Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Saudi women in the Post

Sharia justice for women as demonstrated in the above picture
Regarding this article in the WasPost on the condition of women in Saudi Arabia, I wonder if a leading Saudi paper would carry a story on women in the west claiming that our ways are much better. It doesn't seem so, which leads me to believe that the reason women flee from Islamic ruled countries to the west but western women are not all that thrilled about even visiting those places, is that we have a lot more choices. Choices that has made the lot of american women at the present time, the best of any generation ever. Maybe there is a reason for the fact that the women in the article all seem to be well off. Undoubtably, they can just get on a plane, shed their veils and tryst around the corrupted West to shop and divert themselves. Their poorer sisters get stuck with a lifetime of veiled existence and honor killings as well as stonings to death. Is that a liberating notion? The Koran is not a peaceful book, Muhamed was not a peaceful man, and Islam has expanded so greatly since its inception in the 700's through very agressive campaigns and bloody warfare.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

new week

I have written here before on the "danger" of highly concentrated collective information centers such as Google and other net sites, and this man, focusing on the Wikipidia, puts it thus: "the larger pattern of the appeal of a new online collectivism that is nothing less than a resurgence of the idea that the collective is all-wise, that it is desirable to have influence concentrated in a bottleneck that can channel the collective with the most verity and force. This is different from representative democracy, or meritocracy. This idea has had dreadful consequences when thrust upon us from the extreme Right or the extreme Left in various historical periods. The fact that it's now being re-introduced today by prominent technologists and futurists, people who in many cases I know and like, doesn't make it any less dangerous". You can read more in DIGITAL MAOISM: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism by Jaron Lanier on the site Edge.
For the soccer football fans, a blog entirely dedicated to the World Cup in Germany, considered the biggest sporting event in the world. Within this blog, each country has a blog of its onwn. Portugal's is here.
See where you stand on this social, political compass. I'm right there in very good company such as the likes of Gandhi, Mandela and the Dalai Lama. Yeah!
Grunting and Grumbling: a sociological analysis of rural male interaction on Slate.
Yesterday in 1431 St Joan of Arc was killed by burning at the stake. She is nowadays in France a symbol of the extreme Lepenists. I remember a trip to France where my declarations of admiration for this great woman, was met with silent stares and condemning gestures. After I enquired on the nature of such reaction I was informed that she has become persona non grata to the "bien pensant" french. Too bad. Vita Sackville West wrote a beautiful biography of St Joan, including in it transcripts of the trial and dialogues with the guards that were responsible for keeping her. We learn that the reason she refused to dress in a womanly fashion was the very real fear of rape.
Is this blog an meta agregator? Huummm....

Monday, May 29, 2006

multi culturalism II

Memorial day
Yet another take on the DaVinci song and dance. As a child of the catholic fold, most of it honestly surprises me. The ignorance that is. What do people think the Vatican libraries hold. Prayer books? That too, but a whole lot more.
Pat Roberston is not only tongue strong. His legs can press bench 1,000 pounds!

A Jewish perspective on the immigration debate.

Superbabyrama on raising an anti-racist bi-racial kid. For my friend scaramoux

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Memorial Weekend

On the same day that over 4,000 people have so far died in a devastating earthquake, Angelina Jolie gave birth to a baby girl. Why did I turn faster to the news of the new child, cursed and blessed as she will be with such a burden. Why? Because I'm having a hard time coping with yet more mass suffering; because there is very little I am willing to do to help those that have in one moment lost house, family, everything. Because I can envision the birth of a child to wildly beautiful, rich and captavating parents, but more yet of the wailing of those men and women that were as cursed in their condition as this child was blessed. What just God would give so much to one and so little to so many?

To the creationists this comment by Thomas Huxley, in his debate with Bishop Wilberforce in 1858, after the appearance of The Origin of Species. From eyewitness reports of that debate it is clear that Wilberforce asked Huxley from which side of his family, his mother's or his father's, he was descended from an ape. Huxley said, "I would rather be descended from a humble ape than from a great gentleman who uses considerable intellectual gifts in the service of falsehood. "
From an
interview with Seth Loyd on the Edge.

As a soccer fan I'de better register the
schedule for the world cup on american tv.

A very interesting
critique of the book, Mommy Wars, directed at the Ivy Leaguers who can choose whether to work or not. Most women in America cannot. But those are hardly inetresting to read about. What, getting by? Who wants to read about that? Well maybe Barbara Einhriech, but she's a special case.

Mr. Red Paper Clip's trades just turned interesting. He traded an afternoon with Alice Cooper for a WTF? Kiss snow globe with, get this, variable speed. Whatever!! But it nade me re evaluate Kyle's value system. Right on Bro' !

Mr. Richard Rodriguez talks reality in
this WasPost Op-ed. The reality of Mex-America and how it is disarming for both Americans and Mexicans. How it isn't a one way road. But read it one must. Moisés Naím writes in another op-ed on the fluidity of international borders, from the ubiquitous ATM, to the international trade agreemnets, to the smugglinng going on across all frontiers. No wall will keep desperation out, not here in the US not in Europe. Maybe in wealthy Bahrain or Kuwait. How do they do it?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

viral memes

Dead sea Mud
Memorial Weekend activities in Denver.
Computer virus activity throughout the
description of numbers o to 69.
Article on the
CSM on the Caliphad, that deranged dream that one day all the world will be an Islamic hegemony. They're serious too!
Blogging the Bible project continues, already on the 37th chapter. Fascinating reading. It was all about real estate and brothers bickering, just like it still is now. By the way, as an aside what claim does Islam have over the Middle East I question. It was imposed by force and not autoctone to the whole region. yes Mahumad violently dominated tribe after tribe in his jihad and dreams of world domination. Yeah, nice peaceful philosophy.
Tough Jews about the history of jews and organized crime in America. Why do the Sicilians get all the credit?


I have been somewhat lazy on my daily updates. I think I needed a little break to reassess what I was doing and whether I wanted to continue or not. But the way to whom anonymously commented on this site thank you so much, and no I not a guys or even one guy. I am a somewhat bedazzled and curious gal who travels vicariously through the internet because I'm to poor to do it in reality. I was also at one time in my life a wanna be writer until I realized that what I believe to be my undiagnosed ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactive disorder) would make it difficult if not impossible to be able to concentrate on one item for too long. Well, that excuse I can live with, the other relating to lack of talent and creativity I will not face. Now that we have this cleared, let me continue...
A great lesson on penile anatomy from the most unlikely but talented source, and one of my favorite blogs, Waiterrant.
The Duke Women's Lacrosse team must be experts on judicial law as they have decided to declare the innocence of their indicted school mates with arm bands. Now I know one is innocent until proven guilty, but when that decision comes down it does say "not guilty" not "innocent". A subtle semantic difference, but a major one nonetheless.
This time line is indeed most useful and entertaining. It covers various cultural, scientific and historical facts.
More Magritte updates here.
Wife and husband software instalation instructions. I'de seen the husband instructions so I'm glad there's a female version, although I suspect it was written from a male perspective. Cute though and not jus for nerds. This is my favorite part:
"These are very common problem men complain about, but is mostly due to a primary misconception. Many people upgrade from Girlfriend 6.0 to Wife 1.0 with the idea that Wife 1.0 is merely a Utilities & Entertainment program. Wife 1.0 is indeed an operating system and designed by its creator to run everything. "
A sheep market? 69 cents an hour to draw sheep for Amazon? You figure it out. It is related to something called the Amazon Mechanical Turk.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Still Waters

Rob Gonsalves' Still Waters.
I understand Mr. Dionne's criticism in the WasPost of the attempt to make English the offical language of this country. I also understand that in large swaths of urban America, there are ghettoes where English as a culture and as a language are certainly not dominant. How are Hispanics assimilating? There seem to be as many statistics to defend any argument as there are arguments. We cannot compare this present wave of immigration to that of the beginning of the 20th century. We cannot invoke the few familiar hispanic names on the national scene. Actually we can, only to demonstrate how Hispanics are under represented in academia, in politics, in Hollywood, (in a city that is half hispanic, this underrepresentation is phenomenal!) on television, in finance. With the exception of mexican food which has been americanized so as to be unrecognizable to any proud mexican mother, it is actually pretty surprising how little impact Mexican culture has had in mainstream America.

Mary Magdalene in Newsweek

According to the Newsweek piece on Mary Magdalene, her image has been used to "fight" prostitution and decaying moral values throughout the centuries. "The early Middle Ages were a time of tremendous social tumult—war and disease roiled nations and sent destitute women into the streets. Gregory's church needed a character from Jesus' circle who provided an answer to this misery, who proved that the path of Christ was an escape from the pressures of the sinful world." "In Germany, the Penitent Sisters of the Blessed Magdalene took the lead in reforming wayward women;"When the Industrial Revolution upset gender roles and cities were plagued with prostitution and disease, preachers once again spoke her name from the pulpit, hoping to rein in the wayward world. "
And so again, she is reinvented as the pious, intellectualy virtuous woman to set the example for the rampant sexual immorality, of present day culture, I suppose.
Christianity and the Church, contrary to feminist conventional wisdom, did improve the lot of women. In Christianity, women were to be respected and provided for, slavery and prostitution were to be abolished and women who did not want to marry and have children had the opportunity to go into convents and lead far richer and longer lives than they would have ever led in the "real" world. I am not defending the mysogynistic aspects of the Church, as it was a product of its time. And Paul had a notoious aversion to women, which is apparent in his Gospel. Still, the Gospels in telling the story of Jesus are very generous with women in general. I believe that critizing the Church has become too appealing for many of us, who do so mostly on hearsay or inventions of a golden age of pre historic feminism.
christianity, Mary Magdalene

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Monday appointments


The period is "way over-romanticized,"
says Linda Gordon, and a researcher poses the question: Is Menstruation Obsolete?"
I sure hope so. Finally a true revolution!
Dr. Leslie Miller's site: Dr. Leslie Miller's site:

Association of Reproductive Health Professionals:

A Talk with Daniel Gilbert DANIEL GILBERT, the Harvard College Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and Director of Harvard's Hedonic Psychology Laboratory.
"Even in a technologically sophisticated society, some people retain the romantic notion that human unhappiness results from the loss of our primal innocence. I think that's nonsense. Every generation has the illusion that things were easier and better in a simpler past, but the fact is that things are easier and better today than at any time in human history.
Our primal innocence is what keeps us whacking each other over the head with sticks, and it is not what allows us to paint a Mona Lisa or design a space shuttle. It gives rise to obesity and global warming, not Miles Davis or the Magna Carta. If human kind flourishes rather than flounders over the next thousand years, it will be because we embraced learning and reason, and not because we surrendered to some fantasy about returning to an ancient Eden that never really was."
Jabari Asim in the
Wash Post on the sexism and violence of hip-hop. To me the question seems to be whether hip -hop promotes that culture of mysogenystic violence or does it act as a magnifying glass of the culture at large? Without the fine veneer of "politeness" and propriety.
Berkeley's summer reading list.
"The Bible is like a Rorschach inkblot test: you can see just about anything you want in it. That is why Christians themselves cannot agree on such things as masturbation, premarital sex, contraception, abortion, divorce, homosexuality, stem cell research, euthanasia and the death penalty. The Bible or religion as a moral guide? With all this disagreement, how is that possible?" sez August Berkshire in Minnesota. Well said!
Swallowtail is a new Tokyo cafe in which subservient men dressed like butlers wait on the clientele of women in their 20s and 30s.
GarbageScout is a Gmaps mashup for craphounds: when you're out and about in New York, San Francisco or Philadelphia, you send phonecam pics of any nice garbage you see on the curb, along with the location. GarbageScout puts your pictures on an interactive map of choice crap, and scroungers can grab a wheelbarrow and head on out. For when Denver????(Both above items from
Boing boing)

Is it my friend Iris?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

From Chaucer down to Paris

Gooslings on the Front Range
"Dan Chavcer ben a poette of renown
Bettir by far than thatte hacke Dan Brouun."
One of the comments on Geoffrey Chaucer hath a blog's version of DaVinci's Code. Brilliant, not easy reading, but oh, so much fun!
PeeWee Herman on ad against crack cocaine.
Mayberry Machiavellis:
"If hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue, compassionate conservatism is the policy hypocrisy uses to disguise economic vice. While it has been three generations in the making, its rhetorical embrace by the Bushes has come to display less and less genteel upper-class pretense...and instead to manifest a higher and higher ratio of outright deception: saying one thing and meaning another. "
A harvard professor's summer reading list for his students:
Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom
Robert Heilbroner, The Worldly Philosophers
Paul Krugman, Peddling Prosperity
Steven Landsburg, The Armchair Economist
P.J. O'Rourke, Eat the Rich
Burton Malkiel, A Random Walk Down Wall Street
Avinash Dixit and Barry Nalebuff, Thinking Strategically
Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, Freakonomics
John McMillan, Reinventing the Bazaar
William Breit and Barry T. Hirsch, Lives of the Laureates
Apparently Red Paperclip's "one afternoon with Alice Cooper isn't getting much of a reception and certainly not the house he wishes for. W'as up?
From the Superficial comes this video that sets us staight on what really rich folk are like. Ewww! So much for my admiration for Paris Hilton's liberated personna. She is just a spoiled airheaded lala girl with toomuch money and no sense of what life is. But she is a mean driver with a very fast car. See video.
Muffy's world of vagina euphemisms. There's lots but you might know some more.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

the Bible and the values

The Schwassmann-Wachmann comet fragmenting, as are our post modern collective and individual personalities.
George Will, spokesperson for a certain conservative elite, does an interesting op-ed in the Post, on "values voters". As he states,"It also is arrogant on the part of social conservatives and insulting to everyone else because it implies that only social conservatives vote to advance their values and everyone else votes to . . . well, it is unclear what they supposedly think they are doing with their ballots." A bit like the thesis of the book What's the Matter with Kansas. Conservative politicians convince the religious right 's mainstream voters that to vote for them is to vote for "values". In reality their vote is for economical disaster for those midlle class and below individals and more and more wealth for the "conservative" that politician is representing. I suppose that is some kind of value. Stealing from the poor to give to the rich. There's your values vote of the right, clear and simple. Thank you George! Will that is!

David Plotz in Slate takes on a task I want to do myself, read the Bible from end to end. He will be commenting on what he reads and I will of course keep track of the feat. He's calling it the Blogging the Bible project. First instalment: Genesis.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

vaginal rejuvenation part II

Since this post is about protecting borders and hidden treasures I thought this image as metaphor...
Tom Shales of the
WasPost sums up last night's speech as just more spin to detract from more uncomfortable issues. It will all hopefully be solved by a few thousand troops on the border and with inflated and twisted statistical data so that nothing really happens until November. I din't watch the "postmortem pontifications" but I suspect they were all reruns.
Pharyngula has a few things to say about Vox's solution to the immigration problem. Can someone explain to me what a libertarian christian is? Is it like the DaVinci code?

Vaginal rejuvenation or genital mutilation right here in America, performed not by an aunt or other relative but by a doctor. This issue has been covered
here before, but it seems that it keeps popping up. This Houstonpress article is creepy. The interviews with women who've had alterations done are horrifying. That in post modern and post feminist America (whatever that might mean) women will subject themselves to the most excrutiating pain to please a man is daunting. Porn star vaginas? Virginity revisited 4 times? G-spot augmentation. Hell, most women think it's a myth and nobody seems to know where it is...but here are some memorable excerps:
All got the combined vaginal tightening and labial reduction surgeries, and attest that the recovery was brutal. "My face-lift was a walk in the park compared to that," St. Germaine says. Jill is more graphic: "I looked down there and saw ground meat."
"Young compares Matlock's Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation Institute franchise to McDonald's. But it's more like Kentucky Fried Chicken, since Matlock claims to have the secret recipe for enhancing female orgasms. "
And last but not least "Another American doctor, speaking on condition of anonymity, says he reconstructed the hymen of a 28-year-old Iranian woman four times. On each occasion, the same man accompanied her and paid for the surgery. The couple was having premarital sex, the doctor explains, but the woman "wanted to be ready" when her parents picked her mate. "That's expensive sex," the doctor muses." Wew, yuck...

Monday, May 15, 2006

nazis and immigrants...the final solution

This fellow is not only a bigot xenophobe, but he is self righteous enough to claim that other people's stupidity not his remarks are at fault. He claims that if the Nazis managed to "rid themselves" (I guess we know where he stands) of 6 million of mostly well assimilated, fluent german speaking Jews, it should be a lot easier for America to deport the 11 million badly assimilated, uneducated and darker illegal immigrants. He has a point there! The thing is, why is a conservative voice comparing the american government to the Nazis. It's the H-bomb equivalent of an argument and pretty calumnious toward his own country.

Bush's speech on immigration

My take of Bush's speech on immigration tonight: The word border used over and over again. Americans the problem here is the border and we will solve the problem the usual way; by declaring war on it, building more prisons, sending troops and training cops. I haven't counted how many times he used the word border but I will. The first part of the speech had the word in every sentence. So now that we have the borders secured did anyone pay attention to the rest of the speech. How can people who are here illegally and therefore have no social security number prove that they are tax paying citizens. How can they ask employers to vouch for them thereby setting themselves up for legal action for hiring illegal immigrants with full knowledge of their status. How does one establish proof of established roots. Literacy in english? Children born here? Network of relatives?
Again the only real message of this speech was that the National guard is headed for the border. How is this going to play in the Hispanic community, by far the biggest minority in the country? Will LA hispanics understand that the rest of the country beats to a different drummer and limit their radicalism?
Just a few questions...

DaVInci code

On the DaVinci controversy, the New Yorker has a very astute critique of the film, with a detailed description of the marketing behind it. To quote"Renaissance art expert Bruce Boucher, ... gently mocked Brown’s “shaky” grasp of the historical Leonardo (pointing out, for example, that the artist’s name was not “Da Vinci”). Boucher concluded his article by suggesting that “The Da Vinci Code” might make a better opera than a film, offering the old advice that “if it’s too silly to be said, it can always be sung.”
Having read the book, I'de love to understand what the fuss is about. Feminist contentions of early Christianity are abundantly silly, as is the contention that DaVinci was a proto-feminist. In fact any evidence would point to the opposite. There were many victims of the Inquisition but they were as likely to be Jews, political dissenters, epileptics or even scientific heretics (think Giordanno Bruno or even Galileo who spared himself by going against his convictions) as they were to be women bruxas or healers.
Any Christian who comes out of a movie theatre convinced they just saw a documentary should not call themselves such. As for the Prelature of Opus Dei, they are another anti intellectual force within the Catholic Church, hence their "antagonism " with the Jesuits. Their version of the Gospels is like the fundamentalists version of the Koran or the creationist version of the American Christian fundamentalists. Retrograde movements attempting to recapture a idyllic Christian world with Christian values that was never there in the first place.
Beware Ye of too much fear of the future, lest what happened to Islam after the 12th century befall you...

On a different note, I just noticed on Technorati that the number one blog is chinese, censored chinese no doubt, but chinese nonetheless...

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Still immigration

Sometimes I wish I could move here, Nasa's concept of outer space colonies

Immigration again. The President will give a speech tomorrow night stating his intention of sending National Guard down to the Mexican border. I don't know what that means or what it will signify to the millions already here. I know Europe is pretty strict about the protection of their borders, but they've been doing it for many hundreds of years. Whether it is to protect against the French, the Romans, the Visigoths, the Barbarians, the Germans or the North Africans or even Islam, they (we?) have been at it since time immemorial. It is how frontiers were shaped and reshaped. So to the people it is no big deal, wheras here using mitilary units for national purposes invokes images of totalitarianism and total lack of the spirit of the Founding Fathers who, of course were busy invading somebody else's land. But that's another story.
Great ads at this link.
About phrase books in Memepool: "Mostly they are little marvels of pragmatic compression. But for that very reason, I like to find the occasional oddity-- sentences you can hardly conceive of ever using, little tidbits of inexplicability in an otherwise ruthlessly disciplined little work. Memepool does an overview of phrase books and picks up the weirdest sentences."
One of my favorites because related to Portugal
"Must I swallow them whole?
"Devo engoli-los inteiros? " WTF????

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Great women

Moral Courage Award to Ayaan Hirsi Ali by the American Jewish Commitee. She is a Somalian member of the Netherlands parliament and in hiding since the horrrible death of Theo Van Gogh at the hands of a muslim fanatic who declared that the was on the list of people to hit next. She has been in hiding ever since and last week was having some problems with her neighbors who thought that she put their puny little lives at risk. Anyway here is a
link to her acceptance speech.

A memoir published by Nobel Prize winner and Iranian human rights lawyer, Shirin Ebadi. "Awakening is the memoir of Shirin Ebadi, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her struggle to hold Iran's clerical regime accountable for its gross human rights violations. " In the

According to the LaLa Times, the Senate is again working on an immigration bill. Let's see what comes of this.

The Pilgrim's Progessin Words of One Syllable
Robinson Crusoein Words of One Syllable
The Swiss Family RobinsonTold in Words of One Syllable all written by adult literacy pioneer Mary Godolphin (1723-1764). Amazing!!!

Simple classic drawing lessons from the masters.

I really don't see what the big deal about the NSA's data collection. The Post and most other media write about it as if they didn't know the ways of NSA. They have been doing it for years for various motives I thought, along with project Echalon in the UK. The motives are many including commercial espionage. There now, we're all leaving our in prints everywhere. Just think Google!

And Richard Cohen gets upset about the reaction he got to one article he wrote . Poohoo! What happens to some journalists when they get old. Their brains stiffen up? Aren't there more important issues for you to write about Mr." liberal" Cohen. At least Krauthammer and Will don't hide their true colors.

Game inspired on Art Buchwald' s column: Lists of people you would want to meet in heaven, and those you would like to avoid.
For all the rednecks out there! A site dedicated to your ingenuity.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Hoffmann's first LSD trip

The celebratory and beautiful film of Albert Hoffmann's first LSD trip. What a whoper! It is called "the biclycle ride", because that is what Hoffmann did after ingesting what he thought to be a minute dose of the substance, but turned out to be a very strong trip.

"I suddenly became strangely inebriated. The external worldbecame changed as in a dream. Objects appeared to gain inrelief;they assumed unusual dimensions; and colors became more glowing.Even self-perception and the sense of time were changed. When the eyes were closed, colored pictures flashed past in a quickly changingkaleidoscope. After a few hours, the not unpleasant inebriation,which had been experienced whilst I was fully conscious, disappeared.what had caused this condition?"
Laboratory Notes (1943)
More in The Vaults of Erowid.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

This is a link to the short time lapse film of this slab's growth on Mt St Helens.
The evolution of dance done by a dude on youtube. Quoting Kokkte, it is simply awsome!
The Jewish Goddess, Past and Present is the title of a review of two books that research the sacred feminine in the Judaic tradition.
I wonder what evangelical christians think of this: BELIEVING that God created the universe in six days is a form of superstitious paganism, the Vatican astronomer Guy Consolmagno claimed yesterday.
Newsweek highlights the growing AIDS epidemic among african Americans. The rate of infection for black women is 20 times that of white women!
Practice Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty.
The rich get high and get drunk and go to the Mayo clinic, the poor go to jail. Ans so it is with the Kennedy kids, the Bush kids and Rush Limbaud. What is the criteria here?

Monday, May 08, 2006

just another monday

Paula Rego
According to this
North Carolina paper Duke was too slow in responding to the Lacrosse Team "alleged" rape case because the early reports did not give the woman credibility and because they were not aware of the racial implications. WTF? So they would have reacted sooner if 1. the woman hadn't been black and 2. she hadn't been a stripper?

The Caged Virgin : An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam (Hardcover) by
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is next on my reading list.

Big Brother is alive and well in China with a campaign dubbed "Let the Winds of a Civilized Internet Blow". And that is why China will never be the dragon some prophesise. A country with more than a billion people, a history of supression and little in the tradition of uncensored and unbridled thinking is a long ways away from the great leap forward. The New York Times reports on the nefarious practice of snitching on your neighbors and friends as a means of social control. It is very efective as we in the West can attest to during the Salem witch trials or the "holy Inquisition".

More pop psychology: How nurture wins out over nature in the world of soccer champions.
Explained by the authors of Freakanomics

The Slate "U.S. economy relies on the talent and sweat of foreign-born workers, skilled and unskilled, legal or illegal. And that includes the BLS Study. Abraham Mosisa, who has a master's in economics, was born in Ethiopia and is a U.S. citizen. "I am the one who put all these numbers together." The labor Department released "Foreign-Born Workers: Labor Force Characteristics in 2005." It is a clear picture of immigrant's contribution to the American economy. It is overwhelmingly positive.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

So small yet so cruel

Europe at night
The WasPost's
article on the successive waves of immigrants makes the point that many of us have been making all along: that the percentage of immigrants coming into the United States is roughly the same as in the beginning of the 20th century. The difference is, as has been pointed out, that there are certain parts of the country, namely Southern California where the percentage of hispanic immigrants (a mono culture so to speak) is so high that it might become a special case of difficult assimilation into the mainstream culture. It would, however do well for the immigrants in these communities to remember that there are reasons for their leaving their countries and maybe their move northward should also be a break with a culture that has kept them poor and illiterate.

The New York Times Magazine
article on the war on contraceprion is a scary read of things to come. The sexual dichotomy in this country, at least how it is portrayed in the media is mind blogging. It is more than ever the option of virginity or whorishness for women, a one dimensional aspect of human sexuality that gets much criticism but is hardly elucidative of the reality outside of the MSM.

I think one of the reasons Pete Singer, the ethicist, so bothers me is that he speaks what I wish not to hear. But I still haven't gone back to being a vegetarian.
Pharyngula has an extract of an interview with this man as well as some very gory descriptions of what is done to some farm animals that have become useless. Throwing chickens in a a wood chipper. My God, how barbarian can we get?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

late saturday

two universities: Duke and NCCU

Annie Hull writes a touching account in the WasPost of the "alleged" Duke rape. It is Les Droits du Seigneur revisited. It is a very real face of America.

Pfizer goes Mengelian on African children and then declares that "It is important to point out, though, that Pfizer thought proper procedure had been followed at the time of the clinical study." WTF? What kind of defense is that? They thought? Meanwhile the antibiotic they were experimenting with, Trovan did get approval for adult use in the US as having been wwidelly used for a few years until proven dangerous, I'm sure enabled the company to make the billion they were expecting. Yuck Read the story here.

Google Health
I am a rabid fan of Waiter Rant. How does he do it. Working all those hours and writing such beautiful stuff.

the garden of earthly delights

Il faut être toujours ivre. Pour ne pas sentir l'horrible fardeau du temps qui brise vos épaules et vous penche vers la terre, il faut vous enivrer sans trêve, mais de quoi? De vin, de poésie ou de vertu, à votre guise. Mais enivrez-vous"
Charles Baudelaire
My translation:
"you must always be enibriated. To not feel the horrible burden of time weighting on your shoulders,dragging you into the ground, you must enibriate yourself without truce, but with what? With wine, poetry or virtue, as you wish. But enibriate yourself."
I would add with love!!

Friday, May 05, 2006

daily rants

Robin Givhan writes on the creation of the female presidential archetype. In analysing the apparel of Geena Davis in Commander in Chief, she describes how Hollywood has created that archetype. The meme has been implanted. The average American now can associate an image with an idea, therefore making it concrete and possible. In 2008 little doubt rests that there will be a woman candidate. And that woman should read this article!

Charles Krauthammer, in this week's op-ed reminds us that sometimes a cultural fixation is there for a reason. The Jewish fear of total annihilation fed now by the very concrete threats of the Iranian President. If in America Jews have found a culture where they thrive, in Israel they are once again surrounded by hostility as in the old ghettoes of Europe. It is a paranoid thought, that of the inniquilation of Israel, but one that a lot of people dream of, and try to turn into a future reality. Never again? We hope not!

The way of the future and how we have outsmarted biology. Intelligent design, is what this article in
Popular Mechanics indicates will the the future of homo tecnicus.

I have just finished reading one of the funniest sci-fi short stories stories I have encountered. ."They're made out of meat" written by Terry Bisson.They made a short film out of the story and the film has just won an award at a festival. Will try to get the film. A quote: "They talk by flapping their meat at each other" and the
link (Thanks Boing Boing)

Illegal immigration as Machiavellian construct.
Link (my left wing) My only question! Are Americans willing to pay $20 for a pound of american picked apples. Because you cannot have cheap goods and great wages. Not in this planet, not in this world.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

multi culturalism

How to invert the use of umbrellas and have a constant supply of distilled water.
Chindogu, the Japanese art of engineering contraptions free of true practical purpose. The objects must appear to be the ideal solution to a problem, but when adapted to real use prove themselves impractical. There is a marvelous essay on this beautiful variant of consumer engineering at this link (via BoingBoing)
As much as I understand the english as primary language argument, and the maintenance of anglo cultural supremacy(or at least the appearance of), the use of hot button themes to increase xenophonia is to me anathema to this countries values. The
State Department has 4 versions of the Star Sprangled Banner in spanish and had had them since 1919. When it still wasn't the official anthem, I might add. The Slate has a great take on the whole issue.
A Libertarian's view on immigration.
A must read is David Mamet's essay "On the Inevitable Decay Of Governments" in the

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

drugs and the brain

The ultimate Zen culture is to be found in the Amazonian forest. According to this article, the Piraha do not have words for time and numbers and do not use subordinate clauses. In other words, they live in the absolute here and now, lacking the words that make abstract thought possible. On the other hand the article mentions in passing, that these usages are forbidden, which would imply that they do have the concept, they're just not allowed to use it. Which would not make them Zen at all but extremely supressed and self limiting. Orwellian speech control taken to the extreme if you will. Because you can only forbid that which you have a significant for. It would seem to be a rather interesting psychological/sociological study, rather than a purely linguistic one.
Mexico is going to legalize all drugs, just like most of the European Union and Australia. What has been learned from the legalization of these substances? Those that use them will keep on using and those who stay away will stay away. And of course given that only small amounts are to be legalized, it has no effect on traffic or production. It is the use of the substance that will be legalized or decriminalised, I'm not sure. And once again Americans are hysterically and ignorantly going about their anti drug freak show that the world no longer swallows. The country with some of the most severe drug laws is also by far the biggest user of them Ummm!!
I truly love this country! Well, the reporters are also very knowledgeable on the subject! In the case of this article it is implied that Mexico will legalize trafficking. Another shabby article from the LATimes I'm afraid.
Our brains shut down "the self" when concentrating on a task. We all know the expression "abandoning ourselves in a task". Now it has been scientifically proven to be true. Great! It could help explain the obsessive compulsive disorders or the workaholics.

on immigration

Had to stay away for a few days due to the complexities of moving. In the new house, all settled in. Ready for another run of fun blogging.
Found a 1977 interview of Arnord Schwarzenegger for Oui magazine that is truly fantastic. His bluntness indicates that at the time he was concentrating on building his acting career, but that politics hadn't entered his mind. A governor of a state talking about his participation in a gang bang. How weird is that? Even if it was with the woman's consent. It is a dated interview in the context of the 70's but still. Only in California.
On the immigration front:
'America's toughest sheriff', Joe Arpaio has created a posse to do border patrol. Another media move or a growing country wide trend remains to be seen. But this WasPost story sugests that backlash sentiments decided the city council elections in Herdnon, Virginia. The blogosphere, especially the right leaning one, sure wants that to happen and will do evrything they can to contribute to it. On the other hand, I did mention on previous posts that associating large movements with May day and continuing to make a lot of noise may not be the wisest strategy. The whole country is not LA. Furthermore, the leadership vacuum that afflicts this "movement" is an issue that must be thought about. Why that is, what the power struggles are, who's behind the scenes. And finally how is this playing to the average citizen. Comparing this movement to the civil rights movement of the 60's doesn't make much sense. And we do have a parallel culture established in this country, as evidenced by the fact that Hispanics have not been integrated in the Hollywood "system" because they have their own spanish speaking networks. The phenomenon is not new but the sheer number of people it involves is.
What Kind of Blogger Are You?