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an exercise in oppression/privilege. ~.m. by maria b.


i came across this posting and i thought it was great:

Imagine if the Tea Party Was Black

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re: Arizona’s embrace of racial profiling. ~.m. by maria b.

if this new law doesn’t smack of the first steps the Nazis took towards the Holocaust, i don’t know what does. i mean, what’s next–are we going to herd all the Spanish-speaking people in the U.S. into the ghettoes? it’s un-fucking-believable. so the cops can stop anyone they suspect of not being in the U.S. legally–are we really expected to believe that they’ll stop WHITE PEOPLE in their efforts to enforce this law? are they going to stop pasty-faced blonde women with impeccable makeup wearing khakis and loafers driving shiny SUVs, or will 99.999999% percent of the people targeted going to be dark-skinned, dark-eyed people riding in rusty old pickups or mini-vans?

funnily enough, an Arizona man working as a truck driver was asked for his “papers” at a weigh station on Wednesday, before the bill was signed into law. he showed people his commercial driver’s license AND his social security number, but he was still handcuffed and taken to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Phoenix. he had to call his wife at her job to get his birth certificate and other documents to bring in so he could be released. obviously, he and his wife are angry about what happened to him and he’s alleging racial profiling. i don’t have to carry around my birth certificate or social security card–why should anyone?

and, on top of all of this ridiculousness, to hear people saying that undocumented immigrants can be identified by their SHOES and their HAIR??? apparently, if i look, in someone’s subjective opinion, dirty or if my shoes are old and don’t fit perfectly, i might be brought in to prove my citizenship. what a bunch of entitled motherfuckers behind this law. fucking christ.



happy earth day! ~.m. by maria b.

it is again Earth Day–the 40th one, incidentally. so just don’t be a dick. personally, i’m anal about recycling, keeping lights off when i’m not using them and biking when i can instead of driving.

also, i want to mention the movie The Cove. it won the “Best Documentary” Oscar this year and is disgustingly hard to watch. it tells the story of Taiji, Japan, a fishing town where every year thousands of dolphins are brutally killed for meat (and a select few are captured for captivity.) all the water in the cove is literally bright red with dolphin blood. the movie shows the dolphins being driven into the cove, then dying slow deaths after being beaten and stabbed by the fishermen. it’s unbelievably cruel, but this is compounded with the fact that dolphins have consciousness–they communicate and they are like people in that they are intelligent and self-aware. they are the only wild animal to ever save a person’s life.

so i would ask whoever is unfortunate enough to find this blog to please go to SaveJapanDolphins.org and sign the petition to support ending this yearly slaughter of the dolphins in Taiji. they’re shooting for a million signatures, and they say they’re close to getting there. there’s also a video on the site that’s a PSA with a bunch of celebrities extolling you to support the cause. i would have put it here, but it’s way overdramatic. however, there’s just enough of a clip in it to give you an idea of the process of the dolphin slaughter and make you sick to your stomach (a few seconds.) i would suggest clicking on it, but be warned: the video includes Hayden Panettiere. remember, it’s for the dolphins!

but i really don’t like Debbie-Downer Earth Day postings, so i’ll end with this:



Adventures of Toitle by -Z- by -Z-

Toitle was geeking all night!

My friend, Brochardt, and I got these little animals in a 25 cent machine some months back.  Mine’s a Turtle, hers is a Lobster.  Needless to say, Toitle the Turtle gets into lots of trouble.  He’s the Lindsay Lohan trainwreck of tiny plastic animals.  I can’t keep him out of trouble.  Mistaking sugar for coke lines, trying to steal cigs from people, little green crotch shots for the paparazzi, trying to swim in my coffee in the morning at work….  Lobster is much more conservative than Toitle, I can tell you that much.



can this “anti-government” lambasting be directly harmful? ~.m. by maria b.

i would argue yes, but not just in the sense of all these right-wing militias springing up.

count me among the people who were truly saddened to hear that the four missing miners from the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion last week were found dead. like a lot of people, i was really hoping for a miracle and that those four men would somehow be found alive (there were numerous references to the airtight safety chambers in the mines that had food and water in them.) it’s a scary enough thought thinking about working in such a dark, dirty and foreboding place for 40 hours a week, walking in tunnels miles and miles long over 1,000 feet underground. add to that all the health problems that can accompany this job–from a relatively mild vitamin D deficiency to the infamous Black Lung. sure, these people do alright financially, but even if they have health insurance and other benefits that come with the job, it is far from a stable occupation. having health insurance doesn’t prevent these workers from having health problems (unlike most other occupations, this one causes health problems.) and once the mining company decides that there is no longer a large enough payoff in working the mine, they close it up and the jobs are gone.

add to this situation, then, the fact that these mining companies, including Massey Energy who runs the Upper Big Branch Mine,  are actively and vocally opposed to government regulations to better ensure the physical safety of the men who work in the mines. it’s not enough that these mining companies speak and work against rules to improve mine safety, but they have found loopholes in the system whereby they can basically indefinitely avoid paying the monetary penalties–usually no more than several hundred thousand dollars–and avoid having to change anything about the way the mine functions (they appeal the citation/violation and it is hung up in court for years.) mining companies are very reluctant to close down a mine because it costs them a lot of money to shut down, fix the problem and then start up from a dead stop. purely a profit motive–risk the lives of the people in the mine to save a buck. so that means that, in places like the Upper Big Branch mine, despite the hundreds of safety violations the mine was cited for, the company can choose to simply pay no fine and nothing about the state or function of the mine changes. this, i would argue, then directly contributes to the mining disasters we’ve seen all too often in the past few years.

note to energy and mining company CEOs (like Don Blankenship) about government regulations: they are having to write these regulations because YOU are not doing enough to ensure the safety of your employees.

note to others who have problems with the government regulating industries: this system of capitalism focuses on monetary profits, NOT on quality of life improvements; it rewards the people who can get the most out of their employees for the least money, NOT the people who work more than 40-hour weeks. and, historically, if it had been left up to private companies and businesses to regulate themselves, we would have no weekends, no limit to how many hours an employer can ask us to work, no minimum wage, employers would be able to discriminate based on whatever basis they chose, the list goes on and on.

instead of Don Blankenship railing against the government and saying (ever so disingenuously) that it’s ridiculous to say that the government cares more about worker safety than he does, he should put his money where his mouth is. he should work WITH the government to establish standards, systems and rules that do a better job of ensuring the long- and short-term health and safety of the people who work the mines instead of allowing the effect on their families and physical well-being to be a crapshoot.

on a final note, i’ve never seen a person more brazenly motivated by money than this man–his political positions are based solely on his job and what political rules (or lack thereof) will make it easiest for him to make a profit, and that’s it. he’ll throw the environment under the bus (like so many, unfortunately), but he’s also willing to risk the lives of the people who work for him. so i completely disagree with him–the government NEEDS to get involved. the system NEEDS to be changed to shift the economic incentive to match up with the action that will best care for the mine employees.

Don Blankenship says that “politicians get emotional” about disasters. fuck yes, anyone with a soul would be emotional about the senseless and PREVENTABLE deaths of 29 people, the soulless fucktard who cares more about his profits than the loss of family members sees it as an inconvenient glitch in his mine’s production.



sooooo hot! want to touch the heinie! arrooooooo! ~.m. by maria b.

cool points to you if you know what movie that’s from. anywho, i got some super hot new shoes because i’m headed to Boystown tomorrow for a gay birthday celebration. where better to show off super hot shoes than Boystown?! especially since my favorite fagala helped me pick them out!

AND they’re comfortable! soooo excited!



random thought. ~.m. by maria b.

i was running yesterday and i had my iPod blasting so all i could hear was Lady GaGa. and when i stopped to stretch i looked over my shoulder and saw a schizophrenic man shouting at people to give him change, except when i turned off my music, i realized that he was yelling at passersby that they needed their souls saved and that Jesus was the only true path to salvation. (he was not as organized as the guys above with the signs, he just had a fanny pack and a beard.) i’m gonna start a game with myself–street preacher or schizophrenic homeless person?