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toastykitten: (Default)
So my kid asked me why we celebrate Labor Day. I asked her what she knew about it and she mentioned her teacher saying something to her about child labor. I sort of just pulled some stuff out about how people fought for the right to have weekends and holidays, and for kids not to work, but today was the first time I actually thought about it, and did some research about it.

Anyway, I started wondering if there were any kids' books I could get/borrow from the library, and came across this list: Children's books about labor and organizing.


Tablet mag recs: focus on Jewish contributions to the labor movement.

Mighty Girl recs: 20 books about women and the labor movement.

Since let's be honest, it's not going to be on her curriculum.

toastykitten: (Default)
It was pretty fucking awesome. That is all.
toastykitten: (Default)
I didn't think much of it when I first saw their take on the Chinese/Taiwan/US relations call, other than, "dream on", in expecting US citizens to actively care about Taiwanese interests. But then the next video was about how the Snopes co-founder was accused of consorting with prostitutes and embezzling money, which is a story I only found plastered on right-wing sites. Yesterday's video was about how the Russians have developed some sort of nuclear-powered ice-breaking machine that would make a path in the Arctic.

A few weeks ago, a Taiwanese principal had to resign for allowing their students to hold a literal Nazi rally.

Haven't looked into it fully, but these things altogether just make me go hmmm...
Jul. 25th, 2009 10:25 am


toastykitten: (Default)
If being called a racist is the worst thing in the world to you, you don't have enough problems, and I'd be happy to make some for you.
toastykitten: (Default)
Did any of you vote yesterday?
Why do Californians have to vote on budget proposals? Seriously, isn't this kind of dumb, as Californians generally don't like to pay new taxes even though our liberal selves keep passing measures that require spending more money anyway? And then we wonder why we're broke? It's not like I want the Californian government to enact stupid policies, but it seems like we wouldn't be in as deep a hole if we left a lot of the budget stuff to the actual legislature. (I have no idea if this is a better idea or not, but the current process seems untenable.)
Why do we have so many elections in the first place? I think this is the third one in Los Angeles so far. Why do we have run-off elections? Why can't we just choose first and second choice, or whatever that option is called?
If less than ten percent of the populace votes, how is that a fair and democratic process?
toastykitten: (Default)
I am so sick of the iPhone. Yes, it'll change everything forever, with the nifty rotating browser! But how does it work, as a PHONE? Is the reception good? Do your calls get dropped?

I just finished reading this Wired article on Hans Reiser, the Linux programmer who's accused of murdering his wife. The whole thing is really strange. Three items I thought were odd, in a really bizarre article: The author describes the Oakland hills as "quiet and idyllic". Uh, quiet, maybe. Idyllic, no. He also mentions that Reiser first met his wife in Russia, where he had been several times previously using the Russian bride service. Okaaay. Three: Reiser has this obsession with manhood, and thought that teaching his son to play violent video games (which his wife objected to) would help prepare him to be "a man", because he otherwise wouldn't get that kind of education living in Oakland. (That is so funny I don't even know where to begin.)

Oh my god you know how I was bitching about our government and their stupid "English-is-the-official-national-language" thing? Apparently England has this thing where they offer free English classes to migrants, although they are considering limiting access. *sigh* And then I read that people are getting pissed off about having to "press 1 for English". Are you kidding me? Are you really that frickin lazy? And dumb?

We recently watched Sid and Nancy, which was a movie about Sid Vicious and his turbulent relationship with his groupie girlfriend. Neither of us know anything about the Sex Pistols, so we were both sort of befuddled when they cut to him not singing or actually playing any instruments while on stage. Maybe the movie itself is technically good, but I found it really hard to care about the title characters, because to me they both seemed like really unlikeable people who just screamed everything they thought. (And also mentally ill with no one to give them proper medication.) I thought Nancy seemed like a low-rent Courtney Love, and then I found out via Wikipedia that she did want to play the role, claiming that she "is Nancy Spungen". I mean, do you you really want to admit that you are a drug-addled groupie?

I'm almost done reading Extreme Cuisine: The Weird & Wonderful Foods That People Eat, by Jerry Hopkins. The foreword, of course, is written by Anthony Bourdain. There's some interesting stuff in here, but I doubt I will ever come up with the willpower to make myself eat ant salad, even if some varieties of ants "taste like honey".

I thought about the arguments that vegans make about how eating meat is immoral. I am not going to make any moral judgments about that, but I'm wondering about how vegans would suggest managing overpopulation of certain species? For example, crocodile and alligator meat were once banned, but once they started regaining their population, they had to be managed, and crocodile farms were born - for leather, meat, etc.

Hopkins makes a lot of arguments for adding other species to our diet as a "protein source", but I'm wondering why we even need to add another protein source. From all I've heard and read, most Americans consume too much protein anyway.

Amusing to me is the fact that the most befuddling items of consumption were started by the Chinese. Who the hell thinks up shit like bird's nest and thousand-year eggs (not actually a thousand years old)? Apparently, we do. (But I'm still American enough that I always turn that shit down.)
Jun. 8th, 2007 06:38 am


toastykitten: (Default)
ROLL CALL: English is now the national language of the US Govt?

I agree with the blogger - this just makes me sick to my stomach. I feel like my entire family has been devalued as American citizens and immigrants. They are attacking my parents, my parents who worked for years under the table, who raised several successful kids, and who with the limited resources they had managed to bring most of their extended family here (it only took them what? 20 years), because America is where "you are lucky". Not that this isn't part of a larger trend that's been going on for years - the abolishment of ESL classes, the stupid immigration bill, the dumb "wall" intended to keep out pesky Mexicans, the unbelievable denial that so many so-called Americans live in that allows them to think the First Amendment "goes too far".

I hate the Democrats. Unless they are also willing to sponsor a bill that will provide free English language classes to all American citizens and immigrants and prove they actually want to help people instead of bringing them down a notch for not being "American enough", they're not getting a dime from me.

Not that I was going to even bother after the Iraq war funding bill stupidity.

I have to come up with another word besides "stupid" - but that's just what all of this is. COMPLETELY STUPID.
toastykitten: (Default)
I just found out that Amazon has an entire section devoted to Hong Kong Category III films.

Lost Mitten's Etsy Shop full of Nintendo crafty stuff is awesome.

HOWTO Encourage Women in Linux - I especially like 3.3 - Don't Call Women Bitches. You would think that's obvious, but apparently not.

I've been completely riveted by the story of the fake Stanford student that was just discovered. I wonder what's going to happen to her now.

Immigrants from China, India and the Philippines in particular must wait longer than most other immigrants to bring in family members because their countrymen have tended to fill the annual immigration quotas for their countries more quickly than immigrants from other countries.
- Okay, this explains why my family had to wait so goddamn long to bring my aunts and uncles over. The rest of the article is an informative if depressing read about why the new proposed immigration bill will really, really suck for Asian immigrants and their families. *sigh*

A cat shooting game.

Maxine Hong Kingston was on the latest guest on the Bill Moyers Journal. They talked about her writing and meditation workshops for veterans of war. Some of the writing has been collected into a book called Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace. I thought it was a very touching episode, and it was interesting to hear her talk. I didn't realize how old she was - she mentioned growing up during World War II and watching relatives in uniform go off to war. It hit me - she's about or as old as my dad, then. How strange.
toastykitten: (Default)
The news has been strange lately:

Ignacio De La Fuente, Jr., son of Oakland City Council president Ignacio De La Fuente has been convicted of raping and sexually assaulting four women, one of whom was 15 at the time.
However, even though he pled guilty, he still claims he isn't. And you know what his defense was? "They were prostitutes and they're crying rape for revenge over negotiations of payment." I can't believe they thought they could get away with that kind of defense.

A former lover of the missing wife of Linux programmer and accused spouse killer Hans Reiser has confessed to killing eight people unrelated to the case, prosecutors informed the defense last week.
Hans Reiser is well-known in the Linux community; he was accused of killing his wife, and now the former lover of his wife, who is also a witness for the prosecution, has confessed to killing 8 people in revenge for child abuse, and possibly a 9th person, too. However, he denies killing Reiser's wife.

China has been selling fake eggs as fresh eggs. UPDATE: This story is fake.
toastykitten: (Default)
I am so spoiled. Mark is making me dinner, and I got home-made cupcakes from one of my co-workers. I have the lazy:

  • As a small present to myself, I bought Missbehave magazine. (Warning: website has music.) It is so adorable. It's like Sassy, but with hip hop self-confidence instead of indie insecurity. It's even published right out of Brooklyn, and the editor-in-chief's last name is Choi! So nice.
  • I typically implement a news ban around my birthday. I have no desire to re-live the horrors of past years, but I couldn't avoid seeing the news about the Virginia Tech gunman. I read some article (I forget where) which naively described the feeling of relief that each ethnic group found out it "wasn't us". Which is such bullshit, if people actually think most Americans give a shit about the difference between Korean and Chinese or Vietnamese. It's all the same to them.
  • Really good post on the suck that is American immigration.
toastykitten: (Default)
1-866-OUR-VOTE. That’s the number to dial. It goes to Election Protection, a nationwide legal team working today to keep your election fair and protect your rights as voters. If you see or experience something at a voting station that should not be happening, dial 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

Please vote.
toastykitten: (Default)
Huh - apparently I was supposed to have mailed this out by the 31st of October, even though the actual ballot needs to be received by November 7 and mail only takes one day to arrive at its proper destination in our county. Oh well, at least I can just drop it off at the library on Tuesday.

My votes:

I'm a little irritated at the state candidates, given that the Democratic ones, at least, are all politicians who've been around California state government for years and years and have not friggin moved on. Is there no one new? I went along mostly with SFBG's and some person named Tang's endorsements.

Governor - Phil Angelides
Lieutenant Governor - John Garamendi
Secretary of State - Debra Bowen
Controller - John Chiang
Treasurer - Mehul M. Thakker - He's a Green candidate and I only picked him because I'm sick of Bill Lockyer.
Attorney General - Jerry Brown - Bleh. I sooo didn't want to pick him, but the Republican choice would have been way worse.
Insurance Commissioner - Cruz M. Bustamante
Member, State Board of Equalization Dist 1 - Betty T. Yee
U.S. Senator - Todd Chretien - Green Party, again, because Dianne Feinstein will get elected anyway and I hate her. (Note: Is there a more mockable candidate name than Richard "Dick" Mountjoy? He's a Republican.)
U.S. Representative - 12th Congressional District - Nobody. The Wikipedia article on the Democratic candidate mentions that he heavily pushed for the first Iraq war.
Member of the 21st Assembly District - Ira Ruskin

Judicial: Okay, this part confused the hell out of me. I could barely find any information online on any of them, you're supposed to say "Yes" or "No" for each name, and they don't put out statements. If there is something, it's something benign like "I promise to treat everybody fairly and equally under the law." Ugh.

Joyce L. Kennard - Yes
Carol A. Corrigan - No
James J. Marchiano - Yes
Sandra Margulies - Didn't vote on this one because I couldn't find any information on her.
Paul R. Haerle - Yes
James A. Richman - Yes
William R. McGuiness - Asshole.
Peter Siggins - Asshole.
Ignazio John Ruvolo - Didn't vote on him.
Patricia K. Sepulveda - Yes
Maria P. Rivera - Didn't vote on her.
Barbara Jones - No

County Board of Education Trustee Area 3: Jeffrey Tong - It was close - I went with him because he seemed to have more experience working with immigrants.
County Board of Education Trustee Area 4: Rod Hsiao - This was also close, but I went with Hsiao because the other candidate was endorsed by S.B. Woo, that annoying guy who got every single Asian person's email and spammed them about his 80-20 Initiative. And I couldn't get myself off his list, no matter how hard I tried.

Sequoia Healthcare Dist., Board of Directors - John B. Oblak, Don Horsley, Arthur J. Faro - The odd man out was Jack Hickey, who actually is a Libertarian and wants the government to stop funding the hospital with grants. God, libertarians.

State Measures:
Prop 1A (Transportation) - No - it's too restrictive.
Prop 1B (Transportation) - No - see above, and doesn't address public transportation enough.
Prop 1C Program providing housing assistance to those in need. - Yes
Prop 1D Bond to improve California schools. - Yes
Prop 1E Disaster Preparedness Act - Yes
Prop 83 Increasing penalties for sex offenders, and prohibits them from living near schools or parks. - No. It pretty much guarantees that they couldn't live anywhere except in rural areas, and I am not cruel enough to foist that on people.
Prop 84 Improve water quality, safety and supply & other natural resources. - Yes
Prop 85 Waiting period and parental notification for abortions. - HELL FUCKING NO.
Prop 86 Tax on cigarettes - Yes
Prop 87 Tax on California oil producers - Yes
Prop 88 Education funding. Real property parcel tax initiative. - Yes
Prop 89 Addresses campaign finance issues - Yes
Prop 90 Complicated thing about eminent domain. - No
County of San Mateo Measure A - Raise in county tax to fund upkeep of city parks. - Yes
May. 19th, 2006 12:44 pm


toastykitten: (Default)
Dear Senate,

I just read that you decided to make English the national language of the U.S.

1. Fuck you.
2. And FUCK YOU Senator Salazar: Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., introduced an alternative amendment that Democrats who opposed Inhofe's bill hoped would draw enough senators from Inhofe's bill to defeat it. Salazar's proposal said the U.S. government "shall preserve and enhance the role of English as the common and unifying language of America."

I'm sorry; I just can't make any coherent commentary when I read the news these days other than "Fuck you, you fucking fucks".
toastykitten: (Default)
Day I received my mail-in non-partisan ballot: Monday (Did my research online, since the non-partisan ballot doesn't tell me if any of them are libertarians or not.)
Day I voted: Wednesday
Day I mailed ballot: Thursday
Day I received sample ballot, which lists all the candidates' statements and positions: Friday
Apr. 22nd, 2006 11:37 am


toastykitten: (Default)
The U.S. accidentally introducing China's president as Taiwan's president was hilarious.

I may or may not have a long rant on China stored up. We'll see.

This was the conversation between me and Mark last night:

Mark: Note to self - do not get Kim started on Chinese politics.
Me: I could talk about Palestinian politics.
Mark: Please don't. I don't want to be depressed any further.
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