Let’s feel some good

Today, I don’t want to rant. I want to think happy thoughts, dammit. We got our refund from the IRS (THANK YOU SORCHA OUR MAGNIFICENT ACCOUNTANT) and that has encouraged me to be chipper.

In a new poll from Texas Tech University found that “slightly more Texans now support marriage equality in the state than oppose it”. Texas ain’t what one would call a “blue” state. No one says “Texas” and you think “hotbed of liberalism”. Nevertheless, marriage equality appeals to Texans. I think the GOP might want to scoot more toward the middle now, since their ideological platform has gotten too far to the right to fit cut the mustard in Texas.

Lupita Nyongo has been named People Magazine’s most beautiful person this year. Hell, yes! This will help fight the subconscious bias against dark skinned people still flowing in the lifeblood of American culture. In a world where they lighted Neil deGrasse Tyson’s skin for the cover of Mental Floss, this is good news.

The Gay Avenger. Please God, let this be a real dude.

Companies that pay workers something resembling a “living wage”, such as Shake Shack, Costco, and several others, are thriving.

The tumblr whatsit called WTF, Evolution? is a real thing in this world and that pleases me.

Finally, a woman has made a cake in the likeness of a unicorn farting a rainbow. The rainbow is even sparkly with glittery comestibles. If Fokkerites ever decide to have a convention (har) this is the desert centerpiece.

unicorn cake with rainbow fart

Posted in I like this, dammit., I've been thinking too much | 1 Comment

Stuff I Don’t Want To Know

I am sometimes a big ol’ fan of denial, especially if knowing something means I have to act in a way that inconveniences me. ALL human beings do this. We’re just that way. Sadly, Imma be pulling heads out of the sand today.

You know how I’m always bitching that no one has ever “proved” GMOs are “safe”; they are just assumed safe because no studies have been done proving them harmful because Big Ag won’t let those studies be done? Well, let us talk cell phones now.

According to Dr. Martin Blank our cell phones may not be totally benign. This guy is a PhD in physical chemistry from Columbia University and colloid science from the University of Cambridge who has been working at Columbia since the 1960s so he’s not some  dude wearing a tinfoil hat. Here’s a little of what he has to say:

“Cell phones generate electromagnetic fields (EMF), and emit electromagnetic radiation (EMR). They share this feature with all modern electronics that run on alternating current (AC) power (from the power grid and the outlets in your walls) or that utilize wireless communication. Different devices radiate different levels of EMF, with different characteristics … The science to date about the bioeffects (biological and health outcomes) resulting from exposure to EM radiation is still in its early stages. We cannot yet predict that a specific type of EMF exposure (such as 20 minutes of cell phone use each day for 10 years) will lead to a specific health outcome (such as cancer). Nor are scientists able to define what constitutes a “safe” level of EMF exposure. However, while science has not yet answered all of our questions, it has determined one fact very clearly—all electromagnetic radiation impacts living beings. As I will discuss, science demonstrates a wide range of bioeffects linked to EMF exposure. For instance, numerous studies have found that EMF damages and causes mutations in DNA—the genetic material that defines us as individuals and collectively as a species. Mutations in DNA are believed to be the initiating steps in the development of cancers, and it is the association of cancers with exposure to EMF that has led to calls for revising safety standards. This type of DNA damage is seen at levels of EMF exposure equivalent to those resulting from typical cell phone use … One review that averaged the data across 16 studies found that the risk of developing a tumor on the same side of the head as the cell phone is used is elevated 240% for those who regularly use cell phones for 10 years or more. An Israeli study found that people who use cell phones at least 22 hours a month are 50% more likely to develop cancers of the salivary gland (and there has been a four-fold increase in the incidence of these types of tumors in Israel between 1970 and 2006). And individuals who lived within 400 meters of a cell phone transmission tower for 10 years or more were found to have a rate of cancer three times higher than those living at a greater distance. Indeed, the World Health Organization (WHO) designated EMF—including power frequencies and radio frequencies—as a possible cause of cancer.”

This has, of course, caused consternation in the science & technology community. In fact, right this moment Sweet Babou is ranting about “fear mongering” because I asked him if my Bluetooth had less EMR than my cell phone. (He said it does.) I’m guessing Sweet Babou is very skeptical of data threatening his beloved thingamabobs and livelihood. He’s not alone. When Dr. Blank revealed the data collected thus far, “a well-known Ivy League professor said (without any substantiation) that the data I presented were “impossible.” He was followed by another respected academic, who stated (again without any substantiation) that I had most likely made some “dreadful error.” Not only were these men wrong, but they delivered their comments with an intense and obvious hostility. I later discovered that both men were paid consultants of the power industry—one of the largest generators of EMF.”

You know how the only significant scientific group that is not convinced of man-made climate change are economic  geologists who work for Big Oil? Yeah, like that.

This hostility was present even though Dr. Blank and his cohort have NEVER said “Let’s all go back to living in caves without electricity!” Rather, his “message is not to abandon gadgets—like most people, I too love and utilize EMF-generating gadgets. Instead, I want you to realize that EMF poses a real risk to living creatures and that industrial and product safety standards must and can be reconsidered. The solutions I suggest are not prohibitive. I recommend that as individuals we adopt the notion of “prudent avoidance,” minimizing our personal EMF exposure and maximizing the distance between us and EMF sources when those devices are in use. Just as you use a car with seat belts and air bags to increase the safety of the inherently dangerous activity of driving your car at a relatively high speed, you should consider similar risk-mitigating techniques for your personal EMF exposure. On a broader social level, adoption of the Precautionary Principle in establishing new, biologically based safety standards for EMF exposure for the general public would be, I believe, the best approach. Just as the United States became the first nation in the world to regulate the production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) when science indicated the threat to earth’s ozone layer—long before there was definitive proof of such a link—our governments should respond to the significant public health threat of EMF exposure. If EMF levels were regulated just as automobile carbon emissions are regulated, this would force manufacturers to design, create, and sell devices that generate much lower levels of EMF. No one wants to return to the dark ages, but there are smarter and safer ways to approach our relationship—as individuals and across society—with the technology that exposes us to electromagnetic radiation.”

I’m going to be getting his book, “Overpowered: What Science Tells Us About the Dangers of Cell Phones and Other Wifi-age Devices” , for this is something I would like to know more about.

I don’t think Sweet Babou is going to be happy about any “fear mongering” that might result.

Posted in I've been thinking too much, shit I think y'all should know | 2 Comments

Paula Muran is an asshat

Looky what new-ager, crystal-sucking, consciousness-raising, purveyor of “emotional sprays”, twatwaffle Paula Muran tweeted to a rape survivor:

Paula Muran is an asshat

Paula Muran’s website claims that she is an “expert at reading energy and patterns in the unconscious mind and nervous system” and that she “ carries the energy of the future that we strive to become. Her energy transmissions miraculously heal, and she provides a loving presence that gives an empowering experience to everyone. In her powerful teachings and insights, a modern method of enlightenment, Paula shows us how to release inner conflicts without a life of meditation.”

Huh.

Well, since she is so into enlightenment let me enlighten her a little then:

 

Dear Paula Muran,

Perpetuating the myth/ideology that a woman should be ashamed of being raped and keep it a secret because she was somehow to blame for her own assault is the rankest, lowest common denominator of patriarchy mandated victim blaming. It is rape culture support at its worst. It is repellent. You accused a rape victim of not “letting go of the past” because she stood up and demanded that a “celebrity” serial rapist not be allowed to speak in her community. You chastised her over the fact she refused to be the mute, shamed good-girl rape culture tells her to be. By your act of symbolic punishment (via verbal aggression) toward a rape victim who was resisting  rape culture, you have shown yourself to be a true anal fissure with the enlightenment qualities of a rancid hemorrhoid.

You toss cosmic salad.

Sincerely, Betty Fokker

PS – Fokk you, you vile asshat.

Posted in are you kidding me with this shit?, irony set on "stun", rape culture, victim blaming | 3 Comments

Spotty Internet and Rotten Wood

Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, it’s off to Lowe’s we go.

The Fokker dwelling has been diagnosed with water damage, AKA wood rot. Thus, the exterior of our abode must be coated with something. We can’t afford brick (more’s the pity) so it’s going to be all about the vinyl up in here. Happily, they now make vinyl siding that looks like stone. Like, you’d have to touch it to know it was fake looks like stone.

stacked-stone-siding-sedona bluff

I’m favoring the Sedona Bluff style.

I’m trying to look at the bright side of all this. By swapping the hardwood floors we were going to install with engineered hardwood floors, we can use the savings to do most of the vinyl siding. Sadly, one door and several windows also have to be replaced, so that means the vacation we had planned for June has gone buh-bye. I am reminding myself that this is disappointing, but in the grand scheme of things we are blessed beyond imagining so Imma not whine.

What IS making me whine, silly though it is to whine about, is the shitty interwebs access we’re getting from Comcast for the last two weeks. There are BIG patches of the day when there is not internet service at all and it makes me the sad. I have blogging to do, dammit.

On a positive note, the lack of internet meant that I was left with nothing to do (except sit on the couch and read all day which I’d LOVE to do but is not conducive to home-making or my writing career) is to clean out my closets and move furniture around. Them closets is organized now, y’all.

Now, we’ll see if Comcast can hold it’s shit together long enough for me to post this …

Posted in life as I know it | 2 Comments

Bundy Bullshit

Right. Here’s a quick sum up of what’s happening at the whole Bundy Thing in Nevada:

“For years, cattle rancher Cliven Bundy defied legal orders instructing him to remove his cattle from a publicly owned allotment of land in the Nevada desert. Bundy, who says he does not recognize the authority of the federal government, initiated a decades-long conflict in 1993 when he began refusing to pay grazing fees related to his cattle’s use of lands referred to as the Bunkerville allotment. An escalating series of judicial orders eventually led to the revocation of his grazing rights and orders to remove his cattle. In April, officers from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which stewards the land in question, began impounding the cattle in order to pay off the nearly $1 million Bundy owes in unpaid fines and grazing fees. The conflict reached a boiling point on Saturday, when Bundy and hundreds of protesters, including militia members, initiated a standoff with authorities. Violent rhetoric associated with the movement led BLM to abandon its efforts to round up the cattle.”

First, that twatwaffle Bundy does not, and has NOT EVER owned the land he claims is “his”, and he has a legal responsibility to pay the grazing fees:

“Cliven Bundy, the rancher whose cattle were rounded up and then released by the BLM over the weekend, claims that his family has used the land in question since 1880 but the Nevada Constitution pre-dates this by 16 years. When Nevada became a state in 1864, its citizens gave up all claims to unappropriated federal land and codified this in the state’s Constitution. The Nevada Constitution states: “Third. That the people inhabiting said territory do agree and declare, that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said territory, and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States; …..” [Furthermore] If Bundy “owns the land then where is the deed?  Where are the records he paid property taxes? It’s not his land. Bundy also claims that it his “right” to graze these BLM public lands.  This is not the case. The Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 specifically states that the issuance of a grazing permit does not confer any right to graze or right to own the land. The Taylor Grazing Act is the granddaddy of the U.S. laws governing grazing on federal land. “Taylor” was a rancher and a congressman from Colorado, hardly someone to want government tyranny over ranching.”

Thus, Bundy’s entire argument for “his” land is unmitigated bullshit. The asshat just doesn’t want to pay the grazing fees. The rumor going around the Far Right — the unholy trifecta of Right Wing Fears – that Harry Reid and a Chinese company want to put a solar plant there is also bullshit.

Secondly, the militia members out there threatening the federal government with machine guns are calling themselves “patriots”, and that chaps my ass like a sandy wind. People fighting FOR their country, like members of the armed forces of that country, are patriots you dumb fucks. You all are, at best, militant separatists. Feel free to call yourself “freedom fighters” but what you are is a pack of rabid terrorists.

Terrorism is “ 1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes. 2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization. 3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.”

You threatened the government with automatic weapons to get your own way. Not only that, you delusional shit-for-brains are willing to do HORRIBLE things to “prove” how “bad” the USA is.

“A former Arizona sheriff who supported a Nevada rancher in his land dispute with the federal government says he would have put women in the frontline if officers started shooting. Richard Mack, a Bundy supporter who served as sheriff of Graham County, Ariz., between 1988-1997, told Fox News on Monday about a planned strategy if “rogue federal agents” had opened fire. “We were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front,” he said on Fox News, according to TheBlaze.com. “If they are going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are going to be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers.” [Mack said ]“If they’re going to start killing people, I’m sorry, but to show the world how ruthless these people are, women needed to be the first ones shot. I’m sorry, that sounds horrible. I would have put my own wife or daughters there, and I would have been screaming bloody murder to watch them die. I would’ve gone next, I would have been the next one to be killed. I’m not afraid to die here. I’m willing to die here … But the best ploy would be to have had women at the front. Because, one, I don’t think they would have shot them. And, two, if they had, it would have been the worst thing that we could have shown to the rest of the world, that these ruthless cowards hired by the federal government will do anything.”

Okay, so the terrorists are willing to let noncombatants die so they can “prove” the evil of their enemy? How unsurprising.  Their ideologies are no different from that of Timothy McVeigh when he blew up the ATF building in Oklahoma. These wands of smelly hagfish slime are no different from the Islamic militant separatists they claim to despise. They are just as ready to resort to violence to “do the right thing” and get their way while still believing that they couldn’t possibly be the bad guys! Osama bin Laden also told his followers that they had to kill the evil people in the USA who were oppressing them. Bundy has the same spiel as Bin Laden. What patriotism!

The showdown on the Bundy ranch was a bunch of terrorists defending a liar and the only reason they weren’t blown to pieces was because our government (while containing many serious flaws) is not a despotic regime. Frankly, I think the yahoos aiming guns at federal officers need to be sent to Gitmo to serve time with their ideological brothers.

Posted in are you kidding me with this shit?, irony set on "stun", shit I think y'all should know | 5 Comments

Autism and Pollution

Well, there is a new kid in town that Big Oil and Big Chemical companies will want you to ignore. In fact, they would like you to ignore this even more than they want you to ignore Climate Change, which is saying something.

That new kid in town is the swelling volume of research linking autism spectrum disorders to pollution. A recent study in the PLOS Computational Biology Journal used data from the “health records of over 100 million Americans in an effort to shift research from almost exclusively genetic to include environmental factors … The report looked at birth defects associated with parental exposure to pollution and found a 1% increase in the defects corresponded to a 283% increase in autism.”

Autism is genetic and biologically complex and starts in the womb. Studies have shown that autism may also share some genetic risk factors with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and schizophrenia. It looks like the expression of these genes is “turned on” or worsened by exposure to pollution. God knows that the ranking of air pollution in cities overlaps neatly with “autism clusters”. How not surprising.

This information is not that new. Scientists have been finding links between pollution and autism for a while now. Is it being discussed nationally along with demands that the EPA do something about it? Nope.

My only child with Asperger’s, Lilo, was conceived and born in Dallas, TX. Texas has a hell of a lot of pollution, including ranking #1 in mercury pollution. My middle and third daughters were conceived and born in Indiana, which is also a high pollution state but still has just a little more than 1/2 the pollution Texas does. Moreover, the last two were born in a small town while Lilo was gestated in the middle of a city with air quality index in the red for MONTHS at a time. I also didn’t know (back in the dark ages of 2004/2005) the importance of organic food and high-quality Omega 3 fatty acids. By 2006/2007 I ate mostly organic and took Carlson’s fish oil daily. By the time I had Spock in 2010 I was an organic fanatic and ate Carlson’s fish oil capsules like they were candy.

We could afford organic food and mercury-free fish oil from Norway. WTF happens to the babies whose mother’s live in a big city and can’t afford the best nutrition? If a fetus is inside a poor women, do we just not give a shit?

Jesus wept.

Posted in daughters, health, life as I know it, motherhood, shit I think y'all should know | Leave a comment

Rape Culture and the Misapplication of Power

One of the MANY heinous things about rape culture is its message about power. To be able to demand/force sex from someone IS power according to rape culture. Therefore, it should be no surprise that according to a:

study, published in the journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 43% of high school boys and young college men reported they had an unwanted sexual experience, and 95% reported that a female acquaintance was the aggressor. “Sexual victimization continues to be a pervasive problem in the United States, but the victimization of men is rarely explored,” said the lead author, Dr. Breanna French. “Our findings can help lead to better prevention by identifying the various types of coercion that men face and by acknowledging women as perpetrators against men.”

This sucks. Rape is not about sex – it’s about power. The largely ignored world of female-male sexual assault is a fine example of some women trying to earn a stronger place in the patriarchy by conscripting a supposed “masculine” trait for their own empowerment. I am disgusted that some women do this, but not shocked.

Bill Maher, whose liberal politics don’t mitigate his sexism, upheld rape culture by mocking the entire concept of female-male sexual assault:

Bill Maher mentioned this research on last night’s “Real Time”. Unfortunately, it was in the sorta segment that straight up perpetuated the myth that all men want sex all the time. Where women get slut-shamed, men can’t because the double standard says that they’re always sluts. [He hit] on all the male victim tropes: the victim’s masculinity is called into question, the victim is told to be happy about getting laid, and the narrator talks about being desperate enough to sleep with someone vastly unsuitable. It ends off by calling male victimization “Lucky Bastard Syndrome”

“Lucky Bastard Syndrome” is no different from the rape “joke” that “if its gonna happen anyway, might as well lay back and enjoy it”. Both minimize the trauma of sexual assault and both perpetuate harmful gender ideologies that serve to reinforce the patriarchal hegemony.

Yet feminism it the one accused of hating men.

Posted in are you kidding me with this shit?, rape culture, shit I think y'all should know, slut shaming, victim blaming | Leave a comment