March 7, 2005

Monday

Ah, another Monday. This week won't be so bad since I have Wednesday off, but the weekends always go by too quick. Saturday was the Pirate Party (Arrrr...) for Brooke & Seamus's birthdays. It was a lot of fun. Then on Sunday we had our book club. It might need to be changed to book & baby club though since we kid-less people are becoming totally outnumbered by the people with babies! They'll all be a smart little gang of readers one day. So only tomorrow, then I get to sleep in Wednesday. I'm going to hang out with Brooke & go to Everett to see Duran Duran. We went and worked out today, which was good. Tomorrow we might go see "Cursed". I'm looking forward to it.
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March 4, 2005

All the News that's Fit to Print

Well... I thought today I'd look at the lighter side of the news. Here are my favorite headlines (some with partial text as I thought they merited it). Enjoy!

Tiny Eels Netting Higher Prices than Caviar as Asians Snap Them Up

Less Swearing on TV, Demands Former Sex Pistol

Cat Survives 10-Mile Trip on Top of Car

US man's face torn off by chimps during birthday visit to simian pal

An American animal lover's face was torn off in a savage attack by two huge chimpanzees as he delivered a birthday cake to his former chimp pet of 30 years, officials said.

St. James Davis had severe facial injuries and would require extensive surgery in an attempt to reattach his nose, Dr. Maureen Martin of Kern Medical Center told KGET-TV of Bakersfield. His testicles and a foot also were severed, Kern County Sheriff's Cmdr. Hal Chealander told The Bakersfield Californian.


One in three couples in Philippines don't know birds from the bees: official

As many as 30 percent of couples in the Philippines are unaware that having sex can result in babies, Health Secretary Manuel Dayrit said.

"They do not know how pregnancy happens," even though some of them have had numerous children already, Dayrit remarked

Boy Sets Off for School at Dead of Night

BERLIN (Reuters) - Astonished German police picked up an 8-year-old boy at 3 a.m. who had accidentally set off to school thinking he was late, authorities said Thursday.

"He seemed to have got into a panic he was late and went off to school by himself with his rucksack," said a spokesman for police in the western city of Aachen. "You'd think the parents weren't looking after him, but that wasn't the case here."

Police found the boy as he was heading home after he discovered the school was still closed.


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March 3, 2005

1500 vs 16,000 OR Who Decided Iraq Citizens are Worth 1/10 of American ones?

A headline running in many of today's papers reads "US Troop Deaths in Iraq Rise to 1,500". This announcement of the US death toll was made by the military this morning, and is apparently big news.

I'd like to reference the Iraq Body Count (www.Iraqbodycount.net). The website states that "In the current occupation phase this database includes all deaths which the Occupying Authority has a binding responsibility to prevent under the Geneva Conventions and Hague Regulations. This includes civilian deaths resulting from the breakdown in law and order, and deaths due to inadequate health care or sanitation." Since October 2001, a minimum of 16,123 civilians have been killed in Iraq. This is only REPORTED deaths, and are only civilian, non-combatant deaths, which means that any number of Iraqi troops may be added to this number.

How about we see something in the news about this? How about not placing the value of our soldiers lives over the value of innocent men, women & children living in Iraq? How about the simple idea of someone just admitting that even if we are 'helping' we are also hurting? After all, it doesn't matter if Iraq is a democracy or if Iraq is a free country if there is no one left to enjoy it.

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March 2, 2005

Hotel Rwanda & Paul Rusesabagina

Last night Kira and I went and saw Paul Rusesabagina speak at Town Hall. It was pretty great. When he first walked out on stage, he received a lengthy standing ovation and I found myself near tears. I find it so overwhelming to just be in the same place, listening, hopefully gaining some kind of wisdom from people who are so good and have done things I can't imagine doing. I felt much the same way I felt when I saw the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu in Vancouver - it was overwhelming to think about them and have such an incredible experience.

I've been thinking about it and am interested in getting more involved with some kind of organizations helping the people in Africa. I don't really understand why that's a part of the world we don't pay much attention to. The same kind of genocide is happening in Sudan and other countries now, and the AIDS epidemic is orphaning 6000 children a day. There are 1/2 a million children left in Rwanda who lost their parents during the 100 days in 1994 when over 1 million Rwandans were killed. And I never even knew about the Rwanda thing until I heard of this movie. I think I'll do some research on the internet. It's hard to know what to do, but I know that there are things to do that can help, even if they are as small as giving what little money I can.
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March 1, 2005

OH NO A GIRL IN A TUX!

Okay... seriously. First off, it's not like the other girls were wearing actual gowns. It was a dickie and some fake pearls. Secondly, they are lucky that more people don't try to wear something else in their graduation pictures. I mean, do most schools even have this requirement anymore? Third, if she was not a lesbian would they have freaked out that much that she wore the tux? Fourth, if the tuxes were 'provided' that indicates that these pictures were taken at the school. Couldn't someone have said something about it AT THE TIME? Fifth, see first highlighted section. Dumbass. Sixth - her parents are cool. See 2nd highlighted section.

School board bans photo of lesbian in a tux

February 26, 2005

Larry Buhl, PlanetOut Network

SUMMARY: A Florida school board upheld a decision to ban a student's picture from a high school yearbook. The reason: the female student wore a tuxedo provided for the boys.

Davis, a lesbian straight-A student, claimed that she wore the tux because she was uncomfortable wearing the traditional gown-like drape and pearls the school provides for the girls.

"Hey if [a tux was] good enough for Sharon Stone and Sigourney Weaver, it was good enough for me," she said.

Davis denies the decision to ban her photo is based on her sexual orientation, however.

"There's a dress code to follow, a dress code expected for senior pictures in the yearbook and she chose not to follow them. It's just that simple," Owens said. The principal's original claim that the outfit violated yearbook tradition was shot down by students, who pointed out that the 2005 yearbook is the first for the new high school.

While tux-photo supporters call the school's decision narrow-minded, youth advocates suggest that it's also legally questionable.

In backing Principal Sam Ward's decision, the school board caused an unexpected firestorm in this affluent and growing suburb of Jacksonville. On Thursday, hundreds of residents showed up at the school board meeting, some to support "traditional female attire," but more came to condemn the board's decision. Some students even showed up in tuxedos as a sign of support for Davis. But Clay County Superintendent David Owens had the final word.

"Many court opinions state that gender-based dress codes violate students' rights," said Craig Bowman, executive director of the National Youth Advocacy Coalition. "Unless it's clearly vulgar dress or offensive in some way, courts are more often sympathetic to the rights of the student."

"Kelli is lucky to have parents that are so supporting," said Joshua Lamont, a spokesman for the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). "It would be even better if more schools would put policies in place to ensure freedom of expression. Decisions like this serve to marginalize LGBT students, when principals and administrators should be trying to break down those barriers."

Although Davis' parents have decided to skip a drawn-out legal fight -- which likely wouldn't be resolved until long after her graduation -- the picture will appear in the yearbook. Her parents paid $700 to publish an ad in the back of the yearbook featuring a picture of Davis in the offending tux.

Ending weeks of speculation but not controversy, Florida's Clay County School Board upheld a decision to ban a student's picture from the Fleming yearbook. The reason: Kelli Davis, 18, violated the school's dress code by having her senior class photo taken in a tuxedo provided for the boys.

Island High School

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