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I try to avoid using my blog for stuff like this, but seriously, this is messed up. Feel free to repost.

In 2005, a woman named Jamie Leigh Jones was working for US defense contractor KBR (which at the time was owned by Halliburton). She was sent to Iraq, where she shared a barracks with 400 men. Over the course of her stay, she was drugged and gang-raped. When she attempted to report the crime, she was, under the orders of KBR employees, imprisoned in a shipping container where she was denied food, water, and medical treatment. She was only released due to the efforts of her father back in America.

When she was finally returned to the United States, she attempted to bring a lawsuit against KBR. She found that she could not do so because her contract specifically stipulated that any allegations of sexual assault had to be heard in private arbitration. This was apparently a frequent enough problem that it was, staggeringly enough, actually a standard boilerplate in their contracts.

Senator Al Franken introduced an amendment to the FY2010 Defense Appropriations Bill. Put simply, the amendment would prevent federal money from going to any company that had such a clause in their employee contracts.

This amendment would seem to be a no-brainer. It says nothing about taking any action against KBR or Halliburton; it says only that if a company attempts to conceal allegations of rape, our country will not respond by giving them money. Indeed, the amendment passed handily. However, the following 30 men voted against it:

Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
John Barrasso (R-WY)
Kit Bond (R-MO)
Sam Brownback (R-KS)
Jim Bunning (R-KY)
Richard Burr (R-NC)
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Tom Coburn (R-OK)
Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Bob Corker (R-TN)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Jim DeMint (R-SC)
John Ensign (R-NV)
Mike Enzi (R-WY)
Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Judd Gregg (R-NH)
James Inhofe (R-OK)
Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Mike Johanns (R-NE)
Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
John McCain (R-AZ)
Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
James Risch (R-ID)
Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
Richard Shelby (R-AL)
John Thune (R-SD)
David Vitter (R-LA)
Roger Wicker (R-MS)

Of these 30 men, the following are up for reelection in 2010:

Tom Coburn (R-OK)
Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Jim DeMint (R-SC)
Johnny Isakson (R-GA
Richard Shelby (R-AL)
John McCain (R-AZ)
John Thune (R-SD)
David Vitter (R-LA)
Richard Burr (R-NC)

Feb. 10th, 2010

It has been about a week, time for an update! :)

Kat and I went to tour a house we fell in love with from the outside. After seeing the inside, I immediately fell out of love with it.
We're currently looking to make arrangements to tour another house that has caught our eyes.

We bought a begaggle of baby stuff and clothes for Kat.

Bought a new mattress and box spring from the Old Cannery (I really love that place!), unfortunately, we still don't have a frame for it.

Big crepe feast over at the cabana, because we don't care about the Superbowl. Holy shit, there was quite the spread of fillings. They ranged from fruit compotes and cardamom cream, to cream cheese and a spinach-mushroom-bacon mixture, to bananas and walnuts and Nutella, to everything in between! Not to mention the impromptu MST3K-ing of Conan the Barbarian.

Went out to Pho for dinner with Tara. Consoled her on her potential divorce/probable getting over it (Tara throws a fit and swears she's going to end her relationship with Felisi at least twice a year, for the last decade).

Kat and I watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind last night. Wow! That movie was really good! I'm slightly bummed, though, because this was an idea I had for a story I was going to write. Oh well, so much for that. Anyhow, I really recommend that movie, but you should know that it is a bit more of a "chick flick" than most other movies I recommend.

After the movie, Kat and I went on a spontaneous midnight stroll through the neighborhood. Funny how the neighborhood is so so different that late.

Anyhow, this pretty much catches us up to current. Thanks for tuning in to this episode of A Place For Forgetting: With Greychild! ;)

wtf california?

How do these statement make you feel?

paganism and witchcraft were never intended to receive the protections of the Religion Clauses.

The true historic meaning of “religion” excludes paganism and witchcraft,

minority faiths are not entitled to First-Amendment protection.

certain “traditional” faiths are first tier faiths and that those faiths were meant to have equal rights and protections under the United States Constitution, but that all of the other faiths, for example, Hindus, Pagans, Buddhists, Sikhs, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jains, are second tier faiths deserving of lesser rights, and therefore are not meant to have the same equal rights and protections under the United States Constitution as the first tier faiths.

They sure as hell piss me off. You should read more about it.

A case coming before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals could end up having major legal ramifications for all religious minorities in the United States.
Link, the first.
Link, the second.

So, life has been progressing.


We've begun house hunting. There's a place that caught both of our eyes about five minutes (if even) from where we currently live, which we will be touring tomorrow.

Hmm, it's been a couple weeks... again. And yet, I don't have anything to update about.

Saw a few movies recently (dvd, not big screen). Be warned, potential spoilers.

District 9 - Pretty damn good. I was impressed with how realistically the movie portrayed our probable interactions with aliens, and yet I was greatly disturbed by the sheer racism (species-ism? planet-ism?) displayed.
Although the door was definitely left open, I do not have high hopes for a sequel to be anywhere near as good as this first movie. However, I'm a little confused at the reason for their arrival on our planet in the first place. Especially since, apparently the moment they arrived, they began working on a way to leave... which required a liquid found in their own ship. But I can forgive that possible plot hole due to the following two words: sonic gun.

The Goods - I laughed so hard! I can't quite put my finger on exactly what was so great about that movie, but it was excellent.

Paranormal Activity - What can I say? I haven't argued with a screen this much in a long time. Ultimately, not bad. Slow to start, but that's the way any good horror flick is. Of course, there wasn't much that was "scary", just a bunch of "creepy" stuff.
I definitely preferred the alternate ending, much less cheesy. I mean seriously? We're supposed to believe she is possessed and wandering around as a potential bogeyman?
... And I just saw that there is a sequel in the works.
It will probably be as wonderful as the Blair Witch sequel. /sarcasm

shocking, isn't it?

I have come to the conclusion that there is something wrong with the outlets at this office:

When I first started working here, the coffee maker did not work.
Shortly thereafter, one of the two oscillating fans did ceased working.
Not that long ago, our old coffee maker died here.
Just now, my space heater actually started smoking and shooting sparks at me.

Might this also explain why the computer crashes so frequently... ?

Thank you, everyone for the congratulations and well wishing! :D

RE: my last post

Yup, Kat's pregnant.


No, wait... I'll tell you in a bit.

Writer's Block: School daze

Did you remain at the same school(s) or transfer to a number of different schools growing up? How did your early educational experiences impact your self-esteem and confidence?
, also known as tl;dr

For the most part, I stayed in one school at a time (with the exception of the school being remodeled and everyone in my kindergarten class being shuffled off to another school for a semester).

However, I do have a few experiences I would like to share. This will probably give everyone a little insight into how I work.

Back in elementary school (I think it was maybe Fourth Grade), we had a homework assignment in math dealing with division. We were supposed to find the answer in whole numbers, and remainders (not decimal answers). I spent a lot of time on this assignment as math just didn't click very well in my brain, at the time. I had the correct answers as I doubled checked and proofed the problems.

When we went over it in class, the teacher's book didn't have the answers, so he whipped out a calculator to give us all the answers... his calculator gave him a decimal answer. I protested, and was flat out told I was wrong. Being a non-confrontational person and extremely shy, I let it go... I must have been wrong. However, I reworked the problem several times and determined that I was, in fact, right. But, I was still non-confrontational. So I accepted the lower grade on the assignment.

This really bugged me, deeply and since then I have determined to never let that happen again. I try to find the truth, I take anything that can be construed as opinion with a grain of salt. Thus, I will argue vehemently if I believe I am right. I will admit if I am wrong though... even if it takes a few days to find proof for the argument.

My Seventh Grade Social Studies teacher and I did not like each other. You know how sometimes two people just do not click, there's no reason for it, they just hate each other... that was my teacher and I. We had a project, assigned at the beginning of the year and due at the end of the year, which made up 40% of that classes grade. She gave me a zero on the project, forcing me to repeat that class. The principal said the final decision on the grade belonged to my teacher.

The next year I took the class with a different teacher. I turned in the exact same project, as I believed it to be valid, It got full credit.

Since then, I have determined not to let my personal feelings on any matter affect how I deal with anyone or any situation I'm in. (This is made a little easier due to my propensity towards looking only at the truth.) As I hate that first teacher so much that I must prove to myself that I am better than her.

I have little patience for cheaters. Hypocritical, I know, as I have done my share of cheating over time. However, I cheat with fairness in mind. You're probably asking how that's possible. If my cheating hurt anyone other than myself, I wouldn't do it. For instance, if the teacher graded on a curve... or by outright stealing someone else's work:

Back in Elementary School again. The class had an assignment that was due at the end of the week. Mine was done and stored in my desk. Friday morning, I found the assignment. Someone had smashed a ketchup packet onto it. I removed the packet, and seeing that the assignment could still be read, turned it in.

Another student began freaking out, saying that he had done his homework, but it was missing from his desk. He then went to through the pile of papers and found mine, claiming it as his. He said that the ketchup stain was from the spaghetti dinner his family had the night before.

No one believed me about the ketchup packet.

Taking The Initiative/Finding Loopholes
Another instance occurred in Junior High School. Math was still not my best subject, so whenever I could get a little extra time to work on it, I did. I had math during sixth period. I had a friend who had the same class, with the same teacher for first period. I asked him what the assignment was and worked on it during lunch period.

Math suddenly clicked for me. I don't know why, but it did. I ended up finishing the assignment before sixth period came around. I decided to use the time my math teacher gave us to work on the assignment in class to my advantage, and took out a book on another subject. The teacher noticed this and asked why I wasn't using the time she was giving us to do what she wanted. I explained the situation, and she asked to see the assignment.

She looked it over, and decided to rip it up and throw it away, giving me a 0 for the assignment. She wouldn't even let me do the assignment again and turn it in the next day when it was due.

The principal (the same one from the Seventh Grade social studies incident), again sided with the teacher.

I simply stopped attending that class. I read through the book and continued to teach myself.
The next year, I ended up repeating the class, but this teacher noticed I wasn't being challenged and moved me into a more advanced class.

Now I examine the return on my efforts for anything. If a game is unwinnable, why play by their rules? Find another way to do it.

In high school, I took a cooking class. The big project involved pairing up with another student to plan and prepare a three course meal for the class.

The teacher didn't like me. I couldn't for the life of me figure out why. Anyhow, she decided to talk to the school's administration and see if I could be removed from the class. I was presented with a deal, since it was too late in the semester to transfer into another class and since this class was an elective and since is was a Fourth Period class; how would I like it if I dropped the class and was given all of Fourth Period to with as I saw fit: study, or even take all three lunch period to socialize with friends?

I took the offer (after all the teacher was beginning to make the class miserable for me), with one exception. It was too late for my cooking partner to find a new partner, so I would be allowed to come in and help her out for the project. The deal was made. I had a lot of free time to hang out with friends, and my partner passed the class.

Okay, that took way to long to write out. Back to work.

Right. Where were we?

Catching up...

Just had a lovely three-day weekend. Weather actually wasn't bad yesterday. :) Over the weekend, we saw Daybreakers. Not bad. I felt it could've been better, but ultimately, not bad at all. There were w couple scenes that simply were not okay with me, though.

Moving on...

My mom and I are worried about my dad. He seems to be taking the cancer a little too well. We think he is in denial over the situation, but I suggested we let him remain optimistic... after all, there is much to be said about mind over matter.

Back to less serious stuff...

I have learned what a pain in the ass it is to have to Restore my iPod. Putting all that music back just plain sucks.

Perchance to dream...Collapse )