him.

This experience led him to start to wonder about what causes people to act irrationally. He went on to research how societal norms and other factors affect the decisions that they make and how those decisions can have disastrous and painful effects on individuals (e.g. his experience in the hospital) and society (the current stock market debacle).

Check it out: