Monthly Archives: June 2006

Yeah, yeah, so I missed my (first) deadline.

However, there’s the faintest glimmer of …

Nice move.

Democrats: No raises for Congress until minimum wage is increased

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A week after the GOP-led Senate rejected an increase to the minimum wage, Senate Democrats on Tuesday vowed to block pay raises for members of Congress until the minimum wage is increased.

“We’re going to do anything it takes to stop the congressional pay raise this year, and we’re not going to settle for this year alone,” Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said at a Capitol news conference.

“They can play all the games the want,” Reid said derisively of the Republicans who control the chamber. “They can deal with gay marriage, estate tax, flag burning, all these issues and avoid issues like the prices of gasoline, sending your kid to college. But we’re going to do everything to stop the congressional pay raise.”

The minimum wage is $5.15 an hour. Democrats want to raise it to $7.25. During the past nine years, as Democrats have tried unsuccessfully to increase the minimum wage, members of Congress have voted to give themselves pay raises — technically “cost of living increases” — totaling $31,600, or more than $15 an hour for a 40-hour week, 52 weeks a year, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Now that’s some good politics. Vote against this measure, Repubs. I dare ya. I can see the TV political commercials now …

It’s a bird, it’s a plane

… no, it’s the latest summer blockbuster!

I surprised the super guy in my life with tickets to the premiere of Superman Returns. Fun show! Later this summer, we’re trekking up to Edmonton to check it out on the IMAX screen.

I spent most of the movie in a superhero-induced childhood flashback. There’s something about that theme music that brings back so many memories!

It also made me sad for Christopher Reeve — whenever Brandon Routh would be Clark Kent, he totally pulled off the Reeves look.

Interesting movie reviews:

  • Catch the spoiler-ridden (and completely missing the point) review of Roger Ebert here. My respect for Ebert is rapidly dwindling. Not only are his reviews stocked FULL of plot-spoilers, but he’s losing his critical touch. Case in point: Ebert gives the latest Garfield sequel and the third installment of the Fast and the Furious higher marks than this movie.
  • Another review to check out is the NY Times take on the film: Superman Returns to Save Mankind from its Sins. Interesting insights here. Just ask Jerry, in the first 10 minutes into the film, I leaned over to him and whispered: “Sounds a little Messianic, dontcha think?”
  • Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes also offer their insights.

Many spoilers could be revealed here, but I’ll hold off until they’ve made the rounds. Check out the movie, if only to catch a superhero in tights — it’s worth the 10 bucks.

Holding no punches

From Faith in America‘s latest advertising campaign — more ads to be found here.


The Neverending Party

[Robot Chicken's spoof of the Neverending Story]

Where are the mother-son "purity balls?"

In today’s AlterNet, there’s an article about the double standard present in most abstinence-only education programs. The whole article is worth a read, but here are some (not so?) surprising bits from it:

The U.S. government has a solution for unwanted pregnancies, AIDS and cervical cancer. It’s called abstinence education, and the government funds it to the tune of around $178 million per year. The only problem is that study after study shows that abstinence education has no effect on the rates of premarital sex or STD infection. Perhaps that’s because, as a 2004 report [pdf] from Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., showed, over 80 percent of federally funded abstinence programs contain false or misleading information about sex and reproductive health. But then abstinence-only education isn’t about keeping teens safe — it’s about reinforcing traditional gender roles and ensuring girls are “pure.”

Let’s not get started on how the many articles and studies that show teens who “take the challenge,” only to fail it (without any contraceptive use) months after signing a pledge.

The rest of the article pulls bits from the educational literature of these abstinence-only programs, and it reads like something out of Revolve:

Since girls don’t like sex, it’s their job to keep boys’ desire at bay and to be the arbiters of chastity. “Girls need to be aware they may be able to tell when a kiss is leading to something else. The girl may need to put the brakes on first in order to help the boy.” (Student Workbook, Reasonable Reasons to Wait) Because, after all, he can’t help himself. “A woman is far more attracted by a man’s personality while a man is stimulated by sight. A man is usually less discriminating about those to whom he is physically attracted.” (WAIT Training manual, Friends First)

The only messages put forward about boys’ sexuality is the idea that their urges are uncontrollable, and it’s up to young women not to “tease” them. “A guy who wants to respect girls is distracted by sexy clothes and remembers her for one thing. Is it fair that guys are turned on by their senses and women by their hearts?” (Sex Respect) Another classroom activity tells the story of Stephanie and Drew, a couple trying to save sex until marriage. Stephanie is too affectionate and wears tight clothing: “Drew likes her a lot, but lately keeping his hands off her has been a real job!” Even thought Stephanie has been clear that she doesn’t want to have sex, “her actions, however, are not matching her words.” (Why kNOw?) No means yes, anyone? In fact, when abstinence curricula contains information about sexual abuse or assault (which they often don’t), the message is similar. Girls should be preventing it, not boys.

Interesting that they should mention this whole “don’t let cause your brother to stumble” argument — the same responsibility is put on girls in several passages of Revolve. You’d think, now that we’re in the 21st century, we’ve moved PAST the whole “she asked for it” type of mentality — but apparently not.

Other conservative gender roles are pushed upon students, even when it’s not in reference to sexual education:

Other teachings reinforce traditional gender roles that have nothing to do with sex. A program highlighted in the Waxman report teaches that women need “financial support” and men need “admiration.” Another says: “Women gauge their happiness and judge their success on their relationships. Men’s happiness and success hinge on their accomplishments.”


Not only are women being treated as fetal incubators, but now patriarchal control is getting to girls when they’re young and impressionable? Do I sound like I’m overreacting? I wish I could say that I am, but things are getting quite scary back home for women these days.

Read Jessica Valenti’s whole article, “Abstinence Double Standard Threatens Girls’ Health” here.

I’m going to miss my deadline.

‘Write even when you don’t want to,
don’t much like what you are writing,
and aren’t writing particularly well.’
— Agatha Christie