Jan. 30th, 2012 07:23 pm
athenaltena: (wicked)
To protest a bill that would require women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion, Virginia State Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) on Monday attached an amendment that would require men to have a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication.

"We need some gender equity here," she told HuffPost. "The Virginia senate is about to pass a bill that will require a woman to have totally unnecessary medical procedure at their cost and inconvenience. If we're going to do that to women, why not do that to men?"

Janet Howell, Virginia State Senator, Attaches Rectal Exam Amendment To Anti-Abortion Bill

Nicely done, Senator! The Amendment didn't pass, but it wasn't supposed to, it was supposed to show the double standard here and provide a bit of quid pro quo about having some legislator meddle in what should be a personal medical decision.

It is quite funny to see all the people flipping their shit about "invasion of privacy" and whatnot, since, you know, that was kind of the point.
athenaltena: (shinra)
Mr. Colbert once again gets my thanks for ripping into Mitt Romney, who, if it's not already obvious, I severely dislike. And this was a double whammy:

Part one since I can't embed it for some reason

Part two

... Huh?

Mar. 29th, 2011 01:32 pm
athenaltena: (adjust glases)
Santorum blames Social Security's troubles on abortion, to fix it we need more people



I'm sorry, Mr. Santorum, but that makes no sense under any sort of logic. Now the population pyramid he's referring to is a real thing in the wake of the 1950s baby boom, but that would not have changed even if every abortion in the last 50 years had never happened. The proof? The countries where it's most extreme are where abortion is not legal or readily available and the stratification is significantly more extreme. And do you know why those countries have such an extreme pyramid? AIDS, which has killed off over half of the adult working population in some of those countries. You supported an increase in funding for AIDS research in those countries, so you should know that.

In short, there are far more things that go into that besides abortions. Furthermore, the birth rate started dropping significantly ten years before Roe v. Wade, and the birth rate did not significantly decine after it (in fact, it went up even when the rate of abortion was at the all time highest in 1980-1983) so there really is not a correlation.*

You fail social science forever. It took me all of five minutes to find enough data to show that you're full of shit.

* In the interest of full disclosure, there is evidence that abortion has affected one thing: the crime rate. Which is to say that about 20 years after Roe v. Wade there was a significant drop and the rate has never recovered, and the evidence points to it being because the number of people who would have been entering the criminal justice system dropped because they were not being born. This is an uncomfortable thing for sociologists to talk about, but the evidence speaks for itself.


Aug. 27th, 2010 12:11 pm
athenaltena: (oh please)
Palin pokes Brown over moderate views

Sarah Palin, in an unexpected poke at Senator Scott Brown, said that while Massachusetts may “put up with’’ the GOP lawmaker and “some of the antics,’’ Republicans in states across the nation wouldn’t tolerate his more moderate views and compromising ways.

Making fun of a politican for listening to reason and compromising to get things done. What. The. Fuck. That's right, she's actually provoked me into defending a guy I sincerely don't like on several levels, but I recognize that at the very least he's intelligent and pragmatic and I'd take him over her any day of the week.

But seriously, what is with this? Politics 101 is that you try to put the more moderate people up, because it doesn't matter in the big elections if you have the people who'd vote for you anyway, you need the independents and undecideds! That was why Brownie Boy won, and as much as I don't like him he won fair and square by reaching out to those people. If he'd marched out some right wing ultra conservative platform he never would have won in this state.

The thing is that I don't really have a problem with the sort of Republicans Massachusetts used to produce (I do not count Mitt Romney among them) because even though they were fiscally conservative they were liberal on social issues, aka did not have a problem with gay people, mostly avoided the self-righteous preaching and stayed out of other people's business. We New Englanders definitely have a bit of a libertarian streak to us and that used to be standard operating procedure. Hell, even the guy running for Governor on the GOP platform has an openly gay running mate. Massachusetts may be the only state where you could actually do that and still have a chance. They are unfortunately a dying breed because of bullshit like this, and I see nothing good coming out of that.

In short, alienating the more moderate members of your party = Fail.


Jul. 9th, 2010 08:57 am
athenaltena: (facepalm)
So this DOMA ruling isn't even 24 hours old and people are already whining that if it gets appealed to a higher court gay people have been "thrown under the bus" by the Obama administration.

I disagree wholeheartedly with both that notion and the idea that we have been thrown under the bus in general. When you're caught up in two wars, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and you have to drag Congress kicking and screaming to the table to get anything done the amount that he has done for us is pretty extraordinary and tops all the stuff done by any president ever (really, look it up!). And since Congress isn't cooperating using executive orders like he has is actually extremely crafty and doing a lot of good, not, as one person commented, "table scraps."

And as for appealing DOMA, there's something in law called due process, and though it usually applies only to individual rights it also applies to state and federal entities. That means that he has to defend the Federal Government and its existing statutes even if he thinks they're a pile of horseshit, which he does on this particular issue and has said repeatedly.

And here's the thing, if this were a law in our favor that was being appealed he'd have to stick up for that too, and people would whine if he didn't. With very few exceptions you can't selectively decide which bits of the law you do and don't want to defend, otherwise the entire system is compromised. He, through Holder, has a certain amount of discretion about whether or not this will go to appeal, but appealing it does not constitute "throwing under the bus." It's just making sure that it's sound legally, which is what we want if we want it to stick.

In other words, haters, pick up a law book or shut up.

Oh Lawd.

May. 7th, 2010 11:51 am
athenaltena: (facepalm)
Brown wants citizenship revoked for terror ties

Senator Scott Brown responded to the attempted Times Square bombing yesterday by cosponsoring a bill that would allow the United States to strip Americans of citizenship if the government determines that an individual supported or joined a terrorist group.

But a host of scholars and fellow lawmakers, including the House Republican leader, Representative John Boehner of Ohio, immediately questioned the constitutionality of the proposal, saying it was at odds with a half-century of Supreme Court precedents that ruled that citizenship can be relinquished only voluntarily. The legislation would affect US citizens whether they are native-born or naturalized.

Scotty, you're an idiot. That's several different types of stupid. Extremely stupid. What is this, the McCarthy era?! Using actions that indicate an "intent to give up citizenship" as a reason is way too broad a criteria, it could be applied to people writing checks to relatives who just happen to have ties to these organizations. Did the 1950s Red Scare not teach us anything?!

And more insidiously, it implies that they don't trust our justice system to convict citizens legally, since you don't even have to be convicted of an actual crime under this proposed law to get your citizenship revoked, and they don't want to do it through a court! That's crazy! Plus, the Supreme Court has found again and again that citizenship should only be revoked voluntarily, and in the very unlikely event this does pass the court will probably strike it down faster than you can say "unconstitutional". There's a little in the Consitution called "due process" that this conveniently ignores. All this stems from Brown and his cronies being mad that the guy in the Times Square plot got read his rights, y'know, because he's a citizen. This is a transparent attempt to undermine that, but here's the thing: those rights are there for a reason, and these guys' plan is to throw out the law book because they don't like the fact that it treats people fairly. It's like flipping over a chess board because you don't like the rules.

Way to go, Massachusetts, for electing this nincompoop. I think I just heard Teddy Kennedy's ghost scream. Whoever's running against Brown next election, consider a check already written to you in my name.
athenaltena: (Revy)

And I thought Massachusetts and its politics were strange! 2:25 literally made me laugh out loud.


Jan. 19th, 2010 10:55 am
athenaltena: (Fail)
Well, despite several different things conspiring against me I managed to do my civic duty and vote today. I was vote 213 at that particular ballot box.

Among the things conspiring against me were the fact that I only got 5 hours of sleep, the weather is unpleasant and makes walking down the street like being on an ice rink, and me having no sense of direction in the city. Luckily enough the third one only came into play after I'd cast my ballot and was trying to find the T, not realizing that the layout around Kenmore is confusing and that it's not as easy to get back to the main road as I thought. If I weren't so against them this might be a decent reason to buy a smart phone so I could figure out where the heck I am at times like that and how to get out.

I did eventually get back using the old Girl Scout method of using landmarks and following the Citgo sign until I got back to the station. After that I discovered that my T-pass had expired (I kept thinking today was the 18th) but luckily I had my CharlieCard on me (it's different from a T-pass and I usually don't use it) with enough on it to get me on. I'll have to buy another pass when I get out of work today.

Let's hope the rest of this week goes better.

Woo hoo!

Dec. 8th, 2009 09:27 pm
athenaltena: (happy)
Go Martha Coakley! She's one step closer to being our senator. Looks like she pretty thoroughly won, though apparently not too many people turned out for this primary, which is a shame just in terms of the electoral process, and I'm the only person in my immediate circle of friends here in Boston that I know voted today. The Globe actually interviewed several Bostonians about why they didn't vote, and though the rest are understandable the first girl (linked here) really irritates me. A lot of people my age seem to be like that, and I get a bit slap-happy when I hear that reasoning. Half of life is just showing up and it took me longer to get to the polling place than to actually vote!

I saw speculation earlier today that the gay vote might make a difference in this election, and I wonder if that's the case. Over the next few days we'll probably hear more, but I know that her suing the federal government over DOMA on behalf of the Commonwealth as the Attorney General certainly helped win me over to her side. That wasn't all of it, but it got me to pay attention to her and find out more about her, and the other guys just failed to convince me to jump ship for them. In reality all of the Democrats in this race were very similar with only a few differences, but knowing her record on doing concrete things towards gay rights was one of the deciding factors for me. A lot of people seem to agree!

Interestingly, I don't recall seeing too many ads of hers on the air while the others guys (or more accurately, mostly Capuano) had a lot, though it might just have been the stations I watch.

So yay for Irish ladies! When we're around, ass gets kicked.
athenaltena: (relaxed)
In other news I did my civic duty today and voted in the Senate primary, while managing to not get lost trying to find the place! Considering what happened the last time I was in the same area as the polling place (mainly that I wandered around for the better part of an hour just trying to get back to a main street) that's a very good thing.

Also, apparently if I'd gotten off at Government Center this morning on the train I might have run into Michael Dukakis, but I went through Park St. instead. The main thing I know him for was the whole incident with the tank, which has become rather infamous around these parts.

Also played phone tag with a whole bunch of people at my job today, though I may actually be at the point where I'll get some straight answers to what I need to know. Once you get me on the hunt it's hard to get me off, so hopefully this'll actually work this time.
athenaltena: (weird)
Remind me not to wait 3 weeks to do my laundry again. The basket was overflowing and it took forever, and I think I got several days' worth of exercise going up and down the stairs. I changed the sheets on my bed too and washed the old ones since I'm probably getting up to the point where I'd have to do that.

In comparison, was talking to Krys last week and he admitted that he hasn't changed his sheets in a while (and he sweats a long more than I do) but then again his room is a certified disaster area. I was there last week and he told me that he'd been wondering what the nasty smell hanging around was until he found the milk that he'd meant to throw out because it had gone sour but instead had forgotten about and left on the counter. Yeah. I'm not the tidiest person but I'm nowhere near his level.

I also did the bi-weekly cleaning of the apartment. Seeing as I have allergies I have to be especially careful about the dust, so I made sure to get into places like that. Also, I kept thinking that in Western Mass the cats have a lot of hair that gets everywhere, but here I keep finding clumps of Jen and Nadia's hair. Their hair is a lot longer than mine so I know it's not me, but it was amusing when I kept finding bits of it.

I also rearranged some things in my room, but only slightly. I was mainly trying to move the desk over a bit and get the printer off the desk since it's a space hog. Both worked, I'm glad to say.

I also sent off my voter registration information today so I can vote in the December 8th election. At this point I'm leaning towards our current Attorney General Martha Coakley for Sen. Kennedy's former seat, and she's the candidate I know the most about (not to mention that she's the one trying to get rid of DOMA by suing the Fed on behalf of the Commonwealth, so she gets major major brownie points in my book). I'm not above being swayed, but the other two guys haven't given me any good reasons to change my position as of yet.
athenaltena: (facepalm)
What an idiot.

Way to show that you're no more mature than a 12 year old, Wilson. I wondered who yelled that as it was playing live, but it's not a surprise at all that it came from the GOP side. Some of them have, frankly, been acting like children, and this laid it bare for all to see on live TV.

I also admit that I started smiling when I saw that McCain was grinning when Obama mentioned him and his plan. Despite everything I do respect John McCain and I'm glad Obama hasn't shunted him and his opinions out of his plan. I think it's a sign of a good leader when you can do that.
athenaltena: (Ritsuka)
adolf hitler
see more Political Pictures

I was no fan of President Bush, but even I never played the Hitler card. Free speech is one thing, being an idiot is quite another, and that comparison falls squarely into the latter.

This comes from what is usually a humor site but this one made such a good argument that they made an exception.


Aug. 26th, 2009 01:39 am
athenaltena: (crying)
Senator Edward Kennedy dies at 77

We knew it was coming, but it doesn't make it any easier.

Rest in peace Teddy, and let's hope this gives us the momentum to pass the health reform you worked most of your life for.

I actually am crying a bit. With all the famous people dying lately you'd think I'd be desensitized, but I really admired this man.

Oh Barney

Aug. 19th, 2009 12:37 pm
athenaltena: (Roy)
Rep. Barney Frank lashes out at protester for Nazi remark

Rep. Barney Frank lashed out at protester who held a poster depicting President Barack Obama with a Hitler-style mustache during a heated town hall meeting on federal health care reform.

"On what planet do you spend most of your time?" Frank asked the woman, who had stepped up to the podium at a southeastern Massachusetts senior center to ask why Frank supports what she called a Nazi policy.

"Ma'am, trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table. I have no interest in doing it," Frank replied.

Barney Frank, by the way, is gay and Jewish, so the Nazi accusation is 10 times stupider. I pretty much agree with him that that woman was not there to have a conversation, and he seems to have my policy of a conversation being worth one's time while a yelling match is not.

Barney also aptly demonstrates why I probably wouldn't do too well in politics since I'm far too likely to speak my mind and call people on their shit. Barney Frank can get away with it because he's Barney Frank, everyone else, not so much.
athenaltena: (smile)
Mass. files federal suit against DOMA

[State Attorney General] Coakley says DOMA interferes with Massachusetts's ability to define and regulate marriage; the commonwealth has allowed same-sex marriage since 2004. On a conference call on Wednesday, Coakley called DOMA "discriminatory" and says it undermines and complicates legal matters in Massachusetts because it often puts the state in conflict with the federal government.

Now that's getting a heavy hitter involved! It also helps counter the "states rights" argument for DOMA by having a state say that it actually interferes with their right to govern themselves, and it means they have a two-pronged attack against it by GLAD pushing it from a 14th Amendment angle while they're going at it from the 10th. If I ever get the chance to interview Attn. General Coakley I'll shake her hand and thank her, and the Governor while I'm at it since he no doubt told her to do it. Way to stand up for your people, Mass!


Jun. 1st, 2009 12:06 pm
athenaltena: (Gay Rights)
Nevada overrides governor's Domestic Partnership veto

The assembly voted 28-14 on Sunday to override the veto by Gov. Jim Gibbons, following a 14-7 vote by the senate on Saturday after an emotional debate. Legislators faced intense lobbying by the tourism industry, which feared a potential boycott by LGBT visitors if the veto was upheld.

Just shows that money talks, and that it works just as well as political leverage. Of course, now there are people suggesting that gays stop giving money to states like Florida because they have some extremely homophobic laws on the books, which I'd be all for. I think I'm under no obligation to give money to people who don't want to treat me like an equal citizen of this country, and there are plenty of other places to spend money. Like Massachusetts, or Vermont, or Connecticut, or Iowa.

We'll also probably see people "voting with their feet" now that more states have gay marriage laws. Something tells me that when these states see the economic benefit of having us there and throwing fabulous gay weddings the whole "moral dilemma" thing will take a backseat.
athenaltena: (Hakkai)
A political cartoon that made me "Aww" about the new Supreme Court nominee (who seems like she's a very cool lady):

It's been cold and miserable up here for the last few days and will continue to be cold and miserable for a few days. I also had the experience last night of having Jesse-cat lie on my back while I was lying on my front on my bed. The kitty-shiatsu would have been okay up until the point when he brought out his claws on my bare neck. Yowch. He also weighs about 20 pounds, and I wasn't expecting it. Neither he nor Stella-cat like the weather either, so they've been cuddling up to us a lot. Of course, on days like this their schedule (sleep, eat, sleep some more) doesn't look so bad.

Can it actually act like it's almost June? That would be nice.
athenaltena: (Hakkai)
Marriage Equality has boosted Mass economy, created 100 Million in revenue and increased number of "creative class" residents

Data show that same-sex couples in the “creative class” were 2.5 more times likely to move to Massachusetts after 2004 than before, while local businesses have benefited from more than 12,000 same-sex couples who typically spent $7,400 on their weddings in the state.

My dad actually knows people at the institute that gathered this data, and they do important work since once we have this we can turn around and say "See?" when people ask what benefits it has on the economy. 100 Million is nothing to sneeze at, plus you've got all the wedding planners and hotels taking in money and jobs to put on gay weddings. My Gay Economic Stimulus Plan is looking better with each passing day, and now six states can take advantage of it.

Also, good for the Terrible Trio (Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin and Jared Polis) for saying that the census should count married gay couples. Sure, it doesn't actually do anything legally, but it's an important step and it gets concrete numbers.

Six down!

May. 14th, 2009 03:50 pm
athenaltena: (happy)
New Hampshire Governor will sign Marriage Bill

"My personal views on the subject of marriage have been shaped by my own experience, tradition and upbringing," he said in a statement on Thursday. "But as Governor of New Hampshire, I recognize that I have a responsibility to consider this issue through a broader lens."

Good boy! That's what these politicians should be doing, putting the welfare of their constituents ahead of their beliefs. I did a Nango Mango article just today about how the so-called "Storm" has been with us for a while, so just making marriage legal won't do anything. Besides, that storm is called cultcha (said in a Boston accent) and there's not much you can do to stop it, by definition it is always shifting and by the time you realize it has it's already too late.

Tomorrow I'm actually going to New Hampshire to meet with Sara for a few days, and Sunday we're going to meet with a gay couple her family knows who have a civil union, which they can soon make a marriage!

Now we just need Rhode Island, and as my friend from there said that might take a while. All we need to do is send in the Gay Mafia and have them break the legs of the Governor's coffee table. That'll convince them.


athenaltena: (Default)

June 2012



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