drewbear: (Drew comtemplative)
Here are some links discussing the current national unemployment situation. It's not a pretty picture.

drewbear: (Default)
drewbear: (Drew comtemplative)
My friend Ginmar talks about how Iraq broke her and the VA refuses to do anything about it and, in fact, is apparently actively trying to break her even worse.

Getting arrested for being disabled.

Terror suspect being sought for connection to Raleigh group

Sotomayor is confirmed by the Judiciary Committee without any surprises
drewbear: (Default)
drewbear: (Default)
That was quite moving.

And yes, I stood, placed my hand over my heart and sang along with the anthem. It's the first time I've done so in quite a long time. This was an appropriate time to do so again.
drewbear: (Nice Day)
So literally as soon as I walked into the clinic & clocked in, I got a call on my cell telling me that we're going to be closed for the entire day. I went ahead and stayed long enough to put up "we're closed until further notice" signs and make sure the thermostats were set on "don't let the pipes freeze", then came home. About 30 minutes on the clock and about an hour round-trip on the road.


At least I can watch the Inauguration now.

In other news, I strongly dislike driving in the snow, especially when the wind is strong enough to be blowing the snow at a 75 degree angle.
drewbear: (Drew sleepy)
So despite the fact that Raleigh is currently blanketed under a layer of snow with more coming down, my clinic manager has called and said that yes, we're opening. A whole hour late (YIPPEE!!! [/sarcasm]), but still opening. Let's put it like this... I'm leaving at my regular time so I can make sure that I make it there in time for our late opening because I have no idea which roads have already been salted, if any.

I am so very, very glad that I'm "going on vacation" in less than a month.

You know what really sucks, though? The satellite pickup at work is down (has been for about 2 weeks now because the manager is unwilling to pay to have it fixed), so unless I get another call telling us that we're completely closed, I'm going to miss watching the Inauguration. Fuck.


In related, "Bye Bye Shrub" news, have some linkage: A Conservative Take on Bush's Mitigated Disaster of a Presidency & Harper's Index: A Retrospective of the Bush Era.
drewbear: (Default)
I give thanks for having better friends than I deserve.

I give thanks for being employed, because even though I increasingly hate my job, it pays the bills until I find something better.

I give thanks for my immediate coworkers.

I give thanks for President-Elect Obama.

Finally, I give thanks for being unemployed and desperately poor back in 2006, before I got my current job. Allow me to explain:

It was very, VERY hard, depressing and dispiriting, yes. But I learned several important things from the experience. First, I now know that I can survive the worst time in my life. Second, I learned who my true friends are/were and I'm still so very, very grateful to them. Third, it (re)kindled my interest in cooking, especially on a shoestring budget. Fourth, I am now much more aware of the interaction between my online and offline lives, and how to erect a more impenetrable barrier between them. Fifth, I know how to manage my finances much, much better, by necessity. Sixth, I know exactly how far back I can cut my medication dosage, and at what times, so as to stretch it while remaining functional.
drewbear: (kenya bear)
I'm smiling so hard my face hurts. It's a good thing today. :-D

And to top it off, as of this posting, Obama won North Carolina by about 30,000 14,000 12,160 votes. Considering how the numbers for NC kept fluctuating across that magic 50% line all evening, I surprised, relieved and excited about this final turnout.

Good night MORNING, and good luck! :-D
drewbear: (Default)
I voted early! :)
drewbear: (Default)
Just got home & turned on the debate. Looks like McCain caved and showed up. Makes him look weaker for backing down on his word (no matter how ill advised that decision was).

Damn, but McCain's blink-rate is up. He's saying a lot of "uh"s and "um"s, too. Both are signs of being unsure, unprepared, or outright lying in his statements.

Aaaaand, McCain is closing with his "poor, pitiful POW" card. Don't get me wrong, it's horrible what was done to him, but when that seems to be the SOLE thing he uses to bolster his "I support the troops" statement, it quickly loses its impact. Also, Obama's body language as a whole was more commanding and powerful. He capped it by crossing the stage to shake McCain's hand rather than meeting him in the center. It subtly indicates that he's "laying claim" to McCain's space. A subtle psychological message.

In other news, the gas shortages in the southeast aren't getting any better. As I drove home, I passed 3 gas stations that were dry and the cheapest one still open was selling at $3.99/gal.

Lessee... possible artificial gas shortages*, an insanely drastic (and potentially draconian) financial bailout bill, a permanent Army battalion stationed on US soil "in case of civil unrest". That's... not a great picture.

*I've heard stories from insiders stating that they're no reason that gas is in such short supply, even taking Ike into account. It's being deliberately constrained some say that there may in fact be a series of storage facilities where crude is being stored to keep the supply artificially low and prices therefore artificially high.

But enough of the conspiracy theories. :-/
drewbear: (angry choochoo)
The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys.

Now they’re training for the same mission — with a twist — at home.

Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.


In the meantime, they’ll learn new skills, use some of the ones they acquired in the war zone and more than likely will not be shot at while doing any of it.

They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control* or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.

Commentary on the above from Shakesville

Commentary on the above from The Brad Blog

Information on Posse Comitatus and why it may not even matter.

In other news:

Sarah Palin is the perfect pick for VP... for the reasons you don't want to think about.

Fearmongering 201: The Bailout Bill


So. Yeah. That nagging feeling of oncoming unspecified doom that I'd been trying to prepare for? Kinda gone, replaced by a feeling of present, specific doom. Not a great trade-off. I went to my Congressional Representative's office today and lodged a concern regarding the "no oversight" clause in the bailout bill. I would've also discussed the Army thing, but didn't learn of it until this evening. Go! Talk to your congresspeople! Write letters, make phone calls, speak to someone in person! Spread the news that something is dreadfully wrong and we must speak out about it!

Info for service-members with injuries: know your rights and fight for them, because the current administration sure as hell won't.

7 Reasons the 21st Century is Making You Miserable: A rather well-thought out article on the dearth of immediate human contact in current Western/American society. And it's from a HUMOR site, of all places!

Depression and Children's Fiction: An interesting discussion on how clinical depression is actually presented much more honestly in children's fiction than you might think. Also? A good read to help explain what major clinical depression is like "from the inside".

*emphasis mine
drewbear: (Default)
So by now most people who chose direct deposit for their IRS rebates have their money and the paper checks are being sent out soon. So let's get a little personal, hmm? Inspired by this site, I decided to run down how I used my rebate money:

1) Deposit just over 1/3 of it into my original savings account.
2) Use $100 to open a new, higher-yield but deposit-limited savings account.
3) $100 towards extant loans. Yay, extra payment this month!
4) 3 books from Barnes & Noble (including Nurk), a pair of jean shorts from Kmart, eBay, some pizza and some "personal items" whose exact nature I won't mention here.

Since I'm slightly ahead on my loan payments and I'm getting the PTO I cashed in for my birthday on this paycheck, I may send some money towards Kiva. It looks like a good organization.

*...yeah, I don't know where that title came from either.


Jun. 14th, 2006 01:38 pm
drewbear: (Drew comtemplative)
The GoArmy commercials really tend to bug me. Not because they're recruiting for the Army; I respect people who choose to join. What bugs me is the subtle message that NOT joining the Army means you're not a "real man" (it's always guys who join up in these commercials, you notice).

The first one shows this fresh-faced kid in his greens (not full formal, but more than everyday wear. I dunno what the outfit is called), probably right out-of-boot-camp sitting on a porch with his father. And dad looks over at son and tells him "When you got off that train, you did two things that you'd never done at the same time before. You shook my hand. And you looked me straight in the eye." So the implication is that sonny-boy wasn't a grown-up, wasn't an equal to his father until he joined the Army.

The other one that chafes my ass is the one where the (presumably high schooler) is trying to convince his dad to let him join the Army Reserve. His argument basically consists of "it's not the real Army, Dad! I won't get deployed unless we join an endless war that chews up troops and spits them out, creating an insatiable demand for more bodies!" And when dad finally caves a little and asks whether the training will be good, Son simply replies "It's the Army" with a "duh!" left unsaid at the end.

The one that really bothers me, though, is the one with the black kid and his mother. Basically, Kid is joining for the sign-on bonus and Mom is afraid for her son's safety. It's the most true-to-life of the 3 I mention here and sadder for it because, to me, it reveals the kind of financial desperation that enters (but not necessarily dominates) the decision that a lot of these kids make. A "real man" takes care of his family, after all.

Again, I have a great deal of respect for the men and women who choose to join the military and protect our country, but I find some of the advertising and recruitment methods that the military (the Army in particular) uses to be disturbing.
drewbear: (Drew comtemplative)
As I'm sure you all know by now, Prop 2 passed in Texas by a 76%/24% vote. I, like many people, am livid but unsurprised by this.

What I find horrifingly ironic about the situation, however, is that conservative Texans have finally managed to do what they always feared that homosexuals would do: destroy marriage. If you read the text of the amendment, specifically Section 1, subsection (b), you will note that it says that "This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage." This subsection says nothing about it applying solely to homosexual unions. A valid interpretation of this, and the one that will most likely lead to its repeal, is that ALL marriage benefits are no longer recognized by the state.

And what's so wonderful is that this amendment wasn't about preventing homosexuals from getting married to one another, not really. It was about money. There is already a state law that prohibits gay marriages from being performed in or recognized by the State of Texas, so why was the amendment necessary? Many conservative lawmakers claim that it was a preventative measure to forestall potential lawsuits that could lead the Texas Supreme Court to declare the law unconstitutional, but does anyone honestly see the Texas Supreme Court ruling that way anytime soon? The fact of the matter is that many gay men and lesbians have managed to work around the ban by assembling the rights of marriage in an independent, piecemeal fashion: giving each other power of attorney, named each other beneficiares in life insurance policies and wills, etc. Their hard work was a labor of love intended to provide comfort and stability to their partners and their union. I suspect that many conservative lawmakers felt that these homosexual couples "cheated" by not allowing the state law to keep them from providing for each other and furthermore felt an explicit statement of ostracization was therefore necessary. So this new amendment nullifies all that hard work in a single spasm of bigotry and fear.

Of course, it also nullifies the rights of non-blood-related kin to visitation rights or state benefits. There's the distinct possibility that retiree, death and Social Security benefits paid to persons other than the original possessor are now illegal. Marriage certificates in this state have become worth exactly as much as the paper they're printed on and nothing more.

So congratulations, Texans. In your zeal to protect your definition of marriage, a definition which isn't even supported by the Bible, you've managed to shoot yourselves in the foot. I hope that you thoroughly enjoy your Pyrrhic victory.
drewbear: (Default)
So far this morning, I've received my flu shot, voted and bought a lotto ticket for the $225 Mega-Millions draw tonight. And I've been awake for less than 2 hours.

Remember, VOTE!!
drewbear: (Default)
Okay, all my Texan peoples, time to listen up.

Tomorrow is the day to vote against Prop 2. In the last 2 Congressional Amendment votes, less than 10% (9.3% in 2003 and 5.6% in 2001) of the Voting Age Population bothered to vote. So yes, your vote will count. Please use it responsibly.

July 2013



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