Category Archives: politicking

Giant Rats Sneer at Construction Scabs

Filed under living in new york is neat, politicking, super furry animals
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Ahhhhh, remember when I had just moved here and was working this terrible job as a slave to an investment banking firm with the lady-owner who hated all other women, and I was so innocent, and everything was brand new to me, and I wrote this adorable LiveJournal post?:

On the sidewalk one block north of Macy’s and one block south of my office, a giant inflated black rat sat on its haunches this morning. It was probably 12 feet tall, with red eyes and claws and a sneer. All of the real New Yorkers passed by as if they didn’t notice, while the tourists and I looked at each other with “Seriously?” eyes.

It seems to me that maybe this isn’t the best way to welcome people to the city for the holiday season. Of course, I was only a public relations major for a quarter.

NYC Union Rat

I was reminded of that when the inflatable rats showed up this morning in front of the building next door to taunt the management company’s use of non-union workers. I’m pro-union as it is, but the rats make it all the more fun.

I Mostly Like People Until Election Season Comes Around

Filed under politicking, why i'm better than everyone else
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God bless you for all you do, political watchdog groups, but perhaps hiring someone with a certain degree of innate spellchecking ability would be beneficial to your cause:


This was scribbled aaaaaaaaaaaall over the sidewalks outside of the polling place on Kamran’s street this morning. I just want to pat who ever did it on top of their cute, little heads.

When the President Comes to Town

Filed under living in new york sucks so hard, politicking
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I think that when I lived in Ohio, I was neutral-to-positive about the United Nations. I actually remember defending it to someone–my dad?–saying that even though it allows itself to be basically powerless and just for show, it’s a good idea at its core.

But now that I’m dating someone who lives literally steps from the UN headquarters, I understand that it was created entirely to take pity on people from lesser countries, give them good parking spots for their giant gas-guzzlers, and allow them a place to prance around in the ridiculous costumes of their homelands.

That’s right. The UN General Assembly meeting made me a jingoist.

It was all just so annoying. The neighborhood was littered with cops not doing anything, clumped in groups and lounging on whatever was nearby. Their undercover comrades sat on the park benches and pretended to read books, believable but for the wired earpieces sticking out of their collars. All of the streets were blocked off to non-UN traffic, so the buses we use every day were rerouted, which means we actually had to walk amongst these animals. And of course none of the bus stops actually had signs on them saying the buses weren’t stopping there.

Tuesday, I got to 42nd Street after work, and these guards were standing on the sidewalk behind some barriers, but I was like, “Yeah, I live here,” and tried to saunter by without incident, but of course one of the guards took a step backward to block me and gave me this whole run-around before sending me one block north, where there were no guards. Reeeeeeeeeal intense security, guys.

Wednesday night, I came up out of the subway, and pedestrian traffic was stopped to let one motorcade of black SUVs pass west and then another motorcade pass east on the wrong side of the road. White dudes in suits were leaning out both sides of the cars, yelling at every delivery boy and street-crosser in sight. It had to all be for the President, right? Sirens wailed and horns honked, and you could see all of the Secret-Service-looking guys crammed into the backs of the vehicles despite the tinted glass, and I stood in the middle of it like, “OH MY GOD THIS IS AWESOME.” Because I am from Ohio and am easily impressed by shiny things.

Oh, UN.

It Really Helps with the Whole Guilty Conscience Thing When You Don’t Consider Babies Human

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I don’t remember when I decided I was pro-choice, but I remember distinctly that I was still calling myself a Christian when I did. (Realizing that God and I basically didn’t share any common viewpoints is one of the reasons I’m not a Christian today.) I understand that abortion is an extremely polarizing issue and that you can never argue your side well enough to convince someone who doesn’t already agree with you, which is why I like to talk about it so much. I find it unfortunate that the conservative argument is simply “because the church says not to”, because that precludes the need for careful thoughtfulness about the subject on the part of the believer. I also find it unfortunate that the liberal argument is simply “because I should have control over my own body”, because we rarely have control over own bodies when it comes to other kinds of protective legislature (i.e. seatbelt laws, drug laws).

I bring this up because this week’s New York magazine has an infinitely interesting article about modern views on abortion and how they’ve changed since the 70s, when women won the fight for the right to choose. I think the article does a great job of balancing the two sides (though, again, it’s not going to convince anyone of anything), but here are the two most interesting points from my side:

1) Until the mid-nineties, the political debate over abortion remained mostly in the theoretical realm, with the role of government at its center. Had it stayed there, it’s possible we’d be in a different place today. But in late 1995, a Florida Republican congressman named Charles Canady had a stroke of insight that would shift it to the realm of both the metaphysical and brutally physical, which is precisely where the pro-life movement wanted it all along. On the floor of the House, he introduced a bill that would ban so-called “partial-birth abortions,” a second-trimester surgical method previously known as intact dilation and extraction. The procedure was extremely upsetting to behold. In it, the fetus—or is it a baby?—is removed from the uterus and stabbed in the back of the head with surgical scissors. It’s a revolting image, one to which the public was ritualistically subjected on the evening news as the debate raged on the House and Senate floors. Defending it was a pro-choice person’s nightmare. Pat Moynihan compared it to infanticide. Clinton still vetoed the ban in 1996, but it was eventually signed into law in 2003 and withstood a Supreme Court challenge in 2007. More important, women were spooked. “A lot of our patients started asking whether or not the fetus felt pain after that, even if they were early along in their pregnancy,” says Albert George Thomas, who until two years ago had spent eighteen years as the head of the family-planning clinic at Mount Sinai. He adds that many women also came into his clinic expressing confusion about the size of the fetus they were aborting. Some were terrified that it was huge, even those who were coming in at six weeks. At that stage, it’s the size of a lentil.

2) Abortion counselors will also tell you that the stigma attached to the procedure is worse than it’s been in years. “When I started as a patient advocate in Ohio in 1996,” says Jeannie Ludlow, a professor at Eastern Illinois University who has written a great deal about abortion, “what I mostly saw were women who were thinking about abortion in individual ways—this is what’s going on in my life, this is what I’m thinking I should do. But by the time I left in 2008, our patients would be saying all that and ‘Oh, and I know I’m going to feel bad for the rest of my life,’ even if they seemed perfectly sure of their choice.”

I remember the truck that drove around my college campus with pictures of aborted babies plastered all over it, and I hated that I was supposed to be won over by emotional imagery in lieu of actual consideration of how a baby–and even a pregnancy–would entirely change my life in ways that I neither wanted nor was prepared for.

I know that it involves killing (what has the potential to become) human life, but I just can’t imagine myself regretting an abortion for the rest of my life like everyone wants me to think I will. I sort of want to have one, actually, just to make myself a t-shirt that says, “I aborted my baby, and I feel GRRRRREAT!” I don’t want to rub it in anyone’s face or anything, but I want some support for women who made the right choice for themselves and won’t be made to feel guilty.

I’m interested in your thoughts on the article and subject in general, as always.

Hey, not to make matters worse, but seriously, keep your hair off my toilet seat in the future.

Filed under good times at everyone else's expense, jobby jobby job job, my uber-confrontational personality, politicking, potty mouth
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You may remember that fateful day a year ago in which I went to my favourite bathroom stall at work to find


Well, today, I came out of my stall, and as I was washing my hands, a black woman from the office next door walked in, half-acknowledged the hello I gave her, and went straight for the very same stall. I thought to myself about how funny it is that I always see her using that stall and how we must appreciate the same sort of conditions while doing our bizness.

And then it hit me. The largest pubic hair in existence was probably . . . the hair from her head. And if she saw that sign, she was probably offended, maybe even deeply hurt. It likely called to mind all of the years of latent racism she’s endured, all of the rage she felt when Don Imus called those girls “nappy-headed hoes”. She probably went to the back of the bus that night out of shame.

I don’t have to feel bad about it as a privileged white person, but I sort of do.