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Dizzying Intellect » Vent

Category: Vent

Fight As You Can

I’ll tell you what’s driving me crazy about the Aasiya Hassan murder and beheading. Apart from the obvious.

If I hear one more “conservative” react to an honor killing with “Gee, I wonder if we’ll hear from NOW this time,” I’m going to smack someone.

Newsflash. NOW is a joke. They’ve always been a joke. Blaming them for not responding to an honor killing is like blaming the UN for not reacting.

They’re useless. GET. OVER. IT.

If you care even the slightest bit about these women — and most conservatives really don’t, they just like bitching about the left’s hypocrisy — quit with the douchy snark, and try doing something about it. You can’t defeat the misogynistic bastards yourself, but you can take a tiny tip from the few liberals who aren’t all talk, and *gasp* volunteer at a women’s shelter. Or donate money or food to the women in your community who’ve had to deal with this religious/cultural fully-sanctioned abuse first hand.

It won’t make you vote democrat or morph into a granola eater, I promise.

Muslim women’s advocates consider the statement significant after years of indifference in a community which has seen only recent progress — for example, the opening of shelters for battered Muslim women in a few major cities.

“This is a horrible tragedy, but it gives us a window,” said Abdul-Ghafur, editor of the anthology “Living Islam Out Loud: American Muslim Women Speak.” “The next time a woman comes to her imam and says, ‘He hit me,’ the reply might not be, ‘Be patient, sister, is there something you did, sister? Is there something you can do?’ The chances are greater the imam will say, ‘This is unacceptable.”‘

Conservatives are the ones who always talk about being able to choose their own charities, instead of being taxed, but I don’t know a single one who actually volunteers. And it’s not like the liberals are busting their asses to help these poor women, either. It’s up to us. Put up or shut the hell up.

Punching Small Mammals

Oh, and also? Across the board cut in pay. All contractors lose 10% starting the first week of April.

Because it wasn’t enough that they tripled our workload by retiring/firing thousands of people in December. They have to pay us less for the extra work, too.

Can this month POSSIBLY get any better?!

Girl talk, part PTHTHTHTHTHTHTH!

You know the drill.

Read more »

Girl talk, part 3

Noh Boyz Alloud

Read more »

Over It? (Guess Not.)

When I was in high school, I read Stephen King like he was going out of style. I know it’s not exactly canon, but it was entertaining, which is just as important, really. I stopped when he switched from horror to psychological thrillers — around Rose Madder, I guess — and haven’t been back.

So I’ve been re-reading a lot of books, because I freecycled about half of my library and re-shuffled the rest, so I’m seeing old titles that intrigue me. And I just re-read Firestarter, which I hadn’t read since I was in my teens. (I actually wasn’t sure I had read it, until I got to the term “Catherine wheel” in one scene, and randomly recalled with perfect clarity that this is where I first read that term.)

Anyway. I know King’s a liberal, but I was horrified at his treatment of military people in this book. Not the people running the government agency that’s testing on the girl, but unrelated soldiers. The first is a “tough-looking young man in an army uniform” in a phone booth who’s trying to convince his girlfriend that he’s not sleeping around, and I thought it was a coincidence.

But then later, one of the characters thinks about his time in Vietnam: “There was no need to confuse her by pointing out that they had all been stoned, most of the grunts smoked up well on Cambodian red and their West Point lieutenant, who was only one step away from the checkpoint between sanity and madness, on the peyote buttons that he chewed whenever they were out on patrol. Rainbird had once seen this looey shoot a pregnant woman with a semiautomatic rifle, had seen the woman’s six month fetus ripped from her body in disintegrating pieces; that, the looey told them later, was what you call a West Point Abortion.”

Ok, first of all, that’s some “semiautomatic rifle” that can explode an entire adult torso. Second, a whole platoon stoned and tripping while on patrol would have a very short shelf life, I should think. But more importantly — every single military person in the book is either a drug addict, a murderer, or a lying womanizer. Is this what he really thinks of our soldiers? Or is this some aberration? Since I didn’t notice it when I read it as a kid, I may have missed it in his other works, too.

And, of course, I google him now and find this:

I don’t want to sound like an ad, a public service ad on TV, but the fact is, if you can read, you can walk into a job later on. If you don’t, then you’ve got, the Army, Iraq, I don’t know, something like that. It’s, it’s not as bright. So, that’s my little commercial for that.

So. Uh. Nevermind.

[Anyway, I'm on to Morris West now. Much better.]

C’est la meme chose

I can’t let this go without at least one cynical comment.

An 81-year-old British woman died after passersby ignored her because they thought she was drunk.

My grandfather had a heart attack on the street, on Staten Island, in 1938. And just like this, no one helped him because they assumed he was drunk. (Fortunately, he didn’t die that day. But he sure as hell moved away from that heartless city.)

So nice to see how much the world has improved in the past seventy years.

Protect Your Own

Rottweiler Mauls, Kills 3-Year-Old Girl

Authorities say a 3-year-old girl has died after being attacked by her neighbor’s Rottweiler in Fort Worth, Texas.

These things happen all the time, and usually it’s entirely the fault of the dog’s owner. Let’s so how this case is different, shall we?

Police say the 17-year-old dog attacked the toddler Friday after she climbed through a hole in the fence of her backyard and into an enclosure with the animal.

Emphasis mine.

The dog will probably be euthanized, and I’m not sure what else they could do. But I’m not seeing how this is the dog owner’s fault. If I had a three-year old kid, and a huge, potentially dangerous dog lived next door to me? There sure as hell would NOT be any unmended holes in my fence.

Let me turn this around a smidge. When I was in high school, my stepmother-at-the-time had a cat. The cat had kittens. When they were just starting to get past the mewing blobs stage, and have personalities, my baby sister, who was about three at the time, decided she wanted to play bath time with them. So she took one outside to swim in her baby pool. When that one stopped playing, she went back inside and got the next one. And the next one. Until she had drowned the entire litter of eight.

My stepmother sat next to the sliding glass door and watched her toddle up the stairs and take each one outside, but then was somehow horrified to find the little corpses, several hours later.

The lesson here? If you want to keep something small and defenseless from being killed by something big and clueless? Sometimes YOU have to be the one to protect it, instead of relying on the magical forces of good in the universe to mend the fence or drain the pool.

Adoption + Weight

I have mixed feelings about this: (Getting the feeling that’s a trend?)

Council tells couple they are too fat to adopt

They were told that Mr Hall’s size, at six foot one and a weight of 24-and-a-half stone (156kg), made him morbidly obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 42.

In a letter, the council told them his BMI must be below 40 before the couple could be considered as potential parents because of a risk he could become ill or even die.

“The bottom line is I’m too fat. I just feel as though we were only judged on my weight and not all the other good things about us,” said Mr Hall, 37, who works in a call centre.

“We don’t drink or smoke and we could give a child a happy and safe home.”

Mrs Hall, 31, a nanny, agreed: “I think it’s just gutting. We had an inkling they’d say something about (his) weight but to be turned down flatly just on that, it’s just harsh.

Here’s the thing. I do agree that this is kind of unfair. The council obviously did judge them too harshly on this one issue, and overlooked the happiness that this couple could bring to a child that needs loving parents.

But you know what? Their reaction shouldn’t have been “That’s unfair!” Their reaction should have been “Hey, you’re right. Maybe being 350(!) freaking pounds isn’t the best possible thing I can do for my family. Why don’t I lose 100 pounds, and maybe live to see this kid make it to first grade?”

For all I know, maybe it’s a test — because the council is ultimately responsible for what happens to these kids. And if you’re not even willing to put down the Doritos for this baby, how are you ever going to force yourself to get up at 3am to change a diaper, or entertain him yourself instead of planting him in front of the TV, or teach him to ride a tricycle?

Your mileage may vary, obviously. What do you think?

Tips From Tanya

This has been bugging me for months, and it’s not anyone who reads this site, but I need to get it off my chest:

If you’re going to tell someone a secret? Especially a big, life-altering secret? You might consider letting her know it’s a secret.

Especially if it’s someone who you barely know, and who therefore would have no reason to think you’d ever tell her anything confidential. Much less something importantly confidential.

Otherwise, don’t be surprised when she turns to her best friend to discuss it, who happens to be related to you. Because it’s kind of a big deal.

And she’s likely to feel like shit about it for a long time, even though it’s YOUR fault.

Here endeth the lesson.

Coding -101

Tweedledum was one of the many people who were cut in the latest round of layoffs — and I was actually feeling sort of bad about it. Until just now.

I found an unrelated error in a program that he wrote, back in November, when I moved a critical fix for the program to production. The next and previous buttons, to show each record, weren’t working correctly. They worked occasionally, but then failed randomly.

We couldn’t back out the critical fix, so I just added a new change request for the new issue. I got it back from him last week, saying that it was fixed, but didn’t have time to test it until today.

It still doesn’t work, in exactly the same way. The buttons work 90% of the time, but then do nothing at all on certain records. Since it’s so unpredictably sporadic and odd, I wondered what change he’d made, so I compared the code from test to prod.

This is the entire code change he made to the program, to fix the error:

* 12/11/08 CORRECT NEXT/PREVIOUS PROCESSING.

That’s it. A comment.

*bangs head on desk*

I can’t imagine why it still doesn’t work. Also? So glad that I wasted an hour generating data to test it. And now my conscience feels better about at least one person who’s on unemployment for Christmas, instead of me.

[We now return you to your standard non-nerd programming, already in progress]