conuly: (Default)
Of an alleged serial killer who targeted Muslim store owners.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/21/justice/new-york-shopkeeper-killings/index.html?hpt=us_c2

When they showed the man's house on TV I was startled, because that house is just down the street from the doctor's office!

So I checked the Advance website today to see how they dealt with the issue, and sure thing, the main page has an article about how the neighbors considered this guy's house a monstrosity. The articles about the murdering, of course, take less prominence. LOL, Staten Island, never change.

http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2012/11/suspected_serial_killers_home.html

http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2012/11/staten_island_man_charged_in_m.html
conuly: (creepy)
Somebody, presumably the person who killed her, left a note saying she should "go back to her own country" because she was a "terrorist".

And since then, every article I've seen on the subject starts by asking if this is a hate crime.

Just like that!

Unless they're seriously suggesting that she was murdered by someone known to her who left the note to throw others off the trail - possible, but not very probable - I fail to see how anybody can even ask this question. Leaving people threatening notes because of their ethnicity and/or religion is pretty damn hateful, even before you proceed to beat them to death.

I frankly wonder what is going wrong in this country when an obvious hate crime is followed up by questions as though the nature of the murder is at all in doubt!
conuly: (can't)
Well, she's my mom.

Interestingly, during the same talk it came up about a few months earlier when my high school had found out that I DO NOT say the Pledge of Allegiance. And they called my mom, and then basically told me that she's not backing me up, and we came up with this lame-ass compromise where I was just late to third period every day.

Apparently what actually happened is my mother told them they were stupid, said she had no interest in fixing a problem caused by THEIR ignorance of MY rights, and said they should deal with it. Which they did... by lying to me about what my mother said.

I had thought this was remarkably inconsistent with my family, but it never occurred to me that the dean would just lie to my face. (Then again, after I had the guy for health the next term it should've. I seriously disliked him. Fortunately, the feeling was mutual and I ended up doing independent study. Nice when things work out, right?) OMFG! I should've sued!

Man, I am NEVER compromising my principles again just because my mother doesn't back me up, especially when she actually does. (No, I don't know why I didn't discuss it with her later that day. Maybe because it didn't occur to me there was anything to discuss? Who knew I was lied to? OMG!)

I'm seriously tempted to write the school a note about this. That was SO not right.

Coincidentally, here is an article about a group wanting to ban the Pledge of Allegiance from their local schools. Contrary to what people say, this would NOT prevent small children who wish to say the Pledge from saying it. Really, there's nothing stopping you from making your children say whatever silly things you like at home.

But going through the comments, here's the thing that I just don't get. Every time any issue regarding free speech comes up that can even tangentially be connected to atheism, hordes of people come out of the woodwork to go "Well, what about money? LOL, do you not use money because of in god we trust? LOL!!!!"

Aside from the fact that they think they're clever when they're really not, I don't understand why "in God we trust" is okay with Christians! Isn't there some kind of commandment about taking the Lord's name in vain? Doesn't it sort of cheapen your religion to have cheesy signs up in stores saying "In God's name we trust, all others pay cash"? Isn't it wrong to (to borrow some religious phrasing here) yoke God and mammon together? Isn't there something about moneylenders and camels and needs which I am SURE can somehow be applied to putting God's name (more or less) on cash???

It just doesn't make sense. Forget about whether or not it offends atheists, am I missing something? Why doesn't this offend Christians? I just. Don't. Get it.
conuly: (brain)
This is unfortunate for them, but it's a reminder for the rest of us to support our local bookstores when possible. Borders isn't a great loss, but small bookshops, where they still exist, are real gems.

With that said, there's one very good thing about this closing, and that's Going Out of Business sales! Who can resist? (I wonder if I can snag some bookcases....)
conuly: Fuzzy picture of the Verrazano Bridge. Quote in Cursive Hebrew (bridge)
Which is now several situations and counting.

Evangeline was somewhat interested in it because a classmate of hers moved to Egypt a few months into the school year. Ana mostly rolled her eyes, to which I said that although I know she doesn't think it's interesting now (or maybe she does - she can be SUCH a teenager sometimes about letting us know she's interested in ANYthing!) she'll be glad when she's a grown-up to be able to say she knew about this as it was happening. She doesn't believe me when I say this is a very exciting time to be alive, but I think she'll understand when she's older. (She doesn't have a friend in Egypt, after all, unlike her sister. Evangeline is torn between hoping her friend saw all the excitement and worrying that he and his family aren't safe.)

We talked about it, and we went over to our free Doctors Without Borders map on the wall to see where all these countries are, and it occurs to me that because I read my news online Ana is missing out on something important. She's not reading the newspaper. Doesn't watch TV news much either.

My father was a history and current events geek. I mean seriously. There is a reason I know more world capitals than is quite reasonable. (I can assure you, I have never in my life needed to know that the capital of Suriname is Parimaribo. For crying out loud, spellcheck doesn't even recognize it! I have found memorizing 7! to be more useful*, you know!)

So he read the paper every day, and we talked about it a lot, and he was always well-versed on what was going on in the world. If we ever had a question about the political situation or recent events in some small country nobody else had even heard of, he would be able to answer it.

But I read my news online, and Jenn does too I guess (saving trees, of course), and we haven't been talking about this at dinner, much less incessantly. Their education is lacking, and I need to find time for it. It's probably not that useful to know more capitals than you can count, but it *is* useful to have a basic understanding of current events. It's not something you do once a week on Friday.

*My sixth (or maybe seventh) grade math teacher believed in reviewing old material on every single test. This meant that after we learned how to do factorials, we got tested on them every few weeks, one question per test. For some reason she picked 7! several times in a row. This caused me to do two things. First, I figured out that my calculator had a factorial button and it wasn't necessary to work it out step by step. I'm not sure anybody else noticed this. And second, I learned that 7! is 5040. I'll know that to the day I die, and it has come in handy exactly once, in college, where I used that fact to accidentally make a professor (in Classics) think I was some sort of math genius. I'm not. The number is simply emblazoned upon my mind, and when he mentioned that one or another thinker thought 5040 was the ideal population, the phrase "Why, that's seven factorial!" popped out before I could stop it. Sure, it's only once that this random factoid has been useful, but as I never expected it could be useful to have that memorized I think I've beaten the odds there. Even once means it's come in handy far more often than I ever would have anticipated.
conuly: Picture taken on the SI Ferry - "the soul of a journey is liberty" (boat)
Did you know that up until 1815 the US, along with most other nations, paid tribute to pirates? Deep down, though I know this is a serious issue, I can't help thinking it's slightly cool to see the first president since Andrew Jackson vow to fight piracy.

Only slightly, because the reality isn't as amusing as it is in cartoons, of course. And the conditions leading up to piracy, though they're not really being talked about in the news as far as I can see, are also... not really that amusing.
conuly: (Default)
I didn't post about it, but I read the articles. This legislation, that one - oh boy, did I read this.

Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] ginmar:

From CNN site:

January 20, 2009
Obama Chief of Staff puts a stop to pending Bush regulations
Posted: 07:07 PM ET

From CNN Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry


President Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel issued a government-wide directive Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (CNN)– President Obama has wasted no time handling the Bush administration's unfinished business.

White House officials tell CNN Obama Chief Staff of Staff Rahm Emanuel sent a memo Tuesday to all agencies and departments of the federal government. The memo halts further consideration of pending regulations throughout the government until a legal and policy review can be conducted by the Obama administration.


Legal reviews! My goodness, does this mean that somebody might actually consider the law for a change? Be still my beating heart.

I've been laughing all day, and this is just... I love it.

I need a new, HAPPY politics icon.
conuly: (Default)
The USA Emergency Supply Website

They're sure there's no rice shortage anywhere in the US, and I'm sure they would know, but...

Meanwhile, just last Friday I happened to walk past a corner store that was hysterically full of rice. Piled from floor to ceiling (literally) in the window, and on every shelf, and on the floor where people didn't HAVE to walk.

Not even all the best rice - a lot of it was "parboiled" or "instant" or what-have-you.

Clearly, the proprietors of the shop read the news, saw that there might be a profit to be made on rice (a fair bet in an area where just about everybody's national cuisine features the grain), and just decided to run with it.

Hoo-boy that was a lot of rice!
conuly: (Default)
Well, who hasn't been?

Haven't posted anything about it though because, really, what is there to say?

What I'm wondering, though, is what took so long. I mean, I've been reading articles about this compound and others in this country and Canada for years now. It has been known for years that they're marrying off their young girls, often to relatives, in polygamous marriages. It's been known for years that they tend to drive off their young boys for... well, for acting like teenage boys... and also for being in competition for the girls, y'know.

And I expect that they don't get to this point without raising the kids to see this as totally normal, and the outside world as totally unsafe.

I don't think the raid was wrong. Unlike some people, I think that it's clear that the children not currently being abused would be in the future - no matter how clean and fed they are.

But I have to wonder - we've known the conditions for years. What, exactly, was the hold-up?

(Incidentally, that doesn't mean I think the foster care system is wonderful for these kids. I'm very upset at the reports about how the foster care system in the area is scrambling to make things easier on these kids. If the system is as bad as they describe (and you know it is), then it should be changed for the other kids already in it as well. Not just spot changes - real ones. You think those kids couldn't use a better system? Riiiiight.)
conuly: (Default)
Canada's PM says Dalai Lama "not a call girl"

In his defense, he's not actually bucking for the Captain Obvious awards this year. What he meant to say is that the Dalai Lama is "a respected international spiritual leader" whom he has every right to meet wherever the heck he wants without being criticized for his "disgusting conduct", but his mouth apparently decided to move before he remembered he was being recorded.
conuly: (Default)
People were wondering when the label of autism would appear, and it seems it has.

Sometime in his life, he was diagnosed officially or not as autistic, according to recent articles.

You know and I know that this doesn't mean all autistics will shoot up a school anymore than you can expect this to reflect badly on all asians or all immigrants. But to some people, it will do so.
conuly: (Default)
So, you're 14. And you shove a hall monitor. Nobody's hurt, and you don't have a record, so you get....

What? Detention? Suspended? A note in your permanent record?

Or, maybe, seven years in prison. Because we've just got to crack down on that violent behaviour. Or something. The news article says "up to seven years", but even if she gets out now, it's clearly too long. The girl has already been imprisoned a year.

For... what again?

I... I don't even know what to say. There aren't enough words to express how pissed the fuck off I am at hearing this.
conuly: (Default)
We watched the tail end of Sound of Music the other day. God, I love that movie. I mean, we watch it, and we sing, and we cry, and it's nothing at all like what really happened, but I love it anyway.

And we all hugged and rocked and sang Edelweiss, which prompted me to look up Edelweiss (a song not very well known in Austria, apparently), and this led me to the Edelweiss Pirates, and I just....

I guess I'm just in one of those moods, but I'm filled with admiration for them. I mean, I'm filled with admiration for anybody who did anything in those times....

But still. I was mildly impressed.

In not-at-all-related news (but I think of them together anyway), the Boy Scouts are getting some more of their special privileges taken away. This is because atheists run this country and hate Christians. Yes, somebody tried to tell me that.
conuly: (Default)
1. Outrage fatigue is all well and good (in that it's not well and good at all), but is there any way to counteract that? I find I get more overwhelmed the more helpless I feel. I need simple, concrete steps I can take to stop feeling overwhelmed - and no, voting isn't going to help much. Things that don't rely on other people (huge protest marches, for example) are good, as are things that *feel* productive. Writing a letter doesn't feel productive if I'm not sure it's going to be heeded.

2. Regardless of whether or not the act is enforceable, it's still troubling. But I guess we shall see what we shall see, sometime after the elections.

Now, I'm off to watch something decidedly non-current-eventsy, aka Veronica Mars. I've already seen it, but it'll keep me from having to think about real things for a while.
conuly: (Default)
I've been busy, and frankly, a little depressed. Which is bad for me, and means I need to cut out news.

I expected that if anything major happened, my friends list would all be howling about it.

So when I see only two or three posts about this, I'm left wondering. It sounds bad to me - it sounds horrible, in fact - but I'm not seeing a lot of posting about it. Nobody much know about this? Everybody's not paying attention to the news? I'm skimming a hell of a lot more than I should? Something I've missed here?

What the hell has been going on while I played with the niecelings?
conuly: (Default)
I mean, if it's not black children being told not to sit on the back of the bus, then it's black people being told they're not welcome in a church anymore.

Or it's a hundred thousand other things that are telling me that maybe, just maybe, it's time to pack a bag. Pity I have obligations here. And no passport. I should really get on that last one, shouldn't I?
conuly: (Default)
Or are people having entirely too much fun over the Pluto debacle?

This will not impact my life, or yours, not one little bit. Not a single iota. They won't even change the textbooks for elementary school, so all the old mnemonics will go on being used. (I said this before, but that was a segue into another subject, so I'm saying it again.)

Really.

*laughs*

Aug. 20th, 2006 06:59 pm
conuly: (Default)
Okay, yes, violence isn't the answer... and, no, I do suppose that stabbing the man was a bit much for the provocation... but you have to laugh at his story:

"It was a hate crime against a straight man by a ton of lesbians

Or, as the Daily News reports it, "a gang of petite lesbians".

Frankly, I trust the cops and bystanders a bit more than the man who claims he was jumped for simply saying "Excuse me, how are you doing?"
conuly: (Default)
NY1 is now giving Seven Day Forecasts instead of five. I'm a bit intimidated.
conuly: (Default)
Depends on how much they overbooked it, right? *dramatic eyeroll* I obviously can't wait on line for hours and hours with the kid, so instead I'm going to drop Ana off with Jenn, and head there myself. Although I'll be done with the kid *later* than usual, I'll be by the area far *earlier* than I'd be if I wait for 'dul - he's supposed to be home by 4:30, he's often not, the earliest boat I could possibly catch is the 5:00, meaning I'd be in Manhattan no earlier than 5:25, and then I'd still have to head up to 34th street. No fun there.

The official synopsis is as follows:

Joss Whedon, the Oscar® - and Emmy - nominated writer/director responsible for the worldwide television phenomena of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE, ANGEL and FIREFLY, now applies his trademark compassion and wit to a small band of galactic outcasts 500 years in the future in his feature film directorial debut, Serenity. The film centers around Captain Malcolm Reynolds, a hardened veteran (on the losing side) of a galactic civil war, who now ekes out a living pulling off small crimes and transport-for-hire aboard his ship, Serenity. He leads a small, eclectic crew who are the closest thing he has left to family –squabbling, insubordinate and undyingly loyal.

Hate to say it, but the official synopsis sucks.

Firstly, the way they state it makes it sound as though this movie is something altogether new. It's not, of course - it's the movie that has to do with Firefly. (I mean, duh!)

And it makes the whole thing sound a lot sappier than the show was, and hopefully the movie is. I mean, c'mon, does this look like a sappy movie? I didn't think so.

As for undyingly loyal... right. I'm sure Jayne would be tickled to be described as undyingly loyal after the way he betrayed them.

Well, youse all know what Firefly is, I don't have to describe the show to you. Which is good, because I hate doing that sort of thing. Come to think of it, youse all know about this movie by now, and already know if you're seeing it or not. So I'm promoting it why, exactly? Oh right. Because if I'm really good, I get a Jayne hat. Wait, no... Oh right. Because I might not *get* to see the movie, so I have to talk about it before it shows. I got $100 from my grandmother, and I'm spending it on shoes, pants, and maybe a shirt. Not even a new bra, which I also need. (And I guess a book or two for Ana would come out of that $100. I'm thinking Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Where the Wild Things Are. Love those books.)

So, basically, it's like this: I like Firefly. It's a good show. It's interesting. It could've gone farther than it did. (Same thing for Gargoyles, which was also struck down before its time, but that's another rant....) So I want to see the movie. If you haven't seen Firefly, I suggest you either watch it now or ignore me. Whatever.

*checks watch*

Yeah, I've typed enough. I was going to download some pretty pictures, but they couldn't be opened. I'll find other pictures later, and demand icons or something. Because I'm a whiny, demanding person. Plus, getting fascinated with stuff like this is a good distraction from worrying about the recent spate of hurricanes. I know people... a person, rather... in Galveston, I have family (well, I have an uncle we don't talk to or about, and a grandmother who might be dead years ago, and my father's grave) in Texas. I don't want to worry.

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