Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Test Day

I had my LP today. It was absolutely horribly, so I never want to do that again. I was told to expect the results in 4-6 weeks which sucks ass. I have an appointment for the beginning of February. At the moment that is all the updates I have.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Moving, the election, MS and a Jag

Hello all. I am sorry I disappeared on you, again. Here are some updates:

In October, I moved. I don't know if I told everyone I was moving. It took me less than a week to get everything where I wanted it. It seems to get quicker every time. However, it doesn't get any easier to be ripped away from friends you came to care about and start over in a new place every couple of years.

Moving on to the election...
I know you guys wanted to know what I thought about the big, historic moment. Well, I am not sure how I feel. Obama is definitely a step up from Bush and no one can deny the historical implications of his being elected, but he is pretty centrist and in my opinion too status quo. I am in a watch and wait mode. I am not going to get excited about anything until I see some solid proof that there will be real change.

I would have posted something sooner but I have been to a billion doctors over the last few months, so it has been really stressful for me lately. I developed tinnitus in my right ear and went to my PCM about it in early September. My PCM referred me to an ENT. The ENT referred me to an audiologist and a neurologist and also set me up with an appointment for an MRI on my brain. My audiologist said my hearing was fine. I just had the MRI last Thursday and saw the neurologist on Monday. The neurologist had the MRI results and said he thinks I have MS (multiple sclerosis), because the MRI found lesions on my brain consistent with MS and my symptoms are consistent with MS. And no, this has nothing to do with the tinnitus that started this whole thing, the MRI showed nothing that would cause that. I go back on Wednesday of next week to get a lumbar puncture to try to confirm MS.

Finally, the Jag.
With everything that is going on, especially medically, there is something that has managed to make me feel better. I brought home this baby on Friday, the day after my MRI:

Monday, August 4, 2008

Food Not Bombs

This weekend I fed about 200 people. It was one of the most depressing and yet uplifting experiences of my life. I am going to do it again next weekend.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Recently there was a shooting in Knoxville, TN at a Unitarian Universalist Church. The guy that did it wrote in a manifesto of sorts that he was motivated by his hatred of liberals. I am sure you have all heard about it.

Things like this are why I am always paranoid of being openly liberal in the South. I have heard stories of people being beat up and harassed for their beliefs, and now we have a mass shooting.

I wanted to bring that up as a preface to a recent event that occurred to my husband and I. For the first time in my life, I had a gun pointed at me. Here is how I ended up at the wrong end of a handgun:

I went to Alabama to visit my family for the 4th of July. I had only been there a couple of days when I noticed there was some friction in the neighborhood. The neighbors down the hill from my sister and her husband seemed to have some problem with them. The first incident I witnessed was the day they called to police on my sister because her dogs went near their land and supposedly seemed threatening. We all knew it was bull, and the cop seemed to be annoyed that he was bothered by such a trivial thing. Oh well, the neighbors are unfriendly assholes, no biggie. It's not like we have never had those neighbors before. So, we went on with our business.

This brings us to the 4th of July. It was getting late that night and there were fireworks going off in the neighborhood, like every year (although it is technically illegal within city limits.) Then, I started to hear something weird. It sounded like fireworks hitting the roof of the house. My husband and I went out to investigate. When we went out back we saw the first firecracker hit a pecan tree in my parent's yard. Then, we saw the the second (one of the big ones) go off at ground level in my sister's backyard only feet from her backdoor. It lit the entire backyard up. We saw that the people down the hill were aiming fireworks at my sister's house. We ran over there to tell them to stop. That is when we had a gun pulled on us.

The wife is the one who pulled out a handgun. The male just stood there and said "get off my land", although we were on my father's land. My husband was the first to notice the handgun pointed at him. He said that having a gun pointed at him made him uncomfortable and asked if she would kindly put it away. That is when she went all right wing nutso on us, saying, "it's my right to carry a gun, you can't take my rights away." Seriously, she said that. So, we stood there longer than most people would have if there was a gun pointed at them and continued to ask them to be careful where they are pointing their fireworks. After we left, they packed everything up and went inside.

Anyway, you might wonder how this story ties into the above story. Well, it turns out that the animosity towards my sister started when she got a Wiccan bumper sticker on her car. She dared to be openly Wiccan. These people were simply following the trend of expressing fear of what is different in the form of hatred and violence. As a result, I had a gun pointed at me on the 4th of July.

A few days after the incident the woman gun toter came to my dad and apologized for "the gun thing". She claimed that the reason she pulled a gun on us was that she was afraid for her husband's life. See, he was in Iraq and now has a pin in his back and she thought we were going to hurt him and she said that they had accidentally shot all those firecrackers at our houses. Yeah right. Why was her first response to pull a gun on her neighbors if they were innocently shooting fireworks and accidentally shot some at our houses?

Of course, they are patriotic, gun loving, Christian, conservative Americans. And that gives them the right to pull guns on their neighbors because they thought that they were above the law and common decency since he was injured in Iraq. I said that night that I was done. I disown Alabama and the South in general.

Monday, July 28, 2008


It is almost August and I haven't posted a single picture of this year's garden. I have seriously been neglecting this blog. I guess there is a lot going on here, but that really isn't it completely. I just don't have the motivation anymore. The more it looks like things aren't going to change, the more distant I get.

Anyway, here are some pics:

Maybe soon I will put up some pictures of the actual garden. I just haven't taken any in about a month. I have gotten tons of tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers this year. The first plate of tomatoes pictured went into some homemade spiced tomato jam that I jarred. The second picture is just what I have picked in the last week. I will find something to do with those shortly. Although I did use some of them, along with the basil I grow, to make some bruschetta the other day. (This picture was actually taken after I made the bruschetta)

Here are a few more pics I have on hand of some of the other things I grew this year:

Other than gardening, I have recently been house hunting. I will be moving in just two months. It has been hard to find anything affordable. I am currently in sticker shock. It has been almost impossible to find something less than 1000 dollars a month to rent. That means that in two months, my rent will go up by about 400 dollars a month (at least). Ridiculous. We may just get lazy and live on base. It will be more convenient and the commute will be shorter. However, we will have to shell out over 1300 a month to live there.

So, hopefully, this will be more than just a monthly update. I may not write a lot about politics necessarily, but I am definitely going to try to be around more often.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Life Changes

Sometimes too many things happen at once and you can only struggle to keep up. So, here is month of May, so far, in a nutshell:

1. My mother, father, and sister came to visit for a week.
2. At the end of that week we attended my husband's graduation and commissioning.
3. My mom stayed for another week because my husband and I were planning to go to Alabama to buy land anyway.
4. The day before we were going to leave for Alabama, my cat started having seizures. We took him to the emergency vet.
5. The next day, I stayed behind to care for my cat, my husband and mom headed out.
6. The day after that, I was officially a land owner.
7. The next night, my cat's condition got worse.
8. Husband rushed home the following morning. That evening, my cat was taken to the emergency vet and stayed another night.
9. Yesterday, picked my cat up from the emergency vet and transported him to neurologist in a nearby state and left him there for the night so they can monitor him.
10. Tomorrow I will find out what the neurologist has to say.

To sum up, the blog had to take a backseat for a few weeks. My head is still spinning trying to take in all that has happened since May 1st. This is probably the first break I have had since then and it is a brief one. Tomorrow I will hopefully know more about my cat's condition and more changes may come. So, at the moment I cannot deal with much more than what I am already dealing with. I am hoping that soon life will be back to normal because that would mean that everything turned out fine.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Land of the Free?

From the New York Times: Inmate Count in U.S. Dwarfs Other Nations

The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population. But it has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners.

Indeed, the United States leads the world in producing prisoners, a reflection of a relatively recent and now entirely distinctive American approach to crime and punishment.
Indeed, said Vivien Stern, a research fellow at the prison studies center in London, the American incarceration rate has made the United States “a rogue state, a country that has made a decision not to follow what is a normal Western approach.”
Unfortunately, most of the rest of the article is crap. Once they move from stating numbers to analyzing them, the article goes downhill. The conclusion they come to is that the high incarceration rate is due to our democracy. Utter garbage. What they, not surprisingly, fail to mention is the privatization of our prisons and the rise of for profit prisons in the US over the same time period that the prison population started rising. They also don't mention the racist factor to our prison system. For example, while African Americans make up a small minority of our overall population, they constitute a much larger percentage of our prisoners.

So, just look at the numbers and ask yourself, are we really a free country?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

SC Insanity

"His name is so close to Osama I feeling might be Islamic therefore he doesn't recognize Christ," Pastor Byrd said.

If you think the story is ridiculous, you must read the comments. Here is an example:

Russia still has a large nuclear arsenal. Barack Hussein Obama is a muslim name. If Americans elect Obama this country deserves to be nuked.
Is it just me or do you also feel like you are surrounded by crazies? One day I will leave this state and never look back.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


An unfortunately common conversation at the University of South Carolina:

Random Guy: "We have to do everything we can to protect Israel because the Bible says..."

My husband: "Yes, we should base all of our foreign policy on a book of mythology."

Random Guy: [visibly shocked] "You don't believe in the Bible?!?!"

My husband: No.

Random Guy: "I see you are wearing a wedding ring. You should get divorced. Marriage is a Christian construct and if you do not believe in the Bible, then you shouldn't get married." [Blah, blah, blah, more religious nonsense, etc...]

My husband: "You think Christians are the only people in the world who get married?"

Random guy: [obviously puzzled because the concept of marriage across all cultures and religions had never crossed his mind] "I don't want to talk about this anymore, I don't want to get in a shouting match."

[End Conversation]

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Do Something

On Friday, Bush outwardly admitted to approving torture, yet the media is silent like it has been about every other important issue over the past 7 years. The illegal war is still raging, harsh interrogation techniques (read torture) are still being used, and our rights are being destroyed. Yet, the majority of Americans continue to be misinformed and silent. Do we fall into apathy? Or, do we do something?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Hour

"On March 29, 2008 at 8 p.m., join millions of people around the world in making a statement about climate change by turning off your lights for Earth Hour, an event created by the World Wildlife Fund.

We invite everyone throughout North America and around the world to turn off the lights for an hour starting at 8 p.m. (your own local time)–whether at home or at work, with friends and family or solo, in a big city or a small town.

Join people all around the world in showing that you care about our planet and want to play a part in helping to fight climate change."

Kicks off in half an hour on the east coast. Maybe next year we should combine this event with the orgasm for peace event. Gotta go, I'm going dark.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Iraq War Anniversary

I feel that I should say something about the war/occupation/insanity that is still ongoing. But I am at a loss for words. So, for now, I guess I will leave you with this:

For Fuck's sake, this shit hasn't ended yet!!? How many years has it been!!? Do people even care anymore!!? Fuck!

Defending Hillary...kinda

I have this neighbor who is always coming over here trying to convert my husband and I. She leaves behind her ridiculous tracts that say things like "atheists(communists) are oppressing Christians." We usually politely decline the tracts and she explains that if we just read them, we will "know the truth." They end up being left at my house anyway and then are taken straight to the trash. However, we tolerate her to an extent because she is in her eighties.

However, the other day she came over to give us some tracts and she asked if we had been following politics (after she had earlier proclaimed that Bush is a fine president). We explained that we had. She said that she pays attention to politics and then said that she had heard that "Clinton's wife" was "running for governor or something." Then we informed her that she was in fact running for President. And that is when she exceeded my toleration level because the next thing out of her mouth was that she didn't agree with a woman being president because women are supposed to be a man's "helpmate" and that woman can't have authority over men because her precious book and church told her so. So, I told her that hell yeah a woman could be president and that women are just as capable as men. Then I told her to get out of my house.

I have tolerated her berating me for being an atheist. My husband and I tolerated her even though she said that science had ruined my husband and that he needed to find Jesus and rid himself of the evil science. I have tolerated her showering us with tracts from a creationist think tank. But, I will not tolerate her saying that I am a second class citizen because I happened to be born with a vagina!

(Btw, I still have no desire to ever vote for Hillary. But, it is not because her nether regions.)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Unpeople of the World Unite

Noam Chomsky: Why is Iraq Missing from 2008 Presidential Race?

A few days ago, the New York Times—the military and Iraq expert of the New York Times, Michael Gordon, wrote a comprehensive review, first-page comprehensive review, of the options for Iraq that are being faced by the candidates. And he went through them in detail, described the pluses and minuses and so on, interviewing political leaders, the candidates, experts, etc. There was one voice missing: Iraqis. Their preference is not rejected; rather, it’s not mentioned. And it seems that there was no notice of that fact, which makes sense, because it’s typical. It makes sense on the tacit assumption that underlies almost all discourse on international affairs. The tacit assumption, without which none of it makes any sense, is that we own the world. So, what does it matter what others think? They’re “unpeople,” nice term invented by British diplomatic historian [Mark] Curtis, based on a series of outstanding volumes on Britain’s crimes of empire—outstanding work, therefore deeply hidden. So there are the “unpeople” out there, and then there are the owners—that’s us—and we don’t have to listen to the “unpeople.”...
It’s only the position of the large majority of the population, kind of like national healthcare, but not of the people that count. So there are plenty of “unpeople” here, too—in fact, the large majority. Americans share this property of being “unpeople” with most of the rest of the world. In fact, if the United States and Iran were functioning, not merely formal, democracies, then this dangerous crisis might be readily resolved by a functioning democracy—I mean, one in which public opinion plays some role in determining policy, rather than being excluded—in fact, unmentioned, because, after all, they’re “unpeople.”
Read the entire thing to get honest commentary on the state of things. I only highlighted the parts about unpeople, but there is a lot more interesting things in this speech. As an unperson myself, I thought I would focus on this portion at the moment. Also, read the entire thing to get more context. The first paragraph and the second paragraph have little to do with one another other than the "unpeople" part. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Establishing a Legacy

We’ve all heard Bush’s claim that history will treat him well, and we’ve heard that he’s spending this last year building his “legacy” as President. He is operating under the impression that a fa├žade of fiscal conservatism roughly applied at the end of his term will be what history remembers him for, not illegally invading a country or two, authorizing torture of prisoners, or willfully disregarding the Constitution and doing away with the legal and philosophical foundations of Western Civilization. And yet, even his fiscal “responsibility” is not shaping up to leave a legacy his country, much less his children, can be proud of.

Bush issued a 5-year, $3.6 billion cut to Medicaid through a “shift in federal reimbursement policy” for special needs children in public schools around the country. This was not routed through Congress, and will be in effect by next school year if Congress doesn’t intervene. Bush has no problem paying $12 billion a month to kill people around the world, but $53 million a month for special ed students is suddenly something the schools should be paying as part of their education mission.

LEGACY: Bush tells retarded kids to buy their own damn short bus.

This month’s issue of Scientific American gives us the next piece of Bush’s fiscally “responsible” legacy. Late last year, Bush demanded that Congress present him a budget that did not go over his arbitrary spending limit or he would veto the entire budget. Never mind that Bush has yet to include the cost of killing people around the world in his annual budget request, instead relying on “emergency supplementals” that he requests from Congress whenever it is politically expedient to remind the country we are at “war”. Congress had to scurry to find cuts to make to account for the positive additions they had included. Unfortunately, they chose to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the Department of Energy’s scientific research budget, including around $100 million from high-energy physics research at our national labs. Fermilab will have to lay off 200 employees by June, with everyone else taking days of unpaid leave every month. They are mothballing NOvA till at least next year, and our bid to build the ILC in America is dead before the ink dried on the proposals. ‘"The ILC will go forward, but the U.S. will fall behind," says Barry Barish, director of the global design effort for the collider.’ These were the big upcoming projects scheduled at the nation’s premier accelerator lab that would give the scientists there a purpose after Tevatron closes in a few years, supplanted by a higher-energy accelerator at CERN coming on line later this year. ‘"The greatest impact is on the future of the lab," [Fermilab’s director, Pier] Oddone says. "We have no ability now to develop our future."’ SLAC in California faces layoffs as well, and an early end to BaBar experiments. Argonne faces similar budget shortfalls. The US has also backed out on its pledge of $160 million to an international project testing the feasibility of nuclear fusion power plants. Again, that project will go forward with or without American cooperation and funding assistance. The question for our political leadership is this: Do we want to be at the bleeding edge of cool science, developing the new technologies that have useful, society-improving applications, or do we want to be like one of those poor countries still using gas centrifuges to enrich uranium in 2008?

I haven’t checked, but I bet the Homeland Security and nuclear weapons projects at Los Alamos are in fine shape.

To counter claims that their immigration fears are founded in racism and fear of the brown man, Republicans claim that they don’t mind immigration, so long as the immigrants are smart and rich. Mark Messier of Indiana University, one of the spokesmen for NOvA, said "The signal this sends is, 'Go do your research somewhere else.'" These policies will deter exactly the kind of immigrants they claim to want from coming to the US for education and research, and it will begin to drive out American scientists, forcing them to other countries to accomplish their research.

Basic research into unanswered questions is the spark of new technology. New technology is rarely generated out of old knowledge. Sure, Congress may say, “I don’t know the difference between a muon neutrino and an electron neutrino, so let’s cut that experiment.” But when that experiment unlocks the answer to why matter dominates the universe instead of anti-matter, which gives us clues into how to generate anti-matter more efficiently, which leads to powerful compact energy sources to transport us to other planets, it doesn’t really matter what Congressman Schmuckatelli (idiot-BFE) does or does not understand.

This doesn’t even get into the attempt to force privatization on the nation’s scientific infrastructure or face closures. Arecibo, the largest single dish telescope in the world, was told last year to find its own source of funding in the private sector, because the nation apparently cannot scrounge up $1 million a year to fund the radio telescope’s operations. The staff has said this essentially kills all chance of continued operations at that site because the chance of finding a donor is almost zero. It appears the study of cosmology is not terribly profitable.

Politicians are at least discussing issues surrounding our nation’s science education. But they need to understand that if the only jobs available for scientists coming out of college are in the weapons industry, the nation is going to lose out on the best theorists, researchers, engineers, professors, and experimentalists who will go to another country where the pursuit of knowledge is valued as an end in itself, rather than as a means to kill people more efficiently.

LEGACY: Bush cuts jobs, creates a reverse brain drain, and drops our science community’s standing in the world to save a few bucks now, costing us time and knowledge, priceless commodities in the search to understand the world we live in.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I Hate the Primaries and Election Season

Why have I been absent for a while? Maybe because what I have to say isn't interesting or "relevant" at the moment. I am not picking apart candidates or endorsing a candidate either. All I have to write about is now considered old news and looking in the past when I should be looking forward. To what? More of the same? Why isn't anyone talking about the war anymore? Why wasn't there more outrage at the government's admittance that our country engages in torture? Why is our government still spying on us? Why hasn't Bush been impeached yet? Why isn't anyone talking about the coming kangaroo trial in Guantanamo where evidence gained through torture will be admissible? That got a blurb on some sites, sandwiched between the latest stories on Obama and Clinton.

I don't care about who is the shrillest, coolest, most charismatic, most so-called experienced, etc. What are their foreign policies and how do they differ from the current clusterfuck? I also don't care to partake in the debate about which supporters of what camp are more rude, mean, cult-like, etc. Who the fuck cares, really. Why can't anyone talk about important things?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Better late than never?

It is closing in on five years since the Bush administration decided to preemptively attack Iraq. During the months preceding the invasion, the media outlets acted as cheerleaders. During the war, the media outlets were cheerleaders. And after the war, mainly still cheerleaders. But, what the media had not done is actually investigate how and why we ended up in Iraq. Many bloggers have done more research and taken a more in depth look at the war than the main stream media has.

Five years later we finally have a report by the Center for Public Integrity detailing all the false statements that were made by top officials in the Bush administration in the run up to the war. Although I am very refreshed to see what I have been trying to tell people for years put in an online database by what is considered a reputable source, I am still a little upset that it took five years for some 'reputable source' to put together a project like this. I point out 'reputable source' because I know that there have been innumerable amounts of people who have written books, blogs, alternative newspapers, etc. about this subject since the beginning. But, we all know that it takes a 'reputable source' to officially point this out for the mainstream media to take it seriously. Basically, they have to have their hands forced.

So, here it is in all its 'late to the scene' glory:
The War Card: Orchestrated Deception on the Path to War

Here is an interesting chart from the website:

To me, this is enough evidence for impeachment. Unfortunately, in five years, no one took the time to put this together until less than a year before Bush leaves office. Why is it that this kind of information wasn't taken seriously until now? Most of this was common knowledge to people paying attention. But, enough ranting. It's out there now. Let's see if the main stream media picks it up. So far, Reuters has written about it. That's a start.

Now that this is out there, can some group go through the trouble of outlining how international and domestic laws were broken in the waging of this invasion?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


With primaries now in full swing and an election nearing, I find that recently I just don't give a damn. It seems more and more likely every day that things will not change. Instead of thinking about the possibilities of a better country here, I have recently resigned myself to thinking about what country I will move to when my husband leaves the military. Honestly, the prospect of moving somewhere that has national health care, a healthy democratic system, and a more peaceful populace has been a lot nicer than chronicling the fall of this nation.

So, here is the challenge:
Convince me that there is anything left to give a damn about. Convince me that I actually matter in the entire contrived process of elections in this country. And convince me that there will be some change as far as foreign policy or health care that will make it worth staying here.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

I'm Back

Sorry for the long absence. I meant to write something telling you I was going on vacation. I went to Alabama where I had no access to internet. (Hard to imagine there are still places where there is no internet, eh?)

When I returned home, my internet service was not working. I got the cable guy out here and he fixed the problem. It had something to do with the grounding wire for my cable being sketchy, so they replaced it and everything is up and running.

Hope everyone had a nice holiday. And I hope everyone had fun celebrating the fact that the Earth is still stuck in its solar orbit.