Monday, December 14, 2009

What Don't they Get?

I understand that the insane practice of filibustering everything as only practiced by Republicans when they are in the minority in the past 15 years or so makes operating in the Senate hard. The thing I don't get, is that there are paths around it: get rid of it, use reconciliation (for budget things), or change it somehow (to what it originally was, or Lieberman-of-old's suggestion that cloture would require fewer votes each time).

What (Democratic) Senators who are allowing themselves and bills to be held hostage by Lieberman and to a lesser extent a few others don't seem to understand is that their allowing one Senator (particularly Joe) to have such power means they will lose elections in coming years.

Why the hell should I vote for either of my Senators when they have zero effectiveness compared to Joe? Why should I vote for a Democrat when they are far less productive than Republicans? I may disagree with Republicans on policy issues, and I may think that they will ruin the country (much) faster, but maybe a bullet to the head is more humane than death by a thousand small cuts.

I wasn't particularly starry eyed last election, but I was cautiously optimistic. I had no idea that such an overwhelming victory, and that such large majorities and so much public support would be so poorly utilized by Democrats. And I am a fairly smart, informed, knowledgeable voter. People with less understanding are likely to be even more upset (or ambivalent). If I am considering not voting (for Democrats in office) next election--and I am--then they should be very worried, and they don't seem to be.

If the country is divided 65-35 on opinion, but 90% of the 35 are enegized to vote and only 45% of the 65 are, then 65% of the country loses. 35% wins, and gets to govern, and we all know that when Republicans (35%) are in power, they accomplish things. They will be more than happy to hit the gas and run us back toward that cliff (and over it) reveling in the speed. Democrats don't want to steer away or brake, however, they just let up on the gas pedal. I'll take the spectacle of flaming death over useless futility any day.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Big Bunny

Ok, you should read the article, but I had to post the picture. The article is actually a couple years old. I'm pretty sure this means that by now N. Korea has turned the above into a weapon of some sort for which one would need a Holy Hand Grenade to combat it.

Main reason I post this is because, again, I don't wholly get why we decide some animals are food and others are companions. Despite my having no (fundamental) problem with meat, I actually can sympathize more with people who are vegetarians because they don't want to kill, cook, and eat any animals than I can with people who have no problem with beef or pork but are horrified that someone would eat a dog.

I can also see an argument for eating down the development ladder such that eating mammals is worse than birds is worse than fish is worse than bugs (like lobster). ...I think birds are higher than fish on that scale; could be wrong though.

I do think that we consume far too much animal protein--particularly in this country where too much of that fraction is from cows and pigs--but arbitrary distinctions about what animals we can and can't eat seems silly, and even somewhat counter productive.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Disconnected Synchronization

I was at a loss for a title after reading this and wanting to say something about it. Then I read this and it became a happy day for title writing (for me and my weirdness).

The pervasiveness of making things girly or manly does seem to have extended quite a way and I'm not a very big fan. The shampoo aisle is loaded down with lots of FOR MEN items and lots of things that are not labeled but that smell like various flowers and fruits--because we all know that women like to buy shampoos, so we have to special label the ones for men, and also because women want to smell like flowers and fruit and men want to smell like...well, I don't know, because descriptions for man scented things are never descriptive of actual smells. I mean, what the hell does "sport" smell like? Because I think of sweat and gym bag funk, and those are not really appealing to me.

I'm pretty sure the marketing department consults frat boys to decide what they want to call something: "Essence of pumpkin pie and sandalwood shall henceforth be 'balls' scent."

I just want to smell clean. I used to think "Thank God for Suave" but now they have jumped into this crap, and they seem to be phasing out their neutral(ish) items (which still have bizarre names like "waterfall" and "ocean breeze"). I would be in a euphoric state (not to mention geek heaven) if some shampoo company would release a product named "Surfactant and EDTA for Hair." I'd pay $10 a bottle for that!

Are there really men out there who are so insecure that they need to have it reinforced that all their products are not for women? And who are these women who buy pink...everything?!? Neverminding that pink used to be a masculine color, who wants everything to be the same color (unless it's black, which is always cool, or, you know, whatever, just like an expression of my individuality)? I don't go out of my way to get blue versions of everything because I'm a boy. I just don't get it I guess.

I don't see a gender identity in my shampoo or toothbrush or tissues or... The way I see it any male who does need that identification must have a pretty damned hard time figuring out on his own if his gonads are external.*

*Of course this makes is frustrating as hell when I feel shoehorned into buying something with the big MAN stamp on it...kind of makes me want to get a pink flowery thing to assert that I am truly aware of and comfortable with my external genetalia :)