Sunday, August 31, 2008

fun fact

Nebraska is the only state with a unicameral state legislature.

one more reason to heart The Coffee Bean

Upon filling my shiny blue Obama thermos with iced coffee at The Coffee Bean this afternoon, I was delighted to find that I could purchase a bag of beans and have it sent overseas to our troops--and I even got to write my own message on the bag.

When you face inadequate protection and supplies on the ground, and sub-par health/psychological treatment at home...I think it's nice to know that civilians not only urge political action to to remedy these deficiencies but also send goodies when they can.

more on Palin

Interesting guest post by Dan Conley, a former speech writer for Virginia Gov. Doug Wilder and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley from Political Wire.
The debate over Gov. Sarah Palin has devolved into something very typical -- jokes about her relative inexperience, followed up by righteous indignation over the "condescension" being shown towards her. Both sides are missing the real point.
We voters simply do not -- and will not -- know enough about Governor Palin by election day to make an informed decision about her.

By choosing a candidate with no public record on any foreign policy issues and most domestic policies, McCain has insulated his campaign from any attacks on his Vice Presidential ideology. Palin is known purely for her positions on Alaskan issues and a few cultural issues she has decided to become known for.

Now that she's the VP nominee, Palin will just assume all of John McCain's positions on foreign and domestic policies. It's what a VP candidate always does. But in this case, when she has never been asked to express her opinions or her thinking behind those views, we're left with a terrifying national scenario -- if John McCain were to die shortly after taking office, we would elevate someone to the Presidency who could be in support of anything ... fill in the blank.

If the McCain campaign is being truthful and did in fact vet Palin fully, then they are guilty of hiding Palin. Unlike other longshot candidates like Bobby Jindal, she was kept off the campaign trail and away from the Sunday talk circuit. What they've done is taken the well-developed GOP strategy for Supreme Court justices ... drop them into Circuit Court slots shortly before tapping them for the top job ... to avoid a paper trail which could cause a public backlash...

what does Palin contribute? not money

Aside from her being young and having a vagina to counter his male senior citizenry, Palin doesn't do much else. In fact, she can't even help rake in the dough. As the Los Angeles Times put it:
Campaign finance reports show she raised $1.43 million from 2001 to 2006 -- less than what a winning race for a seat in the California state Assembly easily could cost.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

become a poll worker

I have served as precinct inspector in two different elections, and I tell you what drives my passion for volunteering is witnessing first-hand how many not-so-bright people are running the polls.

The integrity of our elections is paramount in preserving democracy--so please, one precinct at a time, can we get some competent people up in here?

Not to mention, voter turnout already sucks in America, and I think it would be more encouraging for pessimistic or first-time voters to come back to the polls later if precincts ran smoothly and pleasantly, rather than confused and ill-managed.

To volunteer as a poll worker or precinct inspector, contact your secretary of state or county clerk's office.

Monday, August 25, 2008

heterosexism in the class room

I was irked today when my professor was talking about women and extra-marital relations, and referenced these extra-marital partners as men.

The underlying assumption would be that women seek affairs only with men. That is a bias and inaccurate assessment of reality. Had the topic not moved too quickly and closed my window of opportunity, I would have enjoyed correcting him.

does a black president eradicate race as an issue?

Interesting read in the NY Times as to whether or not race will be perceived as a non-issue if we finally elect a black president.
“If Obama becomes the president, every remaining, powerfully felt black grievance and every still deeply etched injustice will be cast out of the realm of polite discourse,” wrote Lawrence Bobo, a black sociologist at Harvard University, who supports Mr. Obama and was outlining in the essay the concerns of some friends and colleagues. “White folks will just stop listening.”

...The concerns have been driven in part by opponents of affirmative action who argue that race-based preferences in education and the workplace are increasingly irrelevant given the accomplishments of Mr. Obama and the growing black middle class.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mexico City struggles to provide abortions

Although Mexico City made abortions legal last year, 85% of gynecologists are conscientious objectors. So much more reducing illegal abortion clinics and dangerous infection-prone back-alley procedures.

Protect reproductive freedom in California--NO ON PROP 4

For the third time, reproductive freedom is threatened in California. Proposition 4 seeks to amend the California Constitution, and specifically:
The initiative would prohibit abortion for unemancipated minors until 48 hours after physician notifies minor’s parent, legal guardian or, if parental abuse has been reported, an alternative adult family member.
Let's stop trying to control the reproductive organs of others.

club hopping, hip hop & cardio

Let me be frank, I am generally a top-twenty hip hop fan. I like the sounds, I like the beats, and I like to dance for hours. Plus, it's fun to pick up on a song because it plays allllllllll the time, and then hear it at night going out. And since it becomes the music one hears going out and having a hoopla, it naturally becomes an appropriate choice for a work-out shuffle, where it's all about getting pumped. It is exactly at this point when songs reach my ipod that the trouble begins.

For those readers who know me as a real person and not only as an abstract blogging persona, you will know that I am pretty much out-to-lunch, lost in my head, and out of touch with most surroundings. Clearly then, when I hear a song playing (radio edit, mind you), I can barely understand the lyrics, let alone process what the hell the song is really talking about.

Here is where the cycle begins. Songs drift into my consciousness in the background, I pick up a scant few verses, I go out clubbing with my friends, I have a great time--I put the song on my ipod. Then I get to the gym, and by now I have the explicit version, and the gym is the only place where my head in semi-clear. In short, I finally hear what the song is even saying.

This brings me to a few weeks ago, when I was very excited to have uploaded my faaaavvvoorrritteeee song to dance to, A Milli by Lil Wayne. I can't tell you how pumped that song gets me, and no matter what mood I'm in, it always gets me ready to go out. But there I am on the elliptical, and what do I hear?

Damn I hate a shy Bitch
Don't u hate a shy bitch
Yeah I ate a shy bitch
She ain't shy no more
She changed her name to My bitch

uuuuuuggggghhhhhhhhhhhh. All of the sudden the same feelings that I felt when I learned what "superman that hoe" means came rushing back. Are you serious? So you hate someone for not being sexually available to you and drooling all over your bling bling? Is it really cool to regard women as property? It is really cool to use some perceived sexual prowess as a means of control?

Here's another good part:

I'm a venereal disease
Like a menstrual bleed

Love the fact that a natural biological process is likened to a disease.

It just pains me because I really like the song. Oh the conflict I feel.

meet Joe Biden

Saturday, August 23, 2008

"You Help Run The Country and Do Not Believe in Evolution?"

better to be fat and fit than skinny and unfit

Great post in the New York Times.  Here's the juice:

Last week a report in The Archives of Internal Medicine compared weight and cardiovascular risk factors among a representative sample of more than 5,400 adults. The data suggest that half of overweight people and one-third of obese people are “metabolically healthy.” That means that despite their excess pounds, many overweight and obese adults have healthy levels of “good” cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose and other risks for heart disease.

At the same time, about one out of four slim people — those who fall into the “healthy” weight range — actually have at least two cardiovascular risk factors typically associated with obesity, the study showed.

Blog Action Day 2008

Blog Action Day 2008 Poverty from Blog Action Day on Vimeo.

My friend Heart of Green tipped me off to this great project--using the power of the blogosphere to promote discussion, innovation, and humanitarianism. For one day, a pressing world issue will be chosen as a topic of discussion, and blogs around the world will begin the conversation with their readers.  On October 15th, the blogosphere will take on poverty.   

Friday, August 22, 2008

vegan vans!

check it out

PETA looking to buy Sea World

I really hope this goes through.  If the deal is successful, PETA will create marine sanctuaries, return animals to the wild, and replace animal exhibits with a virtual reality experience. 

I wish PETA could overhaul zoos as well.

funeral preparations

Although pre-mature death is a cultural taboo (a "god forbid," if you will), it would be silly to live life as if we all expire at an old age.  I am very aware that despite my youth, I could die at any time.  Actually, that fact encourages me to live a more rewarding lifestyle, as any day could be the last.

Given this reality, I recently had a conversation with my dad about how I would like my body to be handled in the event of my sudden and premature death.  Particularly for those who would like preparations different than cultural or familial traditions, voicing these desires is important at any age.

Of course, there is an appropriate legal process that can guarantee one's wishes, but I think that if nontraditional methods are desired, it would be easier for the family to already be aware.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

twice as many women childless

One in five American women does not reproduce--a figure which has doubled in one generation.

While it is inconclusive whether this is due to personal choice or fertility complications, it is clear that:

Not only are highly educated women delaying pregnancy, but they are also more likely to remain childless...That compares with just 15% - less than one in six - for women who did not complete their schooling...The findings also highlight the shrinking of the average American family. In 1976, women on average had 3.1 children, but that figure had fallen by 2006 to 1.9 children.

Who knew there was more to life than making babies and statistically being responsible for disproportionate, uncompensated, and under-valued house work and childcare? 

full story

campaign to lower drinking age

educators are banding together claiming that the drinking age encourages binge drinking and prevents honesty discussion among under-age students about safety and moderation

read more

Monday, August 18, 2008

fighting effects of cancer with fitness

Gym classes designed for cancer patients speed up recovery and lessen effects of chemo.

weight is not a reliable barometer of health

New research reaffirms what has been apparent all along--weightism and image in western society obscure ideas of "health" to the detriment of being healthy all together.
Many overweight and obese people are metabolically healthy, while large
numbers of slim people have health problems typically associated with obesity, a
new study shows...

While it’s long been known that it’s better to be fit and fat than
being thin and sedentary, the new data are believed to be the first time
researchers have documented the unreliability of body size as an indicator for
overall health.

Study author MaryFran Sowers, a University of Michigan obesity
researcher, told The Associated Press that the results show that stereotypes
about body size can be misleading, and that even ‘’less voluptuous'’ people can
have risk factors commonly associated with obesity.
Dr. Sowers said that
when it comes to weight and health risks, “We’re really talking about taking a
look with a very different lens.'’ (

Sunday, August 10, 2008

leave of absence

Dear readers,

Unfortunately I will be taking a leave of absence. The Colonic will be back full force later--it's just I can't stand to see myself post only half-heartedly.

I imagine this will be only a brief break, and then it's back to socio-political detox.

Please stay tuned.

The Colonic

Friday, August 8, 2008

religion and disease

The Economist featured a great read on the interaction of disease and social behavior--suggesting that the former might drive the latter.
Their hypothesis is that in places where disease is rampant, it behoves groups not to mix with one another more than is strictly necessary, in order to reduce the risk of contagion. They therefore predict that patterns of behaviour which promote group exclusivity will be stronger in disease-ridden areas. Since religious differences are certainly in that category, they specifically predict that the number of different religions in a place will vary with the disease load.

men adopt twice as often as women

But among men who adopt, they generally do so through adopting the children of a second spouse, or in same-sex relationships.  Women in same-sex relationships are capable of having their own children. 

Despite cultural trends toward adoption by gay men, men who have never been married are far less likely to have adopted a child than are currently or formerly married men.

And here's another interesting statistic: Men who adopt are more likely to have fathered a child than men who do not adopt. For the other sex, it's the other way around: Women who have never had a child are more likely to adopt than are those who have given birth. (full article)

so lame but so entertaining

I like that Paris responded to McCain's ad--specifically the "wrinkly white-haired guy."

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Pineapple Express

While I appreciate James Franco's face, and while there were a handful of funny moments, there is nothing funny about substance abuse.  The movie is not about recreational drugs--it's about dependency.  There is nothing funny about that.  Addicts hurt themselves and the people who love them.  Fucking hilarious.  And let's glorify it in the process.  

Monday, August 4, 2008

California voters, support Prop 2!

It's times like these that make me very proud to live in California.

If you're only coming out in November to vote in the presidential, please pay attention to Proposition 2 as well.

If passed, it would require that farm animals have enough room in their cages to turn around, stand up, lie down, and extend their limbs freely. This would help alleviate the slow torture animals statistically encounter in farms--whether for their flesh, lactation, or ovulation--and also create safer food by having healthier conditions for animals.

If you are an apathetic voter all together, please show your support for this one initiative.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The One

What could be dumber than John McCain's attack on Obama comparing him to B. Spears and Paris Hilton?

His new ad, The One. You can watch it on the McCain site.