greensword: (hello)
I used to be more coherent with this sort of post, but damn. Just - damn. I am so fucking sick of Obama.

Edited to say:

Okay, let me try for some coherence.

We are a nation of human beings - people with the capacity for good things and bad things both - a nation of doctors, teachers, loving parents, artists and truth-seekers - a nation of thieves, demagogues, hypocrites, rapists and murderers.

All of politics - all of life - is a battle against those bad things. I don't believe there's a way to set up government to take over that battle for us. I don't believe there's a set of easy rules to live by - although some rules (thou shalt not kill, do unto others as...) are better than others.

Life is a struggle, a long upward climb against badness in ourselves and in others. I do my best in my own small little sphere because to do more would drain the joy out of my life and my own happiness is something that I at least have control over, something I can protect and nourish. I have a hard time believing that the sacrifices I could make would take us very many steps in the climb.

When the most powerful person on the face of the earth - when a man who I do believe has some compassion, some understanding of the depths of suffering in the world, some willingness to think outside the box - when he says, "No, that's too much to ask", "No, that's too big a change", "no, that's too high, too steep, too far" - when he chooses practicality over principle, money over fairness, rape and torture over justice and mercy, then I want to stop doing even the small things I do, I want to give up, lay down, enjoy my life as best I can and try to stop my ears against the cries of others.

What did he mean, yes we can?

Yes, we can give up?
greensword: (empathy)
Some people talk about the redistribution of wealth as though it's a bad thing. I'm not sure why, because many of these people are not filthy rich. Maybe some people still have a misguided sense of loyalty to an economic system that doesn't work. I've noticed that these people aren't terribly poor, either. Makes it easier to believe in abstract economic ideals when you know where your next meal is coming from.

I just find it amazing that, after years of massive wealth redistribution, with obscene wealth disparities not seen since the gilded age, and with an economic collapse directly caused by the recklessness of the financial elites, who grew wildly rich as the average american kept getting poorer and poorer, the solution seems to be to take massive amounts of taxpayer money and give it to the richest people in America, practically the only people not hurting right now.

No. No no no. Fuck that. We need to take massive amounts of rich people's money, and give it to the taxpayers.

We need to redistribute wealth.

When my grandfather was my age, the highest tax bracket was 95%. When my father was my age, the highest tax bracket was 70%. Under Reagan, that dropped from 70% to 30%. It's hovered in the 30s ever since.

(During the 1920s, taxes were even lower than they are now. It was FDR who raised taxes for the richest Americans during the great depression & WW2.)

We need to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans. By a lot.

I don't know if there's a prayer of this happening. Obama is disappointingly milquetoast when it comes to challenging the financial status quo, although I agree with many of his stimulus ideas.

Anyway, I hope this bill passes. It's a teeny tiny step, but it's in the right direction:

You tell 'em, Claire.


Oct. 15th, 2008 10:29 pm
greensword: (Default)
John McCain on ACORN:

We need to know the full extent of Sen. Obama's relationship with ACORN, who is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.

I think this is objectively repulsive.

There is a long and ugly history of voter suppression in this country, primarily of minorities and people living in impoverished areas. Urban areas given bad machinery that throws out a greater percentage of votes. A much higher ratio of voters to voting machines, so that lines at polling places in urban areas stretch out for blocks. People who have to work to eat forced to take the day off so they can stand for eight hours in line - while others who can take a day off can speed through the process in twenty minutes. Florida illegally removing the votes of (mostly minority) people who committed crimes in other states - and then also removing non-felons as well. Partisans challenging the residency (and therefore eligibility to vote) of people who are homeless or who have recently lost their homes. Flyers in minority neighborhoods advertising the wrong day to vote or falsely telling people they can't vote if they have outstanding fines or parking tickets.

But does anyone want to talk about that? No.

Look, what ACORN is being accused of is voter registration fraud. What is very different from voter fraud. Registration fraud just means some fake names are being registered. Well, I say, no harm, no foul. I don't care who's registered, so long as only eligible people actually come out and vote.

How exactly do you commit actual vote fraud? Well, to start off, you have to find someone willing to vote multiple times under different aliases. Given that the penalty for vote fraud is prison time, you'll have to pay these people a lot. And unfortunately, you can't risk them going to the same polling place twice, otherwise they might be recognized by poll workers. So you have to drive them around to all the different places they've fake-registered. Maybe you'll hit up a dozen polling places in a day. Maybe even two dozen. It's easier if you do it absentee, but even then, you've got to provide identification... identification that's a lot harder to fake than just filling out a form and saying your name is Mickey Mouse. Why would anyone try to register as Mickey Mouse? No one would. Most of these registrations are made up by lazy workers at registration drives who just want their $10 an hour, please. No one is going to try to get an extra vote out of these things.

And look, ACORN specifically has done everything they can to combat registration fraud. They're legally required to hand every single registration card they get over to authorities, but they've been patiently checking and double-checking and flagging anything they think is suspicious so that the local authorities can look into it further. Frequently, this information has been ignored. In Nevada, the authorities are accusing them of voter fraud, citing the same registrations that ACORN told them they should look at several months ago.

So there you have it. While voter suppression is blithely ignored, nonexistent voter fraud is suddenly the big scandal of the 2008 campaign. I mean, damn, has anybody been paying attention to what happened with the U.S. attorney firing scandal? Where the Bush department of Justice illegally fired U.S. attorneys - most of them Republicans - because they refused to follow up on allegations of voter fraud that were patently unfounded? Has anyone ever even heard of someone - anyone - going to jail for vote fraud?

And you know what? I'm going to go there: This is racist. This is completely racist. And classist, too, while we're at it.

They're actively suppressing the vote of poor people and minorities, and when groups like ACORN try to increase voter turnout among those groups, they try to smear them and say they're committing fraud.

I'm not saying the democrats wouldn't do exactly the same thing if they had the opportunity. But the fact of the matter is that right here, right now, the Republicans are trying to keep minorities and poor people from voting. And that's pretty damn disgusting.
greensword: (Default)
I swear to god, if one more guy says something "ironically" sexist to me, about me, or even anywhere near me, I am going to staple a fucking shredder to my vag and set out to castrate the entire male population.
greensword: (Default)
I'm pretty sure Glamour is the worst, most soul-sucking magazine I've ever read.

There are a couple at Gwen's apartment, so I picked one up and flipped through it. At first it was merely annoying - all stories about socialites and how to decorate your summer homes. There was an article about Chris Evert that was actually what made me pick the damn thing up, but it ended up being about how her style had changed over time. I would rather read about how her tennis game changed.

Anyway, this was all fairly unoffensive, inasmuch as one can read glowing praise of how eco-friendly some rich chick's six cars are without being offended, until I reached the "health and beauty" section.

One article on micro-surgery. Which is cosmetic surgery that no one notices you've had - small, slow changes to the tip of the nose, the jaw, the sides of the eyes. Another article on brides buying botox or boob jobs for their bridesmaids. (I mean, really, Debi. You held out on us.) But the kicker? An article subtitled 'In the quest for beauty, has one body part been overlooked?'.

That's right. An article about just how fucking ugly our armpits are.


That is some sick shit right there.
greensword: (Default)
Number of times I've heard Freud referenced by artists, literary critics, sociologists, political scientists, gender studies majors, schoolteachers and people at parties and dinners: 6 bajillion.

Number of times I've heard Freud referenced by psychologists, neuroscientists, clinicians, researchers, or psych/neuro professors: 0.

I've been in this field for five years. I was raised by a clinician. I think if there was a resurgence in taking Freud seriously, I would know.


Psychology already has.
greensword: (Default)
If there's one thing I've gotten out of the past few months of brain-meltingly frustrating political debates, it's the realization that most discussions have absolutely nothing to do with facts, logic, or even ideology. Very rarely do you even get to the point where you're talking directly about the issue you disagree on. It's all a fantastic exercise in framing the debate so only you can possibly be right. Or, failing that, you just aggressively miss the point.

It's a psychological gold mine. So I ought to just step back, delete my variations on "That wasn't what I was saying at all, you assmouthed troll!" and treat this scientifically. That is, however, easier said and done.

I also seriously wish people would get over being called sexist. I don't mind being called racist - mostly because whoever's calling me that is usually right. I don't see why being called out for sexist behavior is such a big deal - it's not like I'm accusing you of kidnapping girl scouts. Everyone fucks up. But all of a sudden it's "How dare you call me sexist!" and "You're just distracting from real sexism!" as though I ought to keep mum about any and all sexism I see until I'm sure everyone I've ever met will agree with me that it's totally wrong - which, somebody somewhere thought this was all in good fun, so we'll probably be waiting a while.

News flash, folks: as ego-hurty as it is to realize you've accidentally oppressed someone (or even to be accused when you really weren't) it's worse to be oppressed.

Ugh. Anyway. I'll update in a bit about this past weekend, and you'll get to hear the exciting story of Drunken Shauna and the Bay Area Regional Transit System. With bonus pictures of Quayleman and cops doing kegstands. Stay tuned!
greensword: (the boys of summer)
I love baseball. I really love baseball.

I like basketball. A lot. And I'm good at soccer. I could spend a whole day playing tennis, or swimming, and I've even been known to enjoy frisbee and football.

But I really, really love baseball.

I love throwing the ball. I love throwing hard and fast and the loud smack it makes when it lands in someone else's glove. I love catching fly balls. Not easy fly balls, but the ones you have to run for, diving forward or reaching out, over the back, Willie Mays style. I'm not much of a fan of baserunning, although collisions at home can be cool.

But I really, really I love hitting baseballs.

There is something about just the swing. This is going to sound crazy to those of you who haven't experienced it, but there is something inherently delicious in swinging the bat. I don't have my bat with me in Sacto and I never brought it to college, but sometimes at home I would just take it out and stand in the middle of a room and swing it. There's no way to describe it except I think there must be endorphins released by my body when I swing it. It's like getting a hug, or something.

And when you're actually swinging at a ball... in a game... with the game on the line...

I used to be really into baseball. A lot more than now. There was one summer, when I was fourteen, when I played on two softball teams and a baseball team. One of the softball teams was a pity thing. It was my school team, and we were terrible, to the point where I got more hits than everyone else combined. The baseball team was an all boys team. I got a lot of stares at the games. We never played against another team with a girl. Some of the kids on the team made fun of me, others were cool about it. I was only an okay player (it was weird switching to smaller balls, longer basepaths, overhand pitching) but I cleaned the fuck up in batting practice, which I think helped them respect me. Inasmuch as they could respect me. Fourteen year old boys aren't really built for respect.

The third softball team was a traveling team. And when I say traveling, I mean traveling. We went up to Massachusetts and down to Virginia, and played teams from as far away as Florida, Ohio, Maine. Once school let out, we played 6-10 games a week, and every weekend was a tournament weekend. It was intense, but it was fun. I even started lifting weights to increase my power... my teammates and I would go to the gym to bulk up.

That wasn't the life for me, though. One season of that was enough. When I got to high school I decided I'd rather be on the debate team than the softball team. A lot of my teammates were playing for college scholarships, though. That, and love of the game. I remember our best player, Amanda. She hit around .500, even in our league, where pitchers regularly threw at 60 or 70 mph, which is about as fast as fastpitch softball goes. She was a home run hitter, she had more extra base hits than singles, she had a great arm and great instincts. She was named to the North Jersey Little League All Star team and actually it was she that made me join my own town's Little League team - I didn't know girls could do that until I met her. Most of the other girls just played softball, though. Girls are shunted towards softball. It's weird, 'cause they don't just make the field smaller like they do in basketball or the game shorter like they do in tennis. They fundamentally change it.

As good as Amanda was, I met girls who were better. As much as I loved baseball, I met girls who loved it more.

And it makes me so fucking angry.

There are thirty major league teams, each of which has a farm system with at least four more teams. That's 120 teams. Each usually has at least 40 players. That's 480 players. If we assume an average career turnover rate of, what, five years? That's 4,800 ballplayers in the last fifty years. Probably the number is more like 10,000, maybe even 20,000. Think of all the flame-outs who spend a season in the farm system and give up. All those boys signed on a decent high school career and a whim.

How many girls have ever been signed to play even a single day of single A ball?


And don't give me any of that boys are physically superior bullshit. Because that's what it is, complete fucking bullshit. Maybe there'll never be a female Barry Bonds but there sure as hell is a female Chuck Knoblauch, a female Omar Visquel, a female Pee Wee Reese, a female Phil Rizzuto. I'm naming Hall of Famers here. I'm naming World Champions. I'm naming people who made millions of dollars from playing a game, a game which they loved.

But hey, a girl who loves baseball can always go coach a high school team, right? It's like practically the same thing.

I love baseball. I was never good enough to play professionally but I knew girls who were. I never wanted to play ball professionally (not after I turned ten, anyway) but I knew girls who did. But they couldn't. Because they were girls.

I know there are a lot of worse things happening to women out there, I know that in the broad scheme of things discrimination in professional sports is not that big a deal, but it still pisses me the fuck off that when I want to watch a ball game all I see are men.

Because don't you know that men are the only ones good enough to play baseball? Don't you know that a woman couldn't even dream of being good enough to even try to play with the men?

But that's okay, you can have your girls only team, your girls only league. It'll be just like the boys team, except they won't pay you as much, or come to watch you, and probably it'll fold after a few years. And if there's a sport where women have physical advantages compared to men, well, we'll be sure not to care about those! Oh, and while we're at it, we'll turn sporting events into dick-measuring contests. We'll tell you you're only a yankee fan because you think Derek Jeter's cute. If you come to a game we'll chant at you to take off your shirt.

When I turn on the t.v., I see men dominating the political sphere, the entertainment world. I'm not going to turn it on to watch men dominating the sport I love. I'll be damned if I give major league baseball the time of day again.
greensword: (a fish needs a man)
Why yes, I did get back from work just now. I love when I call people on the east coast after an evening scan, because to them, I'm not leaving work at the impressive but still somewhat reasonable 8 p.m. - oh, no. I'm leaving at the absolutely inhumane 11 p.m. and they're going to call up my supervisors and give them a piece of their minds, so there!


If there is one thing I dislike about this extended primary it's the absolute bollocks that is race and gender analysis. Absolutely nobody can seem to get it right. You have Clinton and her surrogates making racist smears, Obama and his surrogates making sexist jokes and insinuating that if Bill hadn't fallen in love with Hillary, she'd still be barefoot in a kitchen somewhere, and now you have airheaded pundits talking about the race card and the gender card as if race and gender were mere demographic quirks and not the basis for real discrimination in our society. One thing that really gets me is how many white feminists have come out and said, pretty much, "Women are SO much more oppressed than minorities, and if you disagree, you're a BAD FEMINIST." Thank you, Geraldine Ferraro, Gloria Steinem. I always wanted fewer feminist heroes, so thanks for taking yourselves off my list.

greensword: (apathy kills)
Well, fuck. Clinton's won Ohio, apparently, and it looks like she may win Texas.

It's not that I dislike Clinton. I think a lot of the criticisms leveled at her can be pretty fairly leveled at Obama (and vice-versa - I don't think she's really any more experienced than he is, just like I don't think he's more likely to bring transformative change). My support for Obama pretty much boils down to his being slightly more nuanced and less belligerent on foreign policy, and a little better on telecomm policy, domestically. I also think that a win for him would help down-ticket races and swing a little power to the Dean camp in the fight for the soul of the Democratic party.

But I still like Clinton. I have reservations about her, and I like Obama a little more, but I still like Clinton. Go ahead, tell me I'm thinking with my vag, but I've got a soft spot for her.

But if she succeeds now it will be after weeks of going pretty harshly negative and the last thing this race needs is more negativity. I don't mind it continuing, per se - I think a drawn-out battle has been great for focusing attention on the democrats and increasing turnout -but the less decisive the eventual victor is, the less likely the loser's supporters will be to fall into line behind the other. Not to mention I have serious qualms with how she went negative - it can be described as disengenuous at best, racist at worst.

I would just like to get this over with. I would just like to move on from criticizing each other to criticizing McCain. I mean, there'll be months and months and months of that, but for now, I'm sick of the ads, the nauseating politically commentary (I'm pretty sure I read the World's Most Misogynistic Editorial in the Post earlier this week) and the back-biting.
greensword: (Default)
Other people caught this piece from Bush's State of the Union speech the other night well before I did, but let me just say...

We are grateful that there has not been another attack on our soil since 9/11.

Are you fucking kidding me? Are you fucking kidding me?

And of course the mainstream media didn't remember either.



Jan. 5th, 2008 09:28 am
greensword: (Default)
Dear Congress,

Leave my Yankees the fuck alone.


So, apparently congress is hauling Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, and Chuck Knoblauch in for questioning.

Look, I'm as anti-steroids as the next person. I know this sounds hypocritical coming from a Yankees fan, but I like the pretense of an even playing field and, more importantly, I don't want kids in single A ball feeling pressured to take stuff that could kill them. Also? I am one chick who doesn't dig the long ball. I like when baseball scores don't look like football scores.

But seriously? Congress? Aren't there better things to do with your time? Like, say, impeach Dick Cheney (there's already a bill with 22 cosponsors), or bring Blackwater back under American law (so they can't kill Iraqi civilians or rape their own employees with impunity), or pass a telecom bill without retroactive immunity for multinational corporations who didn't bother reading the fourth ammendment when Bush asked them for a favor, or hey, maybe you could try again with that energy bill and not subsidize the fucking oil industry (you already gave them Iraq on a platter, isn't that enough?) and ooooh, what about finally making Karl Rove and Harriet Miers testify after they gave you (and the constitution) the finger SIX FUCKING MONTHS AGO when you wanted to know if they'd outed a CIA agent and compromised the position of unknown others JUST TO MAKE AN OPPONENT LOOK BAD.

But what can I expect from a body that decided they had to vote on whether or not a Move On ad was in bad taste or whether Terry Schiavo should die?

What's next, guys? A sense of the Senate that the Yankees shouldn't have fired Joe Torre?

greensword: (Default)
So, apparently there's some serious checking and balancing happening right now. Once the Dems gained control of Congress, they began opening up investigations into the more serious administration scandals, the three main ones being the warrantless wiretapping, the mass firing of U.S. attorneys who weren't Republicans, and, most famously, the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. A short while ago, some of the investigations reached the point where subpoenas were released.

Bush administration officials are refusing to come testify. Bush is claiming executive privilege.

Congress just issued a warning that, should Harriet Miers and Joshua Bolten (the officials in question) fail to show up, they'll force the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia to arrest them and bring them there.

But the U.S. Attorney for DC was appointed by Bush, and will likely not rush to comply. Bush is now claiming that executive privilege means that Congress can't force the U.S. Attorney to enforce the subpoenas. It goes along with the theory of the "Unitary Executive", the idea that everyone in the executive from the Vice President and the Attorney General down to my dad as a lowly contractor in the Department of Health and Human Services is covered by a blanket executive privilege and answerable only to Bush.

This is, of course, absolute bullshit.

Congress has another option, which is "inherent contempt". Congress can, by itself, with no help or hindrance from the Judiciary or the Executive, convict on charges of "inherent contempt" and send the Sargeant at Arms himself to go collect Miers and Bolten and put them in jail.

There's a mental image I can't get out of my head, even if I truly don't think it will ever come down to that - the Secret Service facing off against the Sargeant at Arms in a marble hallway.

What you can do:

Contact Rep. John Conyers, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and therefore the point man on all this. You can also contact Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and/or your own Representatives and tell them to support inherent contempt proceedings. You can also contact the media outlets of your choice with letters to the editor (especially for local outlets), or just a strongly-worded suggestion that they cover this with SOME semblance of objectivity, if they even fucking know what that means anymore (especially national outlets).

Oh, yeah. And happy Harry Potter day, everyone.
greensword: (Default)
Got an e-mail from another lab at NIH which wanted to set up an interview. That means I probably won't be getting back to the Valley until Tuesday (and also raises the possibility that they'd want me to start this summer and I'd have to give up my summer plans). Still, any job opportunity is something to be happy about, especially since my student loan statement came in the mail. $16,625! Makes me wonder how people with less financially stable careers planned are going to make out.

Also, remember way back when I was worried for the poor boys who complain about how hard they have it being a male in science?

Well, fuck that.

Woman Wins Gender Discrimination Lawsuit Against UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute: The truly insane bit? The SECRET STASH OF MONEY they had to supplement the salaries of male scientists only.

Report on Women in Science: Women earn 20-30% of doctorates in the life sciences but only 10-15% of full professors are women.

Career vs. Children: The article is a case study in self-hatred, but it's the comments section that make me want to rip out my fallopian tubes and strangle someone with them. What she has so maturely, so providently grasped already - Lo! at such young age! - is that the concept of "PhD scientist" and "mom" are mutually exclusive. And if you haven't got your fill, you can read some nasty comments here, too.

Sexual harassment in the lab and the classroom.

Because even discovering a particle won't earn you some maternity leave.

$14,000 pay gap in the sciences between men and women.
greensword: (Default)
Tonight before Doloris I was chillin' in the box office with Skim and Peter and we found this game, Battle of the Sexes, which may be the single most offensive game short of Battle of the Races, which I don't think exists, but if it does, don't tell me, because I still have some small measure of faith in the world which I'd like to hold on to, thanks.

Anyway, the point of this game is there are "male" cards and "female" cards which have questions that, I guess males and females are more likely to know? For instance, one of the few kinda legitimate "female" questions was "What does OB/GYN stand for?" There was some kind of board and scoring method but mostly we read them out to each other.

There were your standard sports questions for the guys, and a bunch of cooking and clothing questions for the girls (you'd have done amazingly, Orli). But the really sexist bit was what was included on the male cards but not the female cards. "How does this line from Highlander finish: 'There can be _____?'" "What space shuttle exploded in 1986?"

Why is it a male question to know about the Challenger explosion? Are women not supposed to know history? And what is such a game doing at Hampshire College???

Inquiring minds want to know.
greensword: (Default)
I am bored. I can't go to sleep yet because the people next door are drinking and talking loudly, but really, I just want to go to bed so that I can wake up and have it be the day I go home.

Today my roommate was telling me about how she loves The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. I have officially given her up for lost. She is clearly worthless, because - and I am not exaggerating here - The Notebook is clearly worthless. It is, in fact, the worst thing I have ever read, and that includes all those rejected high school lit mag submissions. Even the poetry. Especially the poetry.

I borrowed it from my mother without telling her because I needed something to read on the plane, and I spent the next several hours looking longingly towards the escape hatch. The only reason I finished reading it is because I refused to believe that a book could be that bad. Surely, there had to be one good scene, one original thought before the end. Maybe someone would get hit by a bus? ... no. It was the same sentimental, predictable drivel the whole way through. How could it be a bestseller, I wondered? How soul-crushingly mindless can the people of this country be? I thought I had accepted the idiocy of my fellow Americans after the 2004 election. But I hadn't. I was in denial. When I finished this book, I finally understood, and I accepted it, and I wept. And then I ate my little packet of peanuts.

For nearly a month, I despised my mother for owning this book. Then one day, when we were packing my room at the end of the semester, she found it and asked if it was her copy. I gritted my teeth and told her it was. "Oh," she said. "I was looking for it. I was going to donate it, but now I'm not sure I want to inflict it on anyone else." I looked up, hope and forgiveness in my eyes. "Can we burn it?" She shook her head. "I don't have any matches." In the end, we put it in the recycling. I like to think that its pages will be pulped and remade, wiped clean, if you will, and that some better story - that is, any story - will take its place.

That is all.

(Anyone on my friendslist who read and liked The Notebook can please defriend me now.)
greensword: (Default)
It's silly of me, but I expected more of the New York Times. They had an article in last Sunday's magazine about deception, and I was excited to see them mention a woman who claimed to have found an ERP component for lying. I did a little research, and guess what? This professor has a grand total of three published journal articles, none of which use ERPs. PsychInfo does reveal that someone else found an ERP component for lying, several actually, but they're all very complex and none of them directly measure deception. They're just high-tech versions of "If he's sweating, he's lying" and "If she's guilty, she'll be startled by our mentioning these things!"

Come on. It was the magazine's cover story. (Allow me to appreciate the irony a little belatedly.) You'd think they'd put a little more effort into making sure they got everything right!
greensword: (Default)
Warning: What follows is a pretty long essay filled with politics, historical tidbits, and hand-wringing.

I feel as though the Democratic Party is breaking apart. )
greensword: (Default)
So, er. When did the FBI get the right to issue federal warrants to the British? I mean, I know that if our President and their Prime Minister marry we'll all get to be stepbrothers and stepsisters, but really, all I wanted was to get to throw some rice and wear a pretty dress. I didn't ask to share all the same laws. Does this mean I have to give a damn about Prince Charles Prince Henry The Artist Formerly Known As Prince Prince William? Does it mean I have to start inserting extra "u"s intou my wourds? Does it mean I have to start asking God to Save the Queen?

Anyway, seriously now. Apparently there's a treaty called the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty which allows things like the US demanding certain servers from the London offices of a US-based company named Rackhouse. The certain servers? Belong to the IMC (the Independent Media Center), which by the way has been harassed by the feds before. Read more about it here.

This should be an interesting trial of international law. The company is US based but the servers were in London, and they hosted the local IMCs of, among others, Poland, Italy, Brazil - even Uruguay. You can't do this to poor Uruguay! And get this? The one US-based IMC they hosted? Western Massachusetts. Coincidential, huh? I may try to help the local IMC out however I can, if this is still going on when I get back from break.

Of course, I'm willing to bet this won't be covered seriously in the traditional media. (No, I mean, I'm really willing to bet. Five dollars and my secret stash of pictures of Prince William naked? Anyone?) After all, the news is a business, and the IMC is competition, even if it's non-profit, open to everyone, and not particularly very good.

Fuck the system, man. Oh, excuse me. I meant to say bugger it.

Edited to add: There have been some rumors that this action was taken against the IMC because it was preparing to publish information about defectors from the US army claiming asylum in Canda. I have no clue if this is related to what happened to the IMC, but the story itself is starting to appear - this is the text of a version of the story from Al-Jazeera: Here you go. )


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