hkellick: I was scrap metal, you were a flaming wreck. (Flaming Wreck)
So Joe Paterno's dead. Various people on my Facebook list are mourning him, sharing picture of Joe in heaven.

Ha.

I don't "get" college sports. Never have. Truthfully, though, I don't get much in the way of "professional" sports either. Especially when the supermillionaire players and the supermillionaire owners start arguing again. Then I really don't get it.

But that's neither here nor there. I never followed the Nittany Lions and I never will.

But what I DID follow was last year's child abuse scandal in U Penn. And this is what I got... Joe Paterno stood back and let other parent's little boys get sexually harassed by a monster. And, in my eyes, that kind of makes him a bit of a monster too. To sit back and allow it and ignore it... perhaps he talked to the administration, but the child abuser stayed on and Joe Paterno stayed quiet.

I'm sorry if you're a U Penn fan. I'm sorry if you WANT to remember the best of this guy. He may have been a decent coach, but at the end, he didn't have the decency to protect little boys from a monster. And I just choose not to believe that there really isn't a place in heaven for those that can ignore that kind of violence.
hkellick: Earth Shattering (Earth Shattering)
There's been a very interesting event happening in Boston this last week regarding a White Police Office arresting an elderly African American scholar in his own home.

Details seem to still be emerging from the case but what we knew more or less immediately was the following: Henry Louis Gates Jr. came home one day from overseas and found out he could not find his keys. So he and his driver, an African, decided to break into his own house.
Somehow the police got involved and handcuffs came out. Gates acknowledges he got upset at the officer and ended up in Jail.

Gates is screaming Racial Profiling. The nation, as a whole, seems to be backing him up.

Putting aside the color of Gates's skin.. my question is simply: what should the Police Officer have done if he arrived at a house to see ANY man trying to break into it?

I think the only real trick here.. the potentially damning part is simply the question of how Gates was approached. If the Police Officer saw a black man breaking into a house and brought out the cuffs immediately, then I agree it's racial profiling.

If the police officer approached him, as he says he did trying to find out what was going on and Gates' doesn't respond helpfully and THEN the cuffs came out.. I'd say it's maybe not so cut and dry. I can understand how a number of misunderstandings could have occurred and we got to where we are.

I'd really love to see the two stories.. Gates' story and the officers story put side by side and examined. I'm sure it'd be very "Rashomon" but I think it would at least give us a clearer picture of what really happened.

Palin

Jul. 7th, 2009 07:09 am
hkellick: (Political)
You all knew I was going to take a swing at this, right?

When I was at the July fourth party and [profile] blueslives (I think) mentioned Palin had quit I was shocked. I've had some chance to read up on it and get a little bit more information and I'm still.. OK not shocked, but confused.

The primary question is "Why?" Why would Sarah Palin quit? There's a great number of people trying to figure out the answer, and I won't get into most of the theories, but the short answer is.. nobody really knows. Because it came out of nowhere.

I'll say this.. you haven't heard the last of Sarah Palin. For one, I don't think she'd allow it. I think the limelight is far too important to her to truly give it up entirely.

But... let's take a moment to say our goodbyes to Sarah Palin's political career, because I would say it's over. I think she'll RUN for office a few times.. as I said, you haven't heard the last of Sarah Palin, but I doubt you'll ever see her in office again.

The problem with Sarah Palin.. is Sarah Palin.

She can dish out the criticism, but as far as taking it.. any perceived attacks on her or her family are immediately met with all guns blazing. This denotes a lack of a certain level of maturity. There are going to be some situations when you can go out with all guns blazing, but every perceived insult?

Palin also doesn't seem to be very good at understanding the consequences of certain actions. Without any doubt, she thrust her family into the spotlight. Sarah, when you bring your family up onto the stage so we can all sit there and see you in your "natural element" holding baby Trig and whatever.. this is thrusting your family into the spotlight. And the spotlight, as you've hopefully learned now, is a harsh mistress and shows your weaknesses as well as the politicized perceived strengths.

When you politicize your family, that means it's open season on your family. That it's OK to trot out Todd being a member of the AIP and make jokes at Bristol and Levi's expense (especially since you, yourself, guaranteed that actually made news at all by getting personally involved.)

Without a doubt, Sarah Palin has SOME minor political talents, but it's arguable that they're enough to seriously make her a good choice for any political role. What she did in Alaska, the Success she saw there was due to her going after her own party there and working hand in hand with the Democrats to take on Big Oil. Then after things fell apart in November and she'd been used for months to be McCain's attack dog, she came back to Alaska, having said things about Obama pal'ing around with terrorists and "Real Americans" and she found she'd lost her political friends. She's gotten very little done since coming back to office and has been swamped with ethics charges, which she feels were frankly silly.

In other words.. she didn't have the political know-how to go back to her old job and do it effectively after her run as VP. She didn't know how to soothe angry nerves and bring her coalition back and, as a result, she became a Lame Duck.

Palin prides herself as someone who is different from 'all those Washington insiders' and she prides herself on being a Susie Soccer Mom, which definitely works for some of her voters, but maybe doesn't work so well with her peers. Regardless of whatever she prides herself as, if she's unable to work with her peers.. whether that be the Alaska Legislature, the US congress, or the government as a whole (for when she does run for president), she won't be an effective leader.

That is, to some extent, you NEED to work like a Washington Insider to do the job effectively. If you can't, you become moot, useless, a lame duck, a dead fish. Whatever metaphor you want to use.

So we'll see where things go from here for Ms. Palin, but unless she learns a new more mature tune, I doubt you'll ever see Ms. "Quitters take the easy way out but I'm Quitting my job." in any sort office again.

PS I also hope Sarah Palin learns to grow out of this constant victimization of herself by everyone else too. How sad it must be to be Sarah Palin who is constantly misunderstand and mischaracterized by everyone else in Washington: Washington insiders, the main stream media, everyone. People who do the research into what she does, what she says and the consequences of her actions.. no one understands poor victimized Sarah.
Which is why she's going to sue you. :p
Seriously, Sarah, if you can't learn to work with other people, you can't be an effective politician. You simply can't.
hkellick: It's a River. Which River? Dunno (River)
So props need to go out to Speaker Pelosi for pushing the Carbon Cap and Trade bill through the House this last Friday. Apparently getting the congressmen to sign off on it was very like herding cats. Some wouldn't sign it because it was too stringent and would hurt their constituents. Others wouldn't sign it because it wasn't stringent enough. Regardless, Pelosi handed Obama a victory.

I find all the screaming about how TERRIBLE Cap and Trade is to be.. well, somewhat laughable honestly.

The idiots that scream about how terrible it is, how it'll ruin businesses really need to read up on their history, because we've already instituted cap and trade in the past and it's worked.

Once, not so very long ago, the great lakes were a mess. Especially Lake Erie, the shallowest of the five. So bad was Lake Erie that it got special mention in Dr. Seuss's "The Lorax" (now long gone, but it was there.) Lake Erie was so bad that little no oxygen was found inside the lake itself.

Scientists went to go determine the cause and they found that the answer, much like Global Warming, was due to Human Pollution. Specifically, it was due to the dumping of phosphorus and nitrogen into the great lakes.

In short, the reasons for this were... nitrogen and phosphorus are chemicals that living systems need to grow. Algal blooms, upon access to the added nitrogen and phosphorus, would grow.. and grow and grow and grow. Then they'd die and they'd sink to the bottom. And on the bottom of the sea they'd be eaten by bacteria that used oxygen in the lake to digest the algae. Which would remove the oxygen from the lake, leading to an anoxic environment.

Remove the added nutrients and you control the algal blooms.

The Clean Water Act passed in 1972 which demanded that we clean up these bodies of water. Places like Lake Erie and the Potomac River and so on on and so forth. And, like now, the EPA was trying to determine the fairest/most acceptable way to dole out the oncoming changes.

Enter the term TMDL, Total Maximum Daily Load.. the concept that a body of water can handle a certain amount of a pollutant and stay within the healthy range. For example, and I'm making number up here.. let's say Lake Erie can accept 25 megatons of phosphorus a day and not develop so many algal blooms that the lake becomes anoxic. Let's now assume that 5 of those megatons is added to the lake via nonpoint sources, mostly agriculture. That means that we can allow 20 megatons of phosphorus a day to be added into the lake from controllable point sources: factories, wastewater treatment plants, etc.

Enter cap and trade. Don't know if it was called that, but it's the same policy. We have 20,000 permits that allow you to put in 1,000 tons of phosphorus into the lake a day. You can buy and sell them to each other as you like, but no more than 25 megatons of phosphorus can enter the lake in one day.

And the system worked. There was whining. There was complaining, but the system WORKED, still works now. And the Lakes are so much better for it.

What we institute here in America won't necessarily have the same huge changes as what happened in the 70s along the Great Lakes since we're one of many polluters and the globe is a much bigger system than five interconncted lakes, but the point is.. the policy is sound and has worked in the past.
hkellick: Pittsburgh, City of Bridges (Default)
I don't really have time to write the three or four journal posts I'm half thinking of writing right now, so in no particular order, things I want to record:

1) Enough with Sanford already! The man seems to be in love and it's heartbreaking to watch, and I get that it's news in a "Train Wreck" sort of way, but this is his personal life. Move on, please.

2) We lost another engineer, Khin. I don't know the details, but he's in the hospitable for the foreseeable future. Needless to say, he also had a bunch of active cases that we have to reassign now. Meh.. this is past bad now.

3) Beginning to feel guilty about the planned family vacation at the end of the month. It couldn't come at a worse time. Not that there *IS* a good time until case loads start decreasing. :p

4) Am beginning to doubt that come August 1st I'm going to be a team lead anymore, don't know what I think about that yet...

5) Talked to company Monday. Potential stuff brewing with my company too. Don't know what the results might be (don't know barely ANYTHING about what happens on August 1st. :p K, I may need to take the laptop with us on vacation so I can keep half an eye on my work email since all of that will, no doubt, start coming out while we're gone.)

6) July 4th Party with [personal profile] spydielives!! *excited* I hear she's got the new Boom Blox too :D

7) I am playing Sims 3 again. Playing Riverview now (Betty Simovitch (will become Betty Newbie) is pretty cute, but where's Bob?) as the Broke Family on Normal Speed. Definitely a challenge, but I swear I WILL get that family out of their trailers and into a nice house... well.. maybe just the kids or grandkids. We'll see.

That's it.
hkellick: (Political)
Let me start by stating where I stand.

Yes, I am White, Male and Middle Class. This means, on average, I am more likely to find a job and more likely to get a raise and a promotion than a Woman or Colored Person. I acknowledge this as the fact that it is.

That said... I believe very strongly in fairness. Denying anyone a promotion simply because of their race or sex is wrong.

That's why I stand against Quotas.

Don't get me wrong. I DO believe that when deciding whether or not a person should be hired or promoted, your race, sex, age, sexuality or religion should simply not enter the picture. They are besides the point. What SHOULD be the point is whether or not you are the right person to get the job/move up in the company. Whether you have the qualifications, the experience, whether you would be the right cog to put into that particular place in the machine.

I also realize as I stated in the second paragraph above that that isn't necessarily true, that people do still account for race, sex, etc. when making these decisions. That's not right either.

But neither is Quotas. The predetermination that a certain percentage of the managers of a company or the employees of a company NEED to be a minority class, whether they're the best person for the job or no.

Looking at the argument the Supremes heard today, the issues as I understood it was that a group of firefighters were offered a chance for a promotion but because none of those who'd been noted as promotion-worthy were colored, the test was thrown out.

This is simply unfair. These were chosen as the best among their company, the people who deserved a promotion but because none of them was colored, they weren't even offered the CHANCE for a promotion? How is this fair? How is this right?

So, I agree with the Supreme Court. This was the right decision. It should not be legal to bar someone from a job or promotion simply because they're 'different', but it also shouldn't be legal to bar someone from a job or promotion simply because they're not. That's just plain nuts!

So.. yeah.
I'm done.
hkellick: (Sputter Out)
I have to admit I'm really sad that Michael Jackson died. I miss.. the man he seemed to be back in the 80s. Michael Jackson was one of the people I listened to pretty constantly as I grew up. My mother was a big Michael Jackson fan. She owned "Off the Wall", "Thriller" and "Bad". It wasn't until HIStory that the Sheen on Michael rubbed off for her, and for me. That song, "They Don't Care About Us" that still sounds anti-semitic to my ears.. that just turned both of us off at the time.

I mourn Michael Jackson as he was as the King of Pop.. perhaps a little eccentric at times, but not.. what he became before dying, the butt of a long-standing joke, Whacko Jacko.

Back in the 80s, Michael Jackson couldn't do much wrong. He WAS the King of Pop. He was the Elvis Presley of my generation.

I'm tempted to go and see if I can't get Thriller on iTunes Store or something this weekend.

So... Rest in Peace, Michael. You were a.. unique individual to watch as you aged. But I'll always remember you in the Zombie Makeup dancing in the empty lot with your Zombie Minions...

*moonwalks out*
hkellick: (Political)
Ensign - Had an affair, may have used position to help his affair's husband keep a job and to pay affair's son.
Sanford - Not only had an affair but abandoned post and lied to staff
Jindal - Had an opportunity to show how well thought and intelligent he is and blew it.
Palin - Appeals strongly to the base, but it's arguable that she could ever win anything but a primary election
Romney - Does not particularly appeal to the base, but has kept out of the headlines at least. Would Romney even get past the primaries, however?
Gingrich - Saddled with a great deal of baggage, most of his own making. May have some good relatively fresh ideas, but can't seem to keep his foot out of his mouth.

So... seriously.. am I missing anyone?

Oh, I know! Huckabee!
Huckabee will be the 2012 Republican Presidential Nominee!
hkellick: (DC)
Neither K nor I was affected by the crash.
I drive in everyday from Fairfax to Alexandria and K takes the orange line only *points to icon above*.

We're both fine. No worries. :)

Though what happened WAS really scary, especially as the Metro System was designed for that to never be able to happen. :|

Hate

Jun. 11th, 2009 07:49 am
hkellick: I was scrap metal, you were a flaming wreck. (Flaming Wreck)
I want to write a post about what happened in DC yesterday, but I don't feel like I can find the right words...

I want to write a post about Hate, and how destructive it is. How it drives people who could have lived much more inspiring lives to tear down the lives and dreams of others.

I want to write a post about Racism and how it's alive and well in this county, even if it is underground, hiding in the nooks and crannies of the internet waiting for.. some other non-related incident to send a man over the edge...

I want to write a post of sadness for all the hate I see in this world ... but... what to say?

Mostly, I feel sorrow. Sorrow towards the Guard doing his job, sorrow for the world that this man did the things he did.

I also feel anger. I hope that the gunman lives. I hope he goes to trial and I hope he is convicted of murder and sent into a situation where his hate can no longer make him kill another innocent again...
hkellick: (Buffalo)
If you aren't up on the news this week, yesterday Dr. George Tiller was fatally shot while attending services in his Lutheran Church in Wichita. I don't know much about Mr. Tiller and, really, this post isn't about him, but I need to vent my utter disgust at this.

No matter where you fall on the pro-choice/pro-life spectrum, murder and violence are never the way to get your point across. Only wackos choose to make a point by hurting someone or killing someone.

This murder reminds me of another murder not that long ago, one I'm a bit more familiar with, the murder of Dr. Barnett Slepian

In 1998, Dr. Slepian, an OB/GYN and a physician from my hometown of Amherst, NY, who lived not so very far from where I grew up, was murdered inside his own home.

In a city as small as Buffalo was (and possibly as liberal as Buffalo tends to be), the moment crystallized the city. We were horrified, as a whole. No matter what your own personal beliefs were.. to go into a man's house and KILL Him..?

Of course, the crazies came out of the woodwork to 'celebrate' this moment. Even as most of us were reacting in shock and horror at this, a bunch of crazy idiots came from all across America to stage pro-life rallies across Buffalo. So many idiots were there, they spilled into pro-life rallies in Rochester.

To me, the most telling moment about all this.. was two fold.. at the same time as the crazies were coming out of the woodwork to stage their protests and the local pro-life groups BEGGING them to get the hell out before a riot occurred.. the FBI had gotten onto the trail of the murder, James Kopp who had fled to France.

The whole thing, upon memory, was just so surreal. The fact that a man was murdered in his own home for the crime of.. something that was totally legal, that the crazies then came out of the woodwork CELEBRATING the MURDER OF A MAN, and that the murderer himself flew to France to escape justice. Just... seriously seriously Surreal. With more than a bit of a hint of Insanity.

I hope the FBI finds who killed Dr. Tiller. I hope they find him and convict him. And I hope, for the City of Wichita, that this doesn't turn into another call to the Right Wing Anti-Abortion Loons to come to Wichita to stage multiple rallies and otherwise make total asses of themselves. I really do hope so...
hkellick: Words Like Violence Break The Silence (Enjoy the SIlence)
I remember... just after Obama had won the nomination to be the Democratic Presidential Nomination hanging out on CC and having two people explain to me how sexism had played a role in Obama winning the nomination. And.. I couldn't argue the fact.
The expectations for Hillary, as a woman, were DIFFERENT than those for Obama, a black man. Sometimes Hillary herself wasn't sure what those expectations were, sometimes showing her "I can play with the big boys" face and sometimes showing her more sensitive female side. The final view of Hillary was.. a woman of 1,000 faces. And it's an image some of us bought.
I can't argue that Hillary was, in part, a victim of these different expectations. The same expectations any woman in power probably has to deal with. What it means to be a Woman in a "Man's World."

I didn't like Hillary. I didn't want another Clinton in office so quickly and Hillary's "I'm going to play with the big boys" attitude.. always bothered me somewhat.
Which is probably sexism on my end.

I mention this to bring up the point that Sexism.. AND Racism are not just Black and White. There's shades of grey, quite a lot of them, and the fact, for example, that I wasn't comfortable with Hillary in power might have been sexism on my part.

I'm of an "Avenue Q" point of view about the whole thing. I think we're all a little Racist, and all a little Sexist. I hear comments all the time, jokes, a certain sort of humor that, while maybe funny, are still Sexist or Racist.

So, when you hear Sonia Sotomayer's comment, EVEN IN CONTEXT, I think it's Racist. And Sexist.

For the record, her comment was the following...

Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O'Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure Justice O'Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes that line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life.

You can read her entire speech, to get a feeling for the context of this paragraph here.

I think the fact that if you flipped the comment around so it says "Secondly, I would hope that a Caucasian Male with the richness of his experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a Latino Woman who hasn't lived that life."... the fact that that's a little more clearly racist and sexist, I think... shows the comment is, in fact Racist and Sexist.

I think, if she's said that "With my experience, and the life I've lived, I think I have the ability to make a better conclusion regarding race and sex discrimination cases.", she would have sounded potentially conceited, but not racist or sexist.

It was the way she said it.

I'm not here to yell at her like Newt or Rush. I'm sure she'll be a fine justice. But I feel the need to make my case heard, if only here in my personal journal. And, so far, there's two camps here.. only two.. the Left who's screaming it isn't Racist at all and how DARE those idiots on the rights suggest that Sonia Sotomayer is Racist.. and the Right who's screaming "REVERSE RACISM! REVERSE RACISM!"

If we're committed to fighting Racism, and Sexism. I think we need to be realistic here about what counts. And all the various grays of Racism and Sexism. If we're really going to end Racism and Sexism, which alot of groups claim is the right end.. the right end for Feminism and the Civil Rights movement, it has to stop, all of it.
hkellick: Pittsburgh, City of Bridges (Default)
This has been bouncing around in my head a bit since K brought it up, but it's interesting nonetheless.

Last week, there was a shooting in a UU Church in.. Tennesse, I believe. Only two people died, but it's generally thought that it was only two people because A) one of the two people jumped in front of the gun to stop others from being hurt and B) they wrestled the guy down to the ground pretty darned fast.

There hasn't been much reporting of it. Certainly not nationally. Locally, it's gotten some.

What's interesting, I think, is that the assailant had a lot of Right-Wing stuff in his home. Bill O' Reilly's books, Ann Coulter's books, stuff like that. And he wrote a four-page long suicide note explaining how he had to do it because of “hatred of the liberal movement” and of “liberals in general, as well as gays.”

This strikes me as ironic.

In an age where people jump to blame TV, Music and Video Games for violence, then I want it known that Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter killed two people in Tennessee two weekends ago. Clearly, the guy was mentally ill. But, and however, Ann Coulter is just as much to blame for this as Marilyn Manson is for the Columbine Shootings. Or Grand Theft Auto III.

Mind you, I don't really blame Ann Coulter. Again, I think the fact was.. he was mentally unstable (again, I ask, though, how do these mentally unstable people keep managing to get guns. Hello?!?!), but... the irony amuses me.

Holy Shit

Aug. 10th, 2006 08:55 am
hkellick: (Black and White)
Holy Shit
hkellick: Pittsburgh, City of Bridges (Default)
I'll make this one public..

2005 is almost over and it's been a BUSY year... Hurricanes, Scandals, Living Wills, iPod Nanos, Supreme Court Appointments, Space Shuttle Issues, Attacks on the London Underground, A New Pope. Even a Transit Strike!

So...out of curiosity... what stories mattered the most to you? What, in 2005, was most important to you? Which people mattered the most to you?

Gas Prices

Sep. 23rd, 2005 08:27 am
hkellick: Pittsburgh, City of Bridges (Default)
So.. a question (and another public entry!)

They're predicting gas prices to go up to $5 again for a while.

How much do you have to pay to fill up your vehicle before the price of gas outweighs the convenience of having your own vehicle? How much until you switch to biking/walking/mass transport?

If gas does go up to $5 or more per gallon, what do you intend to do?
hkellick: (Political)
It's Great To Know (tm) that we (America) don't need any help looking for survivors. At least, we're not inviting Canada to come over and help out.
What. The. Fuck?

Well, fuck, why doesn't someone tell the Red Cross so they can go home too?

*WHACKS Bush with a Fucking Clue by Four of doom*

Please remember this, Republicans. People are offering assitance and we aren't inviting them in. THIS is your candidate's "leadership" in action.

This post goes public.

More news

May. 18th, 2005 12:11 pm
hkellick: It's a stormtrooper, making the Loser L over his forehead (Loser Stormtrooper)
It's good to know that sexism is alive and well in the army.
What a brilliant idea! The Army can't get enough recruits as it is, let's make sure that they get even less by both closing 21,000 spaces to women but also showing yourselves as sexist, in time of war when many people are already wary of joining the army or reserves because of the WAR.
Fuckin' idiots.
hkellick: Pittsburgh, City of Bridges (Annoyed)
Want to pass on this link to those of you who watch some of the crap on TV today: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/08/AR2005050801010.html

It's about all the makeover programs out there (Nanny 911, Extreme Makeover, a show called FIX MY HUSBAND! (UGH! UGH! NO! GOD DAMMIT NO! I hope John Grey, whom I dislike, writes them to tell them how fuckin wrong they are!)) just suck and you should learn to click the freakin remote off.

I'll be honest. I'm glad I don't watch TV much anymore (All I watch is the news). For every show with some redeeming social value, there's another program out there that's just completely fucked up.

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