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Feb 14 2013

[Lounge #402]

babyhippo

This is the lounge. You can discuss anything you want, but you will do it kindly. The baby hippo is wondering why it took me so long to put him on the page.

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread

654 comments

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  1. 501
    glodson

    Portia:

    That’s how it was for me. I was a dyed-in-the-wool Republican and a sort of weakish* Xian. Then I read more and more atheist blogs but was one of those liberturdian atheists for a while. One by one, those regressive beliefs dropped away as I realized that progressivism was the natural consequence of applying reason to everything.

    *weakish autocorrects to weakfish in Word. Learn a new word every day…

    In some ways, I’ve been kind of like this. Two things amplifed my interests in social justice. One is the atheism, the other is having a child. My wife said that she noticed that I was getting angry, visibly angry, as we watched the news. Easy to do in fucking Texas. I was so apathetic before, I cared, but not enough to act. I’m actually ashamed of that, because I knew enough to be bothered, but I didn’t care. I was an entitled jerkass.

    I’m still a jerkass, I am just aware of being entitled.

    Socio-gen:

    God, that was disgusting. It was just depressing.

    Lynna:

    About Joe, there’s a book called “The Kingdom of Matthais” by Paul E. Johnson and Sean Wilentz. It is an interesting book, about another cult that popped up at about the same time. Robert Matthews, who is the Matthais of the book, met with Smith. It is just a part of it, but it is an interesting book on the Second Great Awaking, and tells an interesting tell about the time period. A bit tangential, but still interesting. (I hope.)

  2. 502
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    birgerjohansson,

    Started reading Mieville’s “Railsea”.

    I’m reading The City & The City. :)

  3. 503
    Lynna, OM

    The Rachel Maddow Show is hosting a new documentary that I don’t want to miss. It will air this coming Monday. We may already know that citizens of the USA were scammed into supporting the IRAQ war, but really the extent of that con job is startling.

    An MSNBC film, hosted by Rachel Maddow and based on Michael Isikoff and David Corn’s book, finds new evidence that Bush scammed the nation into war.

    Excerpt from Mother Jones coverage:

    One chilling moment in the film comes in an interview with retired General Anthony Zinni, a former commander in chief of US Central Command. In August 2002, the Bush-Cheney administration opened its propaganda campaign for war with a Cheney speech at the annual Veterans of Foreign Wars convention. The veep made a stark declaration: “There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.” No doubt, he proclaimed, Saddam was arming himself with WMD in preparation for attacking the United States.

    Zinni was sitting on the stage during the speech, and in the documentary he recalls his reaction:

    It was a shock. It was a total shock. I couldn’t believe the vice president was saying this, you know? In doing work with the CIA on Iraq WMD, through all the briefings I heard at Langley, I never saw one piece of credible evidence that there was an ongoing program. And that’s when I began to believe they’re getting serious about this. They wanna go into Iraq.

  4. 504
    glodson

    And blockquote tag fail. Good job, me.

  5. 505
    Lynna, OM

    More research that reveals telling details about Republican brains:

    …Darren Schreiber, a political neuroscientist at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, first performed brain scans on 82 people participating in a risky gambling task, one in which holding out for more money increases your possible rewards, but also your possible losses. Later, cross-referencing the findings with the participants’ publicly available political party registration information, Schreiber noticed something astonishing: Republicans, when they took the same gambling risk, were activating a different part of the brain than Democrats.

    Republicans were using the right amygdala, the center of the brain’s threat response system. Democrats, in contrast, were using the insula, involved in internal monitoring of one’s feelings. Amazingly, Schreiber and his colleagues write that this test predicted 82.9 percent of the study subjects’ political party choices—considerably better, they note, than a simple model that predicts your political party affiliation based on the affiliation of your parents….

    What the heck is a “political neuroscientist”?

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/02/brain-difference-democrats-republicans

    Schreiber thinks the current research suggests not only that having a particular brain influences your political views, but also that having a particular political view influences and changes your brain. The causal arrow seems likely to run in both directions—which would make sense in light of what we know about the plasticity of the brain. Simply by living our lives, we change our brains.

  6. 506
    Lynna, OM

    If you’ve been following the often whackadoodle attacks on Senator Chuck Hagel, you will not be surprised to find that right-wing bloggers on the ragged edge of fanaticism are stoking the fight. Furthermore, attack dogs in the Senate, like Ted Cruz, seem to be reading these anti-factual blogs exclusively. The source of the make-me-stupid virus can be seen in this example:

    In the Jan. 31 Hagel hearing, Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe cited a slam on the nominee that came from Jennifer Rubin’s reported blog. In his own questions, which have quickly made him the media’s least favorite Republican, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has asked Hagel to prove that he doesn’t have unreported funding from foreign creeps. “It is at a minimum relevant to know,” he said, “if that $200,000 that he deposited in his bank account came directly from Saudi Arabia, came directly from North Korea.” The last best hope of beating Hagel is that in the next 11 days these sorts of questions and allegations will turn up something—a “bombshell,” South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham calls it—that sinks him.

  7. 507
    rq

    [rant]
    I did not buy a godsdamned house to have more space to fill with even more children!!!! I bought a house to have some godsamned space, yes, sometimes from the children. I’m so fucking tired of that punchline, already – ‘Oooh, there’s so much space, you can fill it with children!!‘ Because I have three, I suddenly want 3 billion or so??? FUCK. NO. This is my house for my reasons and my family life is none of your comic relief business.
    I just wish it wasn’t my siblings doing this, seeing as how I’ve talked to my sister about my feelings about more munchkins and all. And how she has no children at all and isn’t really planning on having any (not a problem, just… no perspective about the more part).

    +++

    I’m also getting a bit worried about Cat. He’s not eating the food we put out, which means one of three things: (1) he’s still in the yard but too freaked out (so there’s hope that he’ll get over it shortly); (2) something ate him; (3) he’s running free (and possibly heading for the old apartment), which means he might still return. Also, it’s getting a bit chillier outside. :(

  8. 508
    Lynna, OM

    Robert Reich discusses raising the minimum wage. Excerpt:

    Raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 should be a no-brainer. Republicans say it will cause employers to shed jobs, but that’s baloney. Employers won’t outsource the jobs abroad or substitute machines for them because jobs at this low level of pay are all in the local personal service sector (retail, restaurant, hotel and so on), where employers pass on any small wage hikes to customers as pennies more on their bills. States that have a minimum wage closer to $9 than the current federal minimum don’t have higher rates of unemployment than do states still at the federal minimum.

    A mere $9 an hour translates into about $18,000 a year — still under the poverty line. When you add in the Earned Income Tax Credit and food stamps it’s possible to barely rise above poverty at this wage, but even the poverty line of about $23,000 understates the true cost of living in most areas of the country…

    Don’t fall for the mindless assertion that “markets” know best. Markets are human creations, requiring human beings to decide how they are structured and maintained.

  9. 509
    Socio-gen, something something...

    rq
    You got the house!! Yay!
    ++
    Ugh. When I had my daughter (after a long and dangerously difficult pregnancy) after having had two sons, the first damn thing everyone said was, “When are you going to try for another so you can have a matched set?”

    A) They’re children, not Hummel figurines; I’m not collecting them. And B) I knew when I was three months along that this was it. Never again, no way, no how.

    None of that was nearly as bad, however, as the couple of people to whom I’d confided about my decision to abort (at age 42) who said, “Oh, but wouldn’t it be just wonderful to have a little one around again.” Not just no, but fucking hell no. (If I’d known they were going to be idiots about it, I’d have never told them.)

  10. 510
    rq

    Socio-gen
    *hugs*
    Everyone wants us to have a girl (because three boys, you know…). I especially hate all those people who were all like ‘It’s ok, fourth will be a girl!’ after Youngest was born (and the one unforgettable lady who said ‘fifth’…). Hate. Because we needed consolation after a third healthy baby and relatively uneventful pregnancy and fast birth. Husband and I had no goals as to gender (a girl third time round would have been nice, for the sake of change, but really, we were just going for #3).
    And it’s always the childless people asking/saying these things. Even after two, one of Husband’s cousins (no kids – by choice, not by medical situation) was all about asking when Three would be in process. So we asked her when she was going to have her first. *snicker* She blushed a lot, went speechless, and dropped the subject.

  11. 511
    David Marjanović

    O hai!
    Parody website mentioned on the Sasquatch thread has page about sharks with frigging laser beams on their heads!
    Chuck Norris facts about gay marriage!
    kthxbai

  12. 512
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    I know I’m missing some things, kind of ‘rupt, but here goes:
    Portia

    was one of those liberturdian atheists for a while. One by one, those regressive beliefs dropped away as I realized that progressivism was the natural consequence of applying reason to everything.

    This bit right here describes me as well. I was raised an atheist, but when I was young and privileged and didn’t know shit about the world, I though that the libertarians had it right. The more I learned about reality, the more I realized that it wasn’t going to fix things, so I started becoming more and more progressive, because the evidence indicates that that does fix things.
    socio-gen
    Welcome back. Also, yay for overcoming anxiety.
    birgerjohansson

    English is divided into ‘mercan and Brit

    More than that, actually. India has its own dialect, for instance. I can never recall who uses s vs z, though.
    Lynna

    Raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 should be a no-brainer.

    Indeed. Raising the minimum wage to ~$13 (I haven’t checked the exact figure in a while) would put its purchasing power at rough parity with the minimum wage in 1970, and it wasn’t a great wage then.

  13. 513
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    I have a complaint!

    This is a srs bns complaint, too.

    So, Louis (that English Bloke) persuaded me to buy this tea blend that is from his faraway land. The supermarket offered it in two formats: a box of 20 bags, and 250 g of loose leaf. So I bought the box of bags, as it was cheaper. That shit was delicious. So, after the 20 bags were consumed, I went back and bought the loose leaf, as I generally prefer loose leaf tea.

    Those fuckers ground up the leaves. Like, tiny. The “leaves” look like dry coffee grounds. This was especially problematic because all of my tea strainers are of the “solid sheet with holes poked in” style. So, I went to the tea boutique that is a 20 minute drive away, and asked if they had any tea strainers that are of the “sheet of mesh” style. They did, and I bought one (I also bought $65 of a specialty blend). I drove home, carefully cleaned the strainer, and put the kettle on.

    This fucking tea tastes like cilantro soap! I am not sure if it is the grinding or the strainer. I’m going to clean the strainer some more and try again – hopefully it’ll go away. But it is nasty. I am so seriously disappoint.

  14. 514
    rorschach

    A tennis elbow needs rest, not physiotherapy.

    /your free daily health announcement

    I think I might get a cat. Just need to convince ex to look after it whenever I’m away. Is it traumatic for cats to spend the odd week in a different place?

  15. 515
    rq

    rorshach
    Not if it’s used to it from a youngish age, and also if it likes both (all?) places. An adult cat might have difficulty adjusting. A young one should take it in stride, if it likes to travel at all (some just don’t).

    +++

    Good night!

  16. 516
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    rq, I’m really worried about your cat too. I’ll cross a couple of my cats for your kitty’s safe return. And no more kids!

    Did someone mention Mieville? I’m about to start The Scar, as soon as I plow through this Jim Butcher bookie-thingie.

  17. 517
    The Mellow Monkey

    Esteleth, that is disappointing! I’m hoping it was just the strainer and not the tea itself.

    It’s amazing how a four mile walk in summer is so much easier than a one mile walk through snow. Whew. I’m glad I got out of the house, but I’m shockingly exhausted now. I went out through the family land and then down to the river, without ever seeing or hearing another human soul. Solitude is so utterly delicious. I could just stand there on the bridge and listen to the trickling sounds of water through the holes in the ice. ♥

  18. 518
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Mellow Monkey:

    I just got back from a lovely solitary walk by the river, too. The sunshine on the ice was glaring but refreshing. My river is too big to have a footbridge, unfortunately.

  19. 519
    Deborah

    Hekuni
    Thanks!

    Giliell
    Yep! Thanks.

    I guess I’m a more rude or more assertive shopper. I don’t stand and wait for you to move – I either reach around people who aren’t standing directly in the way but near it, or do the sotto voce “excuse me” and expect them to move if they are really in the way. My mother taught me quite fiercely as a child to be aware of where I was placing my cart, how I walked down aisles, who was around me and what I was blocking them from getting to, and so I tend to think everyone ought to be that respectful in grocery stores. :)

    WMDKitty
    I get gobsmacked by decisions at the store sometimes. I do work hard to be aware of when I’m in the way and allow people to get in around me, and I’ve never lived anywhere where people would just wait more than a few seconds for you to move (it’s the south, we don’t quite have the personal space to worry about maybe – excuse me and move in!). But I do stand there and stare at, say, the women’s hygiene products or the tuna fish cans; anything that comes in too many sizes and varieties and prices and which I can’t remember what I’ve gotten before so I am left trying to figure out which is the best deal or the right one or something. I’ve gotten better about this since I left religion actually; I used to find shopping and deciding which way to drive somewhere almost paralyzing because I felt “god’s plan for my life” extended to these tiny details and I could make a terrible mistake by driving the wrong route or buying the wrong brand of cheese, but of course, I had to make the decision with no guidance on what the actual plan was. It’s been a few years and I’ve gotten a lot better about deciding what parameters I care about and just flipping a mental coin when I don’t care and have to decide.

    RE: the crying children question. As a cashier working in a grocery store what I always found immensely frustrating about people with children was the way they handled the children. This may have been a regional thing, or a class thing (the area my store was in was a fairly poor area, and it was a mass merchandiser) or just a ‘long shopping trip and tired’ thing, but I saw so many people scream at their children to stop whatever-it-was and never actually get the child’s attention and the child would continue the crying or yelling or running or tearing up the checkout aisle – so the parent was being unpleasant and adding to the noise but not adding any effectiveness to the situation. The experience made me feel at the time like all families must be as bad as mine was. Later in a different kind of retail where people tended to be less stressed I sometimes saw – rarely – parents who were engaged with their children.

    Portia
    OOOH Gratz! :)

    RE: writing
    I’ve done some blogging about feminism, especially as it relates to the portrayal of women in media, mostly fictional media. It was one of the first cracks in my religious conservative shell, as I started writing for a friend’s blog before I really identified as a feminist. I wanted to do well by the trust I felt she had placed in me by giving me access to post to the blog, so I worked very hard at thinking critically about what I was going to say, and often ended completely changing my mind about what I had thought of the piece I was writing about because I couldn’t defend my original take. It was not only an introduction to feminism and social justice but to thinking critically about my own mental shortcuts. I still write there sometimes, but while I like writing, I don’t like starting to write and dread having to write, so I often drop out for a while because when I’m not actually doing it it feels like a drudgery waiting for me.

    Rev. BigDumbChimp
    When I was a receptionist in a small office, which happened to be a government office, a work comp court, two of the male judges thought I should make the coffee every morning even though I don’t drink coffee. They seemed to think it was the receptionist’s job – or maybe a woman’s job, since they sometimes asked the female court reporters to do it when I didn’t. I did it sometimes but often forgot because it wasn’t important to me. By the end of the four years I worked there they had learned to mostly do it themselves, which I was secretly proud of. They were actually very nice people, just a little status conscious. And making coffee was a pain because they had whole coffee beans they wanted ground specially every day with a small electric grinder and then measured out and all.

    cicely
    Thanks! Yeah, it might be interesting to be open about that at work; I’ve told some people sometimes at work, usually hesitantly and with care to be polite because of the general religiousity here.

    Portia
    I use Notepad to compose my comments…no stray formatting, but I can have it open while I scroll the thread!

    Alethea
    I was given a CD by the migraine center I went to that was described by the psychologist as “biofeedback”. It was basically a set of guided meditations, very general, just breath and count more or less. That wasn’t all they did for me; stopping the wrong medication and starting the right one and some physical therapy and help during the interim was most of it. I use the techniques though I don’t listen to the CD when I’m having trouble with either a migraine or asthma, after taking appropriate medication. I don’t know about any other types of biofeedback that might involve something other than simple breathing exercises, but I do recommend those – I’ve been doing them since I was a little kid and recognized the techniques when I listened to the CD.

    JAL
    How do they tell exactly what books are going to have LGBT characters? Or even which books are going to have only LGBT relationships presented forefront? I’ve read several science fiction and fantasy novels that surprised me in that way. Sara Monette for example. And another one I haven’t been able to remember the name or author and can’t find again, but it was a very interesting world and story and had several complex relationships, all non heteronormative.

    One time I accidentally rented a gay pornographic film from Blockbuster. I was quite astonished by it when it started, as it had been just casually displayed in the regular drama stacks and I had read the cover several times over several months of passing it by before renting it and hadn’t ever realized what it was. It had a bit of a plotline (it was an actual, if mostly fluff, story in between the sex scenes) and that was what was described on the cover copy. After watching it I realized maybe the way one guy on the cover was looking at the other guy was supposed to be a hint.

    Joe
    I don’t have any reason to say something like that aloud or in public, but when reading erotica I have been known to avoid stories centering around lesbian or gay sex. But then I wouldn’t say “I’ll read anything but…” because there are several things that I avoid in that category, and there are times things in those categories are still interesting.

    Decided to post this and then continue reading thread…

  20. 520
    mildlymagnificent

    What were they thinking? The headline on this BMJ piece reads “The New Zealand cervical cancer study: could it happen again?” http://www.bmj.com/content/297/6647/533 (Should have been titled “They never learn.”)

    Seems as though it could. When you add toxic remnants of colonialist attitudes to the dominant toxins of caste indifference and a culture of not caring about women and their suffering ….. here we are again.

    Anyone care to try and dig up an ethics committee responsible for this study ‘design’? I’m not even going to try. I’m pretty sure we’ll hear more about this later.

  21. 521
    mildlymagnificent

    #520 is for socio-gen’s link to the Indian “research”.

  22. 522
    Deborah

    RE: language
    I am not generally tempted to use “bitch” or some of the other common female-gendered derogatory terms so not using them isn’t a problem for me (I didn’t grow up saying them). A couple years ago I was exposed to the idea of changing my language for the same purpose but with a view to ableism – so not using “lame” or “crazy” to casually or angrily dismiss things that frustrate me. Crazy is one I grew up saying and which I still find it difficult to avoid. Generally if I’m with close friends who are not trying to avoid ableist terms and I’m speaking casually I don’t feel too bad if the word slips out; but when I’m in public, writing, or with people who are anything other than close friends I do my best to stop myself when I want to describe something that way.

    It doesn’t help that a few of my close alternatives have difficulties as well, either by being the same problem (i.e., insane), or with “wonky” which I grew up with as meaning “odd, strange, out of kilter” but can also mean a racial insult akin to “apple” or “oreo” or “honky”.

    Portia
    Hugs…sorry that happened to you :(

    Tony
    I didn’t have to file for bankruptcy, but I was more in debt than that and went about that long without payments on many things. Several things went to collections, and a couple smaller creditors arranged their own very tiny payment plans (like $8/month for 5 years kind of thing, with no interest). Next month the last thing that went to collections about 5 years ago will be paid off – it was a $6k credit card all by itself, and for the last couple years I’ve had an arrangement with the collections agency where I was not charged any interest on the debt, so it paid down rather quickly. I also managed to settle another one with a collections agency which was originally $4k and I settled it for $1k. Naturally all of this required that I had a job – I had been ill and not working when it happened, and then went back to work part time, and for the last four years I’ve been working full time and living with someone who pays most of the normal life bills like housing and such so that has made it a lot easier.

    Anyway, I don’t know what filing for bankruptcy costs, but I do understand the pressure of bills and collections and debt collectors and such. I suppose you’ve already tried the credit counseling type approach? And don’t have the money to try to settle the collections agencies out for pennies on the dollar?

    Giliell
    Woohoo gratz on passing the exam! And I’ve always thought linguistics was fascinating, so double woohoo!

    birgerjohansson
    I have Railsea. I left off somewhere about a third of the way through it…it really didn’t grab me. A City & A City did that too. Kind of trailed off and got difficult to wade through for a while, although I finally finished that one when I was hard up for reading material. I’ve found Mieville’s quality to be uneven, is my diagnosis.

    Generally American English has changed some s’s into z’s. American English (and American spellcheckers) say ‘civilized’, although a lot of American people, expecially those who read books published elsewhere and talk to people online who spell differently may write ‘civilised’ instead. And American English, as you say, has dropped a lot of u’s from words like ‘behavior’.

  23. 523
    cicely

    I have acquired a cheap ukelele. This should be interesting.
    -
    Tony: The Husband and I did bankruptcy a few years, back, but it was before they revised the bankruptcy laws, so I’m not sure how applicable my experience would be to your situation; but it did take a lot of stress out of life.

    I always thought ‘cicely’ was pronounced like ‘Sicily’. Of greater importance though…what does the name mean? Sources tell me that ‘cicely’ means _lover of horses_.

    And your alleged “sources” need to reach for a fire extinguisher, bud.
    Cicely
    *sticking out tongue*
    Neener!
    -

    I happen to know that Walton does love y’all, but finds Pharyngula too stressful.

    *sniffle*
    Even in the [Lounge]?
    -

    (BTW, did you know that rhino poachers’ testicles cure cancer? Pass it on!)

    I assume that they must be dismounted before use? Or must they be powdered before they are harvested?
     
    Details matter, dammit!
    -
    *high five* for Giliell!
    -

    Also, being a Canadian, I know that this representation of bears is completely accurate.

    And I believe you!
    :D
    -
    Socio-gen!
    *pouncehug*
    Well done, you, for kicking Anxiety’s ass!

    Ethics of 2 cancer studies questioned

    :( :( :(
    -

    That cancer study makes me think of Tuskeege.

    Exactly what leaped to my mind, also.
    -

  24. 524
    Deborah

    Finally caught up!!!!

    Lynna
    I was quite chilled a while back by some comments I heard from a business lobby guy. He was the head of something in the big business area – the org that is always opposing Obama on any regulation that affects business in any way. He was criticizing a proposal percolating in Congress for raising the minimum wage, and was interviewed on whatever news show I was listening to as a counterpoint to a Congressperson who was advocating for raising the minimum wage. And what he said was that it was silly of (peons) er non business people to worry that if the minimum wage was done away with that jobs that are filled now would have their wages lowered – those jobs are filled now and are obviously worth what they are being paid because the employers are paying that for them. Obviously. But we should still do away with the minimum wage, like, entirely, because there are some jobs that aren’t getting done at all that aren’t worth what minimum wage is, and if a job is only worth $2 per hour, then the employer should be allowed to pay $2 per hour and get that job done.

    He literally said the figure $2 per hour, that some jobs are only worth $2 per hour. And that is why we need the minimum wage, because real people with real political power honestly believe that they should be able to pay real human beings $2 an hour for their time, and probably treat them like shit during that time.

    And no, I’m not forgetting that restaurant workers often get under $3 per hour whether they are in a tip making position or not. That is abominable, and a good reason why I don’t go out if I can’t afford to tip extravagantly.

    Dallilama
    If the minimum wage was raised to $13 per hour I would get a raise. :/ And I’m working a rather technical job, not a menial or mindless one. I’m fixing laptops for 12+ hours a day, 5+ days a week, with a production quota to hit, no benefits. So if you ever send a computer somewhere to get fixed and are disappointed with the result…maybe now you know why. :)

    rorschach
    Cats don’t usually need that much looking after. My experience has always been someone just stopping by every day or two to feed, water, clean litter box, and spend a few minutes socializing. I’ve done the watching and had it done, both. We even left our cat when I was a kid for up to a weekend just by herself, but she was antisocial and any visitors wouldn’t have seen her anyway.

    Joe
    The Scar was really good, and a big part of the reason I tried so many other Mieville books.

  25. 525
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Thanks for the well-wishes, deborahbell.

  26. 526
    cicely

    I’m reading The City & The City. :)

    I read that about a year ago; it was very different. I’d have liked to go through it another time, but the library wanted me to give it back. So unfair!
    -
    rq, I’m sorry your family is at you to have more kids than you want. And I hope that Cat returns soon.

    So we asked her when she was going to have her first. *snicker* She blushed a lot, went speechless, and dropped the subject.

    *big grin&snicker*
    -

  27. 527
    opposablethumbs

    Thanks for the kind words, Portia and Socio-gen. Much appreciated.
    .
    Tigger, yes I can do that on the kindle but it doesn’t seem to work properly! So the text is a bit bigger, but goes off the edge of the screen. Ha, technology, I fail at you.
    .
    rq, I hope the cat is found or comes home of its own accord really soon. Crossing all my fingers for you.
    .
    Have you seen what time it is? What do you mean by it, keeping me up till all hours, I have to get up in the morning! ::stops wedging eyes open, unglues self from the computer, collapses into bed::

  28. 528
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Welp, that settles it.

    In a weird, unrelated development, the friend of Jerk’s that I was talking to a bit the other night (and only just met then) friend-requested me on facebook. He seemed like a very nicecourteous, genuine, person. I was a little sorry to not talk to him any more, having to leave and all. I’m wondering if Jerk didn’t rant to him at all about how ebil I am, or what. Wild Speculation time…

  29. 529
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Oh, and rq, I can relate a bit to the annoying presumptions people make about procreation. Mostly I suppose people ask when S and I are getting married, but it’s in the same “Nunyabidness” category. The things people will say and not even think how rude it is.

  30. 530
    Deborah

    I am constantly entertained by the titles people list for real jobs. Today it’s “Information Designer”. They seem to mean “graphic design” with a side of “information technology” thrown in – but reading that title I can’t help but think that they want someone to actually design their information, the actual data, rather than manage, process, present, store, or safeguard that data and information.

    And I would like to know how a position titled “Registered Nurse” comes up under a search for “Information Technology”.

    /weirdnesses of the internet job search

  31. 531
    carlie

    I now have a food scale! It’s a $5 dial model that I got for “free” because I still had that much left over on an old gift card, but it still weighs things – now I can try some of those fancy European recipes that measure things in grams! ;)

  32. 532
    John Morales

    deborahbell,

    And no, I’m not forgetting that restaurant workers often get under $3 per hour whether they are in a tip making position or not. That is abominable, and a good reason why I don’t go out if I can’t afford to tip extravagantly.

    WTF?

    Cripes!

    (How many hours need they work to afford one of the meals they serve?)

  33. 533
    Deborah

    I think most restaurant positions have to at least ostensibly if not really be able to get tips. The big problem is the hostesses, who are paid like servers but if they get any tips it is a mandatory portion of the servers tips, which some restaurants take from the servers and share out to the buspeople and hosts/hostesses. Servers also make the tiny wage. I think used to be half of minimum, but I think it didn’t go up when minimum went up to $7.25. The minimum wage for “tipped employees” is $2.13 per hour federally, and to be a tipped employee, you have to get $30 per month at least in tips. Hell, I got that much in discreet tips working retail where I was not supposed to accept tips because people wouldn’t take no for answer.

  34. 534
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Tipping

    I tip, and I tip a higher percentage for cheaper meals. The food being cheap or expensive has ZERO to do with the quality of the wait staff, so paying $15-20 on a $100 meal is fine but the person serving a $40-50 meal didn’t do half the work and shouldn’t really get half as much. I usually tip 25-30% on a $50-and under meal, and closer to 15% as it goes up.

  35. 535
    Deborah

    On tipping, I tend to think no one should serve me for less than $10, ever, $20 if I have it and they were at least reasonably adequate. That means on cheaper meals sometimes I tip 100-200% because I refuse to tip less than $10 on a meal that is $10, and will often leave more. When I left work after talking to my supervisor about sexual harrassment situation and took the rest of the day off, it was still relatively early morning and I went to go get breakfast at a typical breakfast place and had one of the most awesome server experiences ever. I tipped her $30 on a $10 meal because she was really awesome and I really needed her to be awesome that day. The cashier up front actually choked up when she asked me if I was serious about the amount (not as in crying, as in she started coughing).

  36. 536
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    IIRC from my table-waiting days, there was a law saying the employer had to make up the difference if you didn’t get enough tips to make the minimum wage. Of course, that never happened. One place I worked, the servers regularly got $0.00 checks because their credit card tips (as in, the ones that are unavoidably reported for tax purposes) cancelled out the actual hourly wages they earned. Bizarre situation. Those servers, of course, were getting $400 and $500 a night. It was a more expensive place. Still a weird payroll outcome, though.
    (I was a lowly bartender who opened their wine bottles and made the Old Fashioneds. I made $30 a night in tips, but I think I made $10 an hour or something like that).

  37. 537
    Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^=

    Hello Horde! =^_^=

    My third ‘successful’ pregnancy (i.e. one that actually produced a live child at the end) was horrible. I won’t go into details, but suffice it to say I had no intention of ever repeating the experience*. But I still got annoyed by the people who said “You’re going to stop, now that you’ve got a daughter?” I didn’t have a third child in order to have a daughter, you interfering busy-bodies! That rather devalues my second son, don’t you think? How dare they say such things in front of him?!!!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    My daughter has worked part-time and casually for many years as a server and room-cleaner in hotels. It doesn’t pay well, but it is a great deal better paid than the same jobs in the USA. My goodness, those figures are shocking! deborahbell, on behalf of my daughter and her colleages, a great big thank you!! =^_^=

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    opposablethumbs, oh dear, truncated text does not sound good. Not readable! :(

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Socio-gen, well done for conquering the anxiety and doing it anyway! You can look upon that picture for years to come and tell yourself “I did it!”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    *Hence Hubby having the snip when daughter was a year old. She’s nearly 29; the twins are 20. We weren’t the only family in that position at the time. You can tell from that why the consent form wording changed from “You understand that this is permanent, irreversable, yada yada…” to “You understand that this may not be permanent…” Apparently, some doctors were sued for the costs of raising the unplanned sprogs.

  38. 538
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Tigger

    Apparently, some doctors were sued for the costs of raising the unplanned sprogs.

    We talked about this a bit in law school. It’s basically a “wrongful life” suit…which is weird, if you think about it. There was also one in which a person who was intended to, um, not be born, was born. And sued. Claiming they should never have lived. Now that’s unique.

  39. 539
    Deborah

    tigger
    Tipping is such an odd convention, and kind of offensive if you think about it – but since it’s what we have, I participate in the best way I know. Sometimes I order less because I’m thinking about that tip and what money I have to put toward the total tab.

  40. 540
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    BTW, just back from dinner, tipped $20 on an $80 check and got free pie for our anniversary. :)

    Bacon-wrapped scallops and a baked potato for me, blackened ahi tuna and rice for my wife. Plus she ate raw oysters… ewww.

  41. 541
    Deborah

    Congratulations on your anniversary, Joe. :)

  42. 542
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Thanks deborahbell! Eight years and counting. :)

  43. 543
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Hooray for nice evening out, Joe : ) Happy eightaversary.

  44. 544
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    I just started The West Wing.

    I think I’m on episode 4 or so and a black Congressman just told off a white White House staffer who tried to use race to get him to vote for an assault weapons ban. It was awesome.
    My favorite bit: “…and a three day wait to check if you’re crazy. As if wanting the gun in the first place wasn’t indication enough.”

    Not that I’m against gun ownership per se. It’s just…with these military style guns…I wonder.

  45. 545
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Thanks Portia, it is pretty cool to be an old married dude. I just wished that the waitress had told us that our free take-home “pie” was actually just ice cream with whipped cream on it. :)

  46. 546
    Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^=

    Congratulations, IJoe! =^_^=

    The ‘pie’ – I hope it didn’t melt?!

  47. 547
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Tigger_the_Wing, the ice cream was OK, but the whipped cream sort of… de-whipped?

  48. 548
    Have a Balloon

    Portia

    YES IT IS THE MOST AMAZING SHOW. I’m re-watching Season 1 at the moment and I saw that episode a couple of days ago…yes yes so awesome. I also liked the bit where Josh was talking to the new young congressman, who has decided to vote against the assault weapons bill.

    “So, which of these guns do you disagree with banning?”
    [Josh reels of a list of gun names. The congressman ums and aahs and obviously doesn't know what they are]
    “What about the [gun 1] or the [gun 2]?”
    “That’s…er…the..er…semi-automatic…?”
    “IT’S A GRENADE LAUNCHER!!!!”

    Re. the ‘wrongful life’ suit.
    I’m sure there are lots of good reasons (lack of time/money etc) why this hasn’t happened, but has there ever been a case where a woman who was denied an abortion that she wanted due to ridiculous anti-abortion laws has sued for ‘wrongful life’?

  49. 549
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Have a Balloon
    Ha! Yes, that was a great scene!
    There are so many..

    Re: abortion and wrongful life. I don’t think so, or at least I haven’t heard of that. I don’t think it would stand, either, because abortion is protected as a right of privacy under the Constitution. So if you were suing the doctor, you’d be suing them for…not providing medical care. Which is something doctors don’t owe you except in special emergency circumstances, obviously. If you’re suing the government because regulations prevented you from exercising your Constitutional right, it’s a Constitutional claim, not a civil suit against an individual doctor. (Unlike the vasectomy cases).

    I agree with Justice Ginsberg,* who said it should be an equal protection ruling, not privacy right. Other rights in this category are the right to parent, the right to cohabit with family members, the right to procreate, stuff like that.

    *I think it was Ginsberg.

  50. 550
    cicely

    Happy anniversary to iJoe and BossNurse!
    *champagne&confetti*
    -

  51. 551
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Thanks cicely, we’re definitely a confetti couple, although she’d prefer a glass of Merlot and I’d like a Glenfiddich on the rocks. :)

  52. 552
    John Morales

    Improbable Joe,

    … a Glenfiddich on the rocks.

    Cold dilution is not for me — I prefer to savour its full-strength pungency.

  53. 553
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    RON SWANSON IS ON THE WEST WING

  54. 554
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Partner is visiting for the week.

    I. Get. SNUGGLES! *happy dance*

    Heh, I think I got him curious about Pharyngula…

  55. 555
    Have a Balloon

    ANDREW JACKSON, in the lobby of the White House, had a BIG BLOCK OF CHEESE…

  56. 556
    glodson

    IIRC from my table-waiting days, there was a law saying the employer had to make up the difference if you didn’t get enough tips to make the minimum wage.

    I worked for years in restaurants. And it is the law, but the places got around it so easily. It never happened because they could cut hours, so that a decent night would carry you, if you were close.

    I hated that job. Don’t get me wrong, I could make some serious money, and I did. I just couldn’t stand it, the people I worked with were awful, and the people I remember the most as costumers were a bunch of jerkasses.

  57. 557
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    John Morales,

    You’re missing out. Just a couple of ice cubes, maybe 2-3 small ones, brings the temp down slightly, and the water releases a little more aroma to accent the flavor. Drop the cubes in, give it a quick swirl, and enjoy. It helps to have a tulip-shaped glass, of course.

  58. 558
    Cerberus is working overtime at the outrage factory

    In positive life news I’m going to be spending tomorrow with both my partners and they’ll be meeting each other for the first time, so that should be a lot of fun.

    Tigger-

    Yeah, there’s this weird cultural pressure regarding kids where not only is everyone pushing everyone else to pop out their first kid as fast as possible, but also to have more and more kids and to somehow try and match statistical predictions by getting as even a mix as possible. And fuck the fuckers who don’t realize how “oh, you should have had the opposite sex instead of that” might affect the self esteem of growing children.

    WMDKitty-

    Yay for snuggles!

  59. 559
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Cerberus, I hope you have an incredibly awesome day tomorrow! You totally deserve something positive in your life! :)

    WMDKitty the same goes for you and your week of snuggle-goodness. You deserve to enjoy yourself!

  60. 560
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    ::perks ears…::
    Deborahbell fixes laptops?
    ::neatly folds laptop into envelope and sends to deborahbell for fixin’::
    Seriously, my latop has been so damned screwy for almost a year. I keep getting messages that say “windows media player is slowing down the performance of your computer” or “the script is not responding”. Soooo annoying. Can you fold your arms and boing your head ala Jeanie and fix it? In lieu of that, perhaps a Samantha nose twitch..?

  61. 561
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Tony, I wish we’d known each other before I left Florida, since I actually built the computer I’m posting on from parts I bought online, and I have taken most of an associate’s degree worth of computer tech stuffs. :(

  62. 562
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Have I mentioned I HATE “philosophers?”

    [I actually hate people who engage in this kind of sophistry...both the Aren't-I-A-Clever-Freshman variety here and the absurdly long-winded masturdebating worst exemplified by Verbose Stoic in other threads of Adam's...which unfortunately seem to form a clade with the philosopher-types who aren't total dumb shits. >.>]

  63. 563
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Azkyroth,

    I’m with you. I’m not against “philosophy” or even “philosophers”… I guess? I’m against overly academic assholes who think that being able to write 50000 words about everything makes them experts on anything. Philosophy has long seemed to me to be a way for people who don’t want to get real jobs to stay in college… forever! It is entirely too similar to having bullshit sessions with your buddies over a couple of beers and the occasional joint, and then arguing with big words over booze with your fellow grad students, and then eventually having the same bullshit sessions on paper with other ivory tower assholes and then celebrating your latest book with really fancy wine.

    Splitting hairs into infinity isn’t something to be proud of, it is the same sort of busywork that has been assigned to overprivileged assholes for the last thousand years, under the “theology” banner.

  64. 564
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I must have missed something. Where does Slane self-identify as a philosopher?

  65. 565
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Good morning
    So, the gift of barf has reached #1 *sigh*
    Poor puppy.

    Azkyroth
    OMG, I HATE that. Mr. has the habbit of asking the same question twice (or three times) when actually he wants to know something else the second time, like him: “what’s for dinner?” me: “Spaghetti Bolognese”. 20 min later, him: “what’s for dinner?” (meaning: “when are you planning to make dinner? I’m kind of hungry, couldn’t we eat early tonight?”) me: “I told you already!” (feeling very small and angry and unimportant and actually not paid attention to). Or he has forgotten my answer and instead of saying ” I know you told me, but I’ve forgotten about it.” he just asks again as if the first dialogue had never happened.

    beatrice
    I just wrote “student” there. They have to evaluate the data manually anyway.

    children
    Hate moment: “Oh, another girl. Don’t be sad, the next one will be a girl.”

  66. 566
    Have a Balloon

    Giliell

    I was reading No Longer Quivering the other day and there was a story about a girl who was an only child, I think her mother miscarried a son after she was born. All the people in their church said they felt so sorry for the mother because she was a barren woman and the entire congregation acted like the daughter just didn’t count. Obviously a really extreme example but it was so sad to read about the daughter trying to tell her mother ‘you’re not barren, you have me, you have a child’ and then realising that because she was a girl she didn’t count.

  67. 567
    rq

    Good morning!
    No cat, no reprieve from the flu (Middle Child has succumbed). Otherwise, a perfect morning. Hah! (I got a nice breakfast from Husband out of it, though.)

    +++

    Have a Balloon
    That is so incredibly sad.

    Azkyroth
    My dad didn’t call himself a philosopher, either, but he was a master of long, drawn-out conversations in very polite, quiet tones about not-quite-the-topic of discussion in very polite, accusatory tones (which, I know, isn’t what philosophers always do, but the way they (and my dad) talk about theory-this and morality-that, it never seems applicable to real life…). With loaded questions that never seemed to have any right answers (at least, not according to him). When emotions would rise (inevitably not his), it was all – Come back and talk when you’re ready to be calm!
    The worst part?
    How very civil it all was. Because intellectual an rational.

  68. 568
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I think I first mentioned this article here 31 December 2011; it may be useful in some discussions peripheral to recent topics.

    Contrary to the many accounts of the destructive effects of strong emotions, this article argues that the most serious problems facing the world are caused by a deficiency rather than an excess of emotions. It then shows how an evolutionary account of emotion can explain when and why such deficiencies occur.

    Reflecting on some of the most critical problems facing humanity at present, and drawing on an evolutionary perspective on emotion, I question whether the most pervasive and important problems associated with emotions may be characterized [by] an insufficiency of conscious emotions. Like the proverbial dog that didn’t bark, the absence of strong emotions doesn’t naturally come to mind as a major problem. Once one begins thinking along such lines, however, I believe the argument becomes compelling.

    http://emr.sagepub.com/content/2/3/234.abstract
    https://cdn.anonfiles.com/1361090085455.pdf

  69. 569
    Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^=

    Bother.

    One of my friends, a retired nurse, was here briefly. I confessed to her that although I’m calling what I am suffering from ‘flu’, it actually feels more like glandular fever; but I know it can’t be that because I’ve had it already.

    She told me that it is perfectly possible to catch it more than once.

    *Sigh*

    I suppose I’d better book a blood test.

  70. 570
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Oh no, Tigger, I’m sorry.

    +++
    So, yesterday I met one of the little one’s godmothers by chance at the climbingpark.
    And she told me that fot carnival her middle son wanted an orange princess dress.
    And she bought him one.
    I love her.
    He didn’t get to wear it, though, because then they’d all been down with the flu…

  71. 571
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Tigger, I hope you’ll be OK. I know that’s not the worst thing ever, although it can feel like it when you have it. It sure as hell isn’t something you can just power through.

    Giliell I have to say that I was a little put off that your friend’s son wanted to wear a princess dress… and then I re-read it and saw that it was an ORANGE princess dress and I’m suddenly cool with it. It turns out that I’ve learned to be pretty much OK with boys/men in dresses, and also hugely bothered by any children in PINK dresses. My main concern is that your friend’s son can find a dress in the sort of metallic orange that sports cars come it, because that is the BEST orange.

  72. 572
    rq

    Tigger !!! I hope it’s not glandular fever, and I hope for your speedy recovery!!!
    Giliell That’s too bad (that they were down with the flu). :( I hope he gets another occasion to wear it!
    Improbable Joe I’ve always wanted a car that colour of orange. Because other oranges don’t look good on me. ;)

  73. 573
    lexie

    To everyone struggling at the moment, hugs if you want them and carrot cake with lemon cream cheese icing (I just made it and it’s delicious so I can send that via usb if needed).
    .
    I’m not sure if this is overstepping the mark since I’m only a lurker but I have a problem and thought I might as well try here as well to solve it. Anyway so I have been hand raising a kitten which I can’t keep (unfortunately) so I’ve been trying to find her a home for over a month. I had only managed to find one potential home which could still come through but is looking like it might fall through. I’ve been trying really hard again to find a potential back up home for her as it is likely that my first option might fall through. If any Adelaide pharyngulites are interested in or know anyone who might be interested in getting a cat please let me know. She’s about 8 weeks old and has had her first vaccinations. She’s reasonably quiet and quite sweet. She’s grey and is likely to be a DMH (but could be a fluffy DSH).

  74. 574
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    rqI have an iPhone case in that color, and if I ever had a spare $4000 I’d actually get our car painted that color. As it is, I’ve come close to having my XBox and/or PS3 done in that color just because it is soooo coool!

  75. 575
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Hey lexie, welcome and feel free to de-lurk any time you like. I’m not your kitten’s cat daddy… but I hope you find one soon. I’m currently at 133% of cat capacity.

  76. 576
    lexie

    Hi Improbable Joe, even if you didn’t already have so many furry kids I’m kind of hoping that someone a little geographically closer might want her. I hope your furry ones aren’t driving you too crazy.

  77. 577
    rq

    iJoe
    I think the first time I saw that colour on a car was Australia. Gorgeous. The colour of the desert over there. I once bought a hiking backpack that colour (no metallic sheen, alas!) because awesomesauce.

  78. 578
    Jafafa Hots

    Hi.

  79. 579
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Hi lexie, hi everyone!

  80. 580
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Ah, I’m not the only one who has little to say besides hi :)

  81. 581
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    lexieEvery time they start to push me over the edge, one of them does something so adorable that it hits the reset button and I start all over again with all of them. I hope you can find someone physically closer to you to make this adoption happen.

    rq, I almost way overpaid for a guitar in that color, just because it was that color. I’ll stick with the iPhone case, thanks a bunch!

  82. 582
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Hi Jafafa Hots and Beatrice

  83. 583
    lexie

    So do I but I am starting to get increasingly worried. Maybe it’s just because I don’t have many friends but it is much harder to rehome a kitten than I had thought. I suppose if I don’t find a new home for her soon I might need to take her to the RSPCA or something but I really want to know that she is going to a good home.
    .
    Hi Beatrice. :)

  84. 584
    strange gods before me ॐ

    rorschach,

    Is it traumatic for cats to spend the odd week in a different place?

    Yes. No. Sometimes. Depends on the cat’s baseline anxiety, habituation as a kitten, and whether the other place also has cats. If she does already have cats, then chances are very high that it’s not going to work.

  85. 585
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    lexie

    So do I but I am starting to get increasingly worried. Maybe it’s just because I don’t have many friends but it is much harder to rehome a kitten than I had thought. I suppose if I don’t find a new home for her soon I might need to take her to the RSPCA or something but I really want to know that she is going to a good home.

    I wish I could help…

    I was feeding strays at my last house, and I had to move and none of the local rescue places would help me without a large cash investment… and I was taking donations and selling/pawning my stuff to make ends meet. I wish to hell I could have taken those stray kittens with me, and I wish that I could have made that work. I also know that it could never have happened, and that I’m not to blame because I tried really hard but no amount of “try” would have ever been enough.

    You’re not to blame either, if you try your best and you can’t find a home for that kitten. It is OK if you have to turn her over to a shelter and roll the dice. At least you gave it your best shot, and that absolutely counts.

  86. 586
    Jafafa Hots

    Sorry, didn’t have anything to say, but nerves all jangly so I popped in and said hi.

    I hate weekends. Especially when I am manic-y.

  87. 587
    lexie

    Thanks iJoe (may I use this abbreviation for your name?). I do feel guilty even though I know it’s stupid. I was on a work placement when someone brought her after they almost ran her over on the road. She was scrawny and covered in fleas. But as she was only just over a week old and needed hand raising if I had taken her to a shelter they would have euthanised her which I wasn’t happy with. So I took her home with me despite the fact that I knew my parents would hate her (my dad’s first words upon seeing her were “what is that” followed by “it’s not staying”). Anyway I didn’t sleep properly for ages even though I was working 12 hour days so she could get all her feeds. Now she’s old enough to be adopted and I feel bad because I feel like I should be keeping her and then bad because I can’t find her a good home. She’s a sweet girl and I would hate for her to be euthanised. As I’m back to uni in two weeks I suppose if I can’t find anywhere by then then I will have to turn her over to a shelter and they probably will rehome her but stupidly I’ll still feel guilty for not having done better by her.

  88. 588
    rq

    Hi, everyone.
    Also, iJos, happy anniversary, and what are you doing still awake?? Isn’t it late?

    lexie
    Good luck with the kitten! I’d love to adopt another (and no, not because Current Cat is AWOL again). Too bad you can’t (safely) mail animals. :( Oh hey, I have cousins in Adelaide! I’ll do a Facebook survey. ;) One of them is building a house, so maybe, just maybe, they’ll want to add a cat to the three kids. Is there a time limit on the adoption?

  89. 589
    mildlymagnificent

    lexie, I’m in Adelaide, but I very much doubt any kitten would be welcomed by our 21 year old, deaf as a post, feline worshipful mistress of the household.

    Your best bet might be to ask your local vet. Most vets have kittens, in cute little displays in their waiting rooms, ready for adoption from the RSPCA?, some rescue service anyway. They might have suggestions about how you could piggy back onto that scheme or otherwise advertise yours.

  90. 590
    lexie

    Hi Jafafa Hots. Sorry you’re having a bad day. Would you like one of the aforementioned carrot cakes?

  91. 591
    Jafafa Hots

    Thanks lexie. Carrot cake is about the only cake I can eat! :)

    If the kitten is cute and socialized, she should find a good home and adjust fairly quickly.

    Well quick as I popped in I’m gonna leave, think I need to distract myself with a movie or something.
    The nerves jangly thing is annoying, but predictable. But it tends to make me argumentative.

  92. 592
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    @Jafafa Hots,

    You know damned well that lots of us know “manic-y” and so you don’t ever have to be sorry to pop in and say hello, or vent all of your personal stuff, and everything in between. When you’re here, you’re home… kick off your shoes, lay down your troubles, and find as much comfort as we can give. Might be slow… time zones and all that… but it is really here. We’re here.

    I’m here. If you need to be manic-y and chew someone’s ear off, I’m right here for you. And if I’m not enough or not the right ear… just wait! There’s more and better than me around here, maybe just in the wrong time zone and will be around shortly. :)

  93. 593
    rq

    Improbable Joe, you do yourself a wrong. There might be more around, but nobody does Improbable Joe like Improbable Joe, so no, nobody’s better than you, around here!

  94. 594
    lexie

    Hi rq. Thanks please do check with your cousins. Ideally I kind of need a home for her in 2 weeks but I might be able to stretch it a bit if necessary.

    Hi Midlymagnificent. Yeah, I don’t think any geriatric cat is going to welcome a little usurper. Your cat has probably earned the right to a peaceful old age. I’m a vet student, so I have tried a couple of vets. Most that I know that have kittens in the waiting room run their own adoption services because so many people bring in stray kittens during kitten season and the vets don’t want to euthanise them so take them in, care for them then try to adopt them. The problem is that often as they actually aren’t a shelter they don’t have a lot of space for the adoption programmes and they are normally full (as most of my local vets are now). I could take her to RSPCA as they have to take in stray animals but I’d rather try to find her a good home where I know she’ll have a good life.

  95. 595
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    lexie, I’m tearing up for your situation. I know how tough it is. You’re not obligated to wreck your own life for a furry kid, it is worse for them if you do… even if you can’t see it right now. You’re not to blame for what happens when you’ve done the best you can. You do what you can, and then you move on without guilt or blame, and maybe things don’t work out how you would like, but maybe they do! in either case, you don’t walk around with regret, because you didn’t cheat that kitty out of the best home you could give her for as long as you could. That’s better than most of them get, if you think about it from that angle.

    rqI’m still up because I drank a few coffee-infused beers while my wife was drinking water… oops!

  96. 596
    Jafafa Hots

    Oh, thanks Joe… but I’m just in one of those “rant at anything” modes.. Nothing in particular getting at me except a balky brain.

    Gonna see if a dumb movie will chill me out. If that fails, back to bed.

  97. 597
    rq

    Improbable Joe
    I didn’t think coffee-infused beer was that strong. Heh. Remind me never to have that after dinner (maybe for breakfast?). :)

  98. 598
    lexie

    Thanks iJoe. I know I shouldn’t feel guilty and it helps when other people tell me that too. I just hate that there are so many animals that don’t really get a chance. I’m still really hoping that I’ll find someone to take her and then I won’t feel so guilty because even though I’ll miss her and wish I could have kept her, I’ll know that she has a great new home with someone to love and care for worship and be slave to her (she’s actually not to demanding for a cat, yet) . At the moment I can still hope that I won’t have to drop her off at a shelter. My current back up plan to personally finding her a home is that a vet in a very good area which I’ve done work experience at has a spot and can take her because I know they’d find her a good home.

  99. 599
    opposablethumbs

    Hi lexie. I think it’s great that you’re doing everything you can to give this cat the best possible chance – I agree with the others that you definitely shouldn’t feel guilty, FSM knows you’re doing your best! Wish you good luck with finding it a home (kitten sounds eminently desirable (speaking as a household with a dog on the opposite side of the world …)).

    Thank you for the carrot cake, it’s delicious.

    Tigger, I hope it’s not glandular fever! And I hope you feel better soon, whatever it is.

  100. 600
    lexie

    Thanks opposable thumbs, it helps to hear people saying I’m doing well as I feel like I’m being totally inadequate atm. She’s definitely desirable (though speaking as her foster mum I’m obviously totally biased). The carrot cake is great IMnsHO.

  101. 601
    glodson

    I was just messing around, and I found this from Ray Comfort.

    I won’t spoil it for you, if you are inclined to click it.

  102. 602
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    glodson,
    Well, that was just stupid. He didn’t even mention the atheist special – grilled fetus!

  103. 603
    glodson

    Beatrice, it was just a special kind of stupid.

    But as a heathen who hates god and ignores social norms, I could use some grilled fetus. (Notice that over 1000 people liked that comment?!)

  104. 604
    rq

    Wait… The bible says it’s wrong to eat horses?
    I always thought it was an emotional attachment people had to them.
    The French, obviously, are immune to the Friendly Overtures of Horses, and have included them in their menus since time immemorial (they even have a special breed for eating).

  105. 605
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Vegetarians, don’t read this.

    I seem to have misunderstood what this recent fuss about horse meat was really about. I thought it was because it’s pretty obvious that if horse meat (which is actually quite expensive) was being secreted into what was supposed to be beef, then it was bad horse meat. Not from horses that were raised for meat, but old/sick horses.

  106. 606
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    beatrice
    It’s probably a problem of both:
    A) massive consumer fraud. Even the best horse meat is fraud when sold as beef.
    B) it was apparently not fit for consumption horse meat as the horses had been treated with mediction.
    C) it wouldn’t surprise me if the whole thing had also been sponsored by the EU via some stupid “give companies money to fire people” fund.
    Now I still have two cans of suspcious emergency ravioli in the larder…
    Let’s see on Monday if the shop takes them back

  107. 607
    thunk: turmite city

    hia all.

    Nice sunday. Rather sunny too.

  108. 608
    PZ Myers

    I’m stuck in Florida. My flight out was delayed (due to “crew rest requirements”, or poor planning by US Air) ans now I’m waiting for a new flight, which I hope will get me to Charlotte in time for my connection home. It’s shaping up to be one of those days of constant aggravation, not sure when I’ll actually get home.

  109. 609
    Socio-gen, something something...

    Finished (mostly) my paper on de Beauvoir. Now to ignore it until Monday so I have a more clear eye for the final proofing. Next up on the list: a 4-page paper on Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas for my MN Gov’t class.
    Turns out he’s not as boring as I expected — pretty much a liar, con artist and womanizer, but also environmentalist, who went liberal on the Court (Griswold v. CT) out of no real conviction, just a desire to mess with people. But he was instrumental in turning the C&O canal into a national park instead of a highway. So there’s that.

    Ahoy, super-comment ahead….
    — —
    Esteleth
    Ugh! Cilantro/soapy is bad, but even worse when you’re expecting a lovely tea. Hopefully it’s just the strainer.

    deborahbell

    Crazy is one I grew up saying and which I still find it difficult to avoid.

    Gah! This is me too, and I just realized I used it in my first comment after making my way back to the Lounge.

    Apologies to all, and I’ll try to be more careful.

    cicely
    *pouncehug*

    Sweet cicely?? *snicker*

    deborahbell, again
    You want to know how really sad and pathetic that $2.13/hr federal minimum for servers is? From 1985-1987, I worked as a waitress after school. Minimum wage for servers then: $2.05/hr.

    Worst place I ever worked (and I was only there for 6 weeks) was a family restaurant place that required all the servers to split their tips. You could work your ass off and not even make gas money because you had to split with a deadbeat (or two) who didn’t check back with their tables unless a patron flagged them down. Or, worse for me, you’d go home with way more than you’d earned because you’d been working the coffee counter, not the tables.
    +++
    I had a customer once leave a $50 tip on a coffee and danish order. I chased him out to the parking lot, thinking he’d left it by accident, and he just said, “Nope. You looked like you were having a bad day and needed cheering up.”

    I still get a feeling of incredible joy from that, almost 30 years later, so I’m sure you made your server’s day.

    Portia
    I never had an employer make up the difference. Ever. I did have one who gave a wink and a nod to us only reporting 50% of our tips.

    I got a few of those $0 checks. Although, really, I loved the ones that were between 1 and 25 cents, only because of the reaction of the bank tellers.

    re: tipping I’m an over-tipper as well. I don’t eat out often, but unless the service is really awful, I always aim for 25-30%. If the service is great, but the food is awful, they still get that, (and I complain about the quality when I pay).

    Tigger the Wing

    That rather devalues my second son, don’t you think?

    Yes! I heard this so often. We were perfectly and completely happy with our two boys and did not expect or plan for a 3rd child at all (witnessed by the fact that I’d given away all the baby stuff as soon as my youngest son was finished with it). Once we realized that “whoops!” our only goal was as healthy a pregnancy and as healthy a baby as possible.

    The worst, absolute worst, thing anyone ever said in front of my kids was a great-aunt I hadn’t seen in a decade. She looked at my 9, 6, and 3yos and said, “Oh look, you’ve got an heir, a spare, and a princess.” My younger son was so hurt, and I was simply livid. The fuck?? You think my beautiful, brilliant son is some kind of afterthought??

    Joe
    Congratulations to you and BossNurse on your anniversary! Wishing you many more happy years together!

    Portia, again
    Ooh! I loved West Wing and just saw that Netflix has the entire series. I want to be good and watch the episodes in order…but I know Mark Harmon is in Season 4. LOL.

    WMDKitty

    Partner is visiting for the week.

    Yay SNUGGLES!

    Cerberus

    Yeah, there’s this weird cultural pressure regarding kids where not only is everyone pushing everyone else to pop out their first kid as fast as possible, but also to have more and more kids and to somehow try and match statistical predictions by getting as even a mix as possible.

    Maybe it’s strange or just contrarian of me, but I like the fact that two of my kids have decided they don’t want to be parents, now or in the future. Of course, my older son gets far less flak about that than my daughter does.

    Azkyroth
    Having been unfortunately paired with two philosophy majors for a project in my Social Movements class, I have an unrelenting dislike of philosophy. As far as I can tell, it means spitting out as many words as possible (preferably of the multi-syllable variety) while saying absolutely nothing, or worse, saying really awful things as a “thought exercise.”

    rq
    Oh dear. I hope the cat returns and that Middle Child recovers quickly.

    Tigger, again
    Oh noes for you too! I hope you are feeling better soon.

    Giliell
    Awesome mom and godmother!

    lexie
    Welcome! Mmmm…carrot cake!

    I’m sorry I have no suggestions for helping re-home your kitten. Good luck!

    Beatrice
    I know for me, not eating horse meat is a cultural thing. “We just don’t eat that!” When I was 10 or so, one of my aunts had us over for Sunday supper and it was…okay, but different. I thought she just had done something odd with the roast.

    Then, after we were done eating, she and my uncle asked how everyone liked it and revealed it was horse meat — and this during my Misty of Chincoteague phase. To avoid detail, let’s just say I ruined the tablecloth. The idea of someone slipping something I wouldn’t eat otherwise into my ground beef just freaks me out. (It would be the same if it were fish or seafood which I dislike intensely.)

  110. 610
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Yeah, of course, putting in something that isn’t on the ingredients list is enough for a freak out too. I just took that as a given. It was the whole “ew, how could they put horse meat in there” being more prominent than “ew, how could they put horse meat of questionable quality and health in there” that baffled me a bit.

  111. 611
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Actually, there’s quite a tradition of eating horse in germany (original “Sauerbraten” is horse) And it kept folks from starving after WWII (which contributed to it falling out of favour afterwards)

    +++
    re: tipping.
    I worked as a waitress for a summer about 15 years ago. I got 10DM an hour which is about 6$. With tips I often made twice as much, sometimes even 200%. Which means that a schoolkid in Germany in the last millenium made way more in nominal money than people who have to feed a family do now in the USA. You’re welcome to put inflation into your calculation…
    Tips here are kind of extra for good service. We are good tippers but that usually means between 5-10% of the bill, seldom more. And yes, if somebody lets out their frustration on me as a customer they get 0%. That was one of the reasons I went back to factory work although it paid less: at least I didn’t have to pretend to be in a good mood at 6 am…

  112. 612
    broboxley OT

    may be wrong but I read a report that Romania banned horse drawn carts recently leaving a lot of poor people with an unnecessary mouth to feed. Considering the drugs found in the horses makes me think that some criminal types diverted pet food shipments into the human bound food chain.

  113. 613
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Socio-gen,

    Having been unfortunately paired with two philosophy majors for a project in my Social Movements class, I have an unrelenting dislike of philosophy. As far as I can tell, it means spitting out as many words as possible (preferably of the multi-syllable variety) while saying absolutely nothing, or worse, saying really awful things as a “thought exercise.”

    Here you go! Now you can tell otherwise.

    http://www.utilitarian.net/singer/by/19990905.htm

  114. 614
    rq

    Latvians in general are terrible tippers (see: Husband, anecdotal evidence). I think it’s a throw-over from their days in the Union. Because, see, they choose to work that job, and they know what it pays, so they don’t need any tips because they could always get a different job. And because they already get paid what the job is worth, duh. “I only tip if service has been exceptional.” That’s great, why don’t you tell that to the poor waitress who probably has kids at home and loans from the bank and who’s just had a terrible few tables to wait on. Tell her that she doesn’t deserve a tip because she didn’t fucking smile.
    I’ve tried to explain that tips are part of their wages, that’s the whole point, where they have the basic rate + individual experience of the waitees. Some people just don’t want to share, I guess.

    re: horse meatBeatrice, I’m with you there, why so much fuss about the meat and not about its quality? Yes, it’s fraud if it’s passed off as beef, but you’d think people would be a bit more worried about food poisoning or ill effects of other kinds, rather than just eating the wrong meat…
    That being said, I don’t know if I’d ever try horse meat. Might void my status as Beloved of Horse, who knew!

    Socio-gen
    I remember Misty of Chincoteague… Super books! :) And as for

    Sweet cicely?? *snicker*

    tee hee hee. :D I’m with you! ;)

  115. 615
    Socio-gen, something something...

    Beatrice:

    It was the whole “ew, how could they put horse meat in there” being more prominent than “ew, how could they put horse meat of questionable quality and health in there” that baffled me a bit.

    Yeah, I think in places where horses aren’t a culturally-accepted food source, it really doesn’t matter what kind of horse meat is there. It’s existence at all is difficult to deal with.

    (And, I’m fully aware of how ridiculous it sounds to say “horses, bad; cows, good,” which is how most Americans think, but… *shrug* One I grew up eating, the other I didn’t.)

    Giliell

    And it kept folks from starving after WWII (which contributed to it falling out of favour afterwards)

    That’s interesting. Was it a “that was a terrible time and we don’t want to remember it” reaction, or something else? I know my former mother-in-law, who grew up during the Depression, wouldn’t eat certain foods because they reminded her of that time. It was a sense of “you only eat this when there is absolutely nothing else AND you’ve already boiled your shoes.”

  116. 616
    rq

    Socio-gen
    I had a great-uncle-in-law who cuoldn’t eat salmon (salted, raw, cooked, smoked) because of the years he spent in Siberia (labour camp) eating almost nothing but raw salmon (and thank goodness they had that). :/

  117. 617
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    I hope all is well.
    My Sunday plans are a bust.
    J went to the clinic because he thinks he may have a sinus infection. My kneejerk response was “that sucks, I wanted to spend time with you” -which remained unspoken as I smacked myself and more appropriately and empathetically said-”that sucks. I hope you get to feeling better soon.”
    Sometimes it can be difficult to not immediately think of my needs and desires. I have to remind myself that other people are important too. I feel kinda bad for even thinking that to begin with.

  118. 618
    Socio-gen, something something...

    strange gods

    Thanks! I really enjoyed that and bookmarked his site for further reading. (And, yes, now I have a better opinion of some philosophers.)

    Do you have any other recommendations for utilitarian philosophers I should read? I didn’t even know utilitarian philosophy existed… but then again, I’m a sociology major. :)

    rq
    My kids and I love to vacation at Assateague Island (when we get the chance, which is rare these days). The ponies live there and then some are herded over to Chincoteague for the auction.

    Really, there’s nothing quite like coming out of your tent in the morning and finding yourself face-to-face with a couple of curious ponies. Also, you learn to never leave the tent without checking where (and in what) your feet will land.

    Tony
    I struggle with this too. My disappointment tends to be my first (silent) reaction and then empathy kicks in. When my now-ex and I were dating, he was supposed to pick me up for dinner. The roads were bad and he went off the road and hit a tree — enough to damage the engine but not himself. He called me from the house he’d walked to for help, and the first thing I said was “But we had plans!” Uh, yeah — as if he purposely mangled his only form of transportation just to ruin our date. I was 16, but still…. At least I learned not to say that stuff out loud.

    Part of it is that I like having a plan of events and if something messes with the schedule I’m expecting to follow, I become uncomfortable and out-of-sorts and have to consciously work at not thinking of myself.

  119. 619
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    socio-gen

    That’s interesting. Was it a “that was a terrible time and we don’t want to remember it” reaction, or something else? I know my former mother-in-law, who grew up during the Depression, wouldn’t eat certain foods because they reminded her of that time. It was a sense of “you only eat this when there is absolutely nothing else AND you’ve already boiled your shoes.”

    That happened to quite some foodstuff here.
    It’s been less than 10 years that swedes made their comeback. Because it was the satple food during and after WWI AND WWII. So a whole generation lived off nothing but swedes for the better part of 20 years. Now those generations are dying out and people re-discover them.
    I know that my grandma ate ravens and crows and she always said that she really didn’t want to repeat that.

    rq

    Latvians in general are terrible tippers (see: Husband, anecdotal evidence). I think it’s a throw-over from their days in the Union.

    Waiting staff in the GDR were known to be quite unfriendly because they didn’t dpend on your stinking tips. Which I actually think it’s a good thing, because they’re working and they should be paid for that, independently of what some arrogant douchecanoe thinks. But I also think that I’m buying more than food and drink, so not barking at the customers should be part of your job-description.

    Salmon used to be poor people’s food along the Rhine, too…

  120. 620
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    My grandmother hated fish because either
    1. being fed a spoonful of fish oil every morning in her childhood
    or
    2. being fed mostly fish soup in the camp during German occupation
    The story differs a bit there and she isn’t with us any more to confirm the right version.

    But she couldn’t even stand the smell of fish.

  121. 621
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Good morning? Oh my head…

    glodson & Beatrice: Forget horses, THERE’S GOOD EATING ON A FETUS! :) Yeah, I thought the scandal about the horse meat is that they used not-meant-for-people drugs on non-food horses and then sold those horses for meat. I’ve eaten horse meat, nothing wrong with it.

    HAHA@ The Peez: Stuck in Florida? Don’t leave the airport, or you’ll get caught in one of those weird “only in Florida” stories, where you might be seduced by your own sister who is also your aunt and cousin, and then go on a cannibal rampage, before being taken out by a rabid armadillo.

    Tony, sorry about your plans not working out. Maybe next weekend?

    Tipping: My father in law is a terrible tipper, which is especially bad because he runs the hell out of the wait staff and occasionally says inappropriate things to waitresses. We’ve taken to carrying a little extra cash and adding it to the table on top of whatever pittance he puts on his credit card.

  122. 622
    carlie

    On tips: in general, if you’re not eating a hugely expensive meal*, the difference between a crappy tip and a good tip is somewhere around $2-4. And if you’re already spending money on the meal, adding a couple of bucks to the total isn’t going to break the bank, but it’s going to mean a lot of difference to the server’s wages. I figure if I have enough money to eat out and drop $20-40 on a meal, I’m already doing a lot better than the server waiting on me who is making two bucks an hour plus tips, so it’s no skin off my nose to add a little more to their tip. I can’t stand it when people sit and figure down to the penny what a 12 or 15% tip is and refuse to even round up to the nearest dollar lest their server get any more than what is coming to them; fucking seriously? “Skinflint” is the only word that comes to my mind.**

    *and if it is a hugely expensive meal, then obviously you can afford the bigger tip; if not, why are you eating a hugely expensive meal in the first place?

    **If you’re watching every penny and do have to not give any more than you’re supposed to that’s fine, but I’ve noted that people who can’t afford it generally tip properly because they know what it’s like and they don’t go to that particular place to eat until they have enough for both the meal and the tip; it’s the ones who can afford it who refuse to be generous.***

    ***and they’re usually Republicans or Libertarians.

  123. 623
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Morning, Lounge!

    Er…it’s gonna be morning for ten more minutes here, gimme a break!

    I’m almost ashamed in the current climate to admit I was a philosophy major, ha.

    Cerberus

    In positive life news I’m going to be spending tomorrow with both my partners and they’ll be meeting each other for the first time, so that should be a lot of fun.

    Have lotsa fun : )

    Cerberus makes a great move.

    Tigger
    Oh, dear! Take good care of yourself.

    rq
    hope you new house is flu-free soon : (

    lexie
    I remember you : ) Hope you find the kitty a home soon. Good luck, she’s lucky to have you looking out for her.

    Socio-gen
    A few places I worked implicitly wanted us to just report enough tips so they didn’t have to make up the hourly difference. Beyond that, they didn’t give two shits if we accurately reported : )

    West Wing: I’m finding myself wondering why it took 7 episodes to mention the First Lady, much less have her on-screen…

    OOooooh Mark Harmon? Excellent.

    Horse meat: Yeah, it seems like a pervasive emotional aversion to eating horsemeat abounds in the Midwest. I can’t imagine if someone had tricked me into eating it when I was at full adolescent horse-loving stage. Now, I’m a little less adamant about it, but I have residual not-quite-rational feelings about eating it myself (If it doesn’t bother someone else, more power to them).

    Tony

    J went to the clinic because he thinks he may have a sinus infection. My kneejerk response was “that sucks, I wanted to spend time with you” -which remained unspoken as I smacked myself and more appropriately and empathetically said-”that sucks. I hope you get to feeling better soon.”
    Sometimes it can be difficult to not immediately think of my needs and desires. I have to remind myself that other people are important too. I feel kinda bad for even thinking that to begin with.

    Having feelings about how something affects you is totally normal and okay. You didn’t put any pressure or guilt on him, so there’s really no harm done. No one can control their first emotional reaction! I definitely do this too, sometimes. When someone else’s minor catastrophe incidentally inconveniences me, I find myself having a “why does everything happen to me?” moment. : p

    I’m sorry you both missed out on a fun day. : (

  124. 624
    ChasCPeterson

    a whole generation lived off nothing but swedes for the better part of 20 years

    USAn translation (presented as a swedish-american public service)

  125. 625
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Kinda ‘rupt, but:
    Socio-gen
    My experience/opinion of philosophers is pretty much the same as yours.

    SGBM
    While I have more patience for utilitarians than any other type of philosopher, they’re still a bit too prone to abstracting things too much in order to try to make their case. For instance, the Singer article you linked to makes quite a lot of assumptions about the financial state of the reader, the activities of various charities, and the most efficient way to help those who are in poverty, none of which are entirely borne out. Furthermore, while he may well be correct that in a perfect ethical system, everyone would behave as he outlines (I could argue that point, but that would be going rather far afield here), the simple truth of the matter is that that isn’t how people actually do behave, and no amount of moral scolding is going to cause it to magically become such. Therefore, if what one actually wants is for people who are living in wretched poverty to not do so anymore, one is advised to recommend a solution that could actually theoretically be implemented (for instance, he says that the U.S. government won’t, this year, be giving out much foreign aid, but he fails to make the case that my time and money are better spent giving what little I can directly then working to ensure a larger amount of foreign aid in the future). Put differently, his ‘solution’ is no such thing, it’s merely mental wankery.
    ijoe
    Happy anniversary.

  126. 626
    Lynna, OM

    deborahbell @524

    And what he said was that it was silly of (peons) er non business people to worry that if the minimum wage was done away with that jobs that are filled now would have their wages lowered – those jobs are filled now and are obviously worth what they are being paid because the employers are paying that for them.

    Sigh. I’ve just about given up on educating some business people. They are immune to both ethics and reason. And that is precisely why a thriving society has laws to curb them.

    Also, as Dalillama noted, the minimum wage should be raised to about $13.00. Some sources calculate that it should be even higher.

    Some conservatives say “decency” has nothing to do with it. Who has the right to decide what’s decent? We should let the “market” decide what people are paid.

    This is one of the oldest conservative canards in existence, based on the false claim that there’s something called a “market” that exists separate from society. But there’s no “market” in a state of nature, just survival of the fittest.

    A society necessarily determines how the “market” is to be organized. Standards of morality and decency play a large role in those decisions. [Robert Reich writing in Salon and on his blog February 15, 2013]

    Yes, but the peons already have refrigerators. They should visit the prison-like factories in China that Mitt Romney admired so much.

    A mere $9 an hour translates into about $18,000 a year — still under the poverty line. When you add in the Earned Income Tax Credit and food stamps it’s possible to barely rise above poverty at this wage, but even the poverty line of about $23,000 understates the true cost of living in most areas of the country. [Robert Reich]

    Paul Krugman points that raising the minimum wage is good economic policy:
    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/16/minimum-wage-economics/

  127. 627
    Jadehawk

    Having been unfortunately paired with two philosophy majors for a project in my Social Movements class,

    I was paired with two landscape architects for that class (well, it’s “Social Change” here); two landscape architects with massive privilege issues and the belief that actually dealing with the theoretical underpinnings of our topic was boring and shouldn’t be talked about in our presentation.

    *bitter*

  128. 628
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Also, *hugs* to those who want them, sympathies for the sick, and all that good jazz.
    cerberus
    Have fun today with your loves.

  129. 629
    Jessa

    Ugh. The shitty treatment servers in the US get because of the messed up minimum wage. Yes, if a server makes less in wages plus tips than the non-tipped minimum wage, the restaurant is supposed to make up the difference. In practice, that almost never happens. Owners get around making up the difference a number of ways, but shaving hours off of paychecks is a common practice. And employees basically have no recourse; if they complain, they get fired.

    This is a touchy subject for me, because Spouse (who is a server) was fired a couple of weeks ago for asking why his hours were shaved. That wasn’t given as the official reason, of course, but the bullshit reason they gave him was something that had never been a cause for termination before.

  130. 630
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Oh, wow, that’s horrible, Jessa. If it was only a couple weeks ago, I believe there’s still time to complain to EEOC. Of course,that’s a US recourse.

    Sorry that Spouse was subjected to that. : (

  131. 631
    Lynna, OM

    More resources for those wishing to really understand the economics behind the minimum wage debate:

    Mike Konczal
    http://www.nextnewdeal.net/rortybomb/interview-dube-eitc-and-minimum-wage-complements

    John Schmitt of the Center for Economic and Policy Researchhttp://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/min-wage-2013-02.pdf

  132. 632
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Jadehawk

    I was paired with two landscape architects for that class (well, it’s “Social Change” here); two landscape architects with massive privilege issues and the belief that actually dealing with the theoretical underpinnings of our topic was boring and shouldn’t be talked about in our presentation.

    Ouch. The worst I ever got was a marketing major who just had no clue at all. They were taking their required humanities. For the most part I didn’t have the problems you and Socio-gen did, it was pretty much all fellow Community Development majors.

  133. 633
    Jessa

    Portia: thanks. We looked into complaining to the state labor department, but our state won’t even investigate a pay discrepancy less than $50, so no luck there. Our state is also an at-will employment state, so there’s basically nothing we can do. Especially since we don’t have proof that he was fired for complaining.

  134. 634
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Jessa
    I know that song, alright. Sympathies for you and Spouse.

  135. 635
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Oh, but Jessa, haven’t you heard? Unions and worker’s rights so arcane these days. Just absolutely unnecessary. See, in the intervening years between law enforcement being bought to break people’s legs for unionization, and now, employers have become paragons of justice and virtue and compassion! They wouldn’t do anything to hurt anyone! Unions are obsolete!

    …not that unions have much to do with Spouse’s situation, it just called that refrain to mind.

    *pulls Snark Hat down snugly over ears*

  136. 636
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Portia
    Oh, they do. They have a lot to do with cerberus‘ situation too. At will employment/’right to work’ laws are explicitly designed to bust unions and make sure that employees have no rights or recourse. A union steward is exactly the person to go to in those types of situations, if only they had such a person available (Yes, I know they’re not perfect, but they’re still a damn sight better than no union.)

  137. 637
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Good point, Dalillama. I recently found out that the prosecutors office I applied to is unionized, the only one in the state. Someone told me the reason for the exception, but I can’t remember…
    In Chicago, the public defenders are better paid because they are unionized and the prosecutors office is not.

  138. 638
    Lynna, OM

    Jesus effing christ. Sheriff Joe Arpaio is getting even more out of hand in Arizona. He now has more than thirty “posses” that run around pretending to have the same authority as police. The posses have a terrible record when it comes to harassment, racial profiling, and other unprofessional conduct. Now Sheriff Joe is amping up the patrols of elementary schools by the posses.

    Just days after the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre proclaimed that only “a good guy with a gun” can prevent horrors like the Newtown massacre, America’s most notorious sheriff announced that armed members of his volunteer posse would soon patrol schools in the Phoenix area.

    “This is immediate,” said Joe Arpaio, the Maricopa County sheriff. “I don’t need a new law to send out my posse.”

    And sure enough, when classes resumed after Christmas break, Arpaio boasted on CNN that patrols had begun in Maricopa County …

    No schools requested the help of Sheriff Joe’s nearly 3,500-member posse. It did not take long for reports to resurface that his good guys with guns might have questionable pasts or bad judgment – a Phoenix TV station reported that Arpaio has a history of welcoming sex offenders and domestic abusers into his posse. And that didn’t stop Arpaio from summoning the press to a school parking lot to dispense fuzzy details about his plan and invite media to ride along with his posse as they spooked a few kids on a nearby soccer field.

    Residents of Guadalupe – which contracts with the MCSO for policing because the town is too small to afford its own force – were already spooked. In September, one of Arpaio’s deputies joined Tempe police in responding to an attempted burglary call – and shot and killed a teenage suspect. A deputy said he felt threatened and saw a knife; eyewitnesses in the neighborhood say he was putting his hands in the air to surrender when he was shot…

    [Andrew Sanchez, Guadalupe councilman speaking] “…When people do speak out against the sheriff, they send extra patrols to harass that family, just to let them know: don’t complain. …”…

    Full story: http://www.salon.com/2013/02/17/sheriff_joes_posse_invades_guadalupe/

  139. 639
    Jadehawk

    Arpaio has a history of welcoming sex offenders and domestic abusers into his posse

    and not just any kind of sex offenders, either; one of them was apparently caught soliciting sex from minors. perfect for protecting schools, amirite?

  140. 640
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Was it Jon Stewart that said “It’s gotta be tough to protect a school you can’t go within 500 yards of.”

  141. 641
    glodson

    Our state is also an at-will employment state, so there’s basically nothing we can do. Especially since we don’t have proof that he was fired for complaining.

    That is one of the bad things about working in the restaurant business. A bad boss or company will think nothing of screwing over their employes. Especially servers, as there’s already a high rate of turn-over. That and it can be easier to mess with the employees rather than try to make of the difference with food costs, as those can be outrageous at times.

    @ Lynna

    Sheriff Joe Arpaio is just horrible. He’s got those posses running around, with at least one man convicted of sexual crimes against a minor and another charged with domestic abuse. People all want armed and near children. He’s got those mountains of molestation charges that his office is just sitting on, and he’s… he’s just an evil man.

  142. 642
    glodson

    and not just any kind of sex offenders, either; one of them was apparently caught soliciting sex from minors. perfect for protecting schools, amirite?

    For anyone who hasn’t seen this story.

    And what if the Phoenix-area community doesn’t want a poorly vetted group that has included child-sex offenders and violent abusers among its ranks hanging around their kids’ schools? Too bad, says Sheriff Joe.

    “It doesn’t matter whether they like it or don’t,” he told ABC News. “I’m still going to do it. I can’t imagine criticism coming when they’re given free protection.”

    He doesn’t care. And he’s got his sideshow going on with Steven Fucking Seagal.

  143. 643
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I feel bad about laughing at Portia’s comment (640). Sorry.

  144. 644
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Portia

    In Chicago, the public defenders are better paid because they are unionized and the prosecutors office is not.

    Well, that’s a whole other issue right there, and one which almost certainly feeds into the kind of BS broboxley described when you mentioned the new job (that kind of shit is also why I don’t trust prosecutors worth a damn; no offence to you, but there’s far too many abuses in the name of getting more precious convictions and no oversight to speak of). I’m very fond of a proposal I saw to make the prosecutors office and the public defenders the same department, and just pulling people from the pool as needed for their role.

    Lynna
    I remain aghast that the Feds haven’t brought the hammer down on Arpaio’s ass (not surprised, mind. Just appalled).

  145. 645
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    I’m very fond of a proposal I saw to make the prosecutors office and the public defenders the same department, and just pulling people from the pool as needed for their role.

    That’s really interesting. Of course, defendants are already distrustful enough of PDs because of where they get their paychecks.

    I absolutely understand distrust of prosecutors. I’ve known some good ones and some bad ones. I’ve personally known more that were good and fair, but that’s anecdotal and not dispositive at all.

  146. 646
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I never liked Steven Seagal. Until now, the only reason were horrible movies.

  147. 647
    Deborah

    Tony
    I work in a repair center and do physical repair of laptops. If I got yours in with the description you gave I would likely send it for reimaging – basically, wipe the hard drive and start over with a fresh install. We just don’t mess with software at all. There may very well be ways to fix the problems without the blunt hammer approach, but that’s not my area right now.

    Socio-gen
    I suppose I’m glad I never worked in food. Everything I hear about it makes it sound just awful. I always thought I wouldn’t be able to hack it on the weak stomach side of it – some days my own kitchen and my own food puts me off eating, so I figured a restaurant kitchen would be asking for trouble. But these days it seems I didn’t miss anything at all.

  148. 648
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Portia

    I’ve known some good ones and some bad ones. I’ve personally known more that were good and fair, but that’s anecdotal and not dispositive at all.

    The trouble is, especially from an outside perspective, there’s no way to tell in advance which kind you’ll get, and the incentives are not currently set up to encourage honesty.

  149. 649
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    I definitely agree that there are myriad problems with the system.

  150. 650
    glodson

    I never liked Steven Seagal. Until now, the only reason were horrible movies.

    Even as a fan of the brain dead action movies of the late 80′s and early 90′s, I couldn’t stand him. Even as a prepubescent male, I couldn’t get past that bad, bad, bad acting.

  151. 651
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Even as a fan of the brain dead action movies of the late 80′s and early 90′s, I couldn’t stand him. Even as a prepubescent male, I couldn’t get past that bad, bad, bad acting.

    This is why I started watching the stuff John Woo directed starring Chow Yun-Fat. It’s got all the action movie tropes, plus acting, storyline, and character development.

  152. 652
    Lynna, OM

    I remain aghast that the Feds haven’t brought the hammer down on Arpaio’s ass (not surprised, mind. Just appalled).

    Yep, me too. Arpaio was very nearly voted out in the last election. He just squeaked by. Maybe Arizonans can vote him out next time. He has a lot of money behind him.

    Arpaio’s claim is that he is operating within Arizona laws, so that if someone wanted to stop him they would have to change Arizona laws first. He often tells critics that if they don’t like his methods they can “move to a blue state.”

  153. 653
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    glodson,
    As long as you don’t count the first three (but mostly the first and the third) Die Hard movies as “brain dead action movies”, we’re good.

  154. 654
    PZ Myers

    PREMATURE NEW THREADINESS!

    I know, it’s a bit early, but I’ve got just a little time on airport wifi before I sink into US Airways hell again, so I’m doing this while I can.

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