Monday, June 20, 2011

Greetings from Kudzu Nation

At left: Kudzu colonizes riverside on the Swamp Rabbit Trail.

My profuse apologies for the unannounced blog break. At first, it was a real live recreational break, complete with hiking my favorite section of our beloved Swamp Rabbit Trail ... and then our electricity went FIZZLE... and so did we.


After the storm this week, we were without electricity for a whole day. (Some areas got it much worse, too.) If you think that's easy in South Carolina summer heat, think again. We were careful to stay STILL and QUIET ... and I soon figured out the reason for the well-worn stereotype of southerners acting/talking S-L-O-W is likely because they were simply too hot to move for hundreds of years.

Made sick from heat, I barely got the laundry done. Thankfully, I think we've recovered now. (It took me a very nice birthday party to completely recover, but I have!)

Mr Daisy forced me to go see X-MEN FIRST CLASS, which wasn't half-bad. The black man sitting next to me buried his face in his hands when Darwin bought it early. Then he placed his head on the shoulder of the woman next to him, as if to weep. Yeah, the sole black man gets knocked off early, way before the bang-up finale, in which the X-Men stop the Cuban Missile Crisis! (and all this time you thought it was Bobby Kennedy!) I like to think I would have noticed this without my movie-neighbor's reaction, but it is possible I wouldn't have, so my hat is off to him for bringing it to my attention.

Why do they do that? The old Star Trek TV-series used to do that, too... if there was a black guy in the landing party, you could expect the aliens to eat his innards first!

Left: Kudzu eats tree.

Delinquent in blogging, at least I've been collecting some pretty good links, so have at it:

:: Possibly, the blog post title of the year: Republican Senator Says “Fuck It”, Legalize Gay Marriage (Jezebel)

:: Asshole New Jersey governor Christie declares to voters that it's "none of your business" if he sends his kids to private school while enthusiastically gutting public schools... and if you thought otherwise, New Jersey folks, since YOU are paying his salary, well, he sets you straight in no uncertain terms. ((((fumes))))

:: My Ex-Gay Friend (The New York Times) Fascinating article about queer-theory junkie who turns into a fundie. This is the money quote:

It all sounded very much like the Michael I knew at XY, a young man who was fascinated by queer theory — namely, the idea that sexual and gender identities are culturally constructed rather than biologically fixed — and who dreamed of a world without labels like “straight” and “gay,” which he deemed restrictive and designed to “segment and persecute,” as he argued in a 1998 issue of XY. Though he conceded back then that it was important “to stay unified under a ‘Gay’ political umbrella” until equality for gays and lesbians had been achieved, Michael preferred to label himself queer.

As Ben and I reminisced, I couldn’t help wondering if Michael’s new philosophy might, in a strange way, be a logical extension of what he believed back then — that “gay” is a limiting category and that sexual identities can change. Ben nodded. “A radical queer activist and a fundamentalist Christian aren’t always as different as they might seem,” he said, adding that they’re ideologues who can railroad over nuance and claim a monopoly on the truth.
:: I have repeatedly attempted to blog about the whole Boeing fiasco in South Carolina, but every time I start a post, the situation just mushrooms further. I think I have finally found an article that explains it succinctly: 'Boeing retaliated' (Charleston Post and Courier):
Republicans on the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee questioned why the Democrat-controlled National Labor Relations Board sued Boeing over its decision in 2009 to locate the plant in North Charleston.

Democrats questioned if Boeing retaliated against the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers by putting the factory in mostly non-unionized South Carolina to avoid costly labor strikes.

On the hot seat during most of the nearly four-hour hearing was NLRB acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon, who reluctantly agreed to testify after being threatened with a subpoena.

"We believe the evidence will show that Boeing retaliated against its employees," Solomon said. "The decision to build a second line in South Carolina was in retaliation for the employees' right to strike."
And for you geeks who require labor-law details, please check out this post from the SC Green Party blog: NLRB and Labor Law: Discussion on C-Span

At left: Kudzu eats hill.

:: And just in case you wondered why our schools always place last (or near last) nationally? Greedhead Republican swine, especially the current governor:
Haley: $105 million should go for tax cuts, not schools
. (The Columbia State)
Gov. Nikki Haley threatened Wednesday to veto a state Senate proposal to add $105 million to the state’s K-12 education funding, saying the money should instead be used for tax cuts or to pay off state debt.

Haley also said that, in the future, anytime a three-member panel of state economists increases its estimates of how much money the state will bring in, as it did last month, that money should go for tax cuts, rebates or to pay off state debt.

That position is certain to endear Haley to her Tea Party supporters, who say they are taxed enough already.

But it will upset others who say that, after cutting billions from the state’s general fund during the just-ended Great Recession, recovering state revenues should be used to restore services that were cut or can justify more support.
:: Announcing a South Carolina demonstration against the Libyan intervention, which our Senator Lindsey Graham thinks is just great great great. This has been organized by the Carolina Peace Resource Center:
Saturday, June 25 · 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Location: Five Points Fountain (Greene & Harden St.)
Columbia, South Carolina.
This is a great location, since you can shop afterwards at Hip-Wa-Zee (Hi Leslie!) and Loose Lucy's. Only a dullard could resist! Be there or be square! (Yes, I sometimes miss living in Columbia, which I did for about 7 months.)

And finally...

NO MORE Law and Order Criminal Intent after this weekend?!? (((screams in agony)))) NOOOOooooOOOO!!!!

They are taking one of my favorite binge-drugs away.


JoJo said...

So THAT's what kudzu is!!! I don't know how you southerners can stand the summer heat and humidity, with or w/o a/c!! Reading the first few paragraphs of To Kill A Mockingbird sure gave me a good idea of what summer in the south was like.

I also liked your Star Trek reference, although I never noticed that it was a person of colour who was first to die, but anyone wearing a red shirt other than Mr. Scott. lol

Ah. The Boeing fiasco. This topic is directly tied to my own state and this has been in the news up here quite a bit. Let the record reflect that I said this exact same thing last year when they awarded the plant to SC after they disbanded the union. Having seen quite a few Boeing strikes over the course of the last 12 years, it didn't at all come as a shock to find Western WA passed over in favour of union-free SC. As soon as that announcement was made I believe my exact words were, "Ooooooh, take THAT machinists' union!" Boeing used to be the biggest employer around here and may still be. But those prolonged strikes wreak havoc on the local economy and I think the company got sick of it.

David Matos said...

Libya Vigil postponed; Gaza vigil in its place

Thanks for your support in RSVPing to attend this vigil. While we remain strongly concerned about NATO bombing in Libya and particularly the Obama administration's violation of the War Powers Act to continue US participation in the war, due to lack of numbers we are "repurposing" this vigil to call for an end to the siege Gaza. Sorry for the change up! Hope you can attend.

David Matos
President, Carolina Peace Resource Center
Peaceline: (803) 216-1448..

sheila said...

Welcome back first of all. Also, I've heard of soooooo many who send their kids to private while gutting public. It's really sick. Reminds me a lot of the guy who solicited his male pages while being the head of the committee for family values and against same sex marriage.

Makes me sick.