Friday, August 29, 2008

My obstreperal lobe is tired today

So y'all are going to have to figure out for yourselves why this story is outrageous and un-fucking-believable and just, gah, So Wrong.

Woman wearing veil told to leave Italian museum

Which reminds me of this:

Woman in t-shirt told to leave Social Security building

So, basically, two ass-hat dudes with a modicum of authority believe that women who are unfuckable (to them, anyway) should not be seen in public. "Hi! I has a badge! Look hawtt and fuckable or get out of my sight! How can I tell if you're hawtt if you're wearing a veil? And you, lesbian, I obviously don't have a chance with you, so Get. Out.!"

Cheesus. When are we going to put men on world-wide fucking house arrest until they can prove themselves capable of acting like human beings when they walk out the door?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Katrina Pain Index, per Shakesville

A whole lot of depressing, but not surprising, statistics.

a sample:

0. Number of apartments being rehabbed to replace the 963 public housing apartments demolished at the St. Bernard Housing Development.

0. Amount of data available to evaluate performance of publicly financed privately run charter schools in New Orleans in 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 school years.

0. Number of renters in Louisiana who have received financial assistance from the $10 billion federal post-Katrina rebuilding program Road Home Community Development Block Grant.

Go read the whole list.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

MIRA gets a separate post

For the non-mainstream-media point of view, please go visit:

Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance

MIRA should be a go-to for info on the ICE raid. I note with interest that they saw this coming; here's the full text of their 8/22/08 press release:

Friday, August 22, 2008

TO: All Media Outlets

Patricia Ice-office 601-354-9355
Bill Chandler-office 601-968-5182

JACKSON, MS - A series of preparations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on the Gulf Coast has local advocates on edge about the possibility of yet another worksite raid, and yet another devastating blow to businesses, families and communities in the name of immigration enforcement.

"The preparations we are seeing ICE make are alarmingly similar to what occurred immediately prior to the raid on the Agriprocessors, Inc. Kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, a few months ago, " said Patricia Ice, an immigration attorney and spokesperson for MIRA. ICE has reportedly booked dozens of rooms in hotels on the Gulf Coast. They may be checking in as early as tonight.

Perhaps even more worrisome are the reports that the federal court in Hattiesburg is being readied for a response similar to the response to the raid in Postville, when nearly 400 plant workers were arrested on trumped up identity theft charges, and slammed through criminal prosecution and judicial removal (being forced to waive all their criminal defense and immigration claims) within just days of the raid.

"What happened in Postville was an absolute travesty of justice that must never happen again," said Ms. Ice. "ICE must assure that any future enforcement actions are conducted in a humane manner and that detainees are permitted their constitutional rights to due process and to legal counsel."

With all the signs pointing to an impending raid, Ms Ice, other staff and local leaders are working quickly to identify possible targets, educate workers and assemble a team of attorneys to offset the burden on public defenders and provide immigration advice.

The Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance (MIRA) is a membership-based alliance which guarantees the human rights of immigrants and all workers in Mississippi. MIRA works to support immigrants in the exercise of their rights through providing services, organizing, advocacy and public education.


Oh, and by the way: that woman reading the news in the video? That could not be a more perfect example of the homegrown Jones County accent. It's enough to set your teeth on edge, ain't it? I call it the Jones County Whiiiiiine, with a dash of Mis'sippi LazyMouth. I have no idea why women around here pitch their voices so damn high, I swear.

ICE comes to town.

Indeed, yes, lil ole' Laurel, Mississippi was pleased to welcome several helicopters, a bunch of buses and cop cars, and some armed ICE agents this Monday. They swooped down on Howard Industries after a weekend of rumor-flying amongst the immigrant community. By Monday afternoon, word was that some 350 people had been detained. By yesterday (Tuesday), word on the street was up to 600 or so detainees.

Every Mexican restaurant in town is closed, and has been for at least two days. I hear employee attendance at the local chicken processors (Sanderson Farms, Southern Hens, Tyson are all nearby) is very, very low.

Here's a quick hit from Feministing, which reminded me to post about this:

Quick Hit

Local coverage, featuring the least informative slide show in the history of the internet:

Tuesday morning

Local update:

Ripple Effect Continues

Wednesday Morning Update

New local video featuring nearly four minutes with ICE Southern Regional Communications Director Barbara Gonzalez and less than 30 seconds with Pastor Roberto Velez, who has taken on the role of spokesman for the local Latino community:

ICE Raid at Howard Industries

What y'all may not know about the little ol' town of Laurel is that Mexican immigrants have been staffing all of our major industries (Howard plus the chicken plants) for over a decade, and a second wave came in to staff the construction industry after the storm. Best estimates over the last few years are that there are about 2000 Hispanic immigrants in a town of about 20,000 or so. No, I don't have the exact numbers - check with Jones County EDA before you quote me! I've linked to their 2000 census info, but the face of Jones County has changed a lot since then.

Now, this is the part that is totally unsubstantiated, but word on the street is that there were people at HI who actively assisted workers with getting forged papers. People, Laurel is a VERY small town, rumors spread like you wouldn't believe, but I always take them with a grain of salt.

ETA: see, I'm not the only one who heard this rumor!

"But Robert Shaffer of the Mississippi A.F.L.-C.I.O. said it was “common knowledge” that Howard and other area employers “kind of cater to the undocumented workers.”

“You ask anyone in the Laurel-Hattiesburg area,” Mr. Shaffer said."

I note with interest that workers are up in front of judges today, but no one in the Human Resources office seems to be taking a fall. Hm. Interesting, that.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Why I love Randy Cohen, the Ethicist

The persistence of murder does not compel us to ignore burglary.

I can't tell you how often feminists get trolled, dismissed, and generally harassed for being concerned with matters deemed "minor" by dudes the world over. "Street harassment? Sexist advertising? Fake pregnancy clinics? Why are you so upset! THERE ARE PEOPLE DYING IN DARFUR!". Substitute any manner of women's issues short of a world war, and some ass-hat is going to tell us we are petty, shallow, hysterical women who should be focusing on Important Things. Things that matter to *men*. Not housework, or reproductive rights, or sexual harassment in the workplace. So, now, thanks to Randy Cohen, I have my new favorite pithy response to that kind of bullshit: The persistence of murder does not compel us to ignore burglary. Nicely done, Ethicist Guy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dear Designer People:

Could you all maybe schedule a year with some purple in it sometime soon? Because all of these yellowy greens and aqua blues and bright glossy oranges and Chinese reds are harshing my mellow. There are SO many lovely shades of purple: aubergines, plums and lavenders, lilacs and magentas and violets, oh my. Grapes! Don't forget the grapes!

But for quite a few years now, the only purple in Design Land is an astringent synthetic purple that they're using in children's decor at big box stores. It just won't do.

I need grown-up purples, the kind with chocolatey tones, with ruby tones, the colors of amethyst and jasper and purple sapphires and topazes. Purple tulips and pansies and day lilies. There are really a LOT of nice purples there, waiting to be picked, standing on the design sidelines with their hands in the air shouting, "Me! Me! I'm pretty, too! pick me!" Bless their little purple hearts, they're lonely. Purple looks good with brown and with black and red and dark blues, and of course PINK, and warm rich purples look nice with all kinds of wood and stone and metal. There's nothing richer than purple velvet. It's the color of kings AND queens!

Look, look at these:

Purple Gemstones!

Isn't it time for *purple*, designer people?


PS: Indigo! Petunia! PRINCE! Please?

The Bro-Bot on Sexual Harassment

Courtney from Feministing published an email she got from a dude about sexual harassment in the subway, in which he:

a. blamed the victims of sexual harassment
b. claimed he was within his rights to be a total douchebag
c. said, basically, "lol ur fat so ur jealous"

Do they give out a script for this shit? Are they actually Bro-Bots, grown in vats? What the fuck? I mean, has this dude, let's call him "Chance Noble," for that appears to be his name, has this guy got the notion that he's having an original thought? If I was *trying* to write a more stereotypically douchey response to Courtney's op-ed, this is what I would have written. Well, me or any other woman who's listened to an entitled ass-hat explain why he's a drooling idiot ruled only by the whims of his dick.

*My google-fu yields a "Chance Noble" who's a competitive cycler, but I think it's more likely that Douche McDoucherson has named himself after the main character in a potboiler called "Vampire High Council." Wow, that's slick, ain't it?

Friday, August 08, 2008

now see what happens?

You fart around on the internet long enough, refreshing your google reader long enough, and you run across this video:

cheered up. stat.

My week of assholes

Four day work-week, three normal sized assholes and and one BIG GIANT ASSHOLE.

1. The asshole neighbor who left his 2-year-old home alone, or rather, in the yard alone, locked out of the house, with no food or water. After pounding on doors and finding no one home, the neighbor and I decided that, the child having been outdoors and on her own for nigh on 2 hours by our mutual count, it was time to call the police. Anybody could've snatched her up in that time. Anybody. I can't even think about the horrors her father's neglect might have led to.

2. The asshole who ripped me a new one on a forum for no fucking good reason except that she had an urge to be a presumptuous, judgmental, verbally abusive asshole. It's an invitation-only forum, which means everybody there has been vouched for as Not An Ignorant Asshole. And yet, she insisted on talking to me as if I'm a functionally illiterate sheet-wearing yahoo. I mean, after all, EVERY Southerner is a sheet-wearing yahoo, right? Fuck that. The entire goddamned nation of the USA was built on the backs of Native Americans, and the entire economy was built on slavery. So any fucking northerner who wants to get all HolierThanThou and pretend like the legacy of slavery is strictly a *Southern* thing can kiss my white ass. Europeans aren't guiltless in this matter, so don't get all fucking smug if your people came over after 1865, crackers!

3. The asshole I work with who spends all of her time chatting about boys and shoes and lipstick and therefore can't be bothered to answer her email or do her job in a functional, timely, and competent fashion. The one who doesn't even have so much as a bachelor's degree in the field she's been hired to work in, but who thinks *SHE* is better than ME because she's in the fucking Junior League or some shit. [which I would join under no circumstances, never, even if they were to join the 21st century and consider asking an unmarried woman to join their stupid little sorority]. She's such an asshole that, even after I had left the building, done some deep-breathing, AND taken a chill pill, I STILL called her up and shouted at her that she was a total asshole. AAAAASSSS HOOOOOLLLLE. I did. She's an asshole. And a republican. Lazy, incompetent, judgmental, hypocritical, provincial, immature, two-faced, snob who is actually, despite the fact that she acts like a twelve-year-old, in her forties. I want to squash her with my thumb and forefinger. I hope I ruined the start of her vacation with her equally asshole-ish boyfriend. Twit.

Finally, let me just add this: the entire town of Buttcrack? It's an asshole. An oppressive, hot, provincial, self-absorbed, delusional, judgmental, hypocritical town that thinks it's nice, but you know what? It's not. People here are EXACTLY as nice to me as they were when I moved here seven years ago. No more, no less. I don't follow the script. I am not married, with children, and a church-goer. I don't play Garden Club (which, btw, it's not about gardening! it's about tea parties! who knew?), I don't give a fuckity fuck about Junior League or the country club or the god-awful musical revues put on by the local amateur theater. I don't play golf or tennis or bunko. I'm not desperate for a husband, not even a doctor or banker or lawyer. In fact, I have a policy of NOT dating doctors, bankers, and lawyers. I was here for six years before anybody unrelated to my employment invited me to their home. Let me note, however, that she only invites me to "girls' nights". Single women don't get invited to her other parties. Everybody here thinks they're soooooo niiiiiiice, but if you don't get with the program, the best you can expect is the same formal courtesy you got on Day One.

Assholes, every one.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Yo, writers? Pay attention. I have an announcement.

Anyone wishing to be a "writer" should fucking well learn to spell correctly. A passing familiarity with correct grammar is also desirable.

I read a lot of blogs and I run across really basic errors all the bloody time. It's crazy-making, especially on the "big" blogs, the ones with lots of writers, lots of ads, and therefore lots of income. Professional writers need copy-editors, and one thing that is clearly lacking in blogistan is proofreading. Why can't these big-ass group blogs institute some kind of peer review?

Why yes, yes I DO have a BA in English, as a matter of fact. I'm even a recovering English teacher. I had to give up reading the local newspaper because the writing is so horrific. Every time I give it another chance, I end up throwing it across the room in disgust. I have the (apparently) antiquated notion that newspapers should be a bastion of correct Standard Written English.

[Given the fact that I'm just a wee blogger with no staff, no co-bloggers, and no income, I don't have a proof-reader or peer reviewer. So, irony being what it is, there is surely some heinous error in this here post. ]

been travelin'

More on my travels later, but I have just a few bullet points today:

* Mice aren't cute.

* My boss is a raging asshole.

That is all.