Ink Paper Words' Profile

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Pacific Northwest, United States
In elementary school, I desperately wanted my mother to order books for me from those flyers Scholastic hands out to kids. She refused, citing the "perfectly good library down the street." I exacted revenge by becoming a card-carrying ALA accredited reference librarian. Ha! Take that!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Oh, I Get It. "Different" = "Harassable"

Quixmar is going to have to start watching his back. Seems to have forgotten that not only did conservatives lose the election only one short month ago, they're also dropping like flies.
“A hopeless cause. If the homosexuals are victorious, they will toute the "Decision of the Court, Law of the Land" crap, and then they'll move on to their next step which is to declare straight people as the "broken toys." If they lose, I don't see them going back under their rock and you'll hear the hew and cry of "HOMOPHBES!"”

PrunellaC "they'll move on to their next step which is to declare straight people as the "broken toys."

So basically, you're terrified of being treated as they have been. Telling.
posted Dec 7, 2012 at 22:06:30
Reply  |  Link

quixmar Bahahahahahaha! What a clown. They are treated how they are because of their own doing. Sheesh! They come out, tell everyone they're "gay" and then get upset that people are not as happy as they are.

“"their own doing"

Will keep this in mind for all further reading of rightwad posts. TNX”

Friday, November 30, 2012

Can Religious Belief Be Tested?

I think it very likely can be. The problem, however, is that faith will prove to be most copious in all the wrong and most inconvenient places.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day in the US

Thank go thank god thank god this day is here at long last. Now all the jerks in the bullshit promulgation industry who think their metaphorical wand-waving will change my mind can go away for a couple of years.

I must say that I was stunned in 2000 to witness (up to that point, at any rate) the single most un-American act I had ever witnessed: a candidate going to court to stop vote counting.  Until that point, I had been a fairly apathetic voter. 531 US 98 has changed that forever.

Whatever your political beliefs, please do not allow any particular party or court to appoint our leaders. Voting is sacrosanct and we must not fear voter intimidation or blatant attempts at vote tampering.

Remember, citizens:

Democracy usurped is TYRANNY!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How Libraries Count in the 2012 Election

Informative article in American Libraries. by Beverly Goldberg. But it applies to most elections, not only this year.

As icons of civic engagement in America, libraries are perfectly positioned to host voter registration drives and, as local statutes permit, be venues for early voting and Election Day polls. In this particularly spirited election year, libraries may be playing their largest role yet in such efforts. Consequently, they have also been drawn into the national debate over how best to protect voter rights and election integrity.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

In Commemoration of 9-11

Just posted this in reply to @nytimes and awaiting the barrage of hate mail...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Political Limerick

In all fairness, this wasn't really my original idea. This is my cleaned and tightened up version of a commenter vendorwrites @ HuffPo. 

There once was a man named Mitt
Who really thought he was the $hit
He paid and paid
But common sense stayed
As the country said "Mitt, You Ain't It."

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot

Note: this is my Goodreads review of Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot by quadriplegic Oregon cartoonist John Callahan (ISBN: 0679728244, ISBN13: 9780679728245).

I've been a fan of Callahan's cartoons for a long time and remember when he was being published in Willamette Week. This book is fascinating in its gritty realism and stark descriptions of daily life when you require help to do just about everything.

Less compelling, however, were Callahan's portrayals of the AA culture and his (justifiable) rants at the welfare system. I personally found the most touching moments in the book had to do with Callahan's search for his birth parents and coming to terms with the sense of abandonment he felt even as a small child.

Several very obvious usage errors detracted somewhat from the narrative (for example, "midrift" instead of "midriff," on one page referring to his brother as Skip and later on the same page as Kip. All in all, however, a thoughtful and eye-opening memoir.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Employment, Lifestyle Statements and Conscience

During his 14 years at Shorter University, Michael Wilson, a librarian, built a library collection for the college’s satellite campus in Atlanta. He shaped his post as the first full-time librarian for adult and professional students. Then he won tenure, and planned to stay at the Baptist college in Rome, Ga., until retirement.
Instead, last week, he effectively handed in his resignation.

In October, the college announced it would require all employees to sign a “lifestyle statement” rejecting homosexuality, adultery, premarital sex, drug use and drinking in public near the Rome, Ga., college’s campus.

Good on you, Mr. Wilson, for standing your ground. I suspect, as you apparently do, that the university won't go for you crossing out the bits you disagree with, and it's just a damn shame. Why isn't it enough anymore to be competent at what a person does professionally?

I've always thought that it is no employer's business what I do on my own time -- unless they feel like paying a 300% FTE salary -- and you know that ain't a-gonna happen. That said, however, there are a couple of private colleges in my area that have posted in the usual places recruiting librarians. I read through their faculty "morals" clauses and don't bother applying. Which is too bad, because many of these positions otherwise sound fascinating. And frankly, I think many of the students at colleges like this are too sheltered and they can only benefit from being exposed to people like me. (I'm not gay, but I am divorced. My partner isn't divorced, but he's been legally separated at least 18 years).

Michael Wilson is my new librarian hero. Right up there with Nancy Pearl and Sanford Berman. 

Save Our Shorter

Minority Birth Rates Higher than Whites, Census Reports

"For the first time, racial andethnic minorities make up more than half the children born in theU.S., capping decades of heady immigration growth that is nowslowing."

A short while back, there was an article on HuffPo (which I did not read) about how the various states making it more difficult for women to get abortions were aimed at white women because this very scenario was feared. In view of this announcement from the Census Bureau, I have to believe there is something to it. Not only is the Hispanic population younger, they also tend to be Catholic, and for this reason, IMO, their percentage of the total population will continue to climb.

Diversity is a good thing. It used to be that Americans were proud of our melting pot tradition. These days it seems to be a dirty word.

EspaƱol solamente, y'all.

Okay, not really. Learn English too (especially you vehement native-speaking EO advocates). Russian wouldn't be a bad idea, either.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Virtual Walden

Finally! A role-playing video game worth the time you spend being sucked in. Or, as Erik Hayden of Time puts it,
Get ready for some edge-of-your-seat 19th century transcendentalist action!
I guess I have some mixed feelings about this project undertaken by the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. Is it just me, or is there some degree of irony inherent in a video game about living simply and purposefully? And yet, if people are smart, they will anticipate that when petroleum runs out (there were only so many dinosaurs to turn into oil, after all) reverting back to this lifestyle will be necessary if humankind is to survive.

My only quibble with the trailer is where they state "Walden, the Game, will bring the writing of Thoreau to life in an immersific experience where his work will be encountered by a new generation of readers in a form that will capture their attention and imagination." Cuz you know, words are like, so hard and all.

According to Time, this game is intended as a supplement to Thoreau's text, not as a substitute. What's next, Little Virtual Women? Why not? Sure beats Grand Theft Auto.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Wayne Kamp Would Be So Proud

Well, Mr. Kamp, my beleaguered math teacher at Lewis Junior High, would be proud. In the intervening years since I took his class, I have to a large degree overcome my innumeracy. So much that I have been able to piece together some interesting stats in honor of Tax Day tomorrow. I have every confidence that Mr. Kamp would now be blown away by my ability to fill in the missing chunks of info to compile this list. Oh, and Mr. Kamp, you should see me calculate my discount per yard and per total purchase when the fabric store is having a sale.

Some noise has been made on the Interwebz regarding the respective tax rates paid by President Obama and his secretary. This was in relation to the announcement that Romney, rather than releasing his taxes as did the Obamas and the Bidens, filed a request for an extension to file with the IRS. Certainly, there is nothing remotely illegal or underhanded about filing such a request. Millions do it every year. However, when one is campaigning for the highest office in the land, it would behoove him to realize how this will appear to his potential employers, the voters.

On the surface, it might seem scandalous to rightwingers that Obama does indeed pay a lower tax rate than his secretary. The White House has made no secret of it. However, the difference is only half a percentage point, so even though the rate is lower, Obama still paid nearly twice the actual amount that Breckenridge did.

Were Romney to pay the same rate as Obama, his tax liability would be $9,260,875 – or nearly 10 times the AGI for Breckenridge, or 3 times what he estimates he owes this year.

What a difference context makes. And BTW, Mrs Breckenridge must be one rocking secretary to score a salary roughly twice what the Occupational Outlook Handbook says is the median for secretaries. Kudos to you, madame!

Feminism, SAHM's and the "Dignity of Work"

Much has been made this last week over Hilary Rosen's comments regarding Ann Romney and her role as a "stay at home mom." Somewhat tactlessly, Rosen said that Mrs Romney had "never worked a day in her life," drawing the ire and umbrage of SAHM's across the country. If only Rosen had written that Romney never had to work a day in her life, much of the resulting flack might have been avoided.

As it is, however, accusations of class warfare and the denigration of the role of mothers (although I prefer the non-gender-specific "parents") continue to fly about the Interwebz. This is not necessarily a bad thing.

No one can deny that parents have a tough road in front of them. Some parents make huge financial sacrifices in order to take care of the home and to be able to devote more time and attention too their children. All good. But on many forums, time and time again I've seen working mothers castigated for loving money and "luxuries" so much that they are willing to trample on their family's well-being to attain it. Working mothers (interesting how this is never applied to working fathers) are demonized and blamed for all of society's ills.

Clearly, the situation for every family will be different. Some enjoy the luxury of being able to be with their children all day, some work because they want to be able to pay rent and utility bills. I don't see why any family's choice needs to be distilled into either "if you work you don't love your kids" or "if you stay home you demonstrate that education isn't necessary for women." Why have we, as a society, not risen above such petty, bifurcated thinking by now?

Ironically enough, as recently as January Mrs Romney's husband Mitt declared that people receiving TANF funds ought and need to work to feel the "dignity" that comes from working. I certainly agree that earning a living is vastly superior to deal with social service agencies, many of which care little how demeaned their clients feel. Besides, one often gets the impression that between requisite hoop-jumping and correcting their mistakes, one might as well be working.

Frankly, I don't believe the Romneys can have it both ways. Of course, "Flipper" has never really been known for staking out a position and sticking with it, but he can't both insist that one must work in order to feel a sense of worth and defend his wife for finding her sense of worth in the home.

The bottom line for me is that Mrs Romney enjoys a standard of living that few will ever know and due to her many blessings in life, is not a qualified or appropriate spokesman for the struggles that ordinary Americans face. I'm glad that Mitt "looks up" to his wife -- that is as it should be. However, I cannot look up to her as I do many other women. My mother and grandmother, for example. Both are\wereamazing women who not only worked outside the home, but in it as well. I thank both of them for giving me the blessing of knowing how to economize and get by on little. In a later post, I will highlight Yale nursing professor Margaret Moss and explain why she is a woman that anyone can, and should, admire.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

At Last! A Facebook Dislike Function

I was fascinated to learn of Dean Terry's Enemy Graph plugin for Facebook. It has frequently occurred to me that a simple Like button was not sufficient, and in terms of letting brands know what people truly, think of them, the Enemy Graph is not only an idea whose time has come, it is long overdue.

As a member of a few anti-fan sites I can already anticipate much of the criticism likely headed toward the Enemy Graph developers: there is too much negativity in the world already; this is for losers who are wasting energy by actively disliking someone they adore; people are just “jelus [sic].” Although personally, I've always thought that when you expend the energy to find a group devoted to disliking something you do like for the explicit purpose of trolling them, that is just one step closer to mental than those you're ragging on. Face it, disliking something is just as much a part of human nature as liking something, if not more so. As a species, are we not driven by a desire to shun and abhor that which is different?

Interestingly, MSN reports that Facebook will not allow a “dislike” button and have to wonder why. My guess is they are PO'd they didn't think of it first. Or perhaps it simply did not fit into their strategy to attract businesses with built-in fans.

Huffington Post has several built-in reactions for their stories. You can click Inspiring, Funny, Obsolete, Scary, Must-Have, Amazing, Innovative or Nerdy. It's nice they give you more ways to react, but really, any reaction worth recording will not be pre-defined. I thought I saw “Insipid” once, but when I looked closer it was the aforementioned “Inspiring.” Meh.

Per the Enemy Graph FB page, they are currently being slammed with new people "liking" the option to express dislike. I find the irony delicious. Anyway, when it's back up, my first EG will be Rachael Ray and other assorted Food network tools.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Why Rush Limbaugh Must Not be Censored

It's a scary time to be in the media. Any offhand remark can offend someone and complications result, and today it's easier than it's ever been to file a complaint. You don't even need to pick up the phone anymore. Just fire off an email in the right direction and voice your displeasure. But protests are curious things. Sometimes audiences and advertisers are lost, along with the income. Sometimes a protest will inspire a counter-protest and others are brought on board.

Rush Limbaugh's most recent attack on a woman has come under fire and initiated a microscopic looks at critical remarks made toward women. The aftermath of his false, intentionally misleading and inappropriate comments about Sandra Fluke who testified about how a friend of hers lost an ovary due to inability to avail herself of hormonal therapies. After being cycled through the Limbaugh Mangle-Bot, he claimed that she had so much sex she could not afford birth control, and that if she wanted to reimbursed for this birth control she was a slut and prostitute and would be obligated to provide an uplink to video of her having sex to compensate him.

The uproar over Limbaugh's hyperbole and slander caused many to engage in a campaign to express their outrage, with the result that he lost over 150 advertisers from his syndicated radio program. Several minutes of dead air were filled with PSA's.

It's difficult to feel badly for Limbaugh. For more than 20 years he's been making a fortune by uttering this exact kid of thing, and in fact, he is responsible for the word “feminazi,” which seems to mean a woman who isn't conservative having an opinion about something. His target audience eats it up and have rewarded him handsomely for talking smack about everything they hate. Basically, I abhor him and everything he stands for, but I believe it is essential that he continue to speak as he does and that he not be forced air because of his knowingly outrageous and incendiary comments.

On the contrary, Limbaugh's kind of hate speech needs to be brought into the open as much as possible for the very reason that we need to examine these statements and evaluate and accept or reject them on their own merits. It simply is not enough to accept at face value what we are told and by going to the source rather than relying on intermediaries. Weeks after Limbaugh's slanders, people who listen to him are still regurgitating his statements as though they were Gospel and had not been thoroughly refuted.

These days there are so many diversions and distractions circulating in the media that it can be difficult to know what is accurate and what is not. A plethora of information can be just as bad as a dearth; perhaps even more frustrating having too much to sift through than not enough. A skilled navigator on the sea of information is always a help.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Presidential Candidates and Pre-Existing Conditions

I've been thinking lately about the candidates and pre-existing conditions that they and their family members may have. Do Americans as employers want to be forced, possibly against our will and\or belief system, to provide medical care for a disabled daughter, or a wife with a chronic condition?

Purely a business decision, of course -- I'm sure they'll understand.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

More Meaningful Pre-pregnancy Information

I don't understand the priorities of Republican politicians. They want to dictate when, how and with whom people have sex, they want to limit access to birth control, they want to stand up for religious freedom and free speech for corporations but not people.

And now they want to insist that abortion providers require women to view ultrasounds and hear detailed descriptions of that which they are about to abort – all in the name of her “right to know.” What about a woman's right not to know? Why is this information being mandated prior to terminating pregnancy, but all manner of abusive, neglectful and chemically dependent people are free to spawn at will and become parents? Not so much as a learner's permit is required.

I'm all for any patient having access to information, and that includes pluses AND minuses (it does not include being forced to listen to condescending or superfluous information). If you're going to force a woman to hear a detailed description of the fetus, doesn't equal time require that you also tell her what it's like to raise teenagers?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

American Faith Party

The Huffington Post recent ran this article on the American Faith Party.

"Its leaders and adherents deny their goal is theocracy and say they only want religious freedoms protected"

I have to disagree; they only want THEIR religious freedoms protected, and they fail to see that the only way to protect ANY religious freedom is to protect ALL religious freedoms. This would mean giving atheist, agnostic and non-Christian candidates equal gravitas to that which has been enjoyed by Christians for more than 200 years.

I don't mind a "faith-based" party at all, in fact, I think it's a good thing. The two major parties certainly don't represent a majority of either side anymore -- the fringes on either side are too far apart and the moderates aren't different enough to see why one should choose a certain party over another. At least a party that wears its faith on its sleeve will have a certain degree of transparency.

However, what mechanism will be in place to make sure that separation of church and state is maintained and abuses avoided? Churches want to play in politics and influence their congregations and in order for that to continue, their tax-exempt status MUST be revoked.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

At Least Now It's Public Knowledge

Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act (and a suit filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center), the Department of Homeland Security recently released the 2011 edition of its Media Monitoring reference  manual  (I rather suspect that by the time of this release, the content had already been superseded and replaced with a newer edition, no doubt containing references to “Occupy,”  "Oakland" and “pepper spray.”

Yes, I know, everyone spies on everyone else, apparently all the time. The fact of the spying itself to me seems less shocking than the apparent extent to which DHS is concerning itself with personal communication.  The monitoring job itself seems like a real yawn, although admittedly similar to what I did the week AOL loaned out our tech support team to the Community Action Team to monitor AOL profiles for inappropriate content (“I'm Britni and I love my kids, Jesus and group sex” {goes on to describe the group sex in explicit detail}). I realize that intercepting planned domestic terrorism is a necessary job, but I question how likely such things are to be organized within a Facebook group or via Twitter.

But here's the thing: it seems to be a generally accepted truism that the US is “free.” So invested are Americans in this conceit that they rationalize Muslim anti-American sentiment as “they hate us for our freedoms.” This notion strikes me as patently ridiculous, particularly in view of the fact that it completely disregards the US meddling in the petroleum industry for the better part of a century. Tell me, DHS, how exactly the US government is any better than that of China or Iran?

Over the last year, the US seems to have supported and encouraged uprisings against the governments of Libya and Egypt while lambasting those governments for monitoring and censoring their citizens. I suggest, therefore, that by revealing the extant of their monitoring activities, the US has placed itself squarely in the same muddled ethical territory.

Land of the “free?” I think not.