summer_jackel: (Default)
There will be more posts about dogs and spiders...y'all even have spider PORN to look forward to, woo-hoo!...but I'm sharing this bit of politics because I find it hopeful and inspiring in its size, the cooperation and above all its lack of violence. Go you, Oakland. Let's hope it stays that way.

Wish I could have been there; it would have been a great dog walk...

So, have dramatic photos of Occupy Oakland march being peacefully successful---and huge! and shockingly, a positive, uplifting story about cops, protesters and free speech.
summer_jackel: (Default)
Take a moment to savor this article from [livejournal.com profile] leora's journal, wherein a speaker for the BioWare software company responds beautifully to a complaint rooted in homophobia and bigotry. Moments of articulate cultural positive change make me happy. Enjoy and pass it on to preference! If you play computer games, please consider BioWare's.
summer_jackel: (Default)
So, I'm going to vent a bit of frustration regarding gender stuff, because a couple of minor things that happened this week irritated me and are still nagging. I know I'm preaching to the choir, but it would be really cool if people regularly noticed and made efforts to curb gender biases as they crop up, at least the really obvious ones.

hey look, there's a whole totally too-long rant about gender issues under the cut! )
summer_jackel: (Default)


"ma'am, trying to having a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table."

I like this guy.
summer_jackel: (Default)
I found this article about class division and online social behavior fascinating enough to share; thank you, [livejournal.com profile] edge_of_within.

Social stratification in this country is not cleanly linked to race or education or socio-economic factors, although all are certainly present. More than anything, social stratification is a social networks issue. People connect to people who think like them and they think like the people with whom they are connected.

First of all, wow, she gave that as a speech? This is little jackel, rolling on her back showing all four paws and whining happily in intellectual submission. That there is some fiiiiine rhetoric.

The piece pointed out an area of unconscious privilege I wasn't even aware of. Of course, I'm doing exactly what the paper talks about and participating in the social fora my friends do. I have a Myspace page I haven't looked at for three years and a new Facebook that I will probably never use. Livejournal and FA satisfy my desire for online socialization, and they take up enough time that I wouldn't care to maintain another site. I can't even seem to keep my DA account active.

It's kind of embarrassing to admit, actually, but I joined Facebook because I wanted to make a page for Coba. Yeah, yeah, I'm a geek. it would have been really funny, and I would have used it to journal all of his training/showing/glam pictures etc. Alas, Facebook doesn't seem to work that way. And...oh hey, that article does apply to me...getting my dog a MySpace page is less appealing, since most of my friends are on Facebook. Irony!
summer_jackel: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] rm's latest entry http://rm.livejournal.com/1657583.html?nc=8 is exceptionally beautiful writing about current events and gender issues. So I'm spreading it. Go read. Short and lovely.
summer_jackel: (Default)
Oooooh! KRXQ replied to my polite but oh-so-pissed email:


Thank you for your feedback regarding the May 28th and June 3rd, 2009 broadcasts of “The Rob, Arnie and Dawn Show.” I understand the seriousness of the issue, and want to share with you a copy of a notice that has been posted on our website, www.krxq.net.



During these shows, Rob and Arnie made what we, and they, recognize were completely unacceptable remarks concerning members of the transgender community, especially children. Accordingly, this Thursday, June 11th, 2009, the show will be dedicated to what we anticipate will be a forum to promote a better understanding among all listeners of the issues involved.


John D. Geary

Vice President / General Manager

KRXQ update

Jun. 7th, 2009 10:42 pm
summer_jackel: (angry wolf)
Well, apparently enough noise has been made (and enough companies pulled their ads from the station) that the radio host I ranted about a couple of days ago---the one who made the horridly offensive call to abuse transgendered children---is gonna apologize.

http://glaadblog.org/2009/06/07/update-krxq-radio-host-rob-williams-declares-failure/#more-9664

Maybe there's hope for the world yet. I remain skeptical.
summer_jackel: (angry wolf)
...but this is a lovely article about it.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-rowe/krxq-sacramento-radio-hos_b_210637.html

This was a radio station fairly close to me, no less. Perhaps I should supply an angry email; I'm sure they are receiving several zillion thereof, but they still deserve some more. Apparently, some ads have been pulled from the station over this, which is a very nice start. I can only hope the whole show is pulled, because anyone who advocates violence against five year olds...well, doesn't deserve a radio show, to begin with.

Between this and the apparent fact that the state apparently has decided against extending equal marriage rights to little ol' gay me (for the time being, anyhow) I am Not Pleased with California right now. Not that we don't have some progressive wonderfulness, of course. On a brighter note, go New Hampshire.

EDIT: Polite but Very Distinctly Pissed email sent.
summer_jackel: (Default)
This lovely and sad piece of writing is one of the finest and most important things I've seen written regarding Choice in some time. Well worth reading.
summer_jackel: (Default)
Circuit CIty going out of business is, I know, a very bad sign of a chilling economic crisis...although I must admit that I boycotted the place because they were rotten to their employees, and I am kind of glowing about their death. Regardless of whether I should be scared or chortling about the chain's demise, however, I have been making out like a bandit on scavenging its bloated carcass. New scanner, external hard drive (to back up my data, because I know that eventually this aging computer will die and lose all my stuff), and a prize toy I've been coveting for years: an actual camera of the type where you can change the lenses, etc. It's a Sony DSLR-a200, it was very cheap (relative to its usual price, not my budget...ow), it is bewilderingly shiny and I have no idea how to use it in a competent fashion. Photographers out there, feel free to give helpful input. Please.

Oh yeah, that reminds me of something I meant to rant about. During some downtime at work, I was reading through the manual for this new scary electronic thing I inflicted on my life. After awhile, my mystified cohort says "wow, I've never seen anyone actually read one of those before." We both have a few laughs over this (me thinking of that T-shirt Thinkgeek sells which says 'RTFM,' as well as all of the computer experts/tech support people I know who I can easily visualize snarling, "yes! Read the *&^! manual! PLEASE"). Cohort then follows up with, "yeah, I usually just get a man to explain these things to me."

I must have given her kind of an eloquent look (I didn't intend it, I swear), because when I looked up from my manual, her eyes went huge and she started backpedaling like crazy. Keep in mind that this is a smart, reasonably well educated and self-sufficient 30something woman who I somewhat enjoy as a friend, and that I'm convinced she was totally serious when she said this.

Face, meet desk. Oh, so much feminist fail.

So anyway, feel free to give me pointers on how to use my new device. I did actually read the manual, but I remain full of amatuerish lack of clue. I am inviting advice from men too, although of the three semi-pro/professional level photographers who I know read this journal, two are women.

Photobucket

I have gotten to the point where I can take pictures with it. )
summer_jackel: (Bey Horselaugh)
OK, so I am a carnivore. (EDIT: in the social context that means 'non-vegetarian' rather than the word's literal meaning of an animal that is of the order carnivora or the slightly less literal meaning of an animal which eats only meat). I have some pretty strong feelings about this, and generally loathe the way this culture attempts to do its best to separate the neatly packaged and processed little lumps of meat you get at the supermarket from the reality of what they are: chunks of the bodies of living, feeling, intelligent creatures of no lesser value than we are. As far as children go (this will make more sense when you see the video) well, I don't believe in traumatizing them with a lot of gore, but I do believe that it is important for them to understand this reality, and to truly appreciate their meat, when they are young. I would never hide the slaughterhouse from a child.

My place in the food chain is something of a spiritual path for me, and I think that I have become a better, more reflective, more humble person for having known, nurtured and then killed individuals who have fed me. I think that all carnivores ought to have the experience of killing, butchering and eating something at least once. Look the animal in the eyes, make that ultimate choice, feel its still warm heart, and above all have gratitude.

The 'turkey pardoning' ritual has always pissed me off a little. Pardoning? What did the bird do wrong? It would be better by far to thank all of the turkeys, to really empathize with and appreciate them and then eat them with joy than to try and duck the guilt by having a politician grant amnesty.

All of this notwithstanding? There are certain limits that involve taste. Gov. Palin is either stunningly oblivious or just dumb. Oh, wow. [livejournal.com profile] alex_garg, thank you for this little gem.

summer_jackel: (Yawning jackal)
This bit comes via [livejournal.com profile] eclipsegryph. Our governor is apparently coming out against Prop 8. Perhaps not in the most articulate of ways, but...in this moment, I'm really proud.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/11/09/Calif_gov_We_will_maybe_undo_Prop_8/UPI-22871226279859/

Alright, so I am tired, sick and cranky right now, so this is probably not the moment to go into heavily charged political waters. But. Vis. the Prop 8/gay marriage issue, a couple of points become clearer. Firstly, there apparently exist some issues regarding whether Prop 8 can legally amend our state's constitution. I certainly hope this is true, since legally it seems counter-intuitive and sloppy as hell (what? You mean, we can amend the *constitution* based on such a narrow margin of the popular vote? Somehow this seems far too easy). Mind you, I am not and never want to be a Constitutional lawyer, and I have no expertise here. I plan to research it some because boy am I ever interested in this.

The second point, again as an attorney, is that in my opinion the gay marriage ban violates our Federal Constitution, and significantly. I could do this in a far more detailed way, but here are the bullet points:

We have this thing called the Fourteenth Amendment in our Constitution. It grants equal protection under the law to all U.S citizens, and abolished slavery. Text here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

The right to make contracts is protected by the law, one of those things the fourteenth says we all get to do. Contracts are one of the major areas of law, in fact. Marriage is a contract, and a common one. (I ranted on that piece a few posts down). The fourteenth amendment applies. It was applied specifically to marriage contracts in Loving v. Virginia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_vs_virginia, which overturned Virgina's statute banning interracial marriages. And if you want to see how far we've come, and how quickly, go read that one, guys.

The Fourteenth Amendment has been applied to gays in the past, specifically in the large area of employment discrimination law, in which gender is a protected class. Gender in this context is very broad, and includes pregnancy (you can't fire her because she got pregnant, or him because his wife did and he needs leave) and sexual orientation (can't fire you 'cos you're gay). There's a lot of case law on this. Much of it came from California. Much of it was both chilling and exhilarating to read, as was Loving.

Put all of this together, and gay marriages should be protected under the Fourteenth. We batted this around a lot in my Con Law classes (which are not missed, but in some cases fondly remembered. I had a fabulous Con Law prof). My professors were very much of the opinion that the question of whether gay marriage was protected under the fourteenth had to eventually go to the Supreme Court, and that they would have a heck of a time denying equal protection and equal marriage. There is no legal grounds to deny gay marriage that I've ever been shown (legal folk in the audience, feel free to play devil's advocate here and come up with a sound constitutional argument against).

Gays are a protected class, marriage is a legal contract, the line's easy to draw. It seems so damned obvious, but it's going to be a big, emotional thing and an enormous uphill battle, for no other reason than that homosexuality scares a lot of people, and is not the traditional mating structure in our country. People tend to hate that which they think they aren't, or don't know: human tribalism at its worst, and the root of bigotry. That and we've conflated spiritual and legal marriage, which muddies the issue so much in the mind of the average person that half the time neither side even knows what it's talking about.

In my con law classes, there was a lot of speculation and talk about when this issue was going up to the Supreme Court. The Supremes need a conflict at the state level to bring an issue up, and, well, we have one right here in CA right now. If Prop 8 doesn't get overturned as being somehow contrary to the proper way to amend CA's constitution (and I certainly hope so) and decided on those grounds, I suggest that we are about to see this thing go up for decision.

It's not a certain outcome, even though it certainly looks like it should be, and we can't be complacent. But I have hope...I mean, if Arnold, of all people, is expressing regret over the constitutionalized bigotry that is 8, anything can change, right? To look back at the facts of Loving is to understand how incredibly fast social change can happen, and the place of the law in that cultural process. We've just seen some of the fruits of our country's long move away from bigotry in this election. I will be watching the coming process with fear, and excitement, and hope.
summer_jackel: (Furries for Obama)
This election will be over soon, and I will be so very happy. I really want to go back to comfortably ignoring politics, oh please yes. But as we all know, there's some major stuff on the plate right now, so I don't get to yet.

My subject of bitchy rant at the moment is CA's Prop 8, which if passed would repeal existing and prevent future same-sex marriage in our state. I am of course livid about this, not just for the obvious reason of being gay, or even because the other side is dirty enough to sink to blackmail and extortion in an attempt to push their discriminatory agenda, or all of the many other good reasons I am sure exist to want to see this thing crash and burn.

The whole thing has me pissed off as a lawyer, too.

So Ok, people. There is a distinction between legal and sacred/religious/whathaveyou marriage. I am not at all thrilled that the term is used as a catchall for both, and conflating the two leads to lots of confusion, and, well, juicy little pockets of evil like Prop 8.

Legal marriage is the handy process of entering into a number of contracts all at once. They include imparting medical authority and rights with regards to the custody of minor children, but mostly these contracts are about property. Particularly real property (land).

California is a community property state, which in a nutshell means that (almost) all assets, earnings and property earned or obtained by either spouse during the marriage become equally and jointly owned by both. (There's more than that...a semester of law school and a day on the bar more...but that's all you really need for now). Personally I'm too much of a loner to enjoy the thought of entering into that particular contract, but hey, there are tax advantages, so if you're into it, go for it. The divorces get pretty unpleasant, but that's true in other states, too.

Legal marriage was originally a way for a husband and his bride's father to come into agreements vis. money and land (because of course the woman couldn't own it). The woman herself was part of the property being exchanged, because until the early 20th century her legal rights were abysmal. Yes, the law has changed since then, but ponder that history for a moment anyway.

Note that I haven't mentioned sex, other than that's the typical way a couple ends up with children. They are a part of the marriage contract, true, but California's complex family code will give custody to a surviving parent whether or not there was a marriage and has otherwise done everything it can to give equal rights to married and unmarried parents. This is a Good Thing For Everyone. So the bit in the marriage contract about children is pretty superfluous. Besides, we all know that there are other ways that straight couples come by kids as well, and plenty of gay folk have them too. (Hello, lesbian couples have been borrowing their male friends for stud service for ages, and that's just the easiest way).

Sex has nothing to do with legal marriage. Because it's an example of contract law. Denying legal rights, including the making of contracts, to a class of Americans based on gender is gender discrimination, pure and simple. That's illegal both in CA and Federally (I could look up the Act, but I'm being lazy), which is why this issue is eventually bound for the Supreme Court. This is a purely legal issue. No really. It is.

The Pro-8 folks are yowling about the sanctity of marriage and the desire to protect traditional unions, but trust me because I've studied it when I say contract law is anything but sacred, and if you want to look at traditional legal marriage, you end up with the woman-as-property bit. My long winded point here is that Prop 8 will in no way, shape or form change religious marriage. If you want to think gay sex is Teh Evil and marriage should only be between a man and woman of your own specific religion, well, fine, that hurts my feelings but I won't argue much. I'll support your right to think that, so long as you don't attempt to kill anyone. I firmly believe that the law should stay out of our churches as much as I believe that, well, the churches should stay out of our law...

Again, the fact that English uses the same word for legal and sacred "marriage" and that we are culturally conditioned to enter into both at the same time ANNOYS me. Annoys the HELL out of me. I don't like the traditions behind legal marriage, I don't like the bundle-of-contracts that no one talks about and most newlyweds don't understand because this institution is supposedly about relationships. I don't like the assumption in either type that making any kind of agreement will somehow keep a relationship alive forever, when the reality is that people grow and change, sometimes apart, whether or not they've agreed to co-own all their property.

Personally...I am fond of long-term commitments and serious rituals made out of love. Something like a handfasting where the couple (triad, quad, whathaveyou) renews their vows every now and again to keep things current emotionally is more my speed, but I digress. I seem emotionally predisposed to long-term attachments and come on, I'm a Pagan, of COURSE I like Deep Meaningful Rituals...but I've just given you many of the reasons marriage (legal and sacred) as practiced in America today rubs my fur a bit wrong.

I just wanted to point out that Prop 8 is not even about what its supporters are claiming it's about. This thing is an example of pure sex discrimination, and an attempt to write it into our very constitution at that. Sacred marriage won't change when 8 fails, and if you want to go do it in a way that excludes gays, or anyone who isn't your flavor of religion, have at. It's a free country.

...it still is, isn't it? Right?
summer_jackel: (angry wolf)
The below-linked article discusses how "Palin, as mayor, signed off on the initiative that forced rape victims or their insurance companies to foot the bill for the post-assault exam kits."

http://mediamatters.org/columns/200810070007

I know that I'm mostly preaching to the choir here, but we can't elect these people. I don't use the term 'evil' lightly, but this is an example of it, guys. There are so many more reasons than this to vote against McCain, but with this one on the table we don't really need them. Share the link as needed.
summer_jackel: (Furries for Obama)
In these dark and uncertain times, it's important to speak clearly and to preserve our families.



LMAO now. It's so true, though. If you suspect your parents may be thinking of voting McCain, it isn't too late to talk to them.

Adopt one today!
summer_jackel: (Furries for Obama)
FYI for those of you not in CA: Measure 8 is the bit of evilness on the ballot now that would nullify same-sex marriages and prevent future ones in our beautiful state. I'm tucked away in a happy little liberal oasis and so I have been spared seeing the vomit-worthy 'Yes on 8' signs anywhere near my home until today. *

I'm trying to decide whether stealing all of these signs I can find and burning them is immature and beneath me or whether I should let Pryderi pee all over them first.

Phone-banking against it would probably be more useful, and I'll more than likely start doing so later this week. I hate politics, I loathe initiating conversation with strangers. I have a serious telephone aversion. I'm going to do it anyhow. Someone ought to suffer for this.

While we're on politics, I just watched a bit of last night's debate (yawn) and was very impressed...in the most unfavorable possible way...by his scowling and grimacing-faces during Obama's speechifying. To say nothing of his even worse behavior previously. [livejournal.com profile] starchy Does a better job than I would of explaining why I'm pissed on a level that goes beyond my personal liberal politics about what's passing for a conservative worthy of respect these days, and why I think you all should be too. When a serious candidate for office behaves like a surly and ill behaved fifth grader, I become concerned. Anger tends to find its source in fear or pain, after all.


* My personal stance on marriage, that it's a kind of distasteful and outmoded legal/social concept, hasn't changed. The probability of me ever ending up in a legal marriage is incredibly slim. Who knows, though, maybe if the right girl was wanting it. Why I care about this issue nonetheless ought to be pretty obvious).

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