Wednesday, May 25, 2011

On naivety, overcompensation, anger and hope

I lived in Maine for the first 40 years of my life. Maine is 96.1% white according to the 2010 census and was probably whiter while I was growing up. My parents were both prejudiced, but I don't remember either of them teaching me to think in like fashion.  Neither do I remember them teaching me to be homophobic, but there had to be a reason I didn't know I was lesbian until I fell in love at age 21 with another woman. If you didn't follow that logic, I'll explain. It was because back then GAY WAS BAD, so I didn't even consider the fact that I might be gay myself.

Brainwashed.

In my teen years, I assumed that civil rights issues would no longer be a problem when I grew up. I thought bigotry and prejudice were so obviously wrong they would just die away as my generation started voting, becoming part of the workforce, running things and joining the police, firefighters, civil service and military.

Naïve.

After that came a period of overcompensation as I realized it was mostly stupid white men who ran things in this country, and they weren't about to share the reins. I bent over backwards to give a leg up to other races because I realized 1. THE MAN wouldn't and 2. being white myself, I still had an advantage.

Guilt tripping.

Sometime in the last decade, I started to understand how stupid white people can consider themselves unprejudiced and yet continue to hire and promote people who look just like them excepting the occasional overachieving token other-race person. Given two people with like abilities, experience and any other meaningful harbinger of future job performance, stupid white men usually choose the white guy since they have more in common. Maybe they connected with sports talk or a wife joke or some other not-pertinent-to-the-job shared experience. What is worrisome is that I might do the same. Given two people with the same qualifications, I believe I might take the one who agreed with my political, religious and/or world views over one who didn't. It would make for a more pleasant workplace. Is that wrong? At least I'm aware of it and, I hope, not likely to make it a prerequisite.

Conscious.

So many of the top positions that involve hiring and promoting are already held by straight white men. They will continue to hire and promote each other more than nonwhites, the GLBT or women which ensures that straight white men will still have most of the future jobs that hire and promote.

Frustrated.

Ask those straight white men about privilege or entitlement and they'll be insulted. They think they got where they are solely because of being the terrifically hard-working, talented people they are, and any inference that they were born into a life with better chances dings their self-esteem. That doesn't mean they don't deserve what they have but it does mean they MIGHT not. Tell them they are where they are partly by birthright and not merely aptitude and watch the blood pressure rise. You'll start hearing stereotypical stories about laziness, drug use, bitchiness and all the other racist, sexist, homophobic crap that makes them feel superior.

Pissed.

Do I hate straight white men? No. I just don't agree with them that they are all that and then some. And I enjoy knowing the melting pot won't be mostly white in the future. I actually feel better that the generation of straight white men who have been running and ruining this country are getting old enough to be dying off, and their replacements are not ethnocentric.

Hopeful.

UPDATE: (Thanks to a tweet from @dailyrace) More on the same from someone much smarter than I.

Monday, May 23, 2011

I'll say gay if I want to

Since Tennesee passed its ban on saying gay, I've been thinking about boycotting the word straight. Maybe I'll replace it with gay so gay can get some more airtime, make up for the ban.

Gay off. Gay up. The gay and narrow. Get it gay. Get it gay from the horse's mouth. Give it to someone gay. Get the facts gay. Go gay down the road. Keep a gay face. Set gay. Gay to the point. Keep them gay. The gay dope. Gay laced. Going gay to hell. Go gay home. Gay to the heart. Gay from the heart. Gay away. Gay A's. Gay as an arrow. Gay forward. Gay ahead. Gay talk. Gay flush. Gay cut jeans. Gay edge razor. Gay hair. Gay up. Gay down. Gay jacket. Gay leg raise. Gay line. Gay out. Gay in. Vote the gay party ticket. Shoot gay pool. Gay teeth. Gay truck. Gay whiskey.

Think I'll really do it? Damn gay I will!

Republican sex scandals

Taken from the Republican 2010 platform:


"...government should do for individuals only those things they cannot do for themselves..."


"Government’s responsibility is to uphold and respect traditional institutions, such as marriage..."


At least they admit it.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

History lesson

I just used the wayback internet machine to see into ranebow.com's past.

In 2001: I was po'd at IE6 and had rolled back to IE5. (I haven't used IE in years now. My current browser of choice is Chrome.) I had installed phpBB on the web site. I liked playing with css. I authored and offered gay e-cards and downloadable gay desktop themes. I made some flash cartoon shorts. I was looking for a good pop-up blocker. I wrote about driving for peak gas economy. I offered free web site design for personal and nonprofit pages. I also had ugle.org and reviewed pc games on that. (I started the site as United Gay and Lesbian Employees but realized I couldn't provide anything better than HRC, so changed it to United Gaming LEsbians.) I'm not sure what script I was using to post.

In 2002: I used postNuke for the site and was writing about how to make web pages, how to deal with cgi scripts, link verifiers, freeware html editors, Paint Shop Pro and Xara, dhtml and code generators. I had a  color picker, a popup window generator (wait, didn't I hate those the year before?), a table maker and basic html lessons. Here's what you saw at the top of the home page:

"Ranebow dot Com Vision and Value Statement
Vision: To demystify the process of building free web pages; to find and promote free resources; to provide support to those who wish to build free personal or non-profit .org web pages.

Value: Everyone has different tastes, different goals, different purposes. We value the diversity of the web and honor the choices to be gaudy or subtle, flamboyant or plain, garish or somber. We do not intend to mass produce pages that all look alike. We simply want to help people publish their own web pages in the style of their own choosing.

Anyone who wants a web page can have one, for free. Free space is available. Free scripts are available. Free graphics, free text editors, free fonts, free tools of all kinds. Let us help you find them and learn how to use them. 

Ranebow dot Com is here to help you weave your corner of the web."

I talked about Cyberwings (ripoff web host) and how to snag a domain name and find a decent host (not Cyberwings).


In 2003: I returned to personal blogging with "Yum Thong -- sage (or not) thoughts from a non-cook." Yum thong means "drink soup" in Chinese. My better half, Q, likes soup and recommends it as part of a healthy diet. I remember that when I checked stats for the site, there were a lot of visitors who found me by searching for "thong."

I was using Movable Type and talked about distributed computing, my boss being diagnosed with brain cancer (he died some months later) and Bowling for Columbine.

I told how my father called to wish my better half a happy birthday but just hung up when he heard a man's voice on our answering machine message. He knew no man lived with us and assumed he had the wrong number. It was just a generic message that came with the machine.

I talked about the google bomb that make George W. Bush's bio come up when you searched for "miserable failure." I also did a piece on dressing:
"I put my pants on both legs at a time. (I sit and pull them on partway, stand and pull them all the way up.)
I put my bra on backwards, hooking it in front where I can see what I'm doing, then turning it around and sliding my arms through the straps.
I hate shoes, never wear them in the house.
And I love Stove Top."

I ran a few articles about Native American views on Thanksgiving in November.

2004
I was playing Anachronox, an rpg.
I was into "Today in History" posts.
I quit smoking for 6 weeks.

2005
I used Xoop to put up a guild web site for the Order of Balagan. I was playing WoW and wrote posts in the voice of Yenra, my troll toon and the guild leader. Later that year, I installed MKPortal and went back to a personal blog: Rants by Raney. I liked TrayBar and MailWasher, JayIsGames and Womengamers.com. I was participating in FightAIDS@home distributed computing. And I posted the following:

"I think this was originally posted on Craigslist, but I'm not sure.

Ten reasons to prohibit gay marriage

01) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural 
things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

02) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that 
hanging around tall people will make you tall.

03) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy 
behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has 
legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

04) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at 
all; women are still property, blacks still can’t marry whites, and 
divorce is still illegal.

05) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were 
allowed; the sanctity of Britany Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage 
would be destroyed.

06) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay 
couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn’t be allowed to marry 
because our orphanages aren’t full yet, and the world needs more children.

07) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight 
parents only raise straight children.

08) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, 
the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why 
we have only one religion in America.

09) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at 
home. That’s why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to 
raise children.

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never 
adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven’t adapted to cars, the 
service-sector economy, or longer life spans. "

I've been on hiatus since then, according to the wayback. I wonder if it will start to cache me again. We'll see in another 10 years.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Abortion, bathtubs and guns

Down in Texas, Governor Rick Perry has signed a law that mandates a sonogram before a woman can get an abortion. What if we required gun buyers to view pictures of gunshot victims before purchasing a gun? Those pictures would include dead and horribly maimed children, of course, since kids make up half of all accidental gunshot victims.

The Texas law also provides for the woman to listen to the fetus' heartbeat. Maybe we can get some dying gasps from those gunshot victims. People at ERs across the country need to start recording.

Texas law now says a woman who wants an abortion must wait 24 hours after the sonogram before having the legal medical procedure aka abortion. Meanwhile, the number of states with a waiting period before buying a gun is in the single digits and doesn't include Texas. Why bother? As this site points out, there should be no waiting period because 1. someone could drown you in your bathtub and 2. citizens who need guns for self defense right away are left vulnerable. Like if someone wants to drown you in your bathtub and you don't have a gun, I guess you tell them to stay right where they are and you run down to the corner gun store where you can immediately buy a gun and rush back to shoot the bathtub-drowner bad guy.




The Texas government has insisted that this sonogram be performed. Meanwhile, almost any idiot can have a gun. There are no tests. You are allowed to possess something built specifically to do bodily harm and/or kill without any test. But to undergo a legal medical procedure, you have to also undergo an unnecessary test. In this time of skyrocketing medical costs, you are required to undergo an unnecessary test that has nothing to do with the legal medical procedure that you and your doctor have decided to have done.  The governor in Texas will do his best to get between you and your doctor because he is such a staunch defender of human life. Except that time he let Cameron Todd Willingham be executed when there was exculpatory evidence. Or when he vetoed the ban on executing the mentally retarded. Or for any of the (record number) 200+ executions performed while he is governor of Texas. (Remember, this guy wants creationism taught in Texas schools, doesn't believe in climate change, hinted Texas might secede and is friends with racist, misogynist gun nut Ted Nugent, who performed at his 2nd inaugural.)

By the way, Texas law does not require a permit to buy a gun, has no registration for ownership, no assault weapon law, no owner license required, no waiting period.  It is easy peasy to get a gun in Texas.

I have this scary image in my mind of the type of person who would oppose mandatory gun training and waiting periods before being able to purchase a gun but who gleefully advocates for sticking a probe up a pregnant woman's vagina and then making her wait to get a legal medical procedure. It is not a pretty picture. It is probably accurate, however. And I bet that person voted for Perry.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Liu still left hanging, 1 year and counting

Republican are filibustering (no surprise, it's what they do best) the appointment of Goodwin Liu to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals even though many of them said they'd never do that.  The poor guy doesn't have a chance because he's insulted Archdemon Alito in the past and he's not white nor Republican. He's a moderate, but that's not good enough for the repubs who only want people from the far right in government jobs.

I realize these tactics ensure the demise of tthe Ridiculous Right, but it still pisses me off that these people can screw things up for the unrich and unpowerful.  I'm thinking I should be praying for the rapture that is due Saturday to take these morons away.

I don't care where it takes them, but please god, make it somewhere far away from the US.  Antarctica is nice and white. Mars is better than a red state, it's a red planet! Either one would work for me, but I'm not picky. Canada would be fine, too. Wait, I like Canada. I take that back.

If you have to leave them here, god, can you consolidate them?  How about putting them all in Texas? Then it will surely secede and we can stop oil subsidies. That would really be a big help, god. Please consider it, even if you had no plans for Saturday. Most of the world would be pretty grateful.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Who said that? Not me!

I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.


Robert McCloskey supposedly said this during a press briefing on the Viet Nam war.

Back then, there was the problem of communication and misinterpretation according to McCloskey. Today, so much is televised/YouTubed/posted on the internet/insert-immediate-media-here that we have records of exactly what was said by whom. So, people have a hard time walking back from inane statements unless they just admit they made a mistake which is something with which Republicans have a hard time. (Dems seem to be able to apoligize and move on. Be sure to comment if you have evidence to the contrary.) 

It seems the repubs need to catch up with the times and realize they can't just deny it happened. It's no longer a case of "your word against mine" or media bias. It's taped/recorded/saved-to-disc. Wakey wakey, GOP. This is not your father's media.

Here I will be keeping track of such statements from today's Republicans and their attempts to make sure what we heard is what they meant.

April 2011: Jon Kyl claims abortions are "well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does" to justify defunding it. Reality: it's about 3%.
CNN anchor TJ Holmes: We did call his office trying to ask what he was talking about there. And I just want to give it you verbatim here. It says, ‘his remark was not intended to be a factual statement…"
My interpretation: What I meant was to rile up the Ridiculous Right on the abortion issue by exaggerating because some of them will believe it but we all know it was just hyperbole *wink wink*.

April 2011: Newt Gingrich critiques Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposal calling it “right-wing social engineering” and “radical” on his 35th appearance on Meet the Press. When called out on it by other Republicans, he blames the media and dems, saying on Fox News. "I want to make sure every House Republican is protected from some kind of dishonest Democratic ad. So let me say on the record, any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood."
My interpretation: What I meant doesn't matter. I got hammered by my party for not being far enough to the right, so I take it back and you have to act like I never said it.


I'll update as necessary. I'm pretty sure this isn't the end of Republicans being surprised and upset that they are being held accountable for what they say.


UPDATES:
May 2011: Sen. Bill Brady (R-IL) denies ever saying he wants a 10% "across-the-board" cut in state spending, although he said exactly that in a primary debate back in January. When confronted about it, he demanded proof and a video snippet of the debate was promptly posted online. Brady's defense was that he meant "waste, mismanagement, fraud and abuse." According to Brady, "across-the-board" means "waste, mismanagement, fraud and abuse" because it's "a matter of semantics." 
My interpretation: I don't have a plan for the budget. I'll just say whatever it takes to get elected. Later, I'll say something totally different. Also, I do not know what "semantics" means.

May 2011: Scott Brown on Paul Ryan's budget plan: "The leaders will bring forward his budget, and I will vote for it..." Then, about 2 weeks later: “While I applaud Ryan for getting the conversation started, I cannot support his specific plan and therefore will vote ‘no’ on his budget."
My interpretation: The dems are having a field day with Ryan's Medicare-killing proposal. I'm backing off this one. Most of the people who get Medicare are too old to remember what I said a couple of weeks ago, anyway.

Monday, May 16, 2011

GOP plans to end outsourcing

What do Planned Parenthood, sex education, abortion, homosexuals, preschool, college grants, creationism, evolution, unions and the Supreme Court decision on corporate funding of elections have in common?  They are all parts of the grand scheme by the GOP to bring jobs back to America, by god!

Just think of it:  do away with Planned Parenthood, don't allow sex ed in schools, abolish abortion and make sure everyone's straight. Result: more babies.

Eliminate preschool programs and college grants, teach creationism instead of science. Result: those babies will never reach their full potentials.

Destroy unions and let Corporate America swiftboat the elections. Result: those grown babies will have to work for whatever Corporate America decides to let them have (which may dwindle to 3rd world paychecks in a generation if all else goes according to plan) and the government will just smile benignly. Yay free enterprise!

After all this goes down, there won't be any reason to outsource anymore. We'll have plenty of dirt-cheap labor right here in the good ol' USA. In fact, other countries will want to build their factories and sweatshops here! Jobs for all those grown-up babies!

The high tech stuff, the cutting edge research and development can be done overseas, where the smart people will be. It's safer that way than to have any smart people left here in the States where they might not appreciate this system.

I bet you didn't know the GOP really had a plan to end outsourcing, did you?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ball 4, take your base

A main feature of the Democratic party is both strength and weakness: it is very, very diverse.  Currently, the dems have about 40 African-Americans in the House of Representatives. Republicans have enough to count on one hand with some fingers amputated. (There are no current Afr/Am Senators from either party.) Hispanics: 1/1 D/R in the senate,  2-1/2x more dems than repubs in the house. Women: 2-1/2x more dems in the senate and in the house.  Gays...who knows? The dems have more openly gay because the repubs have zero. Their gay elected officials are busy passing anti-gay legislation. I assume that makes their closets into fortresses.

Beyond the fact that we dems are not all alike, we are not the lockstep type. One of our (dem) weaknesses has been that if we don't like the candidates, we might not vote at all. We tend to vote for people we like, not against people we don't. Rove, Cheney and company have taught us a lesson, though, as has the minority Republican senate, the party of NO that has obstructed legislation a record number of times just to be able to thumb its nose at Obama. While the dems struggled to pull together their diverse constituency, the Republicans held together and managed to act like a majority when they weren't. 

Now, however, the Republican steamroller has been hijacked.  The constant NO vote has forced it onto a far right path populated with strident racists and homophobes, people who are convinced that straight white men should legislate on private, personal matters in an upstanding Christian way while they give fellatio to Corporate America, defecate on middle and working classes and perform adulterous acts with their underlings. Whew, can you tell it pisses me off a bit?

While the rusting machine that was the Republican party sits in right field leaking toxic liquids, unable to move forward or back, the Democrats are at the plate. We could be hitting 'em out of the park until the Republicans pull their wreck out of the game. So, why aren't we? It's as if the Republicans are telling us they're going to pitch 3 straight strikes and we will whiff each of them, so we say okay and wander back to the bench. Enough. Just aim for right field and swing away. We really can't lose unless we beat ourselves.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

They all look alike

The old argument about all politicians being alike is resurfacing.  It's patently untrue as it pertains to today's Democratic and Republican parties, but as much as the right hates us they are spreading this inanity.

Why?

Because their party is failing them. The face of the Republican party wears clown makeup. It spews conspiracy theories, engages in racist and homophobic fear mongering and desperately wants to believe money will win. Big money, that is. It doesn't concern itself with political conservatism as in fiscal responsibility and small government. It prefers to kowtow to the rich and powerful and to legislate on sexual orientation and reproductive rights. Hey, small government doesn't belong in the bedroom! No matter, they certainly aren't listening to this blog.

This epic fail, which started with W., has shaken the ridiculous right. It cannot bring itself to admit a mistake. Example: how many mainstream Republicans said over and over and over, oh..I take the President's word when he says he was born in the US but the people have a right to question whatever they want? Most of them. Name one who flatly denounced this bit of race-baiting crap. I will: McCain. Now, your turn. No? No one? Fail.

So, since the RR cannot admit a mistake (let alone the thousands you'll probably read about here) they try to save face by insisting there's no difference between the dems and the repubs. They're all alike, those politicians.

Except they aren't. The ones with the clown makeup are the stuff from a Stephen King nightmare. Follow this link for another view.

Who what

Hello. I'm Raney, short for Ranebow which is an online nick I've been using for 15 years or so.

I've had blogs before, starting at GeoCities back in 1996 or so. I have my own domain. I've made web pages for myself and others, nonprofit, personal and business. I chose blogspot this time around because if I set it up on my domain, it would be another week before I picked which script to use. I do love looking at open source toys!

I'm a liberal, a lesbian, in love and living with my better half. I have some things to say that won't fit on my facebook status. I might not keep this blog up for long. I need to rant a bit, though.  Conservatives tend to make me grumpy, and there are many here in the USA. You'll find I'm often grumpy because of that.

Come back now and then if you like reading liberal views. Otherwise, your best bet is probably to go away before you read something that pisses you off as much as you do me.